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Apply to speak at our Spring 2020 Conference!

Application deadline is June 30th at midnight.


The Application!

For more information regarding the conference theme, the curation process, speaker expectations, and the application itself, please scroll down where we have provided that information. As always, email us at tedxuwmilwaukee@gmail.com with any questions or concerns!

Full Name *
Full Name
Phone Number *
Phone Number
Do you live in the Milwaukee area? *
Feel free to provide an overarching summary, a detailed outline, a written part of the full talk, or anything you think would help convey your ideas. Again, there is no minimum or maximum to your response, but the more information you provide, the better!
Should we expect an email from you with a 5-minute sample video of your talk? *
It doesn’t have to be incredibly polished, organized, or edited, but just something so we have a glimpse of your stage presence and ideas. Please do not exceed 5 minutes for the video upload. Send the file to tedxuwmilwaukee@gmail.com. Please know that not sending us a video in no way hinders your application.
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How did you hear about this application? *

Theme Description

Our tentative conference title is “Our City. Our Story.” Our team loves Milwaukee, but many of us are not from here. We came here because we recognized something in this city that is truly magical and inspiring. We have also realized that there are systematic flaws and concerns that need to be addressed. Luckily, Milwaukee is also home to innovative and dedicated people who work to see this city thrive. Falling in the same year as the 2020 Census, our Spring 2020 Conference will be about the movements, successes, and changes happening in Milwaukee right now. We are looking for speakers who have a commitment to bettering Milwaukee. The actual speaking topics could truly be anything—an architect changing the way our communities are built, an educator promoting individual growth in our school system, an environmental activist making our city more earth-friendly, an entrepreneur bringing new ideas and services to the Milwaukee area…as long as the topic is rooted in our community and its success, it fits the theme! As with all TEDx events, we are searching for speakers who are passionate, innovative, and dedicated to promoting positive change. We are looking for the leaders, trendsetters, and change-makers living right in our own backyard. We are so happy you are taking the time to apply to speak at our Spring 2020 conference! Our most recent event in Spring of 2019 was an incredible success, surpassing our goals and expectations by a landslide. We hope that with the help of talented, inspiring speakers, our next event will be just as excellent.

Expectations of Speakers

All speakers must agree to commit their time and energy during the curation process to ensure a successful event. Starting in early October of 2019, speakers will all meet once a month for approximately 3 hours to discuss ideas and get feedback from our team and the other speakers. During March of 2020, there will likely be 3 to 5 meetings to fully solidify the talks for the event, including 1 mandatory rehearsal in the event space. Speakers will be expected to follow a curation timeline which details progress deadlines (written draft, full delivery with notes, slideshow prepared, etc.) so that everyone is on the same page. Our team is flexible because we understand that everyone’s thought process and schedules will vary, but we do expect notice and reasoning if an expectation cannot be met at the requested date. We also are aware that life is incredibly chaotic at times, and not every speaker will be able to attend every meeting. We want to be as respectful as possible of the speakers’ time, but in order to follow the curation plan and be prepared for the conference, we will only allow each speaker 2 absences before we will discuss removing them from the set. At the end of the day, we just want to know that our speakers are committed to our mission. At TEDxUWMilwaukee, we don’t expect the talks to be perfect, but we expect them to be excellent—and excellence starts by showing up and doing the work!

Application Instructions

The first set of questions will simply be getting your contact information and a few personal details. The second set of questions will take more time as they relate to your experience, passions, and ideas. There is no minimum or maximum for any of the questions; we want to give you the freedom to express yourself in whatever way you see fit. That being said, the more you provide, the less we have to guess. We would rather have more information that isn’t incredibly relevant or essential, than not enough information to fully understand who you are and what your talk would be about.

Many of the questions are open-ended and ambiguous; we have done this purposefully so that each applicant can interpret the question however they want and give us any information they find important. This year, we are also recommending applicants to send us a sample video of their talk as a part of their application. More information will be provided at the end of the application form.

Lastly, we want to ensure all applicants that we use a fair and respectful process to review the applications. No identity you have will be used against you whether that’s your age, race, sexual orientation, or any other information you choose to provide. Please be aware that you are not expected or encouraged to provide personal information (like your many wonderful identities) if you don’t feel comfortable doing so. If you think it relates to your talk and is worth including, then feel free. We evaluate the applications on the ideas you share and the passions you embrace, not on your demographics.

This application opens on June 3rd and will close on June 30th. You can expect to hear from us with the application results no later than August 15th.  For the applicants we choose to be speakers for the Spring 2020 Conference, we will email you with an invitation to speak. This way, you have an opportunity to inform us of anything that may have changed your desire to speak at the upcoming conference. Thanks for applying!