TEDxHilliard 2019

Announcing TEDxHilliard 2019!  TEDxHilliard will be on August 9, 2019. Doors open and dinner will be at 5:00pm.  Performers and Speakers will begin at 6:30pm.  Tickets will be available starting in March.

The theme for 2019 is Flow!

More than 50 years ago, Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi began to collect research around the concept of Flow – “those times when a person’s body and/or mind is stretched to its limits, voluntarily, to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.” Often described as “being in the zone,” times of Flow result in personal satisfaction and happiness, while creating the conditions for creativity and innovation to flourish.

In 2019, TEDxHilliard will focus on stories of innovation and impact resulting from an optimal experience – Flow. As a community and society, we face persistent, pressing issues that require us to challenge and expand ourselves. This event will highlight the solutions and breakthroughs taking place in science, business, the arts, technology and global issues affecting Hilliard and central Ohio.

When preparing your application, consider the following questions:

  • In what ways have you been challenged to go farther and achieve more than you thought possible?
  • What community issues are, or could be solved, by pushing ourselves beyond the limit?
  • What creative, scientific or technological advances have resulted from being “in the zone” in your work or personal life?
  • What challenge(s) have you solved as a result of stretching past your limits?
  • What breakthrough have you experienced or documented as a result of being “in the zone?”

In keeping with the spirit of TED, this event will feature a blend of inspirational and educational talks focused on the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world.

Brent Wise | 2019

Brent Wise  – Finding Love In Our Work

Director of Technology and Strategic Initiatives

Empathetic. Creative. Fulfilled.

Workplace dissatisfaction is a growing trend in our society. It is reported that 55% of Americans are not satisfied in their job while 80% do not feel passionate about their position. Brent Wise is here to remind us that we are looking in the wrong place for our fulfillment. True satisfaction in our workplace (and lives) comes from looking outward and helping others achieve success, not focusing on titles and salaries.

Most people think being in flow is about themselves. Being in flow isn’t about ourselves at all actually – it’s about others. Finding love in our work is about how you are helping others and making them better. How are you using your talents, skills, passions, and drive to make those around you better? When you do this, you achieve a level of satisfaction and flow like you have never experienced before because it goes against our cultural norm. Those in history that are held to the highest honor and leave a legacy are not just revered because they found their flow, but because they swept up others in it.

Brent has been an educator for 15 years both as a teacher and administrator. He has earned the honors of Teacher of the Year and Star Educator, and has been asked to be the featured speaker at several of his college alma maters as a distinguished alumni speaker. Brent has a passion for his family, for Jesus, and for helping others find happiness in their workplace and life.

Raj Shah | 2019

Raj Shah  – Leveling Up Children’s Math Skills with Video Game Principles

Founder of Math Plus Academy

Positive. Innovative. Curious.

People often experience flow when playing video games. They get in the zone as they try to tackle challenges within the game. Raj Shah has spent over a decade developing ways to bring these types of experiences to the math classroom. He believes that if kids are happy to play challenging video games for hours on end, then it proves they have the two things you need to be successful in math: problem solving skills and perseverance. Raj will share how teachers can use 5 simple video game design principles in the classroom to make math as exciting as video games.

Raj’s passion is making math irresistible for students. His love of math led him to earning his Ph.D. in Physics followed by a decade of research and development at Intel Corp. In 2008, he quit Intel and founded Math Plus Academy, an after-school STEM enrichment program for kids 5 – 14 years old. He has since dedicated his time to inspiring future mathematicians and sharing what he’s learned in the classroom with math teachers around the country. He routinely speaks at national math teacher conferences and consults with local school districts. He volunteers with the Columbus Math Teacher Circle, hosts a non-profit event called the Julia Robinson Math Festival, and is a founding member of the Global Math Project which is on a mission to help students experience joyful math in schools.

Mihaela Jekic | 2019

Mihaela Jekic  – Turning Humiliation into Transformation

Founder of Money For Meaning

Entrepreneur. Mom. Badass.

Mihaela’s engineering Ph.D. candidacy exam was one of the most humiliating experiences of her life. She froze up and couldn’t even remember the most basic information – the opposite of flow. Her advisor later shared that she only passed because of the strength of her written answers. As a result of this embarrassing experience, Mihaela formed limiting beliefs about her public speaking capabilities and flexibility. But this limiting belief was preventing her from pursuing her dream, so she took action and aimed to conquer her fear by joining an improv class. Eighteen months later, she found herself on a TedX stage performing with her improv troupe in front of hundreds of people.

When we adopt a fixed mindset of what we’re good at or not good at – and avoid stepping out of that zone so we don’t “embarrass” ourselves – we experience fear. Fear is the enemy of flow! When we focus on core values that are stronger than fear such as personal growth, creativity and connection, we’re able to experience extraordinary breakthroughs.

Mihaela is a speaker, author, life coach and entrepreneur. She fled to Canada as a non-English speaking refugee during the Bosnian civil war with no home or possessions. She went on to earn a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Ohio State University while fencing for the Canadian national team. After several years in this field, she felt a deeper calling to support young professionals, college students and aspiring entrepreneurs to ditch their debt and build financial freedom to pursue their dreams through her own company, Money for Meaning.

Stefanie Jackson | 2019

Stefanie Jackson  – How Comparison Culture is Killing Flow

Generational Expert at Stefanie Jackson Speaking

Passionate. Collaborative. Curious.

People in a state of flow report feelings of immense clarity and joy. Brain research shows the impact flow has on positive performance. And yet, the youngest generations making up today’s workforce (Millennials and Generation Z) struggle to find a state of flow because of the comparison culture they’ve grown up in. Helping overcome the barriers of the comparison culture is the key to creating more joy and clarity in our work, optimizing performance, increasing flow, and even employee retention.

Stefanie is a Columbus-based female entrepreneur whose area of passion and work is centered around developing others. She owns a salon in Columbus that has been ranked a Top 200 salon in America for the past 5 years in a row for its work culture and customer satisfaction. She is also the founder of Stefanie Jackson Speaking where she collaborates with organizations to assist in developing their leadership teams and business systems so they can recruit, grow, and retain today’s workforce. Stefanie is also the founder of Salon Colab, a beauty industry focused business that hosts masterminds for leaders to help them grow themselves and their teams. She values and thrives on collaboration.

Travis & Holly Hancock | 2019

Travis & Holly Hancock  – The Birth of a Board Game

Co-Founders of Facade Games

Innovative. Curious. Fun-loving.

As game inventors, it is crucial to keep in mind that players must achieve a state of “flow” and complete immersion into the world or “system” that is created. Achieving flow is what gets players excited so that they will keep coming back. This talk gives a glimpse into the world of a full-time game inventing couple and how they create simple mechanics with intriguing choices, how they raise the stakes and get people invested in the outcome, and how they find the balance between player autonomy with luck in the overarching narrative of a game.

Back in 2015, this inventing couple launched their first game as a fun side project, hoping to produce a few hundred copies for friends and family. However, when they launched the game on Kickstarter, it received much more interest than expected. In early 2017, they launched a second game and were again overwhelmed by the support we received from the Kickstarter community. They were then able to quit their respective day jobs and begin making board games full time.

Facade Games has now sold over 80,000 copies of their games, earned over $1 million in revenue, and have been featured on CNBC. Travis heads up the game concepts and the business end of things while Holly takes charge of the graphic design and overall presentation of the games.

Both were raised in the Midwest (Holly in Indiana, Travis in Beavercreek, Ohio), and are proud to base their company in Columbus. They have a daughter with another on the way, love traveling, and have been to around 20 countries together. They look forward to growing their company and are excited to contribute to the wealth of knowledge and creativity that the TED community provides for the world.

Matthew Carter | 2019

Matthew Carter – Transforming Fear Into Love

Owner at Matthew Carter Talks, LLC
Sociable. Optimistic.


When two teenage boys robbed Matthew at gunpoint almost 11 years ago in front of his own home, he spent many years being fearful of teenagers and feeling haunted by the memory of a cold gun barrel pressed against his head. He realized that living in a state of constant fear prevented him from living his best life, so he worked tirelessly to change his mindset and learn the difference between things he could control and things he couldn’t.

Decisions based in fear often result in not being in alignment with our true selves. At its core, the majority of problems seen in most media outlets are stemmed in the emotion of fear. A child is not born afraid. These emotions are imposed on them from another’s fears or caused by life experiences which results in us building both emotional and physical walls to keep out what we’re so fearful of. Being in the “flow” of life allows our natural state of being – love – to be the driving force in our decision making.
Matthew’s life has been chronicled by one of his closest friends and New York Times Bestselling Author, Jason Reynolds, in the novel Ghost. Originally from Washington, D.C., Matthew has lived in the Columbus Ohio area with his wife and two sons for the past ten years and proudly considers himself a Buckeye. He now travels to different schools through the country to share his story with teenagers and shares his personal message of hope and perseverance. He has transformed his fear of teenagers into a love that empowers them to make different choices than those of the teenagers who robbed him that night many years ago.

Bill Balderaz | 2019

Bill Balderaz – What Can Your Data Do For You?

President and Founder of Futurety
Innovator. Strategist. Entrepreneur.


Through the evolution of Bill’s career, he’s always found himself working in industries in their very earliest stages. He’s seen technology change and grow at an exponential pace in the last 20 years and watched how it has produced valuable data. Bill outlines how artificial intelligence and machine algorithms process information, how customer relationship management software stores and interprets data, and how that data can be modeled and analyzed to understand human behavior.

Developing effective and innovative AI requires an understanding of the capacities and limitations of current machine learning models. Scholarly research on “flow” suggests that balancing skill and challenge is necessary to reach flow state and impact cognitive growth. This talk will examine the processes underlying predictive modeling, machine learning, artificial intelligence, as well as their implications for a variety of industries.

Bill Balderaz is the President and Founder of Futurety, a data-driven marketing consulting firm. His company helps organizations derive insights from data to predict customer behavior and deliver smarter, faster marketing programs. Bill has spoken at more than 150 conferences nationwide on topics related to public relations, sales, innovation, marketing, healthcare, search engine optimization, data mining, social media and more. He’s also been featured in more than 100 media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine and NPR.