by Dana Gee

June 17th, 2013

Original Source: The Province

For years Ideacity has literally been a meeting of the minds.

The Toronto-based conference, now going into its 14th year, brings together 50 presenters from around the globe (you can see the list at

And this year you don’t have to travel to Toronto to take in the dialogue as Vancouver’s Rio theatre will be streaming the conference and playing it on the big screen June 19-21.

Started by media guru (we’re talking OG media guru, folks) Moses Znaimer, the event this year has technology as its theme.

One of the speakers on the slate is Vancouver architect Michael Green of Michael Green Architecture. A fellow of the Royal Architecture Institute of Canada, Green is an innovator who champions the Tall Woods concept of building highrises out of wood.

“It’s kind of fun to get a phone call from Moses Znaimer asking you to do this,” said Green, who is slated to talk on Friday. “I called my parents and asked them what they thought and they said they loved him. They remember listening to him on CBC. They said, ‘Do it.’”

Green said he has plenty to talk about as his industry is “insanely fast” these days, which he says is a surprise to most people as the construction world is known for its slow-moving, conservative ways.

“It’s like a ball that has crested the ridge and is really rolling now,” said Green about the Tall Woods concept.

The concept is simple. Build buildings out of wood. And here’s the really good news: Tall Woods buildings are made out of low-grade wood such as that ravaged by pine beetle infestation. The wood is glued together to create strength.

“When you are surrounded by wood, it actually increases human comfort,” said Green.

So getting the word out on wood is a big part of Green’s mandate, and conferences like Ideacity and Ted Talks, which he has done in the past, are great vehicles.

“I think there are a couple of things that have made the world a better place in a very short amount of time. The Internet gave us the capacity to learn and grow in all corners of the world,” said Green.

“That’s one part. The second part is things like Ideacity and Ted Talks that give us the ability to share those ideas with the world and do it in a very generous way.

“I think that is the power of Ideacity. It’s offering up ideas, sharing them — and more importantly, helping people to connect the dots with realizing their ideas. That’s how I see and that’s why I am super-supportive of the concept.”