X Marks The Spot

By John Swartz

Saturday afternoon’s inaugural TEDx event at the Opera House was a success. From a spectators seat the presentations by 9 speakers were riveting, informative, and entertaining.

Several of the speakers (Ligaya Byrch, Nancy Osborne, Charles Pachter, Risha Yorke and Bob McDonald) were from Orillia, while Yvonne Heath, Beth Grixti and Erin Dixon are from the region. Melissa Olson was brought in from Madison Wisconsin.  Emma Reynolds, a Grade 10 student from Midland provided some musical entertainment; she has performed her songs at the Farmers’ Market.

The most surprising talk was Osborne’s. As a United Nations risk analysis and security advice official, she was first on the ground in trouble spots ahead of humanitarian aid.  Her post-Canadian Armed Forces position with the U.N. took her to 40 countries, many of those in war conditions. The surprise of her speech, aside from the harrowing exploits, was the revelation she is a graduate of ODCVI.

Not to be outdone, Bob McDonald told the audience how saying yes rather than hedging lead him to a career and many fascinating exploits, like being present with Carl Sagan when Voyager was launched into the universe. Charles Pachter spoke of the many ways his career and life was about transforming his surroundings.

Rick Talbot, who brought TEDx to Orillia, and The City of Orillia are working toward making this an annual event.

A fuller review of the event is forthcoming.

Bob McDonald told the audience ‘say yes’ more often.
Charles Pachter spoke of a life constantly in transition.

(Photos by Swartz – SUNonline/Orillia) The cast and volunteer crew of Orillia’s TEDx event.


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