your chance to spend an afternoon with ted

Technology, Entertainment and Design, or TED, is coming to Cleveland. Those  familiar with TED know it brings the world’s thinkers and doers together to talk about their passions and ideally, ignite those listening to improve their surroundings and inspire change. Past speakers include Bill Gates, Frank Gehry, Bono, Bill Clinton and Richard Branson.

On February 26, from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. at the Capitol Theater, Cleveland will host its first independently organized TED event.  The purpose is to draw attention to the many positive changes taking place within our community and to spotlight some of the people responsible for that change. Topics include art, urban revitalization, health care.

One speaker in particular that Cleveland Foodie readers may be most interested in is Michael Ruhlman. Ruhlman’s topic, ‘The Cooking Animal’, will discuss how cooking has advanced mankind and makes and keeps us human. He’ll share his thoughts on how turning this needed ritual over to corporations puts us in danger.

Other speakers/topics  include my friend and favorite boutique owner, Danielle DeBoe, who will talk about turning a desire into a reality; Terry Schwarz / fixing broken cities; and Dana Myers / the future of the electronic vehicles (I’ve met him and a few years ago and even test drove his car when it was at the agency – very cool and very interesting). Visit here for a full list of speakers, topics and to learn more about this event.

Event organizers, Eric Kogelschatz (my coworker) and Hallie Bram single-handedly brought this to Cleveland. These two don’t just talk about improving our city, they work at it each day. Kudos to them for all their hard work and for putting together what will no doubt be an intriguing and insightful afternoon.

How would you change Cleveland? What is your idea, big or small, that you think could help improve any area of our city? What has inspired you when visiting another city that you felt could easily work here? We are all Clevelanders and are passionate about the place we call home. But it’s not perfect, and we all have thoughts as to what we’d like to see fixed, or wonder if only city leaders would do… Share your thoughts for a chance to win two tickets to this sold out event. A winner will be  picked end of day Thursday. Good luck and hopefully I’ll see you there.


  1. Krystal
    Posted February 6, 2010 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    As a city that is absolutely overflowing with institutions of higher education, I think the city and the colleges can collaborate much more. I know that CSU has a “City as our campus” campaign that connects students with local businesses for internships and job opportunities, and I believe this is a great first step that other colleges can make. I work in a college and I see the great ideas and the passions that our students have. The youth of our city are absolutely invaluable as they are also the future of our city. I believe that by building stronger partnerships with our colleges and listening to the ideas of our students, many new and exciting initiatives can develop that will lead Cleveland into a better future.

  2. Posted February 6, 2010 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    Looks like it is sold out already. Well done!

  3. Posted February 6, 2010 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    After moving here from Pittsburgh we constantly found ourselves comparing everything from the restaurants, economy, public transportation and arts & culture. It wasn’t until a few years past that we finally realized how great Cleveland actually is.

    There are a lot of great, young talented people either growing up, attending college or already living here working as young professionals. The key is to keeping the young talent here. I recall reading a bio of a local young professional stating that the reason he came back to Cleveland was because of what Michael Symon taught him long ago. In short, Clevelanders can do great things without having to transplant to New York or Chicago.

    We have to take advantage of all that there is to offer in our city because if we don’t, it will be gone. We need to build upon already flourishing areas such as Gordon Square, Ohio City, Tremont, E. 4th, Coventry and Cedar/Lee and extend them into areas that are not as fortunate.

    But we don’t need another slogan.

  4. Lisa
    Posted February 8, 2010 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    I’d suggest doing more to highlight Cleveland as a place to visit as well as live. I rarely see it mentioned in any travel books, magazines, etc. except relative to sporting events. Clearly there is more … great event planned!

  5. Posted February 8, 2010 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    Downtown Cleveland is an incredible place that has been unfortunately underutilized for many years. Many of the projects on the city’s agenda (the casino, medical mart, Flats east bank) seem to excite local politicians more than anyone else. Downtown Cleveland is slowly developing like patchwork: a little progress over here, a little something over there… but the downtown area needs to be rethought as one cohesive unit whose success depends on the willingness of all the businesses, residents and visitors thinking and working together. People shouldn’t want to come downtown primarily for a ball game or a concert or some kind of artificial “draw” like casino gambling. They should want to come because it’s a place that’s exciting to be. That’s what makes an amazing city. That’s what Cleveland could be.

  6. Posted February 8, 2010 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    the biggest thing that could help cleveland is an attitude change. while there are so many brand cleveland advocates there are more negative nellies. and i know it’s tough out there, but come on, it starts with the community.

    that being said, i would love, love, love, to attend the event, there aren’t any tickets left for me : (

  7. Amy
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    I would love to work on Cleveland’s image of being an unsafe community by promoting more foot traffic and a sense of security in the up and coming neighborhoods as well as Downtown. I’ve noticed that a lot of people, especially young women find neighborhoods such as Tremont or Ohio City scary to be in because there seems to be no one around. I lived in NYC for a period of time and I never felt very theatened because there was always tons of people out on the street no matter what time of day! I have to admit when I leave a great restaurant in Cleveland I dread that I may be one of only a few people out on the street and feel like I could get mugged at any time.

  8. Renee
    Posted February 10, 2010 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    I think we need a better public transportation system that connects downtown and the suburbs. We don’t live far from downtown, and spend a fair amount of time enjoying all that it has to offer. However, it’s difficult to get from point A to point B without driving and paying to park multiple times. That elminates a moveable feast for us, or a nice night out with just the 2 of us and more than a drink or two each.

    The smoking ban was a great start, as it got us out of the house and into bars and music venues that we had previously completely avoided. Some of our current favorite places weren’t even on our radar a few years ago, because I don’t tolerate cigarette smoke very well. Now, if we could just enjoy a few beers and still get home safely- those places would be ideal!

    Every time I visit Chicago, I am astounded at how well they’ve taken advantage of every resource available to them. I love Cleveland, and feel we have the potential to be that type of city.

  9. sarabot
    Posted February 11, 2010 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    I would love to see more focus put on our amazing natural resources. We have a great waterfront, with a lake and a river, that are wholly underutilized. Cleveland has all the potential to become a much more sustainable city, if we take better care of our environment.

    Water from the great lakes is already used across the country, and stands to be in higher demand in the coming years. I’d love to see the city think about the future from a green and environmental standpoint. I know some of that exists with Green City Blue Lake and others, but I’d like to see that attitude move from a fringe opinion to a mass city attitude.

  10. Posted February 11, 2010 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    One thing that I’ve been wanting to see since I moved here about three years ago, is a pedestrian bridge between the Flats, and the downtown W. 6th-9th area. It could revive the Flats as a place to go, especially in the summer. It would be a good thing for the bars/restaurants, because if you go to W. 6th to a bar (by the way, W. 6th is a horrid place on weekends… I don’t go there… just saying), chances are, you are staying there for the night, simply because you paid for parking, and that’s your easiest option. A short walk over a bridge to a bar in the Flats would be an option. I am sure some drunk idiots will fall to their death, but hey, Darwin Award!

  11. Posted February 11, 2010 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    I would love to see further development in between the areas of downtown and outlying areas. Currently I feel like Cleveland is a string of islands and no matter where you are going to takes a bit of time.

    I’d also love to promote “Green City, Blue Lake” by making recycling mandatory. I did a study abroad in Germany and trash days are by what recyclable is being picked up rather than overall trash and recyleables which I though was a great system and definitely made me more aware about packaging and consumption waste. I live in Mentor and sadly, they did away with city-wide recycling because it was too expensive for the city. You now have to pay an extra fee for the garbage collection company to pick up recyclables. Definitely a set back for changing the way people think about waste consumption.

  12. Posted February 11, 2010 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    Cleveland is in many ways a shrinking city, in danger of becoming a “doughnut city”, with most on the fringe and nothing in the middle.

    To fight this we need to emphasize our attractions on E 4th, W 6th, Ohio City, Tremont, Detroit-Shoreway, University Circle, Collinwood, &c, along with some of the inner ring attractions in Shaker, Cleve. Hts., and Lakewood. It should be trivial for someone in the outer ‘burbs or from out of town to find listing of events and attractions in these places.
    Then we need to make them safe, clean, and easy to get to. If we focus on some islands in our “doughnut hole” and bridge them, they will grow the areas around them.
    Action items:

    -Event listings neatly divided by stereotype (suburban mom’s night out, arty/indie kid party night, movie buff resources, foodie tours, &c.).
    -Serious police enforcement in target areas
    -Serious clean-up efforts engaging communities and the city
    -Non-business hours circulators by RTA, different start and end-points? Clean-up of all RTA and bus resources (see Detroit-Shoreway stops)

  13. Posted February 11, 2010 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    Further thoughts on event listings… or cleve+ or someone sets up a blog portal, creates a dozen or so categories (again: movies, concerts, art shows, theater, outdoors, kids, foodie, more), gets three area specialists (like Cleveland Foodie for restaurants) to chair each, and post events, gather crowd-sourced reviews, keep up some level traffic and interest. A panel of three would allow for the ebb and flow of life, and make it easier for someone to step down if they couldn’t handle (what I would assume to be) a volunteer commitment.

  14. Elizabeth
    Posted February 11, 2010 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    I think one thing that Cleveland could benefit from is better bike trails and bike etiquette throughout the city. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been sworn at and run off the road for riding my bike on the side of the street. My aunt lives right outside of DC and they have 50 miles of trails that connect downtown to the outlying suburbs. If there were better bike traffic along the waterfront I think this would bring a lot of people downtown instead of out to the suburbs.

  15. Posted February 11, 2010 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    Wow, a lot of awesome thought starters and ideas. Really good stuff here and – agree with all of you. We should take over the city!

    Kyle is the winner courtesy of If he can’t go, I’ll pick someone else.

  16. Posted February 11, 2010 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, Michelle! I will definitely be there.