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TEDxBowValleyCollege 2016: Reflecting back and moving forward

  • TEDxBowValleyCollege 2016: Reflecting back and moving forward

The following blog post was written by Tahira Ebrahim, Centre Liaison Officer at the Centre for Excellence in Immigrant and Intercultural Advancement. 

As we gear up for TEDxBowValleyCollege 2017, we thought we would recap our 2016 event that occurred not too long ago. TEDxBowValleyCollege 2016, premised on the theme of Divergence, once again showcased speakers from across our campus community, including external community partners. 

Our event opened with a powerful speech given by Jehad Abu-Ulbeh, a Student Awards Advisor at Bow Valley College. Jehad has never been afraid to think differently, or to act differently, and her talk reflected the same. In her speech, Pulling back the curtain,  Jehad’s experiences as a Palestinian spoke to the power in being divergent and choosing a future that was not pre-determined by her history.

Jehad’s talk was followed by Bow Valley College learner, and frequent volunteer at the IC, Rick Alvarez. Rick’s talk, Technological Obscurantismreassessed the ideas that we have about our lives regarding technology and how to change our dependency of our digital worlds. 

One of two community partners that day was Miguel Barros, a Portuguese artist. Miguel spoke about his work and art in Transparency. Miguel explained how he has used art to speak to climate change, specifically glacier melting. Miguel’s approach to thinking as an outlier surrounds the fundamental concept that evolution and change can only occur when thinking creatively. We are fortunate to have Miguel join us again for IC Week to display his art installation, No Theme II Only Colours. 

Our last speaker of the day was Justina Grado, a Bow Valley College alumnus. Justina performed her spoken word piece Rainbow Connectionwith the musical accompaniment of Vanessa Cardui. Justina’s talk embodied the essence of being divergent – that being true to yourself may be the greatest act of rebellion that any of us undertakes in our lifetime.   

We had the privilege to host community partner Chase Hochstein who performed two moving piano pieces, A Father’s Prayer and Crystal Waltz, which he composed himself.  For Chase, the concept of being divergent isn’t a choice, it’s a responsibility. 

These talks individually made a great impact on our audience and collectively formed a cohesive display of the power of thinking differently.

Stay tuned for information on this year’s TEDxBowValleyCollege theme and the exciting line up! If you are interested in speaking at TEDxBowValleyCollege, please email

In the meantime, join us for IC Week 2017, A Spotlight on Diversity, from March 6 – 10.