x = independently organized TED event

This event occurred on
February 6, 2021
Chicago, Illinois
United States

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized (subject to certain rules and regulations).

Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, Illinois, 60640
United States
Event type:
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Cassidy Steel

Environmentalist, University Student, Determined Daughter
Cassidy Steel is a powerful advocate for climate action. As a third-year student at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Cassidy Steel is extremely involved with sustainability on campus. She holds leadership positions in several student organizations such as the Society of Women Engineers and Students for Environmental Concerns and uses these platforms to make a difference on campus. Cassidy hopes that with enough passion and determination, we can change the world.

David Houle

David is a Futurist, has written 10 books - including two about the climate crisis-, delivered some 1400 speeches on all six inhabited continents and in 16 countries. He has spoken about “This Spaceship Earth” to NASA and the EPA in addition to many other environmental organizations. He is known for coining the name of the age we are in “The Shift Age” and is known as the “CEO’s Futurist” having spoken to or advised some 4,000 CEOs and business owners around the world. David had a 20+ year career in media and entertainment. He was part of the executive team that created and launched MTV, Nickelodeon, VH-!, CNN Headline News, and CNN. He has won two Emmys, a Peabody, and was nominated for an Academy Award. He is a Futurist in Residence at the Ringling College of Art + Design, and a Co-Founder and Managing Director of The Sarasota Institute - a 21st Century Think Tank.

David Ranalli

David Ranalli is a renowned magician and professional speaker. After falling in love with the mysterious art of forest gardening, David Ranalli decided to build an edible “food forest” on his midwest property. Along the way, he learned valuable lessons about life and discovered simple ways that we can leave a legacy for future generations. Ranalli now speaks to organizations around the world on how they can use forests as part of their sustainability strategy, and as a vehicle to empower their workforce.

Fred Dunand

President / Owner
Fred Dunand began his career across the pond in France in the Ceramics Industry. Since then his career has taken him to 4 countries and 13 states. His most recent adventure has Fred using his 22 years’ experience to innovate the concrete masonry industry with his company Saturn Materials. Opened in 2017, Saturn Materials and Fred have embraced continuous innovation daily. Using a high content of fly ash in their product line, Saturn Materials pushes the green envelope in their production of highly specialized products within the masonry industry. He is currently an active member in NCMA, a mentor of the Mississippi State Architectural School, a proud Mississippi resident, and a Business owner, and is active in many local businesses and charitable organizations in the Mississippi area.

Kaley Roshitsh

Kaley Roshitsh is WWD’s first-ever sustainability reporter covering the fashion industry’s sustainable transformation. Her work extends to writing for U.N. Women USA NY, the largest chapter of the U.S. National Committee to U.N. Women. Before joining the “fashion bible,” she spearheaded a chapter of Her Campus Media and founded an independent magazine called ThriftEd Mag – devoted to making reuse modern.

Katarina Adam

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Katarina Adam from HTW Berlin lectures Corporate Finance, Strategy, and Blockchain Business Development. She is the founder of SimLinck U.G.., a startup that will offer a blockchain-based Property ID-card including a voting app for the owner and a marketplace for the Real Estate Industry. In addition, she is the author of the white paper "Project Hurricane", which deals with the blockchain-secured transfer of ownership of the real estate. The focus of her research and teaching activities is blockchain technology with the application possibilities in the real world, taking into account the financial aspects. The fascinating characteristic for Katarina is the linking of technology and economy in the transfer to the real world. In this context, Katarina is organizing every year the Blockchain@HTW Conference to bring Academia, Industry, and Government together.

Mario Fabbri

Cooking Show Host
Mario Fabbri is a chef and the host of a groundbreaking vegan cooking show. He began his TV career on the top shopping network, QVC. Today Mario hosts the cooking show Trying Vegan with Mario, where he teaches vegan recipes to athletes, doctors, and celebrities. Mario grew up in Chicago working at his dad’s Italian Sausage factory where he anticipated one day taking over for his father. His plans changed when he learned how devastating the commercial meat industry can be on the environment.

Mark Steel

Speaker, Author, Reluctant Environmental Dad
Mark Steel is a keynote speaker, sales consultant, podcast host, and the international best-selling author of Invincible Success: Sell with Confidence, Lead with Purpose, and Speak with Impact. In his 15-year career at Microsoft, Mark stood out as a high-impact sales leader, delivering over $1B in sales. He worked with the world’s top organizations while spearheading acclaimed training programs for seasoned sales professionals. Today, Mark delivers powerful virtual and in-person programs to sales teams, leaders, and Fortune 100 executives and his work has been featured in major media outlets like NBC, CBS, FOX, ThriveGlobal, and more.

Shanita Akintonde

Shanita Baraka Akintonde is an educator, author, and firecracker professional speaker propelled by love. Born in Germany and raised on Chicago’s South Side, Shanita graduated from high school at 16 and earned three college degrees. She is an expert in diversity, leadership, and entrepreneurship and shares tips on her podcast, Marketing Insights. Shanita is president of ViewMasters Toastmasters Club and sits on boards for The National Speakers Association and American Marketing Association. Her main source of inspiration is her 25-year marriage to Jimmy and their two sons, Jimi, 24, and Anthony, 20. They all enjoy eating her cooked Greens!

Stephanie Leese Emrich

Founder + CEO
Sharing her passion for Service Excellence, Stephanie Leese Emrich thrives on speaking, consulting, and educating customer service. Since 2010, her consulting firm ServiceSpeaks Solutions designs and delivers customer experience culture + branding to a wide variety of industries. With her "Be My Guest" mantra, she founded the National Customer Service Association – Chicago. Stephanie is also the endorsed facilitator of the Certified Guest Service Professional designation. Being a college professor for 20 years deepens Stephanie's connections around the world. During the pandemic, she co-created a 3D training tool adaptable to virtual learning environments.

Organizing team


Chicago, IL, United States