University of Calgary

TEDx Calgary event brings new energy to campus

UToday HomeMay 14, 2013

On Saturday, May 11, the University of Calgary sponsored TEDx Calgary’s Energy: Full Spectrum. More than 300 participants learned from energy experts on topics ranging from the natural laws that govern our universe, to the energy that drives a creative mind.

Among the dynamic group of speakers were several University of Calgary faculty members, including:

  • John Brown, associate dean (research), Faculty of Environmental Design;
  • Geoffrey Hay, associate professor, Department of Geography and Institute for Sustainable Energy, Environment and Economy Research Fellow;
  • Steve Larter, Canada Research Chair in Petroleum Geology, professor, Department of Geoscience, Faculty of Science;
  • Lynn McIntryre, professor and Canadian Institutes for Health Research Chair in Gender and Health, Department of Community Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine;
  • Brad Stelfox, adjunct professor, Faculty of Environmental Design;
  • Peter Tertzakian, adjunct professor, Haskayne School of Business and Institute for Sustainable Energy, Environment and Economy Research Fellow.

The audience was asked to reflect on how their creation and use of various energies could be changed. While speaking about the Slow Home Movement, an international advocacy platform devoted to increasing design quality in the housing market, Brown prompted the audience to “remember the full spectrum of energy. It’s not just the strive to get to zero, it’s to ensure that when we get to zero, we actually have something worthwhile.”

Larter spoke about the importance of local and national collaboration to encourage greater investment in basic research and development. “There are many remaining technical issues but there are plenty of options. A focused government, business and university R and D program could deploy solutions much faster,” emphasized Larter.

Forums like TEDx Calgary help showcase the exceptional talent on campus and extend the creative dialogue outside of the classroom and into the community. Stelfox, who spoke about the interface between human land uses and regional landscapes, encouraged the audience to consider the power of language to create change. “The science is not what is holding us back, what holds us back is the language we use to tell the stories that inspire people to understand and inspire people to act. That’s where we need to change.”

The partnership between TEDx Calgary and the University of Calgary is expected to grow, providing unique learning opportunities for students, faculty and staff. "The University of Calgary brings an amazing degree of intellectual energy to our city and we are very grateful to have been able to work with the university on hosting our event,” explained Rahim Sajan (BSc ’01 and BEd ’03), curator, TEDxCalgary.

"We were particularly pleased to feature such strong voices connected with the university. It was gratifying to see how well each of the speakers connected with our participants.”

For more information about TEDx Calgary’s “Energy: Full Spectrum” please visit


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