TEDxMidwest: 500 CEOs, 300 Artists, 30 MacArthur, Pulitzer & Nobel Prize Winners & 50 Students…


TEDxMidwest will be held in Chicago on October 13-14, 2011.  TEDxMidwest is a cross-pollination of ideas from science, the arts, technology, business, activism, design and philanthropy. “Ideas worth spreading” with Midwest style.

Organizers Mike Hettwer, Linda Stone and Brad Keywell have added an element for students this year. The Saturday after TEDxMidwest, the [email protected] program will offer the same dynamic format with 15 speakers and an audience of more than 400 diverse, high-achieving students, ranging from 9th to 12th grade, mostly from the inner city with some attendees from the suburbs, alongside more than 100 educators.

“We are thrilled that [email protected] expands on the success of last year’s event with a program that brings inspiring stories of real-life heroes to Chicago area students and their educators,” said Linda Stone, writer, speaker and consultant noted for her visionary thinking on trends, and a co-organizer of the event.

They have 25 extraordinary speakers including:

  • Wes Craven – Director  of Scream and Nightmare on Elm Street, Speaking on The Nature of Fear
  • Dean Kamen – Probably the Top Inventor in the World and Creator of the Segway Scooter
  • Kevin Bacon – Speaking on the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon
  • Daniel Hernandez – One of the Heroes Who Helped Save Congressman Gabrielle Giffords’ Life
  • John Ondrasik a.k.a. Five for Fighting, Talking About How He Creates Great Music
  • Paul Nicklen – Extreme National Geographic Polar Photographer
  • Allison Levine – Climbed Mount Everest and the Highest Mountains on Every Continent
  • Bill Strickland – MacArthur Prize Winner with One of the Greatest Stories We Have Ever Heard
  • John Hodgman – Ex-Daily Show Comedian and Author
  • Jerry Mitchell – MacArthur Prize Winning Journalist Who Got Klan Convictions 20 years later
  • Helen Fisher – Expert on Love and Author of the Bestselling Book, Why We Love
  • Phil Zimbardo – Renowned Psychologist Speaking on The Nature of Evil and the Making of Heroes

The audience of 1,000 will be almost as amazing as the speakers.  Among them, they expect:

  • 500 CEOs, presidents, entrepreneurs, investors, philanthropists and business icons
  • 300 artists, authors, renowned scientists, designers, architects, actors,  heads of cultural institutions and others
  • 30 MacArthur, Pulitzer and Nobel Prize winners
  • 50 gifted inner city high school students (accompanied by the teachers who nominated them)

It’s being held at the one of the most beautiful theaters in America – The Oriental Theater in downtown Chicago. It starts on Thursday, October 13th from 4:00-6:30PM, and it continues Friday, October 14th from 9:00-6:30PM. On both days, there will be a great reception from 6:30-8:30PM.


Renee Blodgett
Renee Blodgett is the founder of We Blog the World. The site combines the magic of an online culture and travel magazine with a global blog network and has contributors from every continent in the world. Having lived in 10 countries and explored nearly 80, she is an avid traveler, and a lover, observer and participant in cultural diversity.

She is also the CEO and founder of Magic Sauce Media, a new media services consultancy focused on viral marketing, social media, branding, events and PR. For over 20 years, she has helped companies from 12 countries get traction in the market. Known for her global and organic approach to product and corporate launches, Renee practices what she pitches and as an active user of social media, she helps clients navigate digital waters from around the world. Renee has been blogging for over 16 years and regularly writes on her personal blog Down the Avenue, Huffington Post, BlogHer, We Blog the World and other sites. She was ranked #12 Social Media Influencer by Forbes Magazine and is listed as a new media influencer and game changer on various sites and books on the new media revolution. In 2013, she was listed as the 6th most influential woman in social media by Forbes Magazine on a Top 20 List.

Her passion for art, storytelling and photography led to the launch of Magic Sauce Photography, which is a visual extension of her writing, the result of which has led to producing six photo books: Galapagos Islands, London, South Africa, Rome, Urbanization and Ecuador.

Renee is also the co-founder of Traveling Geeks, an initiative that brings entrepreneurs, thought leaders, bloggers, creators, curators and influencers to other countries to share and learn from peers, governments, corporations, and the general public in order to educate, share, evaluate, and promote innovative technologies.
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