x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Blended Beauty

This event occurred on
September 22, 2019
Huntsville, Alabama
United States

It is a truism that a building under construction is much more beautiful than when it is completed. The architect’s intentions are present—as is the beauty of raw materials—and space is still full of possibilities. – Aaron Betsky

Across Huntsville and North Alabama, we can see not only the vision, progress of the region's economic growth and urban development, but also the friction and frustration. The combination of equipment, traffic, dirt, steel, bricks, and wood create a foundation for new possibilities. Similarly, within our own experiences, out of existential growth and personal development, new possibilities emerge, innovative forge, creative lines connect, and inspiring stories spin.

Join TEDxHuntsville as we explore the 2019 theme Blended Beauty featuring stories of chaos and beauty, and of old ideas flourishing in new environments. Witness moments of the unknown revealing a metamorphic process for the future.

Chan Auditorium
4816 Holmes Ave NW
Huntsville, Alabama, 35805
United States
Event type:
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Chris Newlin

Executive Director, National Children's Advocacy Center
Chris Newlin, MS LPC, is the Executive Director of the National Children’s Advocacy Center where he is responsible for providing leadership and management of the NCAC and participating in national and international training and leadership activities regarding the protection of children. The NCAC was the first Children’s Advocacy Center (CAC) in the world and provides child abuse prevention and intervention services in Huntsville/Madison County; and also houses the NCAC Training Center, the Southern Regional Children’s Advocacy Center, the NCAC Virtual Training Center, and the Child Abuse Library Online (CALiO™). The NCAC is a past multi-year winner of the Better Business Bureau’s Torch Award for Workplace Ethics; 2012 Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce Non-Profit of the Year; 2016 Federal Bureau of Investigation Director’s Community Leadership Award recipient; winner in 2016 and 2019 of the Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce Best Places to Work.

Dr. Guangsheng Zhang

Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering
Nearly 30 years ago, as a child, I was fascinated by how a battery turned a wire-wound nail into an electromagnet. Today, as a researcher I am fascinated by how a nail kindles fire in a battery. As a teacher, I am even more fascinated by how I can kindle fires for research in young minds.

Jordan McFarlen

Aerial Acrobat
Aerial Acrobat (Performer)

Josh Johnston

Creativity Cultivator
Josh attended Bradshaw High School and following that he began working in various industries. In 2005, he attended Burning Man for the first time.“Before Burning Man, I felt trapped. Once I was there and had my first experience with unforgettable, big art. Along with several other collaborative projects, he has created a 9 1⁄2 foot steel guitar that blew fire out of the top, a “Be the Art” photo frame sculpture, and an interactive heart-shaped sculpture for people to leave locks on. “I don’t care what you do, it’s about knowing you can do it. I want to get the gears turning and show people they can think creatively and get out and start making something.” Josh currently lives in Florence, Alabama along with his wife, Stephanie. He is a board member for NextGen Shoals and has received two full scholarships from the Esalen Institute to study under the Director of Education for Burning Man and Creative Community Building.

Leon Logothetis

Global Adventurer
Leon Logothetis is a global adventurer, motivational speaker, and philanthropist. He’s visited nearly 100 countries and traveled to every continent. Leon is the star of The Kindness Diaries which is now streaming on Netflix and Amazon. On the show, he circumnavigates the globe, giving life-changing gifts to unsuspecting good Samaritans. He was also the host of Amazing Adventures of a Nobody on National Geographic International and is the bestselling author of GO BE KIND: 28 1⁄2 Adventures Guaranteed to Make You Happier, Amazing Adventures of a Nobody, The Kindness Diaries: One Man's Quest to Ignite Goodwill and Transform Lives Around the World, and Live, Love, Explore: Discover the Way of the Traveler, a Roadmap to the Life You Were Meant to Live.

Natalie Alexander

Licensed Professional Counselor
I remember a moment in my life when my younger brother was in the thick of his drug addiction. I was wondering why he chooses drugs? I came to the conclusion that he needed his father. Ironically, our father lived with us (my siblings' mother, and I). He and our mother provided a lifestyle that was exponentially more abundant that what they were raised with. However, he was emotionally absent. My passion for father-child relationships did not materialize until 2010 during my psychology and counseling practicum at a residential facility for adolescent boys who came from fatherless homes and were accustomed to answering to female authority. My client population presented emotional distress that mostly was rooted in broken father relationships. Many engaged me in their healing process. My hope is that this talk will ignite a flame that will spread nationwide to fathers and children to facilitate and heal father-child relationships.

Remy Neal

Armed with a soulfully fluid voice, one-man-band Remy Neal brings forth expressive melodies backed by piano pop rhythms, weaving a music listening experience that uplifts the spirit and leaves an impression. Currently based in Huntsville, Alabama, Remy brings forth his flavor of New York theatrics with whimsy and charm when performing for his live audiences. Before making the switch to music, Remy spent years working theatre, film, and television in New York City. While his singing voice alone is a character of its own, his unique looping style and presence on stage embodies the true life of his sound.

Tiril Benton

Visual Artist
After the sudden death of my mother in 2000 I was called to paint. This has continued for the last 19 years. At no time in my life had the aspiration to be an artist arisen. I am giving this talk as I was asked to. My understanding is that at every moment of every day we have the choice to follow fear or love. I choose love.

Organizing team


Madison, AL, United States


Huntsville, AL, United States