x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Ideas. Innovations. Inspiration.

This event occurred on
September 30, 2014
8:00am - 6:00pm EDT
(UTC -4hrs)
Detroit, Michigan
United States

"We are optimistic about the future because we are the ones creating it."

The area’s leading creators, catalysts, entrepreneurs, artists, technologists, designers, scientists, thinkers and doers will gather Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 to share ideas, innovations and inspiration.

1526 Broadway Street
Detroit, Michigan, 48226
United States
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Detroit Academy of Arts and Sciences Choir

The Detroit Academy of Arts and Sciences Choir under the direction of Angela Kee enables its members to develop poise, confidence, self-discipline, and an understanding of the artistic process through vocal performance. This high-spirited group of third through eighth grade students offers a dynamic presentation that is both positive and uplifting! Throughout the school year, the DAAS Choir enriches the cultural life of the community through performances for charitable, educational, and civic organization.


Passalacqua is a hip-hop duo comprised of Brent 'Blak' Smith and Bryan Lackner (Mister). Recipients of the 2012 Kresge Arts Fellowship, they recently released their new album, CHURCH, with a follow-up slated for 2015.

Brian Mulloy

Brian Mulloy is part of Apigee's Internet of Things research lab in downtown Detroit. Apigee has 500+ enterprise customers around the world including half of the top 100 global brands. Brian lives in Corktown, Detroit.

Claire Nelson

Claire Nelson is the director of Urban Innovation Exchange, an initiative to advance the growing movement of people driving Detroit's transformation. Over the last decade, she has helped launch several projects to celebrate the city, including Open City, Declare Detroit, Bureau of Urban Living, Mind the Gap, Canfield Street Market, IdeaLab, On the Ground and The Next Big Thing for Model D. A Chicagoland native, Claire studied architecture and urbanism at Smith College and Columbia University, graduating from the Shape of Two Cities program in New York/Paris. She went on to work for the National Building Museum, The Skyscraper Museum and Van Alen Institute in New York. In 2002, she moved to Detroit "for one year" and stayed longer. Since then she has served on advisory councils for Hatch Detroit, D:hive, Shop Midtown and Invest Detroit Urban Retail Loan Fund, and was a 2014 visiting scholar at the American Academy in Rome to study alley districts for the Cass Corridor neighborhood.

Debbie Mielewski

Dr. Deborah Mielewski is Technical Leader of Plastics Research at Ford Motor Company. Since launching the biomaterials program in 2001, she has incorporated soy-based foam into every vehicle in Ford's North American lineup.

Devita Davison

Detroit Kitchen Connect combines all of Devita passions: entrepreneurialism, bringing people together, marketing and delicious food. DKC is part food incubator, part network weaver, part business accelerator, part test kitchen and all good. With DKC, Devita is helping the city’s food entrepreneurs serve up economic development, a thriving community and tasty cuisine. All that hard work is starting to pay off. In one year, 13 brand new businesses have opened their doors with the help of Detroit Kitchen Connect. And people are starting to take notice. When Oprah’s The Life You Want Weekend rolled in to the Palace this past weekend, Oprah honored Devita with a “Standing O-Vation” for not only making the world a better place, but also motivating others to spark their own journey of personal change.

Henry Balanon

Henry oversees the product and technology vision for Stratos Card. He manages engineering, security, and quality assurance initiatives of the next generation connected card technology. Previously, Henry co-founded Detroit Labs.

Indrin Chetty

Dr. Indrin J. Chetty, director of radiation oncology physics at Henry Ford Hospital is a trendsetter. He collaborates with scientists from many fields to develop strategies for cancer treatment. He is internationally renowned for radiation management of lung cancer.

Jason Hall

Jason is the Co Founder of Detroit Bike City, Slow Roll and The North American Bicycle Week.

Jason Prater

Jason Prater is the vice president of development for Plex, the leader in cloud ERP for the manufacturing enterprise. Prater leads a 120 member team that develops software which drives plant floor success for nearly 400 manufacturing customers worldwide.

Jim Murphy

James Ford Murphy is living the dream. The self-taught artist and animator from Detroit got his start in the business animating Pizza Pizza commercials for Little Caesar’s. Ads gave way to animating video games as Jim served as the lead animator on Torin’s Passage. In 1996, his career took a giant grasshopper sized leap as he joined the ranks of Pixar Animation Studios as an animator on “A Bug’s Life”. At Pixar, Jim has help create some of our favorite films: “Toy Story 2,” “Monsters, Inc.,” “Finding Nemo,” “The Incredibles,” and “Ratatouille.” As the Director of Creative Artists at Pixar, he’s overseen Animation, Art, and Story across the studio. In-between Oscar winning projects, Jim fell in love the natural beauty and volcanos of Hawaii. They inspired his directorial debut: “Lava,” the latest Disney•Pixar short that will play before 2015’s “Inside Out.”

Joori Jung

Joori is the Artistic Director of ARTLAB J DANCE. Originally from Seoul, Korea, She began her own work in NY and She relocated to Detroit with a mission to bring the arts to the communities of the city by ARTLAB J.

Jorey Chernett

Jorey Chernett is the CEO and founder of Intrinsic4D. He previously served as President of E4D Technologies where he architected and executed its business plan culminating in a sale to strategic investors. Jorey is passionate about building and investing in businesses.

Joyce Lee

Joyce Lee, MD, MPH, is a pediatrician, diabetes specialist, and researcher at the University of Michigan, who is a patient-centered design evangelist and social media/technology enthusiast interested in the transformation of healthcare. She is otherwise known as Doctor as Designer on Twitter, and wants you to join the movement so that we can #makehealth together!

Leon LaBrecque

Through local colleges, communities, and his firm LJPR, Leon LaBrecque has helped thousands with his vast knowledge of wealth management and unique ability to inspire. LaBrecque is a practicing attorney, CPA, CFP, and CFA that specializing in servicing individuals, families, and small businesses in financial, estate, and tax planning for over 32 years. Under Leon’s 25 years of leadership, LJPR has grown to be recognized as one of the top independent investment advisers in the country and proudly calls metro Detroit home.

Pashon Murray

In 2010 Pashon co-founded Detroit Dirt, a local composting and biomass collection company. Detroit Dirt specializes in providing compost/biomass solutions for the Metro Detroit community. Pashon is featured in the now famous You Tube Ford commercial, Upside: Anything is Possible. She is a sought after public speaker and a Fellow at the MIT Media Lab.

Samantha White

Detroit native Sam White has been a long-time fan of Shakespeare and helping people get comfortable with the uncomfortable. So how did this girl from Seven Mile fall in love with the guy from Stratford? It was an arranged love of sorts as her mother wouldn't allow her to listen to rap music as a child and insisted that an adolescent Sam instead read and go to the theatre. That exposure led to a long-time love and passion for Shakespeare and the arts. To date, Sam has produced five full-fledged performances which also include "Othello" at Grand Circus Park, "A Midsummer Night's Dream" at New Center Park, Grand Circus Park and The Whitney, "Romeo and Juliet" at Grand Circus Park and "The Tempest" inside the Marlene Boll Theatre (YMCA Detroit).

Tunde Way

Tunde Wey is originally from Lagos, Nigeria and has lived in the Detroit area for 14 years. He is an entrepreneur, writer, chef, and rap blog connoisseur (like for real). His latest project is Lagos, a nigerian bbq restaurant concept. He co-owns another restaurant (revolver), which hosts guest chefs in Hamtramck. He has been a writer for Model D’s Urban Innovation Exchange and plays in the Detroit City Futbol League.

Organizing team


Detroit, MI, United States
  • Nick DeNardis
    Executive Producer and Technical Director
  • Janet Tyler
    Executive Producer and Director of Communications
  • Valerie Sobczak
    Director of TEDxLabs
  • Elena Wollborg
    Director of Volunteers
  • Terry Bean
    Director of Community
  • Brendan Ross
    Director of Photography
  • Greg Feldkamp
    Director of Education
  • Jennifer Lee
    Media Relations Manager
  • Derek Mehraban
    Social Media Manager