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TEDxUNBC speakers line up set

A variety of entrepreneurs, scientists, educators, and a performing artist will take to the stage at TEDxUNBC on Oct. 5 at the Canfor Theatre at the University of Northern British Columbia.

Through their inspiring and engaging talks, the 10 speakers will discuss the 2019 TEDxUNBC theme of Past the Future.

“We have a wonderful slate of speakers, a mix that complements the entire University from faculty and alumni to students and community members,” said co-organizer Kirk Walker, adding it wasn’t easy to select the speakers this year. “On Oct. 5, the audience will experience an interdisciplinary journey through inspirational ideas about science, education, the arts and more.”

Tickets, $100 each, for the Oct. 5 event are now on sale. They are available at

Daryl Hatton

Hatton is the founder and CEO FundRazr, an innovative, award-winning global enterprise crowdfunding platform. He is a serial entrepreneur who loves the challenge of building companies from scratch, has founded multiple start-ups and helped bring one, Optio Software, to a successful NASDAQ IPO in 1999. Hatton currently serves as a board member and advisor to multiple Canadian and Silicon Valley based start-ups including Canadian securities crowdfunding site FrontFundr.

James Steidle

Steidle grew up south of Prince George in the bush and worked as a tree planter and at Clear Lake Sawmills in his youth before receiving a Master’s degree in Public Policy at Simon Fraser University after which he worked in the Legislative Assembly and the Canadian Labour Congress. He then started a woodworking company called Steidle Woodworking. He focuses on using local woods, and mills up the lumber himself. He works with aspen wherever he can. He currently spends his free time advocating for aspen and broadleaf forests as part of Stop the Spray BC.

Brittany Doncaster

Doncaster is a mental health and addictions clinician who emphasizes education, accountability and empathy in her practice. An evolutionary psychology perspective informs her position on favourite topics such as stress, boundaries, and technology. She is a UNBC alumna, having received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and is currently working toward a Master of Arts in Counselling Psychology at Yorkville University.

Dr. Ronny Priefer

TEDxUNBC marks the return for Dr. Ronny Priefer to UNBC and his hometown. He is currently a Professor of Medicinal Chemistry in the School of Pharmacy at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in Boston.

He earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry degree at UNBC and a PhD from McGill University that focused on organic and polymer chemistry. Prior to joining MCPHS, Priefer was at the College of Pharmacy at Western New England University. Before that he was at in the Chemistry and Biology department at Niagara University. He has expanded his range of projects to include medicinal, analytical, educational, and materials chemistry. He has had more than 50 students working with him, publishing 44 scientific articles and six patents as a principal investigator.

Edōsdi /Dr. Judy Thompson

Edōsdi /Dr. Judy Thompson is a member of the Tahltan Nation and was born and raised in Lax Kxeen (Prince Rupert, B.C.) on Ts’msyen territory.

For the last three decades, she has been learning the Tāłtān language, which has included learning the culture, knowledge, wisdom, and ways of knowing her people. 

As the Tahltan Language Reclamation Director, her research and work has involved the development and implementation of a Tāłtān language reclamation framework. In 2018, based on her language revitalization work, Edōsdireceived the Distinguished Academic – Early in Career Award from the Canadian University Faculty Associations of B.C. That same year, she was also a recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award at UNBC where she was an Assistant Professor in First Nations Studies at UNBC from 2015-19.

She is currently an Associate Professor in Indigenous Education at the University of Victoria an adjunct Professor at UNBC.

Reeanna Bradley

Based in Seattle, Bradley is a diversity and inclusion consultant working with software engineers across multiple industries. She facilitates trainings and conducts workshops to reevaluate data decisions, interrogate assumptions, and imagine new relationships between computers and humans. With a Master’s degree in Gender Studies from UNBC, she is equipped to think beyond outdated models of identity and society. 

Bradley’s talk explores the incredible powers of data to reinforce social inequity or liberate us from bias. She invites deliberate co-creation of artificial intelligence by outlining interventions for computer people, policy works, and the rest of us. 

Shelby Richardson

Richardson is a choreographer, curator and designer in Prince George. Her research over the years has spanned various disciplines including Performance Art, Museology, Anthropology, as well as Art and Design History. Shelby first completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Criticism in Curatorial Practice from the Ontario College of Art and Design, in Toronto. She then went on to complete her Master’s Degree in Anthropology from the University of Victoria in 2012.

Over the years, Richardson has taught and choreographed for various studios and companies across Canada. Her choreographic work has been recognized internationally and she has received numerous awards and grants pertaining to her research in the realms of Anthropology and the Arts. Her current research focuses on the ways in which dance, and other art forms, can be integrated into local communities to help prompt social exchange and dialogue.

Dr. Guido Wimmers

Dr. Wimmers is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Master of Engineering Program in Integrated Wood Design at UNBC. He holds a Master Degree in Architectural Engineering and a Ph.D. in Engineering Science from the University of Innsbruck. Dr. Wimmers is a Registered Architect in the EU and a Professional Engineer in British Columbia.Prior to moving to Canada in 2007, he worked on modern timber design and Passive House Projects in Austria, Germany, and Italy, including large non-residential buildings and various research projects in the field of massive timber construction and prefabricated building envelopes. In 2018, he was pivotal for the construction of the Wood Innovation Research Laboratory, a certified Passive House in a harsh climate, which became the most airtight building in North America.

Dr. Lisa Dickson

Dr. Dickson is an Associate Professor of Renaissance Literature in the English Department at UNBC. As a 3M National Teaching Fellow, she dedicates a lot of her time to thinking about teaching and learning, and to supporting others who are doing the same.

She is a founding member and Project Leader of the 3M National Teaching Fellowship Mentoring Network, and a member the 3M NTF Council Executive. She has also been an adjudicator and mentor for the 3M National Student Fellowship.

Currently, she is working on a book with two other 3M Fellows, focusing on the pedagogy of critical hope and empathy in the teaching of Shakespeare, a project that is equally exhilarating and terrifying, as any worthwhile thing can be.

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. 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.

About TED

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, often in the form of short talks delivered by leading thinkers and doers. Many of these talks are given at TED conferences, including our annual gathering in Vancouver, as well as TEDWomen, intimate TED 

Salons and thousands of independently organized TEDx events around the world. Videos of these talks are made available, free, on and other platforms. Audio versions of the talks from TED2019 will also be published to TED’s podcast TED Talks Daily, available on Apple Podcasts and all other podcast platforms.

TED’s open and free initiatives for spreading ideas include, where new TED Talk videos are posted daily; TEDx, which licenses thousands of individuals and groups to host local, self-organized TED-style events around the world; the TED Fellows program, which selects innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities; the Audacious Project, which surfaces and funds critical ideas that have the potential to impact millions of lives; TEDSummit, which gathers the most engaged members of the global TED community for brainstorms, discussions, performances, workshops and an eclectic program of mainstage talks; and the educational initiative TED-Ed. TED also has a library of original podcasts, including The TED Interview with Chris Anderson, Sincerely, X, and one of Apple Podcasts’ most downloaded new shows of 2018, WorkLife with Adam Grant.

Follow TED on Twitter at, on Facebook at, on Instagram at and on Snapchat at tedtalkshq.

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