About the Social Innovator
Greg Frankson a.k.a. Ritallin has been making an impact wherever he goes as an artist, activist and change agent. His ideas are informed by his personal story, educational background and experiences as a teacher/facilitator, federal public servant, arts administrator and public figure.
- Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education degrees from Queen’s University.
- Member in good standing of the Ontario College of Teachers with a valid Ontario Certified Teacher (OCT) designation.
Professional Change Agent Through the Arts
- As National Director of Spoken Word Canada (2006-2008), Greg formalized the structure of the organization, wrote its guiding documents, and implemented forward planning for its main activity — the annual Canadian Festival of Spoken Word.
- Over an 11-year period (2003-2014), Greg (co-)founded Capital Slam (Ottawa), Bill Brown's 1-2-3 Slam (Ottawa & Toronto), the Ottawa Youth Poetry Slam, YorkSlam (Richmond Hill ON), SLAMtario Spoken Word Festival (Toronto), YouthCanSlam Festival (Ottawa) and ARTiculated Noise Spoken Word Open Mic (Toronto). He was also a driving force behind creation of the 2008 PLUG Slam Team, which helped to launch the Peterborough Poetry Slam, London Poetry Slam and Guelph Spoken Word.
- In his role as Creative Director of Cytopoetics from 2007 to 2014, Greg led change in the spoken word community and challenged stereotypes about the professional potential for performance poets.
The Next Steps
- After two years as the resident poet on the CBC radio program Here and Now Toronto, as well as his activist and artistic activities, Greg experienced increased demand for his services as a speaker. His topics include anti-discrimination, leadership, mental health, the arts, African-Canadian affairs and youth motivation, among others.
- He continues to speak out about anti-racism and to reflect on his activist history, including battling the white supremacist Heritage Front in the mid-1990s and leading the push to commemorate Robert Sutherland in Kingston (Queen's Journal | Carleton Charlatan | BHM 2016), among other activities. His campus efforts are documented in Queen's University, Volume III, 1961-2004: Testing Tradition by Duncan McDowall (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2016).
- Greg participated in creative leadership initiatives in the private sector, working with leaders in the financial services and food industries in corporate training and salesforce management. Today, Greg is a community leader at the forefront of the evolution of the business community in Durham Region as the Engagement & Outreach Manager at the Whitby Chamber of Commerce.