The better way
to get new perspectives

The better way to get new perspectives

The better way
to get new perspectives

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Start by watching some of the latest talks, then read some recent posts to discover more about TEDxMontreal.

2016 Speaker Line Up

Yoshua Bengio

Head of the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms (MILA) and Professor at U. Montreal, Yoshua Bengio is one of the pioneers of Deep Learning and member of the NIPS board. With a PhD from McGill University (1991, Computer Science) and postdocs at MIT and AT&T Bell Labs, he holds the Canada Research Chair in Statistical Learning Algorithms, is a Senior Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research and co-directs its program focused on deep learning. He is best known for his contributions to deep learning, recurrent nets, neural language models, neural machine translation and biologically inspired machine learning.

Susan Wener

Susan Wener had a happy marriage, three daughters and the grace of Audrey Hepburn. Then, she received the first cancer diagnosis, heralding a battle that began with one goal – to see her children finish high school. With dismal odds of surviving her second cancer, Susan had one lung removed and refused chemo-therapy. Twenty years later and cancer-free, she released her memoir, Resilience, which became an overnight Canadian best seller. Susan is a therapist for people struggling with life-threatening illness. Susan sits on the Gynecological Oncology Tumor Board at the Montreal Jewish General Hospital. She is the proud grandmother of nine.

Stéphanie Alyson Gravel

My name is Stéphanie Alyson Gravel: transgender woman. How can I be described? Intellectual without a diploma? Specialist without a specific expertise? In my case, it’s virtually impossible to assign titles; I see ideas as blocks of materials first and foremost, from which we can bring forth solutions. I’ve been through many walks of life: ex-military, restaurant employee, IT specialist, electrical apprentice, construction worker, blogger, board member, conference keynote speaker and many more. Throughout these roles, many people develop their unique ways to view the world. I’d like to share mine.

Pierre-Majorique Léger

Professor Pierre-Majorique Léger is a researcher, inventor and entrepreneur. His research seeks to improve the user experience while learning or using technology. He does this by analyzing massive amounts of bio-physiological data that are generated during human-IT interactions, which allow him to qualify emotion and cognitive responses in users. He is a professor of IT at HEC Montreal, as well as invited professor at the prestigious Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College and the Henry B. Tippe School of Management at the University of Iowa. He is the author of over 50 scientific articles, he holds at least 10 invention patents and has also been involved with several start-ups.

Alexis Charpentier

Alexis Charpentier is the founder of the Music Is My Sanctuary website, dedicated to the discovery and sharing of “Forgotten Treasures & Future Classics”. Established in 2007, it is now a highly influential and trusted source for the more adventurous music lovers worldwide. “MIMS” has also introduced side projects like the 24 Hours of Vinyl event series, an artist agency, regular events and weekly radio sessions in partnership with the Phi Centre. For the past 15 years, Alexis has been a pillar of the Montreal scene as a DJ (Lexis) and event organizer. He also tours for worldwide shows and festivals.

Mylene Paquette

Mylene Paquette is a modern day hero. In November 2013, she etched her name beside those men and women who chose to achieve great heights, of which others claimed were impossible to attain. She spent 129 days crossing the Atlantic Ocean by rowboat and alone. Many experienced navigators doubted her abilities to complete the task at hand, which is now considered a first in North America!

Margaret Magdesian

Dr Margaret Magdesian is a neuroscientist studying the mechanism of neuronal degeneration and repair. In collaboration with the Montreal Neurological Institute and the McGill University Department of Physics, she developed a new technique to reconnect neurons 60 times faster than previously reported. In the future, similar techniques may even allow surgeons to reestablish connections after injury. Dr Magdesian’s innovation is one of the latest in the organ-on-a-chip movement, which has the potential to dramatically accelerate biopharmaceutical research. Recently, Dr Magdesian launched a company called ANANDA Devices ( to extend the use of the developed devices and techniques to other fields in medicine.

Lisbet Haglund

Lisbet Haglund is a scientist and holds a position of Associate Professor in the division of Orthopaedics at McGill University. Her research focus is on understanding how back pain arises and how it can be prevented. Lisbet is part of a multidisciplinary team of basic scientists, engineers and spine surgeons; a critical combination to address all aspects of this condition. They have together developed bioreactors where live human tissue can be maintained in an environment mimicking that found in the body. This system opens endless possibilities to learn more about how back pain occurs, and provides a platform to evaluate potential treatment strategies.

Graham Calder

Graham Calder’s formative years on a farm instilled in him a lasting devotion to ecological preservation. Dissatisfied with mainstream environmentalism, Calder gravitated towards the holistic approaches of permaculture, and the broad spectrum of solutions it proposes. In 2009 Calder received a Bachelor’s of Geography and Ecology from Concordia University, and completed his Permaculture Design Certification (PDC) at Pacific Permaculture. Later that year he apprenticed under Geoff Lawton at the Permaculture Research Institute of Australia, where he completed certifications in Earthworks and Permaculture Teaching. In 2009 Calder founded P3 Permaculture: a social enterprise seeking to make permaculture accessible. P3 Permaculture provides permaculture courses and design consultation in Eastern Canada.

Frédéric Berard

Mr Frédéric Bérard, constitutionnalist and political scientist, is Co-Director of the National Observatory on Language Rights as well as lecturer at the Université de Montréal (UdeM) and McGill University. He is the author of the bestselling book “La fin de l’État de droit? (Coup de coeur Renaud-Bray, Gaspard prize list) and co-author of “Précis d’interprétation législative et de l’essai Droit à l’indépendance (booksellers prize, Gaspard prize list). He is, according to the Revue des libraires, one of the « 10 essayists under 40 that is transforming Quebec ». Me Bérard is a septuple recipient of the André-Morel professoral excellence prize (UdeM), as well as recipient of the excellence in teaching prize – doctoral and postdoctoral lecturing (UdeM) and of the Excellence in teaching award (McGill). He is a partner and legal-councillor with the Lex Operandi legal firm, and has recently defended his doctoral thesis in constitutional law, with a unanimous mention of excellence and recommendation to the dean’s honor list.

Amir Raz

Professor Amir Raz is the Canada Research Chair in the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University, Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry, Neurology & Neurosurgery, and Psychology, and Senior Investigator in the Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research of the Jewish General Hospital, and a member of the Montreal Neurological Institute in Montreal, Canada. As Canada Research Chair in the Cognitive Neuroscience of Attention, he heads both the Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory at McGill University and the Clinical Neuroscience and Applied Cognition Laboratory at the Institute for Community and Family Psychiatry. Dr. Raz is a leader in unlocking the brain substrates of attention and consciousness. Founding Editor-in- Chief of the Journal of Mind-Body Regulation, he is the academic protégé of the legendary Michael Posner, and a former member of the McGill Board of Governors.

Philippe Demers

Philippe Demers follows one principle in all events and brand strategies he develops: the creation of value via art. As an entrepreneur and visionary, Mr. Demers created MASSIVart in 2009, a team of passionate folks who connect artists and companies who share a common vision for artistic content. As the founder of the Chromatic Art Festival, now in its 7th year, he develops opportunities for the public and the arts to meet, and to do so in an immersive experience. Over the years, the festival has gathered over 70,000 people from Montreal, Paris and Toronto, and has included over 500 artists.

Alex Parker

As an associate professor in the department of neuroscience and researcher at the Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal, Alex Parker and his team are working to find new ways to combat neurodegenerative diseases like ALS and dementia. To do this they have enlisted the help of a common worm, C. elegans, to make miniature models of these terrible diseases. A. Parker and collaborators have discovered new ways to cure these animals that may help patients.

Guillaume Dulude

How Not To Get Eaten By Canibals




Gabriel Bran Lopez

Hands-on Projects: The key to reducing dropout rates

Gabriel is the Founding President of Youth Fusion, an award-winning charity that works to lower dropout rates through weekly programs with 10,500 at-risk youth in more than 80 schools across the province of Quebec. Gabriel was elected President of the Jeune Chambre de commerce de Montréal in 2015 and currently sits on the board of Concordia University and the J.A. Bombardier Foundation.

Pier-André Bouchard St-Amant

Design fiscal : la balance entre efficacité et équité

Pier-André Bouchard St-Amant is a research adviser and Senior Partner at IS&B | Simplified Economics. He holds a Doctorate in economics from Queen’s University and a Post-doctorate in economics from INET-New York and INET-University of Cambridge. His works are on network economics and on the economics of taxation.

Andrés Finzi

A molecular "can opener" in the fight against HIV

As an assistant professor at the department of microbiology, infectiology and immunology of Université de Montréal and researcher at the Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal, Andrés Finzi and his team have spent many years working towards finding new ways to fight HIV. Through their innovative approach in studying the virus, M. Finzi and his collaborators have proudly reached a major breakthrough which might be key in the fight for a functional cure.

Tom Whitton

How Plasma can fix our waste problem

As the Sales Manager with Pyrogenesis Canada Inc., and as a member of the board of directors at Écotech Quebec, Tom Whitton is interested in ecological preservation and the environmental impacts of consumerism. Although recycling and modern practices of waste management have considerably reduced the quantities of rubbish we produce, the mid-to-long term impacts of the system currently in place reveal flaws that are highly detrimental to our health and life on this planet. In light of this fact, Tom Whitton offers direct, hands-on solutions that, in other spheres, have already proven their effectiveness.

Mr. Whitton holds a degree in chemical engineering from McGill University and has worked in technology development for nearly 25 years. Mr. Whitton was also a city councillor in Deux-Montagnes.

Jérôme Glad

Réinventer la ville, tous ensemble, et à moindre coût

Having studied architecture and urban design, Jérôme Glad started his career managing design at an architecture firm. He then specialized in the development of urban initiatives within the ADUQ (Quebec Association of Urban Design), and subsequently founded Pépinière & Co, a placemaking organization, with Maxim Bragoli in 2014. For the past three years, Jérôme has contributed to the creation of innovative urban projects in Montréal, bringing together design, culture and local communities. His projects include Les Jardins Gamelin, Village au Pied-du-Courant, Marché du Nord andMarché des Ruelles.

Thanks to his experience in building and managing atypical projects, Jérôme Glad has developed a critical eye when it comes to modern urbanism and how we imagine the 21st-century city, his projects balance human, cultural, and social dynamics, as well as the new economic reality.

Myra Giberovitch

Genocide Survivors: Contributors not Victims

A daughter of Holocaust survivors, Myra Giberovitch started the first community-based social service program for Holocaust survivors in Canada and is internationally recognized as a pioneer in this area. Author of “Recovering from Genocidal Trauma” and McGill University Adjunct Professor, Myra holds the conviction that there are positive lessons to be drawn from the experience of Holocaust survivors, and that every tragedy, be it on a small or great scale, has the potential to foster positive growth.

Guillaume Dulude

How to not get eaten by a cannibal

Guillaume Dulude is currently completing a Phd in neuropsychology and works as an interpersonal communication strategist. As an explorer, he has traveled extensively to remote areas around the globe, and has come in contact with cannibalistic tribes in Indonesia and indigenous populations in Papua New Guinea. These unique experiences led to the creation of a documentary film entitled #TRIBE. Despite the absence of a common language or culture, Guillaume succeeded in interacting with local populations using instinctive, non-verbal communication. In exploring the power of psychology as well as neuro and cognitive science, Guillaume’s talk demonstrates the importance of active listening and explores new techniques that seek to optimize the ways in which we communicate with the world.

Sophie Brochu

Au nom des enfants

President and Chief Executive Officer at Gaz Metro, Sophie Brochu has been a key player in the energy industry for over 25 years. In addition to being highly involved in Canada’s economic stage as a member of the board of directors of the Bank of Montreal, Bell Canada and BCE Inc., Mrs. Brochu is also actively engaged with local communities and grassroot organizations such as Centraide of Greater Montreal, Forces Avenir, The Lucie and André Chagnon Foundation, and l’Effet A. In her talk, Sophie introduces us to La ruelle de l’avenir, a project dear to her heart that demonstrates what is possible when three sectors who have traditionally worked independently from one another (academic, private and communitarian) join forces for a common cause: to make a difference in the lives of thousands of children.

Danièle Henkel

Vos peurs, vos choix, votre vie

Accomplished businesswoman Danièle Henkel, founder and owner of Daniele Henkel Inc, successful writer and sought-after speaker, was recently named chairwoman of the board of directors of the Park Jean-Drapeau Society. Known for her appearance on the popular television show Dragon’s Den, she quickly became Quebec’s favoured dragoness due to her charm and warmth. Despite her impressive background, the road to success has not been without obstacles. However, it is by following her intuition, by embracing the good as well as the bad and by seizing opportunities to better herself that Danièle has managed to overcome hardship and become the woman she is today. Her talk is a rallying call in favour of reclaiming your personal power.

Trevor Copp & Jeff Fox

Liquid Lead Dancing - It takes two to lead

Award winning founder of the contemporary theatre/dance company Tottering Biped Theatre, Trevor Copp is known for innovative social justice theatre that blends physicality, image and narrative. In a talk/dance, Copp will discuss the creation of ‘First Dance’, a dance/theatre production whose central element proposes a way of changing gender role perception by altering one of the most traditional dance forms: Ballroom.

Jeff Fox is a professional dancer/competitor/choreographer who has been teaching in Kitchener Ontario for the past fifteen years and has won professional titles in American Smooth, Rhythm, Theatre Arts, and Showdance. Aside from his dancing Jeff is also a double black belt, a singer, has an honours degree in psychology, writes novels, and is certified in Reiki.

Kim Henry & Eric Paré

Bringing light to life

Eric Paré is a canadian visual artist performing light-painting all around the world since 2012. His work has been presented on CNN, MTV and on approx 400 different media in more than 30 languages. His most recent project “Little Circle” took him and contemporary dancer Kim Henry to Australia, Mongolia, Morocco, Iceland, Bolivia and Mexico, and will be presented in a variety of forms: a dance film, a documentary and a live show. When he’s not on the road, he creates 360-degree pictures in his pitch-black studio in Montréal using a sophisticated camera array.

After graduating from l’École de danse contemporaine de Montréal in 2011, where she received 2 Excellence grants and the Hnatyshyn Foundation Grant, Kim Henry performed in more than 30 dance and physical theatre projects as a freelance artist. She has collaborated with Montréal Danse, Mélanie Demers (Fly), Lucie Grégoire, Isabelle Boulanger, Festival Montréal Complètement Cirque, Dynamo Théâtre, Théâtre de la Dame de Coeur and Cirque du Soleil’s Red Carpet as well as many others.

Jonathan Bélisle

Transmedia Reading : Let's read with all 5 senses!

Jonathan Bélisle has been an Interactions Poet & Web entrepreneur for 20 years. As a polymath, he blends together his skills as an interactive designer, User Research Director, creative technologist and an inspired teacher. He studied film narratology and mastered visual thinking before combining them with ethnographic methods and service design thinking. His diverse background enables him to approach complex problems in a playful manner when adding Human Touch to mobile devices and interactive storytelling to connected objects and media. He is the founder of Hello, Architekt ! a Sensemaking & Changemaking Consultancy that helped the digital transformation of many enterprises, creator of Wuxia the Fox, a Research Affiliate at the Annenberg Innovation Lab of Southern California University, a professor of experience architecture at INIS Media School and Chief Design Officer at SAGA where he created the first OS for the Physical World.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I become a speaker for TEDxMontreal?

    Our selection process usually begins with an online form open to all on our website. People can submit their ideas for conferences or speakers. We receive hundreds of suggestions each year!

    A committee dedicated to the programming of the event then reviews the applications and establishes a top 50 of the most interesting suggestions. Subsequently, the 50 candidates are interviewed in order to learn more about their idea.

    Once their ideas have been more deeply explored, a second selection committee – this time consisting of professionals from a variety of fields – examines the applications. The programming committee presents each application to the selection committee and the latter eventually votes to choose the speakers that will be part of the next TEDxMontréal edition.

    Speakers are then coached all year long in order to prepare their talk, not only to make it a success on the day of the event but also to make it even more likely to be shared online in the TED community after the event. The speaker selection and the coaching of the happy few will therefore spread over several months. Currently, the application form is not yet online… But keep an eye out for it on our website or subscribe to our newsletter… The selection for next year should start in January 2016!

  • How do I stay informed about upcoming events?

    Easy: just subscribe to our newsletter. We will send you all the necessary information relative to our future events.

  • How can I attend TEDxMontreal conferences?

    Since the next event is in preparation, there is no information available for now. To be notified as soon as we know more about the subject, subscribe to our newsletter!

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For any other inquiries, please contact us with the form below.

About us

TEDxMontreal is the better way to get new perspectives.

  • About TED

    TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 25 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. The annual TED Conference invites the world’s leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes. Their talks are then made available, free, at TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Al Gore, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The annual TED Conference takes place in Long Beach, California, with simulcast in Palm Springs; TEDGlobal is held each year in Oxford, UK.

    TED’s media initiatives include, where new TEDTalks are posted daily, and the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as the ability for any TEDTalk to be translated by volunteers worldwide. TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world are given the opportunity to put their wishes into action; TEDx, which offers individuals or groups a way to organize local, independent TED-like events around the world; and the TEDFellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to become part of the TED community and, with its help, amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.

    Follow TED on Twitter, or on Facebook.

  • About 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, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. 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. For more information, visit

  • About TEDxMontreal

    TEDxMontreal is a vibrant and stimulating platform for ideas to clash and connect in unexpected ways. On this day, a dozen speakers are given 18 minutes to present the talk of their life. From scientists to engineers, to artists and entrepreneurs, speakers from an array of fields share their perspectives and ideas. TEDxMontreal is much more than a one ­time event. With the talks published online for free, TEDx talks have triggered innovation in all corners of the globe. More than anything, TEDxMontreal aims at sparking genuine curiosity and initiating a love of learning in its most fundamental way. The TED movement has a vibrant presence in Montreal. We catalyze our city’s vitality into an immersive, face-­to-­face, day ­long bilingual experience.