2e’s POV: TEDxGatewayArch Unites Changemakers in Health Care

Three iconic, bolded letters in red: TED, a prolific brand symbolizing the forward-thinking and innovative ideas of today.

As part of a global community that connects thought leaders and changemakers, TED brings independent chapters of the larger initiative together in a localized environment through TEDx experiences. The St. Louis chapter, TEDxGatewayArch (TEDxGWA), did just that on April 12 at Sheldon Concert Hall.

TEDxGatewayArch at Sheldon Concert Hall

With a focus on changemakers in health care at this year’s event, TEDxGWA approached the back-to-back-to-back … to-back Healthcare Agency of the Year, St. Louis’s very own 2e Creative, with a challenge: Create a brand identity for the event that would be memorable and unique to St. Louis while still supporting the larger brand’s global presence. With the challenge accepted, we created the 2e TEDx Team and quickly got to work.  A few short weeks later, we brought the event to life with a fun, thought-provoking and dynamic personality for TEDxGWA.

2e TEDx Team at "Think Well"

On the day of the big event, we sent our 2e TEDx Team to rub elbows with some of the industry’s leading minds. Topics ranged from healthcare UX to food injustice to mindfulness, all coming from the voices of local and transplanted St. Louisans.

ICYMI, here are the freshest meditations; the most delicious quotes; and the juiciest, most undeniably essential stories from “Think Well: Healthcare Out Loud.”

Sheldon Concert Hall Stage

What idea blew your mind?

Doug Lindsay’s “Operation: Adrenal Gland.” The sheer fact that he was bedridden for 11 years and sick for 14 with a so-called ‘incurable,’ unknown illness, and in that time ended up creating his own operation to cure himself …

Blows. My. Mind.

Emily Kressaty, Art Director

When people think of health care, they tend to think only of human health. I’ve always firmly believed that we need to change that mindset and respect the health of all species because we are all interdependent.

Sharon Deem, wildlife veterinarian and epidemiologist, is bringing this issue to the forefront — that all life is connected by one health and action must be taken.

Oh, and Jo Pang’s talk on mindfulness: “Mindfulness and meditation bring us home to who we are before we were ever told who to be.”

Corrie Griesedieck, Associate Account Executive

Susan Pickers’s study on how a thriving social life can be key to living a longer life was intriguing. Her talk was very thought provoking and led me to evaluate the types of friendships and familial relationships I have and gave me insight on how to grow and strengthen them!

Elle Gall, Account Coordinator

The one that I found myself revisiting was from Philippe Mercier.

In his speech, Mercier discussed the technology he uses to create what he calls, “the epitome of individualized medicine,” through his work as a pediatric neurosurgeon. Through the span of his talk, he took us from the start of the patient’s story through the time her brain tumor was diagnosed and the steps taken to develop a treatment plan.

Especially fascinating was the use of augmented reality (AR) and 3-D printing in this space. With AR, Mercier was able to align his CTs and MRIs to determine where sections of the patient’s brain were before any incisions were made.

By wearing special glasses and pointing a handheld scanner at the patient’s skull, he was able to further develop a map of the brain tissue before any work was done. This information was then transformed into a 3-D printed brain which included that patient’s tumor placement.

By printing with a pliable material, Mercier was able to practice removing the tumor and finding the least invasive pathways before the patient ever entered the surgical suite.

Try to convince me that technology is not incredible after that.

Kim Doman, Associate Account Executive

Hot takes on the most resonant storyteller?

Doug Lindsay’s presentation about researching and designing a surgery to (for lack of a better term) cure his rare disease was excellent. I’m a firm believer in being an active participant in your medical treatment planning, especially when faced with a debilitating or life-threatening disease, so it was incredible to hear a success story like his.


Yeah, it was definitely Doug Lindsay’s ‘Operation: Adrenal Gland.’ His story was proof that if you have the motivation and will, nothing is impossible.

– Simon Lam, Art Director

Any cool ideas starting here in St. Louis?

Definitely. While Jeremy Goss was living in St. Louis, he realized that we were home to an inexcusable amount of food deserts. So he took action. And the city of St. Louis fully supported him in his pursuit by supplying a bus that allowed him to bring fresh produce directly to the areas in need.

His advisor put it best, “You don’t need to go to South America to help — make a difference here in St. Louis.”

– Corrie

Philippe Mercier’s talk about neurosurgery was fascinating. As a pediatric neurosurgeon at St. Louis University School of Medicine, Mercier has had a hand in some of the most important advancements and breakthroughs in surgery, including 3-D printing and augmented reality.

I felt inspired by his level of commitment and passion for saving lives and proud to know that St. Louis is a hub of these technological advancements in health.

– Eleni Hampton, Digital Marketing Coordinator

The future is bright for…

Those who bother to look and dare to do.

Allison Koehler, Senior Writer and Strategist

Individuals who recognize that they hold immense power within themselves to provide solutions to the problems they see in the world. And who know they can make an even greater impact by encouraging others to become changemakers with them.

– Eleni

It’s time to rethink…


– Laura Obermeyer, Account Executive

Electro dream pop. Thank you, special musical guest CaveofswordS.

– Allison

Quote of the day?

Doug Lindsay: “Both optimism and pessimism are a trap. Both of them encourage an emotional investment in an outcome before you try.”

To me this was an absolutely fascinating realization of something that I think we all choose to overlook. We are told to lean towards optimism as a solution and to view pessimism a negative personality trait.

The hidden reality is that when in challenging situations, both outlooks could lead to devastation without first placing significant effort behind trying, failing, learning and moving forward. Makes you think.

– Kim

Dave Minifie: “If you can sell something that people literally flush down the toilet, you can sell anything.” [on taking a job at Proctor & Gamble for Charmin]

– Emily

Hmmm… most tweetable moment?

Yeah, the Dave Minifie TP line.

– Elle

“I have my pants on, I’m fine.” [Doug Lindsay’s response to facing everyone’s nightmare of standing in front of a crowd of people and facing technical difficulties, i.e., clicker problems.]

– Laura

“No bats. No agave. No tequila.” [a startling realization for the crowd during Sharon Deem’s “The Ties That Bind: One Health”]

– Eleni

What was it like working with TEDxGatewayArch?

The people we had the opportunity to connect with for TEDxGatewayArch were a pleasure to work with and hopefully our paths will cross again in the future.

– Kim

It reminded me that it does take a village. But I believe the 2e “village” brought the excitement and momentum TEDxGatewayArch was hoping for.

– Emily

Within the scope of a single event, we worked with TEDxGatewayArch to differentiate, hone and activate their own identity within the larger TED brand. While introducing their inaugural health care salon. While creating a system of core campaign elements to support a diverse slew of 2018 events (stay tuned!).

None of this is conceptually foreign to 2e, but I’d call “Think Well” a beautifully notable example of what can happen when you allow yourselves to be guided by the power of ideas. TEDx is an innately inspiring brand, and the TEDxGatewayArch team carries that same spirit in spades.

– Allison

Final thoughts?

Overall, it was a great day and it’s always good to see the community come together to create positive changes.

– Simon

This was a really great assembly of forward-thinking, solution-oriented people. It was fantastic to join a conversation about how to preserve our greatest wealth — our personal health, the health of our community, and the health of our planet. Macro-change begins at a micro-level, and there are steps we can all take individually to make a difference.

– Laura

Support your local TEDx community and invest time into the events available in your community. You never know where the next revolutionary idea will come from.


What were your thoughts during and after the TEDxGatewayArch “Think Well: Healthcare Out Loud” event? Let us know on social media, and let’s keep the conversation going!

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