Think. Evolve. Do. was TEDxGuelphU's 4th annual conference. 

Fall 2012 Speakers Line-up


Emily Nickerson, a third-year Water Resources Engineering student at the University of Guelph, worked with the Agriculture Value Chains Venture of Engineers Without Borders this past summer. Working directly with a small agro-inputs business, Emily was able to develop an in-depth understanding of field level realities regarding the access and use of agro-inputs by small-scale farmers.  She has gained first hand insight on the importance of systemic change and its role in sustainable livelihood improvements for smallholder farmers.  Emily Nickerson’s talk will focus on how development sector models in Africa need to change in order to be sustainable; sustainable change must be systemic.

Nickerson has been involved with Engineers Without Borders at the University of Guelph and nationally for the past three years.  Further, she has been involved in various School of Engineering events such as GoEngg Girl.  Emily is also a President’s Scholar at the University of Guelph and completed a research placement with Professor Ed McBean summer 2011.


Like so many in the restaurant business, Bruce McAdams first job was as a dishwasher at a local steakhouse back in 1979.  He enjoyed the business so much he went to school to study it, graduating from the University of Guelph’s School of Hotel and Food Administration in 1989.  Upon completion of his studies McAdams joined Darden Restaurants where he spent seven years working in both Operations and Training.  In 1997, McAdams joined the upstart and entrepreneurial Oliver & Bonacini Restaurants. Over an 11 year career with that company he worked in various roles serving most recently as its Vice President of Operations until 2008.   It is during this time McAdams co- founded the Ontario Hostelry Institutes Top 30 under and 30, a program that recognizes Ontario’s brightest young hospitality leaders.

After completing a Masters of Arts in Leadership, McAdams joined the faculty of the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management in January of 2009.  He currently teaches courses in Strategic Management and Quality Service Management at both the undergraduate and MBA levels.  In the fall of 2009 McAdams started a program called Garden2Table which involves the promotion of food education to children in the greater Guelph Community. To date, this program has provided over 1000 children with hands on, ‘real food’ experiences.  In 2011, McAdams started the University of Guelph Sustainable Restaurant Project (UGSRP).  Initially created to incorporate more ‘sustainable’ curriculum at the school, UGSRP has evolved to become a project whose goal is  to generate research regarding sustainable restaurant practices while also acting as a ‘hub’ of information and education for industry stakeholders.  Research that McAdams and his colleague Dr. Mike von Massow have conducted on ‘tipping’ has been featured on CBC Radio, Foodservice and Hospitality Magazine and major newspapers across the country including The Globe and Mail.


Attained both his graduate and undergraduate degrees at the University of Guelph, with a focus in the fields of physiology and anatomy as well as music and music performance. In the last couple years, Jordan discovered a way to fuse his passions for science and music together, and has taught lectures and masterclasses addressing the anatomy of breathing, the voice, and vocal production in Guelph, at Guelph-Humber, and at McMaster. Much of this passion for understanding the production of the voice at an anatomical level has come from Jordan’s career as not only a Grammy-nominated singer, but as a vocal coach and teacher. Jordan believes that even a rudimentary understanding of the mechanisms behind how the voice is produced can pave the way for anyone to be able to sing.


Dr. Sylvain Charlebois is the Acting Dean and Professor in the College of Management and Economics at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. From 2004 to 2010, he was a member of the Faculty of Business Administration of the University of Regina in Regina, Canada. Dr. Charlebois is an award winning researcher and teacher. He also served as the Director of the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy (Regina Campus).

 His current research interest lies in the broad area of food distribution, security and safety, and has published many peer-reviewed journal articles in several publications. His research has been featured in a number of newspapers, including The Economist, the Globe & Mail, the National Post, the Toronto Star, MacLean’s, and La Presse, as well as on the Business News Network, CBC Radio and TV, Global, CTV, TVO and TVA. He is currently writing a fourth book on global food safety systems, to be published later this year. He conducts policy analysis, evaluation, and demonstration projects for government agencies and major foundations focusing on agricultural policies and community development both in Canada and in development settings. Dr. Charlebois is a member of the National Advisory Board of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. He has testified on several occasions before parliamentary committees on food policy-related issues as an expert witness. He has been asked to act as an advisor on food and agricultural policies in many Canadian provinces, in the United States, Brazil, Italy, France, Belgium, China, Great Britain, Finland and the Netherlands.


Brady Wilson is an author and expert on how conversation affects organizational energy to create dynamic results. Since 1993, Brady has trained and coached executives and managers in Fortune 500 companies across North America. His expertise is communication, specifically enabling leaders to unlock discretionary effort by engaging their people through face-to- face conversation.

Juice Inc.
In 1999, Brady launched his own business, Juice Inc. Juice’s mission is to enrich peoples’ lives by co-creating environments where it feels good to work and it’s easier to get results. Brady is a high-energy, intensely pragmatic presenter, trainer and coach who elicits conviction, trust and credibility, giving people the courage, desire and skills to act on change.

Brady’s has the intrinsic ability to deeply understand and draw out strong levels of engagement from his participants. He makes the complex simple and creates experiences that move concepts from the head, to the heart to the hands. This quality has also led to the research and development of several innovative communication tools, including Pull ConversationTM, The 5 Drivers of Employee EngagementTM and The Juice CheckTM.

Originally from Manitoulin Island, Brady and his wife Theresa now reside in Guelph, Ontario with an almost-empty nest.


Dan Meegan is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Guelph.  His Ph.D. is from McMaster University and his area of expertise is human cognition.  He rarely misses an opportunity to smell roses and hug trees.


SABA F. SAFDAR is an Iranian-born Canadian-educated Associate Professor in the Psychology Department at the University of Guelph in Ontario. She moved to Canada in the 1980s after the Islamic revolution in Iran. She completed herundergraduate honours degree at McMaster University in Hamilton and her MA and PhD at York University in Toronto.

Professor Safdar is the Director of the Centre for Cross-Cultural Research at the University of Guelph where she and her students conduct research that lies broadly within the area of cross-cultural psychology. Her research primarily examines the wide range of factors that could help to understand adaptation processes of immigrants. She studies the influence of the psychological resilience of immigrants, of their beliefs and strategies, and of their ethnic and national identities on their adaptation in a new society. In addition to her research on immigration, she is interested in examining the academic, psychological, and social adaptation processes among international students. She currently studies the relation between the expression of identity and attitudes toward clothing (both ethnic and conventional fashion) among second generation immigrants in Canada.


Ajay Heble is Professor of English in the School of English and Theatre Studies at the University of Guelph.  He is the author or editor of several books and the Founder and Artistic Director of the Guelph Jazz Festival. Under his visionary leadership, the Festival—winner of the prestigious Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts (2010), and a three-time recipient of the Lieutenant Governor’s Award of the Arts (1997, 2000, 2001)—has achieved a rock-solid international reputation as one of the world’s most inspired and provocative musical events. Dr. Heble is also the Project Director for Improvisation, Community, and Social Practice, a large-scale Major Collaborative Research Initiative, funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.


Truth Is … A poet, a writer, a motivational speaker & an arts educator. In addition to Slam and a long list of feature performances across Canada and the U.S., Truth Is … has headlined in several conferences focused on social equity, gender equality, youth motivation and labour.


A self-professed foodie, Seema is dedicated to providing her customers with good food.  After 20 years in marketing for some of Canada’s biggest corporations, it was time to reassess, regroup, and reinvent. Her deep commitments to environmental sustainability, social justice and access to nutritious food lead her to create Tiffinday which brings convenience, taste and nutrition to her community.

For TEDxGuelphU's 3 annual event we explored the implications of current thought and ways of doing things in a day of “Perceiving Past the Paradigm”.


We aimed to challenge current mainstream boundaries, beliefs, practices and actions. We expanded thought and conversation to inspire doing and seeing things differently and taught that thinking against the grain leads to unlikely, favourable outcomes.






Manager, Special Projects, SiG@MaRS; Founder, SVX I Invest for impact. Adam Spence is the Founder of the Social Venture Exchange (SVX) and Manager, Special Projects at Social Innovation Generation (SiG) at MaRS. For over ten years in the nonprofit sector, Adam has focused his work on community development, education, social innovation, and public policy change. He was Executive Director of the Ontario Association of Food Banks (OAFB) for five years, a community animator for the skilled trades in Hamilton, and led the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA). In these positions, he successfully grew revenues, developed enterprise programs, and successfully advocated for public policy change including low-income grants for post-secondary students and Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy. Adam was born in Glasgow, Scotland, grew up on the Canadian prairies, and came of age in Hamilton, graduating from McMaster University with a degree in geography.


Commercial Artist/ Illustrator.  Based in Guelph, Cai (Candace) Sepulis is a creative thinker and commercial artist. She has degrees in both philosophy (University of Guelph, 2002) and environmental design – architecture (Dalhousie University, 2008), and her work spans an array of media (illustration, film, upcycled architectual works) while always being quirky, unique and using innovative problem-solving approaches. Cai’s commercial illustration work blends hand-drawing, silkscreening and retro styling. With her love for nostalgia, Cai’s work often features love, heartache and defeat as felt through longing architectural scenes and conceptual iteration. Also an accredited graphic designer, she also runs a design studio, Ballyhoo Media, a boutique creative agency specializing in the marketing side of design including brand strategy and branding systems. She was the 2011 Recipient of the Guelph Women of Distinction Award (Arts & Culture category).    
Click here to watch a TEDx exclusive video with Candace!


UofT Environmental Psychology Professor. Dr. Dan Dolderman is an Environmental Psychologist at the University of Toronto, with a Ph.D. in Social Psychology from the University of Waterloo.  For the past 10 years, his research has explored the drivers of pro-environmental behaviours, and how to enhance the persuasive impact of environmental messages.  He has helped to design environmental programs for the University of Toronto, regularly presents the psychology of behaviour change to groups ranging from student activists to Toronto City Council, and has consulted for Free the Children, an international youth organization devoted to promoting positive youth development and volunteerism.  Dr. Dolderman’s key focus is helping to improve programs and campaigns related to climate change.


UoG CSA Local Affairs Commissioner. Derek Alton is a fresh graduate from UoG with a BA in Political Science. He has been involved in many different aspects of the Guelph including 12 semesters with the Peer Helper program where he work first with Off Campus Living and then Leadership Education and Development. He has also dabbled in student governance, sitting on Senate for a year. He has been involved in many different movements on campus including Climate Day: Fill the Hill in 2009 that saw several thousand people going to Parliament Hill to demand government action on Climate Change. All of these experiences have given Derek the privilege to work with many outstanding individuals who have inspired him, including the great team that is working on the ‘Change the World in 60 Seconds’ initiative. Currently Derek is the Local Affairs Commissioner for the Central Students Association.  
Click here to watch a TEDx exclusive video with Derek!


UoG Integrative Biology Professor. Dr. Douglas Fudge leads the Comparative Biomaterials Lab in the Dept. of Integrative Biology at the University of Guelph. Dr. Fudge got his B.A in Biological Sciences at Cornell University, his M.Sc. in Zoology at the University of Guelph, and his PhD in Zoology at the University of British Columbia. He was an NSERC postdoctoral research fellow in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia. Research in his lab focuses on comparative animal biomechanics, with an emphasis on the materials that animals make. These include structural materials that cover a wide range of size scales, from nano-scale cytoskeletal filaments within cells up to large, tissue-based materials such as the keratinous plates of baleen whales. A special area of research focus is on biomaterials constructed from intermediate filament proteins, which occur both in living cells and keratinized tissues such as hair, nail, and horn.


UoG Professor. Elliott Currie has been at the University of Guelph since 1998 teaching in the various areas and levels of accounting and financial management. Currently Elliott is also involved in teaching business policy at the undergraduate and MBA levels as well as organizational behaviour and operations. The primary focus of Elliott’s endeavours is in the areas of small business management and interdisciplinary product development, especially in the agri-food chain.In 2008, Elliott was awarded the University of Guelph Faculty Association, Distinguished Professor Award for the College of Management & Economics.Elliott was awarded a Presidential Distinguished Professor Award for 2006-2008. In November 2006, Elliott was honoured among the university’s authors for his release of three textbooks in the previous year.


UoG Economics Professor. Eveline Adomait was born to Dutch immigrants in rural Ontario. She attended the University of Guelph, intending to become a doctor until she realized that she couldn’t use a scalpel on anything alive. This required a change in direction. Fortunately, she was taking an introductory economics course and fell in love with the ideas (and look Mom … no blood!). She has a master’s degree in Economics from the University of Guelph, and for the past 20 years has made her career as a teaching professor at her alma mater. By her calculations, she has taught the equivalent of the population of a small city various economics courses at the first-, second-, and third-year levels. Her favourite is the first year, with class sizes ranging from 300 to 600 students, because this is the year in which many students experience “aha moments” when it comes to economics. Their 18-year-old minds also keep her young. In 2011 she co-authored the successful book “Cocktail Party Economics,” which aimed to write simply about what can appear to be a complicated subject while never dumbing down the intellectual ideas that make  Economic thought so important in this day and age.

Click here to watch a TEDx exclusive video with Evie!


University of Washington Bioengineering Professor. Gerald Pollack received his PhD in biomedical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 1968. He then joined the University of Washington faculty and is now professor of Bioengineering.His interests have ranged broadly, from biological motion and cell biology to the interaction of biological surfaces with aqueous solutions. His 1990 book, Muscles and Molecules: Uncovering the Principles of Biological Motion, won an “Excellence Award” from the Society for Technical Communication; his more recent book, Cells, Gels and the Engines of Life, won that Society’s “Distinguished Award.” Three additional books, on water and energy, are underway.Pollack received an honorary doctorate in 2002 from Ural State University in Ekaterinburg, Russia, and was more recently named an Honorary Professor of the Russian Academy of Sciences. He received the Biomedical Engineering Society’s Distinguished Lecturer Award in 2002. In 2008, he was the faculty member selected by the University of Washington faculty to receive their highest annual distinction: the Faculty Lecturer Award. Pollack is a Founding Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering and a Fellow of both the American Heart Association and the Biomedical Engineering Society. He is also Founding Editor-in-Chief of the journal, WATER, and has recently received an NIH Transformative R01 Award. He will be the 2012 recipient of the Prigogine Medal.


UoG Student, Co-Founder of Tradyo and the Vote Mob movement.  Gracen Johnson is a young entrepreneur and youth mentor. She studied International Development at the University of Guelph and recently graduated from the Next 36, Canada’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Initiative, where she co-founded Tradyo, a mobile tech startup. Her background consists of creative advocacy, including co-founding the Vote Mob movement and leading Fill The Hill, one of the largest national climate mobilizations on Canadian soil. She has a passion for smart cities, sustainable transportation, agriculture, and social enterprise among other things. Gracen is currently preparing for grad school and future of retrofitting auto-dependent neighbourhoods to walkable, vibrant, and resilient communities.


UoG Political Science Professor. Dr. Ian Spears, BA (UofT), MA (Queen’s), PhD (McGill) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and in the Collaborative International Development Studies programme. Dr. Spears teaches about the politics of developing areas (specifically Africa), while his research interests focus largely on problems and prospects for conflict and conflict  resolution in African states. His latest book, Civil Wars in Africa: The Search for Security was released in late March. In his spare time, Ian enjoys rowing and coaches a high school girls rowing team.


UoG Microbiology Professor. Dr. Jack T. Trevors is Professor of Microbiology at the University of Guelph and adjunct professor at the University of Waterloo. Jack is an ISI highly cited author, fellow of nine science academies including the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC); European Academy of Sciences and Arts and the American Academy of Microbiology. He is the recipient of the University of Waterloo, Alumni of Honor Award. Jack is the chair of of the Canadian College of Microbiologists environmental microbiology specialization/certification and has served as the past director of continuing microbiology education. Jack’s 30 year record of industry-university collaborations, basic research, graduate and undergraduate teaching, has contributed to an understanding of bacterial gene expression, membrane fluidity, bacterial metabolism, pathogen detection and environmental survival of microorganisms using molecular, biochemical and ecological research methods. He also researches the origin of life and genetic instructions from a theoretical perspective. Jack is the editor of the Journal of Microbiological Methods and Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek J. of Microbiology. 


UoG Landscape Architecture Professor. Throughout his career Maurice has been very active in community planning and design . His professional work focuses on community design and the facilitation of public input in the decision making process. This focus is complimented by his experience in the use of video-imaging technologies as a communication tool. Maurice has been involved in University and community initiatives seeking to link quality of life issues with physical design and planning through a rigorous and explicit public process.After many years as a professor and director in the School of Environmental Design and Rural Development (he’s a Landscape Architect), Maurice has taken on a new role as the University Director of Sustainability.
This position is in response to needs identified in the 2010 Presidents Task Force on Sustainability.  The University of Guelph is well positioned to lead the paradigm changes that society needs to embrace to address the issues we are facing.  Maurice will mine the expertise of faculty and students to help find viable new ways of thinking and doing things to allow us to live in a world that is environmentally, socially and economically sustainable.


Chippewas member and Aboriginal Liasion. Anthony (Tony) Chegahno is a member of the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation. He is married and has 3 grown children and 2 grandchildren. Tony attained his Bachelor’s Degree in Religious Education and a Master’s Degree in Theological Studies.Tony has held a number of leadership positions in his home community including Youth Worker, Pastor and Director of the Native Child Welfare Program. As well, he was a Band Councilor for many years and a member of the Nawash Board of Education ADHOC committee. For the past five years, Tony has worked with Parks Canada as a resource technician under the Species At Risk program. At present he is the Aboriginal Liaison between the Nawash First Nation and Parks Canada. Tony has sat under many elders as they shared their knowledge of life and nature. As knowledge holders, the elders have always made it clear that future generations have their responsibilities in protecting nature.“I share that responsibility. You share that responsibility. We are all responsible to be both the custodians and protectors of what God has created.
Miigwetch” –Anthony (Tony) Chegahno

envision2020  was TEDxGuelphU's 2nd Event. The goal was to introduce a future of possibilities, and ideas.

envision2020 Speakers



Ben’s research broadly seeks to identify the economic, political and cultural determinants of environmental degradation in Western society, and the various tools of governance that might best alleviate such degradation. To date, case studies have been drawn from mining (e.g. company-community agreements, corporate social responsibility), forestry (e.g. community forestry), and agriculture (trade liberalization, climate change).


Sarah Elton is the author of Locavore: From Farmers’ Fields To Rooftop Gardens, How Canadians Are Changing the Way We Eat. She is the food columnist for CBC Radio’s Here&Now and writes regularly for publications such as Maclean’s, The Globe and Mail, and The Atlantic’s Food Channel.Check out The Locavore
Sarah on twitter: @thelocavore


Evan Fraser is an adjunct professor of geography at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada and a Senior Lecturer at the School of Earth and Environment at the University of Leeds in the UK. His research is on farming, climate change and the environment. He lives in the Yorkshire Dales with his wife and three children.Dr. Fraser on twitter: @evandgfraser
Dr. Fraser’s latest book: Empires of Food
Featured in: The Globe and MailCBC Quirks and Quarks


Wayne Galliher is Project Manger of the City of Guelph’s Water Conservation Program. As Water Conservation Project Manager, Wayne lead development of the City’s 2009 Water Conservation and Efficiency Strategy and is responsible for all operational and program activities under the City’s Water Conservation Program. Wayne has worked within the Ontario municipal water sector since 2003, over which time he has held positions within water treatment operations, water infrastructure planning and water demand management.


Karen Landman is an Associate Professor in the School of Environmental Design and Rural Development. Her background is varied, and includes horticulture, landscape architecture, rural planning and cultural geography. Current interests can be conveniently collapsed into the ‘greening’ of our environment, from the urban core, to the near-urban, to the rural landscape,  and with a particular eye on collaboration opportunities. Urban agriculture offers interesting design opportunities for landscape architects and land-use challenges to planners; community development is at the core of most urban agriculture projects. A recent sabbatical offered opportunities to investigate the urban agriculture movement in North America.


Émanuèle Lapierre-Fortin has been engaged in community economic development and sustainability for the past four years. She has acted as a researcher on Education for Sustainable Development best practices at the Toronto Environment Office, as an International Consultant on social entreprise development for HIV/AIDS NGOs in Burkina Faso for the United Nations’ World Food Program and as a Ride Leader for a 4000km bicycle ride, from Amsterdam to Istanbul, which raised $70,000 for a youth-managed microcredit fund. As part of her MSc studies in Rural Planning & Development, she is researching ways in which rural communities are increasing their resilience to climate change and rising energy prices through mobilizing community capital, as well as undertaking an analysis of the Green Energy Act and completing an inventory of community energy projects in Canada. She enjoys playing the fiddle, vegetarian cooking and planning events and projects of all denominations.


Jamie Miller is a member of the Biomimicry Speaker’s Bureau and an Environmental Engineering PhD student at the University of Guelph. He is currently helping coordinate a biomimicry collaboration at the University of Guelph and pursuing research in the area of biomimicry and basic human needs. Named as a “New Centurion” by The David Suzuki Foundation, Jamie’s work in Indonesia and Sri Lanka have helped inspire his efforts in education and curricula reform, where he continues to work on transforming our perception of nature and our relationship with technology, through a lens of global equality and sustainability.


President Summerlee, whose career as a scholar, professor, researcher and administrator spans nearly 30 years, joined the University of Guelph faculty in 1988 as a professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences. He was named an associate dean of the Ontario Veterinary College in 1992, dean of graduate studies in 1995, associate vice-president (academic) in 1999, and provost and vice-president (academic) in 2000.In 2006, Dr. Summerlee was named as the chair of the board of directors of World University Service of Canada (WUSC), one of the country’s leading international development agencies.  WUSC teams with students, faculty and institutions to internationalize Canada’s universities, increase knowledge of global issues and foster human development through education and training.President Summerlee on twitter: @UoG_President


Abid Virani is a young philanthropist with a passion for youth engagement, HIV/AIDS and writing. When Abid was fifteen years old, he began blogging about world issues. Overtime, he co-founded Student Reach International, a non-profit organization committed to engaging youth in humanitarian initiatives. This year, SRI will receive charitable status under the name of I Have Hope In The Fight Against AIDS. He is the recipient of many accolades, including the Canadian Top 20 Under20 award. Currently, Abid is studying international development at the University of Guelph and working on a book titled, “Finding hope in a scary world.”Abid on twitter:@AbidVirani
Abid Virani’s blog.

More than Meets the Eye Speakers


Madhur Anand is an Associate Professor in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of Guelph. She holds the Canada Research Chair in Global Ecological Change and has continually worked to draw international attention to the complexity and chaotic behaviour of ecological systems. Madhur is also a poet, having published poetic works in The Malahat Review, Room, Grain, The New Quarterly and CV2. She has also been nominated for the Puschcart Prize (2007) and is co-editor of the anthology entitledRegreen: New Canadian Ecological Poetry (2009).


Pat Barclay is a Professor of neuroscience at the University of Guelph. His areas of interest include evolution, cooperation, altruism, game theory & experimental economics. More specifically he focuses on costly cooperation and punishment within human groups in social dilemmas such as the provision of public goods. Doctor Barclay uses an evolutionary psychological framework to generate hypotheses about human prosocial behavior. By using this approach, his research tries to understand when and why people act altruistically, what design features in the brain promote altruistic behaviour, and what selective pressures could have resulted in the brain being designed this way. To do so, he typically uses experimental cooperative games involving money (such as the well-known Prisoner’s Dilemma and public goods games) where participants can make decisions that benefit themselves, others, or both. In addition, Doctor Barclay is beginning to develop mathematical models (evolutionary game theory) to advance theoretical understanding of cooperation.


Chris Bauch is an Associate Professor of mathematics at the University of Guelph. His areas of interest include differential equations, mathematical biology, infectious disease modeling, ecological modeling, game theory, applications of dynamical systems, health economics and vaccination policy. Specifically, Chris is focused on applying mathematics to problems related to infectious disease epidemiology and ecology. He is also a highly collaborative researcher, seeking to develop mathematical models and frameworks that will aid and assist professionals and academics in the fields of ecology, medicine and related health sciences. Since 2000, Dr. Bauch has authored or co-authored 35 academic publications in his related fields of study.


Originally from New York, Hank Davis is a Professor of Psychology at the University of Guelph. After many years of research on Cognition in animals (e.g., counting, human recognition), Hank has studied Evolutionary Psychology for the past 12 years. His research has focused on popular culture and irrational belief systems. An award-winning teacher, Hank is the author of six books and more than 100 scientific papers. Davis is also an accomplished musician and producer of critically acclaimed reissue albums and boxed-sets for European record companies. Hank’s latest book Cavemanlogic deals with the humorous and sometimes dangerous mismatch between our Stone Age minds and the modern world.


‘Often sporting a cowboy hat, singing a Polish tune and strumming a guitar, Bogdana (Bob) Izdebskiego has been grilling up hot dogs, veggie dogs and sausages for the U of G community since 1999. He’s a fixture on campus, but his talents span far beyond the confines of his signature stand. In fact, the hard-working and personable vendor was once a Polish cinema star, appearing in more than 20 films and nearly a dozen television serials. At 22, he got married and soon after opened a small grocery business to supplement his income as an actor. On the side, he was building a house doing everything from hammering boards, painting and installing plumbing to building all of the furniture himself. He and his family came to live in Athens, Greece for five years before finally settling at Guelph in 1992. Here, Izdebskiego worked as a line worker at Magna International for six years before opening his first hot dog stand in Erin in 1998. A year later, he made the U of G campus his new set and the campus community his new audience. Bob believes “it’s better to try to do the things you love, rather than just sit around thinking about them.”‘ – Features | At Guelph


 Tom Klein Beernink is the Housing and Member Relations Manager for the Guelph Campus Co-operative. He has worked in the non-profit and co-operative sector for over 25 years, having served on numerous co-op and volunteer boards. He is the former Executive Director of the Ontario Environment Network and former co-ordinator of Guelph PIRG. Tom was also co-founder of the Guelph Round Table on the Environment and Economy and served as an appointed member to the Ontario Round Table. He was recipient of the commemorative medal for the 125th anniversary of confederation for significant contribution to community. Tom remains convinced that we either learn to co-operate or we die.


David is an environmental activist and undergraduate student studying Ecology at the University of Guelph. Committed to environmental causes all of his life, David helped the Ministry of Natural Resources undertake extensive habitat restoration projects while monitoring endangered species and conducting climate research across Canada. Last summer he was part of the top-placing Canadian team at the North American Envirothon competition in Arizona where he presented ideas for environmental change to U.S. policy-makers. This past August, he was selected as one of only five international youth delegates to the United Nations World Climate Conference in Geneva where he took part in working group sessions with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as well as panel discussions with Ban-Ki Moon and Kofi Annan. During the conference he helped the IPCC formulate a conference declaration later ratified by 150 nations. He believes that youth are not apathetic and are owed a chance to voice their ideas on the world stage.


Marina is the President of the Canadian office of AIESEC (Association Internationale des Étudiants en Sciences Économiques et Commerciales), the world’s largest student-run organisation, which has facilitated over 60 years of youth leadership experiences internationally. As President, Marina is mandated to increase AIESEC’s scope and activity in its 28 Canadian university chapters, and impact the lives of more Canadian youth. Through AIESEC, Marina has travelled to 13 countries since 2007, spoken at over 10 AIESEC Canada conferences, and has met with government officials and senior VPs of some of Canada’s largest institutions. In June, Marina will be moving to the Netherlands to work for AIESEC’s international headquarters in Rotterdam.


Michael Ridley has been the Chief Information Officer (CIO) of the University of Guelph since 2004 as well as serving as Chief Librarian since 1995. In this dualistic role, Michael serves as the chief administrator for the McLaughlin Library and as head of the University’s Computing and Communication Services (CCS). He has also been deeply involved with numerous professional associations and has earned distinguished recognition as a member of his field. In his role at the University of Guelph, Michael has been responsible for developing strategic planning and policy with respect to information resources, services and technology. Merging high-technology with old-fashioned print, students have Mr. Ridley to thank for the numerous systems and services that contribute to enhancing their learning experience while attending the University of Guelph.


Steve Sladkowski is a fourth-year President’s Scholar studying Music at the University of Guelph. His research interests include musical improvisation, jazz historiography, and the development of musical aesthetics in Western culture. He is an active performer, bandleader, and sessional musician in the Guelph and Toronto areas and is currently organizing the Guelph Improvised Music Series. Steve believes that our communities are full of a wide range of diversities and differences that somehow come together to make a complete, although not always harmonious whole. It is worth asking how this is done. The answer is simple: improvisation. We all improvise. Whether it be through conversation, cooking, creating music, or in some other daily activity, improvisation plays a central role in humanity and existence. As such, a band is a microcosm of the community in which it exists. Much like the members of a neighbourhood or city, the group of individuals that constitute a band are incredibly different from one another in many ways. Band members can come from different cultural, social, and aesthetic viewpoints which have an incredible effect on the way they hear, create, and understand music. These are some of the interesting dynamics that Steve will demonstrate musically as a performer at TEDxGuelphU.


Francis Tapon is a Professor of economics at the University of Guelph. His areas of interest include finance and the economics and strategic management of pharmaceutical companies. Francis is a well-published academic, having written pieces for prominent industry publications including, but not limited to the Quarterly Journal of Economics, Journal of Business, Economic Letters, Management Science, Managerial and Decision Economics, Journal of Health Economics, Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Canadian Journal of Economics, R&D Managment, Applied Financial Economics and the Academic of Management Journal.


Daniella is a musician who’s passion for the performing arts began at a very young age. Having a variety of interests growing up, she started to develop her passion for voice in the beginning of high school. Having taken over 5 years of jazz vocal training, and being well versed in multiple genres and mediums of music, she started to develop her niche. For the past 7 years Daniella has been writing and developing her talent. Adding a personal twist to her repertoire, she will soon be releasing her first recordings.