Inside Out was the fifth annual TEDxGuelphU conference.  This event took place on Saturday, November 23rd and featured nine exciting speakers from Guelph and the surrounding area!




Inside Out is learning from individual things, people and ideas and applying them to a bigger concept. It is taking lessons from our community and applying them globally. It is the ability to go anywhere while being connected to your roots. It is being able to apply your own experiences to something that is completely unfamiliar. Inside out is taking risks and being great because of it.


Please find our speakers for TEDxGuelphU Inside Out listed below!  We are very excited to help them share their ideas worth spreading with you!


You can find Gard Otis’ talk here.

Dr. Gard Otis is an entomologist in the School of Environmental Sciences.  After receiving his BSc degree from Duke University (1973), he attended the University of Kansas where he researched population biology of rain forest butterflies and Africanized honey bees in Central and South America for his PhD (1980).  He studies the ecology, behaviour, and evolution of insects, with an emphasis on honey bees and their pests.  One of his most significant accomplishments was the Ontario stock evaluation and bee breeding project he directed (1989-1993), that led to problems caused by tracheal mites in Ontario to be greatly minimized. Gard is a world authority on honey bees in Asia and is currently director of a highly successful beekeeping development project in Vietnam that had benefitted the lives of several hundred rural villagers.  For the last decade, he has also been involved in various projects to understand the ecology, behaviour, impact, and control of Emerald Ash Borer beetles, and is seeking ways to reduce their effects on ash trees.

Gard is greatly concerned about the poor health of honey bees in North America, a phenomenon that reflects on the state of modern agriculture and our environment.


Watch Arpana’s talk here.

Arpana Chakravarty has worn many hats in the last year. She is a dance instructor, entrepreneur, academic, and currently employed as a Major Bid Coordinator for Canada’s largest public construction and infrastructure development company.

She is a recent graduate with a Master’s and Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of Guelph. During her MA, she spent over 3 years researching the contentious topic of Land Reform. This included an extensive field research component in Kolkata, India funded by a Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS). The primary information she gathered for her work was difficult to obtain and came at considerable risk; collected at the heels of the demise of the longest standing democratically elected communist government in the world.

While in the field Arpana managed to conduct over 300 interviews from key actors including senior government officials, politicians, senior executives of large development companies, leaders of NGOs, and those directly impacted.

Her talk will take you from the paddy fields where individual farmers refuse to leave despite government demands to the massive bureaucratic organs that rezoned and administered one of the most ambitious campaigns of forced land acquisition in India’s history – and go on to explain what implications this phenomenon has for developing countries across the globe.


Watch Dan Ashlock’s talk at this link.

Professor Daniel Ashlock has a doctorate in pure mathematics from Caltech.  He has been a math professor for 23 years and taught twelve different types first year math courses at four institutions for majors in math, hard sciences, general education, biology, and business.  He has developed five different first year courses.  He currently holds a chair in bioinformatics with the Department of Mathematics and Statistics where he is a Full Professor of Mathematics.  He has prizes for teaching at the undergraduate and graduate level as well as for research.  He has over 200 peer-reviewed scientific publications in mathematics, computer science, theoretical biology, computational intelligence, artificial intelligence, game theory, and automatic content generation for games.  He is a senior member of the IEEE and serves as an associate editor for the IEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation, the IEEE/ACM Transactions on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics, the IEEE Transactions on Computational Intelligence and Artificial Intelligence in Games, and Biosystems.


Watch Danica at TEDxGuelphU here.

Danica Evering is an artist, aspiring writer and an ardent observer of social interaction. She studied at the University of Guelph (Honours) in the Studio Art program, completing during her studies an exchange semester at the Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg (Heidelberg, DE). She is currently Project Assistant at Musagetes and an enthusiastic member of the editorial team of Publication Studio Guelph, which means that she gets to print, bind, chop, and have heated discussions about books. Her recent work has been exploring post-humanism, small mythologies, and the effects of emotion on food.


You can watch Paul Wartman at TEDxGuelphU here.

“Imagine walking down the street and being surrounded by rhubarb plants, cherry trees, and raspberry bushes. Imagine all the jam!” Paul Wartman likes to create space to imagine what’s possible when communities are grown from good, accessible food systems. Bringing that vision into reality is his mission. Paul has founded the group Many Rivers Permaculture that is working to create a healthy, environmentally-protective, politically-engaged, food-loving, “I-wanna-grow-that-in-my-backyard” community. He is currently researching Edible Forest Gardens as a Master Student at the University of Guelph and collaborating with community groups to bring healthy food to everyone in the Guelph and Mississauga communities.

Paul’s understory consists of being a board member and vo-livin-teer with Transition Guelph, a grass roots community organization working and playing towards a thriving resilient community. His character is built from experiences in organic farming, permaculture design, appropriate technology development, eco-camp counseling, and many potlucks! Go ahead and ask him about it.


Watch Brendan Myers’ talk here.

Brendan Myers is the author of thirteen books in fiction and nonfiction. He has taught philosophy at six different institutions in Canada and in Europe, and provided policy research for government agencies, labour unions, and game design studios. In 2012, prompted by the excessive prices of college textbooks, he ran a successful Kickstarter campaign to produce a texbook in logic and critical thinking, which he made available to the world for free. Myers’ ideas have been featured by the Pacific Business & Law Institute, the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency, the Order of Bards Ovates &

Druids, as well as numerous environmental groups, interfaith groups, and humanist societies around the world. Originally from Elora, Ontario, and a graduate of Guelph’s BA Drama and MA Philosophy programme, Brendan now serves as professor of philosophy at CEGEP Heritage College, in Gatineau, Quebec.


Watch Katharin Harkins’ talk here.

Katharin Harkins has been the Executive Director of The Donkey Sanctuary of Canada since June 2012, and before that was a long-time donor and frequent visitor. She is currently responsible for the organization as a whole with a particular focus on carrying out the mission, raising awareness and profile, funding development, and strategic planning. With over 20 years corporate experience, Katharin most recently held the position of Vice-President of PR & Communications for Sun Life Financial in its corporate office in Toronto, though much of career was spent in Waterloo’s Clarica (formerly Mutual Life of Canada) until this company was acquired by Sun Life.

Katharin spent her the beginning of her career working with not-for-profit, grassroots organizations in Waterloo helping kids in trouble with the law, and creating social programs for nursing homes.  She holds an M.A. in English from the University of Waterloo and an M.A. in Journalism from the University of Western Ontario.

Now Katharin lives and works happily in Guelph where she attended high school years ago. The sign above her desk reads, “My therapist eats hay. “

Since 1992, The Donkey Sanctuary of Canada, south of Guelph near the 401, has been a refuge for donkeys, mules and hinnies who have been neglected or abused, or who can no longer be cared for by their owners. Currently home to 75 animals, with 28 out on our approved foster farms.


Watch David’s talk here!

David Waltner-Toews is a short story writer, novelist essayist, creative nonfiction writer, veterinarian, poet, epidemiologist, teacher, essayist, poet, and a public performer – in the words of crime novel reviewer in the Globe and Mail, “a genuine polymath”. He can write deeply moving stories of love and war, weave tales of infectious diseases and human foibles, and don a dress and kerchief to perform his alter-ego, Tante Tina, to make pronouncements in syntactically awkward English on Salman Rushdie and Stalin, to lament the loss of boys from the countryside and the loss of local vegetables through free trade. Waltner-Toews does not think and write “outside the box” – he recognizes no boxes at all.

Founding president of Veterinarians without Borders/ Vétérinaires sans Frontières – Canada, and of the Network for Ecosystem Sustainability and Health, he is a University Professor Emeritus at the University of Guelph. He has also been a founding member of the Communities of Practice for Ecosystem Approaches to Health in Canada and South and Southeast Asia.


Watch Mark Whale’s talk here!

As a classical violinist, graduating in 1985, from the Royal Academy of Music, London, UK, I have always been interested in why anyone should come to, and sit through, my concerts: what is so meaningful about music written hundreds of years ago? In fact, what is so meaningful about music in general? When I arrived in Toronto in 2004, I put my playing/teaching/concert-creating career on hold and returned to school to explore these questions in the form of a Masters and PhD in music education. Since then, I have taught a number of music/humanities courses (at the University of Toronto and at Humber College), given presentations at international conferences, and published papers, some more and some less related to my idea that we find and recognize ourselves as co-authors of music when we make the choice to become attentive to it.