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TED Talk: Ask Why For A Change

Monday, February 13th, 2012

Late last year I was asked to travel to Phoenix to speak at the TEDxPhoenix conference at the Mesa Arts Center, the site of the next debate between the GOP presidential candidates.

The topic of the day’s speeches was “Ask _____ For A Change,” and of couse I filled in the blank with the word “Why” as a starting point to discuss the work we have done here since 2005 to increase America’s terrible voter participation. Here’s how the organizers described it:

In his TEDxPhoenix 11.11.11 TEDxTalk, Jacob takes us through his extraordinary journey with the question “Why?”, and more specifically, the question “Why do we vote on Tuesday?”

The video of my talk was just posted, and in it I detail the six year history of our organization — and how powerful our simple question truly is — in nine minutes with video, slides, and some laughs.

I will be giving a follow-up talk at TEDActive at the end of this month in Palm Springs, because as you’ll see I promised in the video, I teamed up with Participant Media’s TakePart.com to go on the road with a video camera to talk with 2012 GOP presidential candidates Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum about what they’d do to increase voter turnout.

One Response to “TED Talk: Ask Why For A Change”

  1. some troublemaking concepts, TED-style | (Making / Being in / Staying in) TROUBLE Says:

    […] other TED talk that I want to mention is Jacob Soboroff’s “Why for a Change“: In this talk, Soboroff discusses the importance of asking why, in general and with one […]

About Us

Why Tuesday? is a non-partisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 2005 to find solutions to increase voter turnout and participation in elections... More

The Answer

In 1845, before Florida, California, and Texas were states or slavery had been abolished, Congress needed to pick a time for Americans to vote... More

Recent Comments

Patrick, France is a post-Christian secular country. Relatively few of them attend church, and voting on Sunday does not interfere with their religious practices, because most of the population is not religious...

Posted by John on blog post Why Do We Vote On Tuesday?

In France they last voted on a Sunday. France is despite the Bourbon legacy a largely Catholic country, yet they vote on Sunday...

Posted by Patrick on blog post Why Do We Vote On Tuesday?

I think weekend voting would make the most sense, as people wouldn't have tu run home after work or wake up early to hit the polling stations beforehand.

Posted by Zander on blog post Why Do We Vote On Tuesday?