x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Passion

This event occurred on
October 7, 2010
1:00am - 1:00am EDT
(UTC -4hrs)
Cincinnati, Ohio
United States

It is movement that cannot be stopped. Rhythm that does not slow. It is your own will operating at its greatest force. TEDxCincy uncovers PASSION, the energy behind life’s most fearless pursuits.

Aronoff Center for the Arts
Cincinnati, Ohio
United States
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Dhani Jones

An NFL player with the Cincinnati Bengals, Jones rides a bike to the stadium for practices and games, works with Al Gore’s climate change initiative and is a member of the Entertainment Council for Feeding America. His most recent accomplishment is the launch of Bow Ties for a Cause, a signature line intended to help create awareness and raise funds for non-profit organizations around the country. The well-spoken Jones stars in the Travel Channel’s original series, Dhani Tackles the Globe, now in its second season. His passion for living, authority on sports and understanding of issues such as climate change make Dhani a key player in sports and sustainability. It’s no wonder that in Hindi, “Dhani” means thinking man.

Brad King

Brad King is an assistant professor of journalism and an Emerging Media Initiative Fellow at Ball State University, where his research examines how emerging technologies are changing the ways we tell stories. A graduate of the University of California at Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, he’s worked for Wired, MIT’s Technology Review and He is currently on the advisory boards for South by Southwest Interactive and Carnegie Mellon’s ETC Press while finishing his third book, The Cult of Me (ETC Press 2010), a book about storytelling in the digital world.

Carlton Farmer

Carlton Farmer has been Assistant Curator for the nationally traveling museum exhibition “America I AM: The African American Imprint” for the last three years. In this unique role, he identifies and locates artifacts for inclusion in the exhibition, doing much of the writing that accompanies these objects. Carlton loves traveling with the exhibition as it moves to different cities across the United States, but is always happy to return to his home in Cincinnati’s beautiful Over-the-Rhine.

Dr. Herman Mays

Dr. Herman Mays, an evolutionary biologist with a lifelong interest in natural history, received his PhD in evolutionary ecology from the University of Kentucky in 2001, and is currently the curator of zoology at Cincinnati Museum Center. Dr. Mays has established an international, collaborative research program that seeks to ask basic questions in evolutionary biology by employing modern molecular genetic tools. This research program has taken Dr. Mays and his collaborators around the world – to Hawaii, Japan, Taiwan, Mainland China and throughout the United States – to gather genomic samples and other data that allow him to probe the evolutionary past.

Claire Thompson

“If people don’t let go of their first instinct, the potential to reach their goals are infinite,” says artist and designer Claire Thompson. At 20, Claire lost nearly all of her sight and spent her recovery living alone in a small French town as she pursued her passion to travel and paint. To be the artist she knew she could be, Claire worked, sewed, designed and painted in hopes of reclaiming the rest of her vision. She is a senior in the Design, Architecture, Art and Planning program at the University of Cincinnati. Though her background lies in fashion design, her interests span much more. Her diverse cooperative educational experience at DAAP has ranged from bridal design, childrenswear, foresight work, branding and identity, graphic and illustration design and design research.

Willie Carden Jr.

Willie F. Carden, Jr., 24-year City of Cincinnati employee, currently serves as the Director of Parks. He is a native Cincinnatian living in the neighborhood of Colerain Township. He is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati with a bachelor of arts in Finance/ Economics, associate of arts in Business Management, and a certificate of business in CEO/ Executive Management. Power lifter, nature lover and part time marine biologist.

Grant McCracken

Grant holds a PhD from the University of Chicago in cultural anthropology. He is the author of Culture and Consumption, Culture and Consumption II, Plenitude, Big Hair, The Long Interview, Flock and Flow, and Transformations. He has been the director of the Institute of Contemporary Culture at the Royal Ontario Museum, a senior lecturer at the Harvard Business School, a visiting scholar at the University of Cambridge and he is now a research affiliate at C3 at MIT. He has consulted widely in the corporate world, including the Coca-Cola Company, Campbell Soup, Diageo, IBM, IKEA, Sesame Street, Chrysler, Kraft and Kimberly Clark. He has served on marketing advisory boards for IBM and the Boston Beer Company. Basic Books has just published his latest book, Chief Culture Officer.

Adrian Parr

Adrian Parr (MA, PhD) is an associate professor in both the Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and the School of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning at the University of Cincinnati. She has published several books, articles and delivered numerous talks on the topic of sustainability. She is author of Hijacking Sustainability (Cambridge, MA: MIT UP, 2009) and co-editor of New Directions in Sustainable Design (London, NY: Routledge, 2010). She is regularly called upon to speak and provide professional advice on the topic of sustainable development.

John Eckberg

John Eckberg is director of media relations for Cook Medical, a medical device company based in Bloomington, IN. Founded in the back bedroom of a Bloomington, IN, apartment building by Bill and Gayle Cook, Cook Medical has pioneered minimally-invasive procedures and devices for nearly five decades. Today, Cook Medical is a leading producer of antimicrobial catheters and is a global giant with offices all over the world and a payroll of 10,000 people.

Dr. Benjamin Passty

Benjamin Passty, a research assistant professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Cincinnati, also serves as director of the Applied Economics Research Institute (AERI). His work at AERI provides real-world opportunities for students while contributing valuable analysis to clients across the nation. Dr. Passty's private research program has focused on human capital and the impact it has on life outcomes, such as: the impact that a criminal record has on later employment prospects; the impact that income has on health outcomes; and the impact of women's education on the marriage prospects of both men and women. Dr. Passty is an active member and frequent presenter for the Association of University Bureaus of Economic Research and the Midwest Economic Association.

Mary Pierce Brosmer

Mary is a transformative educator and leadership trainer who left a career in public school teaching to found Women Writing for (a) Change, which has grown from one class of 15 women into a multi-faceted arts, social justice and community-building LLC with affiliate sites in seven states, as well as a thriving non-profit Foundation. She also directs leadership and mentoring programs for women and teenage girls. Mary hosted “Writing for Change” on WVXU, 91.7 fm from 1998-2005. Mary is the author of Women Writing for (a) Change: A Guide for Creative Transformation (Notre Dame: Sorin Press, 2009).

Peter Chamberlain

Peter Chamberlain is an assistant professor of industrial design at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning. A graduate of DAAP’s Master of Fine Arts Sculpture program, he also holdsa degree in design from the Graduate School at Chiba University, located just outside of Tokyo, Japan. He has worked in the rapid-prototyping industry and in transportation-related manufacturing technology in both Japan and the United States.

Patricia Van Skaik

Patricia Van Skaik manages the Genealogy and Local History Collection at the Public Library of Cincinnati, one of the largest genealogy collections in the country. Among her many adventures as a librarian, none have surpassed her high-tech exploration of the 1848 Cincinnati Riverfront Panorama. Author, web-developer and conservator, Patricia lectures widely on the intersection of technology, urban history and librarianship.

Dave Knox

Dave Knox is Chief Marketing Officer for Rockfish Interactive. Author of the industry leading blog,, Dave was named by AdAge as “1 of 25 Media People You Should Follow on Twitter” and by Media Industry News as a “2010 Social Media Superstar.” Dave is active in the entrepreneurial community; he serves as an advisor to several venture-backed companies, on the board of VCU Brandcenter and is the co-founder of The Brandery, a seed-stage venture accelerator.

Dr. Victor Garcia

Dr. Victor Garcia graduated from West Point and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, studied pediatric surgery under C. Everett Koop, and was Walter Reed’s chief of general/pediatric surgery. Vic founded Children’s Trauma Center and led the effort to establish the country’s first pediatric weight loss surgery center. For his ongoing work to eliminate childhood health and social disparities, he’s received numerous awards and commendations, including the Martin Luther King Humanitarian Award and the National Jefferson Award. Vic has an uncompromising belief in the power of systems thinking and stakeholder engagement to solve society’s most intractable problems.

Jeff Edmondson

Jeff Edmondson is the executive director of Strive, a partnership of post- secondary, K-12, business, philanthropic, non-profit, and civic organizations in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, which is aimed at creating a world-class education system where every child succeeds from birth through college. The lessons learned from the development of this partnership are currently being applied in four cities across the country – through a collaborative relationship with Living Cities and the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities – to help ensure resources in these regions are efficiently and effectively supporting the success of every child.

Margy Waller

Margy Waller is a Vice President of ArtsWave. She has served as Executive Director of The Mobility Agenda, a think tank she founded in Washington DC. Previously she was Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution, with a joint appointment in the Economic Studies and Metropolitan Policy programs. Prior to Brookings, she was Senior Advisor on domestic policy in the Clinton-Gore White House. Margy was named one of the nation's 25 most "powerful and influential" nonprofit arts leaders, Top Ten Tweeter by SoapboxMedia, Rising Civic Star by Cincy Magazine and has appeared in and on numerous national media outlets. She's a non-practicing lawyer and photographer of the arts-all-around-us on her tumblr blog: cincinnatiartgrrl.

Shasta Bray

Wide-eyed with pigtails, Shasta grew up catching fireflies, reading Ranger Rick, and falling in love with the animals at the zoo. Dedicated to wildlife conservation, she believes that personal encounters with wildlife can create emotional connections that inspire people to take conservation action. As the Interpretive Media Manager for the Cintcinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden, Shasta develops interpretive exhibits and programs that provide meaningful experiences and authentic opportunities to take action.

Ben Nicholson

Currently employed at Lightborne, a media post and production studio, Ben has done stints in a variety roles and facilities. Since Joining Lightborne, Ben has overseen the development of a once one-man motion design department into a fully staffed global creative force. Ben has directed and animated both live-action and animated national Ad campaigns, music videos and tour visuals. Creative collaboration is the fuel for his fire and he loves helping clients execute, grow and implement their vision. When Ben is not working, he is gardening with his beautiful wife and helping love and wrangle his three children. You can often find him in the kitchen cooking meals for his friends.

Mark Jeffreys

Mark Jeffreys is a Brand Manager at Procter & Gamble running P&G’s marketing in the Dollar and Emerging Customer Channel. Mr. Jeffreys has been with P&G for nine years having also worked on Pampers, Clairol, PUR and Always. Mr. Jeffreys created go Vibrant based on personal passion for health and fitness in addition to his current responsibilities at P&G, and with support from P&G. go Vibrant is now a partnership across 40+ organizations in Cincinnati – from P&G, Macys, Kroger and GE to United Way, YMCA, American Heart Association and Western Southern – energized by a purpose of making healthy living easier and a vision to make Cincinnati consistently ranked as a top 10 healthiest city by 2020.

Joe Rigotti

Joe Rigotti has been in the special events business since forever. A generously fabulous person, he not only understands the theatrical, but also the business side of any event—whether it be social or corporate. Joe received his BA in Studio Art and Communication from DePauw University, and attended graduate school at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, where he studied musical theater. He loves everything design oriented, included, but not limited to, fashion, music and theater. His special event experience goes beyond just décor—he has designed, stage managed, stage directed, choreographed, art directed multi-media, worked with national entertainers and even emceed events across the country. His national network includes personal connections with speakers, entertainers and other creatives, and allows him the resources to create unforgettable experiences.

Organizing team


Hamilton, OH, United States
  • David Volker
  • Mary Riffe
  • Michael Bergman