up for grabs: tickets to sold out tedxcle plus a special bonus

I love ideas. I work in ideas, day in and day out. Big ideas. Small ideas. Ideas can inspire, change and make us think. Some, of course, are better than others. But what’s great about ideas, is that we all have them. And by sharing our ideas, we can spark curiosity and ignite that change. Direct those ideas towards our beloved city and you have TEDxCLE.

TEDxCLE is an independently organized TED event (technology, entertainment and design), an annual gathering bringing together the world’s leaders and doers discussing what they are most passionate about. The local event is organized by my friends, Hallie Bram and Eric Kogelschatz. They started this event last year in an effort to bring about change and innovation to our city. They are truly a dynamic duo and I am inspired by their devotion to Cleveland and commitment to organizing, what I think, is an afternoon not to be missed. I attended last year and didn’t want the conversation to end. I know it will be more of the same this year.

There’s an impressive group speaking nest week,  including: chef Jonathon Sawyer, Ari Maron, Jeff Siegler, Valerie Mayen, Matt Hlavin and Paul Hill, Jr. Visit here for a complete list of speakers and topics.

The conference, taking place once again at the Capitol Theater on Friday, April 15th, is sold out. However, thanks to Eric and Hallie, I have two tickets to give away. But wait, there’s more! What better way to digest the thoughts and passion shared throughout the event than over a pint (or six) of Jeni’s Ice Creams? That’s right, I have two tickets to give away AND six pints of glorious Jeni’s! Jeni Britton Bauer is a huge TED supporter. And in celebration of her first Cleveland store opening up in Chagrin Falls in mid April (as we all happily know by now), the organizer of TEDxColumbus has agreed to sweeten the pot – literally.

To be eligible for the tickets and ice cream, just share your idea for Cleveland within the comments of this post. Specifically, if you were mayor of Cleveland for a day, what’s your big idea for the city? What would you change, improve upon, get rid of, etc.? You have until noon on Sunday, April 10. A winner will be picked via random.org. Good luck!


  1. Sarah Rivera
    Posted April 3, 2011 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    I would improve the locations of the farmers markets so that they are more accessible to every neighborhood if I were Mayor for a day!

  2. Ryan
    Posted April 3, 2011 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    If I were mayor for a day, I would try to support more new businesses in the eastern part of the city. I live in the western part of the city of Cleveland, and we have so much here. However, I want this entire city to succeed, not just my part. So, I would love to see more rejuvenated neighborhoods on the east side (like we have over here with Detroit-Shoreway, Ohio City, and Tremont).

  3. Lisa I
    Posted April 3, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    I would turn over uncontaminated abandoned land to the neighborhood for community gardens

  4. Posted April 3, 2011 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    I would show some interest in keeping businesses in Cleveland proper rather than actively pushing them out (see, e.g. Eaton)

  5. Posted April 3, 2011 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    I would make the public transportation cheaper so that everyone can use it, and use it often. I would also put a nice big grocery store downtown for all of the residents that are beginning to populate the area.

  6. Posted April 3, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    I would convert Burke Lakefront Airport into a stunning on-water community, similar to Chicago’s waterfront. Today, it represents a missed opportunity.

  7. Sushi
    Posted April 3, 2011 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

    Better access to public transportation, with more frequent trains and bus connections, as well as better-lit stations. In an ideal world, this public transportation system would run 24hrs per day.

  8. Jessica
    Posted April 3, 2011 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    Better public transportation would be nice, but I think all transportation would be improved if roads were kept up better. I would look into better road maintenance and having

  9. Jessica
    Posted April 3, 2011 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    asphalt companies available for repaving before May.

  10. Posted April 3, 2011 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    I would install an urban kayak park!

  11. Mike Tetreault
    Posted April 3, 2011 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    burke lakefront becomes an entertainment mecca!

  12. Posted April 3, 2011 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    If I were Mayor of Cleveland for the day I would clean up the corruption, and I would improve upon the ease of companies to do business and to relocate to Cleveland. My other idea would be to try and pass a law that would require all local restaurants to go through some sort of food allergy training to educate kitchen staff and wait staff on what it would take to keep diners with food allergies eating safely. Other parts of the country have done this beautifully. I hope Cleveland jumps on this one day.

  13. Posted April 3, 2011 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

    If I were mayer for the day, I’d give everyone a pint of Jeni’s Ice Creams – that would be one way to make everyone happy!

  14. Kim
    Posted April 3, 2011 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    One day…I would focus on trying to get a full house again to see a Tribe game and throughout the game highlight other great things for people to do throughout Cleveland.

  15. Posted April 3, 2011 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    If I were mayor for a day, I’d get rid of all the traffic ticket cameras, and fire everyone at the water department.

  16. Jen
    Posted April 3, 2011 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    I’d consolidate the marketing efforts of the Cleveland businesses, restaurants, sports teams, and attractions to draw more out-of-town visitors.

  17. Julie
    Posted April 3, 2011 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    If I were mayor for a day, I’d put some serious effort into the waterfront. We’re so lucky to be right on Lake Erie, we should take advantage of it! More lake-side bars/restaurants, beach volleyball, more bike/run paths, dog parks, etc., etc., etc.

  18. Diane Sikorski
    Posted April 3, 2011 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

    If I were Mayor for a day I would start by hiring more police officers and make better response times a first priority recognizing that this would go a long way to making some people feel more comfortable about moving back to the city.

  19. Rob
    Posted April 3, 2011 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    Step up efforts to transform Cleveland into a sustainable city and a draw for high-tech manufacturing. Offshore wind farm, more light rail, electric buses, thin-film PV manufacturing, battery/ultracapacitor/power electronics manufacturing. Large-scale urban food production. Invest in successful neighborhoods, return failing neighborhoods to green space.

  20. Janet L
    Posted April 4, 2011 at 12:15 am | Permalink

    I would invest some of the money we’re making with the strict traffic enforcement to the public schools. We need good teachers, nice facilities, and lower class sizes to renew the future of Cleveland.

  21. Posted April 4, 2011 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    More safe and well-maintained urban parks and trails – I think people these days like to be outside with nature even in the city, and this could be a draw for people and companies looking to relocate!

  22. Kate
    Posted April 4, 2011 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    I think I would remove all speeding cameras, give out low interest loans to start ups, remove Burke and develop the coast, remove parking lots in downtown and replace then with garages, and fix public schools. It would be quite the busy day!

  23. Megan
    Posted April 4, 2011 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    I would love to see more suburbanites embrace what downtown has to offer! Too many people think its a hassle to come downtown or try new things. With that said I would make downtown more pedestrian friendly, embrace the waterfront, and try to find free parking!

  24. Posted April 4, 2011 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    I would LOVE TO WIN tickets! (and omg the Jeni’s ice cream?!?! does it get any better?!)

    I know this is sort of beating a dead horse (or maybe its just me and my husband who constantly talk about this) – but I would put all my efforts into CLE’s public transportion; extending the rapid, making the buses better, making it easy for those leaving on the far east side and far west side to get downtown.

  25. Kristy Lantz
    Posted April 4, 2011 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    If I were mayor for a day, I would place a focus on Cleveland schools, and what can be done to improve the education of the youth of today.

  26. Greg
    Posted April 4, 2011 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    If I were mayor of Cleveland I would ban bullshit elitist events like TED from stinking up our good-smelling city.

  27. Posted April 4, 2011 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    I would build a bubble over the city that set the temperature to 75 & sunny year round. On a more serious note, the obvious thing to me is to better utilize our lakefront. I would get rid of Burke and replace it with an entertainment district filled with parks, beaches, restaurants, retail, living spaces, and offices. A better developed lakefront will draw more young professionals and therefore more businesses. Finally, it cracks me up to read how many people say we need better public transit. Don’t you realize the RTA was named the best public transit system in North America in 2008? haha

  28. Posted April 4, 2011 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Would love to attend, and can’t believe that I missed the window of opportunity this year!

    If I were Mayor for a day, then I would throw my efforts into improving the waterfront. Growing up on Lake Ontario, that is where our area’s economy was focused- on the water! I love our city, but the lack of waterfront businessnes and activity has always puzzled me.

  29. Laura
    Posted April 4, 2011 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    If I were mayor, I would also focus my attention on the waterfront by adding a multi-use development so we can all better enjoy the beauty of the lake!

  30. Jill
    Posted April 4, 2011 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    I don’t think the mayor of Cleveland could do this but we need to merge some of the suburbs for less local government taxes. Why does Woodmere exist? Small businesses merge for better economy of scale, why not smaller cities? Now we have a bunch of fiefdoms with little cooperation.

  31. Posted April 4, 2011 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    I think it’d be really cool to get kids involved in growing their own food. In addition to having sports facilities available within the community, I’d want the youth in the area to have access to/run a garden of their own.

  32. jaybee
    Posted April 4, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    In an effort to recast the metropolitan area, I would give up as much power as possible to the new county government and encourage other cities in Cuyahoga County to do the same.

  33. Posted April 4, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    If I were mayor for a day, I’d bring back a music fest to the city, like the Rock Hall did a few years ago. So fun and so reasonably priced compared to SXSW.

  34. Posted April 4, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    I would absolutely focus on the waterfront. We have so many opportunities there and I think of every day gone by as revenue for the city being lost.

    Secondly I would expand our public transportation and extend it further into the ‘burbs. I really do think that more people would frequent downtown if they could just hop on a Rapid and ride in quickly.

  35. adam
    Posted April 4, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    I would work with neighboring cities across Cuyahoga county to consolidate and streamline government services (police, water, public transportation – anything) to reduce costs and improve efficiencies.

  36. Posted April 4, 2011 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    If I were mayor for a day, I would also concentrate on better utilizing our waterfront. It puzzles me to think that the aquarium will be built in the Flats when it’s such a natural fit along the lake. I’d also love to see the Euclid Beach carousel finally put into place. And, I’d fire whoever was in charge of planning the HealthLine. Great idea, terrible execution and a traffic nightmare.

  37. Elizabeth
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 1:07 am | Permalink

    If I were Mayor of Cleveland for a day I would send out a swarm of college recruiters to sell the amazing fabulous-ness of Cleveland to everyone who still only thinks this city has burning rivers. Tell them about the great restaurants, gorgeous lake, and enormous + cheap industrial space and beautiful housing.

  38. Posted April 5, 2011 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    Good Morning my fellow Clevelanders!
    If elected Mayor (for the day) of this fair city I would focus on improving the quality of life in Cleveland. Seeing my time is limited I would begin in our fair Public Square. Our safety Ambassadors and RTA Transit Police would patrol the area and downtown bus routes to issue community service tickets for the following offensive acts:

    Radio Playing without Headphones: 8 hours of Community Service

    Vulgar, Obscene, or Offensive Racial (regardless if the slur is reversed or not) language: 16 hours of Community Service

    Pants Greater than 1 inch below the waist: 4 hours of Community Service for every inch below the legal limit

    By doing this we will improve the quality of life for our local citizens and make our tourists want to come back.

    Your Candidate for Cleveland Mayor for the Day

  39. Edward
    Posted April 5, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Biggest opportunity is the airport property. It’s been said before, but needs to be done. Aviation High School could be converted into a Park center, with bike rentals, scooters, etc.

  40. steve
    Posted April 6, 2011 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    Make an actual committment to the WSM and start a compost recycling system. Most of the vendors would be happy to participate, and it might even reduce cost of waste removal.

  41. Posted April 6, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    If i were Mayor for the day, i would mimic Rudy Gulianis “Broken Window theory”.

  42. Chris Rapsawich
    Posted April 6, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    Cleveland has a lot to offer. It needs advocacy… As mayor I would buy my daughter a pony.

  43. Posted April 7, 2011 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    If I was mayor for the day, I would hire all the entrepreneurial talent that is bubbling up in places around the city and form a council to improve the local economy, reach out to new business prospects, and promote the great things we already have in this town. Wouldn’t the Galleria make a great giant Apple Store?

  44. Georgia
    Posted April 7, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    I’d love to tear down some of the buildings that are already crumbling and build some new parks or at least add some more green space.

  45. Posted April 7, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    I’d do something for kids…

    May I please go to the TED talk? Clearly, I need some inspiration…

  46. Amber
    Posted April 7, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    Mayor for just one day!? There’s so many ideas and changes that could be a major help to our city, however, I’d hurry up and get a master plan approved immediately for the Flats — so much potential down there, wasting away.

  47. Luke
    Posted April 7, 2011 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    If mayor for the day, I would start an initiative to clean up and re purpose the unused real estate in residential areas of the city. There are more than enough empty houses and lots in some of our neighborhoods, and the land would benefit the communities a lot more if it were used for parks, artistic endeavors, and maybe even some clean energy projects.

  48. Jen
    Posted April 7, 2011 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    Increase access and funding for toddler and preschool education. So much capacity for learning at this age and so few opportunities!

  49. Brian
    Posted April 7, 2011 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

    I would build a free parking garage that is linked to public transportation and has a place to check in bicycles as well.

  50. Posted April 8, 2011 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    I want to see David Franklin discuss topics on one of our cities greatest cultural institutions — The Cleveland Museum of Art!

  51. Posted April 8, 2011 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    If I were the mayor of Cleveland I would do everything in my power to develop our greatest resource – the waterfront.

  52. Posted April 8, 2011 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Lots of great ideas!! I stopped reading through the comments at some point, so apologize if this is a repeat.

    But I would make sure the city has a social media presence. Not just to announce reports/updates/traffic/warnings, but also to *collect* ideas from the constituents of our great city! Open communication! Both ways!

  53. Aaron M
    Posted April 8, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    I’d plan a multi-stage music festival like Lollapalooza or ACL.

  54. Scott H.
    Posted April 8, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    Market Under Glass would be terrific, thanks!

  55. Posted April 9, 2011 at 10:54 am | Permalink


    Gotta push food movement here in Cleveland.
    Straighten out this food truck funk.
    Collaborate for waterfront development.
    And then I’d have lunch.
    Stregthen public safety.
    Small business/developing support for entreprenuers.
    Oh yeah, world peace.


  56. Michelle V
    Posted April 11, 2011 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Congrats #25 – you win! Thanks everyone!

  57. Posted April 19, 2011 at 5:06 am | Permalink

    This is a really great blog. Thx to the auther

  58. Allison Norris
    Posted April 19, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    My husband attended TedxCLE last friday (he works with Hallie and speaks highly of her as well). He was seriously moved beyond words by the day’s experience. I hope to attend with him next year. he did not mention the Jeni’s. I will have to ask him about that part. lol.