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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.

Tickets Sold Out

Thank you to everyone who purchased tickets to the upcoming Forward Thinking Speaker Series event with John Douglas! The event is now sold out. We look forward to seeing you Monday, Oct. 28.

Featured Speaker

John Douglas: The Mindhunter's Journey

JonBenet Ramsey, Amanda Knox, and Charles Manson—what could these three possibly have in common? They are all cases investigated by our next Forward Thinking Speaker, John Douglas. As the youngest instructor to join the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit, Douglas’ keen eye to identify key characteristics and patterns of criminals quickly led him to become widely recognized as a top authority in criminal profiling.

Since his retirement from the FBI in 1995, Douglas has remained active as an author, speaker and independent investigator. His book Mindhunter was recently made into a Netflix series. On Monday, Oct. 28 at the Edmonton Inn and Conference Centre, John Douglas will join us for our next Forward Thinking Speaker Series event: The Mindhunter's Journey.

Event Details

Monday, Oct. 28, 2019
Edmonton Inn & Conference Centre at 7 p.m. (doors open 6 p.m.)
Tickets have now sold out.

About John Douglas

As an innovator at the FBI in the late 1970s, John Douglas developed new investigative techniques for hunting serial killers, sex offenders and other violent offenders. Advancing the use in investigations of the procedure known as criminal profiling, Douglas became widely recognized as its top authority. A mix of psychology, pattern recognition, and inductive/deductive reasoning, criminal profiling allows investigators to make educated guesses about suspects–sometimes accurately predicting their age, background, personality, and other identifying characteristics from the barest of clues. While leading the FBI’s Investigate Support Unit, Douglas used profiling in numerous prominent cases.

Since his retirement from the FBI in 1995 he has remained active as an author, speaker and independent investigator. His work on the 1996 JonBenet Ramsey murder case in Boulder, Colorado, led to a completely different conclusion than the police, district attorney and FBI theory and added to the national controversy over the crime. He has conducted extensive prison interviews with violent predators for various law enforcement agencies and parole boards. Douglas was a key member of the defense team whose efforts led to the release of the West Memphis Three; he conducted a complete analysis of the Meredith Kercher murder case in Perugia, Italy, concluding that Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito were completely innocent. As a result of his work in West Memphis, director Peter Jackson engaged him to consult on The Lovely Bones and advise actor Stanley Tucci on playing a sadistic predator. Douglas is also prominently featured in Peter Jackson-Sony Classic Pictures documentary West of Memphis. His book Mindhunter was made into a Netflix series directed by David Fincher and starring Jonathan Groff.

Douglas’ presentation is graphic at times and is for mature audiences only.

Future Speakers

Monday, Oct. 28 at 7 p.m. (doors at 6 p.m.)
Edmonton Inn & Conference Centre
11834 Kingsway NW

Past Speakers


Dr. Chris Nowinski

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. As the co-founder of the Concussion Legacy Foundation with Dr. Cantu, Dr. Nowinski aims to solve the sports concussion crisis through education, awareness, policy and research. On Tuesday, Sept. 17 Dr. Nowinski joined us us for our fourth Forward Thinking Speaker Series Event of 2019

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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