TEDx Terry Talk Recap

I’ve always been a fan of TED Talks, having first been introduced to them by a teacher in high school, so I was pretty stoked to attend TEDxTerryTalks (x = independently organized TED event) this Saturday.

Looks like I’ve been missing out all these years, because this year’s TEDxTerryTalks was the 6th one of its kind at UBC. I was also amazed to hear that TEDxTerryTalks, besides being a platform for UBC students or recent graduates, is also organized and run mainly by students. This year’s TEDxTerryTalks was held at the Life Sciences Institute at UBC and brought together 10 speakers (UBC undergraduates, graduates, and recent alumni) to talk about their inspired efforts. Several TED Talks were shown throughout the day, and there were also booths and mingling opportunities during lunchtime.

I was collectively moved by the different experiences and perspectives each speaker brought to their Talk. The great thing about TEDxTerryTalks  was the fact that instead of having professionals speakers, like in regular TED Talks, each speaker was connected to the UBC community. This made what they were talking about more pertinent to the audience, which was composed mostly of UBC students.

Some of the topics included making public art accessible, the need for collaboration in creating social change, using language to address sexual violence, and even a how-to for completing your undergrad degree in seven years. (I’d summarize each of the ten Talks, but I’m prettyyy sure that would take me more than one blog post.)

I was especially moved by Dylan Stirwalt’s talk “The ‘I Ought’ and‘ I Am’: A Struggle between Self-Compassion and Sacrifice,” as Dylan recounted how we ought to be compassionate towards ourselves, despite not always being perfect. One quote from the talk really stuck with me: “All the pieces are here. I’m not broken, none of us are. We make the decision to be who we want to be.”

Another talk I found really engaging was by Chris Dare. Chris has not only climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, but is an avid mountain climber, long distance runner, scuba instructor, skydiver and a full time dentistry student at UBC. He has also served with the Canadian Forces in Afghanistan. After hearing him talk about all the things he’s done, I felt (besides like a waste of space) extra determined to go out and pursue all the interests I’ve been putting off.

Overall, I had a great time and would recommend anyone who hasn’t been to a TEDxTerryTalks event to do so next year! The range of topics was so diverse that every member of the audience was sure to have taken something home with them. I know I did.


The Terry Project is a cross-faculty program designed to educate undergraduate students on pressing global issues like climate change, poverty, conflict and disease. For more info, including a preview of the 2013 speakers and their talks, visit http://www.terry.ubc.ca/.