GI Talks is a social enterprise i.e., a business that combines purpose with profit.

In 2030, GI Talks will showcase 10 fresh ideas in each of an average of 3 events in 400 major cities. These 12,000 fresh ideas will be seen by 1.2 billion people and trigger massive grassroots action that improves lives and communities by making social change happen.

The mission of GI Talks is to bring about social change that improves lives and communities. It does this by converging 3 change agents – fresh ideas, credible authorities and short talks – to cause people to think differently and act bravely. These talks are seen by live and livestream audiences and formatted into videos, podcasts and e-books to reach and activate global audiences.

GI Talks has 5 core values:

  • Action – only actions create change.
  • Sustainable altruism – GI Talks is altruistic AND makes money.
  • Truth – GI Talks keeps its word.
  • Win:win – GI Talks aligns interests to create win:win outcomes.
  • Excellence – GI Talks does everything with excellence.

GI Talks has 5 core beliefs:

  • Inspired communities make change happen.
  • Engagement and inspiration are gatekeepers to action.
  • High-impact short talks are sparkplugs, triggers and rallying cries.
  • More is more.
  • Speaker training and impact are directly correlated.

The theme for every GI Talks event is as simple as it is daunting: Inspiring Brave Actions. This theme is born from GI Talks belief that all human achievement is rooted in 3 elements: the dreams that we dream, the decisions that we make, and the actions that we take. The most impactful of these is the actions that we take. This Inspiring Brave Actions™ theme guides GI Talks selection of talks to those that give legs to dreams of what could be.

GI Talks wants its talks to trigger deep conversations, power attitude shifts, lend support to worthy causes, provoke policy changes, stir political and social activism and launch movements that make a positive difference. These actions give legs to dreams of what could be and move the needle toward a better world.

Each GI Talks talk is followed by a “GI Action Challenge”. This challenge is a doable, infectious and photogenic challenge that calls on the audience to perform a physical action e.g., pour a bucket of ice water over your head or fill a garbage bag with garbage from a park near you. This challenge is displayed on the on-stage jumbo screens and printed in the paper program guide. It is also posted into an open Facebook Group and repeated at the end of the speaker’s video and in their e-book.

GI Talks has 3 audiences:

  • Onsite – attendees at live events.
  • Online in real time via Livestream.
  • Online in delayed time via:
    1. video on YouTube and social media
    2. e-book on Amazon
    3. audio on podcast.

GI Talks anticipates that its online audiences will dwarf its onsite audiences.

GI Talks audience members are:

  • Caring and concerned optimists.
  • Role models seeking direction.
  • Lifelong learners.
  • Everyday humanitarians.

In demographic terms, our audience members are 25 to 60 year old working professionals with above-average household incomes and formal education.

GI Talks faces competition from Toastmasters International, Dale Carnegie, TED, TEDx and a plethora of single city events.

GI Talks has 12 edges:

  • Our ideas– We choose high-impact ideas and train speakers i.e., the strength of the idea trumps the initial strength of the speaker.
  • Our speakers– Speakers that inform change skillsets but speakers that inspire change mindsets; it’s the difference between a gentle breeze and a hurricane! GI Talks speakers both inform AND inspire.
  • Our focus on action– Each talk is accompanied by a “GI Action Challenge” to take a specific action, report that action and invite others to take the action too.
  • Our forum – We maintain a Facebook Group that serves as a forum for like-minded action-takers to interact and collaborate.
  • Our energizers– During the live event “Energizers” deliver short full participation performances that distract, engage and reset the audience.  
  • Our value– Live and Livestream attendees enjoy an engaging and inspiring program; they also receive a “Bonus Bundle” of gifts worth more than the cost of their ticket.
  • Our group leaders– Our primary ticket-selling strategy is our “Group Leader Program”. This program produces a win:win:win outcome.
  • Our stakeholders’ experience– We strive to give our attendees, speakers, energizers, partners, suppliers, team members and on-the-day hosts a red-carpet experience at every touchpoint. There is little traffic beyond the extra mile.
  • Our distribution– We distribute each speaker’s talk through five channels: from the stage, Livestream, video, e-book and podcast.
  • Our professionalism– Our permanent team is made up of paid professionals who deliver excellence in all that they do; we are supported by volunteer hosts for on-the-day activities.
  • Our brand– We are building a global brand that evokes images in heads and feelings in hearts around one idea: Inspiring Brave Actions.
  • Our ambition – We are building and inspiring a global community of caring and concerned optimists. By 2030 we will produce an average of 3 events in each of 400 major cities to inspire 1 billion brave actions.


The first live GI Talks event is VGI on October 20, 2018 at the Vancouver Convention Centre. The second and third VGI events are on March 16 and October 5, 2019 in the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. VGI expects the onsite audiences to be dwarfed by online (livestream, video, podcast and e-book) audiences.

VGI has 5 goals:

  • To have each GI Challenge trigger at least 100 measurable actions.
  • To have each speaker receive an authentic standing ovation.
  • To have attendees award VGI a Net Promoter Score of at least 50.
  • To have each speaker’s video receive at least 10,000 views in 3 months, 50,000 views in 12 months and 100,000 views in 3 years.
  • To have full houses at all its events.

In exchange for a ticket price of $77, a live VGI attendee gets:

  • 10 inspiring talks on diverse topics.
  • Red carpet treatment at every touchpoint.
  • A Bonus Bundle of 5 high-quality gifts valued at $244.
  • A prestige venue with great sightlines and superb acoustics.
  • Practical calls-to-action with every talk.
  • Free participation in the GI Action Challenge.
  • Access to a community of like-minded people.
  • Mid-program performers to energize them.
  • Interactivity between speakers.
  • E-books of speakers’ talks.
  • Podcasts of speakers’ interviews and talks.
  • A non-commercial environment i.e., no-one will pitch you anything.

This champagne experience on a beer budget is accentuated when live attendees are part of a group – every member of that group can enjoy the magic and memories of VGI with each other.

Yes, VGI is interactive. This interactivity takes 5 forms:

  • A multiple choice question will be asked after each speaker’s talk and the audience will type an answer into their smart phones; as their answers are received a graph will “grow” on the jumbo screens on stage.
  • While the multiple choice question is being answered, a microphone will be passed to audience members with a question for the speaker, who remains on the stage.
  • Each speaker’s email and social media URL’s will be made available.
  • A few days after the event, VGI will host and moderate an online Ask-Me-Anything meeting in which each speaker will have a 30-minute time slot that is known in advance by the event attendees; the event attendees will be given a Zoom link to join the speakers during their time slot to ask them anything their heart desires.
  • When their videos, podcasts and e-books are released, every speaker is committed to engage with those who reach out to them with comments and/or emails.

Yes. VGI events feature a diverse program with 6 elements:  

  • Opening and closing ceremonies.
  • 9 talks address a variety of personal, local, national and global issues.
  • An interactivity period after each speaker.
  • 1 interview – a previous speaker describes what has transpired since delivering their talk.
  • 2 energizers deliver a short performance that engages, energizes and re-sets the audience.
  • 2 breaks – there are 2 x 20 minute networking breaks during each VGI event.

Yes. One of GI Talks’ core values is “more is more”. This means that the more people who hear our speakers’ talks the better. GI Talks believes that Livestreaming the VGI event is a great way to amplify the reach and impact of our speakers’ talks. Viewers can watch the event on their computers, smartphones and TVs from any location in the world with an internet connection. And it’s FREE!

There is no after-party as many of GI Talks’ team members are involved in taking down the stage and other infrastructure. Nevertheless, VGI encourages attendees to attend their own after-parties to talk about what they have just seen and heard. There are literally dozens of bars and restaurants nearby.

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Contact the producer, Roger Killen at either or 604.408.0888.

About 100 people typically apply for one of the 10 speaking slots at VGI. We review all applications, invite about 25 to audition and offer to introduce them to GI Talks Certified Speaker Coaches – Sharookh Daroowala, Renee Jacobs and Tania Ehman. Those applicants who retain one of these coaches write excellent scripts. The quality of the scripts written by applicants who don’t retain a coach is variable.

From the 25 applicants who audition, 10 are chosen as VGI speakers. They are supplied with a schedule of the following 7 training events and book their calendars accordingly:

  • Script development session– Each speaker attends a 45-minute session to read their script and receive feedback designed to elevate its clarity and impact. The speakers go to work with their coaches to improve their scripts.
  • Video script– Each speaker receives help to write a 60 to 70 word description of their talk. This exercise forces speakers to be clear and focused.
  • Webinar– GI Talks hosts a 2-day webinar titled “How to Achieve Reach & Influence”. This webinar makes our speakers aware that great content and strong speaking skills are not enough to reach and influence large audiences. They are introduced to 11 ancillary skills and a vetted expert in each skill and encouraged to harness the power of as many of these as possible.
  • First rehearsal– Speakers are each given a 45 minute timeslot to deliver their talk.  They receive feedback and their talk is recorded for self-evaluation.
  • Second rehearsal– Speakers deliver their talks to a live, neutral audience and make refinements based on the feedback received.
  • Third rehearsal– This is the dress rehearsal. Speakers wear what they are planning to wear on their “big day,” are equipped with headset mics and are each given a 45 minute timeslot. This rehearsal is videotaped and a link is provided to each speaker for self-evaluation.
  • Stage familiarization – On the “big day” before the audience arrives, speakers are given the opportunity to take the stage, stand on the red carpet and feel comfortable with this intimidating environment.

The speakers’ videos will be available a few weeks after the event. Also, each of our speakers’ scripts will be re-purposed and published on Amazon as e-books. We’ll let you know when the videos and e-books become available.

The VGI speakers can be contacted in several ways:

  • They will be available during the VGI event
  • Their email addresses and other co-ordinates will appear in the program guide you’ll receive at the event, in their video descriptions, e-books and podcasts
  • A few days after the event, GI Talks will host and moderate an online Ask-Me-Anything meeting in which each speaker will have a 30-minute time slot that is known in advance by the event attendees; the event attendees will be given a Zoom link to join the speaker during their time slot to ask him/her anything their heart desires


Yes. No food or beverages (other than a water bottle), phone calls, flash photography, audio or video recording are allowed inside the auditorium

Yes. Babies and toddlers will not be permitted as they have a habit of crying at the most inopportune moments. Children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Be aware that some of the talks contain mature content.

VGI needs to know the identity (first and name and email address) of each attendee. Attendees who do not provide VGI with this information by 5:00pm on October 20, 2018 forfeit their right to receive a Bonus Bundle

Attendees entitlement to receive a bundle of bonuses (“Bonus Bundle”) is conditional on compliance with the Attendee Identity Policy above i.e., VGI must be informed of each attendee’s first and last names and email address by no later than 5:00pm on October 20, 2018.

In the week beginning October 22, 2018 VGI will provide the ticket bonus donors with the attendees’ first and last name so that they can verify their entitlement to receive the donated bonus. In the week beginning October 22, 2018 attendees will be advised how to claim each ticket bonus (each ticket bonus donor has its own procedure for claiming the ticket bonus that it has donated).

Each ticket bonus donor has undertaken to provide attendees with the right to claim a bonus when they attend the VGI event. In good faith, VGI has communicated this undertaking to the attendees. VGI does not assume any liability in the event that a ticket bonus donor fails to honour its undertaking.

Yes. Due to the nature of a live performance, all speakers, energizers and program portions are subject to change.

Attendees understand that the VGI event is a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment in which harassment of any kind will not be tolerated. Violators of this policy will be expelled, will not receive a refund or any other form of compensation and will be banned from participating in future VGI events.

Attendees understand that they attend the VGI event in a spirit of curiosity, open-mindedness, respect and tolerance and that the event is appropriate for high-level relationship building, not salesmanship. Accordingly, attendees agree not to use their attendance to aggressively pitch their company, organization, products or services to other attendees. Violators of this policy will be expelled, will not receive a refund or any other form of compensation and will be banned from participating in future VGI events.

VGI does not warrant that attendees will be satisfied with the VGI event or that it will be free of technical difficulties.

Attendees grant to VGI a fully-paid, perpetual right to all photographs, video and audio recordings of themselves taken or made at the VGI event and the right to record, use, reproduce, broadcast and distribute any photographs, video or audio recordings for any purpose.

By providing any personal data to GI Talks or VGI, attendees agree to join a list that will be emailed information pertaining to the October 20, 2018 event and subsequent similar events. Attendees may unsubscribe from this list with a single mouse click, at no cost and at any time.

Attendees acknowledge that VGI has the unfettered right to refuse admission and to expel any person(s) whose conduct is disorderly or inappropriate or who poses a threat to security, or to the enjoyment of the event by others. Any attendee who is refused admission or is expelled will not receive a refund or any other form of compensation.

Attendees voluntarily assume all rick and danger of personal injury and hazards arising from, or related in any way to VGI (including loss, damage or theft of personal property) whether occurring prior to, during or after the VGI event and releases VGI and its staff, agents and volunteers from all liability.


Tickets to attend the live event on October 20, 2018 cost $77 plus GST. Each ticket comes with a Bonus Bundle of 5 gifts valued at $244. Attendance by Livestream is free.

You buy tickets and pay online with a credit card – Visa, MasterCard or American Express.

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If you require 13 or more contiguous seats contact Roger Killen at or 604.408.0888 BEFORE you buy them.

Yes, so long as you buy at least 13 contiguous seats (all rows in the auditorium contain 13 seats). Before you make your purchase, contact Roger Killen at or 604.408.0888 to confirm that a row(s) is available and to select your row(s).

VGI tickets are not refundable but they are transferable.

Yes. After you have completed your purchase you’ll receive an email containing your tickets. Each ticket has a unique bar code which will be scanned at the entrance to the auditorium.


West Ballroom A on the second floor of the Vancouver Convention Centre.

The Vancouver Convention Centre located at 1055 Canada Place which is at the north foot of Burrard Street.

There are several convenient and sustainable transportation options for getting there including walking, biking or public transportation.

The Vancouver Convention Centre offers secure parking through independent operators 24 hours per day, 7 days a week on a first come, first serve basis. The west building (1055 Canada Place) has 440 parking stalls operated by Impark. Enter off of Canada Place, ½ block west of the Burrard Street intersection on the right hand side. The daily rate on Saturday is $32 until 6pm and then $3.50 per each 30 minutes.

There are numerous other parking options. These are all less expensive but further away from the Vancouver Convention Centre.

Yes, the Vancouver Convention Centre and Ballroom A are fully accessible.

Sorry but the Vancouver Convention Centre does not have any special arrangements for hearing-impaired people.

There is a coat rack in the auditorium.


Sorry but the Vancouver Convention Centre rule is that no outside food or beverage is permitted on site. However you are permitted to bring a water bottle.

There is a coffee shop on the ground floor of the Vancouver Convention Centre.

You can go to any of the numerous restaurants that are within walking distance of the Vancouver Convention Centre.


GI Talks is committed to leaving as small an environmental footprint as possible and is taking the following measures to make that happen:

  • VGI does not give attendees a ‘swag bag’ filled with branded giveaways; we believe that these bags and most of their contents end up in landfills.
  • VGI’s paper program guide is printed on recycled paper.
  • VGI sources locally to reduce waste and transport-related emissions.
  • VGI chooses venues that are accessible by walking, bicycle and transit.
  • VGI’s operations are as energy efficient as possible.
  • VGI’s administration systems are as paperless as possible.
  • VGI recycles as much of our waste as possible.
  • VGI asks its suppliers to follow sustainable practices.


We customize each partnership relationship. Please contact Roger Killen at or 604.408.0888 for more information.

All partners receive various forms of publicity, complimentary seats and other exploitable commercial potential. Each partnership is designed on a case by case basis. GI Talks is open to all sorts of creative ways to building win:win partnerships. Contact Roger Killen at or 604.408.0888.


To apply for a volunteer position contact Roger Killen at or 604.408.0888.