Ideas change the world. And idealists are the clever dreamers that work on such ideas. If you put a lot of these super intelligent and incredibly passionate people in the same room to discuss their ideas and to learn about what others in other different fields are doing you get something very special. ideaCity is just such an event and it is indeed a remarkable gathering.
The 5th annual ideaCity conference, an offspring of the successful US-based TED conferences and now hosted very capably by Moses Znaimer and CityTV, was held just a few weeks ago at the Isabel Bader Theatre in downtown Toronto. Top thinkers in a wide variety of fields are invited to speak about what moves them. The only rules are that they get just 20 minutes and they can't read notes. The result is an inspiring and provacative melange of viewpoints, discoveries and performance.
This year's presenters included: painter Robert Bateman, photographer Edward Burtynsky, environmentalist Severn Cullis-Suzuki, architect Jack Diamond, space elevator developer Brad Edwards, pet cloner Lou Hawthorne, designer Chip Kidd, PC inventor Mers Kutt, musician Sook-Yin Lee, NASA researcher Darlene Lim, lawyer James Lockyer, military commander Lewis MacKenzie, physician Gabor Mate, astrophysicist Jaymie Matthews, author Robert Munsch, cartoonist Terry Mosher, investor Francois Parenteau, IOC member Dick Pound, scientific artist Alexander Tsiaris, Alzheimer's researcher Eva Vertes, columnist Paul Wells, blues prodigy Jimmy Bowskill, activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (an absolutely amazing presentation!) and, if you can believe it, many more. Three days of ideative intensity. Beautiful!