Preview: TEDxDetroit 2013

It's that time of year again... The area’s leading creators, catalysts, entrepreneurs, artists, technologists, designers, scientists, thinkers and doers will gather Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013 to share what they are most passionate about – positive ideas for the world from Detroit.

Who is TED?
TED isn’t a who, it’s a what. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design, three broad subject areas that are shaping our future. TEDxDetroit is an independently produced offspring of the annual TED gathering of big brains and cool creators. Learn more about the TED conference at To learn more about TEDxDetroit, keep reading or see the FAQ.

What’s with the X?
We are the X. The multipliers. The catalysts. The connectors. The amplifiers. We challenge the status quo. We come together to collaborate, to share fresh ideas and to find inspiration. We are optimistic about our future. We believe Detroit’s best days lie ahead. We are the people who are making it happen. We believe that is an idea worth spreading.

Why in Detroit? Because we love Detroit. And we’re not alone. Innovation, artistic expression and entrepreneurship in Detroit are on the rise. Detroit is where the young, bright, creative & entrepreneurial are making it happen. But don’t take our word for it: Read The New York Times,The Atlantic and The Wall Street Journal. This is the fifth year of the TEDxDetroit conference.

Speakers at TEDxDetroit (source):
  • John U. Bacon, Ann Arbor sportswriter and author Greg Gage, biomedical engineer who co-founded Backyard Brains, an Ann Arbor maker of science projects for K-12 students. He spoke at last year’s TED conference in California. 
  • Les Gold, owner of American Jewelry and Loan 
  • Jason Hall, co-founder of Detroit Bike City & Slow Roll Detroit, a weekly event drawing up to 1,300 riders 
  • Angela Kilgore, teen community organizer who graduated this year from Denby High and is active in the Better Detroit Youth Movement
  • Kevin Krease, co-founder of Assemble, a summer 2014 sports event (X Games Detroit bid successor) 
  • Ryan Landau, co-founder of 
  • Dr. Partha Nandi, Troy gastroenterologist who hosts a TV talk show he created last year. He'll discuss how technology can ease health care access. 
  • Jacques Panis, Shinola director of business development and strategic partnerships 
  • Rich Sheridan, CEO of Menlo Innovations, an Ann Arbor software developer. He'll discuss how workplace culture and morale are a key part of Detroit's recovery and reinventon. 
  • Jaclyn Trop, New York Times business writer and former Detroit News reporter 
  • Jackie Victor, Owner, Avalon International Breads
  • Nathan Hughes, a programmer who graduated from UM-Dearborn in 2003 and co-founded Detroit Labs in May 2011
  • John Capp, electrical and control systems research director for Cadillac. His talk, “The Age of Automated Driving is Already Here,” will focus on the auto industry's future as computers take on more driving tasks and how this will affect society
  • Ryan Landau, co-founder of Chalkfly, a Detroit-based online source of classroom suppliers since last year. He'll share startup business tips
  • Ishita Gupta, a Detroit native now living in New York, who founded a digital magazine called Fear.less
  • Norman Witte, web developer at Crain’s Detroit Business, who'll talk about commuting by bike and public transportation as a carless Detroiter
  • Jason Vazzano, co-founder of Vectorform in Royal Oak. His talk, “Wearable Computing and Getting Intimate with Your Devices,” is about incorporating technology into eyeglasses, watches and other accessories
  • Mary Lore, a Denver motivational trainer who founded a business called Managing Thought. Her interactive talk, “Words Matter,” will show how changing one word of a thought can influence whether we are creative and inspired
  • Amy Kaherl and Elizabeth Garlow will talk jointly about nurturing social change. Kaherl founded Detroit Soup, a crowd-funding organization, and Garlow is executive director of Michigan Corps, a nonprofit
  • Asia Newson, a 10-year-old Detroiter, will talk about her business selling candles
What am I most looking forward to?
As an active Detroit (and X Games in Detroit) supporter, I am really looking forward to hearing Kevin Krease talk about ASSEMBLE, a summer 2014 sports event will ignite the City in a whilwind of sports, music, and ideas. I am extremely interested in Jason Vazzano, co-founder of Vectorform in Royal Oak, who will focus his talk on wearable computing and incorporating technology into eyeglasses, watches and other accessories (i.e. iWatch, Google Glass). I'm also happy to see that Jackie Victor will be there--her Avalon baked goods are to die for! And of course, I'm excited to see Les Gold of Hard Core Pawn fame.

Last year TEDxDetroit had a lot of surprises up its sleeve once we all showed up that day. I know this year they will outdo themselves again and just wow all of us. I wonder what it will be...

Who is going?
Space is limited for this event and is therefor by invite only (you can submit an application here). The people attending the conference are as interesting as the people presenting. They are a collection of thinkers and doers across a wide range of fields and experiences. From fresh minded students to seasoned entrepreneurs, TEDxDetroit hosts an interesting mix of talent and experience. They aim to curate a stimulating exchange of ideas among a diverse group of thinkers and doers.

Am I going?
YES! For the second year in a row I was invited to attend! And I couldn't be more happy. Read my review from last year. If you would like to meet up at TEDxDetroit, feel free to tweet at me (@katelynshelby) and we'll work something out. My very good friend Joe Carioti, of Just Cool Enough and Social Media Meltdown fame, will also be there and we'll probably be together most of the time.

Are you going? Do you wish you were going? Are you going to follow along online?
Tell me what you love about TEDxDetroit and what you're looking forward to. You can even share TED Talks videos from previous years that you find inspirational.

If you don't know a lot about TEDxDetroit or TED in general then I urge you to check out their websites and watch some videos from previous events. The speakers and the events are truly inspirational and moving.

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