TEDxChicago 2017

TEDxChicago 2017

On November 9, 2017, we were thrilled to bring the first TEDxChicago to the Windy City! We chose "Come Together" as our theme to inspire talks from people with separate thinking, different ideologies, and unique creative outlooks. We are a community full of every kind of person imaginable. Our strength lies in our variety, where new thinking is invited and big ideas, when spread, become unstoppable.

 

Anil Ahuja

How much water does it take to make a hamburger? How about to manufacture a car? Having experienced growing up with limited resources living in a refugee camp in India, Anil Ahuja is leading a movement to design sustainable cities and systems that protect the earth and the people who live on it.

Anna Valencia

The leadership gap is real for women and people of color. How can we cultivate and empower them to be in the pipeline of talent that our government needs? City Clerk of Chicago, Anna Valencia, tells us how she got where she is today and how we need to help others become the next generation of civic leaders.

 
 

Ari Afsar

Hamilton stars Ari Afsar and Miguel Cervantes delight the TEDxChicago audience to "We Won't Sleep," an original song written by Ari Afsar. They are accompanied by Chicago youth vocal group, Musicality. Ari is a singer/songwriter from San Diego, CA currently starring in Hamilton Chicago as Eliza Hamilton.

 
 

Caralynn Nowinksi Collens

Caralynn Nowinksi Collens spends a lot of time thinking about artificial intelligence, technology and how to make cities run better. She believes that to solve big problems and create new things, you can’t do it alone. She advocates that the best way to build a better world is for organizations to work together through "collaborative innovation." Caralynn is the Co-Founder and CEO of UI LABS, an emerging think tank and first-of-its-kind innovation accelerator for courageous leaders seeking to redefine their industries through collaboration. Caralynn believes that to solve big problems and create new things, you can’t do it alone. She advocates organizations to come together to figure out problems at large through collaborative innovation

 
 

Chris Lee

Singer, actor, and musician Chris Lee rocks the house with his original song "Come Together," written especially for TEDxChicago. Chris is accompanied by guitarist DJ Verner. Chris is best known for his portrayals of Thomas Jefferson and Marquis de Lafayette in the Chicago Production of Hamilton.

 
 

Dorri McWhorter

As an engaged community leader and CEO of the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, Dorri McWhorter knows a thing or two about corporate social responsibility. Here she challenges that charity and philanthropy, although important, don't go far enough to actually affect change. It order to do so, the corporate world must embrace a social enterprise mindset.

 
 

Jodi Glickman

Jodi Glickman is passionate about career success for everyone. She has trained the brightest young minds in this country by creating a curriculum that delivers practical, tactical communication skills and strategies in the workplace. The opposite of what you might have heard before, Jodi advises to stop trying to love your job and find true job fulfillment when you make them love you.

 
 

Kareem K.W.O.E. Wells

Kareem K.W.O.E. Wells deeply moves the TEDxChicago audience with his raw and uncensored life story presented in spoken word and rap. Kareem grew up in a tough neighborhood on the West Side of Chicago, where he sold drugs starting at age 15. Now a successful musician, DJ, and role model, he shares his message of hope.

 
 

Kimbal Musk

Kimbal Musk is applying what he learned in Silicon Valley to how real food can be scaled beyond just to those who can afford it. A true "farm to table" advocate for everybody, his family of restaurant concepts source food exclusively from American farmers.

 

Kris Perry

What Kris Perry learned from being a plaintiff in the landmark Supreme Court case for same-sex marriage, "Hollingsworth v. Perry," she now applies to our most vulnerable group facing inequality. She advocates that the next civil rights movement is providing low-income children with access to high-quality, early education.

 
 

Larry Keeley

Thought leader and global innovation guru, Larry Keeley, has worked for over three decades to develop cutting-edge design methods. How do you improve a city design that's already great? Here he details his step-by-step plan for the future of Chicago. Larry has worked for over three decades to develop more effective innovation methods.

 
 

Mary Jo Madda

Is too much technology in our classrooms detrimental to learning? Lifelong educator Mary Jo Madda cautions that tech tools should support the relationship between teachers and students, not replace it.

 
 

Miguel Cervantes

Hamilton stars Ari Afsar and Miguel Cervantes delight the TEDxChicago audience to "We Won't Sleep," an original song written by Ari Afsar. They are accompanied by Chicago youth vocal group, Musicality. Ari is a singer/songwriter from San Diego, CA currently starring in Hamilton Chicago as Eliza Hamilton.

 
 

Michael Slaby

How do we make government more than a self-serving machine? As a passionate leader in digital, data, and technology, Michael Slaby elevates mission-driven organizations. One of the leading minds of the Obama 2008 and 2012 digital campaigns, Michael is focused on reclaiming democracy for everyone.

 
 

Slim Freedom

Chicago guitarist, songwriter and street performer know as Slim Freedom moves the TEDxChicago audience as she performs a soulful cover of Steve Nick's classic "Landslide." Ashley Stevenson, known also as Slim Freedom, is a singer songwriter, guitarist and street performer based in Chicago.

 
 

Dr. Stan Sonu

Double-board certified physician in pediatrics and internal medicine, Dr. Stan Sonu advocates changing our health care system to deliver the highest-quality care to underserved and disadvantaged communities. Passionate about urban primary care, he strongly believes that in order to achieve system empathy, we need to recognize the health impact of adverse childhood stress and trauma.

 
 

Xavier Ramey

Xavier Ramey helps organizations shift their cultural and engagement strategies to increase diversity and socioeconomic equity. A native of the North Lawndale community, he shows us Chicago through his eyes and offers real solutions to poverty, crime, and racism if we can honestly examine the impact of our individual life decisions.