TEDxDetroit Plans Virtual Format for 2020

Access to this year’s talks will be available at no cost
Executive producer Janet Tyler at a previous TEDXDetroit event. // Photograph courtesy of TEDXDetroit

TEDxDetroit is going virtual for 2020.


Since 2009, TEDxDetroit has featured more than 250 doctors, filmmakers, educators, engineers, poets, and others it describes as having game-changing concepts in an annual one-day event. It’s typically a full schedule of live talks, exhibits, videos, performances, and more at venues that have included the Gem Theatre, Detroit Institute of Arts. Last year’s event was held at the Masonic Temple and featured speakers like voice actor Rob Paulsen, HGTV star Nicole Curtis, and Good Cakes & Bake’s April Anderson.


This year’s event was originally slated for Ford Field on Sept. 30. The date stays the same, but the format will be virtual due to the ongoing pandemic, says one of the executive producers, Janet Tyler.


“For us, it doesn’t matter whether the event is virtual — whether the speakers will be on stage and we are recording or (they are) doing it from home,” Tyler says. “We are really hoping it will allow for some kind of mixed event. If we’re able to do an in-person component — I’m thinking 50 people — they would really be there to support the speakers in some way. The rest would be virtual just to keep everyone safe.”


TEDxDetroit is hoping to identify and announce a pared-down speakers’ lineup by mid-August. “We have not yet made the call whether or not we’ll do an open call for presenter applications, so unfortunately we aren’t quite ready yet to make a call here,” Tyler says.


Access to view this year’s talks will be available at no cost, Tyler says, as opposed to typical prices of $75 to $125 to attend in person. Those who purchased tickets for the original Ford Field gathering will be receiving an email offering a refund or two-for-one pricing for the 2021 show.


For more information and to follow updates, visit tedxdetroit.com.