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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.



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