TEDxDetroit to Go Virtual, Offer Free Registration

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 12th TEDxDetroit will go virtual and offer registration free of charge. The updated format will bring in speakers who could not previously attend because they live too far away

April Anderson presenting at TEDxDetroit
TEDxDetroit will be virtual this year and offer free registration. Pictured is April Anderson, founder of Good Cakes and Bakes, at last year’s event. Photo courtesy of TEDxDetroit

In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 12th TEDxDetroit will go virtual and offer registration free of charge. The updated format will bring in speakers who could not previously attend because they live too far away.

The event, which is presented by United Shore, will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 30.

“The virtual nature of this year’s event will allow for experiences we couldn’t even dream of with everyone being in one place,” says Terry Bean, executive producer of the event. “We’re thrilled to be exploring the possibilities and excited to be making this event so widely available.”

Speakers who are new to TEDxDetroit will include Al Jean, a Farmington Hills native and screenwriter best known for his work as executive producer of “The Simpsons;” LZ Granderson, a journalist for ESPN and CNN; Yelitsa Jean-Charles, founder of Healthy Roots Dolls; Jillian Blackwell, enterprise cloud consultant with AWS; and Andy Didorosi, founder of Detroit Bus Co. and the recently developed Detroit Hand Sanitizer Co.

“2020 has pushed us harder than ever before to be more creative and innovative,” says Mat Ishbia, president and CEO of United Shore. “Sharing ideas and pushing the envelope has never been more important, and United Shore is proud to be part of TEDxDetroit.”

As in years past, TEDxDetroit will feature three sessions of content. This year’s virtual format will allow speakers to present from wherever they want, and attendees will be able to participate in Q-and-A sessions. Previous TEDx presenters will also give updates on their work and ideas.

Session one will take place from 10-11:30 a.m., session two will take place from 2-3:30 p.m., and session three will take place from 8-9:30 p.m.

Programming has yet to be finalized, so the speaker list has not yet been announced. TED is an acronym for technology, entertainment, and design, three fields that spur innovation across the economy. TEDxDetroit operates at the local level under a license granted by TED, an idea conference that originated in 1984 in California.

TEDxDetroit has previously featured speakers such as Najah Bazzy of Zaman International, Pixar director Jim Murphy, NASA planetary scientist Cathy Olkin, Oscar and Grammy-winning composer Luis Resto, graphic designer Aaron Draplin, journalists Lee Thomas and Roop Raj, former ESPN anchor Jemele Hill, and TV personalities Nicole Curtis of “Rehab Addict” and Dr. Partha Nandi of “Ask Dr. Nandi.” The event started in 2009 and has featured more than 250 speakers.

Registration is available here.

Written by Grace Turner for dBusiness magazine.