Get your tickets here

Get your tickets here


TEDxMoncton is thrilled to announce its official line-up of speakers for this year’s conference, Cohesive Inspiration. On April 14 2018, nine amazing speakers will take the stage to introduce the audience to new and exciting ideas.  

There will also be a performance by the Sistema NB Children Wind Orchestra.   

Sistema is an organization that is making a difference through music. Sistema NB has verified the possibility of transformative social change through music and the orchestra.  They have demonstrated that great art is for everyone and that it has the power to improve the lives of children and their families and enhance our society.  They have shown that for children, an orchestra means joy, motivation, discipline, teamwork - that it builds confidence and self-esteem and that it is incredibly fun.

Join us with host David Myles for what is sure to be a great night. 

host David Miles

This year's speakers

Joe Grondin

Joe Grondin has been busy travelling the globe to pursue his passions. Recent destinations include Malaysia, Washington, and Las Vegas to participate in the Toastmasters World Championship of Public Speaking. Having qualified six times for the world championships, he has successfully placed in the top 10 on two occasions.

Last year, in Vancouver, Joe earned the Accredited Speaker designation for Toastmasters International and is now one of 75 people in the world who hold this distinction.

Joe is a leader, speaker, speech coach, and mentor. He was recognized by his peers with a career award for Physical Education. Joe’s knowledge and commitment to a healthy lifestyle has inspired him to develop and deliver wellness presentations.

He travels extensively within the Maritimes and New England as a keynote speaker for various companies, conferences, and educational institutions.

Joe’s many years as a teacher, especially with at-risk youth, has fuelled his passion to advocate for children. As a parent and grandparent, Joe encourages an understanding of our youth and methods to foster a positive environment for children and adults. He is the author of the book “Living in Harmony with Our Children” and always cherishes the opportunity to speak to anyone who fights the good fight for our youth.

Scott Brison

Scott Brison is happiest when thinking ahead, driving change and breaking boundaries.

Dazzled by digital as an investment banker during the boom, Scott was befuddled as Paul Martin’s Public Works minister when asked to approve unnecessarily complex, multi-million-dollar government IT projects that seemed unrelated to user needs.

A decade later, named Treasury Board President by the Honourable Justin Trudeau in 2015, he was disappointed by how little had changed in the murky world of government IT planning and procurement. There’s got to be a better way.

Scott Brison leads the Government of Canada Service Strategy, strategic IT/IM policy, drives the government’s focus on results, ensures the efficient functioning of the federal government through government expenditure management, and is the employer of the Public Service. He’s not a technologist but has championed a more robust Government of Canada CIO and creation of the new Canadian Digital Service, while promoting a Public Service ethos of experimentation.


Vanessa Paesani

Vanessa Paesani launched Amplify East earlier this year because she knows there isn’t a supply problem of inspiring women in Atlantic Canada. Vanessa’s amplifying the stories of inspiring women because she believes diverse and visible role models are critical to the stories we tell ourselves about what's possible.

Vanessa’s had a wide-ranging career to date – she’s run a large music festival, sold technical equipment, and led a number of non-profits and initiatives focused on education and empowerment.

What all of her work has in common is building internal alignment to amplify results.

She’s proud to sit on the board of directors of Venture for Canada – a national organization accelerating entrepreneurship. She believes education leads to empowerment - the key to greater economic and social prosperity.

Jason Capson

Jason Capson is a seasoned health, fitness and nutrition expert. He is a certified sports nutritionist; an elite level prep coach and a lifelong learner. He is currently completing courses to obtain his RHN, as well as, naturopath designations. 

A serial entrepreneur - Jason is co-founder and CEO of Sculpt Health and Wellness Inc (10 locations across the country); the co-founder and owner of Team Chiselled Contest Prep; co-founder and owner of East Coast Athlete (a local sports apparel company) and a Strength and Conditioning coach for the Moncton Magic.

Jason is a published writer; a power speaker, and proud father of 2 beautiful girls. In his "spare" time, Jason likes to eat, exercise, and inspire others to be the best they can be.

Chen Sun

Chen was born and raised in China, where he witnessed and experienced the historical economic transition, and its impact to the society during the last four decades.

Afterwards he moved to the east coast of China and earned his first degree in economics and then worked for a multinational consumer goods brand as a marketer. Thanks to this part of his career, Chen was able to observe how the economy works at both the macro and micro level, as well as the behaviours of its participants.

Chen came to Canada five years ago and graduated with an MBA degree from the University of New Brunswick. He believes big data and algorithm are the ingredients and catalysts for almost every economic activity in the future. As a result, he taught himself both. As he is getting closer to this new domain of knowledge, he also becomes more aware of its opportunities and limits.

Chen is currently the Digital Marketing Manager at a leading technology start-up.

Ken MacLeod

Ken MacLeod has been a leader in the not-for-profit sector for more than 30 years—as a volunteer, board member, senior manager, donor, and consultant.

Ken is President and CEO of the internationally-acclaimed New Brunswick Youth Orchestra. He has lead, over the past fifteen years, the development of what is today known as one of the most accomplishment youth orchestra programs in Canada.

During this period the NBYO conducted 5 international tours and performed on renowned stages - Carnegie Hall, in New York City, Auditorium Paganini, in Parma, Italy, Forbidden City Concert Hall, in Beijing, China and the Golden Hall of Vienna, Austria. They recorded 6 CD's, were nominated three times and won the ECMA 2008 for Classical Recording of the Year.

During this period the NBYO was featured in two nationally televised documentaries, “Practice, Practice, Practice” and “Sistema Revolution” and received the Orchestras Canada Betty Webster Award and the TD Canada Trust Arts Organization of the Year award. In July 2011 the NBYO won first place, with the highest distinction, at the Summa Cum Laude International Youth Music Festival and competition in Vienna, Austria, the first Canadian orchestra ever to do so.

The NBYO tours throughout New Brunswick annually, presenting original works, engaging special guest artists and performing to ever increasing and appreciative audiences.

Ken is founder of NBYO's Sistema New Brunswick program. Launched in 2009, Sistema NB offers social change and hope to vulnerable children, through music. Sistema NB is expanding annually and now operates nine Sistema NB centers in New Brunswick, serving more than 1,000 children daily, the largest of its kind in Canada. NBYO and Sistema NB is also providing leadership in Canada by presenting national conferences for teachers and leaders and by mentoring others in their efforts to begin Sistema-inspired programs. In 2015 the NBYO received the Prime Minister's Award for Social Innovation for the work and leadership in Canada of its Sistema NB program.

In a recent book, Nuts, Bolts and a Few Loose Screws, by Gair Maxwell, Ken was profiled as the 'Virtuoso of Vision' for his work with the NBYO and Sistema NB.

Ken is founder and President of KMA Consultants, a firm specializing in fundraising and communications for non-profit organizations, serving charitable organizations throughout Canada.

From 1995-1999, Ken served as a Member of the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick. He served as Vice-President at Crandall University (formerly Atlantic Baptist University) and was part of the management team that built a new campus and expanded academic offerings.

Ken is a graduate of Acadia University and Mount Allison University. He is a recipient of the Governor General's Meritorious Service Medal, the Order of Moncton, and is a Paul Harris Fellow and Fellow of the Salzburg Global Seminar. He has served on numerous local, regional and national Boards and is a frequent presenter at symposia and conferences.


Karen Biggar

Karen Biggar has over 20 years of experience in health and wellness as a practicing Registered Nurse.

Her education includes a Master’s in Nursing with a Teaching Focus from Athabasca University following a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from UPEI.

Over the past 10 years, Karen has specialized in Mental Health and Addictions in both the teaching and clinical capacity.

Her interests include healing from trauma and post-traumatic stress.

Karen provides informative sessions on self-concept. The sessions consist of an action-orientated approach. Through her sessions, she explains how a self-concept is made up of many areas of one’s self-esteem, and how each area relates and can impact one's experience of stress, anxiety, and depression. These sessions work to repair and grow your strengths in every area in your life important to you.

Currently Karen is a Lecturer and Clinical Nursing Instructor with UPEI Faculty of Nursing. She has co-coordinated 2 successful women’s wellness workshops, and currently develops, delivers, and facilitates on a number of self-concept educational series sessions for women.

Tareq Hadhad

Tareq Hadhad, the founder of Peace by Chocolate and one of the Top 25 Immigrants to The Maritimes moved to Canada in Dec 2015 as a Syrian newcomer.

He studied medicine at Damascus University and proceeded to join the medical relief efforts for the Syrian refugees with UNHCR and WHO through a local organisation when he arrived in Lebanon in 2013 as a refugee himself.

Passionate about the peace and youth entrepreneurship, and just after arriving in Canada, he and his family started their company “Peace by chocolate” in Antigonish, NS, to sponsor peace building projects and support the local economy by offering jobs. The company later turned into a phenomenon that has inspired so many people around the world and was mentioned at the UN summit in Sep 2016 in New York as a remarkable example for the contributions of the newcomers in their communities.

In 2017, he got appointed by NS government to join the Board of Directors of INVEST NS.

Tareq and his family won the Rising Star Award and the national Newcomers Entrepreneur Award and he is also challenging being physician in Canada. He is getting BSc degree at StFX university to head back into medicine. Grateful for the encouragement and support from his new community, he is now more involved in public speeches, media campaigns and interviews to support youth entrepreneurial skills, as well as connecting the Syrian youth and helping Syrian refugees all around the world.

Dawn Arnold

Elected as Mayor in May 2016, Dawn Arnold brings a vision to move Moncton forward by building a stronger, more transparent and economically sound City. She was first elected in 2012 as councillor-at-large and quickly earned the reputation of being one of Moncton’s most active, involved and accessible councillors.

In her mandate as Mayor, Dawn, in collaboration with Council, will see through the responsible completion of several key projects. She has also committed to keeping City Hall open for businesses and making it easier for local businesses to grow and thrive.

A strong advocate of transparency and community engagement, Dawn encourages dialogue with residents on important issues with the goal of building a City where individuals of all backgrounds and income levels can live, work and play.

In 1999, Dawn became involved with the Frye Festival and served as its Chair for 15 years. A passionate supporter of local arts and culture, she wanted to create a platform that would celebrate the works of New Brunswick’s French and English authors, put Moncton on the world stage and inspire students to read, write and think critically. The Frye Festival is Canada’s only international bilingual literary festival, and has become one of Moncton’s most popular events, attracting international authors and bringing more than $1 million into the community every year.

Dawn is a recipient of the Order of New Brunswick, the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal, the YWCA’s Women of Distinction Award and most recently, two Paul Harris Fellowships. She is a graduate of the University of Toronto and has done further education at Harvard, Université Paul-Valéry and Saint Mary's University (ICD.D).

Dawn is married to Paul Goobie and is mother to Emma and Zack. Her favourite activities include Saturday mornings at the Farmers' Market, cycling the City’s trails, cross-country skiing at Centennial Park and supporting the many great restaurants and businesses across the City.

With the energy and passion to grow a better and more dynamic community, Dawn is eager to hear suggestions and ideas from all Monctonians.

Advisory Board and Committee Appointments

  • Cities of New Brunswick Association
  • City of Moncton Employees’ Pension Board
  • Marché Moncton Market Complex Commission
  • Mayor's Seniors Advisory Committee
  • Mayor's Youth Advisory Committee 
  • Moncton Industrial Development
  • Order of Moncton
  • Riverfront Development Ad-hoc Committee