Adventures In Learning

Wed, April 18th 2012 - 6pm to 10pm
Nichols Concert Hall, Evanston IL

TEDxEvanston 2012 is an exploration of learning in all its forms

Learning is not just about knowledge, it’s about identity. What we learn and how we learn it helps shape who we become. From the classroom to the boardroom, from the technologies that direct the spread of ideas, to the trailblazers that forge new routes to understanding and inspiration, join us as we celebrate and explore the nature of learning.

Subscribe to our mailing list


6 Live Speakers 2 Recorded Talks

6:00 PM Doors Open - Refreshments Served
6:30 PM Opening Celebration
6:40 PM Speaker Presentations (4)
8:00 PM Intermission - Refreshments Served
8:20 PM Speaker Presentations (3)
9:30 PM Closing Celebration

What is TEDx?

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDx. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience.

Our event is called TEDxEvanston, where x = independently organized TED event. At our TEDxEvanston event, TEDTalks video and live speakers will combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events, including ours, are self-organized.

Click here to learn more about TED and TEDx.


Topic Corporate Learning: Companies Investing In Their Future

Jane dowd

Jane Dowd

Director, Talent Management, Takeda Pharmaceuticals US.

Jane Dowd has over twenty years of experience in the field of learning and development and a Masters in Education from Northwestern University. In 2004, she received the Chief Learning Officer magazine Bronze Award for Leading Business Change for her role in leading a large-scale training initiative to transition over 8,000 healthcare providers to a new electronic health record. Jane has been a resident of Evanston since 1987.

Topic How Do I Know If My Child's School Is Any Good?

David figlio

David Figlio

Professor, Northwestern University. Faculty Fellow, Insitute for Policy Research.

David is Orrington Lunt Professor of Education, Social Policy and Economics and Associate Director of the Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University, and a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. His research on school accountability, vouchers, and other education policies has been published in numerous leading journals. He has advised the U.S. Congress, the European Commission, twelve countries and six states on the implementation and design of education policies.

Topic Serendipitous Education: Learning to Think Like Entrepreneurs to Transform Kids and Schools

Terry howerton

Terry Howerton

Chairman, Chicago Tech Academy. Partner, TechNexus.

Terry is an entrepreneur and community builder. He is the founding chairman of the Illinois Technology Association and co-founder of TechNexus, a venture collaborative that has been home to more than 140 growing companies and an ecosystem used by 2,500 entrepreneurs, engineers and executives each month. Terry has been a founder, principal or active advisor in more than a dozen startups, his first launched at 15 years old. He cofounded and chairs the Chicago Tech Academy, an innovative charter high school that connects 600 at risk students a year with mentors and an education infused with technology aptitude and entrepreneurial vision.

Topic Learning, Everywhere But School

Reed stevens

Reed Stevens

Professor, Learning Sciences, Northwestern University

Reed Stevens is a Professor of the Learning Sciences at Northwestern University. His research focuses on learning and activity in a wide range of places and situations, examining how people make and use knowledge and where that knowledge comes from.

Topic Student Directed Learning and Technology

Mike herrero

Mike Herrero

Director of Songwriting and Production, Rock for Kids

Michael Herrero has been producing urban music since 1998. Current and past projects include Harpo Productions (The Oprah Winfrey Show, Dr Oz), TMZ, Extra, and America's Best Dance Crew. For the past 4 years he has been an instructor for Rock For Kids teaching Hip Hop production and songwriting to underprivileged children in public schools and after school programs throughout Chicago's inner-city.

Topic Cybercivics 101: Educational Technology For The New Civics

Matt easterday

Matt Easterday

Assistant Professor, Learning Sciences, Northwestern University

Matt is an assistant professor in the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University. He received his PhD in Human-Computer Interaction at Carnegie Mellon University. Matt's research focuses on technology for the new civics – producing scientifically supported educational technology to create informed and engaged citizens who can solve serious policy problems such as poverty, global warming, and militarism.
Lisa nigro

Lisa Nigro Master of Ceremony

Founder and Co-chair, The Inspiration Corporation

A recent winner of the Presidential Citizens Medal, Lisa founded The Inspiration Corporation to help people affected by homelessness and poverty to improve their lives and increase self-sufficiency through the provision of social services, employment training and placement, and housing.

Lisa's latest project is Transform U , an organization that supports individuals with cognitive disabilities in achieving fitness goals and in becoming certified peer fitness trainers.


Hosted at the beautiful and historical Nichols Concert Hall in downtown Evanston

Nichols hall

Music Institute of Chicago
Nichols Concert Hall
1490 Chicago Avenue, Evanston, IL 60201

Click Here for Directions


In order to make the event accessible to everyone in our community, we are making a select number of tickets available for purchase.

Help support the event, and get your ticket now!
If we're sold out, please email us to request a spot on the wait list.



Interested in being a sponsor? Click here to see our sponsorship packet

TEDxEvanston © 2012 • This independent TEDx event is operated under license from TED • Contact us at