27 minutes | Jan 7th 2020

Everything You Need to Know About the First Annual TEDxFrisco

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Dr. Trillion Small is bringing the famed TEDx to Frisco, Texas on January 11th. She has an impressive lineup of speakers, and plans for future TEDxYouth and TEDxWomen events later this year.


[00:28] Introducing Dr. Trillion Small
[04:33] Overcoming the stigma for seeking help for mental health issues
[09:16] TEDxFrisco Coming January 11
[12:53] The difference between a TED Talk and TEDx event
[15:55] TEDxFrisco Details – Event, Watch Party, and More
[16:57] TEDxFrisco Women & Youth
[19:00] TEDxFrisco Speakers
[24:25] TEDxFrisco 2020 is sold out but here’s how to see the speakers


Connect with Lifestyle Frisco on: 



Welcome to the Frisco podcast. I’m your host, Scott Ellis. And today we are chatting with Dr. Trillion Small, who was the organizer of the upcoming TEDx Frisco. Dr. Small, welcome to the show. Thank you Scott for having me. It’s such a pleasure to be here. Great to have you on. We are looking forward to having our first TEDx and Frisco. But before we get into that, I want to, I want to learn a little bit more about you. What kind of a doctor are you? So I have a PhD in clinical counseling, so I’m passionate about all things. Mental, emotional wellness. Do you, do you have a, so, okay, so you’re in the, the mental health field. Do you have your own practice? Do you work inside of another practice? How does, what do you, how do you operate? I do, yes. So I’ve been working with clients individually for about eight years now.

Um, I’m transitioning a little bit from just doing the one-on-one to working with, um, athletes who are working on their mental performance. I love also working with companies who just are passionate about helping their staff take their performance to the next level as well. And so I’m finding different ways to really take my psychology degree and really apply it to different areas now. That’s interesting. So usually when you talk to somebody about a mental health professional, you think about them treating things like depression or other mental health issues that that may come up. I don’t think I’ve ever met anybody that focuses on the performance side aspect of mental health. What made you get, how did you get into that? That’s very, that’s interesting. Yes. So I do, I do work with those with anxiety and depression and PTSD. The majority of my clients have experienced trauma of some sort.

So when I say trauma, trauma is very subjective. Trauma for one person can be, I witnessed domestic violence while trauma for someone can be, my father never showed up to my basketball games and that affected them right. In a negative way. And so I still, I work with those. Your, your typical mental health issues. But I, I realized that if we have anxiety and depression, it affects our performance as, as it does with athletes. If they’re, if they’re at the free throw line and they’re anxious, right? Their heart rate is increasing, their, their mind is all over the place that’s going to affect their performance. And so just being the creative that I am and loving to be diverse as possible, I said, in what ways can I expand myself and what ways can I take my knowledge and help as many people as possible?

And I realized that it wasn’t just limited to people who were cutting themselves and they were suicidal. It literally is the top CEO who says, our company is doing well, but I have this roadblock and I have a difficult time overcoming it. How do I, and it’s really just working through cognitive distortions. It’s working through those, those mental barriers that we, we know that they’re there, but we don’t realize we can actually overcome them. And so that’s what I do. I love working with people, providing them with tools and techniques to really live a fulfilled life. And I don’t believe that we have to live a life that is bound by our insecurities. It’s just a matter of once you become aware of them, like, Hey, let’s become aware of them and now let’s do something about them.

Very interesting. I can imagine that would take you into all kinds of fascinating places and meeting with a lot of interesting people. Soit has, it has, it has opened up so many different doors. I would have never thought, right? Like working with, uh, attorneys, right? They’re like one of the top, um, careers that are known for suicide, but, but we don’t think about it that way. We just think, Oh, these are top attorneys. But you don’t realize that the stress that they’re under. And so it’s just if you’re helping person, if you, if you’re a social person that loves social enterprise, if you will, you find a problem. That’s what I do. I love finding problems. Not because I like problems, but because I like solutions. So when I see a problem, I say, Ooh, this is an awesome opportunity to make an impact in this area.

That’s interesting. The, uh, you know, I think for a lot of folks, and just for the sake of disclaimer on the podcast, um, I have a bachelor’s in psychology and I worked in a clinical environment for a couple of years. I am not the professional that you are and I know, pretend to be, although it is funny, as soon as you tell people you have a degree in psychology, the first thing they always want to know is if you’re summing up, even assessing everything they say. And no, I’m not,

I’m not analyzing you, but yes I am. But no, no, I’m not. I’m curious how you feel about your mom, right? You just did this. Tell me, you tell me where did that come from?

Um, but there seems to some degree to be less of a stigma than there used to be around seeking, uh, help in the mental health field. Why do you think that for our, first of all, I’m glad that that’s the case. And I know there’s still some of that out there, but I’m also happy to see that people are becoming more open to working with someone such as yourself. It might be for something like depression, but it may also be, like you were saying, a CEO that recognizes they have a mental block of some kind and they need help getting over it. What, what do you see in the industry or in the world at large that has allowed that stigma to start to come down a little bit?

Well, I think vulnerability, but gets vulnerability. So when you have people who are truly open and honest and saying, Hey guys, you see my social media, it looks so perfect. It’s so filtered. But guess what? I cried myself to sleep last night. Right? It’s those moments that make you feel like people are tangible and it makes you feel like, Oh, I’m not the only crazy person. Right? So I know I’m in the psychology world that you’re not supposed to use the word crazy, but I’m for stories, for storytelling sake. When I understand and I meet somebody and when their life feels perfect, I can’t relate to them. But when they say, Oh man, let me tell you this has happened, this has happened. Doesn’t mean divulge your entire life to me. But, but making people realize, helping people to realize like I am just like you, like my may not be your struggles, but I understand a struggle.

And I think what’s, what’s happening now is, especially celebrities, the more people who are in the spotlight began to normalize it. Everyone else will follow suit. Right? Because we would like to follow trends, if you will. I don’t, I’m not saying this is a trend, but it’s when your top celebrities and your top thought leaders are articulating that this is something that needs to be addressed, I think then everybody else in the public eye will look at it and say, wow, like I can relate to that. And I was gonna say, wow, me too. But that, you know, that’s another segment of, you know, things that have a Rose because of a, uh, a top leader articulating what has happened to them. I don’t mean me to in a sense of the sexual assaults or what has happened. I mean me too, as in me too. I can relate. Yes. Yeah. And

well, I hope if anybody out there is listening and has any concerns, thoughts, feels like they’re suffering from PTSD or depression, that they will reach out to someone and get help. Um, if you feel like there’s stigma attached to it, just try to let that go and, and, and go out and get the help you need. You know, you mentioned celebrities and, and they definitely have idealized lives, I think in a lot of our minds. And yet I think back to somebody like Robin Williams and like what just a treasure that guy was as an entertainer. Um, and how much laughter and happiness he brought to people for many, many years and was still struggling with those demons. And, and uh, you know it until you’ve really walked in someone else’s shoes, you never really know what they’re going through. So, right.

It affects us all. And one thing I will say as well, it’s not even just celebrities, it’s them as well. And just top leaders in those in the public eye. But I’m also an adjunct at UTD and one thing that I noticed about my students is that they are the generation that says no more being silent about this. Majority of their parents are against them in the psychology department because their parents say mental health doesn’t, is not an issue. Mental illness does not exist, but they are the students who are going against their parents and saying, no, this is an issue. Anxiety does exist. Depression does exist. Trauma is a reality, and trauma does impact us and I’m not going to consent. Continue to sit here as we have done for generations and say, Oh, I’m fine. Go drink some water. Go lay down, you’ll be fine. And then you sweep it under the rug and you can’t figure out why you have generational curses of the same thing.

Yeah, we definitely see that happen a lot. Yeah. In the hospital I worked at the a, it was a mental health and rehab hospital and I worked on primarily, uh, we had three units, adults, adolescents and children. And I worked mostly on the adolescent unit, a little bit on the children’s unit, but we had, you know, like group and family therapy and I will tell you nine times out of 10, the minute the parents walked through the door for the first time, I met them for the first time, you could see exactly where that kid’s behavior was coming from. I mean, it’s almost just like written all over him. And so we do pass those things along. So I’m glad to hear that the younger generation is, is more willing to just step up and address those things that will, that will make a difference and hopefully start to break some of these things longer term. Yes, I definitely agree. All right, we’re going to shift gears now. Um, TEDx Frisco is coming up in January and you’re the organizer of that. How did you get involved with that and what made you want to organize a TEDx in Frisco?

So I first did my own Ted talk at SMU, so it was TEDx SMU 2018 and it was actually exactly a year ago. Um, I had had always been on my bucket list to do a Ted talk. You know, I’m an aspiring international speaker, which I can kind of say I’ve marked that off now as Ted, even though I, I did my talk here in Texas. It literally has reached all over the world and that’s been a blessing. But it was just one of those things that was on my, my bucket list of I just one day you have to do a Ted talk and then I’ll be a for real professional speaker. And the moment I checked it off my list, I said, well, we can’t stop there. You know, my TEDx experience can’t stop there. Um, I love paying it forward. I love helping other people when, you know, God has blessed me in tremendous ways and I realize the older I get and I’m so young, but the older I get, I realize life is not about myself.

My life is not about me. It’s about the impact that I can make for someone else. So the moment I stepped out that red carpet, I said, Hmm, how can I give somebody else’s experience? And at the time I didn’t know just anybody can apply to be an organizer. I thought it was just like universities or you know, I don’t know who I thought it would be. I just didn’t know that I could apply. And so I just went on ted.com trying to figure out, you know, if I could find answers to Hey, is this something that I can, you know, get involved with an organized and low and behold on their website it says, would you like to organize a Ted X? And I said, um, yes, I would sign me up. And so I just, I applied and is a about two month process and they accepted my application and my application was accepted in June, 2019 so not too long ago.

And the moment they sent me that email, I literally went out and started finding people to be on our team because I knew I couldn’t build this on my own. We are a [inaudible] nonprofit and we’re not just an event, we’re, we’re not just an event. We are an organization yet that cure rates events. But our main focus, yes are the events, but our main focus is bringing the community together to talk about ideas. Of course the model is sharing ideas worth sharing. And the biggest focus is getting people together, giving them a sense of belonging, um, giving them the space to have intellectual conversation, uh, uh, diverse topics and just really giving them the opportunity to also share their voice. And that’s where the whole speakers component comes in, where we go through an application process. We say, Hey, who would like to become a speaker?

Right? There’s so many people who just desire we have for our application process. We literally had people from Hawaii, from India, um, all over the world, of course in Texas, but literally all over the world saying, can I speak at TEDx Frisco? And so that’s just the beauty in the Ted brand is the Ted and Ted X brand is that while we are local, we are global as well because all of our talks are posting on the global TEDx YouTube channel and some of them are posted on ted.com. And of course, there are, um, hundreds of countries that are affiliated with Ted and Ted. TEDx. Yeah. The Ted talks have become a really big deal. Yes. And so many amazing speakers over the years. Can you tell us what the differences between a Ted talk and a Ted X vendor talk? Yes. So a several years, about 30 years ago, um, the founders of Ted, uh, hosted this event and it was focused on technology, entertainment, and design.

That’s what Ted stands for. Yeah. And so it was just their first event was focused on those three components. Of course, now today we cover just about any topic. Uh, but about 30 years ago, they said, Hey, let’s create an event that merges the three topics. The first event, I think was a flop. And then about six years later, they said, okay, let’s, let’s try to do this thing again. And, and six years later it became a success. And that’s when the first few videos received, uh, over a million something views. And so they started to realize, Oh, wow, there’s something to these videos that are now going viral. Um, and in 2009, they said, great, our event Ted is doing very well. Um, but we want to have a local fingerprint. We want to have a local footprint in the community because um, at the time Ted was only invitation based.

So of course it’s very limited to who can come now. It’s open to anyone. You, you have to apply just as we have done with ours, you have to apply, but at least you have a greater chance rather than being invited because they don’t know you. You’re not getting invited. Right. So they have, I’m Ted global, we have Ted activation. There’s, there’s so many different Ted initiatives and one of them is Ted X and that’s where they say, Hey, if you are in a community, you are at a school, um, and you desire to host an event that’s Ted. Like, then we will give you a license. So we are affiliated with Ted, we are independently organized, which means they give us the rules and the regulations and they say, Hey, go be great and host an event in your community. And that’s what they’ve done.

They’ve given us an amazing brand. Um, we literally have, it’s not considered 24 hours, but I would say it’s 24 hour assistance. If you need, you can ask as many questions. There is a TEDx community. We just had, um, the, the large Ted women conference in California and a lot of TEDx hers went out to just learn from other, um, organizers and to learn actually from the Ted staff. The Ted staff was, they’re just teaching us on, on how to build your event, how to connect with companies and individuals in the community. Um, because we can’t do it without partners. That’s, that’s, that is what Ted is all at. TEDx is all about. It’s saying, Hey, we’re going to go out in the community. We’re here to build a community. Um, and we want to not only use our brand to impact the community, but we want to partner with other organizations and companies in the community to say, Hey, let’s, let’s join together and make an impact together.

Awesome. Awesome. So is this something that you foresee doing on an annual basis? Absolutely. Yes. So we have actually, we have our first, so this is so funny how this happened. So we have our first live event, live speakers January. But Ted said, Hey, um, there’s still time if you would like to host a watch party. So although our watch party is December, actually it’s this Friday. Um, it’s this Friday at five 30. It’s a Ted women TEDx. What’s Ted women? 2019. It’s a watch party. That’s our first actual event. Um, but it’s not, we won’t have live speakers for that. We’ll have live speakers in January. Um, and then we plan on adding a youth initiative as well, where we want to have, um, our young people in the community giving them the microphone and say, Hey, this whole event is about you law. Okay. So for the record that, that watch party you’re speaking of is on December 13 December 13th.

That will be, um, that will have already passed by the time people heard this. But it’s, the watch parties is something that people should definitely be on the lookout for in the future. So, so people should look out in the future for TEDx Risko women so that it normally won’t be a watch party. Just for the sake of time. This one was just a watch party, which means we’re going to watch other Ted talk videos. But in 2020 we actually plan on having live speakers. So we’ll have a TEDx for SKO women where we’ll bring all the dynamic brilliant women together and give them the stage. And then we’ll have a TEDx youth at Frisco where we bring all the brilliant young people, high school and under together give them the the event. So throughout the year you will have plenty of opportunities to interact with TEDx Frisco, not just 2020, but 20, 20 and beyond.

We plan on doing this on a consistent basis. Fantastic. So, and there’s so many sharp young people in this community doing really interesting things. And one of our speakers, we, uh, we chose her intentionally because we said, all right, well, TEDx Frisco is normally just going to be adults, but I wanted to kind of give a taste of what our youth event would look like at a smaller scale. And so we do have a young lady who is 17, she’s at one of the first school high schools instead of being a Gosha Gosha what is she, what is she doing? Can you kind of give us a little, so she’s an entrepreneur of her own company and she is going to be speaking about her passion for social enterprise and how she took, um, seeing a problem and then turning it into a business. Okay. Is she the, I’m forgetting the name of the young lady that did this might be her. It might not, but that invented a device for the blind. Yes.

That’s wonderful. I’ve heard her actually speak at a couple of local events. She is brilliant. So impressive. And that’s what we want. We want to say, Hey young people, uh, Gosha who is only 17 and she, I think she started this like three, four years ago. I’m like, I was not thinking about starting a business when I was 12, but I was climbing trees. Okay. So speaking of speakers though, can you give us a rundown of who we’re going to be hearing at the January event? I can’t. Yes. So we actually have 13 speakers and we are only, this is so funny. So we were only going to start with six and then after looking through applications, I said, okay, well let’s go up to 10. And then after really working through it, I said, there’s no way we can do 10. We have to do 13.

And so we have 13 for this year because there were so many great ones. Um, so we have Yakubu ruins. Um, he is from South African. He is going to be speaking about sex trafficking. And I am passionate about all these talks. I’m particularly passionate about this. When I didn’t realize how prevalent sex trafficking was, you know, I thought it was across the globe somewhere. But I’m like, no, it’s here. Right. It is within Texas and within the Dallas city limits. Um, and so he’s going to be speaking about sex trafficking. We have Mr. Talkbox, he is an artist. He is going to be speaking about how he has taken his skills as a musician and self-branded and using use it to truly market himself and literally get himself on one of Bruno Mars, his songs. Wow. So he’s the intro of the 24 karat magic song.

I’m like, you are so awesome. Then we have Asal Azizoddin. Um, she is going to be speaking about gratitude. Um, she is an oncology pharmacist and so, um, I’m not gonna, I’m not gonna ruin hers, her story for you, so I’ll just say that. So you’ll have to, you’ll have to hear the talk. Then we have Maelyn Jarmon. She’s actually a fresco native. She’s um, one of the, um, the voice, the TV show. Um, she was the season of 16, I believe, winter for that. And so she’s going to be speaking about women in the music industry, so that should be awesome. And then she’s going to be singing too. So of course we couldn’t have her come without singing, so we’d have, um, Ryan Calvert. He is an attorney. He’s going to be speaking about domestic violence. Then we have Tomasz Kwiatkowski , he is a former athlete. He is a financial services sales executive.

He, he’s a dynamic networker guru. And so he’s going to be talking about, um, overarching theme. I’m not going to give away his talk either, but it’s um, professional development. And then we have Jessica Vittorio, she is a business attorney and she has done some work at the border and so she’s going to be speaking about, um, just her experience working with, um, immigrants and, and how she is an attorney, has, um, use her skills to help those there. And so she’ll be talking about that experience. It’s very powerful. Um, then we have a performance from Sebastian Mejias and his company, his samurai international martial arts. So they’re going to be giving us an awesome demo of martial arts. So there’ll be some awesome board breaking and all that. Then we have Stephanie Wagoner. She is with the Frisco EDC department and so she’s going to be talking about, um, partnerships, partnerships with the city.

And so she’s what you guys will probably have a lot of people Frisco heavily, a lot of people calling like, Hey, we’re the city of so-and-so. Can you come help us? Her talk is amazing. Then we have candy. She is one of our performers as well. She’s doing spoken word M and O. Her overarching theme is women empowerment. Then as I mentioned, Gouzia Sivarajah um, she is our high school student who we’ll be speaking about as I said, just her passion in social enterprise and how she turned that into a business. Um, then we have David Gaschen and he is, um, known as the Phantom of the opera and Broadway. And so of course he’s thinking as well, wonderful. We had rehearsals last night and he was just mind blowing. His voice is just impeccable. So he’s going to be speaking about, honestly his, his journey of being a musician and how his faith is what has kept him throughout that entire process.

And then we have Danyel Surrency Jones. Yeah. So she’s one of our speakers as well, the founder of power hands and she, it’s funny. So while she, um, she’s a CEO of her, her company that helps athletes and then others just through rehabilitation, um, she’s going to be talking about some topics that are a little bit uncomfortable, um, as it relates to just social issues, race issues. So hers is very powerful. She does, she does tie in, um, the work that she does with athletes. But um, hers is one of those that make you say like, Oh, this is uncomfortable, but this is so great. Let’s talk about that.

Yeah. And it’s so important that we’re willing and able to talk about those things because they’ll never change if we don’t. Right. And you’ve got to bring everybody involved at the table one way or another. And Danielle’s a, an amazing person. I’ve had the chance to meet her a couple of times and love her business, love what she does and she is just a lovely human being. So definitely look forward to all of those talks. You’ve got a really good lineup of speakers there. Yeah. So is this going to be an all day event?

Um, it is from one until 5:00 PM who’s a half day. Wow. And then pack them in there. We’re going to pack them in there. We’re like, and so the Ted style is you, you’re only up there for no more than 18 minutes as the beauty in it, right? There is no keynote there. All speakers are equal. There is not one name above the other one. Um, our speakers specifically have between um, seven to 12 minutes, seven to 15 minutes actually. And so that’s how we can literally fit 13 speakers in four hours. And then we have an after event as well. So again, the community is what’s important and it’s, yes, you heard a great, great conversation, great talks rather, but it’s now what we want the conversation to continue and so it’s going to be an all day thing, but the event particularly is from one until five.

Oh, that is an impressive lineup. And uh, I want to encourage everyone in Frisco and surrounding communities listening to this podcast. Get your tickets, go attend this event. It is going to be time very well spent. For those that are interested in attending, where do they go to get more information? Well, if they want to attend TEDx fresco 2020, we are now sold out. Oh, okay. Yes, we are sold out, but we will be announcing are the next two large events that’ll be Ted, TEDx, Frisco women and TEDx youth at Frisco. We’ll be announcing that very soon and those tickets will become available, um, this year, December, 2019. Okay. So you can’t get, you can’t come to the 2020 event, but there are other opportunities. These are going to be filmed, right. So we will have videos of all of this stuff that will be found to be posted.

So filmed and posted on the TEDx YouTube for free. Okay. Where is the event being held? Um, the black box theater inside of the Frisco does every center. Yes. So it’s a nice, quaint, you know, cutes um, intimate space for our first one and for our following events, we plan on growing much larger. This is our very first one, so we wanted to make sure, um, we did it with excellence and so we didn’t know I would love on. Ultimately my goal is to fill the Ford center and it’s possible literally I just met a young lady, um, at California at the Ted conference and they do 10,000 every year. Wow. Sounds like it’s possible. We just want to make sure as we grow, we still maintain the sense of community, keep that quality of the speakers coming and you will definitely grow year after year.

Thank you so much. We’re excited about it. So are we, we’re looking forward to it. The date is January the 11th, 2020 January 11th. So that’s coming up. Sorry guys. It is sold out. However, uh, there are some other events coming up. This is all going to be on video and for all the information on this, everything you want to know, we’ll be sure to link it up in the show notes for this episode. Dr. Small, thank you so much for coming on today. Thank you. So very nice to meet you. And we’re looking forward to TEDx. Briscoe. Thanks for bringing that event to uh, to Frisco, Texas. You are so welcome. It’s a pleasure to be here and for all of you listening, thank you so much for tuning into the Frisco podcast. As always, please go out and subscribe to the podcast we are on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google play, any place you want to find us where they are. Go ahead and subscribe and if you’re so inclined, we’d love to have you leave a rating and a comment as well. Thank you again for tuning in and we’ll talk to you next time.

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