Interconnectedness is the key to success, according to speakers at TEDxUW on Saturday, Nov. 26 in the Theatre of the Arts.

“With all the news that happened this past year of people being divided … I think this theme of interconnectedness really resonates this year,” TEDxUW host and UW alumnus Evan Miersch said. “We have to learn how to become more connected with one another and more connected with the world around us.”

TED Talks invite experts and storytellers to share their ideas about knowledge, design, and life. TEDxUW is one of the many independently-run TED Talks, which give local speakers the chance to share innovative or inspiring ideas with their community. Aimed at a university audience, each speaker at TEDxUW talked about how interconnectedness allows creativity and success to happen, as well as provides healing and change. Here are some highlights of the event:

Landmine Boys co-founder Richard Lim
Landmine Boys co-founder Richard Lim. Photo courtesy TEDxUW

Richard Yim, founder of Landmine Boys and UW mechanical engineering alumnus, spoke about changing the world through passion, work ethic, and accountability.

“We can never trust and rely on passion alone to push us to work our hardest every day. We try our best to make sure we have a strong work ethic, that we are accountable for what we do, and couple that with passion,” Yim said.

Lecturer in language and literature Andrew Deman. Photo courtesy TEDxUW
Lecturer in language and literature Andrew Deman. Photo courtesy TEDxUW

Andrew Deman, lecturer in the department of English language and literature, talked about sexual passion in graphic novel Lost Girls and how discussing sexual passion with others creates interconnectedness. 

“Human beings have this passion, and sometimes they channel it towards creative, loving, or even sexual play. And at other times, they channel it towards the other direction, the unhealthy direction: violence, destruction, and death,” Deman said.

Managing director of UW's Youth and Innovation Research Project Ilona Dougherty. Photo courtesy TEDxUW
Managing director of UW’s Youth and Innovation Research Project Ilona Dougherty. Photo courtesy TEDxUW

Ilona Dougherty, the managing director of the Youth and Innovation Research Project at the University of Waterloo, spoke on tapping into the potential of youth and encouraging them to become innovators.

“We need to start seeing our young employees, students, and the young people in our country as solutions to the challenges we face, rather than seeing young people as a problem to fix,” Dougherty said.

Co-founder and CEO of Nulogy Corporation Jason Tham. Photo courtesy TEDxUW
Co-founder and CEO of Nulogy Corporation Jason Tham. Photo courtesy TEDxUW

Jason Tham, co-founder and CEO of Nulogy Corporation, talked about what interconnectedness means to him. He spoke about adversity he faced from university with his startup and athletics to his time during and after his coma.

“The recovery was the hardest physiological and psychological thing ever, I would’ve never been able to do it without family and friends,” Tham said.

UW GBDA instructor Karim Schmidlin. Photo courtesy TEDxUW
UW GBDA instructor Karim Schmidlin. Photo courtesy TEDxUW

Karin Schmidlin, instructor of user experience design in the global business and digital arts program at the University of Waterloo, spoke on how relationships with students give learning an importance.

“Before we can embark in teaching anything, we need to build a relationship, create contact with students,” Schmidlin said.

Author and certified suicide prevention trainer Shawna Percy
Author and certified suicide prevention trainer Shawna Percy

Shawna Percy, an author and a certified suicide prevention trainer, spoke about suicide and how we should be approaching suicide.

“Our primary language must be compassion, but our word choice matters too,” Percy said.

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