I met Daphne at the first TEDx Stanley park rehears, and was immediately intrigued by the title of her speech, “We Are Citizens First”; but it wasn’t until the third rehearsal that I really understood the importance of her message. I think this was because of two things: First, by rehearsal three I actually had time to listen to the speech; and secondly besides her powerful words, Daphne included images to make her point even more vivid. And believe it when I say that together these two components made up for me what is one of the most impactful TEDx talks I’ve ever heard – and believe me, I’ve heard a lot.
In “We Are Citizens First” Daphne illustrates how certain governments – especially those out west – no longer view the people they govern as citizens of society, but rather as “debits and credits” in a sort of grand self-serving Orwellian-style machine. More importantly she juxtaposes this picture with countries and cultures who successfully view – and treat – their nationals in an opposite light, proving to us that modern societies can work for the people. In other words, she sets out and proves that than being just taxpayers, we can be a society of citizens who support each other in living a wonderful lifestyle of community and service – exactly the way it’s supposed to be.
It’s clear to anyone that Daphne is someone who both knows her topic and who does her research. Even better, she has a real talent for taking complex social topics and making easy for the rest of us to understand, (the “rest of us” being lugs like me) and no wonder: She’s a highly accomplished academic with multiple journalism awards to her credit.
Daphne holds a bachelor of arts degree in English and German literature from the University of Regina, a bachelor of applied arts in journalism from Toronto’s Ryerson University and a master’s degree in liberal studies from Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, B.C.; and besides being a multi- award winning columnist writing at The Vancouver Sun since 2000, she’s gotten an honorary doctor of letters degree from Capilano University in 2013; was a finalist in 2012 for the National Newspaper Award for column writing (the same award she won in 2005); and was named Commentator of the Year by the Jack Webster Foundation.
But wait, there’s more: Daphne is a three-time winner of the Beyond Borders Media Award for her investigative work on the polygamous community of Bountiful, B.C. and for a series on sex tourism in Cambodia. Her book on Bountiful, titled “The Secret Lives of Saints: Child Brides and Lost Boys in Canada’s Polygamous Mormon Sect” was published in 2008, and was a finalist for three national non-fiction book awards. Like I said, this is a lady who knows her stuff!
With such an impressive resume, it’s no surprise that Daphne’s TEDx Stanley Park talk was so interesting and articulate of a study about how certain governments view their constituents as either revenue generators or fiscal liabilities, rather than as citizens of a society who are all in it together. Trust me when I say this is one TEDx talk that will leaving you asking questions… and that’s a good thing, right?
So without further adieu, please let me introduce you to Daphne, and her thought-provoking TEDx Stanley Park talk; I know you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.
Want more good stuff to think about? Then read Daphne’s blog here.