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Greenville Business Magazine

TEDxGreenville Sets Lineup for March 29 Talk

TEDxGreenville announced the theme and the presenter line up for TEDxGreenville 2019 to be held on March 29, 2019 at ONE Greenville in Downtown Greenville.

The event engages attendees in moving stories and ideas, jaw-dropping performances, and demonstrations of groundbreaking new technologies under the event’s theme for 2019: UNKNXWN.”

Patterned after the hugely popular global TED conference, TEDxGreenville, the first TEDx event in South Carolina launched in 2010, continues to continue momentum year after year by spreading ideas during its always sold-out conference.

Over the last ten years, TEDxGreenville has presented almost 60 events featuring over 250 speakers, with almost 6 million views of the talks on the YouTube channel.

“TEDxGreenville is a catalyst for the most progressive, most innovative, and most mind-expanding ideas possible, presented in one short day in Greenville. We want to be a vehicle in creating healthy, important conversation in Greenville.” stated Russell Stall, TEDxGreenville License Holder and Organizer. “The atmosphere is inspirational, fun, and thought-provoking, and our goal is that, by the end of the day, our audience is inspired, enlightened, energized… and emotionally and intellectually exhausted.”

At the heart of TEDxGreenville are the event’s presenters: a diverse group that includes business innovators, community activists, scientists, academics, performers, and community change agents. Each of the presenters are chosen based on their potential to spur change and to create a shift in thinking in the Upstate.

“We had over 275 people nominated to speak this year, so the selection process was especially challenging, We were able to curate the most diverse, engaging, and thought-provoking program in our history,” according to this year’s program curator Julian Nixon.

The event leaves attendees surprised, uneasy, impressed, troubled, moved, bemused, and inspired. Every talk and performance is offered in a spirit of growth and camaraderie that's been integral to the TEDxGreenville experience.

“Our goal when choosing presenters is to find interesting, inspirational, energetic, and fascinating people who want to create the Greenville of the future, It is all about presenting the most innovative ideas that Greenville has never seen or heard before,” stated Nixon.

The theme for 2019 is UNKNXWN. According to Nixon, “In celebrating our tenth year, X is the Roman numeral for the number “ten” as well as the mathematical symbol for “the unkown.' In looking at the unknowns in Greenville, we will build a deeper knowledge of things we currently do not know. It is kind of a mind-expanding exercise.”

 Tickets go on sale to the public on February 23. To purchase tickets, go to

The 2019 Conference presenters Include:

Edward Anderson

Principal Prodigy

Edward is Principal of Tanglewood Middle School in Greenville County. With 11 years in working in education focused on high poverty schools, Edward has become an advocate for bringing kids out of poverty.

Jeffrey Crespo

Senseful Sensei

For over 15 years, Jeffrey and his consulting practice has been providing solutions to individuals and organizations to enhance performance, develop critical thinking, and thrive through change.

Jeff Dugan

Fiber Innovator

Jeff is the founder of Fiber Innovation Technology, the world's most innovative fiber producer. He created etched-plate fiber technology to explode the range of problems that fibers can solve.

Keith Groover

Symphonic Technologist

Keith Groover is a musician, guitar teacher, inventor, and life-long tinkerer. He teaches at North Greenville University, plays guitar for the instrumental guitar/cello duo WireWood, and leads music at Grace Presbyterian Church. He is an inventor of innovative new musical instruments.

Courtney Leak Nesbitt

Woke Therapist

Courtney is a social worker, therapist, podcaster, and empowerment speaker with Embracing Abundance Counseling and Consulting. She has been working in the field for over 10 years and her focus is on women’s issues, racial trauma, couples, and healing trauma.

Jil Littlejohn

Urban Leader

Jil is the first female President and CEO of the Urban League of the Upstate, where she prepares and monitors a multi-million-dollar budget. Her role allows her to combine her passion for people and community into a job she loves. She is the youngest member of Greenville City Council, serves as Mayor Pro Tem.

Pooja Mahajan

American Dreamer

Pooja Mahajan is an environmental engineer working at a global consulting firm in the US. A runner up at the 2017 South Carolina’s Toastmasters International Speech contest, Pooja is passionate about storytelling and social entrepreneurship. 

Phillip McCreight

Masterful Thinker

Phillip is the Founder of Beer and Napkins LLC, an informal, community-enable design platform. As a Creative in an industrial world, Phillip is ever seeking to unify his over 25 years of experience in leading change efforts in manufacturing, consulting, and community involvement to contribute to the greater good.

Shivani Nadarajah

Comedy Unicorn

Shivani Nadarajah is a local Greenville comedian who was born Canadian, bred Sri Lankan, and raised southern at heart. She began her stand-up comedy career, sharing stories of her upbringing, transition to southern culture and international travels. She actively participates in stand-up comedy showcases throughout the Carolinas. 

Rasheen Peppers

Professional Manhunter

Rasheen is a career law enforcement officer in the largest city in New Jersey. He has traveled the country seeking some of the United States most dangerous fugitives. In 2009, "American Most Wanted" nominated him as one of their top fugitive hunters. While assigned to the United States Marshals Service, his team was responsible for apprehending some of New Jersey's high-profile fugitives, featured on a AE reality show called "Manhunters Fugitives Task Force.”

Rhondda Robinson Thomas

Upstate Historian

Rhondda Robinson Thomas honed her love of creating stories about kith and kin while listening to relatives recall life experiences, mostly around the dinner table. She is the Calhoun Lemon Professor of Literature at Clemson University, teaching, researching, publishing, and developing media about early African American literature, history, and culture. 

Jarell Rochelle

Fame Tamer

Jarell is a dynamic professional speaker and it is all actually by accident. While an actor, his professional dance career of 14 years has lead him to make appearances on hit reality TV shows such as Fox's "So You Think You Can Dance," MTV's "Americas Best Dance Crew," and NBC's "Americas Got Talent." 

Jianan Sun

Automotive Engineer

Jianan Sun is a female entrepreneur, a big picture engineer, and an innovation activist with the innovation team of Mercedes-Benz USA. Her passion is to understand how disruptive technologies will impact consumers' lives. 

Cynthia Thurlow

Functional Nutritionist

Cynthia is a Western medicine trained nurse practitioner and functional nutritionist who is passionate about female hormonal health. She believes that the inherent power of food and nutrition can be your greatest asset to your health and wellness journey. She is the creator of Wholistic Blueprint, a 6-week signature program for female hormonal health. She's also the co-host of Everyday Wellness podcast and a recurring segment contributor on her local ABC affiliate in Washington, DC.

Paulette Unger

Classroom Pioneer

Paulette began her teaching career 20 years ago after earning her Masters in Science Education from the University of Virginia. Eighteen of those years have been spent teaching various levels of Biology at Christ Church Episcopal School. She served as the Global Online Academy (GOA) Site Director for her school and teaches a GOA course on Bioethics.