While Detroiters will miss out on seeing this year’s local TEDx talks in person, the good news is the talks will live in perpetuity online — just as presentations from every year do.
Below are a handful of talks from previous years that truly stood out, as recommended by TEDxDetroit’s organizers.
Wendell Brown and Matt Liston
Making an Extreme Positive from an Extreme Negative
Matt Liston of Strike Media Inc. and a group of strangers teamed up to help free former Detroit high school football player Wendell Brown, an innocent American, from a Chinese prison. Brown shares his story and message of positivity.
Creating a STEM Army of Women
Kalamazoo native Kate “The Chemist” Biberdorf fires up the TEDxDetroit crowd about science, STEM education, evidence-based conversations, and inspiring the next generation of women scientists.
James Ford Murphy
Reinvention, Failures and Collaborative Inspiration
Born in Detroit and now a director with Pixar Animation Studios, Murphy takes the audience behind the scenes to discuss how an idea becomes a film — and a song.
Using Sound Waves to Destroy Cancer
Gibbons is the CEO of Ann Arbor-based HistoSonics, which uses the mechanical
(not thermal) properties of focused ultrasound to precisely target tissues without damaging surrounding tissue or structures. She talks about how sound energy can destroy cancer.
We’re Not White
Raised in Philadelphia but a longtime Detroit-area resident, this Arab American comedian who is the child of Palestinian refugees shares his views on why Arab Americans need their own box on the U.S. Census.
Shakespeare in Detroit
Artist, activist, and entrepreneur Sam White founded Shakespeare in Detroit. Her talk — featuring actor Peter Knox as King Lear — explores what it takes to pursue a crazy dream.
That Underdog Spirit: Tall Tales from a Large Man
The graphic designer’s talk traces his own path from growing up in northern Lower Michigan to achieving success with his own business and associated enterprises.
Dr. Rita Fields
How Eating From the Garbage Can Taught Me How to Lead
Growing up with a mentally ill mother in Detroit, Fields became a homeless, pregnant high school dropout. Today, she’s a consultant and university professor who earned her doctorate.