Forward Thinking Speaker Series

The Forward Thinking Speaker Series reflects EPL’s rich history of taking risks, trying new things and redefining the modern library. EPL invites thought-leaders from a variety of industries to share their insights, ideas, experiences and viewpoints. Its purpose is to help build better organizations, neighborhoods and communities.

Is there a speaker that you would like to see at a future Forward Thinking Speaker Series presentation? Please send us your recommendations to

A nominal admission price to Forward Thinking Speaker Series presentations supports EPL fundraising activities and helps ensure attendance to our events. We also want to ensure EPL’s Forward Thinking Speaker Series events are inclusive. If the ticket price is a barrier, please contact

Featured Speaker

Terry O'Reilly: Customer Service IS Marketing

Tickets are only $10 and are now available on Eventbrite.
Virtual Event date: 7 p.m. Wednesday, September 29

Customer Service = Profit. So many companies either don’t understand this rule, or need help implementing it. Great companies know it’s not enough to have customers leave satisfied – the key is to have them leave happy. That is a step beyond service. Superb customer service creates intense customer loyalty and fuels referrals. This talk helps companies or organizations to create emotional connections with customers. This presentation includes inspiring stories from around the world, and examples of incredible and unexpected customer service ideas that your audience can implement immediately.

About Terry O'Reilly

Terry began his career writing commercials for FM108 Radio in Burlington, Ontario. He went on to become an award-winning copywriter for leading Toronto advertising agencies Campbell-Ewald, Doyle Dane Bernbach and Chiat/Day. He created campaigns for many top brands, including Labatt, Pepsi USA, Goodyear Tires, Tim Hortons, Nissan and the Hudson’s Bay Company.

In 1990, Terry co-founded Pirate Radio & Television. A creative audio production company producing scripts, sound and music for radio and television commercials, Pirate grew to include 8 recording studios in Toronto and New York City.

Terry has won a few hundred national and international awards for writing and has directed such notable actors as Alec Baldwin, Ellen DeGeneres, Kiefer Sutherland, Bob Newhart and Alan Arkin.

When he’s not creating advertising, he’s talking about it as the host of the award-winning CBC Radio One/Sirius Satellite/WBEZ Chicago radio show, Under The Influence, a follow-up to the hit series, The Age of Persuasion. The show has over one million listeners a week and the podcast has been downloaded over 23 million times.

The New York Radio Festivals awarded his show the Grand Prize as Best Radio Program in 2011 and 2012. iTunes chose it as “Best New Podcast of 2011” and again as one of the “Top iTunes podcasts of 2015.”

Terry has co-written a best-selling book called The Age of Persuasion: How Marketing Ate Our Culture. His latest best-selling book, titled This I Know: Marketing Lessons From Under The Influence, is published in Canada and the U.S. named This I Know as one of the best audio books of the year. He has a wonderful wife and three lovely daughters. Who like some of his work.

Event Partners





Future Speakers

Michael Landsberg - Darkness and Hope: Depression, Sports and Me

Wednesday, November 3, 2021
Tickets for this virtual event are only $10 and are available on Eventbrite.

Michael Landsberg was the charismatic and outspoken host of TSN's Off the Record—and from watching his show, you'd never guess that he has been battling mental illness and depression for most of his life. Lifting the stigma from this topic, Landsberg delivers a powerful and personal keynote on the dangerously misunderstood issues of depression and mental health. Depression can affect even the most successful of athletes—from Clara Hughes, one of the great amateur athletes in Canada, to four-time World Series winner Darryl Strawberry. Landsberg shares the story of his own battle with mental illness, as well as the unexplored stories of some of the world's most recognizable sports figures, to show us that recovery, strength and hope are possible in some of our darkest times.

This event is presented in partnership with the Edmonton Community Foundation.

Past Speakers

Moral Courage means listening instead of labelling those with whom we disagree. Irshad Manji believes listening to opposing views is important to better understand who we are as individuals. If you missed her thought-provoking talk on Thursday, Feb. 18, you can watch it here.

Recipient of Oprah Winfrey’s first Chutzpah Award for boldness, Irshad Manji is the author of Don't Label Me: An Incredible Conversation for Divided Times and is the founder of Moral Courage College, opens a new window, which teaches people how to do the right thing in the face of fear. She is also the Director for Courage, Curiosity, and Character at Let Grow, opens a new window, a New York-based nonprofit that builds intellectual independence and emotional resilience in kids. A prize-winning professor, Manji currently lectures with Oxford University’s Initiative for Global Ethics and Human Rights.

You can listen to our interview with Irshad Manji on our podcast, Overdue Finds.

Stemming from her award-winning book Seven Fallen Feathers, opens a new window, the story of seven Indigenous high school students who mysteriously died in Thunder Bay, Tanya Talaga creates an intimate experience for her audiences. She imparts audiences with in-depth knowledge on Indigenous culture and history, while leaving them empowered through a hopeful message that we can learn from our past and set forward on a new path for our nation based on inclusivity and equity.

An award-winning journalist and author, and the First Ojibway woman to deliver the CBC Massey Lectures, Tanya Talaga is an acclaimed storyteller. Her book Seven Fallen Feathers, a national bestseller that introduced us to seven Indigenous high school students who mysteriously died in Thunder Bay, won the 2018 RBC Taylor Prize. In her powerful keynotes, Talaga shares Indigenous stories from across Canada and the world, humanizing the legacy of residential schools and colonization and sharing her hope for a more inclusive and equitable future.

You can listen to our interview with Tanya Talaga on our podcast, Overdue Finds.

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