Jami Edelheit on this weekend’s TEDxCincinnati

By Betsy Ross, Contributing Writer
Photos and Video by Madison Schmid

Search “TED Talks” on YouTube and you’ll find videos on motivation, relationships, happiness, education, leadership, artificial intelligence, you name it.  TED, which stands for Technology, Education and Design, has been on the scene for more than three decades and posts thought-provoking presentations from around the world.

This weekend, though, the world comes to Cincinnati in the eighth annual TEDxCincinnati Main Stage Event.

Provided by TEDxCincinnati

Provided by TEDxCincinnati

A dozen speakers and performers will be part of the two-show presentation Saturday evening at Memorial Hall covering extraordinary people, wellness, entertainment and technology. TEDx brings the future to its audiences, and Jami Edelheit is the prescient ringmaster of TEDxCincinnati—somewhat, by accident.

“In 2011 I went on a ship called Semester at Sea and ended up being the communications/P.R. coordinator. I wanted to do something very special and TEDx was popular, so I put that partnership together and we did the first TEDx in the middle of the ocean outside of Istanbul, with seven other college students.

 “When I got off the ship they said why don’t you go back to Cincinnati and do this? So that’s what I did. I came back and started the community here, and have been building it ever since.”

Edelheit’s background is in real estate, but her passion is in people.

“In 2008 we had a bit of a crash and all those great real estate deals I was working on, kind of came to a halt. For about a year I was ‘now what?’ And I started looking at what I love and what I do well, and what I do well is put people together. I’m a connector. I put partnerships together, whether it’s real estate or other businesses and so that’ s what I was doing and still do with TEDx.”

“I meet the most fascinating people. And to me, that in and of itself is amazing. I love putting people together. There is something that just sparks, and when you start really digging into who they are and what their stories are, these people are doing such incredible things, or they’re just incredible people.”

“We find speakers in a variety of ways. We have an audition where people apply to speak and then we narrow it down. We have an audience choice award, where the audience picks. We have experts throughout Cincinnati and the region who share ideas. I travel all over the world and meet people in the work that I do.”

Some of the speakers at Saturday’s event include Mark Rittenberg from University of California at Berkeley on empathetic communication in the workplace, retired Lt. Col. Scott Mann, a former Green Beret, and Hamilton County Coroner Dr. Lakshmi Sammarco.

Provided by TEDxCincinnati

Provided by TEDxCincinnati

The full line up of speakers is here. < http://www.tedxcincinnati.com/blog/category/speakers/>

So who is the most inspiring speaker she’s ever heard?

“Last year we had Stephen Wampler and Elizabeth Wampler. Stephen has cerebral palsy and he has the use of only one limb but he climbed El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. Not only that, but his beautiful wife, Elizabeth, and what she has done for the community and for kids is just incredible. (Wampler and his wife started Camp WAMP, for Wheelchair Adventure Mountain Programs, for kids in 2004).

“Then there are the ones that are doing the most fascinating technologies, from autonomous cars to holograms and Virtual Reality. This weekend we’re having a 13-year-old boy named Tanmay Bakshi, the youngest artificial intelligence developer ever. He started when he was four and is an IBM champion.”

For those who haven’t attended a TEDx event, Jami says bring your curiosity. She likens the experienceto going to a “brain spa.”

Jami closes by saying: “I feel like I get a glimpse of the future, before the future. I see the future changing. Which to me, is amazing.”

For more information on this Saturday’s TEDxCincinnati event and to purchase tickets, visit www.tedxcincinnati.com.

Jackie ReauPROFILES