x = independently organized TED event

This event occurred on
October 2, 2013
8:00am - 6:00pm EDT
(UTC -4hrs)
Detroit, MI
United States

Positive ideas for the world from Detroit

Grand Ballroom at Cobo Center
1 Washington Boulevard
Detroit, MI, 48226
United States
Event type:
Standard (What is this?)
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

John Bacon

John U. Bacon is the author of six books on sports and business, most recently Fourth and Long: The Fight for the Soul of College Football, his third national bestseller. He speaks nationwide, teaches at Northwestern and Michigan, where the students awarded him the Golden Apple for teaching, and provides weekly sports commentary for Michigan Radio.

Mary Lore

Mary Lore is the award-winning author of Managing Thought, helping individuals and organizations think differently, powerfully, and achieve new levels of success. Mary guides and mentors leaders, educators, spiritual teachers, medical professionals, and executive and life coaches around the world. Her book Managing Thought earned best book awards in leadership, business motivation, enlightenment, inspiration, communication, philosophy, and self-help.

Jackie Victor

To those who think Detroit is closed for business, Avalon International Breads Owner Jackie Victor says think again. Jackie opened her organic bakery in Detroit's Midtown in 1997, said she's seen a lot of changes in the city during the past 17 years and more changes are still to come.

Kennedie King

Poetry found Kennedie King by means of an English assignment in the 8th grade. She has been writing ever since. Kennedie attends Chippewa Valley High school, where is dually enrolled at Macomb Community College. After graduation in 2015, she plans to go on to study Law and Business at a historically black college or university

George Morris

Raised by musical parents, George Morris was born to write and perform music. He began making an impact on the Detroit music scene in the mid 2000's with the Satin Peaches. In mid-2013, Morris, along with the Peaches bassist, Aaron Nelson got together with Helena Kirby (keyboard) and Zach Pliska (drums) to form the current line-up, George Morris & the Gypsy Chorus. Each member of the group is a seasoned musician and together their recordings and performances are captivating and timeless. With this solid lineup, George Morris is now ready to continue his musical quest with renewed spirituality, passion and a zest for finding the perfect musical soundtrack for our human experience.

Matthew Naimi

Thanks to Matthew Naimi, founder of Recycle Here, Saturday recycling is now a Detroit thing to do. Every week, 800 or so people pile up their cars with cardboard, bottles, plastic and paper bags, newspapers and books and drive them to his facility in New Center. Here, Detroiters are met with brightly colored street art, great music, and even a community board where they can share their hopes and dreams for Detroit.

John Capp

As the strategic lead for active safety, driver assistance and automated driving technologies, John is a motivating force behind the research and development of "Super Cruise," Cadillac's semi-automated driving system. With 25+ years spent engineering vehicles, John's ongoing mission is to make them as safe as possible.

Ishita Gupta

Ishita Gupta is founder of Fear.less Magazine, a digital magazine featuring best-known names in business on how to live without fear. Ishita was featured in Seth Godin's book Linchpin: Are You Indispensable?. Ishita speaks at conferences around the U.S. on entrepreneurship.

Ryan Landau

Ryan is the co­-founder of Chalkfly. Chalkfly is an ecommerce company disrupting the unsexy office supply industry by infusing technology, customer service and a give back model that gives to teachers across America. Prior to Chalkfly, Ryan was a federal constant at IBM in Washington DC.

Ingrid LaFleur

After working in the art industry for more than a decade all over the world, Ingrid LaFleur decided to return home and open Maison LaFleur. She began her academic studies with a B.A. in Art History from Spelman College and went on to pursue her M.A. from New York University with a concentration in Museum Studies. With over a decade of curatorial and arts administrative experience to her credit, she has worked with artists and arts organizations in New York, Detroit, Nairobi, Paris, Johannesburg and a host of other cities.

Greg Gage

Greg Gage is a "DIY Neuroscientist" with the goal of making everyone an electrophysiologist. As a grad student in Ann Arbor, he started an organization, Backyard Brains, that makes low cost brain surgery kits for use in schools.

Samuel Taylor

Samuel Taylor is a 17-year-old poet. He attends Martin Luther King Jr., High School in Detroit. He plans on going to UCLA to major in education. Samuel has been writing poetry since 6th grade. Poetry, he believes, is a story that's worth telling. He has participated in many slams around Michigan and won quite a few of them. Samuel is an activist who is trying to to spread good words and make a difference.

Richard Sheridan

Joy, Inc. author Richard Sheridan is also the CEO, Chief Storyteller and co-founder of Menlo Innovations -- a custom software development firm with a mission to end human suffering in the world as it relates to technology.

Rare Standard

Rare Standard is the brainchild of saxophonist Timothy Gay and drummer Doug Austin. Formed in 2010 in Detroit, Michigan. Rare Standard is creating a movement with their brand of jazz called "Modern-Progressive Jazz." Nicknamed "The Revolution," combining the culture of the classic jazz masters with the fierce energy of fusion and the experimental edge of modern jazz, they look to blaze a new trail in jazz while making the classic sound new again.

Norman Witte

In 2012 Norman Witte found himself living in Detroit, unemployed with a dead car. With no means to replace it, Witte learned alternate ways to get around the city as he continued to look for employment. The process, he said, involved navigating the city's public transportation system and learning to be a good cyclist. More than a year later, Witte, now a web developer at Crain's Detroit Business, is continuing his car-less life in the city, but this time out of choice.

Asia Newson

Asia Newson is known as Detroit's Youngest Entrepreneur. At just ten years old she makes and sells her own candles under her business Super Business Girl. Asia was born and raised in Detroit's Brightmoor neighborhood. She started Super Business Girl at the age of five years old, learning how to make candles from her father Michael Newson. Asia hopes to open up shop in Downtown Detroit, but also wants to finish school so she can attend Michigan State University. When Asia isn't making candles or training other Super Business Girls and Boys, she's rapping, dancing, and enjoying being a kid.

Nathan Hughes

A renaissance geek at heart, Nathan Hughes is Co-Founder and MC at Detroit Labs, the best little mobile development shop in Detroit. Nathan is passionate about the softer side of technology and likes hacking on organizational structure as a means to find joy at work. He easily finds joy at home raising two up and coming geek girls, experiencing life fresh through their eyes. He's one of the merry men of the Nerdetroit podcast, a co-boss of Nerd Nite 313 and an education coach at Grand Circus.

Partha Nandi

Dr. Nandi is a gastroenterologist who has been practicing in Metro Detroit for 14 years. In January 2012, he launched "Ask Dr. Nandi," a medical lifestyle show where he shares his expertise in medicine to help people live happier, healthier lives.

Jaclyn Trop

Jaclyn currently writes about the automotive industry for The New York Times. As a Knight-Bagehot fellow at Columbia Business School, she studied tools of modern business such as Microsoft Excel and free cash flows. Jaclyn holds a master's degree in new media journalism from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism and a bachelor's degree in magazine journalism from Boston University.

Terrell Morrow

Terrell Morrow is a 2013 graduate of Mumford High School where he participated in InsideOut's award-winning after-school program, Citywide Poets. Most recently, Terrell was part of InsideOut's 2013 slam team representing Detroit at the Brave New Voices Youth Poetry Festival in Chicago, IL.

Amy Kaherl

Kaherl is the founder of Detroit Soup, a unique crowd-funding organization where participants pay $5 to attend a monthly soup dinner to hear new business presentations. Participants then vote on their favorite idea, which then receives the proceeds of the evening's dinner.

Elizabeth Garlow

Garlow is the Executive Director of Michigan Corps., a non-profit organization that connects Michigan citizens worldwide to opportunities to support social innovation in the state. Through Michigan Corps., she is also involved in Kiva Detroit, which provides micro-financing to small businesses in Detroit.

Matt Naas

Matt is a writer, performer, improviser, and musician born and raised in the Detroit area. For the past eight years Matt has performed in various improv troupes and shows at The Second City Detroit, Improv Inferno, Planet Ant, and Go Comedy! Improv Theater. Matt is a member of the Go Comedy! Improv Theater resident cast and can be seen performing in Rock-O-Matic, The All-Star Showdown, Matt Naas & The Sing-a-long Singers, and other shows with hyphens.

Jason Hall

Jason Hall & Mike MacKool are the cofounders of Detroit Bike City, an organization dedicated to promoting cycling in the City of Detroit. Through weekly rides, tours, bike-in theater, and events/shows; Detroit Bike City is continually contributing to the growth of bicycle culture in the City. With a goal to further bicycling not only as a health initiative, but also to help improve Detroit and to contribute to it's growth.

Angela Kilgore

As a high school student at Denby High School, Angela Kilgore lead a charge to start cleaning up Detroit. Her efforts help clean up more than 500 tires off the vacant lots on the east side of Detroit.

Jacques Panis

Jacques has over 10 years of experience spanning marketing, branding and sales. Panis founded Webosaurs in 2007, an online brand created to educate children globally on the history and diversity of our planet. Jacques joined Shinola in 2010 to oversee product development and strategic direction for the company, he became President of Shinola in 2013.

Garret Koehler

In early 2013, the two friends took on the campaigning challenge of bringing the extreme sports competition to Detroit and lost the bid to Austin in July. Now Kevin Krease and Garret Koehler are using that momentum to create "ASSEMBLE," a four-day festival incorporating art, ideas, music and, of course, action sports.

Frank Watson

Frank is a graduate of Henry Ford High School in Detroit. He's currently attend Wayne County Community College, double majoring in nursing and psychology. Frank is a member of the GM Student Corps working in the community to improve the future of Detroit.

Jason Vazzano

Jason Vazzano is CEO of Vectorform, a digital experience studio that helps the world's leading brands drive innovation. Jason focuses on advancing Vectorform's product and service offerings while guiding the company to next the big thing, with the simple goal of making technology human.

Justin Rogers

Justin Rogers is a Detroit poet and educator working with InsideOut Literary Arts Project where he works with youth to develop their writing and performance skills. Justin is a Wayne State student and a Skillman Scholarship winner. After being part of the 2011 InsideOut Brave New Voices team that placed 4th in the world in San Francisco, CA., Justin continues to travel, perform, and write for love and fun.

Charlie LeDuff

Charlie LeDuff is a newsman. He won a Pulitzer for his reporting New York Times. He's worked for The Detroit News and WJBK Fox 2. He's a polarizing figure who's not shy about ruffling feathers. His latest book is Detroit: An American Autopsy.

My Pal Val

My Pal Val is a vibrant trio that fuses alternative rock, blues, grunge, and borrows from the 90's in all the right ways. Based out of Detroit, My Pal Val began playing music together in 2009 and is currently writing and recording music for a follow-up to their latest release, "Mind Over Matter." This band's raw, gritty philosophy of sound is centered around an edgy female vocal creating a vibe that is 100% their own.

Andrew Blake

Andrew is a third generation orchardman farming a thousand acres of apples, fruits and vegetables in Armada, Michigan 30 miles north of Detroit. His family runs the iconic Blake's Cider Mill. Andrew recently started brewing his own hard cider under the name Blake's Hard Cider Company.

Stephen Roginson

Stephen Roginson is the founder and Head Brewer of Batch Brewing Company. He's a musician turned marketer, Stephen left a Fortune 50 company for a life making beer, music, and sense.

John George

John George is founder of Motor City Blight Busters. Tired of a house in his neighborhood being used as a crack house, he took it upon himself to board it up. Since then the nonprofit has boarded up, secured, demolished, rebuilt, repainted or otherwise positively impacted some 1,500 houses in the city with 120,000 volunteers logging almost 700,000 hours.

Les Gold

Les Gold is the patriarch of the family behind American Jewelry & Loan in Detroit. He's an entrepreneur, best selling author and star of the television show "Hardcore Pawn".

Organizing team


Troy, MI, United States
  • Nick DeNardis
    Technical Director
  • Janet Tyler
    Director of Communications
  • Valerie Sobczak
    Director of TEDxLabs
  • Hubert Sawyers III
    Director of Music
  • Elena Wollborg
    Director of Hospitality
  • Terry Bean
    Director of Community
  • Brendan Ross
    Director of Photography
  • Greg Feldkamp
    Director of Education
  • Dave Glenn
    Director of Partnerships
  • Barbara Bloom
    Stage Director