Next round of TEDxRVA speakers announced, Spacebomb house band to perform

Five additional speakers have been announced for the sold-out event, as have several attendees meant to inspire creativity.

Update #6 — March 8, 2013; 2:58 PM

Five more speakers for the upcoming TEDxRVA event have been announced:

  • Mike Henry • Co-creator and executive producer of The Cleveland Show,  a spin-off of the popular Family Guy series. A Richmond native, Henry worked at The Martin Agency for two years before moving to Los Angeles, where he worked on Family Guy and co-starred in the movie Ted.
  • Steven Peterman • Director and Co-Founder of Art House Co-op, an independent Brooklyn-based company that organizes global, collaborative art projects for a worldwide collective of 60,000 people. Their program, The Sketchbook Project, encourages people to fill a sketchbook and return it to Art House to join a traveling art library exhibit of over 18,000 books.
  • James Walker • an MFA student in VCU’s Visual Communication and Design program. His most recent project, Dead Bicycles, features left-behind damaged bicycles with a silk screened Tyvek cover that reads: Here Lies a Dead Bike. “To continue an individual’s memory beyond their life, we build monuments and tombs,” he says. “By shrouding these dead bicycles, we show our appreciation and love for bicycles.”
  • Rob Gibsun and Eric Stanley • Gibsun joined Richmond’s Slam Nahuati poetry troupe. Stanley is a musician. As friends, they’ve collaborated on projects like Untitled Visions, a musical composition by Stanley featuring Gibsun’s storytelling.

In addition to these and other speakers, Spacebomb Records Houseband, including Matthew E. White, will play throughout the day.

Parisian graffiti artist and photographer, JR, will also share his black and white photos inspired by his participatory art project, InsideOut.

And Scott Harrison, who after realizing that 800 million people are without access to clean water created the nonprofit charity: water to provide local solutions, will also attend and talk about his experience.

TEDxRVA will take place on Friday, March 22nd. The event is sold out.

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Update #5 — February 13, 2013; 6:35 AM

Six more speakers for TEDxRVA have been announced for the March 22nd event:

  • Brian Andreas: founder of, artist and writer for StoryPeople
  • Ed Ayers: President of the University of Richmond, author
  • John S. Blake: National Poetry Slam finalist, co-curator of Slam Richmond Reading Series
  • Noah Kim: sophomore at Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School
  • Bill Martin: Director of the Valentine Richmond History Center
  • Katherine Wintsch: founder of The Mom Complex

Approximately 30 total speakers will present next month, several of which have already been announced (see below).

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Update #4 — February 8, 2013; 3:53 PM

Tickets to the March 22nd TEDxRVA event are now sold out, according to a tweet sent by the event’s organizers this afternoon:


Organizers have reached the maximum number of ticket applications that they can process.

Existing applications will be reviewed and processed over the next few days in the order that they were received.

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Update #3 — February 7, 2013; 3:09 PM

Two people have been selected to speak at the upcoming TEDxRVA event (see below). The winners–John Blake and Noah Kim–were selected from 31 presenters at a recent open mic at the Hippodrome. Over 600 attendees of the event selected the winners via text vote.

John Blake spoke about how poetry can transform lives. Moments before he attempted suicide via overdose, Blake heard a poem. He subsequently overcame his chemical addiction and began writing poetry. In addition to maintaining sobriety, Blake has been a finalist at the National Poetry Slam and has published a poetry collection, Beautifully Flawed. Blake tours nationally, facilitating writing and performance workshops, as well as performing at rehabilitation centers, universities, libraries, and juvenile detention centers.

Noah Kim is a sophomore at Maggie Walker Governor’s school. He addressed how teachers can motivate students, naming a passionate chemistry teacher who changed his view of the subject. He also spoke about how he is better suited to address education reform than most politicians.

Both Blake and Kim will speak at the TEDxRVA event on March 22nd.

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Update #2 — January 23rd, 6:50 AM

We now know several of the speakers who will present at the upcoming TEDxRVA event in March (see below). Here’s a snapshot of each presenter (you can read full bios on the TEDxRVA website):

  • Cheryl Heller • a communication designer who has worked with international corporations, and is the founding Chair of the new MFA Program in Design for Social Innovation at the School of Visual Arts in New York.
  • Kevin Carroll • an author, speaker, and founder of Kevin Carroll Katalyst, a consulting firm that assists in the development of creative initiatives.
  • Ivy Ross • current Chief Marketing Officer of, who has served as president for Mattel, Calvin Klein, Swatch, Coach, Old Navy, Procter and Gamble, and Gap.
  • Elew • world-touring musician who has created a fusion genre he calls Rockjazz that defies music’s status quo.
  • Seth Farbman • current Global Chief Marketing Officer for Gap, founder of OgilvyEarth, a sustainability marketing practice.
  • KaosPilot • a “change agency” founded in Denmark in 1991. Speakers from the company will be Christer Windeløv-Lidzélius, principal and CEO, and David Storkholm, co-founder and program director.

Individuals can still apply to become a TEDxRVA speaker, or nominate someone to present.

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Update #1 – January 9th, 7:30 AM

The first TEDxRVA event will take place on March 22nd near the Shockoe floodwall. Meant to provide the public with a TED-like event, TEDxRVA is expected to feature national and regional speakers, videos, and interactive resources that will address the event’s theme: create.

“We are excited to bring TEDx to the Richmond region,” said Andy Stefanovich, one of the event’s organizers. “TEDx events happen all over the world, all the time, but Richmond’s event will set a new standard for TEDx.”

Creativity in the fields of entrepreneurship, science, technology, the arts, and others will be discussed, which Stefanovich hopes will inspire and further Richmond’s creative renaissance. “As talks, interactions, and connections occur, we will add another chapter to RVA’s creative movement,” he said.

Members of the public can apply to be a speaker, or nominate one, online by February 15th. Relatedly, The Hippodrome will host a free Open Mic night to recruit speakers on Thursday, January 31st.

TEDxRVA will take place on Friday, March 22nd.

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Original — January 8th, 11:35 AM

TEDxRVA will host a day-long public event on March 22nd to discuss and encourage RVA’s creative renaissance.

Watch one of the organizers, Andy Stefanovich, discuss the event below:

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Notice: Comments that are not conducive to an interesting and thoughtful conversation may be removed at the editor’s discretion.

  1. How can I get involved with this event?

  2. I grew a wildly successful dog-walking business from dust in RVA. Inspired by my own rescued dog (many dogs in this city are rescues), I built a business around taking dogs for hikes in our local parks. Maybe a little wild, a little hokey, but this shit is solid! Me and 10 others make our daily bread hiking dogs, and we’ve learned so much truth from the experience it’s scary. A grassroots business, built by a guy who has no credit history, no loans, just a solid work ethic and a healthy crew backing him up… that is Canine Adventure!

  3. Andy Stefanovich says twice in his video that the event will be INSIDE the massive power Plant building which has been virtually empty since Richmond On The James and The Cordish Company refurbished it 6 or 7 years ago with the intent of attracting a fancy restaurant. Perhaps the new apartments and CASA del BARCO across the Haxall Canal will re-stir interest in the power plant structure and bring a new tenant to the old BLACKFINN as well. The rendering of the Itaianate building at The Locks shows a new pedestrian brige across the canal.

    Councilman Jon Baliles deserves thanks for his part in promoting art in the area.

  4. Exciting stuff.
    Bravo to the team bringing this about.

  5. Aldous Snow on said:

    Looking forward to it, but goofy video diluted with contemporary marketing buzzwords.

  6. Curatorial Magnanimity on said:

    I don’t have any fashion frames or clever catch phrases like “I believe in moments in time.” Is it still possible for me to be curated into this event?

  7. Erin on said:

    HandsOn Greater Richmond is coordinating all the volunteers for TEDxRVA. If you’re interested in getting involved, please check out our website and search oppportunities for “TED”.

  8. Sorry to see so many duplicitous marketing types at this event. Pretty sad when it seems the personality most worthy of anticipation is basically an inspirational motivational speaker. Hopefully the roster is fleshed out with more interesting people, scientists and philosophers- the types who give the more insightful and memorable TED talks.

  9. I was lucky enough to see Kevin Carroll speak at a How Design Conference years ago. Hearing his story and principles behind his awesome outlook on life impacted me in ways I will never forget. His ‘Red Rubber Ball’ book sits on my shelf and is a great reminder to keep striving for success and make your career your life’s passion. He is simply amazing.

  10. I am inspired by Kevin Carroll’s ability to sell a fluffy 96 page book for a list price of $15.

  11. Hugh Jarse on said:

    It seems to me that the original spirit of TED is pretty much gone and that these ‘talks’ have become little more than thinly-veiled marketing events. Sure, we’ll throw in a couple of artistic people here and there, but first let’s hear a commercial for GAP and Intelliject!

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