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2023 Event

Saturday, January 21st, 2023

Meet the speakers who made this event so spectacular.

 our speakers, and the Curation and Coaching Teams for selecting and preparing them.

Click here to see the full playlist of all our 2023 talks.


Our Leadership Team

Bringing TEDx to Surrey is a driving passion for our leadership team and all the hard work is paying off. We come from different backgrounds, but we’re committed to achieving a single goal – discovering and showcasing ideas that can transform us and enhance our community. Here’s the team leading the efforts of all to make TEDxSurrey the best it can be.

Alan Warburton

Licensee & Curator

Tania Ehman

Lead Coach

Ellie Newell

Event Manager, Speakers Coach

Quintin Ehman

Marketing Manager

Monica Neville

Finance Manager

Noel Bentley

Emcee & Program Coordinator

Ron Newell

Sponsorship & Logistics Manager

Trevor Marples

Technical Director

Gary Drouillard

Content Guideline Lead & Writer
Carla Guerrera

Carla Guerrera

As a globally recognized real estate developer, Carla has delivered over $1B in mixed-use real estate development across Canada’s top markets. She combines urban planning, sustainability and real estate development to create communities that benefit people and the planet, while ensuring financial viability. As the CEO of Purpose Driven Development, she believes that real estate development, when done well, is one of the most powerful tools to transform the way we live, work and thrive in our communities. Having worked in housing delivery from private sector, government, and non-profit Carla has a unique understanding of what it takes for successful affordable housing delivery. Purpose Driven Development works with non-profits, First Nations, investors and governments, to bring a proven approach to unlocking successful development to create communities where everyone can thrive.

Carla’s portfolio includes leading many award-winning complex, mixed-use, master plan and waterfront revitalization projects. She is a recipient of the Urban Land Institute’s Global Land Use Professionals Award, as well as Business in Vancouver’s Top 40 Under 40 Award. In 2022, she was recognized as one of Business in Vancouver’s Most Influential Business Leaders in the province. As an active Board member, she currently serves on the British Columbia Pavilion Corporation Board and has been appointed to the Thames Estuary Growth Board, UK’s largest growth opportunity focused on innovative green growth through the revitalization along the Thames River. Carla is an international speaker and thought leader on innovative approaches to development and city building.

Derek Strokon

Derek is the #1 International Best-Selling Author of Stop Stalling Start Selling and is completing his second book Hero Behind Bars (May 2023). He is a leader and business consultant whose practice focuses on resilience development and process implementation.  

His award-winning approach to sales excellence is driven by a team-centered approach of ‘Strength Through Vulnerability’. His relentless passion for evangelizing the ‘Human Journey’, is both inspiring and contagious.

Derek received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Simon Fraser University and is a Certified Professional Coach from the World Coach Institute. Corporately recognized in 2018 as the National Sales Force Grow Leader, among many other accolades for sales excellence, he also attained his LLQP Full, MFDA, Labour Sponsored Fund and Branch Managers Course certifications.

A seasoned Sales veteran with a Retail, Automotive, Food-Service and Financial Services background, Derek has led teams to success by igniting passion, simplifying solutions, and integrating processes.

He was the Founder of the Give Cancer the Finger Foundation, and is the Founder of Sacred Line Consulting, a Multi-National Coaching and Consulting firm.

Derek spends most of his education development time studying resilience and hero culture, working on strategies to minimize the time that life interferes with living.

Derek lives in Sun Peaks, BC, Canada, with his wife and two children. They love the outdoors, know what is sacred to them, and focus on lifestyle integration. His positive approach is infectious, and always 100% authentic.

Finn Liu

Finn Liu

Currently in the 11th grade at Fraser Heights Secondary School, Finn Liu is an openly transgender Chinese student who seeks to spread awareness of trans-identifying individuals within the Asian community. Experiencing fear and helplessness surrounding his gender identity while growing up, he recognized the lack of resources and stories shared by queer individuals of Asian descent. Since coming out at 14 years old, the internalized stigmas he has faced have only pushed him forward, becoming open to speaking for issues of marginalized intersectionalities who continue to be underrepresented in media. 

While active in advocating for climate justice and neurodiversity inclusion, he also seeks to break the invisible walls that were built to silence transgender voices like his. His privilege is to share personal experiences and growth in an ethnicity where silence is more common than open pride and his is one voice he will not hesitate to use. Having competed in multiple forms of public speaking in the past 4 years, Finn has consistently been involved as an achieved debater, speaker, and active member of his school community. Holding dreams of studying law in the UK for university, his advocacy and passion for speaking will guide him to further tackle the stigmas barring us from an increased representation of the most vulnerable. 

By recognizing the existence and prominence of trans people in Asian cultures that hold traditional values, Finn strives to highlight how unquestionably valid people like him are in society; we are human, we are here, and we deserve dignity regardless of cultural obstacles.

Dr. Kai Chan


Dr. Kai Chan is a professor and Canada Research Chair at the University of British Columbia. He strives to understand how to make our planet both better and wilder. Kai leads CHANS lab, where inspiring students study Connected Human-and-Natural Systems. He is co-founder of CoSphere  Community of Small-Planet Heroes, which is finding a place for everyone in combating the crisis of climate, ecology, and equity.

Dr. Chan has published over 150 articles and chapters including in Nature, Science, and PNAS. He has also written over 135 newspaper and magazine articles.

Kai is a member of Canada’sClean16 and Clean50 for 2020; a UBC Killam Research Fellow; a Leopold Leadership Program fellow; senior fellow of the Global Young Academy and of the Environmental Leadership Program; a member of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists; and Lead Editor of the British Ecological Society journal People and Nature. He was a coordinating lead author for the UN-associated IPBES Global Assessment, and a director on the board of the North American section of the Society for Conservation Biology.

Kai lives and plays outdoors in Vancouver, the unceded territory of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh peoples, with his wife and two daughters.

For those wondering what to do about the climate crisis, Kai’s TEDx Talk will offer some concrete ideas and help. You may have much more to offer than you realized.

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Kai Scott, MA (He/Him)

Mr. Scott is president of TransFocus Consulting, a firm that supports organizations across North America with greater inclusion of gender diversity. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Bryn Mawr College in 2002, followed by a Master of Arts degree in International Political Economy from the University of Denver in 2006. 

He is a social scientist who has dedicated his 15-year career to addressing complex social issues, especially related to vulnerable yet resilient populations. In the past, this has included people of colour in education, Indigenous people in mining, and, more recently, inclusion of transgender and non-binary people across industries. 

He uses a blend of education and research to bring greater understanding and solutions to issues of gender diversity among people and systems. More specifically, he has delivered education sessions to over 25,000 people that have shifted perspectives about transgender people, resulting in more supportive and inclusive workplaces. And his research among more than 10,000 participants of all genders has delivered surprisingly clever solutions to pernicious challenges to full gender inclusion.  

His insights on gender diversity are sought at conferences and symposia for professional associations, boards of trade, academia, and government and legal sectors. His style is engaging, reassuring, and considerate.

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Kal Dosanjh

Kal Dosanjh is a veteran police officer with over 20 years of law enforcement experience. He served approximately 15 years as a patrol officer prior to becoming a detective in the Investigative Division. As an officer, he served in various capacities and positions, in addition to assisting on large-scale investigations. Kal served in one of the most challenging and violent environments found in North America in the Vancouver Downtown Eastside in BC, Canada. He was one of 15 officers responsible for policing that area as part of the Beat Enforcement Team. 

The calls ranged from homicides to individuals suffering from mental health. The dangerous environment, the open-air drug market, and the constant exposure to extreme risk, was the premise behind the hit reality series, The BEAT. Kal was selected to be in the second season of the BEAT. 

The steady stream of youth entering the open-air drug market became the basis for implementing youth programs. The programs focused on providing youth with constructive outlets through the portal of sports. This served as the genesis of KidsPlay Foundation, a registered charity founded by Kal Dosanjh. KidsPlay Foundation provides youth with free high quality educational initiatives, sports programming, and after school mentorship programs.

Under his leadership as Chief Executive Officer, the organization now boasts over 500 volunteers, and over 70,000 youth have taken part in KidsPlay programs since its inception in 2015. The organization has grown to include chapters in major cities across Canada and internationally in Colombia and India.

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Kelsey Carignan

Kelsey Carignan is a mindfulness practitioner and yoga instructor. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and went on to work as a Mental Health Counselor. Kelsey completed her 200RYT Yoga Certification in 2015 and continues her yoga journey as both a student and a teacher.


Kelsey’s life took a dramatic shift when she was diagnosed with Stage III Breast Cancer in late 2018. She went through a bilateral mastectomy, 8 rounds of chemotherapy and 25 rounds of radiation all before her 34th birthday. Since then, Kelsey has shared her journey and her experience, uniting others through a virtual community called Vibrant Yogi. The community meets for LIVE online classes and infuses kindness into the communities through various initiatives. Kelsey’s personal favourite is lending out Cold Caps to chemotherapy patients, helping many keep their hair during treatment.


As a mom of two hockey players, and the wife of a power skating coach, Kelsey shares her passion for yoga with her family. Together with her best friend, they created the Yoga for Hockey app, which teaches foundations of the mind/body connection for athletes, allowing them to adopt a mindfulness practice in very physically demanding situations.


Kelsey is on a mission to promote mindfulness and movement as transformative tools for helping us navigate and heal through challenging circumstances. It is when we have a consistent yoga practice that we can turn to our mats for grounding and support in times of adversity.


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Linda Fawcus

Linda Fawcus is a software development veteran who has been in the industry since the 1990s. She is also a podcast host, writer, and founder of Gluu Society—a Canadian non-profit that helps older adults use technology to stay happy, healthy, and connected. Linda is working to ensure that older adults are not left behind with the rapid pace of technological development. Since 2015, Gluu has helped thousands of older adults gain the confidence and digital skills needed to take part in the modern world. 

Much of Linda’s work focuses on digital security and helping older adults stay safe online. She wrote the Gluu Guide to Digital Security, a 96-page guide to help older adults learn how to secure their devices, online accounts, and digital lives. Over 50,000 print copies have been distributed for free to older Canadians through Gluu Society. She has created the definitive courses that thousands of older adults use to learn their iPad or Samsung tablet. Over 20,000 printed Gluu Essentials Workbooks for iPad or Samsung tablets have been given to seniors in Canada. 

Linda is the creator and host of How to Be Unscammable, a TV show with funding supported by TELUS STORYHIVE. This 10-episode series and online course help older adults protect their digital lives from cybercriminals. Linda has been recognized as a Business in Vancouver Top 40 Under 40 and served on the RBC Young Entrepreneur Board.


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Marilyn Norry

After receiving her Bachelor of Fine Arts from York University in 1980, award-winning Canadian actor Marilyn Norry has been seen on stages across Canada, and in over 100 film and television projects seen around the world. She is also a director, writer, teacher, and story editor of plays and screenplays.


Marilyn is also the creator of My Mother’s Story and founder of the non-profit Mothership Stories Society. Since its inception in 2004, Marilyn has created an online Archive for mother story submissions, edited and published three written My Mother’s Story anthologies – The Originals, North Vancouver, and Gone Too Soon – written the workbook Writing Women’s History Starting with Your Mother, and has co-created ten My Mother’s Story theatrical presentations through the Mothership.  


She continues to lead workshops, both online and live, and hosts The Mother’s Lab once a month to discuss writing, mothers, and women’s lives past, present and future. 


In 2010, the Union of B. C. Performers presented Marilyn with their Woman of Distinction award for advancing the status of women through her work creating My Mother’s Story, and its multimedia campaign telling women’s history one mother at a time. 

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Muhaddisa Sarwari

Muhaddisa Sarwari is a Grade 12 student who arrived in Canada as a Hazara refugee from Afghanistan less than three years ago. Before arriving in Canada, Muhaddisa and her family lived as stateless refugees in Indonesia, where they spent five years in limbo. At the age of 10, Muhaddisa discovered that, as a refugee, she had no legal rights to get an education for as long as she lived in Indonesia. Having to overcome the obstacles stacked against her education and the harsh living situation for refugees in Indonesia, Muhaddisa used her ongoing struggles as a fuel for growth. 

Having arrived in Canada, Muhaddisa’s sheer determination and perseverance has led her to become a high-achieving and remarkable student at her school, while consistently gaining recognition on her school principal’s Honour Roll. Muhaddisa has demonstrated her keen passion for social studies, politics, and law by successfully representing her school at distinguished competitions such as Ethics Bowl and the Barry Sullivan Law Cup. Hence, Muhaddisa aims to pursue Political Science at the University of British Columbia, paving her path towards a career in Law. 

Muhaddisa believes that one’s disadvantages do not define their future, and that refugees have the potential to shine brightly if given the opportunities to do so.

Dr. Stefanie Green

Dr. Stefanie Green

Dr. Stefanie Green spent 10 years in general practice and another 12 years working exclusively in maternity and newborn care before changing her focus in 2016 to medical assistance in dying (MAiD). 

She is the co-founder and President of the Canadian Association of MAiD Assessors and Providers (CAMAP) – a national non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the multidisciplinary professionals that provide assisted dying across the country. She is co-lead of the Canadian MAiD Curriculum Project, a multiyear, federally funded project being developed to help standardize the clinical approach to care, educate and train clinicians new to the field, and to enhance the skills of those already involved. Dr. Green is a medical advisor to the BC Ministry of Health MAiD oversight committee, moderator of CAMAP’s national online community of practice, and has hosted several national conferences on the topic. 

Beyond her clinical practice, Dr. Green frequently speaks about MAiD to a wide range of audiences locally, nationally and internationally, and she has provided expert testimony to subcommittees of both the Canadian House of Commons and the Senate.

Dr. Green is a clinical faculty member at the University of British Columbia and the University of Victoria. Most recently, she is the author of an international bestselling book, This is Assisted Dying, a doctor’s story of empowering patients at the end of life, a memoir about her first year providing assisted dying in Canada.

Dr. Tanya Gee

Dr. Tanya Gee Dr.TCM

Dr. Tanya Gee is an award-winning Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine who graduated from the International College of TCM in Vancouver, B.C, Canada. She completed her post-graduate studies in Hefei and Shanghai, China and has been in private practice for more than 28 years.

Best described as a storytelling, intuitive doctor of TCM who is known to belly laugh out loud and inspire everyone to be the most optimal version of themselves. Forever the optimist and one who values kindness, empathy and an “everyone wins” attitude.

She is a global wellness educator and a board member of the Pneuma Institute Foundation, a Canadian non-profit society dedicated to transpersonal psychology, philanthropy and the preservation of ancient wisdom of the Q’ero Holy people of Peru and the Tibetan Buddhists residing in India.

Dr. Tanya has traveled great distances seeking truth and teachings. Her journeys took her to the jungles of Malaysia, the mystical island of Jersey, the Buddhist temples in India, the sacred mountains of Mt. Shasta, etc. Each step of the way moved her along the path back to her heart.

As she matures, she seeks ways to bring comfort to her aging Mother, friends and patients.

Life is beautiful, short and together we are stronger.

Her life is dedicated to the principles of Service, Devotion, Compassion and Love.

May all beings be happy,

May all beings be joyful,

May all beings be at peace.