By Karen Dybis

If you enjoy conferences, learning new things and being wowed by everyone who takes the stage at an event, then TEDxDetroit is for you.

This annual event, now in its 11th year in Detroit, brings together the area’s “leading thinkers, designers, entertainers, entrepreneurs, scientists, artists and students for an inspiring day to celebrate ideas worth spreading” this fall, organizers say.

The day-long conference, which sells out every year, is dedicated to sharing positive ideas for the world from Detroit – through live TEDTalks, videos, hands-on exhibits in TEDxLabs, art, music and more. It’s meant to spark innovative new ideas and to foster collaborations throughout the region.

The annual event returns 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 6 at the Masonic Temple, located at 500 Temple Street in Detroit. Tickets to attend are now on sale.

An inspiring day

“When it all comes together TEDxDetroit is part business conference, part science fair, part art festival and part revival,” said Charlie Wollborg, curator of TEDxDetroit and co-founder of Moka Boka Adventure Books. “It really is a crazy day that fills your head with new ideas, your belly with fire, and puts the spring back in your step.”

Janet Tyler, executive producer of TEDxDetroit and founder of True Depth Growth Accelerator, said that every year, TEDxDetroit has been able to inspire and surprise her.

“I continue to believe in our mission of sharing ideas and experiences that inspire attendees and provide the shot in the arm we all need every now and then,” Tyler said.

A storied history

The first TED idea conference was held in California in 1984. TED was an acronym for technology, entertainment, and design – three fields that spur innovation across the economy. TEDx brings the spirit of TED’s mission of ideas worth spreading to local communities around the globe. The TEDx program began in 2009. Each TEDx event is independently-organized at the local level under a license granted by TED and following their guidelines.

Now is also the time for aspiring TEDxDetroit speakers, performers, and exhibitors to apply to be part of the 11th annual event. Applications are now open online at tedxdetroit.com. The line-up for this year’s event will be announced in mid-September.

“We fill the stage with people who make us think, laugh, cry, and say ‘wow!’” said Tyler. “It’s always an eclectic array ranging from CEOs to artists to scientists that you won’t find anywhere else.”

Over the past decade, TEDxDetroit has featured such notable speakers as Pixar director Jim Murphy, NASA planetary scientist Cathy Olkin, graphic designer Aaron Draplin, and ESPN anchor Jemele Hill plus the founder of Baby Einstein, Forbes woman of the year, the inventor of a blade-less wind turbine, two college students who teach app development to teens in juvenile detention, and a 7-year old who started a lemonade stand that raised thousands for charity. This year’s mix will be similar.

The deadline for 2019 speaker and performer submissions is 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 3. Speakers and performers will be notified and announced publicly beginning Sept 18, 2019.

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