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We’ve invited our past TEDxColumbus speakers and other friends to give us their top five favorite talks to in turn, share with you, for our Friday Favorites blog series.

This week, Matt Slaybaugh (full bio below) who opened the first TEDxColumbus in 2009 and performed again in 2010 shares his favorite talks.

1. Brene Brown: Listening to Shame

2. Benjamin Zander: The transformative power of classical music

3. Barbara Fant

4. Sir Ken Robinson: Bring on the learning revolution!

5. Barry Schwartz: Our loss of wisdom


Slaybaugh is the Artistic Director of Available Light Theatre. His writing and directing of new plays and original works for Available Light and the BlueForms Theatre Group has been lauded by American Theatre magazine, New York Press,, the Central Ohio Theatre Critics Circle, the Cincinnati Entertainment Awards, and the Victoria BC Times Colonist. He serves on the Greater Columbus Creative Cultural Commission, teaches at Columbus College of Art & Design and the Columbus State Community College Life Long Learning Institute, and writes for the Agit Reader, and Matt was a TEDxColumbus 2009 & 2010 speaker.


Welcome to Friday Favorites, a new addition to the TEDxColumbus blog.
As we recognized (but not necessarily overtly celebrate) the fifth year of TEDxColumbus, we’ve invited our past TEDxColumbus speakers and other friends to give us their top five favorite talks to in turn, share with you.

We are starting with the favorites of Jordan Edelheit.  Her full bio is below, but suffice to say, she’s the gravity and force behind TEDxOhioStateUniversity and one of the co-organizers behind TEDxMarionCorrectional.   Enjoy her selections below.


1. Chimamanda Adichie: The danger of a single story


2. Natalie Warne: Being young and making an impact


3. Neil Pasricha: The 3 A’s of awesome


4. Bryan Stevenson: We need to talk about an injustice


5. Brené Brown: The power of vulnerability


Jordan Edelheit is currently studying Public Affairs at The Ohio State University, but more importantly is a social entrepreneur. She is the founder of TEDxOhioStateUniversity which now includes an incredible team of passionate students and an advisory board. Since introducing TEDxOhioStateUniversity in the fall of 2011 she has also spent time co-organizing a TEDx event at a venue quite different than a university setting– prison. The past half year was spent journeying to and from Marion organizing TEDxMarionCorrectional, attempting to make a positive impact within the incarceration system. Her newest project, The Driven (, involved a seven week, 8,344 mile cross country road trip interviewing over 140 social entrepreneurs on what drives their passion. On campus she is involved with the service organization Ohio Staters, Inc which creates projects regarding the traditions of the university. She believes this university is a space of constant innovation and creativity and the intention of hosting a TEDx event is to create a platform to share ideas and let them continue to cultivate and grow!


TEDxColumbus 2013 seeks speakers who will take us Out There. To places that are challenging, unknown and even uncomfortable. With ideas that are both prickly and bright, deafening and subtle, blazing and tepid. And we seek an audience who expects to be provoked, not just inspired; to be surprised, not just delighted; and moved, not just amused.

We will be choosing speakers in three general categories for TEDxColumbus 2013.

1. Those with ideas that are most simply Out There. Concepts and discoveries that push our limits of comfort or boundaries of knowledge.

2. Ideas that specifically provoke our senses. Research, trends, insight, experiences around what we see, taste, smell, hear and touch.

3. Visionaries for Columbus. Who can see Out There into the future? We seek small and large ideas for our city to ignite a new conversation as to what could be or what should be… Out There.

As we have done for the last four years, TEDxColumbus aims to showcase some of our best and brightest thinkers, doers and visionaries with ideas that will shatter bias, ignite creativity and move action. We will accept the following formats:

  • an idea worth spreading
  • an amazing personal story
  • a stunning performance
  • a jawdropping technology demo
  • a brand new piece of work/research
  • a unique “how to”
  • a slide show of remarkable images
  • a review of a unique trend or set of data with your unique lens
  • anything that you think would fascinate, excite, educate, inspire or delight the rest of us.

How to Nominate or Apply

To submit a nomination please complete this form and upload a one-minute video of your idea, talent or demonstration here.  Nominations will not be considered without both the completed form and video submission.  Deadline: May 24, 2013.

If you would like to audition in person, you may also attend the Open Call for auditions on June 19, 2013 from 7-9pm  at the offices of Dawson/ Talent Rooster at 1114 Dublin Road. The Open Call will be a first-come, first-served of 30 individuals who will be given up to three minutesto present their idea, talent or demonstration. We recommend that you practice for this Open Call but we will not support the use of slides to assure we have time for everyone to present. The doors and sign-up list will open at 6:30pm that evening.

The curatorial team will make decisions on as many speakers as possible by June 28, 2013.

And keeping with our popular tradition, we will also choose one speaker from TEDxYouth@Columbus on October 10 to appear on October 11.  For more information on TEDxYouth@Columbus, click here.

As a reminder, speakers and presenters who present a distinct point of view, fueled by research, mastery or experience on one central idea, discovery, trend are preferred.  Speakers who intend to lecture, riff, preach or opine will not be chosen.



A few TEDx organizers and other Ohioians had the opportunity to attend this year’s TED Active conference in Palm Spring, CA last week. It was an amazing, memorable and exhausting week! Enjoy a little photo journey through our week in California.

TED Active is a much more relaxed setting than the main stage TED event in Long Beach. “The Quad” hosted many meals, discussions and late night events throughout the week of TED Active.


Hosts Kelly Stoetzel and Rives keep the 800+ TEDActive attendees entertained and directed throughout the week at Palm Springs.


TEDActive is known for its anti-Theater viewing areas, always complete with bean bags!


Organizers from TEDxColumbus & TEDxOhioStateUniversity enjoy a food truck dinner. (from L to R – Julie Columbro and Jordan Edelheit of TEDxOhioStateUniversity, Allyson Kuentz, Ruth Milligan and Judi Stillwell of TEDxColumbus)










Ruth Milligan and Jordan Edelheit (TEDxOhioStateUniversity) and other TEDx organizers from around the world together with Laura Stein, TEDx Director (center), before going on stage to give a TEDx update at TED.






We loved the bookstore, curated by past and present TED speakers.











Ruth found some Ohio friends at dinner, David and Luciana from Bath & Body Works!














Ohio was represented on the TED stage when Ruth and Jordan (TEDxMarionCorrectional) shared how TEDx has impacted their lives a session called “Inside TED.” (You can read more about the story on FOLLOW THIS)








Allyson and Judi were lucky enough to get take a behind the scenes tour of the conference space in Long Beach, CA. Here is Allyson in one of the viewing spaces.







TEDx organizers from around the world gathered at a TEDx organizers workshop before the TED conference started. Of all the seats in the theater, Allyson managed to find a little piece of Columbus in the seat right next to her!











There were a variety of spaces to watch the conference including the “House of Design” which highlighted design innovation sponsored by Lincoln. This space quickly became a favorite gathering spot for attendees to enjoy well into the evening.








“The Study” was another viewing location which highlighted the latest with the TED ED initiative.












Wednesday, April 3 Melinda Gates will present TEDxChange live from Seattle, Washington. Themed Positive Disruption, TEDxChange 2013 speakers will challenge preconceived ideas, spark discussion, engage leaders and shed light on new perspectives.

Join the TEDxColumbus community to watch the livestream of this thought-provoking event at resource from Noon- 2 p.m. Wednesday, April 3. To register to attend, click here. For more information on TEDxChange, click here. says:

Disruption is usually unwelcome. It represents conflict, chaos, and potential danger. We discourage disruptive behavior in our homes and our societies, often favoring passivity and compliance.

But disruption can be a positive – sometimes vital – catalyst for change. It can challenge old assumptions, ignite conversations, activate authorities and expose new possibilities. Disruption can shed a unique light on difficult issues, giving a fresh urgency and perspective to the challenges of our global community.

To solve the most intractable challenges in health and development, we need positive disruption. It is the path to true progress.





Get your talks and performances ready! Thursday, August 16 (7-9pm, Columbus Museum of Art) is your chance to show us what you’ve got and possibly become a TEDxColumbus speaker.  We are looking for ideas that fit into the theme “The Future Revealed.”  Make sure to bring us your personal experience around the idea, any research that supports it (obviously, in a quick summary) and your call to action – what do you want us to do with the idea?

All interested speakers and performers will be welcome to the stage in front of a panel of TEDxColumbus partners to audition to become a speaker (or performer) at TEDxColumbus 2012 event on October 5 at COSI. Speakers & performers will be limited to 3 minutes to share your one idea (this has been updated from previous notices). Due to the limited time, no powerpoints/keynotes will be permitted (they will be allowed on October 5). Any musical performances will have to be done acoustically for the audition only.

Registration (outside the auditorium) will take place on a first come, first serve basis starting at 6:45 p.m.  Everyone’s talks will be recorded and you will be asked to sign a release for both video and still photography usage.

The panel will make their selections and we will make the announcements of the winners on August 19 on this blog and through social media.  All participants will be emailed the results directly.

If you have any questions before the event, please email us at

Bring us your best and we look forward to hearing about it on August 16!



Follow This


Ruth Milligan posed the following questions to David Staley to catch up on his idea of Universitas, an idea that  he brought to life after TEDxColumbus: What’s Next? in 2010.


Has Universitas met or exceeded your expectations?  If so, how?

Very much exceeded. My TEDx talk was an idea, a vision for the city of Columbus. You, Ruth, suggested I end my talk with a call to action, to urge the audience to join me in “connecting the creatives and innovators of the city.” I was gratified that 75 people at that event signed up and nearly 200 in total have wanted to be a part of this movement. Still amazed that, almost two years later, people still wish to gather…


Have you seen any ideas transformed out of a Universitas gathering?

Not as many as I’d like. I think individuals benefit, but no identifiable collective creativity has occurred.  Though, Kim Kiehl [COSI Senior Vice President & Chief Operating and Strategy Officer] recently told me that it’s the highlight of her month.

Of course, at Reader’s Roundtable Kim Kiehl did mention that COSI’s recent Art & Science Day was inspired by Universitas…. In any case, any insights into what it might take to make “identifiable collective creativity” happen?

I have joked that Universitas is the opposite of eHarmony, by which I mean that we do not wish to connect those who are compatible, we seek to connect those who are…well, contracompatible is the term we have been using. I have also been using the example of “Steve Jobs’ bathrooms” as another analogy. At Pixar, Jobs designed the space with only one set of bathrooms. He did this to assure that everyone in the company would at some stage have to congregate in the same location—the engineers and computer programmers and the artists and the animators would all be forced together. New and unexpected ideas emerge when these the contracompatible are connected. Universitas is an attempt to architect such a contracompatible space.
What has been one of your favorite Universitas moments?

In September 2011, Chef Bryan Loveless brought in 20 ingredients and, without the benefit of a set recipe, invited the Universitas group to “make something special to eat.”  We could only use the ingredients at hand and whatever dish we created had to have an emotional theme attached to it. The evening was the brainchild of Chef Loveless and Rob Sullivan, from PNC bank. I loved the idea of a collaboration between a chef and a banker; that is the essence of Universitas, I think.  The evening was an unqualified success: a room full of artists, designers, entrepreneurs, and educators connected together to become chefs. And ev

erything we made that evening was delicious.

Where do you see Universitas headed next?  I’d love to replicate that idea each month:  I would want to bring together two very different people, from different backgrounds or occupations or outlooks on life and have them co-curate an event. The essence of Universitas is serendipitous connections, connecting people who wouldn’t ordinarily be connected, to see what kind of new ideas happen.


How can someone keep up with what is happening with Universitas?

Join our email list for sure. (Send David a note at: Also, were on Twitter:


In looking back now, would you give the same TEDxColumbus talk today that you gave in 2010?

Absolutely, yes.  In fact, I am more committed than ever to the idea of curating environments that foster creativity and innovation. Cities the size and density of Columbus make for an especially fertile environment.




Choosing speakers for TEDxColumbus has gleefully become a difficult process. That means we get tons of ideas, nominations and submissions now – versus three years ago when we had to beg people to listen to our explanation of TED and TEDx.

As a result, this year we have changed the TEDxColumbus speaker nomination process. We would ideally like every nominated speaker to submit a one-minute video describing their idea, point of view and what gives them the license to talk about it. Of course, this has lead to many questions, such as:  What do you want to hear?  How do I film it? Does it need to be a high-quality video? What if it’s longer than one minute?  Ruth Milligan, Curator of TEDxColumbus, hopes to answer all your questions in her one-minute video below.


The goal of the video submission is to help the TEDxColumbus curatorial team assess if your idea falls under the theme of “The Future Revealed” and does it fit the TED model: Do you have a strong point of view or compelling story? Do you have data to support your idea? Do you have mastery in your subject? Can you keep to a time limit?

Lastly, remember, the curatorial team will be choosing a handful from the nominations (which also need to fill out the brief nomination form), but we’ll also use these videos in the late summer to help identify folks to appear at the open forum on August 16 and/or be chosen by the attendees of the conference itself.

Please let us know if you still have questions!

To nominate a speaker, please click here.

All video submissions and questions can be sent to


Follow This

[by Kendra Hovey]

Meditate, laugh, spend time with friends, eat salmon, sit less, and get your Vitamin D. This prescription doesn’t sound so bad; it might even be fun. Yet, many of us struggle to follow even simple health habits. But what if doctor’s orders are not so fun—what if they’re, in fact, a big fat drag? And what if you’re a teenager, your friends aren’t having to do it, and slacking off may not get you into real trouble until the ancient age of 30?

For those who live with it, “#diabetes sucks.” At the very least, the lifelong daily regimen to stay healthy is challenging. Denial is tempting, more so for teenagers. Pediatric endocrinologist Dr. Jen Shine Dyer gets this. She also gets the very real consequences—disability, early death. So to help her patients follow doctor’s orders, she “met them where they’re at”—she texted them. And it worked.

Dyer shared her texting experiment at the 2010 TEDxColumbus, where she also unveiled her prototype EndoGoddess app that would enable other doctors to offer similar automated, yet personal, patient support with presumably similar positive results.

So a year and a half later, is her hypothesis true, “is texting good health?” The answer seems to be yes…and no. Dr. Dyer has learned a lot since then. Her idea has evolved. So has she.

So what has she learned? Small personal bursts of physician support get powerful results, but that power begins to dim after about three months. The text and the personal relationship behind it was a trigger, but for a sustained effect, two more things were needed: motivation and literacy. Her evolved version of the EndoGoddess app has all three. When users check blood sugar levels regularly, they get points (eventually to be used as credit at the iTunes Store). Along with this “gamefication” motivation, the app also includes educational and inspirational information and it connects users to online diabetes communities—an increasingly essential source of social support and “real-time empathy.”

Another change: this app is for the patient, not the doctor. “The patients are already looking,” she says, “they are ready for change.” The switch did come with a compromise. Instead of just being texting-capable, users now need a smartphone, or an iPod Touch—a popular device among teens.

Dyer’s original inspiration is not exactly lost; it just comes through the backdoor. Because it can be used to log every blood sugar check, the app functions as a manifest of the often unseen but difficult day-to-day work diabetes demands. This can be enlightening to family and friends, who then may become more supportive. Also as family and friends contribute to the user’s iTunes account, they can become more invested, connected and educated. Or, as Dyer puts it, “When Grandma puts in $5, she might be more likely to say ‘I’m proud of you.’”

Immediately following TEDxColumbus, Dyer was inundated with offers to develop the app. She ignored every one, but then, after six months, decided to partner with the Columbus start-up Duet Health. “We’re on the same page,” she says. Released last fall, the 99-cent app has been downloaded over 500 times, and has a 4+ rating.

And why, exactly, is it called the EndoGoddess? Patients typically refer to their endocrinologists as “my Endo.” One of Dyer’s, a young girl who approved of her doctor’s fashion sense, took to calling Dyer “my EndoGoddess.” The nickname is also Dyer’s online identity.

Asked if the name might be a barrier for some, Dyer shares that half of all users are male. Though she makes the point that they are, like her, early adopters: “As a group, we’re not the most usual bunch of people.”

The next major evolution for the EndoGoddess app will be the integration of a medical device—the glucometer. Likely, this won’t be available until 2013, as it will need FDA approval. For now, Dyer has a clinical trial to run. “I’m a numbers person,” she says, “the field of mobile health is exciting, but as a doctor what I care about is that it improves health care, and we need to have a measure of that.” The 3-month self-funded trial is set to begin this month. She hopes to also run a longer trial, but has bumped into the problem that perplexes many providers of mobile and online content: funding.

On hiatus from practicing medicine, Dyer’s been doing a lot of travelling and talking. At SXSW in March and a D.C. conference in April, in late May she is off to Paris to present at Doctors 2.0 (over the winter there was even a TV audition). A doctor when she spoke at TEDxColumbus, Dyer is now also a tech entrepreneur and mHealth pioneer. As such, she has a frontline perspective on new mobile health solutions. Follow This will continue to follow her, especially as new policies and patient-centered incentives are due to go into effect. It’s going to get interesting, she predicts, and exciting and, she says, “good for patients.”

Kendra Hovey is editor and head writer at Follow This. On Twitter @KendraHovey, she blogs at


TEDxColumbus: The Future Revealed- October 5, 2012

WantedSpeakers who can inspire, predict, reflect, challenge, educate and/or resonate.

This year’s TEDxColumbus, anchoring the Columbus Bicentennial’s idUS week, aims to answer an aspirational call: showcase some of our best and brightest thinkers, doers and visionaries with ideas that will shatter bias, ignite creativity and move action.

Keeping in mind we are looking for stories that help reveal the future (or a future), they can be in any of these categories:

  • an idea worth spreading
  • an amazing personal story
  • a stunning performance
  • a jawdropping technology demo
  • a brand new piece of work/research
  • a unique “how to”
  • a slide show of remarkable images
  • a review of a unique trend or set of data with your unique lens
  • anything that you think would fascinate, excite, educate, inspire or delight the rest of us.

This year’s process has a new phase which includes an open call for ideas.

Phase 1:

To be considered by the curatorial team (April – June), anyone nominated needs to submit a one minute (and we mean one minute) video of the idea you want to share at TEDxColumbus. You may nominate others or yourself, as long as the video is submitted at the same time as the nomination. We will not consider any nominations during this time that don’t include a video.

So, to nominate yourself or someone else, two things are needed.

1. Fill out this form.

2. Submit a video to this email address:

If you don’t submit a video, we will not remind you or reach to you, we’ll just not review your nomination.  You should be notified by July whether or not you were chosen by the curatorial team. We encourage you to submit your videos by May 15th!  But read on….

Phase 2:

While the curatorial team will pick approximately 12-15 speakers and performers from our search and general nominations in Phase 1, we will leave three spots open to be chosen in three new ways in 2012:

  • A panel of previous TEDxColumbus attendees and speakers will audition up to 10 speakers who will be chosen from the video submissions.  Each applicant / nominee will present a 3 minute sample talk. During that same audition, we will open it to up to 20 people (first come, first serve) to present 1 minute ideas to also be considered. These people need not submit a nomination or video in advance.  The panel’s choice will present at TEDxColumbus 2012. The audition event is August 16 at Columbus Museum of Art in the Cardinal Health Auditorium from 7-9pm. This audition is open and free to anyone to attend, should you just want to stop in and hear some great short talks!
  • Registrants / attendees to TEDxColumbus 2012 will get to vote on a final speaker, also from the open nomination videos. We will submit three videos to the attendees in early September on which they will vote and the winner will present.
  • We will pick one speaker from TEDxYouth@Columbus on October 3 (also at COSI). We will scout a speaker or performer that day and offer a surprise invitation to him or her to come back on October 5.