Innovation, ideas, and ingenuity are the muscles we have to change the world for the better. VANTalks is a growing ecosystem of thought leaders who endeavor to stand on the leading edge of local and global change. We are a community of innovators, professionals, social entrepreneurs, and agents of change.
Featuring a vibrant forum of live speakers who are daily catalysts for passionate change, VANTalks is calling the curious, the driven, and the passionate to join us in a celebration of ideas that inspire change throughout Vancouver and, in turn, the world.
You’ll find this technology professor - an award-winning instructor at Clark College - working hard to inspire and challenge his students with meaningful web development and programming experiences. With a skinny vanilla latte (no foam) in hand, Bruce loves to tinker and test the boundaries of existing and emerging technologies, to then guide hungry minds through memorable, educational journeys to showcase with passion the ever-evolving innovations of society. An industry leader, Bruce is known for co-developing Elguji’s IdeaJam software, and is recognized by IBM as an 'IBM Champion' for being an innovative thought leader in cloud technologies.
Adriana has been at the forefront of nanotechnology since 2002 leveraging expertise in high-tech startups and Fortune 500 companies where she tracked technologies and directed multimillion dollar initiatives. As an entrepreneur and advisor, she founded NanoTecNexus Inc, an award-winning industry association delivering market education, assessment, and strategic solutions for industry and research institutes. She later founded NanoTecNexus Learning Group, to help inspire K-12 students to pursue STEM education and also expanded her research on convergent technologies to catalyze companies for growth and sustainability.
Mr. Harness has over 45 years insurance experience. He started his insurance career working as an insurance agent for 5 years, then went on to become a field manager for another 32 years and for the last 10 years worked as an insurance educator. Mr. Harness built an online insurance training company called Insurance Training Associates, LLC which specializes in insurance pre-license and continuing education training. In addition, Mr. Harness instructs continuing education classes to insurance producers. He has personally written more than 40 CE courses.
Kevin is the Founder and Director of Digital Strategy for Webfor, a local creative and digital marketing agency. He has been quoted on leading sites like Forbes, Huffington Post, Search Engine Journal, Business Insider & Mashable. He was recently honored as a recipient of the Vancouver Business Journal’s prestigious Accomplished and Under 40 award and when he’s not focusing on helping small businesses grow their brand he’s practicing Jiu Jitsu, hiking, traveling and spending time with his beautiful wife and two kids.
Eric Smith has written and recorded more than 400 songs. A onetime poetry scholar and writing teacher, he now works as a creative director.
Burgers and fries can change the world.
Erika Laws has been in consultative sales and management for over 20 years and is the owner of Impactful Sales Solutions, where she runs affordable sales workshops for business owners and business development reps. For her day job, she helps new members plug in to the business community through the Vancouver Chamber of Commerce. In her spare time, she runs a networking and personal development group called Impactful Women NW. She loves helping people improve their lives and feels you only live once, so why not live the life you love.
Fulbright scholar in anthropology Melissa Sokolsky Haviv is grateful for an adventure-laden life that made her comfortable in the liminal, where imaginal cells become activated and the possibilist in all of us is freed. She is an artist turned anthropologist turned activist and author who has lived, loved, and learned on five continents and both coasts since being born in NYC in 1968. Melissa and her husband, musician Avi Haviv, are the awestruck parents of the astonishing Dylan Mojo Haviv.