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Hamilton, Ontario
February 2021


2021 Talks

TEDxMcMasterU - February 20, 2021

TEDxMcMasterU - February 20, 2021

TEDxMcMasterU - February 20, 2021
Shelley's Journey: A Message to Caregivers | Tom Sterling | TEDxMcMasterU

Shelley's Journey: A Message to Caregivers | Tom Sterling | TEDxMcMasterU

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Redefine your Life with Meaning, Following Profound Adversity  | Jeff Sutherland | TEDxMcMasterU

Redefine your Life with Meaning, Following Profound Adversity | Jeff Sutherland | TEDxMcMasterU

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5 Steps to Help You Dare to Live the Life You Want | Jayne Huhtanen | TEDxMcMasterU

5 Steps to Help You Dare to Live the Life You Want | Jayne Huhtanen | TEDxMcMasterU

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A Virtual Conference

An Afternoon of Powerful Speakers
Feb 20th, 2021
3:00 PM

An afternoon filled with brilliant speakers, thought-provoking ideas and mind-blowing conversations. TEDxMcMasterU is a unique, non-profit event that will unleash new ideas, inspire and inform. No McMaster University affiliation is required to attend.

All tickets include full access to all TEDx talks, musical performances,  as well as movement sessions offered by Quick Hit Yoga by Martha. There will also be live fire-side chat sessions where you'll have the opportunity to network and engage with our speakers. Purchase your ticket before February 12th to receive a complementary Dare package in the mail –– filled with TEDxMcMasterU swag. 

Even with the difficulties with a virtual environment, we guarantee that this will be a one-of-a-kind event.

Virtual Conference


Speaker Lineup

Ready to be inspired? These dynamic speakers hail from far and wide to share their experiences, stories, and ideas with you.

Segun Makinde
2x Olympian, 3x Track & Field International Medalist


Segun Makinde is a  2x Olympian, Keynote Speaker, Athlete Council Member, Community Ambassador, Podcaster, and 3x International medalist.  He believes that being an Olympian is more than just going to the Olympic Games, and uses his unique perspective combined with over 13 years of high performance and Olympic experience to positively impact and inspire individuals and organizations to do what they think is impossible, by tapping into their own, “Inner Olympian”.  Segun remains active in his hometown as a Community Ambassador for Christie Lake Kids and serves as a member of the Athletics Canada Athlete Council as a way of giving back to the community and his sport. He is currently preparing for the 2021 Olympic Games which will be held in Tokyo, Japan.

Peter Yang
International Best-Selling Author, CEO of Reviewerly, Inc. & High School Student

Peter Yang is a high school student from Hamilton, Ontario. He is the international #1 bestselling author of The Art of Writing and the CEO of Reviewerly, Inc. Since getting published at age 15, his book has sold thousands of copies worldwide and gained over 100 reviews on, outranking industry classics like The Elements of Style. His startup received $3,000 in funding from McMaster University's Forge business incubator, where he set a record as the youngest founder to ever get accepted. His company has also been featured on Global News Radio, The Hamilton Spectator, Cable 14, and the front page of Product Hunt. Peter was recognized as a finalist in Innovation Factory's 2020 LiONS LAIR pitch competition and has been fortunate enough to deliver talks at the DeGroote School of Business and Hack the Hammer II.

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Dr. Chika Oriuwa
Spoken Word Poet, Physician & Advocate
Dr. Chika Stacy Oriuwa is a graduate of the University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine, where she was named the valedictorian of her graduating medical class. She is a physician, professional spoken word poet, public speaker, writer, and advocate for racialized and marginalized populations. Presently, Dr. Oriuwa is completing her residency in psychiatry at the University of Toronto where she aims to go on to complete further sub-specialist training in neuro-psychiatry. Dr. Oriuwa also serves on Indigo's Board of Directors, using her expertise to influence their efforts in creating equal opportunity and curating spaces of wellness and inclusion. She is a recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including being recognized as one of Best Health Magazine's '2020 Women of the Year'.
Dr. Michael Schutz
Associate Professor at McMasterFounding Director of the MAPLE Lab 
Known for his innovative blend of performance, teaching and research, Dr. Michael Schutz is currently Associate Professor of Music Cognition/Percussion at McMaster University, where he is currently University Scholar in recognition of his work connecting music performance and music perception.  He is the founding director of the MAPLE Lab and a core member of the McMaster Institute for Music and the Mind.
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Dr. Jeff Sutherland
Family Physician & ALS Advocate
Dr. Jeff Sutherland started his career as a comprehensive family physician in 1993. Unfortunately, this part of his life came to a screeching halt in 2007 when he was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), at the age of 41. This diagnosis would be enough for any person to give up. Yet, for the last 13 years, Jeff has been continuously adapting and learning. He is actively involved with ALS Canada as a top fundraiser and advocate. Further tragedy struck in 2016, when his family lost their healthy 21-year-old son and his girlfriend in a tragic kayaking accident. To try to make peace with his adversities, Jeff wrote a book called, Still Life (Sutherland House Books, 2019). Written entirely with his eyes this memoir is a raw and honest look at tragedy, grief, love, and most importantly hope. Jeff's story will inspire you to try and make your life meaningful and resilient.
Jacqueline Rintjema
Public Health Researcher & Founder of the Public Health Youth Association of Canada 
Jacqueline Rintjema is a Master of Public Health student at McMaster University and a recipient of the Canada Graduate Scholarship Master's Award from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Her research interests include health systems strengthening, chronic disease prevention, and primary health care. She is also the Founder and Director of the Public Health Youth Association of Canada (PHYAC), a newly formed national by-youth-for-youth organization funded by the Government of Canada that aims to increase youth leadership in the field of public health. Now with over 60 youth members from across Canada, PHYAC works to introduce youth to the field of public health earlier in their academic trajectories and to equip the next generation of health leaders with the tools to build a healthier and more equitable future. 
Updated Headshot 2020 - Jacqueline Rintj
JSHuhtanen by Amara 240 by 240 - Jayne H
Ms. Jayne Huhtanen
Business Coach, Owner of FocalPoint Coaching of Toronto and Wildly Successful Biz
Jayne helps entrepreneurs and professionals optimize performance, overcome obstacles, and achieve professional and personal growth through speaking, training and coaching in leadership, productivity, communication and teamwork. She has spoken for such organizations as RBC and Professional Engineers Ontario and been featured in articles on women and entrepreneurship in Report on Business Magazine and the Financial Post. Her volunteer work supports entrepreneurs and professionals as a mentor at McMaster University’s incubator The Forge, as the TechConnex Leadership Skills facilitator, and serving on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Association of Women Executives and Entrepreneurs. Jayne is an Engineering and Management graduate from McMaster, and previously spent 26 years at Procter & Gamble growing her teams, contributing business-building strategies, leading multi-functional initiative launches and diversity initiatives, as well as developing and delivering global training programs.
Tom Sterling
Football Athlete & Coach, ALS advocate
My name is Tom Sterling, I am a former McMaster student athlete with the Marauders, a part of the 2011 Vanier Cup National Championship football team. I currently coach for the University of Guelph and like to volunteer my time with The Burlington Minor Football Association. I help call local sports games for Cable 14 and I love supporting local business and athletes. I am forever inspired by my mother to help people in small ways everyday, and I hope to pass her message along with what I have to say.
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In addition to an inspiring speaker lineup, talented performers will be showcasing their musical talents and artistry at TEDxMcMasterU. 

Master of Ceremonies: Mr. Joel Schaubel

Eddie Lartey

Spoken Word Artist

Eddie Lartey is a Hamiltonian wordsmith that is dedicated and equally in love with poetic performance, community building. His poetry is a blend of heartfelt storytelling and literary wordplay. His performance will be an exploration in the struggles as a dark skinned individual. It's a poem and conversation that challenges the norm and brings awareness to the unknown tensions.

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The McMaster University Choir and McMaster University Cantemus Ensemble form McMaster University Choirs. We are a vocal ensemble that aims to rehearse, perform and create music by focusing on collaboration from currently 63 students across all faculties of the McMaster community. The choir performs both a Winter and Spring concert every year. We aim to promote the appreciation of diverse genres of music, and to cultivate and further the musical skill of each individual member.

Semiah Smith



Semiah Smith is a singer/songwriter currently enrolled in her last year at McMaster University. She challenges herself to explore the nuances of identity, love, and the growing pains of her twenties.

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Owen Ferguson

Classical Guitar


A familiar face to those who attended last year's event, Owen Ferguson is a McMaster graduate (Class of 2020) with a passion for guitar that's sure to amaze audiences - both virtually and in person. His playing style is not what most would expect: using every surface of the guitar to create drum and bass sounds that accompany his colourful chords and unique melodies. Owen is now in Quebec city getting his Master's degree in Biophotonics while also pursuing a career in music. You can find his music on Youtube, Spotify, and Apple Music here:

About TEDx

What is TEDx?

TED (Technology, Entertainment, and Design) is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Past TED speakers have included business leaders, academics, politicians, artists, and Nobel laureates, amongst other distinguished individuals.

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, TED Talk videos and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. These nonprofit events are made possible by the passion of volunteers committed to spreading meaningful ideas.




Past Events

2021 Team Members

TEDxMcMasterU would not be possible without the dedication of our volunteers.

Executive Team


Allie CuiSurabhi Sivaratnam

Talent Coordinators:

Elizabeth DeMarenVanshika Khaitan

Sponsorship Coordinators:

Maria Xiao & Megha Tretha

Marketing Directors:

Maliha Khan & Vidhi Bhatt

Front of House:

Sammah Yahya

Back of House:

William Zhang

Volunteer Coordinators:

Saachi Jain Jaiswal & Adrian Salopek

Speaker Coaches

Avis Brodie
Deridor Collier
Alya Moolna
Guy Tripp
John Constant
Nadia Matos

Production Team

Kamal Ismail

Aleem Miller
Nicole Shapiro
Tyler Cocci

Graphic Designers

Minjoo Oh

Zara Hasan

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