Actors, inventors, celebrities convene for TEDx

October 15, 2011 7:22:37 AM PDT
This week, world-class speakers, from celebrities to inventors, heroes, hackers and more, are providing riveting talks during the second annual TEDxMidwest at Chicago's Oriental Theater.

TED is a non-profit devoted to ideas worth spreading. It brings together people from three worlds: technology, entertainment, design.

On Saturday, October 15, the inaugural TEDxYouth@Midwest event takes place. The goal is to inspire participants to share and act on new ideas. Among the speakers on Thursday and Friday were actors Joan Cusack and Kevin Bacon. Saturday, the TEDxYouth@Midwest program offers 15 speakers and an audience of more than 400 diverse, high-achieving students ranging from 9th to 12th grade, and more than 100 educators.

Saturday's featured speakers include former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Also, Dr. Chirinjeev Kathuria, who launched the first privately-funded manned space program and owned the MIR space station, is speaking about personal space travel at TEDxYouth@Midwest. He joined us in our ABC7 studio Saturday morning to tell us about his experience.

Host of the TEDxYouth event on Saturday is Chicago-born comedian and NPR radio host Brian Babylon, who also was in our studio to talk about the event. Currently, Babylon hosts and produces The Morning AMP radio show on Vocalo 89.5 FM.

TEDxYouth@Midwest For Students
Saturday, October 15
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
The Oriental Theatre
24 W. Randolph St.
Brian Babylon, comedian and NPR radio host

Sandra Day O'Connor - Former Supreme Court Justice
Chirinjeev Kathuria - Former owner of the MIR Space Station, talking about space travel
Mark Ecko - Founder, artist, instigator, successful designer and entrepreneur
Tsi-tsi-ki Felix - Telemundo News anchorwoman
Dean Kamen - One of top inventors in the world and founder of FIRST Program
Wes Craven - Director of "Scream" and "Nightmare on Elm Street"
Jullien Gordon - Young entrepreneur speaking about motivation and purpose
Daniel Hernandez - Intern who helped save Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords' life
Paul Nicklen - Extreme "National Geographic" polar photographer
Pablos Holman - World-class hacker and inventor
Paul Sereno - "National Geographic" Explorer-in-Residence and top dinosaur hunter
Jerry Mitchell - MacArthur Prize-winning journalist responsible for Klan convictions
Phil Zimbardo - Renowned psychologist on the making of heroes
Nova Venable - Young poet from the movie, "Louder than a Bomb" Zoe Damacela - Fashion designer featured on the cover of this month's "Seventeen Magazine" Gordon Gill - Architect and one of world's top authorities on large sustainable buildings

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For information about TED's upcoming conferences, visit

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