As we prepare to celebrate our eighth TEDx TraverseCity, we believe that this year provides an excellent opportunity for our audience to be inspired and challenged. We are at a pivotal time when our culture and society are being tested, as never before, in multiple ways.

So we are questioning how, as a community, we can challenge ourselves to become more conscious and more awake to possibilities of change. Ideas spring from being aware—sufficiently aware for us to take notice and, we hope, to create an impact. Crossing the threshold of awareness, an idea can spread and be shared throughout our communities.

The simplest definition of awake is to cease sleeping—so have we been sleeping? Has our society become too complacent and comfortable?

We believe it is essential that each TEDxTraverseCity event makes a strong impact and even alters participants’ consciousness. This year’s event is no different; however, right now there seems to be a collective energy in our community to be engaged and to tune into issues that matter. We first need to identify any blinders we may have on, and then to engage in positive change events.

We look forward to a full day of examining what it is to be “awake and aware” in today’s world. We invite you to submit proposals for talks that resonate with our theme and also fit into one or more of the following categories.

  • – Truth discernment; media
  • – Technology/disruption (for example, Uber, Airbnb); artificial intelligence; big data; taking the world into the cloud
  • – Environment; water; food
  • – Justice; race relations; issues of abuse and harassment
  • – Health care
  • – Education
  • – Gratitude; faith; rituals; religion
  • – Immigration; migration; refugees
  • – Communication; commitment; relationships

“Those who are awake live in a constant state of amazement.” —JACK KORNFIELD

“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” —CARL GUSTAV JUNG

“Only that day dawns to which we are awake. There is more day to dawn. The sun is but a morning star.” —HENRY DAVID THOREAU