TEDxFondduLac started at the end of 2016 when Fond du Lac was granted a license to hold a TEDx event. A planning team was put in place and hit the ground running. One of the biggest decisions to make was the theme that will have a huge impact locally, regionally, and globally, as well as reflect the team’s spirit. The first event was held on Saturday, August 19, 2017 in beautiful downtown Fond du Lac with 14 speakers, TED videos, activities to stimulate thinking and creativity, and much more. The theme of the first-ever TEDxFondduLac was Fear Forward.
TEDxFondduLac received a renewal of its license after that first event and held its 2018 event once again in downtown Fond du Lac. August 25, 2018’s event, themed “Enough”, featured 15 speakers, new ways to continue to be involved as the audience grew, and more engagement than before. The videos from this event were quickly edited as the excitement from the day spilled into the days that followed and all were quickly approved and included on this site. In fact, one of the videos from that day was relisted on the official TED website.
After another license renewal, TEDxFondduLac returned on Saturday, August 17, 2019 to Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts and downtown Fond du Lac on a day that featured 15 new speakers under the theme “Life Unscripted”.
2020 became a gap year for the TEDxFondduLac team as COVID-19 impacted the community, regardless of the fact they spent months preparing for an online event. However, the energy and spirit of what would have been the 2020 event carried forward into an invitation-only affair in summer 2021. There, 8 speakers spoke on the theme “CARE – Create a Ripple Effect” in an intimate event suitable for an event and world that went through so many changes in the previous year.
The TEDxFondduLac team was comprised of passionate volunteers who believed in the mission of “ideas worth spreading” and believed that Fond du Lac, Wisconsin is the place to showcase new, innovative thoughts. The team prided itself on the diverse mix of ideas that went to the stage and the work they put in to craft an experience that would keep all attendees happy and engaged. Contagious energy was abound within the team as they referred to themselves as a family, supporting each other to push boundaries in not only these events, but in their daily lives.
TEDxFondduLac 2017: Fear Forward (sold out in 6 hours)
TEDxFondduLac 2018: Enough (sold out in 2 hours)
TEDxFondduLac 2019: Life Unscripted (another sold out crowd!)
TEDxFondduLac 2021: CARE – Create a Ripple Effect (speakers and invited guests only due to global health concerns)
TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or fewer) delivered by today’s leading thinkers and doers. Many of these talks are given at TED’s annual conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, and made available, free, on TED.com. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Monica Lewinsky, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Sal Khan and Daniel Kahneman.
TED’s open and free initiatives for spreading ideas include TED.com, where new TED Talk videos are posted daily; the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as translations from thousands of volunteers worldwide; the educational initiative TED-Ed; the annual million-dollar TED Prize, which funds exceptional individuals with a “wish,” or idea, to create change in the world; TEDx, which provides licenses to thousands of individuals and groups who host local, self-organized TED-style events around the world; and the TED Fellows program, which selects innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.
For information about TED’s upcoming conferences, visit http://www.ted.com/registration.
About TEDx, x = independently organized event
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)
A schedule for future events is unavailable at this time.
TEDxFondduLac events, like all TEDx events, are run entirely by a group of volunteers who believe in the TED mission of “Ideas Worth Spreading.” Fond du Lac is lucky to have these talented individuals who believe in the power of TED and TEDx. Meet them here and to reach any of us to discuss the future of TEDxFondduLac, email email@example.com.
Tracy Abler is the proud mother of six daughters and grandmother to three. She and her husband, Mike, have lived in the FDL area most of their lives. Tracy works at Marian University and serves the community in various ways, including being the current president of United for Diversity, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to celebrate, educate, advocate for diversity and inclusion in our community. She believes allowing safe places for storytelling is essential for healing and building community and TEDxFDL is a venue that allows this in a most magnificent way.
Favorite Ted Talk: Dope Dealer to Hope Dealer
I’m a believer in the power of storytelling, to inspire, to change minds, and to change the world. The best TED talks are stories about an idea. I’m proud to be involved in bringing a TEDx event to Fond du Lac, where I hope it will inspire people to talk to each other, tell their own stories and write some new history.
Favorite Ted Talk: A delightful way to teach kids about computers
One of my passions is to inspire and be inspired. I believe the more ideas [worth spreading] and positive inspiration we can bring into our community, the stronger it will become. And what better way to contribute to our growth than an opportunity like this; to be part of a group of people working to start more conversations and drive Fond du Lac forward into its bright future.
Favorite Ted Talk: The power of vulnerability
Bringing TEDx to Fond du Lac fuels curiosity, understanding, and growth in our community – and that’s the kind of place I’m proud to call home.
Favorite Ted Talk: All it takes is 10 mindful minutes
I’m involved in TEDxFondduLac because of my passion to help others develop and improve their speaking and leadership skills. Being on the TEDxFondduLac team and also having the opportunity to work with the speakers has been truly inspiring. It is an honor to be a part of this experience, right here in our Fond du Lac community.
I’m involved in this endeavor because I believe in order to create a great community, you need to bring the community together. Everything starts with an idea and sharing those ideas with those around you leads to success.
Favorite Ted Talk: How to start a movement
Sarah SpangExecutive Director
Sarah SpangExecutive Director
Anytime I have wanted to learn something about a topic, I’ve searched to see if there is a TED or TEDx talk on it. These talks are powerful on their own and the energy of putting people together in a room who understand that power is nothing short of magical. I didn’t even know how much of a dream it was to bring something like this to Fond du Lac until I started going through the process and now I’m hooked. Buckle up, Fond du Lac!
Favorite Ted Talk: Less stuff, more happiness
Life is like a game of tennis, those who serve well seldom lose. I want to inspire and motivate others to believe they can make a difference in our community no matter how big or small.
Favorite Ted Talk: How great leaders inspire action
Continuous growth and improvement are important to me. Status quo is boring and complacency is safe! TEDxFondduLac will push people outside their comfort zone — inspiring amazing ideas and triggering change! One small spark can ignite a fire, and TED has been known to do just that! My hope is that community members will take this opportunity to showcase their vast knowledge and highlight our community! Let’s brainstorm new opportunities and expand our minds to see what is possible – together.
Favorite Ted Talk: Create the community you want to be part of
Joe TruesdaleExecutive Producer
Joe TruesdaleExecutive Producer
I’m so excited to be a part of sharing ideas in Fond du Lac. Our communities greatest opportunity for growth and moving forward is to open the lines of communication and include everyone and everybody. What better way to do that than with TEDxFondduLac?
Favorite Ted Talk: How to use one paper towel