Thank you from TEDxUW

TEDxUW 2018 has now concluded! Thank you for joining us for another successful edition of TEDxUW, showcasing some of the most insightful, creative, and amazing individuals from the Waterloo community.

Check out this year's amazing speakers below.

This Year's Speakers

Band-Aids for Mental Health
Tina Chan

Postcolonial Encounters in Slum Tourism
Meghan Muldoon
Quit Killing Human Connection With Science: Making Patient Care Meaningful
Andrea Hardy

What the Trash? - A Mindset Change
Dillon Mendes
From Space to Ground
Harleen Kaur

How We Can Maximize Human Potential
Navid Nathoo
Teaching an Old Brain New Tricks
Ben Thompson

Micro Decisions - Macro Impact
Stuart Saunders

Founded in 2011, TEDxUW is the University of Waterloo's official TEDx experience. It is one in a series of 3,000+ events being held worldwide as part of the international TED movement to create open platforms for riveting ideas to be shared with the world.

With TEDxUW talks published on and ammassing over 5 million views on YouTube and other websites, TEDxUW continually triggers innovation in all corners of the globe beyond our conference date.

2018 Theme: MAKING WAVES

TEDxUW is back for another year, with another set of individuals to showcase for an audience of 700 delegates! For 2018, an amazing line-up of “wave-making” speakers are being brought to the TEDxUW stage, in line with the chosen theme for this year, Making Waves. Making Waves stems from TEDxUW’s focus for this year, in wanting to shine the spotlight on individuals that have gone one step beyond coming up with a great idea, they’ve actively engaged to make their idea into a reality.


Anh Le
Daniel Kwon

Speaker Relations

Sara Rushforth
Speaker Relations Director
Jessica Roes
Production Director
Muriuki Njonjo
Speaker Relations Manager
Shreya Subramaniam
Speaker Relations Manager

Participant Experience

Michelle Liu
Participant Experience Director
Akshita Verma
Participant Relations Manager
Alex Xie
Logistics Manager
Cindy Chen
Logistics Manager
Jasmine Patel
Participant Relations Manager


Jamie Su
Finance Director
Annie Yuan
Lead Accountant
Aravinth Krishnathas
Sponsorship Manager
Kevin Li
Sponsorship Manager

Yousif Majid
Sponsorship Manager


Eartha Phorson
Marketing Director
Kevin Dayno
Social Media Manager
Kimberly D’Mello
Social Media Manager
Minahil Sheikh
Social Media Manager


Cindy Nguyen
Design Team Director
Aakanksha Sharma
Content Manager
Derrek Chow
Web and UX Manager
Krystyna Oakman
Graphic Designer

Queenie Wu
Design Lead

This year, TEDxUW is showcasing individuals within the Waterloo community who go beyond simply expressing an idea and are actively make it a reality. In a variety of fields and interests, they’re shaking things up.

We call them the wave-makers.

2018 Speakers

Tina Chan
Mental Health

Tina Chan is currently a Master’s of Science candidate at the University of Waterloo’s (UW) School of Public Health and Health Systems. Her areas of interest include computer-based mental health solutions as well as peer to peer support.

During her undergraduate career also at the UW’s Applied Health Sciences faculty, she developed the concept of a first aid kit for mental health, based off the coping skills she had to learn to be successful in academics. The idea has blossomed into a self-sustaining business (Panic, Anxiety, & Stress Support inc.), and is the alum of two UW incubators: St. Paul’s GreenHouse and Velocity Garage. PASS inc. has sold over 15 000 products to date all across North America.

Meghan Muldoon is an Assistant Professor with Arizona State University at their recently established tourism college, HAITC, a joint venture between ASU and Hainan University, in Hainan, China. She teaches sustainable tourism as well as the cultural, social, environmental, and economic impacts of tourism development. Her research is focused on the areas of tourism and poverty, the postcolonial nature of tourism, and how we are all changed through our encounters with Others. Meghan recently completed her doctorate in the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies at the University of Waterloo.

Dr. Meghan Muldoon
The Social Impact of Travel
Andrea Hardy
Diet and Nutrition

Andrea Hardy, a registered dietitian and Canada’s Gut Health Expert, is on a mission to communicate credible scientific evidence about gut health and digestive disorders. She shares her message with clients and colleagues in a way that is easy to consume and inspires sustainable action. It’s time to strip the jargon and fear-inducing language from our nutrition messages and inspire connective communication in health care.

Andrea likes to say her goal is to get people to take nutrition a little less seriously – which may come as a surprise coming from a dietitian. Through humour, she injects fun into her science-based media messages. After all, poop jokes aren’t her favourite kinda jokes, but they are a solid #2. Connect with Andrea to learn and laugh on Instagram & Twitter @andreahardyrd or at

Dillon is an 18-year-old social entrepreneur, public speaker, and Co-Founder of the environmental venture, PickWaste, as well as 1 of the Top 25 Environmentalists in Canada under 25. He is currently studying at the University of Waterloo, majoring in Finance and Accounting, and minoring in Environmental Studies. His message is to empower youth to unleash their potential to make a change in society by committing to small consistent actions! Dillon has a huge passion for innovation and sustainability- he believes that it is the future of this world.

Dillon Mendes
Environmental Entrepreneurship
Harleen Kaur
Technology and Social Media

Harleen, the CEO of Ground. Ground uses crowdsourced verification and patented AI tech to provide full-picture verified news. She is an ex- NASA space engineer and has had several notable jobs including COO of a Series-C funded mobile app company that she grew to 25 million users, building and launching 5 satellites, and becoming the first-ever female and youngest VP of Rolls-Royce.

Navid Nathoo is the Founder of the Knowledge Society (TKS), a human accelerator that aims to develop the potential of young innovators to successfully impact tomorrow’s world by exposing them to problem-solving across varying disciplines of technology. TKS Innovators are 13-17 years old, and are working in areas including Brain-Machine Interfaces, Quantum Computing, Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, and Genetic Engineering.

Prior to his role at TKS, Navid was the founder and CEO of Airpost, a leading cloud security company based in Silicon Valley which was acquired by Box (NYSE: BOX) in early 2015. Post-acquisition, Navid led product for multiple groups at Box, which included overseeing product technologies in machine learning, big data, and advanced security.

Navid Nathoo
Technology in Education
Dr. Ben Thompson
Optometry and Neural Plasticity

Dr. Ben Thompson is a professor and Associate Director for Research for Optometry and Vision Science at the University of Waterloo. Dr. Thompson’s research is concerned with human visual cortex development and plasticity, particularly in promoting plasticity to improve outcomes for patients with brain-based visual disorders. This has led to an interest in amblyopia, and to the development of two new and highly promising approaches to treatment.

Stuart (Stu) Saunders is the founder and owner of Youth Leadership Camps Canada (YLCC) a summer camp that works with close to 200,000 youth across Canada and around the world each year. In 1999 Stu took over the Ontario Student Leadership Conference (OSLC) and expanded it from 600 delegates to become the largest multi-day leadership conference in Canada with more than 2300 participants.

He also started the only national student leadership magazine “The Canadian Spirit”, created a media division (YLCC Media) that has created 2 powerful documentaries that were screened in Cineplex theaters across Canada, and started the Canadian Youth Speakers Bureau (CYSB). Since 1991 he has traveled North America and Europe speaking to students and corporations. He has worked with 2 million young people worldwide and was recently named among the top 30 leadership facilitators in the world.

Stuart Saunders

Chris Cummins
TEDxUW 2018 MC

Chris Cummins has been speaking professionally for 11 years. He has trained over 15,000 business owners, and physically presented in over 300 offices across the country. Chris has entertained audiences across North America, training entrepreneurs, executives and sales professionals to take their business and their lives to the next level.

Chris has worked as a promotional speaker for Tony Robbins event "Unleash The Power Within" and spent three years with Real Estate Trainer and Coach Richard Robbins (no relation to Tony). A naturally gifted speaker, Chris has learned how to hold audiences in the palm of his hand from the first moment he takes the microphone

Past Talks

Competition Destroys Education
Hamid Tizhoosh — 2017

Better Than Charity
Bruce Taylor — 2017

Wired for Innovation
Ilona Dougherty — 2016

I’m home: How 10 years of travel helped me find belonging
Phil Cha — 2015

What makes you one in 7.5 billion
Jagneet Singh — 2015

The death of the resume
Dave Wilkin — 2014

Matching your calling to your "DNA"
Ami Richter — 2012

No guts, no glory
Heather Moyse — 2012

Here's how you get a job at the UN
Tanya De Mello — 2011

Why you will fail to have a great career
Larry Smith — 2011

TEDxUW would like to thank each and every one of our sponsors for providing us with products, services, and finances that helped us make waves within our community and played an immense role in enriching our conference.

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What is TED?

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 30 years ago, TED has grown to support its mission with multiple initiatives. The two annual TED Conferences invite the world's leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes or less.

What is TEDx? x=independently organized event

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TED talk videos and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x=independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.

When and where is TEDxUW happening?

TEDxUW will take place at Hagey Hall at the Unversity of Waterloo on October 13th, 2018.

How can I attend TEDxUW?

We care about our audience just as much as we care about our speakers, we select 700 delegates for this conference. TEDxUW is looking for delegates who are passionate about all things TED and ideas worth spreading, individuals who are enthusiastic, driven, eager to meet individuals from various walks of life and eager to learn.

The application process consists of one simple application form with a couple of questions that you will need to answer. Applications are available here

Why is there a fee to attend?

TEDxUW is a nonprofit organization. Our event is organized and run solely by a group of dedicated volunteers, and the money collected from ticket fees goes back to the conference to support costs for the venue, operations, food, and more. Charging a fee ensures TEDxUW programming to continue and expand to reach further audiences.

How can I sponsor?

Get in touch with us today by sending us an e-mail at Our sponsorship manager will get in touch with you as soon as possible with next steps.

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