Tipping Point: TEDxNaperville 2014

On November 7th, we invited dreamers, thinkers, and doers to join us in conversations about the defining moments that determine our courses through life. Whether in a relationship, the environment, business, personal growth, or national struggle, there are tipping points that rewrite our paths and build our future.

In our 5th year, TEDxNaperville had itself reached a tipping point, a critical mass where definitions of who we were and what our purpose was would be defined. To us, tipping points aren’t just decisions marked by change, but are also the possibilities that grow from our choices and connect us to others.

This year we opened up new areas of our conference venue and invited Jill Salzman to be our TEDx emcee. Our conference this year sold out weeks in advance with over 400 attendees enjoying the ideas spread throughout the day. We had two new adventures this year, a zipline tour from Lake Geneva Canopy Tours and a deep-dive into the world of chocolate with Le Chocolate du Bouchard. We also attempted our first live stream of the event, which was watched by hundreds of individuals around the world.


Conference Statistics

The Conference

  • Attendees: 405
  • Speakers: 15
  • Partners: 23
  • Volunteers: 25
  • Organizers: 7
  • Adventures: 6
  • Collective hours worked: >2,500
  • Pizza slices consumed: 112

The Experience

  • 93% of attendees rated the event Good or Brilliant
  • 98% of attendees said they’d attend another event
  • What you enjoyed the most: Networking, leaving cell phones off, production quality
  • Top reasons you attended: To learn something new, to be inspired

Other Info

  • Favorite Speakers: Randy Lewis & John Coyle
  • Favorite Video: Drew Dudley “Everyday Leadership
  • % of new attendees: 63%
  • Male: 50% Female: 50%
  • Largest Age Groups: 27-34, 50-59
  • Top Industries Represented: Engineering, Marketing/Advertising/PR, Accounting, Education, IT


What Ideas Were Spread?


Anthony Snape - TEDxNaperville Talks 2014
Anthony Snape brought us into his house concert.
Brian Willis - TEDxNaperville Talks 2014
Brian Willis showed us the law enforcement world behind the cameras.
We listened to the unique sound of Gypsy-Jazz from Chanson du Chat musical group.
Dale Obrochta - TEDxNaperville Talks 2014
Dale Obrocha molded our ideas of balloon twisting as an art form.
Devorah Heitner - TEDxNaperville Talks 2014
We explored how to raise children as digital natives with Devorah Heitner.
Don Miller talked about the exotic scientific uses for drones in everyday life.
Jeff Chamberlain - TEDxNaperville Talks 2014
Jeff Chamberlain electrified our brains with Argonne National Lab's massive global battery project
John Coyle - TEDxNaperville Talks
We experiential raced time and learned how to live forever with Olympian John Coyle.
Joselyn DiPetta - TEDxNaperville Talks 2014
Joselyn DiPetta explained how it takes both men and women to end gender disparities.
Joseph Lloyd - TEDxNaperville Talks 2014
We hacked the new digital oppression with security specialist Joseph Lloyd.
Nicholas Hartlep - TEDxNaperville Talks 2014
Nicholas Hartlep gave us an introduction into positive stereotypes as a form of racism.
Randy Lewis - TEDxNaperville Talks 2014
Randy Lewis proved why hiring mentally and physically disabled employees is more productive.
Russ Riendeau - TEDxNaperville Talks
Russell Riendeau disrupted our thinking patterns and taught us valuable lessons
Steven DuPuis - TEDxNaperville Talks 2014
Steven DuPuis took us aboard for an explanation of why business stop caring about customers.
Zainab Zeb Khan - TEDxNaperville Talks 2014
Zainab Zeb Khan showed us how to use art forms to become heroes and philanthropists.


Activities & Experiences

For the first time ever, we opened a new expansion of our venue to allow for additional activities, including a robotics competition, a bookstore comprised of our speakers’ written and preferred books, a Rube Goldberg machine, and a variety of attendee-focused engagement activities. We also brought back alumni speakers, such as Brendan Kiburg, to discuss how their work has progressed in the year(s) since their TEDxNaperville talk.


Students from the Neuqua Valley High School robotics club, the “Wiredcats,” took control of one of our rooms and set up a full robotics competition field. Attendees watched and joined in with students building, repairing, and battling their bots throughout the day.
Students from Neuqua Valley High School competing at TEDxNaperville 2014
Students from Neuqua Valley High School modifying their robot at TEDxNaperville 2014
The Neuqua Robotics 2014 Wiredcats
Mid competition as robots attempt to stack boxes onto posts before the other team can.
Naperville’s Le Chocolat du Bouchard provided an incredible display of 16 feet worth of chocolates, pastries, and gourmet deserts. Attendees learned about the rich history of chocolate and explored dozens of treats from around the world.
The Le Chocolat de Bouchard display at TEDxNaperville 2014
The Le Chocolat de Bouchard display at TEDxNaperville 2014
The Le Chocolat de Bouchard display at TEDxNaperville 2014
The Le Chocolat de Bouchard display at TEDxNaperville 2014
We had multiple activities and unique experiences, from our tranquil bathroom displays courtesy of Korcare Spa & Wellness to the Rube Goldberg Machine built by GreenApple Campus. Attendees were able to create a growing sculpture of inspiration with our “House of Cards” inspiration activity, or write about their relation to the event theme on our Tipping Point wall.
What Inspired You Today? Attendees were asked to draw their inspiration on a card and add it to the ever growing tower.
The 'Tell Us Your Tipping Point' Wall
The beautiful bathroom display from Korcare Spa & Wellness transformed the restrooms into spas.
The Rube Goldberg display, built by GreenApple Campus.


What’s Next?

You can be a part of this amazing experience in 2015! If you’ve ever been an attendee, consider expanding your experience by volunteering or partnering. We cannot do this event with out you!

Do you or someone you know have an idea worth spreading? Apply to speak at next year’s event. View our speaker page to apply.

  1. View the 2014 speaker videos here.
  2. View the 2014 event photos on Flickr
  3. Join our mailing list to get updates on when speaker videos are available.  Sign Up
  4. Stay connected with us on Facebook and Twitter for updates and announcements.