Seccuris and the TEDx Effect

Seccuris is one of TEDxManitoba’s Presenting Sponsors for 2012. A rapidly expanding Winnipeg-based enterprise information security service provider, Seccuris’s relationship to TEDxManitoba goes much deeper than sponsorship and stretches back to last year’s event. It’s a story of the TEDx effect in motion.

It began at TEDxManitoba 2011, where I spoke on the emerging science of personal 3D printing. Seccuris founder and local entrepreneur Michael Legary was in the audience, listening to my talk. Mike, who has started several successful businesses over the years had experienced challenges starting businesses and wondered if there was a better way. Seeing my talk, Mike realized there might be a core of people with the knowledge of advanced manufacturing techniques right here in Winnipeg.

After some discussions, Michael and me, together with industrial designer David Bernhardt formed a non-profit “makerspace” called AssentWorks. The space makes it possible for anyone access over $200,000 worth of fantastic “making” gear for a very low monthly fee. It’s kind of like a health club—but with laser cutters and 3D printers instead of treadmills.

AssentWorks is now a launching point for numerous small startup businesses in Winnipeg, and in the future we’ll look back and see AssentWorks as one of the foundations that built 21st century Winnipeg—all from a chance meeting at TEDxManitoba 2011.

This is the TEDx effect: sponsors help create a TEDx event; Ideas are spread; People take action; The world becomes a better place.

Who knows what TEDxManitoba 2012 will create!

Who Believes in TEDxManitoba?

TEDxManitoba is thrilled to announce that we have not just one, but two Presenting Sponsors this year – two organizations who both believe in the spirit of TEDx, two organizations who have a strong desire to support the Manitoba community and two organizations to whom we are incredibly grateful to for their support.

And one of them, Investors Group, just happens to be the organization that I’ve worked for over the past six years.

And it’s not the first time that they have supported TEDxManitoba either. In 2011, TEDx events were an unknown concept on the Manitoba landscape, but because of Investors Group’s heritage of grassroots involvement and corporate citizenship, Investors Group not only signed on as a Silver Level sponsor but they also came up with an innovative idea of how they could help further the ideas worth spreading.

On FEB15, 2011, while TEDxManitoba 2011 was taking place live at the Park Theatre, Investors Group was encouraging over 150 of its Information Services (IS) employees to “Jump into the Stream” and visit one of the two boardrooms they set up with the live stream on projectors all day. It was a great way to provide professional development and team building to its IS staff, and a great showcase for the event and incredible speakers who were a part of it.

Investors Group

From left to right - Lisa MacKenzie, TEDxManitoba 2012 Chair, Trevor Krahn, Associate Manager, Community Affairs, Rachelle Thibodeau, TEDxManitoba 2012 Sponsor Committee Lead, Richard Irish, Vice-President Community Affairs & Area Marketing

Flash forward to TEDxManitoba 2012…. TEDx events are better known in the community and the number off TED fans continues to grow each day. I’m now in the Chair role, my colleague Rachelle (who also works at Investors Group) is leading the Sponsorship Committee and Investors Group has become one of our Presenting Sponsors. And once again, they are committed to leverage this incredible event by inviting members of its IS Division to “Jump into the Stream” and take part in watching the Talks in one of the two boardrooms that will be running the live stream all day.

I’m incredibly grateful to Investors Group for its belief in employees volunteering in the community, for its monetary support that as a non-revenue generating event we could not do without, for seeing the value of the event and encouraging its employees to take part in the day, and for overall, just being a pretty cool place to work.

Four quick questions with Grant Barkman

Grant BarkmanGrant Barkman is a seasoned traveler who has lived in Europe, the United Kingdom, and the United States. He owns DecisionWorks, a consulting firm dedicated to turning vision into action through effective consensus-based decision-making. TEDxManitoba is excited that he’ll speak at our February 2012 event.

What motivates you?

Innovation before design, courage in the face of adversity, truth in the face of consequence, compassion in the face of poverty, love in the face of hate.

What do you do for a living and why?

I help management teams increase their capacity to change and increase the velocity at which change can safely occur within organizations. My primary vehicle for doing this is through highly effective decision-making. The need for this type of management consulting came to me about five years ago after spending countless years in senior management roles where little more than rhetoric or corporate budget reporting ever occurred. Lip service was paid to our employees about positive and lasting change but little was ever really accomplished.

Why are you excited to speak at TedxManitoba?

Quite simply, TEDx Manitoba offers an opportunity to spread an idea I have been applying for many years in my personal and professional life to a wider audience. It offers a chance to get feedback and to look for other ideas of a similar nature that, when combined, form larger and more powerful ideas.

What is your idea worth spreading?

What if the English language included standard symbols to express complex concepts like agreements, ideas, and emotions? Every day we look around and see individuals and collective groups attempting to extend, enhance, and make the English language more effective and efficient. What if these extensions, particularly those of a visual nature, were commonly understood and accepted? Think of how much further we could go within the time it takes for the collective learning process and the creative process in science and in business. Think of how much more effective and efficient we could be in conveying our hopes, dreams, and aspirations. The idea of incorporating visualization into everyday communication, particularly those involving groups of people has been shown to be effective in achieving consensus, commitment, and innovation.

Five quick questions with Brad Tyler-West

Brad is an expert in human systems management, in celebrating diversity, and practicing inclusion. His approaches transcend cultural and racial diversity to encompass all forms of inclusion, including intergenerational workforces, LGBTTQ employees, and conscious entrepreneurs. Brad has worked with both the private and public sector across North America and the Pacific Rim. He was recognized as the Asia Pacific Entrepreneur of the Year from the Asper Centre. Building on his earlier experiences as a champion debater and professionally trained actor, Brad represented Canada in the 2004 International Championships of Public Speaking. We are delighted that Brad will take the TEDxManitoba stage in February, 2012.

What motivates you?

Bridging intersectional theory and the power of narrative—all we truly own is our stories. When a person realizes that they can change their story, it’s amazing. Storytelling is both the oldest form of communication in our human experience and the most compelling. Linking that to discoveries in quantum physics, sustainability, personal development, spiritual growth, citizenship, and human rights/dignity is something that excites me so much, I fairly vibrate!

What do you do for a living and why?

I am blessed in that my vocation is also my “paycation.” As a Senior Human Resource Consultant for The Legacy Bowes Group, I get to develop a practice around diversity and inclusion with focus on LGBTTQ issues, leadership development, and whole life coaching. As a sexuality educator and facilitator with the Rainbow Resource Centre and Klinic Community Health Centre, I am able to increase awareness and build capacity around issues of gender, gender identity, sexuality, sexual orientation, sexual activity, and the complexity that we has human beings bring to those issues and ourselves, in Winnipeg and Manitoba. As a writer I get to contribute articles to OutWords Inc. the LBGTTQ magazine for the Province of Manitoba. I also get to work on my upcoming book and occasionally act, as an extra for movies being filmed locally. This work chose me as much as I chose it. I couldn’t imagine not doing this type of work. It is simply too important, too engaging, and too much fun!

Which Ted Talk do you think everyone should watch?

Sir Ken Robinson’s bring on the learning revolution

Why are you excited to speak at TedxManitoba?

I have been a huge fan of the TED Talks since I first heard of them years ago—I love the idea of creating a space and place for conversations that matter, inspire, and provoke. To be honest, I have always thought it would be an incredibly cool experience to be one of those speakers. It is an amazing opportunity to interact with people who “get it” (the power that comes from being consciously engaged in the process). Being able to do this in my adopted hometown of Winnipeg, doesn’t get any better!

What is your idea worth spreading?

What if the majority of issues in the world weren’t black or white but grey? What if grey were glorious?

What gifts would the grey areas of life give to you and others? What if you can change your story? What story would you want to tell about yourself and your life? What if it wasn’t about some of us, it was about all of us? What if, everything was connected to everything else? What if nothing existed or operated in isolation? What would you do? How you are the change you wish to see in the world?

What if by being in the glorious grey you are able to be more fully who are you and who it is you want to become? What if you could give yourself permission to step through a doorway, from one way of being and/or viewing yourself and the world into another?

Since our stories are all we truly own, by changing our story, we change ourselves and we change our world. One person, one story at a time. By changing one thing, we change everything!

The people behind the curtain.

As I wrote last week, being Chair of TEDxManitoba gives me the opportunity to see the big picture of what’s going on as our crew of 30 or so organize an amazing TEDx event. Today, I wanted to give you a bit more of a peek at the people behind TEDxManitoba and share just a tiny bit of what they’re up to.

Our Guest Selection Crew led by Michelle O’Keefe ran our guest application process from OCT18 through NOV27. Now their work is cut out for them, reviewing all of the passionate answers and trying to narrow them down to the 100 who will attend. Of course, we wish every single applicant could be there in person, but TEDx has its guidelines. We’re limited to 100 guests, and so our challenge begins. Remember though, even if you can’t make it in person, we are certain to have an excellent live stream to follow along at home, at the office or at school.

Kerry Stevenson is leading the Speakers Committee. If you’ve been following along, you’ll already know that they have put together an amazing mix of Technology, Entertainment and Design, with a focus on local speakers. With its live stream component, and with all of our talks ultimately uploaded to the main TED site, TEDxManitoba gives our local speakers a platform to share their idea—and we are particularly excited to promote home grown, Manitoban passion and ideas.

The size of your wallet isn’t a good measure of your passion or ideas— and it shouldn’t be a barrier to attendance. While charging for the event would make life easier on us, we want TEDxManitoba to be free. That leaves our Sponsorship Committee and its Lead Rachelle Thibodeau, the hefty task of finding enough cash and in-kind donations to make the event happen. As you can imagine, everything costs money; our amazing venue and its labour costs, the technical crew for the live stream, the food at lunch and during breaks, hotel accommodations for out of town speakers, the photographer, printing costs for our program and marketing materials – it all adds up (quickly!). We are incredibly grateful to our Partners. They believe in what TEDxManitoba is about and want to support it. We are still covering our costs and invite any organizations who want to be a part of bringing this event to life to contact Rachelle.

Nicole Jensen is leading up our Venue Committee. Nicole and her crew had a long list of requirements for the “perfect” TEDxManitoba venue, and after investigating several options, they found us the MTC Warehouse. They are certainly in for a busy two months designing and building our set, working through the minute by minute schedule from when we get access to the MTC Warehouse right through to the morning after cleanup. They’ll be making sure the whole thing runs smoothly.

Marketing and Communications has been led by David Pensato and is now in full swing. Between blog posts, social media, branding, and event-day materials, they’ve been quite busy. On the site, they’ve been coordinating and posting our speaker profiles, posting some of our favourite TED talks (reconsidered according to this year’s theme) and keeping things up to date. And this year…we even have TEDxManitoba business cards! The marketing team will continue to keep you up to date on what we’re up to and how you can participate—even if you’re just taking in our live stream.

Our Technical Committee, aka “the Committee that takes care of anything that gets plugged in” has been working to make sure we avoid glitches and gremlins. Michael Anderson led the crew for the past six months and has since passed the torch onto venue committee member Brent Toderash to get us to the finish line. Under Michael’s direction we secured a live stream provider via a robust RFP process, found a photographer, began working with the MTC Warehouse Technical Crew and generally got our technical infrastructure well sorted out. With that work done, the focus becomes much more on integrating that infrastructure with the venue setup. Michael remains a part of the Technical Crew while Brent now leads it while remaining part of the Venue Committee. It works really well!

February 9th, 2012 is certain to be an incredible event, and it wouldn’t be possible without all of the people pulling levers and hoisting pulleys behind the curtain.