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Contact: tedxmidwest@gmail.com.

TEDxMidwest Organizers

The organizers of this event are TED members Linda Stone and Mike Hettwer along with twenty other professionals.

Mike Hettwer

Mike Hettwer is a serial entrepreneur who has started and built five companies focused on technology, software and the Web. He sold his web development firm, Ionix to the public company IXL and built that group to 175 people and $25M in revenue. He is co-founder and was the CEO of Avenue Group, a marketing and e-commerce agency based in Chicago.

In the last ten years, Mike’s travels have taken him to sixty countries, and on eight dinosaur and archeology expeditions. In the Sahara and Gobi Deserts, he photographed dinosaur expeditions with renowned paleontologist Paul Sereno. He shot a photography book with Louise and Meave Leakey on their hunt for ancient human origins in the Lake Turkana area of Kenya. His photos have appeared in 2,500 magazines, books, newspapers and websites including multiple stories for National Geographic.

Mike holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology and has attended the TED Conference for the last eleven years. As part of the Dave Eggers TED Prize, he also created and taught photo classes to inner city kids at 826CHI for four years.

Linda Stone

Widely recognized as a visionary thinker and thought leader, Linda Stone is a writer, speaker and consultant focused on trends and their strategic and consumer implications. Articles on her work have appeared in the New York Times, Newsweek, The Economist, Boston Globe, Harvard Business Review, and hundreds of blogs. She has spoken at Supernova, the ETech conference, GEL, the Collaborative Technologies Technologies Conference, the Hidden Brain Task Force for the Center for Work-Life Policy, and to executives at companies such as Edelman and McDonald’s.

Previously, she spent close to twenty years as an executive in high technology. In 1986, she was persuaded to join Apple Computer to help”change the world.” In her seven years at Apple, she had the opportunity to do pioneering work in multimedia hardware, software and publishing. In her last year at Apple, Stone worked for Chairman and CEO John Sculley on special projects. In 1993, Stone joined Microsoft Research under Nathan Myhrvold and Rick Rashid. She co-founded and directed the Virtual Worlds Group/Social Computing Group, researching online social life and virtual communities. In 2000, CEO Steve Ballmer tapped Stone to take on a VP role, reporting to him,to help improve industry relationships and contribute to a constructive evolution of the corporate culture. She retired from Microsoft in 2002.

Stone served a six-year term on the National Board of the World Wildlife Fund and is currently on the WWF National Council. She is an advisor for the Pew Internet and American Life Project and is on the Advisory Board of the RIT Lab for Social Computing. In 2002 she was recognized as Outstanding Regional Volunteer of the Year by F.I.R.S.T., Dean Kamen’s non-profit dedicated to inspiring young people in science and technology.

Wendy Berger Shapiro

Wendy Berger Shapiro is principal of WBS Equities, LLC. Over the last 24 years she has been involved in the real estate business as a lender, property manager, broker and consultant, as well as an investor.  Aside from her experience in the real estate field, Wendy spent 9 years working with technology startups. Wendy was employee number 11 at Orbitz, the Travel web site founded in 2000 by American, Continental, Delta, Northwest and United Airlines. Wendy was Director of the Enterprise Planning at Orbitz and focused on strategic planning. Prior to Orbitz, Wendy co-founded and was COO of Neoglyphics Media Corporation, one of the country’s first web site development firms.  Wendy earned her MBA in Finance and Real Estate from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Business. She received a B.S., cum laude, in Finance and Marketing from Syracuse University. Wendy has served on several non-profit boards.

TEDxMidwest Steering Team

Mark Achler – redbox
David Bardach – DCB Inc
Lisa Belcher
Craig Bradley – Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP
Deborah Brown
Suzanne Burns – Spencer Stuart
Alicia Bassuk – Ubica Strategy
Ellen Carnahan – Machrie Enterprises
Valerie Conn – University of Chicago

Dean DeBiase – Reboot Partners
Lori Igleski – Fifth Star Consulting
Cathy Kahn
Kevin Krumm – Objective Paradigm
Seth Kravitz – Technori
Linda Lampe – Allstate
Philippe Lavie – KeyRoad Enterprises
Elizabeth Ritz – Ritz Communications
Mark Tebbe – Lake Capital
Dan Verakis – Cramer-Krasselt
Lorna Wolter – KRD



TEDxMidwest is known for its world class speakers, including inventor Dean Kamen, psychologist Phil Zimbardo, hacker Pablos Holman and National Geographic photographer Paul Nicklen.
See the TEDx Speakers



There will be over 600 amazing attendees including 400 CEOs and Presidents, 150 artists and performance professionals, heads of major cultural institutions, 50 top high school students, and dozens of MacArthur, Pulitzer, Polk, Peabody, and Nobel prize winners.
More on Attendees



Interested in helping make TEDxMidwest great or helping with TEDxYouth@Midwest?
Visit our Volunteers page to view volunteer opportunities and let us know how you would like to help.