A few of the local speakers who are moving and shaking

click to enlarge MALINA SIMONE JEFFERS
  • Malina Simone Jeffers

Denver Hutt and Malina Simone Jeffers

Economic & Community Development Liaison, MIBOR REALTORS® Association and Founder, Mosaic City

Rock, Paper, Fork is an initiative started by Denver Hutt and Malina Simone Jeffers (and a few others) as a way to connect people around the city. The idea was to simply have lunch with a stranger. They would pair up diverse groups of three and have had huge success so far.

"All of us know each other but we don't necessarily know each other's networks," says Hutt.

"It's kind of the same reason why diversity is important and inclusion is important," says Jeffers. "I think we are more creative as a community if we learn about the thoughts and opinions and ideas and experiences of different people ... We would look at the world differently ... through the eyes of someone else. And if we are only talking to people that we know and who are like us, how much more are you really learning?"

click to enlarge MARY MCCONNELL
  • Mary McConnell

Mary McConnell

Indiana State Director, The Nature Conservancy

Mary McConnell spends most of her time protecting the land and water around us. In fact she started the Bicentennial Nature Trust, a $30 million fund that was created under Governor Daniels. One of the key elements of the project is using "technology to get kids to put down their technology," says McConnell. "My goal is to create the next global environmental movement with children leading the way."

The idea is that in 2016 every one of the 1.6 million school-aged-children in Indiana will have the opportunity to get online and claim a ceremonial deed to a piece of land in a new park. (Keep in mind, this is just ceremonial). The kids can print out the deed with GPS coordinates to go and find "their" section of land. The program will also use an app and drones (similar to Google Earth) to let kids track how it changes through the seasons.

click to enlarge MAURICE YOUNG
  • Maurice Young

Maurice Young

Homeless advocate

Maurice Young has made his mark in Indianapolis doing something that he came across accidentally. After a divorce he went to a homeless shelter (to get off the grid for a few days) and found himself teaching one of the older residents to read. Since then he has advocated for and lived with the homeless population of Indy.

"Usually when people invite me to come out and speak I talk about what I do in the context of raising homeless awareness," says Young.

"However, TED has asked me to not to come and talk about what I do, but why I do what I do ... They feel that the way that I help in the community, the way that I advocate for the homeless not complicating it. They said the way I approach it is simplicity at its finest. I don't have a mortgage, I don't have a car payment, I can focus on what I do."

click to enlarge PAUL MAHERN
  • Paul Mahern
Paul Mahern

Owner, White Arc Studios

As a music producer with names on his belt like John Mellencamp, Paul Mahern has to stay focused while collaborating. His personal meditation helps him find the heart and soul of each album.

"I think meditation is just like basically brushing your teeth for the mind," says Mahern. "It's something that should be taught to children very early on in life. And something that we should all be doing probably on a pretty regular basis. Especially in the age of so much information being pushed on us all the time in social media."


When: Oct. 20, 9:30 a.m.

Where: University of Indianapolis

Tickets: SOLD OUT

Online: Watch the live stream at tedxindianapolis.com

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About The Author

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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