x = independently organized TED event

Theme: The Art of Innovation

This event occurred on
September 15, 2012
9:00am - 1:00pm EDT
(UTC -4hrs)
Hartford, Connecticut
United States

Our Event:

What does innovation mean?

In recent years, the term has been used extensively in business and media to describe many different things. The definitions vary extensively, and the approaches often take on very different forms.

In the spirit of TED’s multidisciplinary approach, TEDxAsylumHill will explore this topic thru the lenses of entrepreneurship, strategy, education, design, and new media. While our speaker line-up is composed of individuals from diverse backgrounds, they all share a commitment to redefining their fields and pushing the boundaries of “business as usual.”

Please join us on September 15th as these speakers discuss the art behind innovation. Continue the conversation with fellow TEDxers over complimentary food and drinks during our session breaks.

Our Speakers:

Kevin Dowling – Kevin is currently the Vice President of R&D at MC10 where he leads a growing engineering team to develop stretchable semiconductor technology into products and applications. His previous roles includes VP of Innovation at Philips Color Kinetics, as well as over 15 years of experience in advanced robotics engineering at the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, where, as a scientist, he led many projects including robotic systems for a Lunar Rover demo, Space Shuttle inspection at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, and the Mars Rover Project. He holds 60 U.S. Patents and is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships. Most recently, he spoke at Google’s Solve For X conference, a forum to encourage and amplify technology-based moonshot thinking and teamwork.

Michael Roberto – Michael joined the tenured faculty at Bryant University after serving six years on the faculty at Harvard Business School. He is author of the books Know What You Don’t Know and Why Great Leaders Don’t Take Yes For An Answer. The latter was named as one of the top 10 business books in 2005 by Canada’s largest newspaper, The Globe and Mail. In addition to these works, he has published articles in the Harvard Business Review, MIT Sloan Management Review, and The Leadership Quarterly, and maintained a blog which was named one of the top 50 business professor blogs in the world. Michael was recently appointed Director of the Center for Program Innovation at Bryant University.

Jeremey Donovan – Jeremey’s passion for TEDx and “Ideas Worth Spreading” is clear. His book, How To Deliver A TED Talk: Secrets Of The World's Most Inspiring Presentations, offers a complete guide to speakers on how to deliver the best speech of their life. He also founded and hosted TEDxMillRiver, a sold out TEDx event in Stamford, CT that focused on revolutionary innovation. In addition to his work with TEDx, Jeremey is Group Vice President of Gartner Research where he oversees the marketing of the firm’s $865 million research business.

Ishita Gupta – Ishita navigates the divide between traditional and digital publishing. As Head of Hoopla and Media at The Domino Project, a new publishing house powered by Amazon, she launched 6 bestselling books including Read This Before Our Next Meeting and Seth Godin’s Linchpin: Are You Indispensable, one of the bestselling business books in 2010 (and had a page in the book.) She founded and runs Fear.less magazine, a popular digital magazine that interviews courageous innovators like Guy Kawasaki, Steven Pressfield, and Alan Webber. She has also rocked the Six Month Alternative MBA, an experimental program designed and run by Seth Godin.

Gordon Hui – Gordon recently joined Smart Design as the director of business design and strategy. He is currently building on Smart Design’s heritage of designing great products, including the OXO Good Grips line and Flip video camera, to bring to life breakthrough business thinking, strategies, and technology-based experiences. Before he came to Smart Design, Gordon was assistant vice president in the Hartford Financial Services Group’s innovation and corporate venture capital group. He is also a contributing author to Fast Company.

Lauryn Ballesteros – Lauryn is obsessed with growth, authenticity, and connection. She served as VP of Strategic Partnerships for Seth Godin’s new publishing venture The Domino Project and Squidoo, the 60th largest website in the USA. She worked with premium brands like Kraft, GE and others to build trust and credibility in the digital landscape. In addition, Lauryn spoke at TedxTraverseCity, Fast Company, Mashable and others and was recently published in the bestselling book End Malaria alongside authors Tom Peters, Gary Vaynerchuk and Derek Sivers.

Jeff Moore - Jeff is the founder and CEO of Moore Impact ( He helps business owners who are stuck transform themselves and their companies through Puzzle Thinking. Puzzle Thinking is a problem-solving technique based on the strategies used by master puzzle solvers. Jeff teaches businesspeople this technique so that they can overcome even their most difficult business challenges. Before starting Moore Impact, Jeff built a financial software development company to serve clients like Barclays, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, and UBS. In addition to large-scale software development, Jeff helps these organizations with business strategy, sales process, and client experience.


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Mark Twain House and Museum
351 Farmington Avenue
Hartford, Connecticut, 06105
United States
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Organizing team


  • Tim Banker
  • Jen Klick
    Social Media Coordinator
  • Jason Coppola
  • Kim Muravyev
  • Doug Waddell
  • Emily Lesinski