About Arthur


The event is dead… long live the experience!
This is the motto of Arthur Zards latest agency founded in 2014, Experiential Fuse. His company brings a TED like innovative experience to your trade group, company, or brand. He developed a framework that offers a strategic approach to architecting authentic innovative experiences.
He currently has developed a course on Experiential Design, enabling a new skillset to take normal engagements, and make them more impactful, memorable and authentic. This skillset can be applied to customer service, product/service experience, and corporate culture.
Arthur is very active in the TED/TEDx community being the founder and curator of TEDxNaperville, a movement that enables business and community leaders to share "ideas worth spreading" in the Chicagoland area.
His mantra is to : Create an idea, get people excited, do it, repeat.
He is always willing to sit down with someone to discuss their next "big idea".
In his spare time he carves Tiki Moai, jumps off cliffs in his paraglider and grills a mean picahna.

TED Conferences

TEDActive 2015, TEDActive 2014, TEDActive 2013, TEDActive 2012, TEDActive 2011, TEDActive 2010

Areas of Expertise

Customer-led innovation, Change Leadership, Paragliding, Travel and Adventure, Event Production, Creating (Companies, Products, Initiatives), Creative 'Big Ideas' Generator, Leaderhship, Experience Architect, Experiential Design

An idea worth spreading

Bringing back the power of the "Thank You". A small thing that's easy to do, and can make an immediate change.
People for years have abused the “thank you” down to a phrase that almost an annoying requirement, a chore, a phrase that has no meaning but must be said begrudgingly.
Well, it’s time to take the thank-you back. And when you do, you will witness immediate transformation.
Here are the rules:
Simply say the words, “Thank You”
You MUST say WHY. (and it helps to explain why in some level of detail)
That’s it. Nothing else. It’s that easy.
Try this immediately with anyone, from your boss, to the receptionist, to the mailman. And pay attention to the person’s physical and mental reaction when you do this, you will really be amazed.

I'm passionate about

Discovering a new idea, getting people excited about it, making something of it. Repeat.


Benedictine University

Talk to me about

Experiential Design.

People don't know I'm good at

Flying an aircraft with no engine and not dying. Carving Tiki Moai in logs. Grilling a'la Argentinian style.

My TED story

I have been a big TED follower for years, my daily routine is lunch at my desk with a TED talk. Learning about TEDx, In 2010 decided to run a TEDx event, not knowing what to expect.
Whoa! So far my TEDx journey has been nothing short of amazing. Five TEDx events later my TEDx experience has led me to meet the most fascinating and unique people, all with incredible stories to share.
So thank you TED for giving these people a venue to share their stories with everyone on TED and TEDx.

Favorite talks

Comments & conversations

Arthur Zards
Posted over 2 years ago
I'm organizing a TEDx event centered around the theme "mindfulness." Anyone have ideas of relevant activities for our activities room?
You need to let us know how you define "mindfulness". Are you meaning the definition that is spiritual based? Or a general definition of awareness? Your version is vital to what you can do, or what you should not do, for some of the comments suggest a very narrow approach to your theme, which is not what a TEDx theme is about.
Arthur Zards
Posted about 3 years ago
As a TEDx organizers I wish there were this feature on ted.com/tedx. Please propose a suggestion or an idea around future functionality.
I would love a simple form that I could fill out that would send me reminders/notifications on TEDx events in my geographic area. For example: I would be notified via email if a new TEDx event is licensed within 50 miles of my zipcode. This would make it very easy to learn about new TEDx events in my area, and a great reminder of current ones. As an organizer, I love to go to other TEDx events, but as we organizers know, we can get so distracted with our own events sometimes we forget that there are other events going on in our own backyards.
Arthur Zards
Posted over 3 years ago
Looking to become a future TED speaker. Many questions!
My quick advice. 1. Don’t worry “yet” on speaking at TED/TEDx. Just come up with an idea worth spreading first. Running my own TEDx events I have seen amazing transformations of people on stage who are not big public speakers, but have an idea that they are truly excited to share and are passionate about. They hop on stage and it’s amazing! 2. Attend and/or volunteer with as many TEDx events as possible. You’ll be amazed at what creative sparks you’ll get from hanging out with TED/TEDx’ers. 3. Google the TED 10 Commandments of speakers. Print it and read it everyday. A great guide of what is expected. Good luck! .
Arthur Zards
Posted over 3 years ago
Can a TED Conversation lead to a TED Initiative/Fellowship/Prize, etc?
Absolutely! I equate a TED conversation like an ingredient in a new dish. With enough proper input and care at the right time and place, anything is possible. And the first "dish" is being created right now with Lior Zoref's TED talk, built from everyone here. Let's hope its tasty! http://www.ted.com/conversations/8326/the_first_ever_crowd_sourced_t.html
Arthur Zards
Posted over 3 years ago
Can we "improve" on the "Golden Rule"?
I used to follow this rule but its flawed. My experience (being married alone was enough) is that people don't always want to be treated like YOU like to be treated. My new rule is this: Do unto others, as they would undo to themselves. I think its a great take on the classic example and I really can't find any flaws with it.
Arthur Zards
Posted almost 4 years ago
What are some other great conferences to attend?
Your local TEDx Conference! Just in case people don't know, TED grants licenses for local TEDx events, each run independently under the vision of a TED conference. www.tedx.com. You would be pleasantly surprised d at the consistently high production and speaker level of these local conferences.
Arthur Zards
Posted over 4 years ago
Has a TED Talk ever influenced you? How?
The biggest bang for my buck “Derek Sivers: Weird, or just different” is my pick. A three minute talk literally changed my belief system on how I look at things. His talk is like that song you can’t stop humming in the back of your head, a constant reminder for me to look at things in a different light. Thanks Derek!
Arthur Zards
Posted over 4 years ago
Is it time to change TEDs official response to the question, "Is TED elitist?"
Interesting viewpoint. I don't think technology is the answer to the problem of readers who see a badge as adding separatism to the organization who offering the service. I really don't think there is even a problem at all. It's my opinion (and I wish we could do conversational polling) that most people on the TED conversation boards see the true value of the conversation based on the words written by the poster, not by a badge. It’s unfortunate that some people don’t see it that way. As they say in the web, content is king!