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TEDxMaui: The Dream is Real

A fascinating tapestry of talks with a common thread.

January 24, 2013
Debra Lordan - Editor/General Manager ( , The Maui Weekly

In the spirit of its mission, "Ideas Worth Spreading," the nonprofit TED organization (Technology, Entertainment and Design) created TEDx, a program of independently organized local events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience.

TED events are intended to educate, inspire and connect great minds by honoring innovators who have passion, curiosity, creativity and adaptability to change the world with revolutionary ideas.

On Sunday, Jan. 13, TEDxMaui 2013: The Dream is Real, was indeed, a nexus of both extraordinary visions and realities.

Article Photos

TEDxMaui 2013 organizers are (left to right) Peter Liu, Katie McMillan, Danielle Vieth and Sara Tekula. The advisory board included (not shown) includes Kainoa Casco, David Fisher, Kit Thomas, Dr. Jennifer Chirico and Audrey MacLean.

TEDxMaui Founder Katie McMillan made her own dream real when, after attending a TED event on the Mainland, she envisioned an independently organized event on Maui. Through tenacity, determination, and a very talented and hard-working team, her dream became a reality on Jan. 22 of last year with the creation the first local event.

The all-day TEDxMaui event held at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center last week was filled to capacity with an eclectic audience of over 1,000. Among the audience members were organizers of TEDx events from around the globe, presenters from last year's TEDxMaui event, and rock legends Mick Fleetwood and Steven Tyler. In addition, the event streamed live around the globe.

Like the presenters, their common thread was an open mind and an optimistic attitude about the future of planet Earth and its inhabitants.

The daylong event brought together celebrated presenters from Hawai'i and beyond to share their big ideas on stage in 18 minutes or less through TEDTalks videos and live speaker presentations that sparked deep thought, discussion, hope and connection.

A complete list of presenters with short biographies can be found at Although a video will be edited and posted to the TEDx Website and YouTube channel in March, I intend to highlight a different speaker each week in this space in my own attempt to share ideas worth spreading.

"Our team is now convinced that Maui is a place where ideas are celebrated, and we know that gathering at TEDxMaui provides an opportunity unlike any other event the island has to offer," said McMillan. "We look forward to next year."

So do we, Katie.

For more information about TEDxMaui, visit



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