TEDx Detroit – This Wednesday



The area’s leading creators, catalysts, entrepreneurs, artists, technologists, designers, scientists, thinkers and doers will gather on Wednesday, September 28th, 2011 to share what they are most passionate about – positive ideas for the world from Detroit.  TEDxDetroit 2011 will feature more than a dozen of the best and brightest minds sharing their passion, wisdom and innovations.

Their speaker roster balances left brain and right brain – academics, artists, inventors, entrepreneurs and innovators. Each speaker only has a short block of time to share their positive idea for the world.

  • Julie Clark of Aigner Clark Creative

    Julie Aigner-Clark 

    Julie Clark, a former English and art teacher from Detroit, started The Baby Einstein Company in her basement. Five years, 30 children’s books, 10 videos, and six music albums later, she sold Baby Einstein to Disney for an undisclosed sum. She recently authoredYou Are the Best Medicine after being diagnosed with breast cancer.

  • Rob Bliss of Status Creative

    Rob Bliss  

    Rob Bliss is a 22 year old creative event organizer from Grand Rapids. He has created the world’s largest pillow fight and zombie walk, launched 100,000 paper airplanes onto a crowd of 30,000 people, built a 500 ft. inflatable water slide in the middle of downtown and created the world’s largest LipDub video.

  • Christina Keller of Triple Quest

    Christina Keller  

    Christina Keller is Business Unit Leader of Triple Quest, a joint venture between Cascade Engineering, the nation’s largest B-Corporation, and The Windquest Group. This innovative “social business” is focused on producing high quality products for needy communities throughout the developing world.

  • Bobby Smith of En Garde! Detroit

    Bobby Smith  

    Bobby Smith used the sport of fencing as his way out of a low-income environment. For the past two years, En Garde Detroit has used fencing to teach over 2,000 kids, sharing lessons and developing well-rounded youth in Detroit. Bobby is passionate about social ventures and inspiring others to seek economic freedom.

  • Randal Charlton of TechTown

    Randal Charlton  

    Randal Charlton is an entrepreneur, author and leader with a track record of success in commercializing research, biotechnology and economic development. Most recently, he co-founded biotech standout Asterand, which went public in 2007 after ten years of double digit growth. Randal currently serves as the executive director of TechTown.

  • Tara Michener of TMI, LLC

    Tara Michener  

    The award winning author of the “Who I am” Series, Tara founded TMI, LLC, which promotes diversity and inclusion through books, curriculum, training and consulting. She is a passionate advocate for students and professionals alike, leading several community groups focused on developing the next community thought leaders.

  • Natasha Wescoat, Artist

    Natasha Wescoat  

    Natasha comes from a family of artists, including painter Georgia O’Keefe. Known for her whimsical landscapes and the popular, award-winning series, “Jeweled Trees”, more than 1,000 of Natasha’s original works hang in private and corporate collections worldwide. She has also been referenced in The New York Time’s Bestseller and Wall Street Journal Bestseller, Crush It.

  • Josh Linkner of Detroit Venture Partners

    Josh Linkner  

    Josh is the New York Times Bestselling author of Disciplined Dreaming. He’s the CEO Detroit Venture Partners, Founder of ePrize and Adjunct Professor of Applied Creativity at U of M. Together with business partners Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Dan Gilbert, Josh is rebuilding urban areas through technology and entrepreneurship, and he’s on a mission to make the world more creative.

  • Chris Bathgate, Singer and Songwriter

    Chris Bathgate  

    Singer and songwriter Chris Bategate signed with Ann Arbor based Quite Scientific Records in 2007. His most recent full-length release, Salt Year, elicited NPR’s Stephen Thompson to offer, “If Bathgate has mastered one thing in his young and enormously promising career, it’s the art of distilling alienation into bruised-sounding beauty.”

  • Dr. Claude Pruneau of Wayne State University

    Claude Pruneau  

    Dr Pruneau is the Director of the Wayne State Planetarium. He carries an active research program on the study of the Quark Gluon Plasma at the Brookhaven National Laboratory and at the Large Hadron Collider in CERN, Switzerland. Dr Pruneau is a member of the American Physical Society, the Canadian Association of Physicists and the Union of Concerned Scientists.

  • Veronika Scott of The Empowerment Plan

    Veronika Scott  

    Veronika is a designer and entrepreneur creating crazy post apocalyptic gear to help inspire pride within the homeless and help their livelihood. She is the founder of The Empowerment Plan, a company that employs the homeless and the inventor of the Element S, a coat which is self heated, waterproof, and transforms into a sleeping bag at night.

  • Mark Salamango of Robot Town

    Mark Salamango 

    Mark is a Co-founder and President of RobotTown – a living laboratory for Robotic Technology in the Detroit area. He has over 20 years experience as a technologist, strategist and manager with a simple focus of removing barriers and getting things done. Robot Town seeks to provide an environment where people can learn, play, test, create, innovate and share knowledge about robotics.

  • Denise Caston of Detroit Tap Repertory

    Denise Caston  

    Denise Caston was a Radio City Rockette for 10 years and toured nationally with the Tony Award winning musical, Crazy For You. Her dancing and choreography credits span stage, film, television and commercials. Denise currently directs the Detroit Tap Repertory and produces Motor City Tap Fest.

  • Allie Merrick of Authentivity Group

    Allie Merrick  

    Dedicated to exploration and expression, Allie seeks to define elements of life and engage with others using multi-faceted terms with texture. She’s an advocate, explorer, filmmaker, speaker, singer and poet who uses multiple mediums to create, tell the stories, share the experiences and connect.

  • Anthony DeBenedet, M.D.

    Anthony DeBenedet  

    Husband, dad, physician, author of The Art of Roughhousing, and champion for parent-child play. Anthony has appeared on The Today Show, in The New York Times and many other media outlets to advocate for parent-child play. He also frequently speaks to parenting groups and conducts parent-child play events around the country.

  • Lex Kuhne, Esq., of Quarton Pointe, LLC

    Lex Kuhne  

    Lex Kuhne is a business attorney and writer. He co-founded 89X, hosted on Michigan Talk Radio Network, co-hosted Detroit Public TV’s Backstage Pass and wrote Metro Times’ Word of Mouth column. He lawyers, is an Adjunct Professor at Cooley Law School, hosts onUDetroit.com and develops media projects.

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