April 13th, 2019
UWM Campus, Zelazo Center Theater
One day. Ten live TEDx talks. Countless lives changed.
Join TEDxUWMilwaukee for its 5th annual conference to contemplate how the challenges that tumultuous times pose may bring out our most innovative, passionate, and empathetic selves. This event will challenge an audience of over 300 people to connect, collaborate, and change the world.
Much like the first Enlightenment, humanity finds itself in the midst of an intensely exciting and uncertain period. The innovation, connectivity, and abundance of information in the “technology era” hold endless possibility, yet sociopolitical strife, isolation, and information control threaten to tear us apart. Enlighten Up speaks to the current state of Milwaukee, America, and the world, a state in which we are both on the edge of a new Enlightenment and in desperate need of hope. Enlighten UP will bring these two seemingly contradictory themes together in one event, emphasizing the diverse range of voices and ideas at the forefront of the new Enlightenment.
•FULL ADMISSION TO a live TEDx Event
11:00AM SAME-DAY TICKET SALES BEGIN
11:30AM DOORS OPEN
12:00PM CONFERENCE BEGINS
1:30PM First intermission
2:15PM Session 2
3:15PM second Intermission
3:35PM Session 3
TEDxUWMilwaukee's 2019 Conference Speakers
Isioma Nwabuzor is a skilled corporate attorney employed with Baird, an international financial services firm headquartered in downtown Milwaukee. With a strong dedication to her profession, Attorney Nwabuzor presently serves as a Board Member for both the Sports & Entertainment Law and IP & Technology Law Sections of the State Bar of Wisconsin. She is an alumnus of the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Leadership Development Summit and a member of the Association of Corporate Counsel, the American Bar Association, and the Wisconsin Association of African American Lawyers.
As a representative of several minority groups and demographics, Attorney Nwabuzor has a profound passion for social progress and global synergy. This passion translates into Attorney Nwabuzor’s unwavering commitment to a life of servant leadership. Attorney Nwabuzor is a former Board Member for the National Black Law Students Association. She currently serves as an Adult Achiever with the YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee, as Sergeant-At-Arms and PR Chairman for Rotary Club of Mequon-Milwaukee Afterhours, and as a Committee Chairman for the Epsilon Kappa Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. She is also a trained facilitator with the Frank Zeidler Center for Public Discussion. As evidence of her commitment to service and the community, Isioma was recognized as the 2017 recipient of her sorority’s “Edith N. Finlayson Volunteer of the Year Award.”
Attorney Nwabuzor is regularly tapped to provide her professional and personal insight and has spoken at various events and for various organizations including, the Silver Spring Neighborhood Center, Marquette University Law School’s Black Law Students Association, and Marquette’s BSC. Attorney Nwabuzor earned her Bachelor of Arts with double majors in Political Science and Psychology and her Juris Doctorate from Marquette University Law School. Attorney Nwabuzor currently resides in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Della Wells is a self-taught artist who began drawing and painting in earnest at the age of 42. Her creative process stems primarily from her personal experiences, embellished through the art of storytelling into visual work. Wells' work has been written about and has appeared in several publications including Betty-Carol Sellen's and Cynthia J. Johnson's book '' Self Taught, Outsider and Folk Art, A Guide to American Artists, Locations and Resources, 2000 and 2016 ed, and one of her images appears in a children's book published by National Geographic.
In 2011, an award winning play that was inspired by her life, '' Don't Tell Me I Can't Fly',' debuted in Milwaukee. The play was commissioned by Milwaukee First Stage Children 's Theatre and written by Y York. In 2010, the play was selected to be read at the Kennedy Center in Washington D. C. for its New Visions, New Voices Festival. Since its debut in Milwaukee, the play has been produced in Nashville, Tennessee and in Charlotte, North Carolina.
She illustrated a children's book "The Electric Train" by Nanci Mortimer. She has exhibited in various galleries, museums and art festivals all over the United States, Italy and British Columbia. Venues include the Hickory Museum of Art‘s 2017 eMilwaukee Art Museum, John Michael Kohler Center For the Arts, The Appleton Art Center, Huntsville Museum of Art, Hickory Museum of Art, Loyola Museum of Art, Univerity of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Alverno College, Coastal Museum Mark Woolley Gallery, 5 Points Art Gallery and Studios, Clayton Gallery, David Barnett Gallery and the Outsider Art Fair in New York.
She has been a feature artist at the Kentuck Festival of Arts, the largest art festival which features folk, self-taught and outsider art in the United States. Wells is represented by the Portrait Society Gallery in Milwaukee, Main Street Gallery in Clayton, Georgia , Red Piano Too Art Gallery in St. Helena Island, South Gallery and Marcia Webber Art Objects in Montgomery, Alabama.
Heidi Edwards is a high school English teacher with 18 years of experience. Heidi was called to teaching from a young age, a calling that several transformative educators in her life fostered. She has taught in almost every school setting: public, private, urban, suburban, rural, as well as working with students ranging from early childhood to high school seniors. Her students have come from all walks of life, cultures, backgrounds, races, and faiths. She is currently employed in the Muskego-Norway school district as an instructor of Accelerated English 10 and English 11.
Heidi has served as a presenter for Wisconsin Council of Teachers of English for 4 years, presenting on topics tied to learning, diversity, gender, technology, and pedagogy. In addition, she has presented for the Illinois Association of Teachers of English regarding the confluence of modern culture with classical texts for the high school classroom. She served as participant and presenter for Milwaukee Area Student Affiliate of National Council of English Teachers and presented on race in the secondary English classroom.
If you asked Heidi’s students about her, they would share with you her penchant to book-end all learning with personal stories and anecdotes; her passion for all things regarding her students and her classroom; and her teaching of values and practices that transcend reading, writing, and grammar and that extend to students’ lives beyond the classroom. Also, they would tell you she loves cats.
Heidi is an alumna of Marquette University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in English and Secondary Education and Concordia University Chicago where she earned her master’s degree in Administrative Leadership. Heidi is originally from Illinois but now calls the Milwaukee area home along with her husband, 2 children, and a cat.
Ilian Iliev is currently a project coordinator for the University of Information Technology & Services Department, where he coordinates internal resources to ensure that projects are completed and delivered on time, within scope, and within budget.
He is also a member of Student Affairs I.T. and is involved in the Strategic Innovation Management team where, through a collaborative relationship with campus partners, he moves projects forward in a variety of fields by helping execute their intended outcomes, meeting individual and organizational goals.
One such partnership was with Islands of Brilliance. Ilian designed a WordPress website for 7 students on the spectrum of autism to provide exposure to the field of web development by composing WordPress tutorials to meet the needs of those students.
You can see which projects he’s been a part of by visiting www.pantherhacks.net. Ilian is on numerous committees: The Advisory Committee on Educational Technology (ACET), in which he is responsible for evaluating, recommending, monitoring, and annually assessing allocation of funds up to $3.5 million collected from student tuition fee that support access to educational technologies on the UWM campus, and The Information Technology Policy Committee (ITPC), where he has made recommendations to the faculty and campus administration regarding policy on information technology.
He is the co-author of “Radical Innovation: Blue Ocean Entrepreneurs, Skunk Works, & Beyond” and was involved in Operation Enduring Freedom by completing a tour of duty in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba where he received an Army Achievement Medal for his high degree of professionalism and ability to motivate others to excel.
He has completed his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy at Marquette University.
Katie Mullen is a brand strategist, artist and writer born and raised in Milwaukee, WI. She co-owns BlackPaint Studios, an independent art and design company whose biggest clients are Planned Parenthood state affiliates across the country. Before starting BlackPaint in 2015, Katie spent more than a decade working on both the agency and client sides in Milwaukee and New York for brands like MillerCoors, The Nation Magazine and SC Johnson Family companies.
Also a longtime art activist and general troublemaker, Katie leads BlackPaint’s covert mission to challenge the creative industry’s old school power structure by working to increase the number of women and people of color in leadership roles and by educating students about their power as change makers as part of the studio’s college speaking series, Unspoken Truths About Working in the Creative Industry. She’s also the founder of FROM HERE TO HER Artist Collective, an alliance of community art activists best known for their public art projects that explore social norms impacting women and girls.
Hey, I’m Quentin Allums. I’m the Chief Executive Officer of Urban Misfit Ventures. We own IEEG which is a influencer/video marketing company; as well as MKE Misfits which is an events company. I was also one of the first video creators on LinkedIn and have since used the platform to launch my new venture, accumulate millions of views, and travel the world for speaking engagements such as VidCon 2018.
Fun Fact: I was a musician for 6 years and a collegiate athlete.
Michael Drescher (born July 14, 1954) is a media entrepreneur. In 1981 he co-founded JDTV, a multimedia and production company that built up the world’s largest database of interactive television and movie descriptions in 11 languages with an international distribution. In 1997, he established Drescher Holdings and in 2003, along with DHL, became co-founder, partner and director of global publishing for One World Yellow Pages. In 2010, he co-founded two companies: Okanjo’s SAAS marketplace and ad-tech platforms that transform content into commerce for publishers, and Tuesday (formerly Bodyhum), a product line focusing on women’s breast health. In 2015, the startup raised $1.7 million in follow-on funding. Drescher serves on the board of directors for Newaukee, Okanjo Partners, Vibrant LLC, MiKE and International Film Finance.
Throughout her 30 years as a national speaker, award-winning storyteller, newspaper columnist, humorist, and writer, Deb has created her own innovative concepts to propel people to thrive. Her humor column and nationally known brand—Slightly Off on Purpose—were platforms to help professionals reduce stress and see the value of failing and help everyone embrace life's ups and downs with a sense of humor.
As a national speaker for healthcare, education, and women’s events, Deb has inspired and empowered thousands of people to achieve their goals and dreams. She has been interviewed on many radio and television stations. Her coaching and training programs have helped many individuals achieve authorship, along with other personal and professional goals.
Deb lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and travels across the U.S. to speak and host speaker training workshops. In her spare time, she loves spending time with her family—especially her new granddaughter, Eleanor—and upcycling vintage furniture.
Exposure to different cultures has helped Singh to adapt to various settings and made him aware of the dissimilarities of quality of life and laws amongst countries. Throughout his life, he has lived, worked, and traveled in several countries. These explorations not only allowed him to break out of his shell and embrace new cultures, but also enabled him to master other languages. Traveling halfway across the world from his hometown of Birmingham, England taught him that there is nothing like a trip to turn one into a new man. His passion for analyzing and understanding people's behavior and logic has been apparent since early adolescence. Most intriguing to him are the aspects of a criminal. He desires to know the how and why of criminals in society, which is the reason he obtained bachelor’s and master’s degrees focused on Critical Criminology at UWM.
In addition to these academic pursuits, Singh is a part of his family’s trucking business and devoted to learning about social media marketing and e-commerce. In his spare time, Singh is a huge gamer, enjoys studying the stock market, and writes blogs that help people to step up their fashion and style. His two dogs mean the world to him.
After 12+ years leading corporate social responsibility efforts with Fortune 500 companies, Kirsten decided it was time for her to change the world with her own two hands. Ever the optimist and dreamer, she actually believes this is possible. Following her corporate exit in 2016, she immersed herself in global relief and empowerment work. That means she supports people going through extreme trauma, as well as works with organizations looking to empower under-served people.
This work has taken Kirsten to all corners of the world, from refugee camps in Greece to orphanages in Haiti, from hurricane zones to public health crises. Along the way, she has learned a lot about creating meaningful and sustainable progress.
Armed with expertise and experience, she has recently founded The Metta Project and co-founded Orenda Eqwal Equity. Both organizations adopt complimentary, integrated approaches to social innovation that help communities, companies and citizens bring sustainable progress to life. Her work bridges the gap between the corporate bubble and the world beyond. She takes the hard lessons learned along the roads less traveled and makes them accessible to everyone, creating new ways to eradicate poverty, improve quality of life, and foster equality.
If you're looking to go beyond the status quo, you've found the right gal. Kirsten is all about building community, breaking silos, and showing the world what's possible when we bring a bit more creativity into our lives.