Inaugural TEDxUMDearborn aims to turn passion into progress


TEDxUMDearbornA movement to promote positive social change throughout Southeast Michigan is coming to University of Michigan-Dearborn. The inaugural TEDxUMDearborn convention will be held October 19 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. in the Borg Warner Auditorium.

TEDxUMDearborn features 15 innovators, entrepreneurs, business leaders and educators sharing their passions—passions ranging from recyclable fashion to helping children with autism through innovative app design. Presenters and audience members will converge during the convention to share ideas and spark discussions for growth.

“This type of event really epitomizes what a university is all about—the sharing of ideas and thinking about how we take what we teach and learn and put it into practice,” said Martin Hershock, dean of the College of Arts, Sciences, and Letter.  “It highlights the remarkable people who, through their individual initiative and actions, are transforming this region and re-imagining its future.”

The ideas convention is about igniting passion into progress, according to event organizer Rob Vazquez (’13). “Passion drives everything,” he said. “I hope attendees leave with a fire in their gut, that they are prompted to reassess their lives and their organizations.”

Announced speakers include:

  • David Farbman, founder and owner of
  • Cory Page, 2013 UM-Dearborn College of Arts, Sciences, and Letters Chancellor’s Medallion recipient
  • Joseph Uhl, founder and owner of Joseph Welsey Tea Company
  • Patrick Klepek, videogame journalist at Giant Bomb
  • Nabeela and Mateen Jaffer, app developers who created an app to help their autistic son communicate with the world
  • Matthew Richmond, founder and owner of The Paper Dress Code
  • Marty Stano, writer, advocate and entertainer

Additional speakers will be announced in early October.

“This is a true collaboration between faculty, staff, students and community members,” Vazquez said. “It’s an opportunity to come together with open minds and open hearts to positively impact our region while sharing University of Michigan-Dearborn with a global audience.”

Tickets are $25 and ticket applications are available now.

TEDx is the independently organized offshoot of TED, a nonprofit organization dedicated to “ideas worth spreading.” Originally focused on technology, entertainment and design (TED), speakers now address a wide variety of topics including business and global issues.

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