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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.

Why become a speaker or performer at TEDxYouth@Columbus?

YOU have compelling stories.
YOU have amazing energy – and there are topics that give you amazing energy.
YOU are passionate.
YOU have had personal, unique experiences.
YOU are an innovator.
YOU are changing the world.

Why not share these passions, stories, and experiences to inspire other youth? Tell your story through presentations, conversations, or dynamic performances. We’ll provide you all the coaching and training you need.

Change starts with you. But you’ve gotta tell people about it!

And adults out there – we all know youth that are crazy-passionate about something. Why do we know this? Because they are constantly telling us about it. They are making videos about it, posting on and commenting about it and spreading it all like wildfire.

The TEDxYouth@Columbus stage is a great place where this can all come together. This is the very first event of its kind in Columbus. Let’s show the world the passion, innovation, and change that is coming from right here in C-bus.

So apply to be a presenter NOW. Encourage a friend to apply to be a presenter NOW. Take this Moment in Time and make it yours – NOW!

Youth inspiring Youth…and the world.


Tis the season to coordinate the curation of the third TEDxColumbus event.  We’ve been overhwelmed with speaker nominations, much to our delight.

We thought we’d share the main factors in how we sort, debate and choose the speakers as we head into the final inning of this process.

1. Chosen speakers generally fall into one of 3 categories:

     A. Primary researcher or original artist/author

     B. Primary observer of other people’s data from a unique lens

     C. Primary experiencer (our word) of a once in a lifetime event

2. Topics and ideas they speak on can be widely varying against our theme, but we aim for:

     A. Big and mind-bending

     B. Provocative and emotional

     C. Story/anecdote rich

3. Nominations not considered are:

     A. Anything remotely self promotional

     B. Policy talks – they are usually important but dry and often politically charged.

     C. Riffs – ie one sided, research-lacking, opinionated rants.

     D. Leadership and motivational talks

     E. Speakers who do not have an intrinsic tie to Columbus


Once we have vetted through if a speaker and topic are a potential fit, we look at the entire list altogether. This allows us to achieve balance in narrative style, native / foreign speakers, topic, gender and ethnic diversity.  This is the tough part of the process as we always end up leaving a good speaker or idea behind.  But the audience (you), would not appreciate only talks on education, or only talks by people who have overcome a life-threatening, heart-tugging obstacle.  The beauty of a live TEDx event is the connectivity one finds between diverse topics.

We don’t have an exact statistic on how long speakers take to prepare, but our rule of thumb is at least one hour per minute of presentation, particularly if it is a new talk (even on an old idea).  The first year we had one speaker leave town from his family for 3 days to work on his 12 minute talk. Let’s say it’s a notable commitment.

But the payoff if significant. Speakers know the audience is seeking new ideas and has a wide-open mind, the shared experience with the other speakers is quite amazing, and last but not least, the value of having a TEDx video online is a fairly huge perk.

We welcome your questions and suggestions as we continue to refine and improve our process. But we ask that you only give feedback if you have attended a live TEDx event.  Watching individual talks online is not an adequate judge of the wholistic experience we work to achieve for our audience every fall.



Speaker nominations are now closed! We have received a wonderful list of potential presenters for this year’s event. We would like to thank everyone who took the time to nominate someone.

Now, it is the difficult job of our selection committee to gather and comb through the list and narrow down the prospects into an unparalleled mix of speakers that will create a unique “Moment in Time” on 11.11.11.

Keep checking back for more information on “A Moment in Time” and other TEDxColumbus events.



We have decided to extend our speaker nominations through Friday, August 12! This allows all of you one more week to get your nominations in. We want to make sure we have a strong pool of talented speakers and performers from a variety of fields to choose from, so please keep the nominations coming!

We are working closely with our host, COSI, to create a memorable day of mind-bending talks and experiences that will be a moment in time you will never forget!

Keep checking back for the latest information about “A Moment in Time” on 11.11.11.