Re-inventing Thunder Bay For A More Vibrant Community – Together


tedxTHUNDER BAY – Re-inventing Thunder Bay For A More Vibrant Community – Together. That is the topic today at the independently organized Tedx event in Thunder Bay today. There will be speakers presenting to the one hundred delegates in the live event, at the Lakehead University Outpost, along with satellite events at The Thunder Bay Centre for Change and at the Study at Lakehead University.

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There are a number of speakers scheduled for today’s event: Here is some information on some of the speakers.

Brad Doff – “Sustaining Cities with Everyday Biotechnology”. Doff is a recent Master’s graduate and is the Principal Consultant of SMARTGreening, a young, dynamic company that provides municipalities and planning firms a meaningful approach to using green infrastructure as biotechnology to mitigate the challenges cities face. Brad has spent a decade working with and studying urban trees, rediscovering them as effective living technology in cities, and developing new ways to integrate them into the urban fabric to make communities more sustainable, healthy and livable. Brad holds MES and HBSc degrees and speaks regularly about the benefits of green infrastructure in cities. For more information on Brad’s research please visit:

Dr. Doug West – “Food/Shelter/Community: The Turn of the Commons”. West is the editor of four books including From Our Eyes: Learning from Indigenous Peoples (Garamond) and the author of 3 editions of the Instructor’s Manual for An Introduction to Government and Politics: A Conceptual Approach (Nelson) By M. O. Dickerson, Thomas Flanagan, Brenda O’Neill. He has contributed over 20 articles, chapters, reviews and editorials to scholarly journals and edited works in the areas of Canadian Political Thought, Indigenous Political Ideas, Northern Politics and the Politics of Food. Dr. West has also presented papers at over 30 conferences and public gatherings. From 2006-2008, he served as Co-Director for the Food Security Research and Service Exchange Network which was funded by the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation for 985,000.

Dr. West has served Lakehead University as a member of the Senate Teaching and Learning Committee, The Senate Research Committee, the Senate Nominations Committee and was Chair of the Senate Academic Committee in 2008-9. Dr. West is also committed to developing Community Service Learning and Community Based Research at Lakehead and has served on many not-for-profit Boards in Thunder Bay, Ottawa and Victoria, BC as a member and advisor for the past 20 years. He has developed over 25 different classroom based and on-line courses for the Department of Political Science and served as Chair from 2003-2006. Currently, his research interests are focused on Community Food Sovereignty/Sustainability, Northern Food Policy and the Political Ideas of Stephen Leacock, George Grant and Harold Innis. He is also the Director of Humanities 101 at the Orillia Campus of Lakehead University.

Bruce Walsh – “How the Holocaust Saved My Life”. Walsh is marketing consultant who has worked with many of the world’s leading authors. He was Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Unotchit Inc., where he launched Margaret Atwood’s invention, the LongPen, and is the former Director of Marketing and Publicity at McClelland & Stewart. He is twice winner of the Libris Award, the book industry’s highest honour and is currently on the boards of Canopy and PEN Canada. Much of what he knows, he learned as a volunteer.

Portrayed in an award-winning feature film, fictionalized in a novel, and proclaimed a “hero” in a front page newspaper headline, Bruce Walsh has a talent for finding the spotlight, and the action.

A twenty year veteran of the book industry, he is a two-time winner of the Libris Award for his “outstanding contribution to Canadian publishing,” and has worked with everyone from Leonard Cohen to Alice Munro to Peter C. Newman. He also worked for Margaret Atwood, who hired him as vice president of marketing for her high tech company, LongPen. Currently he is a marketing consultant.

Bruce learned many of his skills in the early 1990’s, after resigning in protest from his first publishing job, at Oxford University Press, when it censored the book Gay Ideas. He became an activist and brought international media attention to the issue of Canadian censorship. He helped push back the censors in court, successfully lobbied the Canadian Booksellers Association, PEN Canada, and PEN International to condemn Canada’s censorship practices, and contributed to a body of evidence that influenced feminism’s relationship to freedom of expression. A lifelong volunteer, Bruce has worked in a homeless shelter, on a telephone hotline, and in community radio. He is currently on the boards of Canopy and PEN Canada.

While attendance is limited, over the weeks following the TEDx Thunder Bay event, as one of the event sponsors will be working to continue the discussion. The videos of the presentations will be online on, and there will be opportunity for others to join the discussion.

The TEDx theme of “Re-inventing Thunder Bay For A More Vibrant Community – Together” is one far too large to be contained by a single day.

James Murray
Chief Content Officer

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