Sketches From TEDx Austin

McCombs sponsored the live feed of Austin’s first TEDx event and I’m a bit of a TED nut — frequently cueing up a TED talk during lunch or while I bounce the baby — so when I was offered a spot through work I was thrilled. Here below is the info from the TEDxAustin speaker’s page, along with my sketches and a few notes.

To use any of these images, just click the pic to goto Flickr where you’ll find multiple sizes and the embed code to make it easy.


To see my sketches of all the presenters…

Nancy Giordana was MC.


Morning Session: WHY Play Big

Rip Esselstyn Firefighter, Author, Nutrition Guru

An Austin fire fighter and former UT athlete, Rip transformed the health & wellness of the entire Austin Fire Dept through his Engine 2 Diet program and book of the same name. Currently a consultant with Whole Foods, he’s spreading his message on a national media tour, including a stop to see Dr Oz, of course. He’s a true sage from the streets with a big message to share.


Doug Ulman President/CEO the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Founder of the Ulman Foundation for Young Adults


A three time cancer survivor by the age of 20 and a nationally recognized cancer advocate, Doug is determined to fight the #1 killer in the world by making cancer issues a global priority. Especially attuned to the toll the disease takes on the young, he and his LIVESTRONG team are raising awareness of the warning signs and finding ways to leverage “yellow” at the political and policy level, inspiring a social movement along the way and raising over $325 million to date. Oh, and he’s run a 100 mile marathon and been the face on 15 million Wheaties boxes.

Steven Tomlinson Business educator & coach, theatre artist, co-founder of Acton School of Business.


Steven’s inspiring career blends economics, theatre and ministry. Oh, and he’s also an award-winning playwright who has performed off-Broadway. Whether from the pulpit, onstage or in the classroom, he’s always chipping away at the wall that separates us from what we’re trying to become.

Tomlinson ended  with a nice commission saying, Find what the world wants to make through you.

Christopher E. Mueller Ph.D. Scientist, Life Technologies Inc.


With a B.S., an M.S., and a Ph.D. in computer science, Chris is well armed to take on the vast task of creating automated data systems that acquire and process public genomic content. However, as we contemplate all the advances genome science will bring, Chris is facing a big obstacle: the computer industry isn’t prepared to handle the accompanying avalanche of new information. Sounds like a big, fresh challenge!

Chris Shipley Chairman and CEO, Guidewire Group, Inc.


Chris Shipley is a leading technology and product analyst and has helped technology companies bring more than 1,000 new products to market. She consults with emerging tech companies in the U.S. and around the world and Fortune Small Business Magazine placed her on its “Top 10 Minds in Small Business”. If it’s there, Chris is on it.


Chris talked about the strategic flexibility of a small company as being like a peleton.

Suzanne + David Armistead Parents, Artists, Producers


After the death of her son Davis, Suzanne prayed to turn only to love, beginning a journey with her husband David in which choosing love has lifted them in grief from darkness to light in love’s discovery that relationships have no end. In collaboration with their son and other generous and dedicated artists, Suzanne sourced and performed ‘Moving Love,’ an art-for-healing performance, and David contributed as scriptwriter and narrator.

Early Afternoon Session: HOW to Play Big

Janet Maykus Principal/College of Pastoral Leaders.


Janet deftly weaves curiosity, compassion and leadership in her roles as theologian, spiritual care and bereavement services specialist. Founding principal of the Seminary’s College of Pastoral Leaders, she was recently awarded two grants from the Lilly Endowment, Inc.,is currently is studying the dramatic shift in well-being among pastoral leaders and has a theory on what that could mean to each of us.

Dr. William Merrell Professor, Texas A&M Galveston


Chairman and chief scientist at the Institute for Oceans and Coasts, Bill saw first-hand the devastation left by Hurricane Ike and has since been a tireless evangelist for a “coastal spine” in the Galveston/Houston area: a regional ocean water surge suppression barrier that will save lives and prevent billions in property damage. Say hello to the “Ike Dike”.

Mark Rolston, Chief Creative Officer, frog design


An early web pioneer, Mark was founder of frog’s digital media group back in 1996 and now orchestrates strategists, technologists, designers and information architects to produce groundbreaking work for Fortune 500 companies. His work focuses on the intersection of product, digital, and strategic design. Just like a real frog, he can see in all directions.

John Pointer Musician, Actor, Cultural Entrepreneur


A vibrant “one man band” for the 21st Century who can energize any venue. Although music is his first language, John is as innovative off stage as he is in front of a crowd. And he’s got some big ideas on the future of the industry and just how to amp it up in surprising and generous ways. In addition to his live performances all over the world, John shares his time and talent with Austin Music Foundation, the SIMS Foundation and Save Austin Music.

Carrie Conte, Ph.D. Prenatal + Perinatal Psychologist,


A nationally recognized early parenting coach, consultant, speaker, educator and author who has appeared on The Today Show, CBS Radio, NPR and in publications such as Time Magazine, Carrie’s passion is providing parents with the support, information and tools to create conscious, connected and balanced lives in all stages of early parenting, starting even before conception.

Turk + Christy Pipkin Founders of The Nobelity Project. Author & Filmmaker. Producer.


A couple with a wide range of talents, Christy and Turk have worked in the world of books, television and film, and are the founders of the global education nonprofit, The Nobelity Project. Their latest film, One Peace at a Time, looks at the possibility of providing basic rights to every child, and has inspired viewers around the world to pick an issue and take action for a better future.

Late Afternoon Session: NOW is the time to Play Big

Robert D. Hunt Theoretical Physicist, Inventor, Clean energy pioneer.


Bob is a man difficult to summarize: he helped designed the nuclear reactor for U.S.S. Nimitz, invented the Gravity Plane that flies without fuel, revolutionized the aquaculture industry and created a large chain of successful music stores. Now, he’s found a very clever way to generate energy from existing holes in the ground: clean, geothermal energy directly from old abandoned oil wells, coming soon to an electric grid near you.

Richard Garriott Astronaut, Entrepreneur, Space Visionary


After a successful career in video game development, Richard now sits on the NASA advisory committee and is actively working with his peers at the forefront of the space economy. One of a handful of privately funded astronauts to actually go into space and the second in his family (his father was an astronaut, too), he has a front row seat to the future and is boldly going where no one has gone before (oh, we just couldn’t resist.)

John Phillip Santos Filmmaker, Journalist, Author


The first Latino Rhodes Scholar, a recipient of the Academy of American Poets’ Prize at Notre Dame, the Oxford Prize for fiction and a 2009 National Book Award finalist for non-fiction. In his new book, The Farthest Home is in an Empire of Fire, he ponders how new identities emerge at the intersection of culture, genetics and information technology. He says it‘s the oldest story of ourselves never told before.

Ruby Jane “A great picker, fiddler, songwriter, and singer with an amazing career in front of her.” – -Willie Nelson


One of the finest fiddlers you’ll ever want to hear, and she’s all of 15 years old. A fast-rising star in country and bluegrass-Americana music, Ruby Jane has played with Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett Asleep at the Wheel, Rhonda Vincent and many others. She is also the youngest to fiddle at the Grand Ole Opry.

Philip Berber Founder, (with his wife, Donna) The Glimmer of Hope Foundation


An entrepreneur turned venture philanthropist commando, Philip is changing the way international aid and development are implemented and was recently ranked the 6thmost effective philanthropist in the world. He made his fortune cutting out the middleman for day traders and now is bypassing traditional aid inefficiencies to fund projects directly led and implemented by those most in need — thus creating more immediate, relevant and sustainable solutions in the places that need it most.

Mark McKinnon Vice Chairman, Public Strategies, Inc.


Solving complex strategic challenges for causes, companies and candidates, Mark has helped engineer five winning presidential primary and general elections and is the co-chair of Arts + Labs, a collaboration between technology and creative communities. He was also a songwriter for Kris Kristofferson. We’re sure Mark could have gotten him elected to something if Kris had just asked.


Mark counted out the days he figured he had left by current longevity standards and put as many beads into a jar. Every day he takes a bead from the days he’s got left and puts it into the jar of days he’s since spent as a way to remain conscious and thankful for each one.

TED Talks

In addition to all the live speakers, we watched a few TED talks from the archive like this one, which I really liked and agreed with.


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I'm j and I play: musician, web guy, family man.