Theme for 2018

Awake & Aware


As we prepared to celebrate our eighth TEDxTraverseCity, we believed this year provided an excellent opportunity for our audience to be inspired and challenged. We are at a pivotal time when our culture and society are being tested as never before, in multiple ways.

So, we were questioning how, as a community, we could challenge ourselves to become more conscious and more awake to possibilities of change. Ideas spring from being aware—sufficiently aware for us to take notice and, we hope, to create an impact. Crossing the threshold of awareness, an idea can spread and be shared throughout our communities.


The simplest definition of awake is to cease sleeping—so have we been sleeping? Has our society become too complacent and comfortable?


We believe it is essential that each TEDxTraverseCity event makes a strong impact and even alters participants’ consciousness. The 2018 event was no different; however, at this time there seems to be a collective energy in our community to be engaged and to tune in to issues that matter. We first need to identify any blinders we may have on, then engage in positive change events.

We enjoyed a full day of examining what it is to be “awake and aware” in today’s world.


NEW For TEDxTraverseCity 2018

For 2018, we took everything that makes TEDxTraverseCity great - a conscious and curious community, a first-rate venue, the power of incredible TEDx talks - and boldly aspired to take it to a new level. To do this, we partnered with FLI, a leading facilitation firm that has helped transform the learning environment with communities around the world. 

New in 2018, was an infusion of experiential learning moments, intentionally spaced throughout the day, allowing participants to more deeply connect with the inspiration and information delivered through the power of TEDxTraverseCity talks, as well as with each other. These experiential learning moments were designed using the latest evidence-based approaches, grounded in neuroscience, positive psychology, and leading social learning techniques. 

Participants had opportunities to reflect on and capture meaningful ideas, connect with each other through purposeful conversations, as well as explore the possibilities of new visions for themselves and their communities… all inspired and fueled by the power of what lined up to be an awe-inspiring TEDxTraverseCity event.


Select Videos from Awake & Aware:

Peter Sneed | Chasing Health with a New Vital Sign in a Healthy City

Jay Papasan | It's All About Time—Connect Your Someday and Today

Joseph Sanok | Fostering Aha Moments Through Slowing Down


Sue Houghton | Shark Smart

Mohamed Hammoud | Reclaiming My Name

Michael Klaper | The Most Powerful Strategy for Healing People and the Planet


Paul Canaan | Broadway: A Labor of Love

Kristy McDonald | Time to Power Down our Phones and Power Up Our Presence


Awake & Aware Speakers:

Pitch Night Winners:

Facilitation Host (Milliken)

Jon Berghoff


Facilitation Host (State Theatre) 

Deanna Moffitt


Jeremy Reisig
"brotha James"


Seth Bernard



Sean Reisig

Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.
Those who are awake live in a constant state of amazement.
— Jack Kornfield
Only that day dawns to which we are awake. There is more day to dawn. The sun is but a morning star.