Theme: Mix it Up
Indianapolis , IN, United States
October 22nd, 2013
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About this event
This year’s TEDx Indianapolis happened on Tuesday, October 22, 2013 at the Hilbert Circle Theatre. It proved to be an incredible day of sharing Big Ideas, conversation and inspiration, with the theme of MIX IT UP. The day included a mix of local and national speakers and performers, plus featured recorded TED talks and creative interactive experiences.
Jeb Banner talks about leadership, marketing, team work, creativity, negotiation. There are so many things you will learn from being in a band. Musical talent is not required to get going. Discover the numerous reasons to start making a racket in your garage in order to improve your business skills at the office. Banner is CEO of SmallBox, an Indianapolis based web design and marketing company founded in 2006. He is also founder of Musical Family Tree, an online archive of Indiana music, as well as a co-founder of the SpeakEasy, a tech club located in south Broad Ripple area of Indianapolis.
Gary Benenson talks about how bad design pervades our daily lives. We seek information from our gadgets, but receive double-talk instead; search in vain for appliance controls that were once obvious; give up in frustration rather than consult a manual or 800 number. Each of these problems is crying for redesign, which might be as simple as adding or changing a word. We design things constantly, but rarely think about design. Good design proceeds from analyzing failure, and by listening to users, who are the experts on dysfunctional products and systems. Inspiration can come from anywhere, especially children, who are often the worst victims of bad design, and the most creative designers. This presentation will feature examples of bad design, redesign, and design by children. Benenson is a professor of Mathematical Engineering at City College of New York. Prior to becoming an educator, he was an electronic design engineer. He is Project Director of Physical Science Comes Alive, an NSF-funded effort to integrate engineering, math, science literacy and art in the elementary grades. Benenson is co-author of the five “Stuff that works!” curriculum guides that make use of artifacts and problems from children’s own environments.
Rosan Bosch talks about how modern society calls for lifelong learners, problem solvers and creative thinkers! It calls for those who are prepared for a future of ongoing knowledge flow and development. This is why we must change the common perception of education, as a slightly boring or unpleasant duty that you simply must overcome. Motivation, inspiration and challenge are key conditions if we want our children to take reasonability of their own learning. If we want them to get engage, exited, explorative and curious about the world they are living in. By using design as a tool, it is possible to change the physical environment of our educational institutions and turn the school day into a meaningful and significant experience that will prepare our children for future demands. Bosch is the founder and creative director of the Copenhagen based design agency Rosan Bosch Studio. She has worked professionally with art, design and architecture for more than twenty years and has specialized in using design as a tool to develop better and more inspiring school environments. Rosan Bosch Studio is globally known for its school projects, which emphasize a modern and innovative approach to the development of differentiated school environments. Especially the colourful and imaginative interior design for the Swedish Vittra schools has become famous around the world. Rosan Bosch is also widely renowned for her playful and unconventional design solutions created for a range of different customers such as LEGO, Copenhagen University, as well as the Danish Government. Currently Rosan Bosch Studio is working on a large school project for the Sheikh Zayed Academy in Abu Dhabi.
Rodney Byrnes talks about how poverty is killing the American Dream for 46 million adults and 16.1 million children. Even worse, half of those children live in concentrated poverty, where most 3rd graders read below grade level; homicide rates are 12 times higher; and their prospects for healthy, successful lives are threatened. What role can real estate developers play in breaking the cycle of poverty? How can multifaceted real estate development be used as a tool to revitalize the American Dream in the most distressed neighborhoods? Byrnes is Vice President, Real Estate Development at Strategic Capital Partners. Rodney’s primary focus is urban development projects including the Avondale Meadows Revitalization Project in Indianapolis. He holds a BA in Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard University and currently sits on the boards of Indianapolis Cultural Trail, Inc., YMCA of Greater Indianapolis and Park Tudor. His talk explores how the cycle of poverty has been broken with a special approach in several communities nationwide by tackling systemic issues: replacing concentrated poverty with high quality mixed-income housing, seeding high performing schools; and providing wrap-around services to families in need.
Catherine Chalmers talks about insects and her art. Were it not for insects, we would all be dead. If mammals were to disappear, and leave humans as the sole representative, the planet would still hum along, differently perhaps, but the juggernaut that is us would not be in peril. Without insects, though, the soil would rot, plants would fail to pollinate, the dead would not recycle into new life; the ecosystem would crash in a matter of months. And how do repay the insect world for supporting us… by hating them. Art intertwines with what matters the most to a culture. It has always seemed odd to me that something so central to our survival has no meaningful representation in our culture. My work aims to change that. Chalmers holds a B.S. in Engineering from Stanford University and an M.F.A. in Painting from the Royal College of Art in London. She is an artist and filmmaker whose work explores the dynamics between nature and culture. Often she raises the plants, small animals and insects that appear in her work but currently she filming and photographing leafcutter ants in Costa Rica. She has exhibited her artwork around the world including MoMA P.S.1, New York; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington DC; MASSMoCA, North Adams; Kunsthalle Vienna; MOCA Taipei; among others. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Time Out New York, ArtNews and Artforum. She has been featured on PBS, CNN, NPR, and the BBC. Two books have been published on her work: FOOD CHAIN (Aperture 2000) and AMERICAN COCKROACH (Aperture 2004). Her video “Safari” received a Jury Award (Best Experimental Short) at SXSW Film Festival in 2008. In 2010 Chalmers received at Guggenheim Fellowship. Chalmers lives and works in New York City.
LaShawnda Crowe Storm
LaShawnda Crowe Storm explores how a work of art grows beyond the mind of the artist, and only truly gains life once released to the hands of the community. The Lynch Quilts Project is a community-based effort that explores the history and ramifications of racial violence in the United States through the textile tradition of quilting. At the root of this effort is a desire to create the space where these difficult communal conversations can occur. While the end products are what people remember, the true work of art is how people from diverse backgrounds and abilities comes together to make art and give voice and life to a part of history that many would soon rather forget. Crowe Storm is an artist, activist, community builder and occasionally an urban farmer. Whether she is making artwork or sowing seeds, Crowe Storm uses her creative power as a vehicle for dialogue, social change and healing. Her series, The Lynch Quilts Project, has won wide spread acclaim and was featured in the May 2013 issue of ESSENCE magazine. At the core of Crowe Storm’s creative practice is a desire to create community-based processes where the process of making art becomes the opportunity create the necessary space and place for necessary conversations around a variety of topics ranging from historical violence to gender empowerment.
Patti Digh talks about how it’s so easy to see people as “whats” and not “whos.” We do it all the time – businessman, yuppie, mom, punk, black, white, janitor, freshman, guru, CEO. As humans, we are categorizing and story-making animals–using language to create expediency and neatness, and using story to put meat on the bones of those categories, whether true or not. We do it without thinking. It serves a purpose. For some, it aids in marketing, for example; for others, it creates (a false sense of) safety. But it denies the complexity of human interaction. And it also keeps us from mixing it up, keeping us in “gated communities.” The only way out of those gates is to grant specificity to the other. “If the Buddha had two kids, a dog named Blue, a Southern accent, and a huge crush on Johnny Depp, his name would be Patti Digh,” wrote one reviewer after Digh’s grassroots bestseller, Life Is a Verb: 37 days to Wake Up, Be Mindful and Live Intentionally, was published. The book was based on Patti’s popular blog, 37days.com, which she began following the death of her Stepfather – just 37 days after he was diagnosed with cancer. Patti is a Southern-born master storyteller whose stories are full of humor, poignancy, surprise, pain, and knowing. Patti is the author of 6 books, with her newest The Geography of Loss, scheduled for release January 2014. In addition to her writing, Patti’s consulting work has focused on re-imagining K-12 education. Her comments on diversity, global leadership, and learning have appeared in publications such as The Washington Post, The New York Times, The London Financial Times, Fortune, and The Wall Street Journal.
Michael Flaherty talks about the history of rotational motion as the driving force of domestic evolution in the form of everyday inventions: washing machines, garbage disposals, blenders, can openers. Each of these devices has made life at home more and more and more comfortable, freeing up time and energy for us to be doing other things, changing our culture and the idea of community itself, simply by transforming energy into rotational motion. What is it about spinning? Why do we keep re-inventing the wheel? Flaherty is a designer, historian, and poet obsessed with the power of simple images and symbols to stand out and communicate simultaneously on a universal and personal level. Formerly a design instructor at Indiana-Purdue University Indianapolis, and an early graduate researcher with Purdue University’s Envision Center, Mike has been seeking ways to use visual communication to bypass the differences we all wear on our sleeve and connect with the deeper things we have in common.
John C. Havens
John C. Havens talks about: Quantified Self. The Internet of Things. Augmented Reality. Each of these technologies reflect aspects of our Digital Identity. Today, the Big Data representing our personal information is controlled by other people, keeping us from fully utilizing the insights based on our words and lives. By taking back our data and understanding how we can take a measure of our lives that embraces technology but also allows us to focus more on optimizing our well-being and the lives of others, we’ll be able to Hack or rethink Happiness in a way that will give Big Data a positive direction to change our world, for good. Havens is Founder of The H(app)athon Project, a contributing writer for Mashable, The Guardian, and the Huffington Post and author of Hacking Happiness – Why Your Personal Data Counts and How Tracking it Can Change the World. (Tarcher/Peguin, March 2014). The H(app)athon Project is a non-profit organization, “Connecting Happiness to Action” by creating sensor-based smartphone surveys utilizing economic indicators to increase civic engagement and wellbeing.
Matt Hunckler talks about how you never know where inspiration will lead. As a wide-eyed child, I explored all that my hometown of West Lafayette had to offer: business (paper route, first startup, door-to-door-sales), music (guitar, violin, banjo, saxophone), sports. . . Each spark of inspiration opened new doors, but none more than my passion for magic. Performing magic fueled my ability to connect, communicate, and grow. I want to share what I’ve learned as a magician—from hobbyist to amateur to professional—and how I’ve applied that to my business career. Hunckler is the VP of Product and Marketing for Social Reactor, an advertising platform that helps brands connect with the right audiences through relationships with over 7,000 social influencers. Matt is a die-hard technology adventurist with a sharp mind for branding and bringing big ideas to life. As former Marketing Director for Slingshot SEO, Matt led marketing efforts to grow revenue more than 3x in less than one year, landing the company as a Top 10 Advertising company on the Inc. 500 fast-growing company list. In addition to helping several high-profile companies grow and scale, Hunckler founded several of his own, including Verge—a national platform for more than 2,000 software entrepreneurs, developers, and investors. In 2012, Matt was named as an IBJ Forty Under 40 Honoree, and Entrepreneur to Watch, by Under 30 CEO.
Steven M. Johnson
Inventor/cartoonist Steven M. Johnson, born 1938, has created a “line” of alternative products and systems, including cars with closets and chaise lounge lawn mowers. His talk centers on his creative technique of “thought-spinning”, a process of speeding up normal perception of everyday visible things and mashing them with distorted and dissimilar things. This mental mixer has resulted in a lifetime of unplanned forays into imagining the future. His books include: What the World Needs Now; Public Therapy Buses, Information Specialty Bums, Solar Cook-A-Mats and Other Visions of the 21st Century; and Have Fun Inventing.
Tasha Jones talks about how, when the DJ mixes existing music, he and/or she uses specific techniques to create a new sound. And how does one recognize the old while creating the new? Because life redirected my path, the classroom became a mixing board. And like a DJ, learning the modality of today’s student totally transformed the classroom(s) with reading resistant students and students who were total unattached to classic literature into students that read classic novels and aspired not only graduation but secondary education. Jones is a poet, educator and founder of the Hello Beautiful Movement. A perfect blending of style and substance, her work strives to achieve an equilibrium between being a student of life and a teacher of lessons. Her talk: a high school with high drop out rates and classroom with low reading scores have students aspiring graduation and reading novels. The MIX is a hip hop term where the DJ mixes two genres of music to create a new sound altogether. What if we speak to students’ musical and / artistic language then mix the required learning. Example: Introduce Tupac before mixing in Shakespeare, Jay Z before Walt Whitman.
Jeffrey Kline explores how, in emergency care, doctors and nurses must make instant decisions about each patient’s likelihood of having a dangerous illness or injury. Facial expressions provide an observer with a constantly updated, direct and accurate connection to the patient’s health status. The speaker’s experience and research in emergent diagnosis has taught that clinicians implicitly use patient facial expressions to drive their decisions. The time has come to transform facial expressions from a hidden message into an explicit science in diagnosis. This transformation will be aided by electronic medical records, ease of videotaping, and facial recognition software. This presentation will outline a vision for standard medical care that includes a longitudinal record of facial expression analysis to monitor patient wellness. Kline is an emergency physician who has spent 20 years researching how doctors can better diagnose potentially lethal conditions and order tests more efficiently. This experience has shown that clinicians and patients instantly, yet often subconsciously, interpret each other’s faces to detect threats to life. In medicine, facial expression analysis is poised to transition from fuzzy inference into a clear science.
Christian Long talks about how we live in the most extraordinary of times, a time rich with stunning innovation, discovery, and remarkable human potential. To that end, this is a time that should inspire a culture of extraordinary learning, where students of all ages are invited to tackle the world’s most compelling questions and problems alike. Yet, the overwhelming education conversation today is one of limited aspiration, test scores, political argument, economic discord, and the sense that we are ignoring a learner’s internal imagination while focusing more and more on emerging tools. And so, I can’t help but wonder what would happen if we redesigned learning as an act of compelling wondering? Or, to rephrase it a bit, we focused on wonder, by design? Long is an educator, school planner, technology expert, advocate for innovative learning communities, and educational futurist with Cannon Design. He was the founder of Be Playful, a collaborative global design agency focused on the intersection between school planning/design, emerging technology, and future trending. He will talk about how to design the learning of the future.
Doug McColgin talks about how we feel pressured to network with those in the same background, company, or sector, but great discovery exists in connections with those outside of our work-world. We can leverage our local community to drive breakthrough innovations, but we have to find those who think differently than ourselves. McColgin is actively working to build Indianapolis into an innovation center through his role as Board President at the non-profit Centric and his work at the Carmel-based consultancy, Insight2. He also one of the founders of Indy’s Day of Innovation Conference and Indiana Innovation Awards. Is it possible for a mid-market, Midwestern city to inspire, create, and support real innovation from its residents? YES, by creating a liquid environment where ideas are shared among the four pillars of an innovation economy: business, non-profit, academia, and government.
Jim Poyser explores the topic of climate change and how a light touch to talking about the topic is paramount, as humor is an essential tool in educating. Something this big has to be properly leavened with a bit of laughter. Poyser recently left his longtime Managing Editor position at NUVO Newsweekly in Indianapolis and Editor position at Indiana Living Green, to pursue eco-activism on a full time basis. In September, he was named Executive Director of Earth Charter Indiana, a non-profit organization dedicated to the principles of Earth Charter and its holistic approach to reckoning with climate change, economic inequality, and peace and justice challenges. He travels the area on bicycle delivering the Climate Reality slideshow to audiences of all ages. His position at Earth Charter focuses on an initiative to empower the youth of Indiana to advocate for a cleaner, safer environment.
Chad Priest talks about his perspective as a healthcare provider in multiple professions: as a military nurse, a healthcare lawyer, university faculty member and most recently as the CEO of a non-profit crisis management organization. Through these experiences, he has come to believe that in order to create health you have to mix it up. Mix up the professions and the interactions. Priest is a dad, a husband, a nurse, an attorney, an Air Force veteran and the CEO of the MESH Coalition, an emergency management organization. But if you ask him, he’ll just tell you he’s a healthcare provider on a mission to change the way we think about healthcare and who provides it. To create health, we must mix it up: crossing professions and cross-pollinating solutions that lead to breakthrough thinking.
Florian Riviére talks about how the world is a theatre of infinite possibilities. And to be connected to this potential we should hack the reality and begin to think out of the box and the cage which reduces our visions and expressions. We should reclaim our senses and our imagination to create a world beyond definitions and predefined paths conditioned by our education. Being able to enlarge and shape our world, our surrounding means to repossess our autonomy and freedom to create our own life. The world is not a one way direction, open it to make your own, to be an actor of your life. Riviére is an “urban hacker.” Inspired by hacker & DIY culture he reinvests and diverts public space to allow citizens to reclaim their urban environment. His interventions located between militant expression, design of public space, upcycling are spontaneous and raw, using objects found in the street to show the functionality of sites and the impact of direct user action on urban space.
Davy Rothbart explores the various ways he enjoys talking to strangers — sharing our own stories and listening to stories from the people with whom we’ve crossed paths — we have the power to find joy, connect deeply with others, and broaden our perspectives. I’ll share dozens of my favorite questions to ask a stranger by interviewing someone from the audience live on stage. Rothbart is the creator of Found Magazine, a frequent contributor to public radio’s This American Life, and the author of a book of personal essays, My Heart Is An Idiot, and a collection of stories, The Lone Surfer of Montana, Kansas. He writes regularly for GQ Magazine and Grantland, and his work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, and The Believer. His documentary film, Medora, about a resilient high-school basketball team in a dwindling town in rural Indiana, premiered at the SXSW Film Festival, and will be released nationwide in November, 2013. Rothbart is also the founder of Washington II Washington, an annual hiking adventure for inner-city kids, and author of the recent TED book How Did You End Up Here?: The Surprising Ways Our Questions Connect Us. He lives between Los Angeles, California and his hometown of Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Andrés Tapia explores ways we live in an Upside Down World. So much of what we know of how the world works has been flipped on its head. The US’ position in geopolitics. The way healthcare will work in the US. How products get manufactured. How we consume entertainment. How we connect with one another. The best practices have become obsolete. But we’re not sure what the new and next practices are. If all these and many more things are in the midst of questioning their basic presuppositions, then diversity should be no different. In what ways is diversity upside down? Tapia has been one of the leading voices in shaping a contemporary, next generation approach to diversity and inclusion. The approach is global, deeply integrated into talent systems, and focused on enabling marketplace success. He has over 25 years of experience as a C-suite management consultant, diversity executive, organizational development and training professional, and journalist. Throughout Europe, Asia, North America, and his native Latin America, Tapia has served clients in shaping their enterprise-wide diversity and inclusion business cases and strategies across industries – including financial, healthcare, retail, manufacturing, government, not-for-profits, and education — with dozens of Global 500 organizations such as John Deere, Marriott, United, Target, Cigna and Novartis as well as non-US multinationals in Brazil, South Korea, and India. Tapia, the author of a groundbreaking book, “The Inclusion Paradox: The Obama Era and the Transformation of Global Diversity,” is a frequently sought after speaker on the topic of diversity and inclusion. He is the recipient of numerous leadership and diversity awards and has served on a number of boards, including currently serving on the editorial board of Diversity Executive Magazine, the corporate advisory board for the Bentley University Center for Women and Business, and Ravinia Festival.
Risë Wilson talks about how arguments have been made about the many contributions professional artists make to their communities and the positive impact art classes have on other subject areas and learning outcomes, but are we overlooking the most obvious benefit of an arts education…for anyone at any age? Wilson is committed to lifting up the value of creativity in our every day lives. She is the founder of The Laundromat Project, which mounts topical and timely art programming in local laundromats as a way of amplifying the creative power available in neighborhoods like Bed-Stuy, Harlem, and the South Bronx. Risë was recently appointed the inaugural Director of Philanthropy for the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation in order to help shape the foundation’s grant-making priorities and to fulfill its belief that art can change the world.
Wright explores how people of different cultures are welcomed and encouraged to contribute ideas, perspective and artistic vision, the result is an infusion of innovation. As a city, our greatest assets – and the need for our most tremendous investment – are the people our city welcomes. Our sense of community is the springboard from which our city can become not only a destination but a developing epicenter for innovation, culture, and creativity from around the world. How can we create a powerful sense of community for our newly arriving neighbors? How can we welcome refugees and immigrants, courageous people from diverse backgrounds, in a way that supports and celebrates cultural contribution? Wright is a journalist covering refugees, human rights and women’s issues in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and North Africa for The Huffington Post, among other publications. She recently served as the Director of Development at Exodus Refugee Immigration in Indianapolis.
Nat Russell is primarily a visual artist and designer who has shown work in solo and group shows internationally. He records and plays music as the band Birds Of America and has had albums released in the US and Japan. He will perform a song from the album “Current Carry” (2005, Isota Records) in collaboration with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. The world’s first classically-trained garage band, Time for Three – Zachary (Zach) De Pue, violin; Nicolas (Nick) Kendall, violin; and Ranaan Meyer, double bass – defies traditional classification. Performing music from Bach and Brahms to their own arrangements of The Beatles, Katy Perry, Kanye West and Justin Timberlake, they have performed everywhere from Carnegie Hall to Jazz clubs, European festivals, NFL games and the Indy 500. What started as a trio of musicians who played together for fun while students at Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute for Music evolved into a charismatic ensemble with a reputation for limitless enthusiasm and no musical boundaries.
The Fourth Wall
The Fourth Wall explores a new hybrid of the performing arts in which musicians are also dancers and actors. Stretching the boundaries of instrumental performance, The Fourth Wall commissions new interdisciplinary works and reinterprets established repertoire to make music that leaps off the stage. The Fourth Wall presents programs all over the country, from Indianapolis to Alaska. The ensemble is comprised of flutist Hilary Abigana, bass trombonist C. Neil Parsons, and percussionist Greg Jukes.
Time for Three
The world’s first classically-trained garage band, Time for Three – Zachary (Zach) De Pue, violin; Nicolas (Nick) Kendall, violin; and Ranaan Meyer, double bass – defies traditional classification. Performing music from Bach and Brahms to their own arrangements of The Beatles, Katy Perry, Kanye West and Justin Timberlake, they have performed everywhere from Carnegie Hall to Jazz clubs, European festivals, NFL games and the Indy 500. What started as a trio of musicians who played together for fun while students at Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute for Music evolved into a charismatic ensemble with a reputation for limitless enthusiasm and no musical boundaries.
Oreo Jones is as unique as his Cosby sweater – a bearded brother who summons multiple musical personalities for every new project. But at the heart of it, Oreo Jones is just a true emcee mixing everything he’s got – literally beats, rhymes and life – into a bracing hip-hop stew. Last year, Jones linked up with indie rock bands We Are Hex (Roaring Colonel, Third Man Records), Jookabox (Asthmetic Kitty, Joyful Noise), The Woodhands (Paper Bag Recordings), and Fair Fijola to craft the Oreo Jones & Friends EP to benefit VH1’s Save The Music project. And his love of ALL things female lead to the infamous Black Fabio collaboration with DJ Action Jackson – a concept mixtape that featured the single “Reggie Miller.”
Big Robot is a computer-acoustic, classically trained trio that creates live media-enriched art and music, interweaving aesthetic expression with computer interactivity and networked technology. With integration of real-time video, acoustic instrument sampling, live percussion and audio and telecommunications software and devices, the group creates a multi-dimensional performance that explores the cross points of virtual and physical gesture, sound, and space.
Motus Dance Theatre has been serving up beautifully different dance in Indianapolis since 2003. The non-profit dance company fills a gap in the community by offering contemporary movement classes and workshops for adult, as well as creative and performance opportunities for those with a lifelong passion for dance. Motus keeps Indianapolis and its art moving. Over the past five years, Motus has collaborated with more than 25 artists and arts organizations throughout the Indianapolis community.
Combining the best of Gnarls Barkley with James Brown, Tony Hutchinson created Mannish Boy to bring “life back to music.” The singer songwriter experiments with many different genres and sounds, combining guitar and percussion to create a new hip hop psychedelic groove. A native of Indiana, Kyle Long has always been interested in building bridges between his home state and ideas, people, and music from around the world.
In 2010 Kyle Long formed Cultural Cannibals with visual artist Artur Silva. Kyle Long currently serves as guest musical curator at the Indianapolis Museum of Art and music director for the Mayor’s Office of International Affairs’ Sister Cities Festival.
Venue and Details
Hilbert Circle Theatre
45 Monument Circle
Indianapolis , IN, 46204
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- Anne Laker