Making A Difference Speaker Series


What The Making A Difference Speaker Series? 

Our Making A Difference Speaker Series features global speakers from diverse backgrounds to spark conversations on technological innovation, humanity-centred design, ethics, creativity, and leadership. We host virtual talks each month, inviting experts to bring new aspirations and perspectives through their stories. These FREE 30-45 min talks deliver experiences that amplify youth voices about issues they care about and invite them to participate in our exciting innovation challenges.

Who Can Attend? 

The Making A Difference Speaker Series is open students (grades 6+), teachers and parents.  You may register independently or in groups.  If you have a device and a reliable internet connection you’re ready to register and join the discussion!

When Are The Talks?

Join us every month to awaken your creativity, learning from experts with meaningful conversations. This year we look forward to exploring new topics, including fashion tech, musical machines, artificial intelligence, synthetic biology and more.

Brilliant Labs is committed to empowering youth, adults and families to fuel their passions, take creative risks and construct a sustainable future for themselves and their communities. We explore fun ways to introduce novel technologies to catalyze positive social and ecological change within communities. 

If you have questions about this speaker series or would like to propose a topic or guest speaker, please connect with us! 

Making A Difference Speakers: 2021-2022

Profile picture of Dr. Rébecca Kleinberger

Making a Difference Speaker Series: Designing inclusive and diverse soft wearable technologies with Dr. Cindy Hsin-Liu Kao

We are pleased to announce our next speaker series session with Cindy Hsin-Liu Kao. We are looking forward to welcoming Dr. Kao to share her unique work designing on-skin interfaces (i.e., smart tattoos and bandages), electronic textiles in Human-Computer Interaction and Wearable projects that blend art, science, and engineering boundaries.

Please join us on Thursday, June 2, at 10:00 am ADT. Students, Teachers and parents are encouraged to join independently or in groups. This session is most relevant for grades six and above.

Click on this link to register

Dr. Rébecca Kleinberger assembling a project for her research
Dr. Rébecca Kleinberger exhibiting voice tools for research

More About Our Guest

Dr. Kao is an Assistant Professor in Human Centered Design, with graduate field faculty appointments in Information Science, and Electrical & Computer Engineering at Cornell University. She founded and directs the Hybrid Body Lab. Her research practice themed Hybrid Body Craft blends cultural and social perspectives into the design of on-body interfaces. The goal is to shift towards more inclusive and diverse designs for emerging soft wearable technologies, which often appear in the form of smart tattoos and close-body textiles. Kao also develops novel digital fabrication processes for crafting technology close to the body. Kao was awarded a National Science Foundation CAREER Award for her research agenda. Kao and her lab’s research has received several Honorable Mention/Best Paper Awards in top-tier Computer Science conferences (ACM CHI, UIST, ISWC and DIS) while receiving media coverage by Forbes, CNN, TIME, Fast Company, WIRED. Kao has served as the program chair for ACM International Symposium of Wearable Computers (ISWC), the premier conference for wearable computers.

Kao and her lab also strive to make an impact in the design and art communities. To this end, Kao’s work has been exhibited internationally in venues including the Pompidou Centre in Paris, the Boston Museum of Fine Art, Ars Electronica in Linz, Austria, the Seattle Museum of Pop Culture, and on the New York Fashion Week runway, along with recognitions from the design community through the A’Design Award, the Fast Company Innovation by Design Award Finalist, an Ars Electronica STARTS Prize Nomination, and the SXSW Interactive Innovation Award.

She holds a Ph.D. from the MIT Media Lab, along with a Master’s degree in Computer Science; and two Bachelor’s degrees in Computer Science and in Technology Management, all from National Taiwan University. Kao was born and raised in Taiwan.


If you have any questions about the Making a Difference BL Speaker Series, please contact

Visit Dr. Cindy Hsin-Liu Kao's Website Here
Hybrid Body Lab Projects

Thank You To All Our Making A Difference Guest Speakers

Dr. Rébecca Kleinberger
Jayson Myers
Saurabh Mhatre
Sarah Legendre Bilodeau
Catherine Bourdeau-Laferrière
Ken Nakagaki
Lee Jones: Express Yourself Creatively
Andy Ellis: Decision Making & Cyber Security
Tim Savas
Professor Alissa N. Antle
Professor Lining Yao
Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi
Josh Keys
David Alston
Keith MacIntosh
Beth Stevens

JOIN HOST Alisha Collins as she welcomes global speakers from diverse backgrounds to spark conversations on technological innovation, humanity-centred design, ethics, creativity, and leadership. We host talks each month, inviting experts to bring new aspirations and perspectives through their stories.

ABOUT Alisha grew up in India & studied at MIT MEdia Lab Cambridge, MA U.S. and Sristi Institute of Art Design and Technology, Bengalura, India.   Learn more about Alisha in Brilliant Labs Magazine: Digital Hope. 

Let’s get talking about sustainability.

The Brilliant Labs’ Speakers Series got my students asking tough questions about the future, but also engaged them to think about what they can do to make a difference.  They’re still talking about mycelium!

M. Thomas, Grade 11-12 Physics Teacher

We are here to help teachers, youth, and communities innovate and develop a sustainable and socially responsible entrepreneurial spirit.