The Elements Experiment held its inaugural conference on October 25, 2014, at the University of Toronto’s Multi-Faith centre. Seventy young adults from across the country came together to discuss the issues of religion, the secular, belonging, and public spaces in Canada.

Elements Experiment Conference

The Elements Experiment team of organizers

Presentations ranged from discussing issues of intra-communal resiliency building and youth empowerment and engagement, to issues of spirituality, environmentalism, music, and everyday enchantment. The afternoon portion of the conference saw attendees participate in World Café conversations on ethnicity, the arts, mental health, community service, politics, education, and ‘Canadianness’. Individuals shared personal and political experiences in a way that was both nuanced and candid, ultimately leading to the fostering of a very particular type of space that day: one where each individual’s multiple religious, political, and personal selves were welcome around the table and in the conversation.

Check out the slideshow on the right for photographs taken on the day. (All photographs taken by Sean Robertson.)

The Elements Experiment is supported by the Inspirit Foundation and the Religion in the Public Sphere initiative, and more information can be found at: www.elements.utoronto.ca.

Elements Experiment Conference

The Elements Experiment sponsors

Elements Experiment Conference

Prof. Pamela Klassen, director of co-sponsor Religion in the Public Sphere, addresses the conference

Elements Experiment Conference

L-R: Conference facilitator Helen Mo, organizer Judith Brunton and two guests enjoy a presentation

Elements Experiment Conference

Presenter Joannie Ing (right) and her guests sing a contemporary hymn arrangement

Elements Experiment Conference

One of many boards where attendees were encouraged to contribute

Conference facilitator Helen Mo begins the discussion following the presentations

Conference facilitator Helen Mo begins the discussion following the presentations

Elements Experiment Conference

Guest speaker Lindell Smith, recipient of Nova Scotia’s Youth Rising Stars award

Elements Experiment Conference

Conference guests

Elements Experiment Conference

The afternoon session gets under way

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Conference speaker Lindell Smith (left) takes in the discussions

Elements Experiment Conference

Navigating the topics…

Elements Experiment Conference

Questions and a compliment

Elements Experiment Conference

Conference speaker Jessica Bolduc (centre) in conversation

Elements Experiment Conference

Food for thought

Elements Experiment Conference

A lot of colourful things to say at the World Café

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