That’s A Good Idea!
Here’s a snap of my city, Toronto, taken last Sunday as I was on the first loop of the annual Terry Fox Run here in the Beaches. We’re quite fortunate as the route takes you past the peaceful Ashbridge’s Bay Marina, along the much-travelled boardwalk and past stunning vistas of the iconic Toronto skyline and Lake Ontario. I’m posting this picture today as it also reminds me how much I enjoy living in this city by the lake. Being farm-grown, it always strikes people who have known me since my childhood odd that I would love living in such a busy, hectic place. I have grown to love it; for it’s vibrancy, diversity, energy and selfishly, my ability to easily go and catch a game of baseball or hockey with my two favourite Toronto teams, the Jays and the Leafs. It is also a city brimming with talented, brilliant people exchanging ideas that can make a difference in how our world runs. It is exciting to live so close to that.
In fact, this past Friday I almost had an opportunity to attend an event that pulled together a diverse group of leading thinkers in and around Toronto. On Friday our city hosted TEDX Toronto, a version of a global conference held in various cities around the world with the sole intent of spreading great ideas. Or even better, to foster the innovation that happens when a series of good ideas bump together to solve a problem. Most who attend find that the diversity of ideas shared often trigger a-ha moments in their own line of work. This Friday’s event in Toronto included a local Grade 12 student sharing his work in information retrieval research, a U of T Professor of Psychology sharing his work in the field of belief, prediction and creativity, and the Co-founder of Engineers Without Borders speaking about his work tackling why poverty persists. Three truly divergent ideas that could quite possibly converge to solve a global issue or a local one. Unfortunately for me my Friday at work was typical, a bit crazy. So I couldn’t venture uptown in the afternoon as planned. Fortunately, TEDX organizers do a wonderful job of capturing the talks on video, and they are posted on YouTube almost immediately. The video that was created to kick off the event is a wonderful ode to the host city, Toronto. It was shot in black and white (which reminded me of my photo of the Toronto skyline taken last Sunday), and it does a great job explaining why those of us who live here love it. You can watch this video here, as well as the speaker videos from Friday’s event.
If the notion of diverse ideas colliding to form new ones strikes your fancy, I would also recommend a book I’m reading right now by Steven Johnson called Where Good Ideas Come From, where Johnson states: “we are often better served by connecting ideas than we are by protecting them.” If you are not in for a long read at the moment and want to get a visually appealing synopsis of Johnson’s book, please check out this short video. It will get you thinking! And that’s always a good idea!
Have a great rest of your weekend!