ES on TEDxAustin

(Community Matters) What’s TED? TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Al Gore, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

What’s TEDx? x = independently organized event. In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events.  The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)


So, to understand the quality, care and loving touch of the day, see just how much time and attention spent on a tiny, little detail.

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Yesterday’s speakers and entertainment included: Rip Esselstyn Firefighter, Author, Nutrition Guru- the hunk, triathelte/fireman taunting us w/ a perfect physique and promises of longevity by living plant strong- the Engine 2 Diet.   Doug Ulman President/CEO the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Founder of the Ulman Foundation for Young Adults  – (what’s with all the hunks at TEDxAustin?) – my good friend who says out loud “cancer sucks,” stands as an example that it attacks athletes as well as writers as well as those living unhealthy life styles, celebrates the life livestrong gives us, notes the irony of how a life-threatening disease can be the best thing that ever happened to someone, and challenges the term “non-profit.” Steven Tomlinson Business educator & coach, theatre artist, co-founder of Acton School of Business – – an enthusiastically received presentation – integrate what you love doing and don’t discard anything. Christopher E. Mueller Ph.D. Scientist, Life Technologies Inc – engaging our imaginations on the practicality of genomic content deciphering.  Chris Shipley Chairman and CEO, Guidewire Group, Inc. – umm, the importance of small business to America’s economy (the only full scale tilt of the day in part b/c we could tell she’s so smart and we wanted real insights)Suzanne + David Armistead Parents, Artists, Producers; Rev. Janet Maykus Principal/College of Pastoral Leaders – *listen,* and happiness is dependent on friends (so proud.  great presentation. felt like watching my little sister on stage); Dr. William Merrell Professor, Texas A&M Galveston – spoke about the Ike dyke – it would be surprisingly affordable, appears doable and we’ll regret we didn’t – just watch; Mark RolstonChief Creative Officer, frog design – like a brilliant surfer dude who rolls his own, lies back and visualizes computers seamlessly integrating into our lives; John Pointer Musician, Actor, Cultural Entrepreneur – awesome; Carrie Conte, Ph.D. Prenatal + Perinatal Psychologist – – little bodies, big persons – babies as fully baked; Turk + Christy Pipkin Founders of The Nobelity Project. Author & Filmmaker. Producer – doing so much more than making movies – saving & making lives ; Robert Hunt– the unsung Wright brother; Richard Garriott Astronaut, Entrepreneur, Space Visionary – the dude doesn’t just make video games, he lives a video game and is making one come to life in outer space; John Phillip Santos Filmmaker, Journalist, Author – an award-winning humanist brings it back to real and the ancestral; Ruby Jane, fiddler, songwriter, and singer; Philip Berber Founder, (with his wife, Donna) The Glimmer of Hope Foundation – isn’t hard to see why he and Donna were named the 6th most impactful philanthropists in the world; Mark McKinnon Vice Chairman, Public Strategies, Inc. – it’s hard to reconcile his credentials with his responsibility for electing GWB, but I love his love for his wife, Ann. their bios here

The KLRU, Austin City Limits Studios the perfect setting for TEDxAustin’s inaugural year.  Hoping we can have more attendees next year but we’d have to find a new studio.  maybe the new Austin City Limits’ on 2nd street?

Margaret Keys

Attendess applied for tickets, obtained a ticket from sponsors or were on the committee.  I’m not sure but think attendance was limited to 300 in the studios (by fire marshall).  Steven and I received tickets as sponsors and as a speaker – so we were able to invite a few friends.  The Entrepreneurs Foundation was a major sponsor and distributed tickets to 10 supporters and members.

Amanda Chiampi & Amy Bryant helped a great deal too – Amanda handling a lot of the financial administration for the event; Amy in the initial brainstorming about speakers and venues.

Joe Christie, Rip Esselstyn & Jill Kolasinski

Rip was a terrific speaker – citing his campaign for staying plant healthy and his book the Engine 2 Diet.  Joe Christie introduced me to Jill years ago when she first moved to Austin to start the KIPP schools.

Becky Arreaga & Kat Jones (lower left)

Though we knew lots of people, there were more we didn’t know – which I loved.  Lots of folks of all ages.  Plenty of opportunity to increase diversity of attendees, and admittedly, TED is a brand currently known within certain demographics.

during lunch: Margaret, Rachel Feferman, Turk Pipkin, Tom Levin, Steven, Nancy Graves & Michael Feferman

I am blown away by what Nancy Giordano, Jen Spencer, Christopher Justice, Stacy Weitzner, May Jay Baird-Wilcock, Shannon Mehner, Kelley Burrus, Sunni Brown and Jerry Giordano created, produced and directed.  Steven and I are absolutely enthused.  It’s exactly the type of conversations and art that we believe help build community (  Since last night, have raised commitments for $15k in cash sponsorships and $15k in-kind.  Am committed to give or get $25k raise in cash.  Let the planning for next year begin.

Friday night’s TEDxAustin dinner

6 responses to “ES on TEDxAustin

  1. Pingback: TEDx Austin: Aftermath of a HUGE EVENT: Playing Big Forever After! |

  2. It is through the connections before and after TEDxAustin that we define what is REAL and GOOD in the world and in our lives. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your MATE!


  3. Pingback: TEDxAustin – February 20, 2010 (An Open Social Network) | i am a connector

  4. Pingback: Notes from TEDxAustin: Scribblings and Sparks in the Dark |

  5. Pingback: Notes from TEDxAustin: Scribblings and Sparks in the Dark |

  6. Pingback: What's Next for TED? How Do We Get Even *More* Open? |

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