The second annual TEDxYoungstown @ was held Friday January 23, 2015 at Youngstown State University @youngstownstate.TEDx is an independently organized TED event, that is produced locally to inspire a community. The follow up to the first ever #TEDxYo did extremely well – when sales more than doubled the event was moved to an even larger venue at Bliss Hall on the campus of Youngstown State University. One of the TEDxYoungstown organizers Bob McGovern shared with us, “Because Lori Shandor (TEDxYoungstown Chairperson) attended TEDActive 2014 in British Columbia, the 100-person cap on attendance in place for the first event was removed. As a result, we were able to more than double attendance this year! We’re so happy with this continued—and increased—interest in what we’re doing.”
The theme of this year’s TEDxYoungstown was Breaking Boundaries, and a diverse group of speakers used that theme to shed light on a variety of topics from #AdditiveManufacturing and #3DPrinting to #humantrafficking to #edibleinsects. One of the speakers was Kevin Bachhuber, the founder of Big Cricket Farms @, America’s first urban #cricketfarm. Kevin is originally from Wisconsin, he relocated to Youngstown in 2014, after starting his business in California. Big Cricket Farms is also a portfolio company at the Youngstown Business Incubator @. Kevin was an awesome speaker at this year’s TEDxYoungstown and was thrilled to talk to us about his experience. “TEDx is a unique stage. Most of my speaking engagements are panel discussions or university lectures. I really enjoyed the short, fast-paced format.” Kevin is a world traveler, and we asked him what impact being in Youngstown has had on his life. “I’m proud to be a new Youngstowner. This city is filled with tough, resilient people who are dedicated to making their city a better place without forgetting its history. Honestly, California’s got nothing on Youngstown.”
Dr. Brett Conner, Director of Advanced Manufacturing Workforce Initiatives and an Associate Professor of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at Youngstown State University, was another speaker at TEDxYoungstown this year. Dr. Conner gave a compelling and informative talk on additive manufacturing, and we were able to speak with him further about the impacts this technology could have on Youngstown. “First, it will provide a new means of manufacturing allowing for products with greater functionally resulting from design freedom and also means for customization. Second, the paradigm for capitalization is different than many manufacturing means. The initial capital investment can be high, but the footprint is low — one doesn’t need a huge factory building. Alternatively, the initial capital investment can be skipped or postponed by accessing 3D printers via service bureaus (i.e. contract manufacturers). In other words, Youngstown businesses can start making 3D printed products right now! Third, as outlined in my talk, residents of this region will find ever increasing amounts of 3D printed customized customer products in their lives from braces to shoes to UAVs.” Many people in the rest of the country are unaware not only of this growing industry but the fact that so much of it is being developed in Youngstown. “The key is to make people be aware of what Youngstown offers in 3D printing: America Makes, YSU, YBI, various makerspaces, and 3D printing businesses. Did you know the extruder nozzle used to print the first 3D printed car came from Youngstown? Did you know the first 3D printed letter to a U.S. President was printed in stainless steel right here in Youngstown? Did you know YSU has had theater productions with 3D printed props? Perhaps you didn’t know these facts, and that’s an example of how we need to get the word out. As for entrepreneurship, there is a thriving community of 3D printing entrepreneurs right here. YBI is helping to nurture that community.” You can learn more about all the 2015 speakers at the TEDxYoungstown website.
In addition to all the dedicated organizers and speakers, Youngstown State University plays a major role in making TEDxYoungstown the incredible event that it is. “While we moved across campus from Williamson to Bliss, we’re glad to continue hosting this event at Youngstown State University,” says Bob McGovern of keeping the event at YSU. Another major aspect of keeping the traction of TEDxYoungstown going is social media. Chair of YSU’s Department of Communication Dr. Adam Earnheardt @adamearn (also a TEDxYoungstown 2014 speaker and 2015 attendee) says, “I felt like I was a lot more engaged on social media this year, and the planners made it much easier to connect with everyone else on social media by providing Twitter addresses for the speakers and relevant #hashtags for interacting with others. So many more people were involved during this year’s #TEDx. I had my social media literacy class watching the live stream and tweeting about their favorite talks, offering relevant, meaningful insights about the topics.”
Although it doesn’t take place on the main stage, the Innovation Lounge is yet another awesome aspect of TEDxYoungstown. This year’s Innovation Lounge in the lobby of Bliss Hall’s Ford Theater featured interactive exhibits from America Makes @ and The Lettuce People as well as displays from Barnes and Noble and the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County.Thank you to all who participated!
The event concluded with an exciting announcement from Chairperson Lori Shandor.On May 28, 2015, TEDxYoungstown will partake in TEDWomen with the first ever TEDxYoungstownWomen. The event is still in the planning stages, but we were lucky enough to speak with Lori about what we can expect. “While this is still a TED licensed event it will be structured a bit differently than TEDxYoungstown. This event will focus on streaming the 2015 #TEDWomen Talks and will have a limited amount of live speakers. The event will take place in the evening and ticket details will be available as other details are established. Anyone interested in a partnership, attending, or speaking at #TEDxYoungstownWomen should watch our website and social media outlets.” Stay tuned to the TEDxYoungstown website for updates!
A huge thank you to Lori Shandor for giving us an exclusive on TEDxYoungstownWomen and for continuing to organize such wonderful events. Thank you also to Bob McGovern, Kevin Bacchuber, Dr. Brett Conner, Dr. Adam Earnheardt, all of the fabulous 2015 speakers, and to everyone who supports TEDxYoungstown.
Hashtags: #TEDxYo #TEDxYoungstown #TEDx #Youngstown #YSU #BreakingBoundaries #TEDWomen #TEDxYoungstownWomen #AmericaMakes #3DPrintedCar #AdditiveManufacturing #3DPrinting #Manufacturing #NAMII #Technology #Innovation3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing, MFG Day, Manufacturing, Technology