Category Archives: Workshops & Presentations

Designing Health, Making Health

Reblogged from Health Design By Us.

Health Design By Use

You may have noticed that the We Make Health Fest is sponsored by the Health Design By Us collaborative, of which Joyce Lee is the PI and I am a team member. So what is the connection, at least for us, between health design and making health? A good topic for the final post before the big event. For me, personally, my awareness of the intimate role of design in health began with doorknobs.

Doorknobs and Door Handles

Well, actually it came in the 80s when I was lucky enough to attend a presentation by Don Norman. (Yes, THAT Don Norman.) In the presentation I saw Don described what he called “The Pyschology of Everyday Things (POET).” I would have loved the talk for the name alone, but there was so much more. One of the first things Don did was to put up a whole series of slides of pictures of doorknobs and door handles, then talk about how the door tells us we should open it. He pointed out doors that don’t tell us, or confuse us; doors which seem to say ‘push’ when you need to pull and ‘pull’ when you ought to push. He showed us doors that can only be opened with two hands, with one hand, doors that want you to be righthanded or lefthanded, doors that can’t be opened at all if you are in a wheelchair, and then he showed us doors designed so well that you can open them without hands at all.

When you look at the intersection of the maker movement and healthcare, a great deal of the creativity is focused on solving problems like doorknobs. Problems that began with design that didn’t go as far as it might to include the people actually using whatever it is. With the maker movement, people might say, “Dagnabbit, why didn’t they make it THIS way?!” And then they remake it the way it should have been made in the first place. Or, if they can’t remake it themselves, they look for someone who can. Just last week

Patients think about things like this. A lot! And parents of kids. And the public.

Joyce thinks about things like this, too. (It’s part of what I love about working with her — her insight, caring, enthusiasm, excitement, energy, and her fabulous sense of humor.)

What it really takes, though, is partnerships, collaborations, people talking to other people, people who know that other people are out there interested and working on the same challenges. When Joyce has one of her design thinking workshops with a group of people, she’s encouraging them to think about the topic together, to imagine a better world, to work in teams, to leverage the insights and knowledge of one with the skills and talents of another (and then to switch places, so everyone is using insights and talents!).

Tim Brown says “design thinking” is a combination of what’s desirable, viable, and feasible. Reuven Cohen gives several overviews in Forbes, of which one says it is intelligence gathering, design, and choice, while another says the process stages are: Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, Test. Wikipedia says “design thinking” is a combination of empathy, creativity, and rationality.

I like that so many of those definitions are rooted in empathy. Makers and inventors are excited by interesting problems. (So are researchers, of course.) In healthcare, there is an infinity of interesting problems. But it isn’t just about interesting problems, it’s about caring and need, that’s what starts people working on a problem. Given two equally interesting problems, the one with the greatest need, and the greatest need for heart, is the one that will get the most excitement.

In the maker community, a lot of what helps move things along is also about sharing, working together, sharing ideas and problems, digging around to find a solution. It is invention through flow (rather than by committee). When makers get together to work on a project they also brainstorm and share insights and ideas and resources. Then they go back to the drawing board until they get stuck. The ideas move from person to person, flowing around challenges (lack of resources, lack of skills) much like water flows around rocks in a stream.

Sometimes the flow moves from the person with the idea to someone with the expertise. A lot of the time, it isn’t that simple, and it flows back and forth. Having the idea is itself a kind of expertise. If we want real innovation in healthcare, we need more perspectives, more voices, more sources of imagination and creativity, skillsets that perhaps have not been traditionally valued in healthcare settings. And we have to listen, try to understand what the ideas are, where they are coming from.

With the We Make Health Fest, we’re hoping those different perspectives, voices, views, will meet, and discover each other. And then, maybe, just maybe, some of them will start something new.

“The call to care suggests a possible primary design position. … We might start from the assumption that, as designers, we do not know (yet) how the values of care are being lived and acted upon. We must interpret without (yet) being expert.” Jones PH. Design for care: innovating healthcare experience. Brooklyn, NY: Rosenfeld Media, (c)2013, p.xviii.

Maybe none of us are experts. Maybe all of us are experts. Maybe the kinds of expertise that will change healthcare the ways that are most needed are kinds of expertise we don’t even know how to recognize yet. But this is how we start finding out.

This was the last post before the big event on Saturday! Come to the We Make Health Fest on August 16th, 2014 in Palmer Commons at the University of Michigan or follow hashtag #makehealth on Twitter! Please follow @MakeHealthUM and @healthbyus on Twitter and please sign up for our mailing list so that you can join and contribute!

“There’s Magic Everywhere”: The #MakeHealth Exhibitors

Reposted from Health Design By Us

We Make Health Fest (University of Michigan)

The exhibits for the We Make Health Fest are visual, active, hands-on. We are hoping the exhibitors will show you how to do things yourself, discuss tips, tricks, strategies. So, for this blogpost, to try to replicate that sense of physical engagement in a virtual environment, the information about the exhibitors isn’t in a list studded with occasional pictures. Nope, it’s almost all pictures, in a slideshow you can click through yourself, at your own pace. Take a look, browse, think about which ones you want most to visit. And enjoy!

Who Is Making Health Here? #makehealth

Reposted from Health Design By Us: Who is Making Health Here? #makehealth; Find out about the health-makers you’ll meet on Saturday!

We Make Health Fest (University of Michigan)

When we started planning this, more than once Joyce told me, “Hey, I’ll be happy if five people show up.” Well, we did a lot of talking, had a lot of meetings, asked people to spread the word, and … the resulting response has been beyond our WILDEST dreams! Since this is our first time, we wanted to keep this as open as possible, and create as many opportunities for people to be involved as we could. Exhibitors are timesharing booths and tables. Speakers are doing mostly pecha kucha style 5-minute presentations. We didn’t want to say “no” to anyone! So if you say you’re a maker and wanted to be involved, we did our darnedest to try to fit you in somewhere. So who all will you find if you come? Here’s how you find out.

On our website:

Direct link to the full speaker and exhibitor schedule as a downloadable PDF:

We also are in the process of adding the schedule into Lanyrd.

Lanyrd: We Make Health Fest: Schedule

Lanyrd has an app, if you want to use it during the event.

Lanyrd apps: Android | iPhone | Mobile Web | Open Web

Or you can simply read on!


10:30am Joyce Lee / Welcome
10:35am Jose Gomez-Marquez / Keynote
11:05am John Costik / Keynote: Hacking Diabetes
11:35am Andrew Maynard / Color My Poop Beautiful, and Other Tales of Tech Derring Do
11:55 Makers the Movie
1:05pm Matt Christensen / Linnetic: A Better Way to Monitor Asthma
1:10pm Nanci and Eilah Nanney / GREAT Gluten-Free Kitchens!
1:15pm Marc Stephens / Tech-Savvy Fitness
1:25pm Jane Berliss-Vincent / The iPad as Resuscitation Device: Notes on Assistive Tech in the Hospital Environment
1:35pm Linda Diane Feldt / There is a Free Lunch: Wildcrafting and Foraging for Food and Medicine
1:45pm Kris Kullgren / Mott Kids4Kids: Utilizing Peer Education Videos at Bedside and Beyond
1:55pm Amer Abughaida / A Manual Stair-Climbing Wheelchair
2:00pm Duane Mackey / Open Source Mosquito Trap
2:05pm Brandon McNaughton / Kitchen-Table Diagnostics with Glass Microbubbles
2:10pm James Rampton / Learning Health System – Consumer Application
2:20pm Irene Knokh / Free Educational Resources: MERLOT and beyond!
2:25pm Mike Lee / Demonstration of World Possible’s Remote Areas Community Hotspots for Education and Learning (RACHEL) Project
2:35pm Sandy Merkel / The Poke Program
2:45pm Harpreet Singh / Communication Box: Flip the Health Care Culture by T.R.U.M.P. Technique
2:55pm Michael Flynn / Fostering a sense of community in hospital lobbies with interactive public art
3:00pm Gary Olthoff / EZCarryBed Mattress Carrier Handle
3:05pm George Albercook / DIY Hearing Aids – A Model MakeHealth
3:15pm Pete Wendel / Games and User Interface Design: Thinking Differently to Affect Elderly Quality of Life
3:25pm Lia Min / In My Spectrum: A Comic about Autism Desktop
3:35pm Shawn O’Grady / 3D Printing and Rapid Prototyping
3:40pm George Albercook / Makers Answer the Call
3:45pm AJ Montpetit / Disrupting Health Care
3:55pm PF Anderson / Personalized Genomics and Closing Remarks


10am – 12pm A Free Generator of Health Risk Graphics
Linnetic: A Better Way to Monitor Asthma
Type 1 Diabetes

10am – 1pm
Building Capacity for the Ann Arbor Sharing Economy
National Foundation for Celiac Awareness — GREAT Kitchens!
We Make Health Stories

10am – 2pm
Cardboard Challenge: #makehealth
Kitchen-Table Diagnostics with Glass Microbubbles

10am – 3pm
The Poke Program

11am – 12pm
Free Educational Resources: MERLOT and Beyond

12pm – 2pm
A Manual Stair-Climbing Wheelchair
Demonstration of World Possible’s Remote Areas Community Hotspots for Education and Learning (RACHEL) Project
Hacking Diabetes
Learning Health System – Consumer Application

1pm – 4pm
Michigan Engineered for All Libes (M-HEAL)

2pm – 4pm
Open Source Mosquito Trap

Make Health Fest Coming August 16!

Detroit Maker Faire 2013#UMSIMakerfest !!!Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire 2013
Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire 2013Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire 2014Detroit Maker Faire 2013
Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire 2014Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire 2014Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire 2013

We Make Health Fest
Saturday, Aug 16th, 2014
University of Michigan
Palmer Commons, Great Lakes Rooms

Short Description
“A collaborative event for a local and virtual community interested in health, technology, and participatory design. Join us for a full day of health themed design and maker activities!”

Longer Description
Many types of events are being triggered by the creativity of the Maker Movement — maker faires, mini-maker faires, maker camps, maker festivals, maker fests and makerfests, make-a-thons and createathons (also spelled makeathon or makethon), open make events, maker madness events, maker shows — and they come in all sizes, flavors, and themes. What does that mean? Think of it as a mash-up of science fair PLUS Hands On Museum or Exploratorium PLUS do it yourself! It’s all about learning and creating and problemsolving through a combination of Show+Tell+Do! Here at the University of Michigan, many people on campus are partnering on taking the “maker culture” energy and applying it through a lens focused on health to promote participatory and collaborative strategies in healthcare. Come, have fun, learn, make stuff, but more than that, meet other interesting and creative people who are interested in using what they have, know, and can do to Make Health!

Learn More!

Make Health:
Twitter: @MakeHealthUM
Google Plus: Make Health UM

A project of HealthDesignBy.Us
Twitter: @HealthByUs
Blog: Introducing @HealthByUs

We Make Health

First posted at THL Blog:

Health Fair Meet Maker Faire! Part 3: Our Announcement!!

You saw Part One, in which the idea was born, and Part Two, in which the concept was tested and proven. So what actually happened? We’re doing it. We’re really DOING IT! By “it” I mean a health-themed maker faire/fest at the University of Michigan. REALLY!


We Make Health
We Make Health:

Emily Puckett Rogers had given us a heads-up about requirements for working with the official Maker Faire folk, which I had not realized was an actual brand name. So we don’t yet know if this is going to be a Mini-Maker Faire or a Maker Fest or what, but it is definitely happening!

Please note that the We Make Health event is a project of Health Design By Us, a participatory behavior change project funded as part of the UM Provost’s Third Century Initiative. It’s a completely awesome and wonderful collaboration, and you’ll be hearing more about it if you read this blog regularly.


Saturday, August 16, 2014

We are still settling on what happens when during the day. We are brainstorming roughly 10am to 6pm, but that may change.


Google Map for Palmer Commons
Palmer Commons:,-83.7335814,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!3m1!1s0x883cae4266554837:0x732dcfa6f8fb7dbe


Joyce Lee, Doctor as DesignerPF Anderson, Self Portrait as ShadowMatt Kenyon, Artist

Us! We!

Well, Joyce Lee, Matt Kenyon, and I are taking point on planning the project (with the capable assistance of Emily Hirschfeld). Joyce is from the UM Medical School and Mott Children’s Hospital, Matt is with the School of Art and Design, and I, of course, am part of the University Libraries, Taubman Health Sciences Library. However, we have an email list for folk interested in the event which currently has over 90 people signed up. Many of them have contributed ideas, suggested contacts, volunteered to do booths or presentations, and so forth. We are reaching out to many community maker communities, and have received endorsements from several of them. You’ll hear more about our partners as the event moves closer.


1) Sign up at the We Make Health web site to receive information and updates from the Health Design By Us project.

2) If you are part of the University of Michigan, you can sign up through M-Community for the MakeHealthUM email list.

3) If you want to contact the event coordinators, our Make Health Team, you can reach us at: MAKEHEALTH at-sign UMICH dot EDU.

4) Twitter! The event itself is on twitter, as is Health Design By Us.

Make Health: @MakeHealthUM
Health Design By Us: @HealthByUs

If you want to chat with Joyce or me individually, we are also pretty easily reached through Twitter:

Joyce: @joyclee
Patricia: @pfanderson

5) Please feel free to comment on this post! We will have a blog for the actual event, but that’s still being set up. More soon!


What’s coming next is more blogposts and more news! We will highlight some of the technologies and people that will be highlighted at our event, the partners we’re working with, and exciting spinoff projects to help the energy last beyond the actual event. We’ll tell you more about some of the other folk working on health maker events, and other maker communities around the University and the Ann Arbor community.

Maker Faires and More!

Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire 2013

Last weekend, I attended the Ann Arbor Mini-Maker Faire, and it was AWESOME! What is a Mini-Maker Faire? A small Maker Faire. What is a Maker Faire? OK, brief aside.

I found this on LinkedIn in the Horizon2020 group (locked):

“The aim of this discussion is to bring together scientists, researchers, engineers, innovators, entrepreneurs, companies, organizations, business leaders, consultants, policy makers, new grads, students, and others from all fields of study (applied sciences, formal sciences, natural sciences, earth sciences, life sciences, interdisciplinary sciences, social sciences/humanities) … ”

Maker Faires are kind of similar to this, EXCEPT you have to add in parents, teachers, schools, kids, community leaders, artists, crafters, and more. They provide an opportunity to share information about things you like to make, with a special focus on opening doors to people, and especially to young folk before they learn the idea that math and science are supposed to be boring. Which we know is absolutely not true, so let’s get the idea out early!

In the words of the original Maker Faire folk:
“Maker Faire is the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth—a family-friendly festival of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker movement.” OR “Part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new, Maker Faire is an all-ages gathering of tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, authors, artists, students, and commercial exhibitors. All of these “makers” come to Maker Faire to show what they have made and to share what they have learned.” OR “Maker Faire is a gathering of fascinating, curious people who enjoy learning and who love sharing what they can do. It’s a venue for makers to show examples of their work and interact with others about it. Many makers say they have no other place to share what they do. DIY (Do-It-Yourself) is often invisible in our communities, taking place in shops, garages and on kitchen tables. It’s typically out of the spotlight of traditional art or science or craft events. Maker Faire makes visible these projects and ideas that we don’t encounter every day.”

Maker Faire:

I’ve been hearing about Maker Faire Detroit coming up through many of my groups. A couple months ago, I was lucky enough to attend a meeting of GO-Tech (where I also finally got a tour of Maker Works

GO-Tech Meeting at Maker Works

… and met the famed plasma cutter dinosaur).

GO-Tech Meeting at Maker Works

That was where and when I learned that Henry Ford Museum supports the Maker Faires and even have a couple people designated as liaisons to the maker communities. Kind of like our own liaison librarians, they go to various maker meetings, talk about their services, provide education / reference / support / information / outreach, and try to become engaged with the community. Why? Well, because it is part of the Henry Ford Museum’s mission to support environments that foster the development of future Henry Ford kinds of people.

Ford, Tech Shop partner to nurture future Henry Fords:

Good stuff! (By the way, there is a GO-Tech meeting tonight at 7pm at Maker Works, in case you are interested.) (And a microcontrollers build night on Thursday at All Hands Active.)

So who was there at the Ann Arbor Mini-Maker Faire?

Book binders & paper crafters & paper makers
Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire 2013 Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire 2013 Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire 2013

Wood workers & architects
Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire 2013 Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire 2013

Robot games & creative game controllers
Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire 2013 Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire 2013

Wood carvers & bone carvers
Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire 2013 Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire 2013

The public library & other librarians
Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire 2013: Eli Neiberger of AADL Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire 2013

Legos & Baubles
Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire 2013 Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire 2013

Bees & Plants
Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire 2013 Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire 2013

Lights & Lock picking
Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire 2013 Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire 2013

Crafts & Minecraft Chess
Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire 2013 Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire 2013

Loads of 3D Printing
Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire 2013 Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire 2013
Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire 2013

Art Clothes & Recycled Clothes
Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire 2013 Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire 2013

Wood sculptures made with many pieces of wood, and with a single piece of wood (laser cut and folded)
Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire 2013 Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire 2013

And PEOPLE! Interested in citizen science, motorcycles, circuit boards, soldering,

Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire 2013 Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire 2013
Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire 2013 Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire 2013
Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire 2013

Hashtags of the Week (HOTW): Health Data Palooza, Doctors 2.0, & More (Week of June 1, 2013)

This was one of those weeks (and there are many) where the challenge is how to keep this post from going on until the middle of next week!

I was tracking the Health Data Palooza (blogged here earlier in the week), so I HAVE to talk about that. It was followed by the Health Privacy Summit and the MedCity program on Patient Engagement through Innovation. Doctors 2.0 was going on immediately after in Paris, while these others were DC-based. Then I was coincidentally asked a reference question about AED information on Twitter just as AED/CPR Awareness Week was rolling out (which is going to have to be a separate post). So this is a big week, with so much to share. Think of this as four posts in one.

Highlights from #HDPalooza

Beyond the core topics of health data and open data, there was a lot of conversation around apps, how to design a better challenge, crowdsourcing, and blending government and hospital health data with data from the self-tracking or quantified self movements.

Highlights from the Health Privacy Summit

Highlights from MedCity ENGAGE

Highlights from Doctors 2.0

First posted at THL Blog:

Cheap and Easy Ways to Make Comics or Cartoons for Digital Storytelling

Another one of last week’s Enriching Scholarship Sessions, this one in partnership with John Beals.

Cheap and Easy Ways to Make Comics or Cartoons for Digital Storytelling:

Digital storytelling, also referred to in educational circles as digital media assignments, often centers around making videos, but there are many other ways to tell stories. Comics and cartoons offer an attractive alternative approach to storytelling. In addition to uses for storytelling, they can also make engaging images for slides, presentations and illustrations. With the many online tools and software packages now available for creating these, there are many options to choose from for all levels of skill and expertise. This session will provide a survey of some tools, with illustrations of educational uses.

Even though the slides say “Part 2,” I actually started off, because I had to run across campus for another session right after, and John was gracious enough to be flexible. The slides were a rush job, because I was out sick so long with bronchitis, and I actually have a lot more content than is shown here. It worked out that this was just the right amount of content for the session. Lucky me!

Cheap and Easy Ways to Make Comics or Cartoons for Digital Storytelling:

This is an abbreviated set of the links and tools I’ve collected for doing this. What inspired me was a webcomic idea I have and want to do, but not being the kind of artist who can draw my own comic, I have been looking for … alternatives. I started out with some of the ways in which I use comics in my work already, with examples; then highlighted just a few of the many tools available. Last but not least, I also touched on using smartphones with photo filter apps or added word bubbles to generate images to tell your stories.

The session ended with John talking about real world educational uses of comics in the classroom, tips and tricks for how to design assignments, books for more info, and similar excellent content. John is FAR more expert than I in this area, which made for a great partnership. He used no slides this time, so these are from another session he did on a closely related topic earlier in the year.

Johnathon Beals: Comics in the Classroom:

You know you’ve done something right when you hear from people after the session who want to share what they’ve done with the tools you discussed! And what could be better than being one of the first to see new comics? This was such great fun to do, and had such a great response, I hope we do this again next year.

Unchained: Finding Free eBooks for Pleasure and Learning

Well, it’s Enriching Scholarship week again! Today had the amazing keynote session, then I also attended the Third Century session (more on those later), and I had my first session on finding free ebooks.

From: Unchained: Finding free ebooks

“With the increasing availability and use of ebook readers and mobile devices with apps for ebooks, it makes sense to incorporate them into the educational process where possible and feasible. With the high cost of education in general, and textbooks in particular, it can be attractive to students to offer options to facilitate use of free resources. This session will showcase sources of free educational ebook content and tools for integrating them with standard ebook reader devices.”

I want to get the information out from today’s session for everyone who attended, because (since I was getting over that evil bronchitis) I didn’t have any handouts. This will be the ‘handout,’ and hopefully acceptable to all.

All the links discussed were included in a Pinterest board, with a reaction from one audience member, “But I don’t take my Pinterest class until tomorrow!” Pinterest organizes boards in reverse chronological order, and does not allow custom sorts or organization. For my board, that means the most important content is mostly at the bottom, sort of like email conversations where you need to read from the bottom up.

Brief overview of what to expect to find:
– ebook search engines
– ebook forums
– free ebook review blogs & subscription services
– how to add downloaded ebooks to your device
– search tips for finding ebooks in Amazon & Google
– free ebooks from other countries and languages

Unchained: Finding Free Books
“Resources for finding free ebooks. Please note, sites and site ownership may change. While I have tried to not include sites providing illegal copies, I cannot guaranteed the legality of any of the books you choose to download.”
All links:

But there is so much there! What is the BEST?

Here are two blogposts I did early on in my explorations, which include several of my favorites that I still use.

Unchained: Where I Get My Free Ebooks:

Cool Toys Pic of the day – 5 ebook search engines:

We also had some phenomenal insights from Kathleen Folger about the phenomenal range of ebooks available from the University Libraries! Now, while these are not the usual “free ebooks” available to the general public, these are books available to the University of Michigan community members. Here are a few resources from the UM Libraries about these.

MLibrary: Guides: Electronic Books (e-Books):

MLibrary: AAEL: How do I find ebooks?

MPublishing: Books:

Now, for the winners!

Best general reader alerting service:
A tie between Pixel of Ink and Books on the Knob. Slight edge to Pixel for their email subscription service. Significant edge to Knob for having more than Kindle!

Best source for accessible formats:
The Internet Archive: Ebook & Texts Archive

IA beats out Munsey’s with 4,498,390 items even though Munsey’s supports more formats.

Internet Archive:
HTML, PDF (color), PDF (B/W), EPUB, Kindle, Daisy, ASCII, DjVu

Munsey’s formats:
DAISY, eBookwise, EPUB, Isilo, Kindle, MOBI, MS-Reader, PDF, Plucker, Rocket, Sony, Zipped

Best free audio books source:

Best non-English language ebooks discovery tools:
Carnegie-Mellon’s Universal Digital Library

UDL beats out the anonymously produced “Free Literature” collection of sources with a full service search engine for over a million books in many languages.

Best free ebook search:

Best ebook management tool:

Most influential:
Project Gutenberg

Best overall!

Drumroll, please.

Cute baby plays drums

The Internet Archive

At the Movies: Think Local (TEDxUofM mini, Part Four)

OK, following on the heels of videos from the TEDxUofM speakers, here are a few related but not quite so specifically focused. Here was part one. And part two. And part three.


They did something new this year, trying to take the TEDx conversations away from the stage and into the audience. There was a side room set up with cameras and backdrops where they videotaped people who felt they had something interesting to share, and then they combined it into this wonderful little video.

Spotlight Project from TEDxUofM on Vimeo.

Spotlight Project:

“I had to fight and fight and fight, and push and push and push against these preconceived ideas people had about me as a former prisoner.”

“There’s this one moment when the SAME chill goes through everybody at the same time.”

“Before people became literate, they told stories.”

“Untapped is all those voices we’re not listening to.”


Of Remnants from Nicholas Pilarski on Vimeo.

Of Remnants, from Nicholas Pilarski
via TEDxUofM: Of Remnants by Nicholas Pilarski & Julia Smith-Eppsteiner

“We both continued to grow and accomplish and dance. And I continued to admire her. We had the blessing of ending up at Michigan a year apart from each other. She is doing great things, to say the least. I know you’ll share my feelings of awe and pride to attend our school when you press play. Watch my best friend perform on screen with her serenity, her curiosity, her body knowledge.”


2013 Intro Video from TEDxUofM on Vimeo.

TEDxUofM: 2013 Intro Video:

“TEDxUofM really pushes us to be interested and interesting.”

“TEDxUofM is the dam that allows the rush of brain juice that fills you and reminds you of what is possible.”

“I think of TEDx as a family that set out to influence others to be the best that they can be.”

“To me, today is about three words: inspiration, initiative, and innovation.”


Not from this year’s TEDxUofM, but a speaker in an earlier one. His TEDx video is here.

Ghostly International presents Matthew Shlian from Ghostly International on Vimeo.

Ghostly International presents Matthew Shlian

“Matthew Shlian works within the increasingly nebulous space between art and engineering. As a paper engineer, Shlian’s work is rooted in print media, book arts, and commercial design, though he frequently finds himself collaborating with a cadre of scientists and researchers who are just now recognizing the practical connections between paper folding and folding at microscopic and nanoscopic scales.”


Ora Pescovitz also spoke at a prior TEDxUofM. This is a somewhat less sober video she has done recently in support of last weekend’s Dance Marathon.

Dance Marathon is Almost Here! (with Ora Peskovitz)
via I’m Not a Rockette, But I Played One “For The Kids”

“Later that day, I participated in a video shoot with members of the Dance Marathon at University of Michigan team. DMUM is one of the largest student-run non-profit organizations on the U-M campus. We taped a PSA to promote this year’s Marathon – an event where hundreds of students stand on their feet for 30 hours to show their support for pediatric services at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and Beaumont Hospital.”


This is a bit more tenuous of a connection to Ann Arbor and UofM, but it is a great story and a great video, with an open source script.

Free Pie from Caleb Slain on Vimeo.

Free Pie:
“Dave was a philosophy major in Ann Arbor, MI, and he had driven across the state to join family and friends at the hospital, but over the course of the evening his role as “older brother” slowly dissolved into that of crowd control: answering the same questions that every new grief-stricken visitor arrived asking. After many emotionally draining hours of monitoring his post by the door, Dave was surprised to see his philosophy Professor suddenly walk through. Noticing his student’s mixed state of fatigue and social obligation, the Professor went over and sat beside Dave in complete silence. After a few minutes, he leaned over and simply said “It’s exhausting taking care of those who come to comfort us.” The Professor sat with Dave for the next two hours without saying a single word…he was just there.”