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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 events@epl.ca.

About Tickets

Most FTSS events will have a ticket fee of $10 with all proceeds going towards EPL’s fundraising efforts.

For more information, see EPL's Approach to Ticketing - PDF.

Featured Speaker

Dr. Chris Nowinski

In June 2003, former WWE wrestler Dr. Chris Nowinski suffered a serious concussion that threatened his health and cost him his career. After visiting with Dr. Robert Cantu, Dr. Nowinski realized there was a lack of awareness among athletes, coaches, and even medical professionals around concussions and brain trauma. This led him to write the critically acclaimed book, Head Games: Football's Concussion Crisis in an effort to educate the world about this serious public health issue. In 2012 the book was adapted for the popular documentary film of the same name, Head Games.

Today, Dr. Chris Nowinski is the co-founder of the Concussion Legacy Foundation with Dr. Cantu to solve the sports concussion crisis through education, awareness, policy and research. On Tuesday, Sept. 17 at the Chateau Lacombe Hotel, Dr. Nowinski will join us for our next Forward Thinking Speaker Series Event: Solving the Concussion Crisis. Tickets go on sale Wednesday, Aug. 7 at 10 a.m.

Event Details

Chateau Lacombe Hotel at 7 p.m. (doors open 6 p.m.)
Tickets go on sale Wednesday, Aug. 7 at 10 a.m.
General Admission tickets - $10 each
Preferred Seating tickets - $75 each

About Dr. Chris Nowinski

Dr. Chris Nowinski is co-founder and CEO of the Concussion Legacy Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to solving the sports concussion crisis through education, policy, and research. He co-founded the VA-BU-CLF Brain Bank and BU CTE Center, where he serves as the Outreach, Recruitment, Education, and Public Policy Leader. Chris received his Ph.D. in Behavioral Neuroscience at Boston University School of Medicine, and is the author of the book Head Games, as well as 25 medical journal articles.

Dr. Chris Nowinski is frequently credited with being the person most responsible for bringing the concussion and CTE crisis to the forefront of global consciousness. Over a decade of his aggressive advocacy has reshaped how we understand, research, and treat the effects of brain trauma, and how we play sports, from professionals down to children.

Future Speakers

Dr. Chris Nowinski is a former WWE wrestler and co-founder of the Concussion Legacy Foundation, which is dedicated to solving the sports concussion crisis through education, policy and research.

Tuesday, Sept. 17
Chateau Lacombe Hotel
Tickets go on sale Wednesday, Aug. 7 at 10 a.m. on Eventbrite
General Admission tickets — $10 each
Preferred Seating tickets — $75 each

John Douglas is a retired FBI special agent and one of the first criminal profilers. He has written several books on criminal psychology including Mindhunter, which has been adapted into a series on Netflix.

Monday, Oct. 28
Edmonton Inn & Conference Centre
Tickets go on sale Wednesday, Sept. 18 at 10 a.m. on Eventbrite
General Admission tickets — $10 each
Preferred Seating tickets — $125 each

Past Speakers


Anthony Ray Hinton

Anthony Ray Hinton was released in April 2015 after spending 30 years on death row for crime he did not commit. He was released with the help of the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI), of which he is currently a Community Educator. Mr. Hinton was one of the longest serving death row prisoners in Alabama history and among the longest serving condemned prisoners to be freed after presenting evidence of innocence. Mr. Hinton is the 152nd person exonerated from death row since 1983. On Wednesday, June 12, Mr. Hinton joined us for our third Forward Thinking Speaker Series event of 2019.


It's Time: A Conversation about Domestic Violence in Edmonton

With the Edmonton Community Foundation and in partnership with the City of Edmonton, It's Time: A Conversation about Domestic Violence in Edmonton began with a screening of the CBC documentary The War at Home. The film was followed by a panel discussion moderated by Ward 2 Councillor Bev Esslinger and featured:

  • Executive Director of Aboriginal Counselling Services Association of Alberta, Sue Languedoc
  • Community Advocate and survivor, Johanna Baynton Smith
  • City of Edmonton’s new Branch Manager and previous CEO of YWCA Edmonton, Jackie Foord
  • Co-founder and Executive Director of the Women's Centre for Social Justice, Nneka MacGregor

Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism

Dr. Safiya Umoja Noble is an assistant professor at University of Southern California Annenberg School of Communications. Dr. Noble’s academic research focuses on the design of digital media platforms on the internet and their impact on society. Her work is both sociological and interdisciplinary, marking the ways that digital media impacts and intersects with issues of race, gender, culture, and technology design. Dr. Noble’s best-selling book on racist and sexist algorithmic bias in commercial search engines is entitled Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism.

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