Season 2 Episode #1: David Rae – Curator TEDxPortland and President & Co-Founder of 503 Creative

David Rae

TEDx’s mission is founded on the concept of “ideas worth spreading” and TEDxPortland curator and leader David Rae has taken that to heart. He developed TEDxPortland into one of the largest and most successful TEDx events globally by continually challenging the status quo and striving to get better. To help open the event to more great ideas, they created the “Ideas Booth,” a replica of a British telephone booth that allows anyone to share any idea in 90 seconds, in the hopes of becoming a speaker at their event.

It hasn’t always been smooth sailing. 2020 would have been their tenth anniversary, celebrated by hosting the largest (indoor) TEDx event ever held. But COVID-19 forced Rae to adapt once again to face the reality of life in a pandemic.

In this episode, we discuss how TEDxPortland has learned to thrive in the pandemic, and David shares the story behind TEDxPortland, what he’s learned along the way and a whole lot more.


Episode Notes

1:00 – Rae’s definition of leadership 

5:00 –”Collecting memories, not things.”

8:00 – What makes Portland so special

11:30 – Feedback is a drug

12:30 – The creation of the “Ideas Booth”

17:00 – Rae’s list of quintessential TED talks

18:30 – How to polish an unpolished speaker

21:30 – “Work ethic is not a talent. It’s a choice.”

24:00 – Helping TEDx adapt to COVID

28:30 – “How far out are you looking?”

32:00 – Being ok with letting go

34:00 – Advice for aspiring leaders impacted by COVID



David Rae on LinkedIn

Support TEDxPortland

Learn more about 503 Creative



Produced by Kai Hellberg

Music by Isaac Chambers – ‘Change’