TEDxYYC, Calgary’s largest independently-organized TED event, announces the first round of speakers to take the stage at its highly-anticipated, sold-out event on Friday, June 24, 2016 at the Jack Singer Concert Hall at Arts Commons.

Speakers for the seventh-annual event will come from diverse corners of the global community in Technology, Entertainment and Design, but will have one thing in common – they are all focused on, and driven relentlessly towards, an expanding horizon. The first three speakers and performers at TEDxYYC 2016 include these well-regarded subject-matter experts from Alberta, Los Angeles and London, UK:

Stephanie Thomas: A trailblazer in curating accessible and adaptive fashion, Stephanie Thomas is a disability fashion stylist and editor-in-chief of CUR8ABLE, a disability fashion lifestyle website. She has followed clothing trends for people with disabilities for 24 years and empowers people with tips from her disability fashion styling system. Based in Los Angeles, with followers spanning the globe, Stephanie strives to create beautiful, powerful images that challenge and ultimately change negative perceptions of people with disabilities.

Julia Hardy: A fierce advocate in the gaming world, Julie Hardy is a technology and gaming expert based in London, UK – set to host a new radio show on video game culture on BBC Radio 1. Her work has also been featured by Bravo and BAFTA. Julia takes a passionate stance on online issues and created a blog called “Misogyny Monday”* as a platform to raise awareness of the abuse that many women encounter online. *Note: This website may contain explicit language. Viewer discretion is advised.

Will Gadd: A captain of adventure and fearless documentarian, Will Gadd has ice-climbed, paraglided, kayaked and trekked through some of the most extreme corners of the world. A National Geographic “Adventurer of the Year”, Will recently became the first person to climb a frozen Niagara Falls. Will is well-known for his Discovery Channel documentary series Fearless Planet, where he traveled alongside regional scientists to explore the geology of the earth. Calling the Canadian Rockies home – with more than 40 years of mountain experience – Will often embarks on adventure storytelling to help individuals truly see the world and themselves differently.

“TEDxYYC is all about creativity, innovation and collaboration in our global community,” says Josh Boser, TEDxYYC 2016 Committee Chair. “We feel honoured to have such stellar speakers join us in Calgary this June to expand horizons and elevate perspectives on our changing world.”

For a preview of TEDxYYC 2016, watch a video montage featuring the speaker roster to-date at http://ow.ly/YnZUK. Although event tickets are already sold-out for the June 24 event, there are still ways to get involved with TEDxYYC – prospective partners and volunteers are invited to apply to participate at TEDxYYC.ca/contact.