Author, Innovator, Networker, Organizer

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NonCon 2015

The biggest gathering of humanists, secularists and atheists in K-W... EVER!

This was the Second Annual NonCon. The first was held in Toronto in 2014. For NonCon 2015, Spencer Lucas worked with the Sacred Secular Sanctuary and the Society of Freethinkers. With such a strong group of willing workers to plan and execute the event, many tasks were shared and everything came together beautifully.

NonCon2015 mealtime
NonCon2015 view from stage
The topic this year was Freethought and Free Speech in today's world. The many Presenters addressed this issue in a variety of ways.

Many months of work and collaboration resulted in an event we could all be proud of! The pictures (most of which were taken by our 'official' photographer, Sassan Sanei) tell the story. Here are just a few.

Ensaf Haider
Ensaf Haider spoke on behalf of her husband Raif Badawi, who has been fined and flogged by the Saudi government and is currently sentenced to 1000 lashes and 10 years in prison for speaking out about human rights and secular ideas.
Lawrence Krauss
Our Keynote Speaker, Lawrence Krauss, talked about Science and Militant Atheism. And then he followed with a science lecture.
Mr. Deity walked among us
Brian Dalton (posing here with my grandson, Kaeden), creator of the Mr. Deity satirical films and The Way of the Mister, entertained us with humour underscored with a serious message.

Throughout the day, the Speakers and Exhibitors mingled with the Attendees. The Speakers were all charming and gracious good sports about the many photos and selfies that were requested.
transgender schooling
Stephanie Guttormson invited an attendee, Remy, up onto the stage for an 'interview' to make a point about transgender issues.
QandA between speakers
Each Speaker or Panel presentation was followed by a period of Questions and Answers. Attendees would line up in the middle aisle, where a microphone was situated, and ask their questions or make comments.

Armin Navabi
Armin Navabi, founder of Atheist Republic (a non-profit oganization with over a million followers) and author of Why There is No God shared his powerful journey.
Carolyn Hyppolite
Carolyn Hyppolite, author of Still Small Voices shared her personal journey and offered advice about how to speak to the devout.
Blasphemy panel
The "Panel of Blasphemy", composed of Christine Shellska (Atheist Alliance International), Eric Thomas (Humanist Canada), Doug Thomas (Secular Connexion Séculaire) and David Rand (Libres Penseurs Athées) discussed the Blasphemy Laws that exist in Canada, their effects, and what should be done about them.
display tables
Encounter World Religions (an educational organization from Guelph) and Spiritual But Not Necessarily Religious (non-religious chaplain) shared a table.

Display tables lined the back and sides of the room. Lunch and dinner were provided. The white curtain you see in the first image is the back of the stage that is the vantage point of the second image - the room was huge! The round tables and buffet-style meals allowed for lots of socializing and networking, building a sense of community among the attendees.
selling Why Men Made God
         And I had my debut as a bookseller! Ninety-six copies of Why Men Made God were sold that day!




 
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