Next Vancouver speaker

Riaz Meghji

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March 6, 8:30am • SFU Woodward's — Goldcorp Centre for the Arts • part of a series on Identity

Come join us in March as broadcaster, host and master communicator Riaz Meghji tackles the theme of Identity.

Hosting for brands such as Citytv’s Breakfast Television, CTV News, TEDxVancouver and MTV Canada, during the past two decades Riaz Meghji has interviewed over 10,000 people and studied what it takes for leaders to connect and have their message resonate with audiences. He has a degree in business from Simon Fraser University and has also studied Leadership Communication at Harvard’s Extension School and the Canadian Management Centre, critical training that has helped develop the tangible takeaways he shares to make ‘Every Conversation Count’.

Photo credit where possible: Charles Zuckermann

Q&A

How do you define creativity and apply it in your life and career?

Creativity = Subjective Curiosity. I believe creativity is a necessity to thrive in whatever it is we may be doing. In fact, creative thinking is what allowed me to break into the television business with no experience almost twenty years ago.

Where do you find your best creative inspiration or energy?

Two things help drive my creative inspiration: silence and solitude. I find with the overwhelming amount of information and distractions at our fingertips, when I turn everything off and go for a walk to clear my head, some of the greatest ideas to mind.

What’s one piece of creative advice or a tip you wish you’d known as a young person?

“The best way to predict the future, is to create it for yourself.”

Who (living or dead) would you most enjoy hearing speak at CreativeMornings?

Someone from the audience who was inspired by an idea they heard at a previous CreativeMornings showcase, made big changes in their life because of it, and then be able to share tangible results that would inspire everyone else to not just listen to an idea, but take charge and do something with it. Extras:

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

Surprised my wife buying tickets at the last minute to Game 6 of the NBA Finals when the Toronto Raptors won the Championship. Woke up at 3:30am that morning, hosted Breakfast Television Vancouver, then flew to San Francisco right after and made it inside Oracle Arena just before tip off for one of the craziest nights of our lives.

What did you learn from your most memorable creative failure?

That one person’s perception of my worth doesn’t define my worth. I took rejection personally when I first got into the TV business. Now, I realize, decisions can be more subjective vs. objective, and can have nothing to do what I can actually offer.

What are you reading these days?

“The Coaching Habit” by Michael Bungay Stanier. It’s an easily digestible read and useful resource on the power of questions to teach and help people grow.

How does your life and career compare to what you envisioned for your future when you were a sixth grader?

When I was in the sixth grade I wanted to be like Arsenio Hall and have a talk show. I’m still searching for my own Dog Pound.

How would you describe what you do in a single sentence to a stranger?

I teach leaders, coaches and introverts how to create meaningful connections and make every conversation count.

What’s the most recent thing you learned (big or small)?

That everything is temporary. It was a lesson my father shared with me five years ago over brunch hours before I got married. He talked about overcoming adversity and embracing all the highs and lows that will come our way. Last October, my brother and I spoke to him on the phone on a Thursday night. He was his normal, upbeat, jovial self. The next day his heart suddenly stopped and we never got to speak to him again. It rocked us, yet his passing reminded all of us that no matter how hard you work, you can’t buy more time. I have never been more motivated to create than right now.

What keeps you awake at night?

Our 14 month old boss Nico. He keeps crazy hours and likes to take his parents along for the ride.

What are you proudest of in your life?

Aside from building a family with my wife Lori, taking risks to create change and deviate from a complacent career path.

If you could do anything now, what would you do?

Exactly what I’m doing. Being a dad, husband and building a platform to help people connect on a deeper level.

What music are you listening to these days?

H.E.R., Snoh Allegra, Jhene Aiko

What books made a difference in your life and why?

“The Truth” by Neil Strauss. Powerful book on relationships that advocates for opening up to others and revealing the difficult truths in your life no matter how harsh they might be.

What practises, rituals, or habits contribute to your creative work?

Biggest habit this year is a commitment to a new mindset. “Be Brave Enough to Suck at Something New” has been the mantra driving a new creative direction.

What was the best advice you were ever given?

Be as human as possible.

When you get stuck creatively, what is the first thing you do to get unstuck?

Call my brother Zain. He’s a creative genius that always offers a fresh and unique perspective.

What is the one question we haven’t asked that you want to answer?

“How did you meet your wife?” Lori is by far my queen of quality control. She sees everything, the good and the bad and tells it like it is.Eight years ago, I was asked to audition to Host ‘Bachelor Canada’. I thought “How hard could it be to remind people….heads up everyone, this is the final rose before someone ugly cries.” I auditioned and it came down to two potential hosts. I had to pre-negotiate the deal with the production company in case the decision went my way. Using a friend’s referral, I reached out for legal support and this led to an introduction to Lori. I told her what the potential contract would be and she told me “Sorry, I can’t help you, I’m the lawyer for the show.” Turns out, I didn’t get the gig, but hey I got my wife in the process. Who says you can’t find true love through ‘The Bachelor’?

Join us February 7th as we’re thrilled to bring Stanley Hainsworth to the stage.

Stanley Hainsworth is a highly attuned branding machine. He mastered the art of brand story craft while serving as the creative-in-chief at three of the great brands of our time: Nike, Lego, and Starbucks. He served as vice president of Global Creative during the coffee company’s maturation into the cultural icon we know today. His creative influence extended from campaigns to all consumer touch points.

Prior to that, as global creative director for the Lego Company in Denmark, Hainsworth directed a total visual overhaul of the brand, including advertising, interactive, packaging, retail and brand stores. At Nike, he worked on everything from the brands association with the Olympics to creating Nike Entertainment. Hainsworth founded Tether, a global creative, cross-discipline studio in 2008. From redesigning a handcrafted Italian coffee brand to reflect its rich heritage to creating engaging and shareable stories for BMW Motorcycles, Tether has a passion for well-told tales. He has written books on branding, is an educator, a regular contributor to the Huffington Post and a sought-after speaker on branding and design worldwide.

Enjoy our Q&A from Michael Green our January speaker.

How do you define creativity and apply it in your life and career?

Enduring childhood abandon, a deep desire for adventure, a willing exploration of risk, and an undying dedication to love.

Where do you find your best creative inspiration or energy?

This one is simple; in nature.

What’s one piece of creative advice or a tip you wish you’d known as a young person?

You will find yourself when you find yourself; never force it and never expect more of yourself than the moment you are in.

Who (living or dead) would you most enjoy hearing speak at CreativeMornings?

Yvon Chouinard, founder of Great Pacific Iron Works, Chouinard Equipment, Patagonia, 1% for the Planet and a host of other progressive organizations and companies but most importantly a father of modern day ice climbing and designer of my first ice climbing axes.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

There is a long and silly list of craziness; from free climbing solos to rappelling off a suspension bridge into a waterfall wearing my cap and gown at Cornell graduation, to being the first to ever kayak the northern border of Afghanistan (with my son Makalu when he was 9 years old), to some big scary climbs in Alaska and the Himalaya, to kayaking off glaciers with huge katabatic winds and swells in Antarctica with Makalu when he was 10; to pinning a poem I wrote on the trees – line by line – on the hike up the Grouse Grind for a girl so she would see it on her morning run; or I suppose believing we could create a seismic global shift in construction to address climate change and starting a free global online education program to make that happen. I think maybe I have a long list of crazy……

What has been one of your biggest Aha! moments in life?

There is nothing stopping us from solving the world’s greatest challenges other than an assumption that someone else will.

We’re thrilled to present Michael Green, as our January speaker, presenting on the topic of Roots.


Michael Green is an award-winning architect, speaker and author known internationally for his research, leadership, and advocacy in promoting the use of wood, new technology and innovation in the built environment.


Michael is the founder of MGA | Michael Green Architecture, an architecture and design firm creating ambitious, innovative modern timber buildings, DBR | Design Build Research and TOE | Timber Online Education, a non-profit school and research platform.


A Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, Michael is the author of several international publications on mass timber and tall wood.

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