Opening our minds at TEDxPhilly

Categories: Events

Posted by: Ian


Last Thursday a few of us turned  off our iPhones and spent a day immersing ourselves in Right Here Right Now at the first TEDxPhilly. It was a very zen I-SITE.

We’d been looking forward to this since last summer when our friend and visionary Roz Duffy [she of BarCamp Philly and Ignite] first discussed the idea with Ian. At that time there had been about 60 TEDx events. A year later it’s up to 1,500 worldwide so why when everyone but their granny is having a TEDx should we care? Well we do because Philly is our town and we know that we have incredible people doing amazing things right here in our neighborhoods. The people in this creative community are part of our DNA and we all love to share that essential ingredient. It’s that open philosophy that has been transforming the way we work as a team and how we interact with our clients.

So we’re proud that we got involved and became a seed sponsor a few months ago to get this thing kicked off [soccer pun ;-]. Last Thursday we listened to photographer Zoe Strauss talk about her project under I-95 – you know that piece of highway that we should tear down. It was a very personal journey of passion and drive that took her from an idea to an extensive collection of striking photographs some with very heart wrenching stories. Jay Coen Gilbert talked about B Corps – the kind of responsible companies that we want to work with. And there were so many other compelling and interesting talks around art, data, education, youth empowerment, our Mutter Museum, film, architecture and one of our favorite topics “beer” courtesy of Bill Covaleski co-founder of Victory. There isn’t a day that goes by at I-SITE when we don’t thank Bill for bringing us Hop Devil and Storm King.

So here are a few favorite moments from yesterday. You’ll be able to watch these online soon at the TEDxPhilly Website.

Ciaran said “The session that gave me the biggest mind shift was Jay Coen Gilbert of B Corp. Jay transformed Capitalism from a dirty word into something we can all embrace to help advance our social missions”

Monica said ” I’d say Chris Lehmann inspired me the most. His approach of reaching children and changing what ‘school’ means was very refreshing. I either want to go back in time to go there or sign up my imaginary child. Great stuff.

Jon said “I liked Simon Hauger of the West Philly Hybrdid X Team the most – definitely the one that most inspired me.”


Ian said ” I loved Iyad Obeid, the Director of the Neural Instrumentation Laboratory at Temple University. He paralleled our brains with computers and created a vision of a world where will be able to control our world with the thought alone. Makes my head hurt in a good way!”

If you weren’t there you missed out! Ian also wants to give props to organizations in the community who joined us and supported this event – Cultural Alliance, Greater Philadelphia Tourism and Marketing Corporation, Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, Pennsylvania Economy League, Greater Camden Partnership and the Office of Arts, Culture and Creative Economy amongst others.

Finally we’re going to be exhibiting part of the TEDx stage prop in our office so stop by anytime to open your mind and of course a beer!