Hey Ted, what are you thinking?

Oshkosh, FDL to host TEDx events for ‘ideas worth sharing’

Posted on May 1, 2017 :: Connections
Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer

Doug Sundin has long been a fan of TED Talks.

He watches videos and downloads podcasts of TED Talks from around the world, and he always discovers a thought-provoking treasure. So, when the Oshkosh community was selected to host a TEDx event in 2016, he had high expectations for the speakers and ideas that would be shared.

He was not disappointed.

“It is always amazing to me the ideas people can come up with to share and the conversations that follow,” says Sundin, photography and videography services manager for the marketing and communications department at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. “It was a great opportunity to network with people and ideas I might not have been exposed to otherwise.”

Sundin and other TED fans will have  opportunities to experience those “ideas worth sharing” during two new TEDx events that have been approved for Northeast Wisconsin. Fond du Lac will host its first-ever TEDx event Aug. 19, and the success of Oshkosh’s first event has earned it a license for a second event Nov. 4.

There will be plenty of great ideas to absorb, share and discuss, organizers say.

“We have a lot of people in this area who are doing great things. We have a tremendous amount of talent in this region,” says Michael Rust, executive director of the Winnebago Conflict Resolution Center and one of three principal organizers for TEDx Oshkosh. “It’s a great opportunity to showcase that talent, some of which does not always get a lot of attention.”

His co-organizers for TEDx Oshkosh include Craig Burnett, owner of Clareo Consulting, and Karen Leavitt, a registered nurse with Aurora Health Care and the wife of UW-Oshkosh Chancellor Andrew Leavitt.

Launched in 1984, TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks of 18 minutes or less. It organizes events around the world. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience.

With the Grand Opera House once again serving as the venue, Rust is looking forward to growing the second edition of TEDx Oshkosh. The ticket restrictions that came with the initial license — no more than 100 attendees — have been lifted. He’ll be attending one of the TED organization’s events in Brooklyn to gather ideas for improving this second event.

In the end, though, it all comes down to the ideas the presenters share.

“Our audience last time was pretty diverse, as were the speakers,” says Rust, who was inspired to bring the event to Oshkosh after seeing his hometown of Normal, Ill., host. “It’s an event that draws in people who are interested in new ideas. Everyone can find a takeaway.”

Ticket information has yet to be announced. With expanded seating for this year’s event, Rust would like to develop multiple seating and pricing options, as well as work with sponsors to create additional opportunities.

Tickets for TEDx Fond du Lac were expected to go on sale May 1. Organizer Sarah Spang applied for a license to host the event after attending the inaugural Oshkosh event in 2016.

“When you go to a TEDx event, you walk away inspired to take on the world,” says Spang, director of strategic initiatives for the Fond du Lac Economic Development Corp. “I felt inspired to take action, and one action was to apply to bring the event — and that feeling — to Fond du Lac.”

THINC! ahead May 11

A funny comeback or a timely joke could be important keys to your company’s innovation process.

Author John Sweeney, who owns Brave New Workshop in Minneapolis, explores the similarities between improvisational comedy and innovation during his keynote address at Insight’s THINC! event, May 11.

THINC! begins at 3 p.m. at James W. Perry Hall in the Communication Arts Center on the University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley campus.

In addition to Sweeney’s presentation and networking opportunities, the fourth annual Insight Innovation Awards will be presented.

To register: insightonbusiness.com/thinc

Enterprising Nonprofits May 17

The fourth annual Enterprising Nonprofits – Appleton networking event takes place May 17 at the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel.

This all-day interactive conference allows for-profit and nonprofit business leaders, executive directors, business development directors and volunteer coordinators to collaborate and share best practices.

This year’s lineup includes morning keynote speaker Deirdre Maloney presenting “Mission Myth: Using the New Normal to Get Ahead.” Multiple breakout sessions follow the morning keynote.

The afternoon keynote speaker will be Chad Hershner, who will speak on “Engaging Volunteers to Transform Donor Relations.”

For information and registration: enterprisingnonprofits.org.