BIL (un)Conference offers TED alternative this weekend

Apr 25 2017, 9:15 pm

With this week’s high-priced TED 2017 conference all sold out in Vancouver, many of us will simply have to look elsewhere to find our inspiration.

Luckily, the fourth annual quirky and populist BIL (un)Conference is coming here this weekend, April 28 to 30.

If you’ve ever pondered things like why sex positive people argue so much, or what gender parity in the workplace can learn from feminist porn, then the upcoming convention may have the answers you seek to these – and other – life questions.

Open to the public and fully participant-driven, the weekend gathering at The Beaumont Studios features a mix of technologists, scientists, artists, hackers, and those with a passion for community awareness, social entrepreneurship, and innovation.

While it’s similar to the TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) conference’s 20-minute talk format, BIL is also celebrated as the “cool, populist unconference that explores a wide variety of topics without limitations or censorship,” according to its website.

Admission is also by donation, which makes it easy for anyone to attend.

BIL Vancouver was started four years ago by a group that describes themselves as “energetic iconoclasts reacting to the homogenization of public forums.”

Through the development of BIL, organizers created an annual event designed to allow people to “to celebrate and berate, annoy and anger, educate and inspire.”

What to expect this year

BIL 2017 organizers advertise the event’s presenters as “local and global; they’re from your neighbourhood and from outer space. They’re analogue and digital, urban and rural. People will speak on the future of mankind, to local potholes.”

There will be a full slate of speakers at the event and a treasure trove of topics will be explored at the open-invite. Some of the topics include:

  • Superhumans Walk Among Us
  • Why Do Sex Positive People Argue So Much?
  • Introduction to Blockchain with a Focus on Ethereum
  • Transformation Coaching and the need for Role-Modeling in Youth Sports
  • How Technology Will Give Us Marriages That Don’t Completely Suck
  • 3DCanada: The Story So Far
  • Digital Phenomena – How the Internet Changes Us
  • What Happens When the Pixie Dust Runs Out: Airline Safety
  • Food Citizenship: Changing the World One Bite at a Time
  • The Future isn’t f*cked: how Vancouver’s going to save the world
  • Talking with Broken Machines
  • What Gender Parity in The Workplace Can Learn From Feminist Porn
  • Shifting From Success to Significance

BIL: Vancouver 2017

When: Friday, April 28 to Sunday, April 30

Time: 9 am to 6 pm daily

Where: The Beaumont Gallery and Studios – 316 West 5th Avenue, Vancouver

Tickets: By donation at