TEDxChicago 2019

TEDxChicago 2019

With “Press Pause,” we wanted to explore how everything in our world – information, technology, communication, transportation – is moving so fast.  Let’s “Press Pause” on our hectic daily schedules on May 1st and find out.


John Mak

John Mak is a social entrepreneur and an Obama Foundation Scholar at the University of Chicago. He co-founded a social venture in Myanmar, Southeast Asia that transforms community development and civic engagement channels via crowdsourcing technology.

Lola Wright

Lola Wright is a fierce and loving community leader supporting individual transformation in service of collective awakening. She is CEO & Spiritual Director of Bodhi Center, a global center for consciousness, engaging change agents and explorers in Chicago and around the world and also a wild and passionate mom of four.


Michelle Blaise

Michelle Blaise is the Chief Engineer for Commonwealth Edison, the electric utility providing power to 4 million customers over 11,429 square miles in Northern Illinois. She leads efforts to make the grid more reliable, resilient and sustainable for all.


Dr. nikhil verma

Dr. Nikhil Verma, Director of Sports Medicine, Midwest Orthopedics at Rush, serves as Team Physician for the Chicago White Sox and Chicago Bulls. Dr. Verma runs a busy clinical practice in Chicago and recently received funding for his sports medicine research from Major League Baseball. He is a father of three young sons.


Richard baron

For almost 30 years Dr. Richard Baron cared for friends and neighbors in his Philadelphia community, leaving clinical practice to work in Washington improving care models for primary practice across the country. He currently leads the American Board of Internal Medicine.


olivia porter

Olivia Porter is a speech pathologist and communications consultant who has traveled around the country facilitating high energy, interactive workshops such as Communicating with Confidence and Negotiation. In her spare time, Olivia teaches ESL and coaches children competing in oratorical competitions.


ryan crane

Ryan Crane is a cannabis entrepreneur with a background in neuroscience and a passion for performance optimization. He is the founder of Chicago-based beverage brands Tukan and Tempo, companies that are re-thinking the way we fuel our bodies every day.


shahd asaly

Shahd Asaly is the CEO and Founder of Blue Meets Blue, a humanitarian luxury clothing label headquartered in Chicago. She founded Blue Meets Blue to serve as a platform for refugees emigrating to the United States in the wake of the largest refugee crisis since World War II.


sandra matz

Professor Sandra Matz of Columbia University is an expert in the field of Big Data and computational social science. She studies the relationships between people’s digital footprints (e.g., their Facebook profiles) and their psychological characteristics and preferences.


shala akintunde

Shala is a Nigerian social impact artist and pioneer in the emerging medium of Solar Art, a practice that merges art and technology. He is lauded for Shala’s Bronzeville Solar Pyramid, a sculpture that generates photovoltaic electricity using his unique art-rendered solar giclees. His Chicago landmark is the first public sculpture of its kind.


spencer ludwig

Spencer Ludwig is a fashion-forward and confident pop maverick who rocks the stage with seismic vocal range, contagiously sexy dance moves and wonderful, wild, and wailing solos—on the trumpet. That’s the Spencer Ludwig experience.


cyril rabbath

Cyril Rabbath is a professional juggler. Since 1994, he has toured all over the world with the Cirque du Soleil and other shows. He has won a dozen International Circus Festival Awards. Cyril’s one-man-show "Dancing with Gravity" combines storytelling and performance. His podcast of the same name explores in depth the life of a juggler.