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Events, TEDxColumbus


The videos are live! The Videos are live! thanks to everyone for your patience as we worked to get them edited and posted. We hope that you will enjoy each talk and find a reason to share them over and over.

To view the 2017 playlist, CLICK HERE.

As we close out this year of TEDxColumbus TRUST 2017, we wanted to share a special note of thanks to everyone who helped make this year possible. It really is a massive team effort both from our sponsors to our year-round volunteers, day-of volunteers and a few key staff that make it all come together.

Our generous Sponsors

The Columbus Foundation
The Kridler Family Fund at the Columbus Foundation
The Ohio State University
Cardinal Health
The Kramer-Celeste Fund at the Columbus Foundation
Kaufman Development
Crane Group

In Kind Sponsors

Crimson Cup

Kind Bars
Rhythm Foods

From the curatorial team:

Kyei Amato
Rich Bowers
Meagan Buren
Acacia Duncan
Sandra Lopez
Judi Stillwell
David Staley

Our photographers:

Kimberly Cole
Ken Falk

Our registration team:

Allyson Kuentz
Kim Goldsmith
Rosie Wayton

Speaker Coaches

Meagan Buren
Acacia Duncan

Make up artist

MelRo Potter

Hair Stylists

And our loyal independent production partners and those from from Markeys, WOSU and CAPA:

Jen Kerns
Tanya Irelan
John Prosek
Donna Raque
Jane Lewis
Chris Skinner
Derek Werner
Kirby Roberts

We continue to respond to the interest from our community – from our speakers to our participants. This event and these ideas are thanks to a city who craves ideas, creates ideas, and wants to share them with the world. This event is all of ours.

With gratitude,

Ruth and Nancy



Events, TEDxColumbus


Dear TEDxColumbus Community:  

For those of you participating on Friday, below is your attendee guide! (If you aren’t coming, we will miss you and hope you watch the talks when they are posted online in December!)

Please make sure to share this with your guests.

1. Registration: When you arrive  – with ticket in hand, or collected at will-call – either give a volunteer your name and email or give them a business card. This is because we are required by TED to send you a very (very) quick survey after the event. If we don’t have your info, we can’t send the survey. No survey, no feedback. No feedback, we can’t improve!

2. Parking: We recommend the Columbus Commons lot.  Or take COTA, which drops off (#2) right in front of the Riffe Center.

3. Program:  We will begin at 1pm sharp. Please plan to arrive at the theatre by 12:30pm at the latest.
If you arrive late, you will be seated once the current speaker / performer has finished. 

4. Food: You will have lots of options for heavy snacks (healthy and not-so) that could make up a lunch or dinner. For those who enjoy coffee, Crimson Cup will be back with their terrific coffee station; for those who want a post-event cocktail, the bar will be open from 530-630pm for Happy Hour with more food. Reusable water bottles with copious amounts of cold water dispensers will be on hand all day.

5. Dress: As always, be comfortable and casual!

6. Social : Please use #tedxcbus in any posts on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter- before or after the event. We love the digital conversation but just not during the actual talks.

7. Tshirts: The official TEDx tshirt will be printed on demand in the lobby.

8. Did we miss anything?! Email us at

Can’t wait to see you all on Friday November 3rd! We know the speakers and presenters are even more excited. Come curious and ready to be provoked!

TEDxColumbus Organizing Team 




Events, TEDxColumbus


Dear TEDxColumbus Community:


We have two important announcements (announcements, announcements…!) on how high school students can attend and speak at TEDxColumbus: TRUST on November 3, 2017 at the Davidson Theatre at the Riffe Center.


First – Think “Field Trip.” 


At TEDxColumbus, we will repeat our main speaker program twice again this year, once in a morning session (8am-12pm) and again in the afternoon (1pm– 530pm). Attendees in the morning session may only be high schoolers attending with a classroom teacher from their school (limit 25 per school). Tickets will be free and students need to be transported together by their respective schools.


To apply for one of these “Field Trip” slots to bring students, teachers can fill out this form. We will accept groups on a first come first serve basis with an eye to including the broadest range of schools from across the area. We will also provide a discussion guide that draws on the program /speaker content for teachers to use before and after the event.


The afternoon session is as always, open to the public. Ticket sales will begin in mid-September through CAPA. Look for details to follow. Proceeds from the afternoon session will help underwrite the morning high school session.


Second – High Schoolers at Speakers!


Last year we had a whole session of high school speakers. This year, we will choose three to speak with our adult speakers during the morning session. They will each get coaching from our partners at TEDxOhioStateUniversity and an official TEDxColumbus video on YouTube. To apply to be a speaker for one of the High School speaker slots, please carefully follow the instructions inside this form. 


Lastly, we will announce our main speaker and performers in 2 weeks! As always, it will prove to be a provocative and memorable day, showcasing some of our area’s best talent and ideas.


Thanks to the continued support from our loyal partners at Resource/Ammirati, The Columbus Foundation, Cardinal Health, L Brands Foundation, The Ohio State University, Crane Group and The Kridler Family Foundation. Their underwriting assures us the ability to produce the highest quality event toward sharing our ideas as far as possible!


We look forward to sharing ideas with you on November 3rd!

TEDxColumbus Organizing Team


Click here to find a playlist of TEDxColumbus:RISK 2016 talks and performances.



Events, TEDxColumbus

Central Ohio TEDx community small

Did you know that there are 10 active TEDx events in our community? Eight are represented in the above picture from our first-ever Central Ohio curatorial team gathering. We are thrilled to support these and other TED-like initiatives in town, helping to connect more people to each other and to ideas worth spreading. For the first-time, we’re publishing (and updating) a comprehensive list of all the TEDx events around Ohio, particularly those in Central Ohio.

Note that we are quickly approaching the TED conference viewing events. And, we’ve set the date for TEDxColumbus 2016 for Friday, November 4th, so mark your calendars! Nominations for speakers will open in April. We’ll keep everyone updated through our digital channels.

The 2016 guide to TEDx events in Ohio

Monday, February 15, 2016
TED Opening Session
TED is broadcasting live its opening conference session to cinemas across the country. In Columbus, you can take in this event at one of 6 theaters: Easton, Lennox, Polaris,Crosswoods, Stoneridge, Pickerington or Georgesville. Find details and purchase tickets ($12.50) here.   


Wednesday, February 17, 2016
1pm – 5pm
Official local viewing site for several speaker sessions of of the 2016 TED Conference at Westminister Thurber, 645 Neil  Avenue (Learning Center). No registration required. Come as you are!


Saturday, February 27, 2016
1pm – 5pm
This limited seating, first-time event at the McConnell Arts Center is organized by Worthington Educators.


Saturday, March 5, 2016
11am – 6pm
$15 – $30
This 5th Annual event driven by a large team of OSU students attracts nearly 1,500 attendees to Mershon Auditorium / Wexner Center and features faculty, staff, students and alums of OSU as speakers and performers.


April 2, 2016
$25/ Adults; $15/Students
A third-year event organized by students at New Albany High School at the McCoy Center for the Arts.


Thursday, May 19, 2016
(Elementary with Cols City Schools)
Columbus Museum of Art
Curriculum based event for 3rd-6th graders in CCS


Friday, May 20, 2016
Details TBA


Thursday, June 16, 2016
Details TBA


Wednesday, June 22, 2016
4 – 8pm
Whitehall City Schools / City of Whitehall


(anticipated, not yet announced)


(anticipated, not yet announced )


Fall (TBA)
Email if you’d like to be notified of the event details.


November 4, 2016
Capitol Theatre, Riffe Center
Tickets will go on sale in September. Speaker nominations open in April.

Events, Follow This

disruptionby Alessandra Wollner

On Friday November 20th, 900 people (give or take) abandoned business as usual to sit in darkened theater and listen all day to stories of Disruption.

I’m referring, of course, to the seventh annual TEDxColumbus at the Riffe Center’s Capitol Theatre.

Sixteen speakers and performers took their place on the red dot to sing, paint or speak their way into something disruptive, in a good way. The program was divided into three parts: Disruption in Business, on the Streets, and in the Self.

The presenters were charming, authentic, poised and powerful by turn. The full playlist is here. To pique your interest, we’ll keep the recaps short and snappy. Six words short, in fact, to ride the momentum of Six in the City, a program that brings Six-Word Memoirs to cities across the U.S. as a tool for civic engagement that launched this year in Columbus at TEDxColumbusWomen.

So, sit back and enjoy some TEDxCbus bon bons. But don’t get too comfortable; the whole point of this year was disruption, remember?

Joe DeLoss Founder of Hot Chicken Takeover

 HR can shorten the soup line.

Joshua Dalton Owner and Chef of Veritas Tavern

Fuck it—let’s smoke everything.
(He means food)


Cooking gives you five-sense knowledge.

Jeni Britton Bauer Founder of Jeni’s Ice Cream

Listeria leads to creativity and community.

Steve Locker Founder of Locker Soccer Academy and Author

Being patient will push kids forward.

Shawn Springs Former OSU & NFL player and founder of Windpact Inc.

Car seats yield football helmet innovation.

Eric Gnezda Songwriter and Host of Songs at the Center

Musical endeavors are best made together.

Yiem Sunbhanich Co-Founder and CEO of TNEDICCA

Basing navigation on safety, not speed.

Richard Guerrieri Forensic Scientist and Research Leader at Battelle

DNA sequencing: the gigantic genetic disruption.

Charles Noble, III Program Manager for Boys & Men of Color Initiatives at the Kirwan Institute

Transformational currency: what you leave behind.

Crystal Oertle Heroin Survivor and Storyteller

Disrupt shame by asking for help.

George Barrett Musician and CEO of Cardinal Health

Disturb your identity, find your path.

Stephanie Rond Street Artist and Founder of S.Dot Gallery

Make art that’s accessible to all.

Darrin Hoover Performance Artist and Spaceman & Alex Van Bibber Pianist, Sixth Grader, and Spaceman

Two giant steps for TEDx Columbus.

Daron Larson Mindfulness Educator

Avoid discomfort, miss opportunities for change.

Melissa Roshan Model and Speaker

Disrupt your downfall and forgive someone.

TEDxColumbus 2015 Playlist:

Alessandra Wollner is a third year MFA candidate in creative nonfiction at OSU.



Dear TEDxColumbus 2015 Attendees: 

Thank you for purchasing a ticket to TEDxColumbus on 11/20! We are thrilled you will be joining us. As the speakers finish preparing their talks, we also need one final preparation item from all of you.

For yourself and any of your guests, please pre-register here with this simple link. We only ask your name and email address.

If you have attended in the past you’ll know we are required by TED to capture the names and emails of all those individuals actually attending. You will receive a simple survey after the event which goes back to TED and the data is shared with us. If you are not pre-registered we will capture this information at check-in. You still will need your ticket for admission too.

Now, about the event itself!

Here’s the annual how-to-attend list. Please make sure to share it with your guests.

1. Parking: We recommend the Columbus Commons lot. And there is no parade this year to hinder traffic!

2. Lunch: Our tickets say noon, but in reality, everything will be ready by 11:30am so come early if you desire. Every dietary consideration has been made in the ordering of lunch.

3. Program: Doors will open to the theatre at 12:45pm and the program will begin promptly at 1pm. All seats are general admission.

4. First time attendees: Pay attention to the cards placed under the seats. Special prizes will be awarded for 2 participants in the “card exercise” during the third session. (Please bring a pen!)

5. Breaks/ Happy Hour: We’ll have 2 breaks with snacks and a Happy Hour with a cash bar and sushi from FUSIAN. So plan to stick around after the talks to get to know your fellow attendees.

6. Livestream: if you know people who want to see the talks live and in a place with other curious people, please direct them to Whitehall-Yearling High School which has graciously agreed to show the entire event from their newly renovated theater at 675 S. Yearling Road.

The livestream, for those unable to travel, will also be available on our website at

7. Dress: As always, be comfortable and casual!

8. Social : Please use #tedxcbus in any posts on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter- before or after the event. We love the digital conversation but just not during the actual talks.

9. Tshirts: the official TEDx tshirt will be printed on demand in the lobby.

10. Did we miss anything?! Email us at

Can’t wait to see you all on Friday November 20! We know the speakers and presenters are even more excited. Come curious and ready to be provoked!

TEDxColumbus Organizing Team


Events, Follow This

TEDxCH PPP program

by Kendra Hovey

If one event is a happening, two events are a coincidence, and three hints of a trend, what is five? Because five is the number of organizations in Columbus that have recently hosted an internal TEDx or TEDx-like event.

  • Glimcher held a TED-like session inside their annual meeting.
  • Alliance Data tapped into the TED format for a summit of their top 350 leaders, and then again at an internal conference for their Human Resources division.
  • The BRUTx event at OSU’s Center for Clinical and Translational Science was everything TEDx except the name (and even that came close).
  • Both Battelle and Cardinal Health are official TED license holders. Battelle has hosted two internal TEDx events. Cardinal Health, one. Both expect to host more in the future.

Four companies. One medical center. Plus TED now issues a specific license for inside events at corporations and institutions. It seems TEDxCorporate has become “a thing.”


From curation and coaching to licensing and volunteer coordination, TEDx is no small undertaking, and because of restrictions specific to the corporate TEDx license, talks cannot be shared publicly or used for marketing purposes. The benefits are strictly internal. Yet, more and more companies are adopting the platform. The motivation is the same as at any TED event: to share ideas. But the people at Battelle and Cardinal Health also talk about skill-building, creative outlets, fostering connections, inspiring collaboration, and energizing the workplace.

Plus, there’s something to the TED brand.

It connotes fun, fascination, and innovation—“distinguishing it from other types of events,” says Eileen Lehmann, director of internal communications at Cardinal Health. Lehmann co-organized her company’s event with Shelley Bird, executive vice president in the office of the CEO. Bird was inspired to pilot a TEDx for employees after attending TEDxColumbus. “Storytelling is critical to communicating ideas,” she says, “and the TEDx experience helped us to hone that skill internally.”

With 14 talks and performances and an audience of about 100, TEDxCardinalHealth was organized around the theme Plunge Pivot Pounce. Topics included brain surgery, data mining, and leadership, among others. Some talks shared personal journeys and crises; others highlighted employee talents. LaChandra Baker wowed her colleagues with a rap performance. A few months later, Baker took the stage again at TEDxColumbusWomen. Not the only way the event has legs, a video of one of the talks—on decision making—has become a staple in leadership meetings and, says Lehmann, “our CEO is now getting into the act.” George Barrett will be one of the speakers at Disruption: TEDxColumbus 2105 on November 20th.

TEDxCH buttonOverall, reactions ranged from impressed to “life changing,” says Lehmann who herself was moved by the emotional impact it had, and also impressed, as she says, “by how smart and talented our employees are.” Some practical advice from Lehmann: Good video production and a great editor are key; rehearsal day is just as important as the event; and because it takes time for those unfamiliar with TEDx to catch on, an energetic group of volunteers will make all the difference.

At Battelle, TEDx has definitely caught on. Between their first event, Be Inspired, and their second, Breaking Through, attendance tripled, says Alexa Konstantinos, curator of both events. A scientist by training and now marketing director for medical business, Konstantinos, over her 20-year tenure, has seen the variety of “magic-making” at Battelle. “That may sound ridiculous,” she explains, “but the science and technology of the future is pretty magical.”

Alexa Konstantinos at TEDxBatellleLooking for an outlet to share that magic within the Battelle community, TEDx was a perfect fit. Their talks tend towards the technological, she says, but what they all share is passion, and it’s not always a professional passion. At the most recent TEDxBattelle, one employee talked about his off-the-clock involvement in a science program for children, where kids as young as five are examining fossils and, those that find something new, get named on a scientific paper about the finding.

Other talks have focused on design in everyday life and predictive analytics in health care, meaning, in critical care situations, using data to predict what will happen to a person from a health standpoint in the next 12 to 24 hours.

Konstantinos says, “Curating TEDxBattelle has been an immensely rewarding experience personally.” As far as the value to Battelle, she echoes what others have said about TED’s unique format for idea-sharing and communication, but what really sets it apart, she says, is its democratic and grassroots character. These are two words not commonly associated with corporate culture or TED, which is often seen as elitist. Explains Konstantinos, “it is a group project, nothing is done in isolation, it is an interactive, collaborative, connecting kind of event.” A mixture of invited talks and open-call, it’s “inclusive,” she says, and, with an innovative bent, the content is “fresh.”

“If you do it right it’s grassroots,” she says, “and when it’s grassroots, it will be what people need it to be at that time—that’s the magic of TEDx.”


Kendra Hovey is editor at TEDxColumbus: Follow This. On Twitter @KendraHovey, she blogs at, more of her writings are on Medium.  



In a few weeks at TEDxColumbusWomen 2015 among other thoughtful speakers and performers, we’ll be showcasing the Inside/Out Choir, a joint project of the Tapestry Program, a therapeutic community at the Ohio Reformatory for Women, and The Harmony Project.  While you may have seen them perform once or twice at other events, we wanted to help raise their voices even broader.

But two things happened recently which has led me to make a special, small appeal to our community.

First, we decided to host a tampon drive at the TEDx event on May 28th. The Free The Tampon campaign has been featured recently in the New York Times and the writer of those stories inspired us to have an actual drive, to bring the social awareness to a simple, actionable step. But we hadn’t yet decided the beneficiary.

Then I went to ORW to visit the women in the choir we will be showcasing. I remember hearing Orange is the New Black author Piper Kerman’s moth recording how she was given free tampons during her stay in prison. So during my visit, I asked Tanya, the woman sitting next to me, how she accessed sanitary products.

“Everyone gets free pads. But we have to pay for tampons,” she said.

I asked how much they were, not expecting the rapid response.

“They are $2.31 for a box of 10. And they are the cardboard applicator Tampax brand.”

She continued, “Most women don’t have a lot of family support. And the little money they make at their job isn’t enough to cover them.”

No matter how you feel about the crimes these women may have committed, I would hope you agree with me that they have the right to access the most basic of sanitary products, which in turn is access to basic human dignity.

When I asked the director of the Tapestry program if it would be acceptable to donate tampons. She said people donate goods all the time – but not often tampons.

The women of the Tapestry program who are also in the choir will be watching the livestream of our event. And we’ll be enjoying their song and talent without the chance to tell them thank you in person, like we will the other speakers.

So please help show our appreciation by bringing a box of tampons (or 2!) so that we may send the choir a very little gesture of appreciation in return.  If you cannot attend and would like to contribute a box, you can have them delivered to RESOURCE/AMMIRATI, 343 North Front Street, Cols 43215 before May 27. And there’s nothing keeping you from dropping off any supply straight to the guard desk at ORW.

And if you want to come to the event on May 28th, tickets are still available here. We’d love to have you.

– Ruth Milligan


Please help us congratulate the following speakers and performers who have been selected to present at TEDxColumbusWomen: OWN IT – The Power in Our Story on Thursday, May 28th at the Southern Theatre. This spectacular lineup of all local talent will take the stage from 9am – noon, while we will stream the global TEDWomen conference from 2pm – 5pm after a picnic lunch for all attendees at Columbus Commons (weather permitting).

It is important to know that men are welcome to attend and as you can see, we’ve included a few in our lineup as speakers. Our world needs the full participation of women and their talents, and we recognize that men have a role in that process.

TEDxColumbusWomen 2015 speakers and performers:

Jennifer Adams, The Beauty of the Black Man

LaChandra Baker, Use that voice!

Liz Balk, Living in the Middle

Casey Brown, Valuing Ourselves

Melissa Crum, Educating on Racism through Art
Theresa Flores, Are we halting human trafficking?

Ladies of Longford, Performers

Lauren Kinsey, Breaking through the Tech Ceiling

Mark McNaughton, Through the eyes of my daughter

Inside/Out Choir, Performers

Amanda Scott, The challenge in owning your story

Larry Smith, A story in six

Natalie Spiert, Sexual Assault on Campus: Where it starts.

Joanne Ruthsatz, Connections between prodigies and autism

Erin Upchurch, Living in fear: Transwomen of Color
Biographies for all speakers can be found here.

Tickets are now on sale for $45/each (plus $3 theater restoration fee) by calling CAPA at 614-469-0939 or visiting ticketmaster (additional fees apply). 

There is no ticket limit for this event but if you buy for a group, we will ask you to register your attendees the week before the event. You will receive a separate email with a registration request.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at

With gratitude to LeaderOPTICS, Carol Andreae, and OCLC for their generous partnership in helping to underwrite this event.  And many thanks to the curatorial committee who helped to make the tough choices for the speakers and performers for this event. We are grateful to all of our supporters! As always, contact us ( if you are interested in a partnership.