Top Ten Best Moments of the TEDx Ottawa Talks - by Will and Grace

Top Ten Best Moments(Part 1)

“Grace and Will at the thing”


I think I can speak for both Grace and I when I say that we had an amazing time at TEDx Ottawa. But before we get into that we should talk about how we were invited. We were invited because of our participation in a program at our school called Eloquent Ottawa which was created by the, you guessed it Canadian Institute of Mass Communications(Or CIMC). The CIMC just so happened to be a sponsor of TEDx Ottawa. With that out of the way time for the story of getting there. After school on the big day we jumped into Karen’s car and went straight to Pita Pit  to fuel up. Then we hit the open road and drove to the Tunney’s Pasture LRT station. We rode to Rideau and then set off on an adventure to find the NAC. We walked in the direction we thought it was for a few minutes until we were on some bridge. That’s when we admitted that we had no idea where it was. So we broke out the Google Maps which gave us some idea of where to go. So we set off and just as we walked around the corner we saw the NAC sign and beelined to it and found our way into the VIP lounge.

  1. Being VIP! Networking (Grace)

At TED x we got the most amazing opportunity of not only being the only youth attending, but also attending as VIPs! This entitled us to the whole VIP treatment (Lounge, drinks, fancy socializing, just feeling fancy, etc). During our time in the VIP lounge before the event, we decided to use this as an opportunity to market Blue Sky school. We had a wonderful long conversation for the majority of the time with a couple of people. We pitched our school and answered all of their questions, and by the end of the conversation, one of them said that they would look at sending a child they know to our school.    

  1. #live life unfiltered - Teagan and Keisha Simpson (Grace)
“We live in an era of comparison” Teagan Simpson said during the two insta famous sisters talk. Keisha and Teagan are said to be not at all different from your average girls on instagram, that there story of body shame and low self esteem is unfortunately not at all unique from any other girl growing up in this generation. They both were vulnerable and disclaimed the impact that  social media had on their hearts, scrolling through an ocean of edited and unrealistic women bodies. That’s why they started this movement on instagram of # living life unfiltered, where they capture real girls and their thoughts and feelings of their self image, and viewpoints on social media. It was so powerful to see not only real girls, but beautiful girls in there own unique way, sharing things that we all surprisingly have in common. These girls are not only creating a movement, but a sense of community of girls living there lives unfiltered and real, showing that every girl is beautiful in her own way. 
  1. Confidence, Readiness and Empowerment - Steve Day (Grace)
Steve Day is brave, no one can doubt that. Through his experience of being in loads of high pressure situations, risking his life time and time again, he definitely has learned a thing or two on not only bravery and a great deal of kindness, but also teamwork, and getting the job done. He said that the three main things that helped him get the job done when he was in high pressure situations were: Confidence, Readiness and Empowerment. Without confidence, he would only be putting half of himself out there, the other half unsure about the task or opportunity. This meant life or death to him but if we look at this in any other context of life, we realize how essential confidence really is. Confidence is passion, confidence is lifting others up as well, confidence is believing in yourself and believing in the team or the job. With readiness comes preparation. He needed readiness to be on high alert, and be ready to move at any second with his team. We need readiness in real life because our world is filled with opportunities, we need to keep our eyes wide open for and be ready for an opportunity that may benefit us in any way shape or form. The last thing he said was empowerment. He said Empowerment is believing in the team, and being empowered to complete the job. Empowerment is giving everything you got when the time comes, it’s every pulse in your body directed to the task. Steve Day has taught us that these three elements will not only help us in life or death situations, but to help us live our best life.

  1. Kool-aid - Amira Elghawaby (Grace)
Amira Elgwaby is a lot of things. She is a world renowned journalist, an immigrant activist, but most notably, she is a vegetarian. Just kidding, but something really stuck out during her talk of starting off by saying that her story is about Kool- aid, and hot dogs. She does on to say her life story on growing up safe and accepted and how she was, indeed, “drinking the kool aid” The Kool aid representing privilege, gifts of everyday life of simply feeling accepted, not feeling alone based on the way you look or the things you believe in. The only time she said she felt different was when she was at a birthday party, and based on her beliefs, she was not allowed to eat the hot dogs being served at the party.  Her story takes a turn as she grows older, and all she hears on the news, the radio, everywhere is not only are people of her ethnicity not getting to drink the kool aid, but are being punished and killed just because of who they are . You guessed it, her kool aid ran dry, nothing left. So, instead of being depressed about this, she decided to make her own kool aid, and hand out the recipe to everyone else around her who needed a drink. She wrote and spoke about the rights of immigrants, and change was happening. She ended her talk by saying that now, a lot of people have kool aid, and in this day and age, there are hotdogs for everyone! (Get it, because there are vegetarian hotdogs!)

  1. “Climate change is not loss and pain but opportunity and gain” - Mitchell Beer (Grace)
Often when you hear about talks of climate change, you might make a grab for your tissue box, or after you just fall into depression about the future. Mitchell Beer talked about climate change, but this isn't your typical talk were you start to think “it’s all over.” No, no, this was a talk about hope and action. Mitchell Beer said often, he was not “typically popular” at parties, people just pointing him out and saying he was the “green energy guy”. But most recently, climate change is on the rise and more and more people have been coming over and talking to him. He said it would typically start with the person asking “so it’s to late right?”. He said that he absolutely hated that question because as soon as we start asking stuff like that is the moment where we start to give up and climate change will get the better of us.  He went on to say that when we talk about climate change this is all about opportunity and action. This will make are world change for the better. All along we have been singing songs of pain at climate change, when we should have been singing songs of rejoice. He said most notably, and I quote “ Climate change is not about loss and pain but opportunity and gain” He’d be the most popular person at my party.

This TED X experience we can both agree has been so enriching and life changing. It’s unlike anything we have ever experienced before and coming out of the event, we were more empowered and inspired as ever. We get the benefit of being young, having our whole lives ahead of us to figure out what we want to do. This experience has shown us that having a fulfilling life is about how can we impact others lives, how can we make our little worlds bigger, how can we change the world. 

By: Will and Grace (No, not the TV show.)
Stay tuned for Part 2....


  1. Can't wait for part two! Thank you for such a thorough summary, Will & Grace. Looks like an incredible experience. I hope that it sparked some ideas for you!


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