TEDxVancouver Announces Final Two Speakers for 2014 Event


October 9th, 2014

VANCOUVER, B.C., October 9, 2014—TEDxVancouver 2014 is in just over one week’s time, and today, we’re excited to announce the final two speakers for this year’s event.

Keith Elwood and Lesley Kim are both adventurers in their own rights, having lived through tremendously different experiences that have made an impact on those around them. They will be joining our long list of incredible speakers at TEDxVancouver 2014.


Lesley Kim: Lesley Kim’s life would forever change on October 31, 2013 after a firecracker struck her in the face and resulted in the enucleation of her left eye. Within weeks of her accident she organized Spectacle, a gala that raised over $130,000 for Seva Canada, an organization that educates blindness prevention and provides cataract surgeries in developing countries. She travelled to Cambodia shortly after the event to witness first hand, the dire conditions for those in need of ocular care and will travel again to Tibet in 2015 to see what Spectacle has directly contributed to. Although her duties as a chef have been put on hold she continues to work with Seva Canada in efforts to spread awareness and help those in need. Lesley is also working closely with schools to speak out against firecracker use and their grave consequences.

In 2014, she was named one of ‘9 Great Canadians’ by Noteable.ca for her efforts and was featured on Raw Beauty Talks for her candor and embracing attitude towards her new physical appearance. Her story has found national reach and beyond and continues to inspire others to give back and view the positive in any situation.


Keith Elwood: A geographer by nature and training, Keith Elwood grew up with a love of maps and their use in the real world. He spent much of his youth orienteering, backpacking on the Appalachian Trail, and engaging in other sports that required him to be aware of where he was and how to get back.

He received a degree in geography from the University of Delaware, with research on backcountry navigation and visual aesthetics that was presented at the national meetings of the Association of American Geographers and a National Park Service research symposium in Shenandoah National Park. His graduate work at Penn State was focused on behavioral geography—the interface between humans and their environment. His research took him to the Smithsonian Institution, where as a research associate he explored navigation on Chesapeake Bay through ethnographies of traditional watermen, a vanishing breed.

He served as a Senior Geographer with the US Bureau of the Census, assisting in building the first geocoding applications of the TIGER System, a nationwide digital map database, and developing the Bureau’s expertise in postal geography and navigational systems, from LORAN-C to Navstar GPS. Keith also worked in the private sector in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), with applications of GPS in natural resource management, rural addressing, and public safety.

After a hiatus working as a strategic consultant to government, industry, and nonprofits in Victoria, BC—ever using the navigational metaphor in business strategy—Keith returned to his singular passion of navigation and wayfinding in everyday environments, a passion that meshes well with emerging technologies, especially GPS navigation in vehicle and pedestrian applications. He has gotten lost on three continents.

Keith lives in Victoria, BC with his family, and takes the kayak out when he can. It has a deck compass.


TEDxVancouver will be held on October 18 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre from 8am to 6pm.

Stay in the know, video talk release details, early access, and TEDxVancouver community events.