October, 2020 - SHOW UPDATE: We have been on hiatus since the end of 2019. Now, with Organizers scrambling to find new ways to stay connected to their communities with the constraints of COVID, we have had to become even more creative and resourceful. We're picking the show up again and talking with Organizers who've found how to produce Events, virtually, and in live venues (where possible) so we can learn from one another. Sign up for the newsletter to be notified about new shows. If you have someone to suggest for the show, let us know.

The HACKING THE RED CIRCLE Podcast is designed to illustrate what it takes to organize, produce, promote and create a world-class event.

TEDx Organizers from around the globe share their stories and expertise around the creation of their events. Veterans and first-timers alike will benefit from expert accounts, advice, and inspirations.

The show explores the many surprises, challenges and hidden gems we discover as we help our speakers launch their ideas worth spreading. Not an organizer (yet)? We hope to inspire you to get involved in a local TEDx event in your community.

Enjoy the show.

Recent Episodes

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TEDx Organizers have superpowers they leverage to make their event unique. By working with a team of dedicated volunteers, they accomplish amazing things. Most Organizers have had plenty of challenges and surprises. We talk about lessons they've learned, the advice they'd give and how they hacked the red circle to make their event look like a million dollars while staying on a modest budget.


There are hundreds of things to keep track of at a TEDx. Organizers share their unique strengths and challenges. Listen.


Nothing gets done without first building an amazing team. Some Organizers say that this is the most important part of the job. Listen.


Design and communications bring an event’s theme to life. Visually compelling events create lifelong memories. Listen.


A powerful theme, compelling speakers and an engaged audience combine to make a successful event. Listen.


A TEDx event is like a television production with a live audience. From the Green Room to the Lobby, nothing is left to chance. Listen.


Events are based on strategic partnerships with the Community. Long lasting relationships are keys to success. Listen.



You can find us in any Podcast Application by using the Search feature and look for Hacking The Red Circle. Or click one of the icons below.

  • Curating a TEDx event in your community can be a very lonely job. After all, unless you live in a very large metropolitan area, there's no one else around who's doing the same thing. I've found that connecting with TEDx folks around the world gives me ideas, gives me purpose, gives me encouragement. Hacking the Red Circle is a great way to learn from others, to make your event valuable to your audience and to keep you going on days when the task seems overwhelming.
    Dr. Randy Bretz
  • People are surprised when I tell them it takes a year to produce a TEDx event, as the planning process for next year begins the day after our event concludes. From creating the theme, to crafting the program, forging partnerships and securing a venue, our team never stops working. Hacking the Red Circle goes inside some of the best TEDx organizations to show how their processes work, and to reveal the complex ins-and-outs of producing a memorable event.
    Mark Lovett
  • Organizing a TEDx comes with unique challenges. Many things are different from other events. The culture, the partnership, the curation, etc. What’s the best way to deal with those challenges? Hacking the Red Circle gives us privileged access into the brain of TEDx organizers. How they built the success of their TEDx, how they face difficulty and what are their best tips. It’s a concentrated shot of inspiration. Thanks, Mark and all the HTRC team for creating this podcast.
    Denis François Gravel
  • When I created my first TEDx, I kept wondering how other people faced the same challenges that confronted me… If only I had a resource like “Hacking the Red Circle,” it would have been so much easier! This awesome podcast is like a cheat-sheet, a behind-the-scenes opportunity to learn from people who have already done great things. Follow the interviews, learn from our mistakes, and find your own voice while bringing your own event series to the next level.
    Aaron Sylvan

About the Show

Hacking the Red Circle is a podcast created for and about TEDx Organizers and the TEDx Universe. It showcases the many talents required to produce a world-class event worthy of the TEDx brand. If you're thinking of producing a TEDx or have been involved with one and want to learn more, this is the show for you. If you've been involved with a TEDx event and are now stepping into a leadership role, you'll enjoy our guest's unique perspective of what it takes to be successful.

We interview organizers before and after their events, talk to them about what makes the event specific to their locale as well as what particular talents they bring to the organization. Some are great at managing, curating, building partnerships, rallying the volunteers and creating compelling user experiences. We bring it all to you, in their voice.

We interview TEDx Speakers and those who provide services to the TEDx ecosystem, to talk about their experience with TEDx. Seeing the event from their point of view is often illuminating. Seeing TEDx from the outside in provides a unique perspective not usually heard.

If you are an organizer you know would like to be on the podcast, take a look at our Show Information page first. Then contact us using the form to the left.

Mark Sylvester is the Executive Producer of TEDxSantaBarbara. He has been attending TED for over 20 years and started producing his own TEDx in 2010, originally called TEDxAmericanRiviera. He's worked with many Organizers, helping them navigate through the hundreds of decisions necessary to create a world-class event.

If you are an Organizer you know would like to be a guest on the show, great! Take a look at this Show Information page which gives you more information into our format. Fill out the form on the left to actually make contact with us.

Mark loves talking to and working with TEDx Organizers. Contact Mark if you'd like to learn what it's like to work with him. Just fill out the form on the left.

You can learn more about Mark and how he took his See What You Think philosophy and embedded it in a talk for TEDxFargo at his own site, MarkSylvester.com.

Hacking the Red Circle is an independent production and is not affiliated with the TED organization.

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We're excited that you're enjoying the podcast. If you'd like to learn more about upcoming shows, read insights that Mark gleans from the interviews and have a voice in how the show grows, then please sign up. He saves the really good stuff for these blasts.



We're all in this together.

Episodes Feature Organizers From Around the World