Why TEDxNormal Became a Reality: Interview with Organizer Doan Winkel


Big events take countless hours, volunteers, and money to execute, but the idea behind the event usually starts with one person. For TEDxNormal, it started last spring with entrepreneurship professor and innovator Dr. Doan Winkel. After coming up with the initial idea and speaking to a TED representative, Doan hit the ground running by recruiting volunteers and getting the community involved.

Doan has been involved in many projects during his time as a professor at Illinois State, but his current efforts have the potential to impact thousands. Asked why he decided to bring a TEDx event to Normal, Doan replied, “There are a lot of innovative folks with innovative ideas in town. They need a platform and stage to communicate those. I also thought the town and community could benefit from what influencers outside of town in different environments and coming from different perspectives have to share.”

His hard work and the contributions of others will be seen on November 7, 2015, at the Normal Theater. Over a dozen speakers from across the country and locally will take the stage to share their ideas with the world.

In addition to TEDxNormal, Doan is the co-founder of Legacy Out Loud, “a global initiative to refocus the foundational conversations that inspire, empower and give young women the confidence to think and act entrepreneurially, reverse engineer their careers and become the leaders of their generation.”

Since there’s no pay or guaranteed benefits from putting on a TEDx event, I asked Doan why he felt compelled to lead the charge to bring the one-day affair to town. My goal in life is to open people’s minds and open them to new and open thinking. This is a great way to do that.”

Doan encourages the community to come and support the event. “The variety of topics and people will be fantastic, and there’s a great mix of regional and national influencers coming to speak.” The theme for the event is Far From Normal, and it’s shaping up to be a great day that will leave a lasting impact on attendees and the community.

For tickets to sessions 2 and 3, visit: http://tedxnormal.peatix.com/

The only way to get tickets for session 1 is to support our 100 for $100 campaign: http://www.tedxnormal.com/100-for-100/. For a $100 donation, you will receive tickets to all three sessions and recognition in our event program.



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