Pecha Kucha 25!

What is Pecha Kucha Night?

Pecha Kucha draws its name from the Japanese term for “the sound of chitchat.” Pecha Kucha Night was devised by Tokyo’s Klein Dytham Architecture in February 2003 as a venue for young designers to meet, network, exchange ideas and discuss their work in public. It rests on a presentation format that is based on a simple idea: 20 images, each shown for 20 seconds, for a total presentation length of six minutes and 40 seconds. Why this format you ask? It keeps presentations concise, fast-paced and entertaining. For more information, visit

PKN 25 was not only my first time attending a Pecha Kucha Night but also my first time live-tweeting an event. Which, let me tell you, was a lot more stressful than I thought. PKN 25 was held at the Metro Cinema, just off Whyte ave, on June 9th. People slowly began trickling in at six until the theatre was packed. We had such a great turn out!

The first presenter was the very nervous Marni Panas. Marni is a transgender woman who spoke about her journey transitioning and becoming her authentic self. Marni's beautifully crafted presentation received a standing ovation from the audience, many of whom were in tears by the end.  

Tyler Waye was the second presenter speaking about next generation work and next generation workers, a topic any millennial could appreciate. His presentation was eye-opening and provided a new outlook on how we approach work.

The third presenter of the evening was Quinn Ohler. She is a member of Mental Rescue Society, an organization that is working to redefine the conversation around mental health. Quinn shared her own struggle with anxiety and depression, and is now working to help others find wellness.

Stantec’s very own Sonja Norton graced the stage to talk about permaculture. Sonja traveled to Cuban to learn more about living sustainably. Living sustainably is a mindset, and in order to achieve this mindset we must shift our thinking from ego to eco.

Michael Ross was the last presenter before the break. Ross’s presentation was a light-hearted look into the world of board games. Edmonton is home to a variety of board game cafes such as Hexagon Boardgame Café and Table Top Café, where you can enjoy a caffeinated beverage and battle your friends.

During half-hour intermission, DJ Mikey Wong was spinning some tunes. There was also a NextGen information both set up so participants could learn more about their hosts.

After the break, Pamella Heikel took to the stage to speak about an issue many of us struggle with—low level stress. After a whirlwind trip to Paris, Pamella found herself feeling very overwhelmed. For the next 6 years, Pamella mediated and worked on healing from within. She shared a quick breathing exercise with the audience called the 5-5-7 trick. If you’re feeling stressed just inhale for five seconds, hold for five seconds, and exhale for seven seconds to trick your body into relaxation.

Up next was Laura Read to discuss spending less and doing more. Laura discovered that she didn’t need to spend a ton of money to enjoy herself, instead, she took advantage of the free groups and initiatives within the city. For instance, YEG Geek Girl and free yoga in the park. Laura also realized that by spending less she was breaking bad habits like waking up early and packing a lunch instead of always buying food, or making an effort to be on time instead of hoping in a cab.

Warren Johnston took the stage to spill the beans on hacking community. Warren is the community manager at Startup Edmonton. Startup Edmonton is an organization that connects entrepreneurs and product builders with skills, community, and space to support them as they take their ideas to the next level. Startup Edmonton is a wonderful space located in the Mercer Building and is home to NextGen’s monthly committee meetings.

Ian Smith, Pecha Kucha alumni, shared his child-friendly vision for Edmonton’s future. His impactful message was paired with beautiful visuals to show the audience how a child-friendly city can benefit everyone, regardless of age.

Last but not least was Chris Radojewski who shared the magic of Edmonton’s Quidditch team, the fictional game redefining sports. Even if you aren’t a Harry Potter fan, you can’t resist how fun and unique this game looks. Check out their Facebook for more info.

PKN 25 was so much fun! But it wouldn’t be possible without NextGen’s sole presenting sponsor Stantec, as well as Servus Credit Union, the City of Edmonton, Klein Dytham, Tess B Design, countless volunteers, our amazing presenters, and everyone who purchased a ticket!

Check out our storify for tweets and pics of the night!