Great ideas get lost if they’re not shared.

A single idea has the power to ripple across the planet. That’s the promise and potential at the core of every TEDxJacksonville talk. Because of technological advances, ideas can instantly cross international boundaries and fundamentally transform discussions about crime and justice, economics, education, politics—anything and everything about which people are passionate.

But that won’t happen unless we make sharing and acting upon these ideas a priority. As Seth Goden said, “An idea that just sits there is worthless.

We don’t have to wait for great ideas to spread organically, or hope that they accidentally become part of a viral discussion. We can plan for it, optimize it, and make it happen. Here’s how you can help:

Stop being neutral. If something moves you, embrace it fully. Stand behind the idea, and stand up for it.

Get personal. Reach out to your personal, professional and social networks, urging them to join you in promoting meaningful change on the issues you care about.

Take Action

CYNTHIA BARNETT | Rain: A History for Stormy Times

  • Rain is one of the planet’s great pulses, and there’s no better place to begin your education on its importance than to read Cynthia’s fascinating book, Rain: A Natural and Cultural History. It was a finalist for the National Book Award and PEN/E.O. Wilson Award for Literary Science Writing, won the Florida Book Award in General Non-Fiction, and was named a best book of 2015 by NPR’s Science Friday, the Boston Globe, the Miami Herald and others.
  • Volunteer for and support the local organizations working to preserve our natural environment and protect our planet: NE Florida Sierra Club, The Nature Conservancy, and the North Florida Land Trust.

BRENDA BRADLEY, Ph.D. | No Prescription Necessary: How to Make Food Your Medicine

  • Learn how to “veganize” favorite recipes by removing the animal ingredients and replacing them with plant-based ingredients.
  • For baking purposes, educate yourself about all the alternatives; for example, apple sauce, bananas and tofu can all substitute for eggs.
  • Check out Brenda’s website, and her cookbook, “Kale Yeah It’s Good, No Meat Necessary.”
  • Commit to eating one plant-based dinner a week, and then build from there. You’ll find great vegan recipes at any of the following standout blogs: Vegan Yack AttackOh She Glows, Your Daily Vegan, Hot For Food, and The Minimalist Baker.

AMY DONOFRIO | At-Risk or At-Hope? How We Label Youth Matters

  • If you’re an educator, start by listening to your kids’ stories. You can’t create effective programs for them without knowing their stories and making their stories a part of your own. It’s about seeing youth who are courageous enough to fight and courageously fighting beside them, even when it costs us. It’s about being willing to become family and do what families do, which is stay at the table even when one of you flips it over. It’s about demanding our institutions start listening to youth’s stories and end restrictions that make it impossible to help them.
  • Be an advocate for EVAC in our community. Visit, and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

SHARI DUVAL | A New Leash on Life for American Veterans

  • Sponsor a companion dog for veterans, or find other ways to help K9s for Warriors create lasting change in veterans’ lives.
  • Reach out and connect with veterans who are suffering. Make The Connection is an online resource designed to connect veterans, their family members and friends, and other supporters with information, resources, and solutions to issues affecting veteran lives.
  • Send a care package or letter. Operation Gratitude has sent nearly two million individually addressed care packages to current military members as well as veterans, wounded warriors and their caregivers.

MANAL FAKHOURY, Pharm.D. | Defining and Defeating the Opioid Crisis

  • Add your voice to Jacksonville’s Opioid Epidemic Special Committee. The committee  is currently seeking input from the community about the issues and problems posed by the epidemic.
  • Host a Listening Party. In order to try to make some sense of this national crisis and cultivate some empathy, together, Generation Listen has created a custom Listening Party Kit that empowers you to bring together friends, family or colleagues in your own living room, and deepen the conversation about the devastating opioid epidemic.
  • When reaching out to those suffering from opioid addiction, focus on human connections, service and mentoring.

MELANIE FLORES | Can You Learn Engineering in Kindergarten?

ELLEN FREIDIN | Florida Citizens Win Redistricting Wars!

  • Play the Annenberg Center’s Redistricting Game, which is designed to educate, engage, and empower citizens around the issue of political redistricting. By exploring how the system works, as well as how open it is to abuse, The Redistricting Game allows players to experience the realities of one of the most important (yet least understood) aspects of our political system.
  • Donate to the Brennan Center for Justice, which supports reforming the redistricting process so that it is independent, transparent, and ensures that communities are fully and fairly represented in Congress and the nation’s legislative bodies. The Center’s Redistricting Resources page provides a comprehensive and timely compendium of research, commentary, litigation, news and information about gerrymandering efforts–and opposition–nationwide.

JEFF GALLOWAY | Move Your Body—Turn On Your Brain

  • Set a goal and train for it (whether it’s just walking a mile, or running in Donna Deagan’s Breast Cancer Marathon). Jeff’s website has lots of free information on how to gently get into exercise and and avoid aches, pains, and puking.
  • Join Jeff’s Jacksonville Galloway Training Program! Participants in this low-mileage, injury-free Training Program meet on Saturday mornings at various locations across the Jacksonville area, and follow Jeff’s training guidelines to get you safely across the finish line by walking or running with others at your level of conditioning.

CHRIS HAND | Citizen: The Most Important Title in American Democracy 

  • Get engaged. In a culture of one-click petitions and hashtag activism, we need to relearn how to be changemakers in our offline communities. TreeHugger offers a bootcamp in how make the world a better place. Take their Changemaker Personality Quiz and learn how your strengths (whether you’re a Resister, Networker, Nurturer, Investigator, Communicator, or Builder) can be an integral part of how change is made.
  • Pay attention to issues that matter to you. Apps like Votespotter (iOS/Android) and Congress (Android) can help you keep track of how your politicians are voting on issues you care about. Countable (iOS/Android) provides background information on bills and the main arguments for and against them. You can also choose which issues to follow. Set up custom Google Alerts for your representatives and local politicians, so you can thank or rebuke them when they do something noteworthy.
  • Flex your citizenship muscles. Identify a challenge in your community that you want to solve—e.g. clean up a local park, improve technology in your child’s school. Then, set up a meeting to persuade the relevant elected official—your city councilperson, county commissioner, school board member, or state legislator. If you can’t persuade that official, find allies who can. And remember that allies can be found even in the unlikeliest of places. For more suggestions, read Chris’s book, America: The Owner’s Manual.

CHAD HOUSER | Taking Kids Out Of Jail, Teach Them to Play With Knives and Fire

  • Learn more about Chad’s incredible restaurant and culinary training facility at Cafe Momentum on the Starbuck’s Channel program, Knives, Fire and Opportunity. Then spread the word! Who’s up to the challenge of bringing something like Cafe Momentum to Jacksonville?
  • Your volunteer service can have a lasting positive impact on the lives of Florida’s at-risk children and their families. Contact The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice to learn how you can help.
  • Lend your voice to Juvenile Justice reform. The Annie E. Casey Foundation provides a great primer on the many facets of this complex issue.

MARC HUDSON | Value and Invest in Nature

  • Read Natural Capitalism by Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins and L. Hunter Lovins, Nature’s Fortune by Mark Tercek and Jonathan Adams, and fellow TEDxJacksonville speaker Cynthia Barnett’s book, Blue Water Revolution.
  • Find out how great the returns can be by investing in nature in Northeast Florida here, in the North Florida Land Trust’s Preservation Portfolio.
  • More than 2/3 of our rivers and streams in Jacksonville are impaired, i.e. have unsafe levels of pollutants. Find your local stream, find out if it’s polluted and get active with your local government in solving the pollution problems. Find out about Northeast Florida streams here.
    Read about the future of our water supply here.
  • Ask the North Florida Land Trust how to get involved in investing in our environment here in Northeast Florida at

ALFREDO QUINONES-HINOJOSA, MD | Healing. Opportunity. Patients. Empowerment.

  • Every day Dr. Q and his team work to make our world a better place: to one day see brain cancer eradicated forever, to discover noninvasive ways to heal the brain and body, to find better treatment options for brain tumors. If you would like to donate to Dr. Quiñones’ research and treatment, please visit and include the gift designation on the online form as “Dr. Quiñones-Hinojosa’s Laboratory”
  • Watch “Beyond the Dream,” a documentary that sheds light onto the struggles, achievements, and cautious dreams of three young immigrants, following their journey as they take a road trip across America to gain perspective on their uncertain futures.
  • Support Immigrant Rights and Services Organizations that are making an impact in Jacksonville: Lutheran Social Servics of NE Florida, St. Augustine/Jacksonville Catholic Charities, and World Relief Jacksonville.

JAIMIE SLOBODEN | Creating People-Safe Roads

Smart Growth is about helping every town and city become a more economically prosperous, socially equitable, and environmentally sustainable place to live. These are Jaimie’s recommended sites for learning more about the challenges facing our neighborhoods, as well as how we can work together to improve everyday life for people across the country through better development: