Previous TEDxDavenport Presentations

Previous TEDxDavenport Presentations

TEDxDavenport at the Figge Art Museum - 2018

Jake Klipsch - The Reality We Create: Expectations and Education
How do you see the world? Dr. Jake Klipsch, alternative high school principal, explores the power of expectations as the catalyst to unlocking enormous potential in our schools, organizations and communities. He weaves together educational research and philosophy to make the case that to see change in our world we first have to change ourselves. Dr. Jake Klipsch is an advocate for at-risk students and a maverick of alternative education. A fierce believer in public schools, community collaboration, and compassion, he is a dedicated leader who has served students from preschool to 12th grade. He is the principal of Mid City High School in Davenport, Iowa.

Anna Dolce - Good Service is Killing Your Business
Business and hospitality expert Anna Dolce delves into the differences between service and hospitality. She urges that  “good service” is for dying businesses and as customers we should stop settling for it. This fun and insightful talk reveals the anatomy of hospitality and how hospitality is the single biggest game changer for every organization, family and individual.  Anna Dolce is a life and business strategist, restaurant expert, writer and speaker. She traded her Miss Georgia (Europe) crown and national fame for a $40 shot at the American Dream. Anna became a restaurant owner within 2 years of getting her start as a bartender in Brooklyn NY. Anna then led operations of a restaurant group and founded an international business consultancy. Anna now coaches various entrepreneurs on business growth, organizational culture and human optimization.

Michael Johnson - The Best Kept Secret in Construction
The construction industry is much more than just “swinging a hammer”. Technology adoption is rapidly changing the way we deliver the built environment. Through the story of one architect-turned-contractor, this talk will introduce you to the underlying technology impacting this change; leaving you with a new framework of what a contractor can be. Michael is an architect and technology enthusiast. His work focuses on exploring, analyzing, and applying technology to the everyday business practices behind delivering a successful construction project. He is passionate about current and emerging industry trends including Building Information Modeling (BIM), virtual and augmented reality, reality capture, and data analysis.

Dr. Sayed Shah - Go with your Gut and Say No to Addiction
More than 1 in 3 Americans were prescribed an opioid in 2015. Addiction has become an increasing health issue and is reaching epidemic levels. But what are the real reasons behind increasing addiction rates? Dr. Sayed Shah provides a new perspective of the science of addition and gut health, and how through behavior and diet changes can we tackle this formidable challenge. Dr. Sayed A. Shah is an integrative medicine expert. His personal journey started when his son was diagnosed with Autism. He has utilized research and practices in integrative medicine to help his son and others to overcome health challenges by treating underlying triggers and root causes of disease rather than just treating symptoms.

Natalie Torres-Haddad - The Foreign Language of Financial Literacy
How could improving financial literacy in our households lead to increased prosperity?  The concept of financial literacy can be difficult to comprehend.  It brings up emotions of fear, embarrassment, frustration, and misunderstanding.  Families who increase their understanding of household finances can be empowered to design a life within their earning capacity, that leads to economic empowerment and confidence.    An Award Winning Author, a workshop facilitator and an investor. Raised in Inglewood she was surrounded by those facing permanent debt determined to be the exception by age 24 she bought her first rental property. Her mission to advocate for financial literacy and to uplift those feeling overwhelmed by debt.

Jeff Hobbs - Winning from Last Place
Born with cerebral palsy and a love of sports, his greatest ambition was to someday become an athlete. Unfortunately, Jeff’s path to achievement was anything but easy – not because of his condition, but because of the limits placed onto him by others. Jeff carved his own path through his mental outlook and persistence. Earning his chance to compete, Jeff’s robust sprit and relentless work ethic propelled him into a future-filled achiever, overcoming unfathomable obstacles. Jeff Hobbs is a motivational speaker and a disability advocate.  Born with cerebral palsy and a love of sports, roadmap to achievement was anything but easy - not because he has cerebral palsy, but because of the limits placed on him by others.  Despite the heartaches, Jeff went on to be the first person with cerebral palsy to run the Chicago Marathon.

Dustin James - Sharpen the Axe
If you are not growing, you are dying. The most powerful tool we own is our mind.  We live a sea of mediocrity, keeping our mind sharp allows for great personal and professional growth.   Dustin James is a proud husband, father, and entrepreneur, with a wealth of life experiences that he uses to entertain, motivate, and educate his audience.  Dustin brings a tremendous amount of energy to his dynamic and motivating presentations focusing on leadership training, mental mindset, creative selling, and team building exercises.

Kyle Horn - A New Kind of Hero: America's Great Untapped Workforce
Hiring practices exile many of our most motivated job seekers from the workforce: people with disabilities and people with criminal convictions. Kyle Horn, founder of America’s Job Honor Awards, challenges us to reconsider this great untapped workforce.  Kyle Horn is founder and director of America’s Job Honor Awards: A nonprofit organization celebrating people who overcome barriers to employment, and the employers who hire them. His mission is to rekindle hope and energize the work ethic across the nation, through the celebration of a new kind of hero.

Jodi Prosise - Empowerment Through Technology
People with disabilities are the largest minority in the world, and one in which any one of us could become a part of at any minute. How do you help? Better yet, how do you empower? By developing simple, affordable, sustainable, and adaptable assistive technologies, we can empower those with disabilities to help themselves and their neighbors. Jodi Prosise, chair and Associate Professor of Engineering at St. Ambrose University, has a PhD in Biomedical Engineering and BS in Mechanical Engineering. She leads a study-abroad trip to Brazil where students develop assistive technologies for persons with disabilities. Her research focus is on developing affordable, upper-limb prosthetics.

Oscar Bravo - Clean Drinking Water for All
We take having clean drinking water for granted, but over 790 million people – 11% of the world’s population – don’t have access to a clean water supply. In Panama, Oscar Bravo leveraged the concept of collaboration to design a sustainable method for communities to independently create potable water for their residents, wherever they live. Oscar Bravo is an international media executive in the United States and Latin America.  Oscar has been involved with organizational transformations, new venture startups, and non-profit organizational management.  Oscar’s experience encompasses finance, sales, strategic planning, television programming, technology, process design, re-engineering, marketing and philanthropy.

Folashade Butler - We All Have an F-ing Problem
Relationship Expert Folashade Butler tells us that the way we deal with this problem shapes how we operate in our relationships, both personal and professional. She teaches that turning this problem into a regular practice is a critical step in creating better relationships. In this insightful and mind-shifting talk, Butler challenges us to implement five key strategies to help address this problem head on and, ultimately, elevate our relationship success. Folashade A. Butler is a Speaker, Relationship Expert, Technology Professional, Wife, and Mother. Her desire to see women be successful in relationships sparked her drive to begin a firm where she delivers life-changing coaching, training, and talks. Folashade’s hope is to equip people with the tools they need to flourish in love and livelihood.

Linda Baxley - I Love Math, and So Should You
Numeracy can be defined as the ability, confidence and willingness to engage with quantitative and spatial information to make informed decisions in all aspects of daily living.  If it’s so important, why do Americans rank near the bottom of first world countries in mathematical ability?  Linda Baxley speaks to how we can change and open opportunities for ourselves and our children. Linda currently serves as Director of The Advanced Technology Environmental and Energy Center (ATEEC) that works with the nation’s community colleges to improve the quality and quantity of technicians in these fields.  She was pursuing a PhD in Biochemistry when she left to join Procter & Gamble’s storied brand management program.

Jaimy Szymanski - What Happens When We Trade Data For Super Powers?
New technologies grant humans exciting “super powers” that result in convenience, efficiency, personalization, and deeper connections. But, at what cost? Bionic brains, x-ray vision, and heightened hearing come at a price paid in personal data. Join disruptive technology analyst Jaimy Szymanski as she explores the new definition of super-humans, the future consequences of exchanging data for power, and how consumers can begin to regain control.  Jaimy Szymanski is an industry analyst and founding partner of Kaleido Insights. She focuses on how disruptive technologies impact customer experience and corporate digital transformation. Jaimy’s research has appeared in USA Today, Mashable, Forbes, Inc., and Huffington Post. She also provides strategic advisory to digital innovation leaders at enterprise organizations.

Michelle Joyce - Great Grandma Was Right! Posture Matters!
100 years ago America was a pioneer in reversing the effects of chronic sitting. Kids received lessons about ergonomics, body mechanics and healthy posture from grade school up through the college level. This large-scale public health campaign was designed to prevent the kinds of problems that have reached epidemic levels today. We don’t need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to helping our kids beat the screentime slump, we just need to dust off a few forgotten lessons from our past. Michelle Joyce is on a mission to eliminate unhealthy posture! She’s frequently featured on TV shows and teaches posture workshops worldwide. Originally trained as a Marriage and Family Therapist, she believes that helping people change their posture involves much more than simply telling them to sit up straight.

TEDxYouth@Davenport at the Putnam Museum - 2019

Jessica Elliott - Save the Seas
Jessica talks about the problem of plastic pollution in our oceans and what you can do in your own life to help. After giving statistics to back up her argument, she gives lifestyle change suggestions to lessen your impact on the ocean environment. Jessica Elliott is a senior at Davenport Central.

Sarah Cronk - The Secret to Sparking Change
Sarah Cronk shares how, at age fifteen (with no plan, no money, and no connections) she transformed her nonprofit, The Sparkle Effect, from a small idea into a nationwide movement for social inclusion of young people with disabilities. Along the way, she debunks common myths we’re taught lead to success (but don’t) and shares the one secret to success that opened every door for The Sparkle Effect. In 2009, Sarah Cronk created The Sparkle Effect, a national nonprofit that generates cheerleading and dance programs that bring together students with and without disabilities. Since then, Sarah has become a nationally recognized speaker and inclusion advocate, delivering The Sparkle Effect's message to audiences nationwide.

Nicolas Harris - Words from a Warrior
Ryu, a video game character, once said “A defeat learned from is more important than an empty victory.”, but how deep does that quote really go? Nicolas Harris, a young video game developer, describes the process of creating his own video game from the ground up. Using this quote as motivation, he was able to battle the many hardships that preceded success.

Nia Walker, Nina Lanciloti, Lily Chen - Growing Pains
A collaboration of three lifelong friends, they recount their very different experiences growing up in very similar situations. Nia, Lily, and Nina express their unique and similar struggles, using their voice in this story-based speaking performance. Facing discrimination and disrespect, these three united to make a louder voice and encourage their peers to start making a change.

Taylor Wilson – Inventing a Nuclear Fusion Reactor (OFFICIAL TED TALK)
At 14, Taylor Wilson became the youngest person to achieve fusion — with a reactor born in his garage. Now he wants to save our seaports from nuclear terror.

Liam Haskill – Harnessing Personal Experience To Guide Teen Activism
The typical foster child moves multiple times per year and when they move, they may not be able to take their belongings with them. Such disruptions may lead to difficulties with attachment to new foster families and friends, adjustment in new schools, and also may negatively impact self-expression and self-confidence. This talk discusses one family's approach to addressing this social concern.

Quintin Powers – Paleontology: A Passion
Quintin’s passion is the science of paleontology, ever since he was a child. He pursued that passion through his youth and into college, where he discovered 150-million-year-old Stegosaurus bones in Montana. In this talk, Quintin shares some of his incredible discoveries, along with how the process of discovery can help people find their own passion both in life and their career.

Maitreyi Shrikhande – The Unexpected Outcomes of Volunteering
There is more to volunteering than just helping an organization with sundry tasks. Maitreyi shares her passion for volunteering and how it opened up doors and experiences.  Maitreyi Shrikhande is a freshman at Davenport Central High School and is interested in health science careers. She is a cellist in the Quad City Youth Philharmonic Orchestra and an active tennis player. At school, Maitreyi participates in Girls Learn International and the Athletic Leadership Program.

Richard Turere – Making Peace with Lions (OFFICIAL TED TALK)
Young inventor Richard Turere invented "lion lights," an elegant way to protect his family's cattle from lion attacks.

Amari Walker – Living Through Poetry
Is it possible for poetry to give someone life? Amari performs spoken word poetry and explains through his experience, personal stories, and give insight on what he's learned through this art form.

TEDxDavenport at the Figge Art Museum - 2019

Dan Bush - The Power of Failure
Failure is a subject that no one likes to talk about, but it is the dirty little secret of every success story. The ability to recognize failure and having the courage to act is crucial in growing in business and in life. Dan Bush is a serial entrepreneur from Davenport, Iowa who has created two arcade bars, a barbecue restaurant, a small music venue/whiskey bar, a grilled cheese food truck, a t-shirt that pokes fun at his hometown, and a comedy/music/pro wrestling festival that took place in a barn.  But before any of that, he cut his teeth in the exciting world of fast food.

Mark Salisbury - The Simplest Way to Bring Down the Cost of College
The cost of higher education has skyrocketed in recent decades, and every year we read about another scandal in college admissions that makes the average person feel like they are powerless to do anything about it.  Mark discusses how we can change the system, because today there are now more seats at colleges than there are students to fill them, and that all we need is the right information. Mark holds a Ph.D. in Higher Education, and served in various roles at five universities. He has written for the Chronicle ofHigher Education and been featured on NPR. After stints asa musician and an improvisational comic, Mark is now an entrepreneur and the CEO of TuitionFit.

Sarah Stevens - Stripped: The Art of Being Seen
Every person on the planet knows what it means to hide parts of who we are away from the world, hoping to protect our most vulnerable pieces from harm. But is it possible that all of this self-preservation is exactly what shrinks the space we take up in our lives? Sarah Stevens unpacks her experience with losing her layers and the freedom that followed, inviting the best parts of her onto the stage and the world. Sarah Stevens left a career in corporate healthcare in2016, and two years later launched The BeautifulProject. Using the power of collective storytelling, theProject invites women to challenge body and beauty expectations, and hopes to create a world where women are free to move with substance and strength.

Chris Britton - Hip Hop in the Classroom
Is it possible that Hip-hop could be used as a tool to revolutionize academic success? How could elements of hip-hop culture be used in the classroom? Christopher Britton will present how the implementation of a hip-hop teaching system is successfully bridging traditional language arts curriculum with a contemporary and relevant art-form. Christopher Britton is the Director of YouthHope’s M.A.D. Skills outreach program. He has inspired hundreds of youth by engaging them in a relevant model of creative expression.Utilizing the elements of hip-hop and poetry, Chris teaches creative writing at Thurgood Marshall Learning Center. His approach provides academic enrichment and promotes social-emotional learning.

Matt Stutzman - Decisions, Decisions
Decisions, some made by us, some made by others, have a profound influence on the journey of ones life. The seemingly inconsequential can have life changing impacts while major ones fall flat and the challenge is to determine how to control the process. Matt’s original interest in marksmanship began when he learned to shoot a gun, and then taught himself to shoot a penny at 50yards away. He took a bow and arrow so as to join his father while hunting. Eventually, it became his passion and evolved into his dream to become the world’s best archer. His remarkable story has captured the attention of the media around the world.

Altease Ramsey - Pressing on in Depression
After seeing and living with the constant battles of depression, Altease channeled his raw emotions and created a mantra he follows this day, explaining his journey through spoken word.He hopes to encourage, enlighten, and entertain all who listens to his message. Altease Ramsey, also know as alteasethepoet, Is a 22 year old writer and poet. He was born in Chicago and lived there until he was 8, months before his 9th birthday he and his family moved to Moline, Illinois. Growing up without a father and being the youngest of the siblings he had a great responsibility as being a care giver to the one who gave him life. On the third day of September in 2016, he lost his mother. Afterwards he fell in a major depression, where he seen days turned into weeks of barely eating and sleeping. He experienced months of not leaving the house and sulking in guilt and drowning in depression. After picking up a journal from the local dollar store he began pouring his heart out into the pages and began rhyming sentences he developed a love for song writing and poetry. Poetry became a coping mechanism for his pain and hurt. He now uses poetry to shine light on the darkest days he faced and inspires the people who lend an ear to listen.

Jeff Wallace - Being Informed to Trauma
Behavior can be a result of past experiences, and knowing a person's past can help you better engage with those who have experienced trauma. Jeff Wallace discusses the effects of trauma and the opportunity of being informed about trauma to create a change wherever you are at and no matter who you are. Jeff Wallace spent a large part of his life studying the effects of the criminal justice system and procedures on at-risk youth.First, as one of them, and then, through his undergraduate and graduate degrees in Criminal Justice, along with his current pursuit of a Ph.D. in Criminal Justice Administration.Jeff is driven to change the way youth offenders are sentenced, and enable them to find their true path.

Lindsay O'Brien - Music Needs Art
In our digitally driven world, the relationship between Art and Music is more important than ever. Visual art plays a fundamental role in the way musicians share their stories and engage their audience. If you ignore the visuals behind the music, you are missing important pieces to the music that you love. Artist called LO (Lindsay O’Brien) is a storyteller who uses color and lines to bond with other humans. Turning her love of art into a career, her work has been featured on The Tonight Show, Teen Vogue and more. She sees her art as a form of therapy and a way to connect with others.

Chrissy Weems - The Surprising Power of Emotional Connection
Most entrepreneurial ventures begin with a carefully formulated business plan, detailed projections and capital investment.  But what is the "X factor" that takes a company from zero to $250 million in just four short years? Origami Owl Co-Founder and CEO Chrissy Weems shares how a business founded on the hopes and dreams of her 14-year-old daughter did just that thanks to the power of emotional connection, a pay-it-forward mindset, and a focus on empowering others to reach their dreams. Origami Owl co-founder, visionary, speaker, entrepreneur, wife of 25years, and mother of five children. Chrissy Weems graduated at the top of her class at Arizona State University, while she worked as an interior designer and artist. Following a suggestion by her 14-year old daughter, they turned a shared passion of making jewelry into a business, building a community of 30,000 designers. She was also named one of “The Most Influential Women in Direct Selling” by Direct Selling News.

Steve Sinner - Serendipity and Determination Conspire
The story of an unlikely set of related circumstances enabling a determined person to gain recognition as an artist.  Born in Omaha, Nebraska, Steve’s early interest in woodworking led to a degree in Industrial Education from Iowa State University, followed by a 33-year career in industry and social services facilities management. After reading a woodturning publication, he turned a woodworking hobby into a woodturning career in 1998. He now works out of his home studio in Bettendorf, Iowa.

John Merikoski - How to Make Music with a Household Object
A full-time touring musician, John uses an unusual, yet surprisingly accessible instrument to connect with people of all ages and backgrounds. He demonstrates how to play this instrument while sharing it's rich, cultural history. John Merikoski has been playing drums since he was nine years old. From this early age, he knew he loved making music and performing. John attended the University of Illinois on a full-ride jazz percussion scholarship, and joined an Americana band called The Way Down Wanderers, where he began playing the spoons. He tours all acrossAmerica, Canada, and the U.K.

Lisa Heaton - Taking Action to Clean the Planet
Having traveled to 24 states in just under 8 months, Lisa Heaton will continue to embark on a never-ending journey to help clean up the environment. She continues to travel down many avenues in search of ways to repurpose plastics, teach others about the harm being caused to our planet, as well as draw attention to the abuse of single-use plastics. Lisa Heaton is a woman on a mission to keep our planet’s breathtaking views untarnished. As a self-proclaimed nature advocate, Lisa attempts to spread awareness to anyone willing to listen. She has founded an organization, QCPollution Solution, focused on traveling to all 50 states to free the planet of litter.