The first-ever Global Change Initiative (@CSLCsummit) took place from Friday evening until Sunday evening at Toronto City Hall (May 30-Jun 1, 2014). The location makes a big difference. We were in the Council Chambers. The acoustics are terrific — even for music. The tireless organizer is Dev Ramsumair I spoke about Right is Might: Social Justice and Corporate Profits. I’ll let you know when the recording gets released.
I’ve never been to an event like this. I’m picky about exchanging business cards and this was the first time I ran out.
Extreme VarietyYou can see speakers on different topics at TEDx events and elsewhere. The Global Change Initiative did too, plus extras like
- the Livegreen Toronto awards gala
- a fashion show featuring real women from the Toronto chapter of networking group 85 Broads
- performances by the cast of RENT, rockers The Loft (can’t find their website) and reggae group The Steady Rebels
- a panel discussion in which speakers were asked questions by the Avenue Q puppets
A Standout PresentationOne presentation which wasn’t recorded won’t leave my head. Kelly Drennan of Fashion Takes Action talked about sustainability. Did you know that
- unsold clothing often ends up in landfill rather than getting donated
- you’ll spot the new ‘in’ colours by looking at the dyed waterways near the factories
- 2/3 of the environmental harm from fashion occurs once we have bought the clothing
Extended LengthMany events last one day and leave you numb. There’s something magical about meeting new acquaintances for 2-3 days in a row. You get time to build a relationship and follow up on conversations. Podcamp Toronto runs two days but all eight TEDx events I’ve attended end in a day (unless you go to the after-party).
The Global Change Initiative took place over a weekend. That reduced time away from work and made the conference feel more relaxing.
Live streamingI’m not a big fan of live video streaming. Unless you’re attending in person, you won’t get the same experience but you’re still committing time. I’d rather watch the videos afterwards when I can pause, fast forward and skip selections.
The Global Change Initiative was recorded using the many cameras built into the Council Chambers. The recordings are to be released during the year with promotion by reddit. That’s different, easier to consume and builds interest in next year’s event.
You Are Not AloneIn the 4-Hour Workweek, Timothy Ferriss reminds us that there are many causes and there’s no value in a my-cause-is-better-than-your-cause argument. Luckily, different causes attract different people. I talked to supporters of initiatives like patient advocacy (@Piroska_Bata), educating children in Vietnam (HelpKidsToSchool.org) and seals of approval for health care products (@CleanCareSeal). As you likely know, my cause is financial education through Money 50/50, this blog and Taxevity.
I was surprised at the similarity in the challenges and techniques advocates can use. In hindsight, this is now “obvious”. Whatever you do, you’re bound to find help in unexpected places.
Overall, The Global Change Initiative created a wonderful feeling that continues to linger.
- official website: globalchange.ca
- The Global Change Initiative = Stimulate + Innovate + Activate
- Create lasting change with three steps from The Global Change Initiative
- Reflections on TEDxToronto 2013
PPS Here's my slide deck