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Conference swamped by wave of ideas

Feb 19 2012

What a concept - invite people to come together and listen to 50 original notions pitched in 10-minute segments.

That's the drill at Victoria's IdeaWave conference, created in 2010 and returning for a third time next Saturday and Sunday.

A capacity crowd of about 200 people is expected at the Ambrosia Conference & Event Centre, 638 Fisgard St.

"Last year the event sold out and we had speakers and attendees from all over North America," said organizer Kris Constable.

"For a second year, that's pretty amazing to me.

"People are really starting to recognize it as an event."

As always, the goal will be to spark innovation by encouraging discussion and critical thinking.

Constable said the range of ideas to be considered this year is as wide and varied as ever - some of them hinge on computers and technology, but many do not.

"Your wheels will be spinning. The ideas are all over the place," he said.

The 2011 conference provided a good example of just how diverse the slate of topics can be, Constable said.

"I think the most talkedabout presentation from last year was a new idea on how to make artisan bread.

"It was just such an interesting talk."

Not only that, the samples of fresh bread given out were a nice touch.

The next talk could not have been more different.

It featured a Victoria man explaining how he convinced NASA scientists that it is plausible for there to be life on Titan, one of Saturn's moons.

Constable said the talks to be given at IdeaWave are picked ahead of time.

"As of the second year, I brought in a board of advisers.

"It's five people with diverse backgrounds - we've got two science-and techie types, an arts person, a police officer and a social worker.

"They review all the talks, and the two things they're looking for are how engaging an idea is and how unique it is.

"Once four out of the five approve it, the talk gets approved."

Those attending IdeaWave 2012 can wrap their brains around everything from writing a poem in three minutes or less to taking a new approach to helping Haiti or looking at the emergence of traditional social movements online.

Also in the offing are a proposal for a school program to teach students how to grow food, a plan for building a better battery and a guide to emotional revival.

Go to ideawave.ca, email support@ideawave.ca or call 1-855-433-2794.

jwbell@timescolonist.com

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