Dave Olson's Creative Life Archive


Dave performs "Corwd Sourcing Community Projects like Tom Sawyer" at SxSW 2012
Dave performs “Crowd Sourcing Community Projects like Tom Sawyer” at SxSW 2012 (photo by kris krug (?))

As an experienced public speaker with appearances including: SXSWi 2009 & 2011 (core conversations); Pecha Kucha Night Vancouver All-star (headliner); Northern Voice 07, 08, 09; 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 (keynote); plus gigs at Vancouver Film School; Association of Alternative News, various WordCamps, universities and community groups.

Here are most gigs listed, plus info below about my preferred topics and info for hiring me to keynote an event.

Speaking / Presenting History

  • Social Media Camp, Victoria, 2016
    “Internet Has a Short Memory”
  • Simon Fraser University, #TPOPS Publishing program, 2016
    “Personal Social Publicity”
  • Simon Fraser University, #TPOPS Publishing program, 2016
    “Social Storytelling”
  • Northern Voice, Vancouver, 2013
    “Revolutions, Punks and Poets: Forgotten Vancouver Stories” keynote
  • Canadian Travel Media Assoc., Vancouver, 2013
    “Social Storytime”
  • Capilano University, #TREC Tourism Group, 2012
    Social Media, Hospitality, and Tourism
  • SoMeT2012 (Social Media Tourism), El Paso, 2012
    “Starting your Social Media Journey”
  • SXSWi, Austin, 2012
    “Crowd Sourcing Community Projects Like Tom Sawyer”
  • Capilano University, Changemakers, 2011
    Find Your Journey
  • TEDx Capilano University, North Vancouver, 2012
    “On the Road to Creativity”
  • Capilano University, North Vancouver, 2012
    “Social Storytime”
  • Pecha Kucha All-Star, Vancouver, 2012
    “Vancouver Anecdotes”
  • Internet Masterminds, Vancouver, 2012
    “5 Days at HootSuite”
  • Canadian PR Society speaker series, 2012
    “Social Media in PR Crisis”
  • Think/Share, Vancouver, 2012
    “5 Days at HootSuite” + panel
  • Emily Carr University, Vancouver, 2012
    Generation Social screening and panel
  • INFO 2011 (Financial Services Ombudsmen Assoc), Vancouver, 2012
    “Social Media for Problem Solving”
  • Social Media for Government, Victoria, 2011
    “Social Media for Government”
  • UBC Engineer’s National Leadership event, Vancouver, 2012
    “How Engineers Can Save the World”
  • Social Media Challenge, Langley BC, 2012
    “Social Storytime”
  • Experience Tectoria, Victoria, 2012
    “Keynote on a Boat – 12 Parables about Start-ups” (with Greg Gunn)
  • NxNE, Toronto, 2011
    “Social Media for Disasters and Crisis”
  • Social Media Unplugged, Vancouver, 2011
    “Sharing your Social Story”
  • UBC Student Leadership, Vancouver, 2011
    “Hitchhiking to the Boardroom”
  • Global Pecha Kucha Day, Vancouver, 2011
    “Inspire Japan”
  • SFU International Business Association Gala, Vancouver, 2011
    “Social for All”
  • Brown Paper Ticket Salons at Driskill, Austin, 2011 “Community Building”
  • Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, New Orleans, 2011
    “Scenes from the Social Revolution”
  • Social Media Unplugged, Vancouver, Jan. 2011
    “Social Media Campaign Tactics”
  • Boot Up Garage mentor series, Vancouver, 2011
    “Social Media Kung Fu (5 parts)”
  • CBC Radio 3 Summit, Vancouver, Feb. 2011
    “Social Campaign Tactics”
  • Social Media Camp Victoria, 2010
    “Social Media Campaign Power Tuning”
  • WordCamp Vancouver, June, 2010
    “Art and Technology are Old Pals”
  • Northern Voice, Vancouver, 2010
    “Finding your Story”
  • BCIT Trendsetters, Vancouver, 2010
    “Social Media and Olympics”
  • Canadian Film and TV Producer Assoc – BC Chapter, Vancouver, 2010
    “Social Promotion for Movies”
  • Pecha Kucha,Vancouver, May 2010
    “F@ck Stats, Make art (abridged)
  • Fresh Media (at W2), Vancouver, 2009
    “True North Media House” Vancouver,
  • Capilano University, North Vancouver, 2009
    Social Media and Olympics (twice)
  • SXSW Interactive, Austin, 2009
    F@ck Stats, Make Art” (core conversation)
  • Northern Voice, Vancouver, 2009
    “Letters from Russia”
  • Northern Voice, Vancouver, 2009
    “Rock N’ Roll Photography”
  • Northern Voice, Vancouver, 2009
    “Olympics and Social Media”
  • IslandTech, Victoria, 2009
    F@ck Stats, Make Art (abridged)
  • WordCamp Whistler “Whistler, 2008
    “Are you Worthy? Publishing from Greeks to Geeks”
  • Net Tuesday (Net Squared), Vancouver, 2008
    “Podcasting for Social Change”
  • Northern Voice, Vancouver, 2008
    “F@ck Stats, Make Art”
  • Northern Voice, Vancouver, 2007
    “3 Ps of Podcasting”
  • Northern Voice< Vancouver, 2006
    “Blogging your passion” (panel)

Note: Also presented to numerous school groups in Guam, Germany, Japan, plus Chambers of Commerce, Rotary Clubs, planning councils and industry groups in Washington, Idaho, and BC.

Note: Have MC’ed 3 weddings and 1 funeral.

Hiring a Keynote (hiatus)


Areas of expertise include: story-telling, podcasting, social marketing, new media, movie promotion, Olympics & media, outreach campaign strategy, creative process, inter-discplinary projects, public policy, literary history, transit/transportation, arts expression & cultural literacy.


Dave Olson is an experienced public presenter who informs and entertains with a unique style including numerous visual aids, analog artifacts and interactive activities. Along with practical tactics, Dave’s prezos inspire fresh thinking by evoking the spirit of historical luminaries remixed with anecdotes from 20+ years in web tech and travel to 35+ countries.

Additionally, DaveO is a published expository and literary writer, survivor of several web-centric start-ups, and documentary film producer plus held dozens of rather odd jobs. He holds a B.A. degree in Inter-disciplinary Studies from Evergreen College.


$300 for 2hrs + travel expenses for groups up to 50 for spiels listed below – includes handouts and online notes. For custom prezos and larger groups, just double the money. Not currently available due to health issues.

Standard Topic Blurbs

Social Marketing Toolbox – P1

Emerging communications technology tools are changing the more than just the media landscape. Social networking and web publishing tools provide an unprecedented channel for attracting and engaging clients and customers. However, this landscape is so cluttered with buzzwords, companies, and concepts that successfully getting started with social marketing can be a daunting project.

In this workshop, web veteran Dave Olson will explore noteworthy opportunities for businesses to outreach to new audiences and participate in conversations about your industry and brand. Through examples and anecdotes, you’ll learn about the essential tools for tracking and publishing content to the web. Plus you’ll hear fresh thinking about corporate communication strategies which will strengthen your relationships by sharing your expertise.

Social Campaign Management – P2

Social networking on the web is more just “hanging out and chatting” – everything created online about your brand and industry is a potential touch point for future customers/clients. Web veteran Dave Olson returns with practical tactics for planning, executing and measuring campaigns. You’ll also add more tools for publishing content, sharing with networks, encouraging participating and measuring the success of your efforts.

Now that you understand the basics of the social web, next up is exploring the benefits of launching social marketing campaigns by digging deeper about how social web platforms work. You’ll also learn advanced techniques for tracking how participants interact with your brand, and ways to enhance your brand’s reputation, increase loyalty/affinity, and improve search engine results.

Sparking Creativity in a Digital World

With a constant flow of information, increased productivity expectations, and a barrage of new technologies – finding inspiration for both artistic expression and entrepreneurial endeavors is a challenge. Despite advanced tools and access to audience, finding the time and motivations to elevate “craft” to “art” remains elusive in an ephemeral world.

With anecdotes and examples from personal experience, historical classics and contemporary culture, renegade story maker Dave Olson will share tactics for generating ideas and giving context to your content. Through a timeline of personal publishing and start-up biz experience, Dave will share practical tips for fostering authentic self-expression, creating artifacts and finding an audience – in both the present and future.

Storytelling with Podcasting

With years of experience making grassroots audio documentaries, Dave O (AKA Uncle Weed) will explore reasons for making a podcast and help you craft a plan for a sustainable series. Starting with big questions like “Why bother?” and “What this podcast about anyhow?”, we’ll move onto practical tips about storytelling, choosing recording gear, audio editing, refining workflow, publishing your work and building an audience. Finally, we’ll head out for a stroll to capture sounds and practice assembling a podcast.

Dave Olson will lead us through the art of story telling through podcasts. He’ll encourage participants to spark their creativity by exploring significant lives and remixing the classics.

F@ck Stats, Make Art

Dave’s groundbreaking talk teaches us how to to return to the fundamentals of creative self-expression, and once again create true art in the digital age.  Via a pictorial journey through his own career of creating grassroots art and publications, this renegade media producer and writer will extol, encourage and explain the importance of taming the intimidation, upgrading heroes, honing skills, solving conundrums and digging deep to muster authentic creative self-expression in the digital era.

Olympics, Media & Conundrums

The 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver created many questions. Canadians and internationals alike are asking about alternative media coverage, personal expression, sharing content and telling the stories beyond the sporting events. Further, at the recent Olympic congress in Copenhagen, the IOC (finally) started to discuss social media and how to engage with a wider audience. In this inter-disciplinary presentation, we’ll explore conundrums at the junction of free expression, civil liberties and citizen reporting through practical scenario building as well as discuss plans from the True North Media House project.

Vancouver Urban Exploration

A magazine program taking listeners/viewers to the less known Vancouver points of interest beyond Stanley Park and Granville Island Market – as relevant to locals as well as visitors, emphasis on urban archeology, thrifty fun, and chronicling the evolution of neighbourhoods and city beyond recreation.

To provide documentation for travelers and inspired locals to get out and about and find ways to enjoy life while learning more about the environs. Provide a tourism resource and an onramp to help visitors find authentic Vancouver (*not* the “steam” clock”).

Promoting Projects Online

With the rise of social networks come new ways to raise interest and build audience for campaigns of any kind. This guide offers practical tips for film productions to interact with fans and engage them into the story to ultimately promote the project.

Before rushing into any campaign, it’s best to have a long term plan and a basic understanding of best practices so you achieve maximum benefit for your efforts. This guide will answer the questions needed to get started and avoid pitfalls.

* Building the story
* Inviting to participate
* Measuring engagement

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