Talking TEDx Indianapolis 2013 

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Just the ideas, ma'am. That's the way we're writing about TEDx Indianapolis, taking place all day Tuesday at the Hilbert Circle Theatre. The best TED Talks admirably cut through the BS to get right to the core of an idea. Our interviews with six local TEDx speakers head right to the point as well. We skipped over all the out-of-towners (Found's Davy Rothbart, happiness hacker John C. Havens, inventor/cartoonist Steven M. Johnson) coming in to share their ideas; we figured you'd have a better chance of talking to your neighbors in the near future if you happen not to have Tuesday off (like this editor).

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Chad Priest, a dad, husband, nurse, attorney, Air Force vet and the CEO of emergency management organization MESH Coalition, wants to see health care redefined in Indianapolis. And that'll start with heath care workers adding skill sets in order to better serve clients.

NUVO: What do you think needs to change concerning health care?

Chad Priest: We have to pay attention to what makes people sick. A lot of what makes people sick isn't what we treat at all. Things that make people sick are things like poor housing and bad air quality. Those of us in health care are going to have to be a little more trans-disciplinary in our thinking. Doctors, nurses and social workers and those of us who claim to sort of "own health care" are going to have to think differently about that. So when we start thinking about who does what and what it means to be a health care provider: Can a lawyer be a health care provider? Can an investment banker be a health care provider? Why not a poet?


Emergency physician Jeffery Kline is researching the science behind how doctors base their diagnoses on simple facial expressions of their patients.

NUVO: Where did your idea come from?

Jeffery Kline: It comes out my experience as an ER doctor. It is based on the simple fact that most ER docs walk into a room and make a decision about whether a patient is sick or not within a few seconds. But the interesting thing is that we don't talk about what we do to make that decision.

NUVO: Why did you think this was a TED Talk?

Kline: It is about human beings connecting. You know, as well as I do, that non-verbal behavior is a lot of how you judge other people. It turns out it is a lot of how we judge people's physiology about how sick they are.

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Doug McColgin is a Carmel-based consultant working to, as his bio puts it, "build Indianapolis into an innovation center." He founded the Indiana Innovation Awards and Indy's Day of Innovation Conference.

NUVO: What is wrong with our networks now?

Doug McColgin: The bulk of our network exists through our co-workers. We tend to focus on people who either have the same organization or the same background as ourselves. I think there is a big opportunity to finding a new class of people who work for different organizations and have different trainings and different backgrounds. For example, there is tremendous power if an Eli Lilly Company begins to network with, say the Symphony.

NUVO: How do you think this could impact Indianapolis?

McColgin: It is a great city, but we measure our networks by whom they enable us to meet and where they enable us to go. I think that we, as a city, can take it to an entirely new level if we look at our networks in a slightly new way and measure them based on what ideas are inspired.


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LaShawnda Storm is beginning difficult conversations about Indiana's history of racial violence and lynching through quilt making. Her Lynch Quilts Project, consisting of six quilts that consider lynching through the lens of gender relations, statistical analysis, politics and other theoretical frameworks, was featured in the May 2013 issue of Essence.

NUVO: What does the Lynch Quilts Project do?

LaShawnda Storm: In many ways it gives people permission to talk [about lynching]. People come with their own history. People want to talk about it. There is just not a vehicle in our society to fully embrace or talk about these histories.

NUVO: How can people get involved with the project?

Storm: People come to it and find different ways that they want to participate. Some people do research about lynching history, some people make quilts, and some people become advocates in their community and find ways we can bring it there for exhibition.

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Jeb Banner, CEO of web design and marketing company SmallBox, founder of Indiana music archive Musical Family Tree and employer of many a musician, has titled his talk "Everything I Needed to Know About Business I Learned From Being in a Band."

NUVO: What question motivated your TED Talk?

jeb Banner: What I am interested in is what do you learn from being in a band? Are there things you can take from being in a band into a business environment and into business education?

NUVO: What are the parallels between being in a band and in business?

Banner: Bands tend to be very entrepreneurial. When you are in a band you have to figure it out. It's very DIY. You have to figure it out. Businesses really struggle with defining purpose. Very few people start a band with the purpose of making money. If businesses had the same level of purpose that bands do, they would see similar commitment and work from their employees.


Rodney Byrnes is working hard to break the cycle of poverty — as a real estate developer who focuses on urban development (including the Avondale Meadows Revitalization Project), and a board member of Indianapolis Cultural Trail, Inc., the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis and Park Tudor.

NUVO: How can we address poverty in Indianapolis?

Rodney Brynes: If you want to change an area, you don't just deal with housing. You deal with education and wrap-around-services [social and health services]... It is changing the way we address community revitalization.

NUVO: What does that model look like?

Brynes: It starts with education. Then you create affordable housing and mix in great amenities, like good schools. So you take mixed income housing and high quality education opportunities and add wrap-around-services. Here we have added a great YMCA, health centers and community space. ... This model is breaking the cycle of poverty.

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Emily Taylor

Emily Taylor

Emily is the arts editor at NUVO, where she covers everything from visual art to comedy. In fact she is probably at a theater production right now. Before joining the ranks here, she worked for Indianapolis Monthly and Gannett. You can find her thoughts about Indy scattered throughout the NUVO arts section and... more

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