Money & Career

How Canada’s top innovators define success

We spoke with seven leading women who shared their thoughts on what it means to be successful.


A speaker from a Tedx event.

We’re thrilled to be attending the TEDxTheAnnexWomen event today at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs. This year’s theme, “Invented Here: How are women and girls reshaping the future?” focuses on women acting as agents for change around the world. This special talk joins over 220 TEDx events taking place in 58 countries around the world to celebrate our local thought leaders, community builders and idea generators. We caught up with the seven speakers presenting today to find out how they define success.

Marta Nowinska, social entrepreneur and the founder of Swapsity:
“To me, success is living to my full potential and sharing that with others.”

Dr. Laurie Petrou, associate professor at the RTA School of Media, Ryerson University:
“It’s about the ongoing pursuit of goals we set for ourselves. Reaching those goals is half the battle, but setting goals just out of our reach makes for an exciting, engaging life, and that, to me, is success.”

Cathy Nesbitt, worm advocate and founder of Cathy’s Crawly Composters:
“Success is enjoying the journey.”

Christina Crook, writer:
“To me, success means loving and living with utter abandon. (I’m not there yet.)”

Teneile Warren, program coordinator and lead facilitator for Literature for Life:
“I define success as having peace at the end of the day. I take project by project, day by day.”

Natalie Panek, mission systems engineer at MDA Space Missions:
“I think life is a lot like a teeter totter. For a large portion of your life, you are on one side of the teeter totter – working really hard, creating opportunities for yourself, and searching for success. But at some point, the teeter totter tips the other way. On the other side, you still have to work hard just as hard, but now you probably have made a name for yourself and opportunities will likely come looking for you.”

David Aleksis, yoga teacher:
“Success is to be able to do what you love – for and with people you love – and live your truth.”