Meet the Community Catalyst Team

TED is arguably one of the world’s most influential websites and currently boasts more than 200 million viewed talks yet still remains unknown in many communities.

Last year at TEDxToronto we received a lot of interest from digital strategists, advertising executives, educators, students and other savvy online users but had less representation from communities made up of seniors, recent immigrants, low-income families, youth-at-risk and other under-serviced populations. We decided to build a team of community catalysts who actively work in communities where TED is virtually unknown. Some of the teams most exciting moments included working with Regent Park Focus to develop a public service announcement (see it here), setting up free satellite events at places such as the Centre for Social Innovation, The Remix Project, Mars, UTSC (register for one here) and increasing awareness and access to the event by connecting with several community agencies across the GTA.

With an increase in the diversity of applicants who either applied to speak, attend or register for a satellite event we know the teams efforts were a great starting point but we’d love to extend them further. Think you can help? Become a community catalyst; help spread TEDxToronto to people in your community! One simple way is to organize your own satellite viewing, we’ve prepared a took kit to help get you started.

Nayani Thiyagarajah is an emerging artist and storyteller, who uses words, sounds, theatre, film, and photography, to document and share stories with the world. She is a graduate from The REMIX Project and Ryerson University and the Co-Founder of a blog which showcases South Asian arts & culture in Toronto. She currently works at Manifesto and is a celebrated leader in several youth movements.

Follow Nayani on Twitter @LetsKaleidTina Edan is Manager of Leadership Programs at Maytree and serves on the Board of Directors at the Toronto Public Library. She is also a literary curator and writer. Her work has been published in TOK: Writing the New Toronto and has appeared in a number of literary installations across the Toronto.

Find her on LinkedIn Gelberg oversees all aspects of events held at the MaRS Collaboration Centre:
Prior to joining MaRS in August 2005, Allen held the position of Director, Sales and Marketing at Vintage Hotels in Niagara on the Lake. Allen holds a B.Sc. in Economics, Sociology & Statistics and a Masters (M.Sc.) in Tourism Planning & Development. Allen joined the committee with a specific interest in increasing outreach efforts to seniors.

Find him on LinkedIn Johnston works for the Ontario Government in the ministries of Community and Social Services and Children and Youth Services.  He is an active member of the Innovation Community inside the Ontario Public Service and looks for ways to connect divergent communities in the area of Social Innovation.

Neel Joshi is from the beautiful island of Starborough. He’s a digital dad, idea tinkerer and is passionate about building resilient communities. Neel serves on the Board of Directors for  Regent Park Focus, lives in airports & wishes skype had a touch feature so he could e-hug his daughter.

Follow Neel on Twitter @Neel_Joshi

Recommended Reading