TEDxFultonStreet – Aaron Sylvan

In Organizing by Mark Sylvester


The Hack: Partner with a school

Aaron Sylvan, the Organizer of TEDxFultonStreetHe’s been in the startup world for most of his career and loves hanging out with people who build things, like companies and ideas. He extends his interpretation of TEDx slogan from “Ideas worth spreading” to include “From People Worth Knowing”. His focus is as much on the audience/speaker interaction as it is the stage.

His event is located in the Financial District of New York City which has a growing community of entrepreneurs. His philosophy about who gets on the stage is that the audience is local, but the speakers can come from anywhere — as long as they have made something that’s both interesting and successful.

A 360 video of their 2106 Salon is cool to watch.

The Lightning Round

  • Tell us a bit about your background and your TEDx origin story.

    He started going to TED in 1997 in Monterey and created his first TEDx event in 2014

  • How many TEDx events have you worked with or produced?

    2014, 2015, and in 2016 they did a Salon

  • What makes your TEDx unique?

    He sees their event as an idea-sharing forum for the local Community in the Financial District.

  • What’s your Superpower?

    Organizing and Collaborating

  • What was the biggest surprise while working on your event?

    How bad some presentations can be, no matter how experienced or proficient the speaker appears on the surface.

  • Every event has its challenges, what was the biggest dragon you had to overcome?

    How to most effectively ration limited time.

  • What advice do you have for veteran organizers? For first-timers?

    Fire yourself. Get your speakers on Skype for at least 15 minutes.

  • Looking forward to your next event, what excites you the most?

    Continue to experiment with new media, such as 360 video and VR.

  • What’s a TEDx event that you’d like to attend?


  • The show is called Hacking the Red Circle, so what's your best hack?

    Partner with a school. You can find so many people who could use the practical experience of working on your event. Photography classes, Video production classes, Music, Theater, the list goes on.