TEDxECUAD – Scott Mallory, Organizer

In Curating, Organizing by Mark Sylvester

The Hack:
Focus on the ideas, not the logistics.


Scott Mallory is the lead organizer for TEDxECUAD. This is a university event held in Vancouver at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design. This year was their second event, and the interview was just a few days after the event concluded. Scott is an ECUAD MFA graduate and DDM instructor.

Scott talks about how art and design permeate everything about the event, so much so that Will Davis took many of the ideas presented and put them into his 2017 Innovation talk that he took on tour last year. Specifically, the Coloring Book (seen above) was something we've not seen before and indeed worthy of being called an idea worth spreading.

Scott discussed how to manage a team of creative students who have tons of ideas and how those ideas create a new set of logistical challenges regarding implementing. As a professor, he uses the experience of working on the event to generate Teaching Moments for the students. He worked with the University leadership to get credits for students who worked on the event, as well as some tuition waivers (for this year at least). Great motivator.

TEDxECUAD is a perfect environment for students on the team to learn about integrating their portfolio materials, high stakes work, the nature of feedback, working on teams, working with clients, collaboration, showcase work on a global, meaningful platform. Interesting ideas that came from the students can be seen here.

Scott was also featured in an interview with TED'x Jay Herratti earlier this year.

Whenever a new idea comes up, it's hard to resist. TEDxECUAD - Scott Mallory, Organizer, Professor

The Lightning Round

  • Tell us a bit about your background and your TEDx origin story.

    This is the second year for the event. Scott was attracted initially to TED by using TED Talks as teaching tools for his ESL (English as a Second Language) students

  • How many TEDx events have you worked with or produced?

    There are 8 TEDx events in Vancouver including TEDxStanleyPark which is 1000 attendees.

  • What makes your TEDx unique?

    It taps into the community of 2,000 artists and students. Their innovations were integrated into Will Davis's workshop and presentation at TEDGlobal in 2017 - their coloring book (pictured) and name badges

  • What’s your Superpower?

    Organizing, Logistic and Curating

  • What was the biggest surprise while working on your event?

    How flexible they could be when it got to crunch time

  • Every event has its challenges, what was the biggest dragon you had to overcome?

    The workload

  • What’s one piece of advice you have for veteran organizers? For first-timers?

    Be bold. For a university event, start at the top, with the President's office. Build relationships and be ready to cut stuff.

  • What’s a TEDx event that you’d like to attend?


  • The show is called Hacking the Red Circle, so what's your best hack?

    Listen first. Talk last. Focus on the ideas, not the logistics.

Featured Episodes


TEDxUCLouvain – Creating an Experience in spite of COVID

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Lara Stein – Founder of TEDx

On the first day of TED2019 in Vancouver, Randy Bretz, TEDxLincoln, Emeritus, and I were honored to interview the founder of TEDx, Lara Stein.

TEDxSydney – Remo Giuffre – Organizer

Remo Giuffre, the original licensee of TEDxSydney, has the envious position of curating one of the most widely respected TEDx events in the world.