Leveling Up Our Community: TEDxYYC Team Affinity

May 24, 2020

Written by Kelly Schuler


What happens when people have an affinity around ‘ideas worth sharing’? 

TEDxYYC has grown over the past 10 years:  as a community of speakers, volunteers, sponsors, experience partners, and audience participants.

We’ve organized ten of these events, and we have learned a lot over the years. It takes, on average, 40 people or more, working in close collaboration to prepare and to create the annual event, with many others joining to assist the day of the event. 

In fact, recognizing the necessary change and growth helped us choose this year’s theme. As we recognized the significance of this evolution and growth, we set an intention and committed to leveling up together. The whole event is definitely a “leveling up” experience.

“TEDxYYC is a special place and a special time, where you gather around ideas. People come together and feel like they are part of something larger than themselves, a group of people who care about the same thing,” states Phil Calvert. This is also reflective of the type of people who gather, who want to be spurred on to develop more ideas and desire to continue to develop as individuals and as a community.

That means that when in the lobby, speakers, performance artists and participants mingle with our experience partners, the conversations are lively, with the ease of warmth and ample stimulation.

TEDxYYC is strong in building community for people attending, through affinity and connections of expansive like-mindedness. And, for volunteers, it’s even stronger. 

“You have teams of people: curation teams, communications teams, experience teams, tech teams, and others, who have dedicated giving up their discretionary time to be part of the group,” says Phil. He knows, as he has served in multiple capacities:  first as a speaker, and now as a speaker coach and board member. “I chose to be a speaker coach because I believe sharing ideas is important, and having an affinity with a community that believes sharing ideas is important to me.” 

“Someone might serve in communications because of a belief that sharing stories, compelling people to make it out for the public event is a powerful way to build community. Not just building external communications and inviting people to come – but building community internally as you brainstorm and determine story angles.” 

“When you think of best friends, you think of ‘what is our common story?” That is what makes us friends – our friendships are really built around our experiences together. The speakers and coaches of TEDxYYC also form an affinity around their intense experience and being there for one another. They give considerable time. The rewards they reap in making these close connections are an unintended positive consequence of their volunteer commitment. Phil presented: Cybersex Trafficking: Your Phone and Saving Children’s Lives (Yes, They Do Go Hand In Hand) | TED Talk

When it comes to volunteering, sometimes people are hesitant to share their time if they feel it is scarce. However, it is giving in a community setting that really helps us to create more of everything we need, be it time, money or other provisions.

Todd Hirsch’s talk is:  The Economics of Living in Community | TED Talk – all about building community-building and sharing.

Todd recently spoke of his own evolution since giving that talk, and how it has made him more aware of practicing what he shared in his talk. “Social poverty is perhaps a more pressing issue than financial poverty in 2020. Spending on mental wellness is $51 billion per year, however, perhaps we could make improvements by paying attention to those who are experiencing social poverty – by letting people know someone cares.” 

We believe sharing in the community creates a kind of affluence that money can’t buy. TEDxYYC provides a significant opportunity to connect with people who care about ‘leveling up’, in many ways.

We encourage you to consider being a part of the TEDxYYC community:  as an individual or as a group! You will easily grow your community, and level up your own ideas and connections. 

For current TEDxYYC volunteer opportunities, visit our volunteer page.

Don’t miss your chance to be a part of this memorable event! 

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