Typical 9-to-5 worker.
Self-described “Average Guy”.
Know what else is awesome?
He’s a speaker at TEDxToronto 2010.
“I really hope that people walk away with the reminder that sometimes the best things in life really are free – and that we’re surrounded by them every day.” – Neil Pasricha
Neil Pasricha started his blog, 1000 Awesome Things, to cheer himself up during a bleak period in his life. His blog was a small reminder of the free, easy little joys that make life sweet. He never imagined that writing about the simple pleasures of life would amount to anything – especially not a book deal.
His site has gained a readership of millions of people (over 19 million at the time of this post), won two Webby Awards (“the Internet’s highest honor” according to The New York Times), was named one of PC Magazine’s Top 100 Sites On the Internet, and has become a place where people from around the world would come to celebrate the simple pleasures of daily life.
Neil’s first book, The Book of Awesome, has become a #1 International Bestseller since it hit the stands in April 2010. The Book of Awesome 2 comes out in Spring, 2011.
Can’t wait for Book 2? You can read the countdown to Awesome thing #1 on 1000 Awesome Things. It was launched June, 2008 and is updated every weekday.
Side note: When my book was purchased, I found out that it was already signed by Neil. The salesperson at Indigo (on John St.) said that the author had come into the store when the book was put on the shelves and asked to sign a couple – just because! A surprise autograph – awesome.
View Neil Pasricha’s TEDxToronto speaker profile here.
Exciting news! TEDxToronto recently announced Sol Guy as a speaker on September 30, 2010.
Who is Sol Guy?
He is a Music Visionary.
He is an Artist.
He is a Social Entrepreneur & Change-Maker.
He is a Producer.
He is Canadian.
Oh, and he is K’naan’s Manager.
But wait! He also managed the Rascalz. Remember them?
Sol has also worked closely with some of the highest profile artists of our time, such as Lauryn Hill, P Diddy, India Arie, k-os, The Roots, Outkast, Kardinal Offishall, Dead Prez, B.I.G. and The Wu-Tang Clan.
That’s an impressive resume in the music industry – but that’s not all he’s involved in.
Using the power of speech, video, and music, Sol Guy educates, inspires, and empowers young people to make a difference and improve the world around them.
Guy is co-creator and co-producer of a TV series called 4REAL, which follows celebrity guests on adventures around the world to connect with young leaders who, under extreme circumstances, are affecting REAL change. The show highlights local heroes and how they are making a difference within their communities by doing such things as providing health education, empowering youth through music, or running medical clinics.
Episodes include Joaquin Phoenix in the Amazon Rainforest, M.I.A. in Liberia, K’naan in Kenya’s Kibera, Flea (from Red Hot Chili Peppers) in Haiti, Cameron Diaz in the Andes Mountains in Peru, and Mos Def in the City of God, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
4REAL strives to inform, inspire and engage people passionate about art, culture and change.
Is it any surprise that Guy is also co-founder of an entertainment company specializing in music management and media production? Direct Current Media (DCM), combines socially relevant and commercially viable content to progress economic and social change. Mutually beneficial partnerships are built with artists and community leaders and DCM works directly with them to creatively share their stories, spread their messages and inspire movement towards a just and sustainable society.
TEDxTO released this teaser video featuring Sol Guy and his Call to Action – check it out!
“If you are passionate and you do something that you love every day, on a day-to-day basis, you will affect people positively around you – constantly.” – Sol Guy
I can’t wait to hear what this man has to say!
That’s right – I’m a wannabe.
I’ve never attended a TED conference, and I think the TEDxToronto one is a good place to start.
I absolutely LOVE the videos I’ve seen on TED.com (which is where this TEDx conference springs from).
TED talks are – among other things – inspiring, thought-provoking, funny, and even mind-blowing. Talks can even bring tears to your eyes if you find that special one that tugs at your heartstrings.
I have a lot of “favourites” on TED.com, but the one that really spoke to me was one by Isabel Allende (author of Daughter of Fortune) and her Tales of Passion .
So now you know a little of what TED is about…but
What is TEDxToronto?
“TEDxToronto is the official TEDx conference for Toronto, Canada. In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, it brings together the city’s foremost thought leaders, change makers and everyday people from each discipline and challenges them to deliver powerful, unforgettable and unique TEDxTalks.
The theme of the second annual conference is A Call to Action.”
Announced speakers include Trey Anthony, Creator of ‘Da Kink in My Hair; Bruce Poon Tip, Founder of Gap Adventures; Tonya Surman, Founding Executive Director of the Centre for Social Innovation; and Dr. Catherine Zahn, President and CEO of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. Plus, there are more speakers to be announced!
More on the speakers here.
There are only 200 spots for delegates – the rest of the interested world will have to settle to join via satellite location or live video stream.
You can apply to attend here, but you only have until August 6, 2010 to do so.
I opted for the video application option to try to convince TEDxToronto judges to pick me as a delegate.
In the spirit of sharing, here is my vid.
Big thanks to Jon Lim for helping me – without him, my video application would not exist.