—Photo: Johua Best
Last weekend TEDxToronto hosted its 11th conference at Evergreen Brickworks. Under the theme “Rise,” 12 speakers took the stage to tell their stories about what it means to rise today.
Not everything that “rises” is good. As the curators suggested, a rise can be optimistic, but it can also be ominous.
We’re living in the age of disruption. New technologies seem to appear every day. There are new businesses, new political movements, new online communities and, of course, there’s our rising temperature.
As TEDxToronto’s agency of record, the conference got us at The Garden thinking about what’s on the rise in our industry today, and the important questions that poses for all of us.
Everyone is talking about data. But, as Danielle Goldfarb, head of global research at RIWI, explained, data is incredibly imperfect and our insights are only as good as our sources.
While many were blindsided by the results of the 2016 Brexit vote and U.S. Presidential election, Goldfarb wasn’t among them. Most polling and surveys only reflect the data of people who are already excited about answering surveys—which is very few of us. This means we tend to get information and base our decisions and predictions on outliers rather than the masses.
What might we be able to predict, understand and solve if we could reach those missing voices? Who out there can we rely on to provide us with that information? In an industry that has become obsessed with predicting success and minimizing risk, is our reliance on imperfect data actually placing us at even greater risk?
Are we solving the right problems?
Anthony Morgan, criminal justice lawyer and consultant in the City of Toronto’s Confronting Anti-Black Racism Unit (above), talked about how social reform is critical to building a positive future for this city....more