Three years of research. Seven minutes on stage.


Never before has so much been said so quickly. Well, at least not by me. I can spend seven minutes ordering lunch in a restaurant.

The Concordia University Walrus Talks bring people from very diverse backgrounds together to talk, very quickly, about what they do and what keeps them excited about the world.

It’s a great honour to be asked, and you end up meeting the most fascinating people. I met a professor who studies maker-culture, a famous philanthropic country western singer who builds real estate developments for aging-in-place on the side, a Metis academic with a background in social work who believes our educational system would benefit from indigenous ways of being (I concur), and so many more. I was a bit starstruck being in such august company.

I was also the first up on the stage and to be frank, only having seven minutes freaked me out. I don’t generally rehearse a speech about Valuegraphics very much, if at all: I know the material inside and out. But I found myself “running lines” in my hotel room in advance of this one. Sitting in the front row waiting for the preliminary greetings and sponsor recognition to conclude, I could feel all the things people tell me they feel when they have to get up and speak in front of people. A cold sweat bespangled my brow, my mind was racing, my heart was racing, I had a dry-mouth, and more. I don’t normally feel any of that! Public speaking is my happy place! So the fact that I was freaking out was freaking me out even more.

Regardless, here is the end result. Three years of talking and research and writing and story-crafting boiled down to just – cough cough – six minutes and 59 seconds. Aced i, with one second to spare. :)

UPDATE: Since making this speech the database has grown – a lot. We now have the data from 100,000 surveys across Canada and the USA, and a half-million surveys (in 152 languages) from around the world which makes Valuegraphics available to help influence behavior in a total of 195 countries!