An open letter from TEDxVancouver


Remember when we asked TEDxVancouver to consider choosing a speaker from our amazing pool of local talent? They listened, and today announced the latest speaker in the TEDxVancouver lineup. Read their response:

Back in September, we at TEDxVancouver HQ received an open letter from Domain7 and with an interesting proposition: to make speaker suggestions, hand-picked from the long list of local talent found in the We Are VANCVR community.

The ask: To see some local talent from the VANCVR community on stage at TEDxVancouver 2011. They posted five letters to us via Vancouver is Awesome and each one contained a seriously fresh speaker recommendation. So we read them; it would have been rude not too.

The result: We were so blown away by the sheer ingenuity and creativity amongst all the suggested individuals (Lorne Craig, Kris Krug, Carson Ting & Mike Nowland, Trevor Meier and Kara Pecknold) that we had to choose one of their picks to speak at TEDxVancouver 2011.

And, here we are, happy to announce that our selection is…

Meet Kara Pecknold. She’s a specialist in human-centred design and spends lots of time developing tools for design research in other cultures.

Several years ago, as a Master of Applied Arts and Design student at Emily Carr, Kara was tasked with creating a website for a small business in Rwanda. “My work in Rwanda exposed flaws in how we develop design briefs in a cross-cultural environment – without shared language or assumed technology,” she explains.

Though her job was to create a website for a group of women who create and sell woven goods, her “clients” had no electricity and no distribution model. She partnered with the women to collect data about how they perceive their actual needs.

Because she couldn’t communicate through a common language, she sent the women out with disposable cameras, note pads and pens to gather visual insights that would lead to something adaptable and usable in their context. Smart, right? We thought so, and we can’t wait to hear more from Kara on November 12th.

Kara joins an exciting lineup of speakers at this year’s TEDxVancouver event, taking place at the Chan Centre next Saturday from 9am to 5pm.