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As we close out 2013 TEDxColumbus event, it is imperative that we call out all those that helped make this event possible. Here’s our honor roll!

Allyson Kuentz – While she went inside COSI full time this summer, she was still instrumental in being our inside-COSI contact. She should be recognized for helping us in every event from 2009 and getting us to this place.

Judi Stillwell – Judi stepped up and took a huge leadership role in helping to choose speakers this year, guiding us through the curatorial process. Her passion for sharing great ideas and igniting inspiring conversation is contagious!

David Staley – we chose him in as a speaker in 2010, and he has helped co-host and as a member of the curatorial team for the last 2 years. He balances us out with really provocative questions and a steady, professional demeanor. We need both of those things always!

Jen Kerns – Jen stepped in late this summer to take over the back-office operations of ticketing, website updating, sponsor fulfillment, registration and keeping us all calm through the storm. We look forward to keeping Jen involved in the future!

We had an amazing team of day-of event volunteers that included (and we hope we haven’t missed anyone!) Steve Post (who also was a huge help writing our speaker profiles- thank you Steve!), Amy Sharp (our tweeter!), Jenny Hooie, Susie Fabro, Sheeba Samuel, Morgan Howard, Chet Ridenour, Cari Scott, Karen Jones, Mandy Sadowski, Alan Jazak and more! We can’t forget Cleve Ricksecker, who stepped in for a sick Michael Wilkos to conduct the community conversation (more on that to come!).

Then there were the awesome TEDxOhioStateUniversity team who helped Morgan and Chet manage the activities in the upstairs galleries. We are blessed to count them as friends and partners!

Lauren Edmond stepped up with a week left to host the livestream of at the McConnell Arts Center. What a gift that was to us to have such a welcoming second host for those that couldn’t come to COSI.

Then… there’s our creative team. Truly impeccable this year, again. We truly were honored to have this talent by our side.

Joey Zornes and his team from BonFire Red truly kept us in business as our web site went through some up and downs this year.

Drue Dixon and Terry Rohrbach from Base Art Co. did their amazing magic with our brand, AGAIN. It is thanks to them we have an amazing design platform on which to build our entire image.

Mike Beaumont and his genius team at SpaceJunk Media crushed it again with their remarkable animations for both our promo video and speaker introductions.

Bill Liftin, now at Engague, continued to shepard the mobile site even though he’s been through two major changes since his team built it two years ago!

And the uber talented photographers at Time Tank Labs who, for the third year, offered the best documentation of our event at COSI.  And Megan Leigh Barnard stepped in to flawlessly photograph our speaker reception.

We hope we haven’t missed anyone. Please know we are grateful for this community-wide collaboration that makes it all possible.  Thank you!





Here is the session schedule for TEDxColumbus: OUT THERE this Friday, October 11.

Livestream link:


Session 1: 9 am – 10:30am

Scott Gaudi, Ali Rezai, Ly Apelado, Joe Simkins, Michelle Alexander


Session 2: 11am – 12:30pm

David Bromwich, Chris Domas, Susan Nittrouer, Kaweh Mansouri, Mohamed Ali


Session 3: 1:30 – 2:30 pm

Tobin-Wilcox, Nancy Kramer, Jess Mathews, Chris Fraser, Stephanie Hughes, Miriam Abbott, Josh Hara


Session 4: 2:50 pm – 4:00 pm

Castros, Dax Blake, Tom Knotek, Lori Moffett, Jim Fussell, Gabrielle Burton, Decker Moss



It’s our fifth year.  How did THAT happen?

And while we aren’t going to have someone jump out of plane to celebrate, we are proud to announce what might be our most ambitious line up in the short history of TEDxColumbus.  Join us on October 11 from 9-4 (with happy hour until 5) at COSI to witness this collection of thinkers, researchers, provocateurs, rainmakers, entertainers and game-changers, all of whom, in their own right, are doing things truly OUT THERE. Come join a dynamic crowd of curious folks to be collectively provoked, challenged and inspired, while connecting, conversing and processing it all together.

A few changes from past year’s events:  We have selected more speakers  — but to speak for shorter times, upon audience request.  We’ve curated two special groups to join our expected, provocative talks.  Here is the complete lineup (access their bios and abstracts through the speaker home page here).

For being OUT THERE in their investigations, solutions, ideas, courage or reach.  Talks include:

  • On rebuilding cities, Mohamed Ali.
  • On global warming, David Bromwich .
  • On gender fluidity, Gabrielle Burton.
  • On revolutionizing hacking, Chris Domas.
  • On finding new planets, Scott Gaudi.
  • On giving back out there, when you are in there, Jim Fussell
  • On a basic unmet human need, Nancy Kramer.
  • On the courage to change, Decker Moss.
  • On reaching deep inside the brain, Ali Rezai.
  • On new rules for systems, Joe Simkins.
  • On entertaining us,  Tobin-Wilcox and The Castros.

Five in five.  (Okay, we did want to celebrate being five.)

For being OUT THERE in their passions –  in five minutes each.

  • On writing through logic, Miriam Bowers Abbott.
  • On paying attention, Chris Fraser.
  • On exploring within, Josh Hara.
  • On coming out of the valley, Stephanie Hughes.
  • On a dynamic bike city, Jess Mathews.

Sensory Talks. Playing on the five theme (last time, promise!), we’ve invited a group of speakers to share an incredible range of thinking on our five main senses.

  • On smells in a city, Dax Blake.
  • On our scent and taste memory, Tom Knotek.
  • On saving sight, Kaweh Mansouri.
  • On the power of touch, Lori Guth Moffett.
  • On challenging the ability to listen, Susan Nittrouer.

And we encourage you to move quickly if you’d like to attend.  We expect, as always, tickets to sell out. Tickets can be purchased here.

TEDxColumbus 2013 is made possible with support of the following partners:

Lead Sponsor, resource.

Event Partners, The Columbus Foundation, The Doug and Monica Kridler Fund of the Columbus Foundation, Limited Brands Foundation, Cardinal Health and The Ohio State University.

Presenting Sponsors, GSW Worldwide, Ologie, Crane Group, Glimcher, IntoGreat, Alliance Data, Crimson Cup,

Media Partner, WOSU

Host Partner, COSI and Host Supporter, Susan Leohner Events.

Creative Support is provided by Base Art Co., Spacejunk Media, and BonFire Red.





The first Open Call Auditions for TEDxColumbus took place on Thursday, August 16 at the Columbus Museum of Art.  Three judges, David Staley, Judi Stillwell and Colleen Duffy, heard from 28 people who desired to have a place on the stage at TEDxColumbus 2012: The Future Revealed on October 5. By all accounts, it was an impressive and passionate group.  The judges met afterwards and made their difficult decisions —  and we are pleased to announce these folks will have a participating role in “The Future Revealed.”

Jan Allen on “Retiring Retirement : A Personal Upgrade to the Bonus Decades.” Jan will deliver a TEDx talk.
Ben Shinabery on the “New Genre of Music Education.”  Several musical acts from the Dick and Jane Project will be featured.
Brian Breitch on “The Next Musical Interface.”  A demonstration of their technology will be featured on and off stage.
Megan Holstein on “Mobile Apps for Autism,” to be featured at TEDxYouth@Columbus on October 3 with a TEDxYouth talk.

For those participants who weren’t chosen and for future participants to Open Calls, the judges shared these main reasons why many people did not get chosen (the list is a summary and doesn’t represent all reasons):

Did not summarize the idea well – the judges didn’t like to hear “and I’ll tell you the rest on October 5.”
Unclear central idea – like above, but too many ideas in the hopper, TEDx talks are about one core idea.
Bordered on selling – several ideas were clear extensions of what people did for a living.  While that may inform an idea, it can’t be the idea.
Speaking style was strained – the judges expected if there was nervousness in 3 minutes, there will be extreme nervousness in 10 or 15.
Hard to follow – if a core idea was stated last as opposed to first, the judges ended up confused through the pitch.  The judges wanted to be able to follow the idea from the start – as audiences desire to do.

And lastly,

No connection to theme – The judges were hoping for some tie to “The Future Revealed.”


Thanks to all who came out and gave it a try!  We were humbled by the participation, enthusiasm and spirit for sharing ideas.  We encourage those of you who didn’t make it to try again!

We look forward to hearing these ideas that did win — and seeing you all on October 5 at COSI!  Tickets go on sale to the general public on September 4 and the complete speaker list will be announced September 10.