TEDx Detroit: Insightful AF

“I’m rooting for everybody black” ~ Issa Rae

As a long-time follower of TED Talks via YouTube, I was very excited to attend my first TEDx event in my hometown, Detroit! For those of you that don’t know, TEDx is a locally curated version of TED Talks; and local entrepreneurs come and share their ideas, or their atypical paths to success. Based on the individuals selected to share, the consideration given to diversity was very clear.  No two speakers or performances were alike, and the organization and execution was flawless. It was the first time in a while, that I’d gone to a conference and had been fully engaged the entire time!

My name tag, and Shinola Journal (for note-taking).

Needless to say, there were a lot valuable takeaways, and in true Corporate Momming fashion, I’m here to share! There were sooooo many jewels dropped.  However, here are my top 10:

  1. Roop Raj – Rejection shapes who you are.  It is the universe telling you what does and doesn’t work.  Rejection sets a blueprint, allowing you to reinvent.   Steps to moving pass rejection involves retreating, rethinking and reinventing.  This made me think a lot about a book I read called “Outwitting the Devil”, by Napoleon Hill. It’s a really good book, and is a must read.
  2. Dr. Ravina Kullar – Talked about antibiotic resistance, and how antibacterial infectious disease will kill 7 million people a year, if we don’t take these precautions, right away:
    1. Do not buy meat with antibiotics.
    2. Do not use antibiotics longer than needed (consult your doctor).
    3. Use antibiotics sparingly
    4. Only use hand sanitizer when washing your hands is not an option.
  3. Undra & Austin Mack (The Mack Brothers) – These two little ones were the cutest.  Ten and eleven year old boys who owned a landscaping company, were authors, and were very entertaining.
  4. Stuart McDonald – A magician who discussed how he used continuous improvement  (lean principles) to improve his techniques in performing magic, and how we should use those same techniques to improve whatever line of business we are in.  This hit home for me, being a Lean Six Sigma Greenbelt.  I’ve never used those principles in my personal business, but when time permits, I’d love to start.
  5. Mahogany Jones – OK, this woman was ORIGINAL.  She did a TED presentation on Cardi B-isms.  They were: (1) Cards B Yourself (2) Cards B a Builder, and (3)Cards B Loud – “Okurrrrrrrrt” – No, she really said that, LOL!
  6. Alina Morse –  Alina, a 14-year-old entrepreneur blew me away with the gems she dropped. She is the owner of Zollipops, suckers that clean your teeth and prevent cavities.   Her suckers are sold in major retailers, but more importantly her business acumen blew me AWAY.  She talked about the importance of building a solid team, and then THIS….having your product/idea ready to go a year before you need it.  WHOA!
  7. Kate the Chemist – Her energy was out of this world, and even if she taught me nothing, she was my FAVORITE presentation!  Not only was she super smart, but she gave three pointers that really stood out.  They were:
    1. Rely on emotional memory to attract an audience.
    2. Talk about other people – She had a girl gang of badass women, that she talked about, rather than talking about her self.
    3. Engage in evidence based conversation!
    4. Not to mention – the girl spits FIRE….no really she does.  Google her. Loved her.
  8. Jemele Hill & Kelly Carter – These two pulled on my heart-strings.  Outside of Jemele being the trailblazer she already is, she and her best friend shared a new venture that taught them the following lessons:
    1. Stop doing something when it’s no longer fun!
    2. Embrace transition without navigation – This was huge!  We don’t ALWAYS have to know the destination.  It’s ok to ask for direction, and sometimes, its more about HOW we get to the destination.  A word!
  9. Grace Hsia – Simple and clear – Build and test your designs.  Get feedback early and often!
  10. Shawn Lee  – Also a ball of energy, and he almost cried a few times when giving his presentation!  True passion!  Shawn talked about the people seeing us as we see ourselves.  So if we want to be successful, we have to already believe that we are!  More importantly, he shared that the greatest investment we could make is an investment in people!

Those were my top ten takeaways!  I would be remiss, if I didn’t include the presentation by Melissa Butler.  In fact, I went and picked up my daughter from school and came back, so that I didn’t miss it.  Melissa’s presentation on the standard of beauty was full of passion and purpose, and I am always proud to see her elevate to new levels with her brand, The Lip Bar.


Overall, I really enjoyed spending my day with TED, and I end this post with sharing one of my favorite TED Talks!


Oh, and because I’m rooting for everybody black, I’ll share this link as well, 50 TED Talks by 50 Talented Black WOMEN!


3 thoughts on “TEDx Detroit: Insightful AF

  1. I loved this Robyn! Awesome take a ways as well! Thanks for this! Definitely agree with the meat issue Dr. Ravina Kullar mentioned. I attended an infectious disease seminar earlier this year and its REAL out here for what we are eating. It is tremendously causing a ton of current health issues many are facing. Earlier this past spring, my family and I opted for only purchasing our pork, beef and chicken from farmers markets or local farmer/butchers. You will be able to tell the difference in taste immediately and your health will actually show progress within a month(that was our experience anyway). Its definitely more costly but as one of the farmers we purchase from told us, “You can either pay me more now and be happy and healthy or pay even more later in hospital bills and be unhealthy.”

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