TEDxJNJ – Penelope Misquitta – Organizer

In Collaborating by Mark Sylvester

The Hack: The power of X is the people behind it.


For the last 18 months, Penelope Misquitta has been the Organizer and Curator of the internal TEDx events at Johnson & Johnson. TEDxJNJ is a part of the Ambassador Leadership program inside HR in the company. This program was originally started by Steve Garguilo, who has been on this podcast.

Penelope is the epitome of a TEDx organizer. She’s passionate about ideas, has an endless source of energy and is ever-present on the TEDx Organizers Facebook group, encouraging and offering help.

She started working at J&J in the Singapore office and enjoyed her first TEDx on 12/12/12 at the company. She heard about the event from a candy bar a colleague gave her with a link to the internal TEDx platform.

Internal TEDx events are a way for companies to inspire their employees and a voice to ideas within the enterprize. J&J was one of the first corporations to host an internal TEDx. There is an event most weeks on the many J&J campuses around the world.

I don’t have time to not be authentic.”Penelope Misquitta, Curator, TEDxJNJ

The Lightning Round

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

    On 12-12-12 she enjoyed her first TEDx event inside the Company because a colleague gave her a promotional candy bar with an invitation printed on it.

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

    The TEDx platform inside J&J is managed by the department of Creative Engagement. They create main events on various campuses as well as Salons all over the world. She works with the different teams to help them produce the local events.

  • What makes your TEDx unique?

    TEDxJNJ is much like any other TEDx. Entirely volunteer run, and financed by internal sponsors. The purpose of TEDxJNJ is to empower leaders throughout the company. They promote themselves as ‘silo free’ and see TEDx as a way to bring everyone together to solve complex challenges and experience leadership journeys.

  • What’s your Superpower?

    She says she’s the ‘human amplifier’ and loves collaborating

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

    The geographical reach of J&J is vast. Penelope is learning about cities she never knew existed. TEDx has spread throughout the organization.

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

    Succession planning. Working to keep leadership fresh and engaged at the regional level.

  • What’s one piece of advice you have for veteran organizers? For first-timers?

    Be creative. Create a community you want to be a part of.

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

    Completion of the globalization of TEDxJNJ. She’s looking forward to helping South Korea, India and Poland launch their events

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

    A TEDx underwater. (Us too.)

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

    Never underestimate the power of X. Remember what just one person can do.

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