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Speakers 2023

TEDxWilmette 2023 SPEAKERS


In April 2023, TEDxWilmette hosted its fourth annual event featuring the following six dynamic speakers who challenged norms and broke boundaries as they answered the question: "WHY NOT?"


Talks from the TEDxWilmette2023 event can be viewed on the videos page.

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Lizzy Appleby

Lizzy Appleby is a facilitator, educator, and therapist with a passion for working with youth and adults to create a more radically welcoming, inclusive, and kind world. Currently, she serves as the Pride/Share Director at Youth Services of Glenview/Northbrook, overseeing several programs, including the Pride Youth Program, which provides opportunities for more than 250 LGBTQ+ youth and their families from across Chicago’s North Shore. In addition, she is a Co-Founder of Constellation Collective Chicago, a group therapy practice and professional learning community where she provides therapy, consulting, and coaching to youth and the adults who love them. 

IDEA:  Say What’s True: Everyday Bravery Can Change the World

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Lindsay Fleming

Lindsay Fleming is a licensed therapist who treats children, teens, and young adults. Her clinical work focuses on anxiety, ADHD, and behavioral issues. She began her career at Lurie Children’s Hospital Inpatient Psychiatric and Partial Hospitalization Program and subsequently worked at multiple private practices, founding her own practice in 2019. Lindsay is passionate about mental health promotion and prevention work. She began a TikTok account to share mental health information and grew a following of over half a million. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, Cosmopolitan, The Today Show, Counseling Today, American Counseling Association, Vice News, and more.

IDEA:  Invest In Your Mental Health Every Day

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Cindy Halvorsen

Cindy Halvorsen is the founder of Carving Dragons LLC, an Inclusion Coaching practice, and is currently an Executive Sales Coach at Google. With over twenty years of experience in marketing and sales, Cindy is passionate about developing high impact teams and creating work cultures where everyone can step into their own power. Her work has been recognized by the Emmys, Cannes Lions, and AdWeek and is published with the Kellogg School of Management. Cindy and her husband Ernie won the reality TV show The Amazing Race in 2001.

IDEA:  The Power of Transcending Labels

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Karyn Kerr Pettigrew

Karyn Kerr Pettigrew is the founder of two businesses. Beyond Blind Spots is a coaching consultancy that guides individuals and the organizations they lead to extraordinary outcomes. ZoeGoes sells direct-to-consumer wardrobes, specializing in six sustainable pieces to revolutionize the way women live and travel. Karyn is an international speaker and best-selling author/contributor. She has been featured at the White House, Harvard Business School, WGN-TV, Rolling Out, and Black Enterprise.

IDEA:  Harness The Extraordinary Power of Life After 50

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Jen Walling

Jen Walling has been the Executive Director for the Illinois Environmental Council since January of 2011, where she oversees the strategic direction and management of the organization and lobbies decision makers on environmental issues. Jen has drafted, negotiated, lobbied and passed hundreds of bills in Springfield while working to build the power, expertise and relationships of the entire environmental community. She is also a licensed attorney.

IDEA:  Champion A More Just World Through Advocacy

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Michele Weldon

Michele Weldon is an award-winning author, journalist, and emerita faculty in journalism at Northwestern University. A senior leader with The OpEd Project since 2011, she has led more than 50 fellowships including those at Stanford, Princeton, Brown, Northwestern and Cambridge universities. She has been a frequent contributor for the past forty years to sites including the New York Times, CNN, Washington Post, TIME, Forbes, Guardian, Slate, Chicago Tribune, USA Today and Ms. and is the author of six award-winning nonfiction books. Michele is editorial director of Take The Lead, a global women's leadership initiative, and serves on the advisory boards of Global Girl Media Chicago, Between Friends, Sarah’s Inn, The Children’s Foundation and Beat The Streets Chicago. 

IDEA:  Truth Is A Dare: The Power of Claiming Your Story

At TEDxWilmette, we’re shining a spotlight on dazzling ideas from extraordinary risk-takers and innovators to pioneers and brilliant people who are just getting started.

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