Inspiring ideas 2.0: Exploring the future of higher education at TEDx

- March 8, 2013


On Sunday, March 10, the McInnes Room will come alive with ideas and inspiration as Dalhousie welcomes TEDx for the second time in as many years. This time, however, it’s going to be a lot bigger. Last year’s capacity of 100 has been bumped up to 350 and advance tickets have already sold out.

“It’s about the future of education everywhere,” says event producer Becky Richter. “It’s not limited to professors or people at Dal.”

For the unconverted, TEDx is a regional conference licensed by TED, a globally recognized conference series devoted to “Ideas Worth Spreading.” The organization’s TED Talks videos have been viewed online more than one billion times.

This year’s host of TEDx Nova Scotia is the founder and co-owner of The Wooden Monkey restaurants, Lil MacPherson. The local foodie is a trained presenter for Al Gore’s Climate Change Project and has attended United Nations Climate Change Conferences in Copenhagen and Cancun.

The event features nine speakers, including several with Dal connections:

  • Robert Huish, International Development Studies professor
  • Ian Taylor, who runs the technical operations of Dalhousie Medicine New Brunswick and is also an audio-visual system designer, musician, and music educator
  • Sue Molloy, Engineering faculty member and marine renewable energy, eco-ships, and sustainable engineering specialist
  • Dan Falk, Dal alum and science journalist

Other presenters include Rumeet Billan, named one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women at 25 and again at 28; Max Haiven, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Art and Public Policy at NYU and cultural studies professor at NSCAD; Tova Sherman, founding director of the muti-service disability agency ReachAbility; Glenn Knockwood, youth coordinator for the Mi’kmaq Native Friendship Centre; and Brent Hiscock, world traveller and “perpetual student” of cultures.

It will also showcase three diverse musical acts: Dal students Moe Kabbara and Luke Domm with their mesh of eastern European music/jazz/indie folk; native Haligonian Dave Fultz, who’s been described by his friends as “someone who can sing like a banshee and hold down a house party like a champ”; and Ben Caplan, an award-winning musician whose voice has been compared to Tom Waits and his stage presence to Freddy Mercury.

The idea of this year’s event is to build upon discussions from the DALVision 2020 event in November 2012, and further academic and cultural conversation surrounding the future of higher education.

“It’s a timely discussion we’re having,” says Richter. “The university has partnered with us this year; they’re planning what the future of education will look like at Dalhousie.”

Additional information about the speakers and event schedule can be found at


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