Innovation Speaker Profile | Ann Makosinski

Today, our featured speaker is Student Inventor & Forbes 30 Under 30 Ann Makosinski. She is best known for her invention; the Hollow Flashlight, a device that runs solely off the heat of the human hand. The flashlight was recognized with the Google Science Fair Award, and received four awards at the Intel Science and Engineering Fair.

One of Ann’s most requested talks is ‘How to be a Differentist’. It’s all about charting new courses based on what you want to pursue. Here’s a sneak peek at the insights she brings to her talks:


A Sample of Ann on Stage:

Ann gave her insights on: 

How does it feel to accomplish so much at such a young age?

I think I’m a pretty regular teenager, I just do more stuff in my spare time than others might. Honestly, there are a lot of innovators and entrepreneurs my age who should receive awards. There’s a lot of teenagers out there doing cool stuff with their lives. Hopefully, I can help draw attention to them with the media surrounding my Forbes 30 Under 30 award.

What parts of science excite you the most right now?

The very real possibility that our research and exploration in science can help to stabilize the world by helping to heal people who are sick, give clean water and food to millions, solve the problem of energy supply, and provide free electricity all around the world.

You recently took part in an expedition through the Northwest Passage with Canada C3. What was that like?

Whenever people ask me about the trip, I start choking up because of all the emotions and memories I have connected to it. It was an honour to traverse the Northwest Passage and absorb all the amazing communities, culture and peaceful wilderness of the North. Every single person on board came from such diverse backgrounds and we all learned so much from each other. The most important thing I learned on this journey was to always be as positive as possible, and to try as many new things as you can – even if you’re absolutely petrified – because you never know what you’ll experience. Thank you to everyone on board who made the entire expedition possible, and to all the super-amalgamating friends I now have.

While on Leg 9, I got the opportunity (and surprise) to speak briefly to students at Resolute Bay in Nunavut. How eye opening and inspiring to meet their community and the youth living there. It was encouraging and touching to meet one teenager in particular there who has taken part in the Canada-Wide Science Fair for many years. He had actually been at the same science fair as me in 2013 at Lethbridge. His science projects were based on the problems that his community faced, such as in the health and plant regrowth areas. SO inspiring to see people my age around Canada taking action. 

Words of Praise for Ann:

“Ann is one of the spunkiest people you will ever meet…She has a wonderful and hilarious sense of humour… Ann has become a role model for thousands of students in Victoria, her hometown, but has remained a humble and down-to-earth person.”
-UWC Alumn

Ann’s Recent News & Media:


Learn more about Ann’s talk ‘How to Be a Differentist and how her insights on innovation will help inspire your audience by contacting us.

You can also view more of our technology speakers here.