2011 celebrated Moses Znaimer’s 12th ideacity, otherwise known as “Canada’s Premier Meeting of the Minds.” This gathering of 600 “artists, adventurers, authors, cosmologists, doctors, designers, entertainers, filmmakers, inventors, magicians, musicians, scientists and technologists” for three days at the Royal Conservatory of Music made for an invigorating and alchemic experience.
Deepak Chopra was one of the speakers at ideacity 2011
At this year’s ideacity, 50 speakers present on a range of topics, generally related to the overall conference theme. 2011’s theme was “ideasex,” inspired by Matt Ridley’s viral words from The Rational Optimist: “The rate of cultural and economic progress depends on the rate at which ideas are having sex.” This was a ground-breaking concept by Ridley (you can hear Ridley speak about this at TED) that was a brilliant idea for this year’s theme and worked well for the diverse speakers as the concept of mixing and mating of ideas is cross genres.
There were plenty of networking opportunities between sessions for guests to mingle with one another and to connect with the notable speakers, who generally enjoyed the opportunity to have a meeting of minds with some of Canada’s best and brightest.
There were also fun parties after conference hours at trendy places like Spice Route, C Lounge and Rosewater Supper Club, which are always great opportunities to further connected with like-minded individuals.
This year’s most famous speakers included Deepak Chopra, Conrad Black (via videocast) and perhaps even Matt Ridley (the inspiration behind this year’s conference theme). One of the most interesting speakers was Tarek Fateh who spoke powerfully on Islamism being different from Islamic faith. Haim Goldenberg was truly mesmerizing with his ability to reproduce an audience member’s hidden drawing. The mentalist also unscrambled part of a Rubik’s Cube while blindfolded!
Walt Mossberg was quite topical with his words on iClouds and the digital age and Barbara Kay of the National Post spoke her mind. Bob Blumer gave a very charming presentation on how anyone can cook as well as his own journey to fame and fortune, Rick Miller knew how to get the audience to laugh, Ben Gulak spoke about his Uno one-wheeled zero-emissions motorcycle, Ray Jayawardhana gave the true inside story behind the demotion of Pluto from its planet status and Stephen Garrett spoke about death.
A Kabala yoga session
As breathers between speeches and after sessions, Toronto Argonauts Cheerleaders, Flirty Girl Fitness and Kabalah Yoga led the audience through stretch breaks. Cameron Carpenter, Papaduke, and Robbie Lane & the Disciples provided musical moments between the conference and after parties.
All in all, a conference not to be missed!
This article was originally published in 85 Broads and DelectablyChic!