On Friday, Matthew and I each took a half-day off work to go get inspired at TEDxCLE. This is one of our favorite Cleveland events, full of speeches from Clevelanders doing amazing things.


The theme of this year’s TEDxCLE was “Import/Export” and all of the speakers were either Cleveland imports or Cleveland exports.

Image Source - tedxcle.com
Image Source – tedxcle.com

Here’s a quick recap of the speakers and my favorite nuggets of wisdom from each (their name links to their TEDxCLE bio):

Jonah Bayer

Life is about not having a roadmap and forging your own way.

Having friends is great, but having integrity is better.

Failure is part of the process!

Brian Michael Bendis

You realize what you want to do when you experience true storytelling.

The walls have come down like never before. If you want to be something, be it.

Uncontrollable nerd rage is a unifying language.

Jennifer Coleman

A clearly articulated “why” is a North Star during times of change.

What is Cleveland’s why? What is its ethos?

Revel in that magical moment before you change everything.

Art Falco

Playhouse Square is a fairy tale come true.

One person can make a difference.

Complacency is not an option.

Andrea Lane

Believes in hands-on education, not just lectures.

All students, at any age, have the capacity to do amazing things if given the opportunity.

Jeffrey McClellan

MC2STEM High School uses Cleveland as its campus, with students taking classes at the Great Lakes Science Center, GE, and Cleveland State University.

Student success triangle made up of motivation, social engagement, and self-management.

Angelo Merendino

Through life’s hardest times, we must be patient, communicate, and remember to be silly.

If you have something to say and you believe in it, then share it!

When asking his wife, “How did you touch so many people,” she responded, “Because they touched me.”

Alonzo Mitchell III

I’m immune to “no.”

Every plan starts with having a great idea and ends with letting the universe take over.

We’re ALL Cleveland.

All the miserable people who whine about what we’re not, let’s just put ’em on a bus!

Megan Moynahan

We must utilize design thinking in medical technology.

Look at what the end-user’s priorities are and show empathy for the end-user.

Lisa Peng

Human rights must be the basis for political debate.

We show our love and gratitude for our country by holding it to the highest standards.

JD Samson

Being a token is part of activism.

Perhaps a pocketful of tokens will someday equal change!

Baiju Shah

The Harrington Project brings together non-profits and for-profits to create more medicines out of medical discoveries.

David Shimotakahara

We can never know where our choices will take us, but make a beginning.

Self-reliance has limits, so ask for help.

Stop thinking as different entities and start working as one idea.

Michael Williams

Focuses on clothes, but not fashion.

Emphasizes the importance of locally-made products and meeting the people who make what you wear.

Jack Andraka

The Internet is a neutral space for idea.

Kathryn Schulz

We generate stories about the world around us, then the world turns around and astonishes us.

The miracle of your mind is not that you can see the world as it is, but that you can see the world as it isn’t.

This event again took place at the Cleveland Museum of Art, with the monthly MIX happy hour serving as the TEDxCLE after-party.


Did you attend TEDxCLE? Which speakers were your favorites?


1 Response

  1. Thanks for covering the conference so well! It was a blast, wasn’t it? Very inspiring. I tried to tell the Civic Commons afterwards they should find you and interview you! (I’m @GDLenter btw). Keep up all you do for #CLE!

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