Posts Categorized: Speakers

Happy Anniversary to Us!

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by Joe Vennare, Storyteller

The TEDx GVA team has been crazy busy.

In fact, we’ve been working so hard on this year’s installment of TEDxGrandviewAve, we almost forget to wish ourselves Happy Anniversary!

It’s been an entire year, 365 + days, since our very first event. Back on February 23rd, 2013 we invited one hundred or so folks out to hear 10 fantastic speakers share their ideas and experiences. They didn’t disappoint. Pittsburgh took center stage. Energy, innovation and inspiration stole the show.

It was terrific and terrifying. Hosting an event of any kind can be. In the end, it was all worth it. We went to the edge of innovation. Once we did, there was no turning back. There was only one option, go even bigger. And we are. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

This year’s event will have over 400 guests. We’d love to have you! You’ll be blown away by our speaker list. From top to bottom, we’ve set out to create an event and experience that will showcase Pittsburgh and her people. The one’s who Dare to Create, and the others who need a spark to ignite their creativity. Join us on April 26th, 2014. The speakers, attendees, team and our collective energy are sure to be the spark you’ve been waiting for.

 You can review all of the 2013 speakers’ talks here.



What does Dare to Create mean?

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by Kacey Wherley, Founder & Director

TEDx team












create (cre•ate)
⁃ to bring (something) into existence
⁃ to make or produce (something)

When you think “creative,” you may think of painting, drawing, or design. But the act of creating goes way beyond that. To create is to do something new. For TEDxGrandviewAve 2014, we want to dig deeper and explore what it’s really like to create.

Creation isn’t always a new piece of art, construction of a new building, or a global revolution of ideas. It’s all of those things, plus more. It’s thinking in a new way. It’s taking what we all thought we knew, and creating a different perspective. Creating really is what you want it to be.

How did you come up with the theme?

Pittsburgh was built by creators like Carnegie and Warhol. A new breed of creation has taken over and the city’s on the rise again. Every time I look online, there is a new development project, a new restaurant, a new company getting a national award, a new idea being built – whether it be on land or in the cloud. Last year, we explored the Edge of Innovation. We dove into some really deep issues, and learned a lot about potential medical, social and industrial technologies. We even looked at how a local mayor is innovating his town.

For 2014, I knew I wanted the audience to explore the subject of creating. Not necessarily being creative, but taking that step to create. I went back and forth with words and phrases. On a trip to visit family in Ohio, my Mom and I were driving and discussing the next event. I told her my thoughts about the new theme but that I just couldn’t find the right words to fully embrace what the event would be about. As I sat there and rambled on and on, my Mom said, “What about…Dare to Create.”

It hit me – I liked it. I really, really liked it. But, I thought – did my Mom just explain my own words better than me? And I kept thinking that. The team kept brainstorming and we kept asking friends for suggestions in every conversation. But one kept sticking…Dare to Create. We decided that would be our message to the world from Pittsburgh in 2014.

One lesson I learned from this part of the event – Mom really does know best.



Calling all Creators! Call For Speakers Now Open

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by Joe Vennare, Storyteller









Calling all creators!

Do you have an idea worth sharing or a story worth telling?

If you’re a maker, a doer, or leader interested in speaking at TEDxGrandviewAve 2014, we’d like to hear from you.

Speakers Wanted

With a theme of Dare to Create, we’re in search of speakers who have made the leap from idea to action by creating something, anything that inspires, impacts, or changes our region and world. We’re practically interested in showcasing the people and ideas that are redefining Pittsburgh, so keep that in mind when you’re applying.

Are You Interested?

We hope you are!

If the answer is yes, then you’ll need to complete the application process. (Go go ahead, click that link right there.)

The call for speakers is open until December 1, 2013, and we’ll get back to you by January 15th.


New to what we’re doing? Here’s some helpful FAQ’s:

What is TED?

First, TED isn’t a person. TED is a conference that originally dealt with Technology, Entertainment and Design, but is now a platform for ideas worth spreading on any topic!

How is a TEDx event different from a TED conference?

TED conferences are organized and run directly by TED. TEDx events are fully planned and coordinated independently, on a community-by-community basis.

What happens after I submit my idea?

TEDxGrandviewAve organizers will review all applications and send out confirmation emails upon decision. If we have any questions about your application, we will contact you to discuss any details.

How long does the presentation have to be?

Presentations can be from 6-18 minutes, but aim for 10-12 minutes.

Do speakers get paid to present?

To keep the program fully in the hands of the organizing team and community and per TED guidelines, speakers are not paid and sponsors cannot speak. However, speakers will get to experience an amazing event that might be life-changing, for them and the audience.

Can speakers seek funding whilst onstage?

Speakers are prohibited from both selling and seeking financing while on stage.

Have any more questions? Contact us at

Sit Back and Enjoy the Talks!

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Thank you, Pittsburgh, for an awesome first event! We’re excited to share with you the TEDx talks from our 2013 speakers.

This is our turn to show the world what innovative ideas and leaders we have right here in our community. We hope that you enjoy their messages and will share with your friends, family and co-workers!

Watch the Talks Now! 

To keep the TED & TEDx conversation going in our community, we have created a TEDxGrandviewAve Meetup Group to gather community members and discuss ideas worth spreading. We’ll be showing some of our own speakers’ talks and TED talks from around the world! Join the group for updates on our monthly events and hopefully we’ll see you there!

If you have any questions, please let us know!

Keep innovating,

TEDxGrandviewAve team