x = independently organized TED event

This event occurred on
September 28, 2023
8:00am - 6:00pm EDT
(UTC -4hrs)
Detroit, Michigan
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).

Sound Board
2901 Grand River Ave
Detroit, Michigan, 48201
United States
Event type:
Standard (What is this?)
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Al Bettis

Singer-songwriter and Speaker
At age 30, Al Bettis felt a calling and decided to answer. He picked up a guitar and a notepad and the rest is a beautiful melody. The self-trained guitarist has gained popularity for his smooth vocals and raw lyrics. Pulling from life experiences, his performances are journeys through love, heartbreak, and redemption. From opening for legends Michael McDonald and Dionne Warwick, to features on OWN, Animal Planet, CBS, and more, Al proves it is never too late to be what you might have been.

Amber Osley

Amber Osley Mother/ Poet/ Chef/Podcast Host/ Entrepreneur Koffee Dark’N Sweet/ One Crafty Mama313/ Energetic Investments/ Midnight Koffee Podcast Amber Osley BKA Koffee Dark’N Sweet is a dedicated mother and community member using art as means to facilitate healing and education. Her prose evokes clarifying and relatable emotion. Her work in the community allows her to stand in as many gaps as possible offering grace and perspective. Osleys’ accomplishments include performances for Motown Museum, Cobo Hall, Motor City Soundboard, and Ted X, as well as, confident, intelligent leaders as daughters.

Ann Duke

Ann Duke is a favorite of “women of a certain age” who can relate to the trials and tribulations of being single and navigating middle age. Her observations on generational differences and relationships are clever and poignant. She has performed at comedy shows and clubs across the region including Sound Board at Motor City Casino, Mark Ridley’s Comedy Castle, Detroit House of Comedy, One Night Stan’s and the Traverse City Comedy Club. She has appeared with national headliners Tom Papa, Vic Dibitetto, Eric D’Alessandro, Nathan Timmell and more. She co-produces the Traverse City Comedy Fest and runs comedy shows across the state with her partner Mike Geeter and their company SamRose Entertainment. She is a member “Eyes Up Here”, featuring five of Michigan’s top female comics and toured with Showtime’s Funny Women of a Certain Age.

Anthony Grupido

Magician and Keynote Speaker
Anthony Grupido is a man of many talents. As a speaker, he produces about 200 presentations a year talking about Mental Health, Resiliency, and Suicide Prevention. His presentation The Magic of Hope uses magic, humor, and personal stories about overcoming suicidal ideation and coping with depression/anxiety in a way that is healthy, relatable, and practical. As a magician… Anthony has opened for some of the ‘biggest names in the industry’ like Jim Gaffigan, The Impractical Jokers, and the Winner of America’s Got Talent! He’s performed magic all over the world and recently became the most viral pickpocket online today with over 200million views.

Arabia Simeon

Founder, CEO
Arabia is a designer, creative, and entrepreneur with an engineering background. She’s passionate about designing authentic and impactful experiences while using art and technology as vehicles for sustainable change. She graduated from Smith College with a dual degree in Computer Science and Studio Art with experiences spanning from product development to creative direction. Her work is driven by social impact and inspired by their community, culture, and history. Arabia is the Founder and CEO of civic tech startup, PoGo, where she’s building a non-partisian personalized voter guide mobile app to simplify election research for young voters. She’s also the Founder of creative collective, Da Cypher, dedicated to empowering the youth by bridging the gap between art, fashion, and tech for disadvantaged communities.

Cam Rowe

Stand up comedian and sales coach
Cam Rowe is the biggest thing in comedy-Literally! At 6'9 inches tall, he has taken the comedy world by storm as a fresh new face! He was a regular on TRU TV's Storage Hunters as the security guard known as "the green Mile." He has also appeared on the hit show Comedy Bang Bang! Cameron touches on real life stories that everyone can relate to. He was a 1st place winner in the Uncle Clyde Comedy Contest at Flappers Comedy Club and The Next Comic Standing Contest at the HaHa Comedy Club in Los Angeles! He has also performed over in the U.K. At the world renowned Leicester Comedy Festival! Be sure to watch out for this big guy-he won't be hard to miss!

Cora Cowles

Founder, CEO
Born and raised in Detroit, Cora Cowles has always had a connection to food. She began cooking in college as an escape from the cafeteria and quickly found that her food brought friends together with a sense of community. Now, as a mother of two, that passion has evolved into a love of teaching young people to cook. Beyond The Kitchen Crew, Cora has enjoyed a 17 year career in User Experience Design, and uses that knowledge to shape the TKC experience for students, parents, and the community.

David Ricardo Medina Álvarez

CEO of Livaq
I'm David Medina Alvarez, founder of LIVAQ, specializing in electric all-terrain vehicles (ATVs). My family's entrepreneurial spirit ignited my dream to revolutionize the vehicle industry with innovative designs. Starting as an electric motorcycle venture in 2016, LIVAQ evolved into electric ATVs, influenced by my childhood in Acapulco. We built LIVAQ from scratch, aiming to transform the ATV market and uplift communities. We employed underprivileged Mexican students for chassis development, bringing together a diverse global team. LIVAQ is my tribute to my family's legacy, embodying our commitment to innovation, community, and diversity as we journey towards a sustainable future.

De'Nisha "Dinah" Beasley

Restorative Counselor
"De’Nisha “Dinah” Beasley has over a decade of experience in the health, social work, and education sectors. Holding Master's degrees in Social Work and Theological Studies, Dinah is an expert in trauma-informed care and restorative practices. She founded CR3 Restorative Services and Solutions, focused on enhancing mental health and wellness in the corporate sector. At UCLA, in her role as a Curriculum Developer/Trainer, Dinah facilitates the professional growth of service providers, teaching them best practices in trauma-informed care. Expanding on her commitment to holistic well-being, she co-founded Ziva Therapeutic Spa, focusing on personal and relationship wellness. Her commitment to community welfare is underscored by her founding Social Issue Support for HER (SIS-HER), a non-profit dedicated to preventing child exploitation.

Dr. Eddie Connor

Author & Speaker
Empowering people to overcome obstacles and walk in their unique purpose is the real life message shared by Dr. Eddie Connor, who is a survivor of stage 4 cancer. Dr. Eddie is an empowerment speaker, college professor, radio/TV correspondent, and best-selling author of 16 books. He shares his story in The New York Times best-selling book ""REACH: 40 Black Men Speak on Living, Leading, and Succeeding."" He is the visionary of the Access Identity Conference which has led to attendees from 24 states and 13 countries being empowered to transform their vision into action. Dr. Eddie is the founder of the mentoring and literacy program, ""Boys 2 Books."" As a former U.S. Congressional aide, Dr. Eddie assisted in crafting a bipartisan resolution to address the urgent crisis of illiteracy in America.

Gabe Karp

Venture Capital/Author/Speaker
Gabe Karp, bestselling author of Don’t Get Mad at Penguins: And Other Ways to Detox the Conflict in Your Life and Business, is a world-renowned expert on embracing healthy conflict to drive results. His methods were forged from 3 decades of research and experience, and he frequently speaks on the topic. Gabe sits on the boards of several venture backed companies. He was an executive at ePrize (now Merkle), a promotions company representing 75 of the top 100 brands in the world. Gabe was instrumental in growing the small start up to a $150 million acquisition. Crain’s Business named Gabe as General Counsel of the Year for the state of Michigan in 2011. He spent the first 10yrs of his career as a litigator, suing other lawyers for screwing up— talk about conflict! Gabe and his wife Rachel have three wonderful daughters, and he’s an avid heli-skier (yep, that's skiing from a helicopter).

Gina Kell Spehn

Co-Founder and President
Gina Kell Spehn is a New York Times Bestselling author of "The Color of Rain", a memoir that was adapted into a Hallmark Original movie. She is co-founder and president of New Day Foundation for Families a 501c3 nonprofit dedicated to providing financial and emotional support to cancer patients and their families. Gina is an inspirational Christian speaker, mother of five, and wife to Michael.

Hajj Flemings

CEO of Rebrand Cities
Hajj Flemings is a brand technologist, engineer, author and the CEO/Founder of Rebrand Cities, RapVS.AI, Prompt Camp and Modern Athlete. He hosts a weekly CBS News Detroit - Tech Talk segment focused on AI and tech. His work explores where artificial intelligence (AI), branding and culture merge. In 2010, his story was chronicled in CNN's Black in America 4: The New Promised Land: Silicon Valley documentary hosted by Soledad O'Brien, an experience that changed the course of his life. He’s an original investor in PlayVS, a startup that raised $107 million and has raised over $1.5 million for his ventures. Hajj has worked with some of America’s most established brands: Cadillac, Nike, AT&T, Disney, JP Morgan Chase, and the Detroit Pistons and spoken at some of the respected institutions in the world: Harvard University, Instagram, and the U.S. Department of Defense.

Jason Bressler

Executive Vice President, Chief Technology Officer
Jason Bressler is Chief Technology Officer at United Wholesale Mortgage. With more than 26 years of IT experience in the mortgage banking industry, Bressler excels in application development and enterprise implementation, specifically at mortgage companies that have started smaller and truly taken the leap into the stratosphere of the industry utilizing technology and practices that Jason brings to the table. He is constantly developing intuitive technology platforms that help independent mortgage brokers grow their businesses. Under Bressler’s leadership, UWM has set the tone for the entire mortgage industry by reacting to clients quickly, efficiently, and with scale. Jason currently leads a team of more than 1500 I.T. members focused on delivering stellar client service through cutting-edge proprietary tools.

Jay Johnson

Jay Johnson is an internationally renowned speaker, trainer, and organizational consultant specializing in behavior and performance. Jay works with people and organizations to empower teams, grow profits, and transform leaders through behavioral intelligence. He is a TEDx speaker, Forbes Business Council Member, and has given keynotes and workshops in 30 countries across 4 continents.

Lee Meadows

Retired Professor of Management at Walsh College, Human Resources professions, Leadership Development Coach, Professional Speaker, Columnist and author of the business fable 'Take the Lull By the Horns! Closing the Leadership Gap!

Michael Spehn

Co-Founder, New Day Foundation
Michael is a New York Times Bestselling author of the book The Color of Rain (adapted into a motion picture), national speaker, husband and father of five. In 2007 he co-founded New Day Foundation for Families, which serves families fighting cancer.

Mykolas Rambus

Mykolas Rambus is the CEO and Co-Founder of Hush, the AI cybersecurity and privacy platform for companies and their employees. Before Hush, Mykolas was an executive at the credit bureau and data broker Equifax, co-founded Wealth-X, the world’s largest database of information on wealthy people, and led information technology at Forbes Magazine and the real estate firm W.P. Carey. He’s an award-winning technologist, having begun his career launching a tech startup from his dorm room at MIT.

Quiana Broden

Owner & CEO of The Kitchen by Cooking with Que
Quiana ""Que" Broden is the Founder of Detroit's only demonstration kitchen and restaurant, The Kitchen by Cooking with Que. Honing in on her mission to teach people how to ""Eat to Live™"" Que offers hands-on and energetic cooking classes, curated and themed dining nights . As a culinary disruptor Que is working daily to reimagine generational food education and experiences as we know it. Que’s warm and energetic personality, merged with her happy healthy cooking style has reached millions as the covergirl on HOUR Detroit’s food issue, the winning chef on NBCs’ The Talk: Detroit food face off and resident chef on Fox 2 Detroit’s Meatless Monday cooking segments. Her efforts have contributed to a greater awareness of plant-based eating throughout the country while increasing Black representation in the world of veganism, where people of color often remain underrepresented.

Racquel Soledad

Racquel Soledad is a Metro Detroit singer, songwriter, and dancer. Within exploring her sound, she makes music in all different genres, in hopes to reach those around the globe that connect with her sound & experiences. She has grown loving the rush of a performance, from starting as a dancer and joining theatre to finally singing at festivals and showcases throughout Michigan and Los Angeles. Since becoming an artist, Soledad has grown with her team of backup dancers, released multiple projects and music videos and has traveled through the states to grow and make connections with those who share the same passion. She aspires to be able to speak through her music, bring out the bigger picture, and give a release to those who are able to relate to her journey.

Robin Shear

Professional Speaker, Joy Coach, Author
Robin Shear is an international speaker, author & joy coach. She helps depleted givers have joy again. Igniting audience interaction, she leads attendees to say, “I’ve never had that much fun learning!” She’s been interviewed by TIME, The Wall Street Journal, and Psychology Today. Sharing joy was easy until she faced several hidden issues, making it a choice. Within 4 years she coped with PTSD, chronic pain and a head injury, but joy was found in the mess. Her #1 resulting book, Messy Joy: How Joy Can Begin Before Your Difficulties End, helps readers find joy in their own lives. Whether they dig deep by answering the journal questions or read the whole book in one sitting, they will feel like Robin is speaking directly to them. Robin, an ICF-certified life coach, has been a dietitian, youth pastor, and senior activity director. She's at or on socials @joycoachrobin.

Staci Russell

Staci Russell did not grow up around horses. She is a first-generation rodeo athlete born and raised in the Detroit metro area. She never imagined herself being a “cowgirl”, but she is glad the world of rodeo found her. Growing up, Staci played basketball and softball. She went to Tuskegee University on an academic and athletic scholarship for softball. Shortly after being introduced to her horse Reese’s Cup and the world of rodeo, Staci began competing in barrel racing and pole bending at rodeos and jackpots. In 2016, Staci and Reese’s Cup traveled and competed in the Midstates Rodeo Association (MSRA) and International Professional Rodeo Association (IPRA) circuits. She clinched a spot for the 2018 IPRA top 20 barrel racers. She is a three-time MSRA finals qualifier (2017, 2018, 2021) and the 2017 MSRA Barrel Racing Champion, becoming the first African American to win a MSRA title.

Terry White

Principal Directer, Creative Cloud Evangelist
Terry White, a celebrated 27-year Adobe veteran & Principal Director, Creative Cloud Evangelist, expertly navigates the realms of photography and Adobe Creative Cloud, educating and inspiring through his profound expertise. Leader of Adobe Express advocates and a respected speaker at Photoshop World and Adobe MAX, he extends his influence beyond Adobe. His accolades include a Photoshop Hall of Fame induction, while his YouTube channel enlightens a substantial audience with Adobe insights. Terry, also an acclaimed portrait/travel photographer and bestselling author, contributes to technology and design literature and explores tech worlds from smart homes to sustainable energy off-stage.

Tiffany "T.Barb" Barber

Comedian, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist
Tiffany "T.Barb” Barber is a comedian, actress, author, philanthropist, and entrepreneur who quit a 14 year career in social work to pursue her dreams. As a first generation college graduate Tiffany broke the curse of incarceration in her family, never allowing the odds to beat her. She discovered stand up comedy & is known for her viral "Only In Detroit" series on social media garnering millions of views. She has been featured on Amazon Prime, Fox, VICE News, Hour Detroit, NPR, ABC, Metrotimes, Tubi and more, even making a cameo on "America's Got Talent." She has also produced a comedy album, "T.Barb Live at The Independent," a comedy television show, "Only In My Hood," wrote 2 books and has a 501c3, T.Barb and Friends.

Tina-Marie Wohlfield

Chief People Strategist
Tina Marie Wohlfield is the Chief People Strategist at TIMAWO (pronounced tee-ma-woe) and founder of the HRUnite! community. She is an active member of the HR community and dedicated advocate for advancing the HR profession through collaboration, partnerships and mentorship. In 2018 she co-founded HRUnite! a professional networking and advocacy group to support and advance the HR profession through impactful professional relationships. Tina Marie is an HR Storyteller and frequent speaker on HR and leadership topics throughout the country. Her first book, STOP Collaborate and LISTEN – Developing Impactful HR Partnerships Through Collaboration was released in March 2019 and is available through Lulu Publishing.

Tom Nardone

Entrepreneur / Author
Tom Nardone is full of mischief, creative thoughts, and naughty words. He keeps busy as an entrepreneur, volunteer, father, and humorist. Tom has founded 6 different multimillion-dollar companies. These companies sell weird things like: toilet aids, embarrassing drugstore items, bachelorette party supplies, vibrators, and bulletproof vests. As a hobby he carves pumpkins. He is a three-time best-selling author and world record holding pumpkin carver. His fast and fun brand of carving has been featured on national TV 11 times. Tom also has a unique form of philanthropy, he tricks people into picking up trash. His past TED talk about volunteerism was chosen as Best of Detroit. Tom’s favorite principal is “To get one great idea you need 36 ideas and a system to find the best.”

Tray Little

Tray Little is an artist, speaker, and entrepreneur. He began writing music and rapping when he was just 12 years old. He’s built a following worldwide that averages millions of views and listens on social media. He is a leader and advocate for his Detroit community. Tray's vision of restoring the block he grew up in the now-abandoned neighborhood on the west-side of Detroit is now becoming reality, with the purchase of his first property and four lots through his Buy The Block campaign. Tray is also mentor and motivational speaker to the youth in Detroit Public Schools. He shares his journey, recommendations, and advice to those who follow him to inspire and teach others on how they too, can become entrepreneurs and resources on getting started. He hopes to use his influence and successes to make a positive impact and be a continued role model to the Detroit community.

Trevor Pawl

Adjunct Professor, University of Detroit Mercy
Government innovator Trevor Pawl built economic development programs for a decade under Democratic and Republican governors. Most recently he served as the State of Michigan’s first Chief Mobility Officer, a first-of-its-kind role in the country. Pawl authored Michigan’s first mobility strategy and activated $315 million for mobility projects through 89 public-private partnerships in less than three years. Projects included EV charging in rural areas, drone deliveries for medicine, smart parking solutions, and AI for traffic safety. Prior to this role, Pawl led Michigan’s programs for supply chain and export. In 2023, after recognizing an imbalance in the time spent on work versus the rest of life, Pawl paused his career for a year of travel with his wife, Jessica, and their two young children. He now serves as an Adjunct Professor for Economics at the University of Detroit Mercy. "

Organizing team


Detroit, MI, United States