TEDxDayton Brings Inspiration to Designers

TEDxDayton Brings Inspiration to Designers

On Friday, October 20, 2017, our designers met early at work and drove together downtown to the Victoria Theatre for TEDxDayton. The goal? Find fresh perspectives and inspiration as a team while exploring the ideas of our Dayton neighbors.

They each brought back their unique take on TEDxDayton and decided to share them below.


“Status quo seemed suspended in time.”

It can be inspiring to run across one idea that takes hold of your brain and makes you say, “hmmmmmm.” Imagine an entire day full of 25 speakers and performers that present ideas that make you say, “hmmmmm, why not?” My brain and heart are full of reaction to all that I heard and saw today at TEDxDayton.

Topics that at first glance seemed boring or mundane came to life in 16 minutes or less, in the hands of a diverse group of presenters that challenged how we see ourselves and the world. Status quo seemed suspended in time today, as anything seemed possible. By the end of the day, as the varied group of presenters danced to the music of “Soul Train” onstage together, I remembered what it felt like to be open to possibility and passion. Wonderful.

Sue Christen, Senior Designer


“Stories ranging from personal to professional.”

Before today, TED was something I only had the chance to experience through a screen. I have been a huge fan for a long time and it had always been on my bucket list. To enjoy first hand the many interesting and inspirational stories, ranging from personal to professional, was truly something to remember. A takeaway that I would hope everyone can utilize in their busy lives was from the first speaker of the day Neal Gittleman, a conductor and musical director. A movement composition by John Cage featured 4′ 33” of silence. This composition (which Neal proudly played on the nearby piano) allowed you to immerse yourself in the environment around you. He ended by instructing all of us in the theatre to find silence. And if it finds you, don’t fill it. Shane Cecil, Senior Designer

“Simplicity. Respect. Caring.”

As a first-time TEDxDayton attendee, I was blown away by the variety of subject matter and the overall inspiring CURRENT of a Friday spent at the Victoria Theater. From talking shop (literally) to a 12-year old pianist who has an unfathomable talent for his craft to absolutely moving speech about privilege or the lack thereof between two esteemed psychologists.

TEDxDayton 2017 began with an inspiring look on silence, four minutes and thirty-three seconds to be exact, and a perfect closing of spoken word meshed with contemporary dance. Justin Howard, who emceed the event, presented improv seamlessly between acts and inspired us all to want to be his new best friend. Truly fascinating performances focused on words that we all can empathize with: simplicity. respect. caring. understanding. kindness. My mind is full, my heart is inspired and the ripple effects of all that was absorbed is here to stay.

Natasha Johnson, Senior Illustrator/Designer

“One global understanding.”

I have heard of TED talks before, but never really got into listening to them. So for me, I had no idea what to expect. But just a few speakers into TEDxDayton, I knew a couple of things: TEDx is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get (as far as subject matter goes); but that you can expect to be inspired by the experiences and knowledge of others. Each speaker/performance moved and motivated me to do different things. Neal Giettleman’s talk on Power of Silence makes me want to spend more time in nature unplugged taking in all the sounds around me. Sculptor Terry Welker challenged me to use memory as an influence in art creation and in understanding art.

“Life becomes art when we open ourselves up to childhood feelings.”

Daniel Badger, through advocating for the hands-on trade skills like being a mechanic is just as important as going to college for a degree and letters after your name, gave me a new appreciation and view of what it means to be “successful.” Those were just a few of the things that stood out to me on Friday, but overall I came away with one global understanding, to love and care for everyone, no matter what they look like, how old they are, or what they do.

Mackenzie Graves, Senior Designer/Video Specialist

“A unique range of knowledge.”

Nova, as a creative agency, is always looking for opportunities to inspire our team. Today we had an amazing experience at the 5th anniversary of TEDxDayton. With a full range of topics at hand, I can say with confidence that our entire team came away today with a unique range of knowledge to help open our eyes and enhance our daily lives.

Amy Niswonger, Creative Director


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