Q&A with EPIC Impact Society

TEDxLogan Circle is a truly community-driven initiative made possible by the generosity of local partners who share our passion for ideas and innovation. Their sponsorship and in-kind donations are essential to bringing this event to life, and we’re thrilled to showcase their journey and commitment to making a difference.

Don't miss out on the inspiring talks and ideas at TEDxLogan Circle 2024 – secure your tickets today!

Note: All TEDx participants receive an exclusive discount for THE 2024 EPIC INTERNATIONAL SUMMIT!

Dr. Steve Ralph, Founder, EPIC Impact Society

What does the Washington D.C. community mean to you?

The Washington D.C. community consists of some of the brightest and innovative thinkers in America. EPIC believes in championing the innovative spirit and encouraging creative-thinking within such an important region of the country, like D.C. We fully support the work that TEDx Logan Circle is doing to bring together such talented speakers to inspire further innovation in the region.

What fun facts may your fans and customers be surprised to learn about?

When we launched the first Summit, we asked a question on the registration form about whether the attendees would be willing to take the “disconnect pledge,” meaning unplugging and no device usage during the Summit. Initially, I thought that maybe 50 percent would be interested. However, it turned out that most attendees wanted to unplug during the conference. That has kicked off the “disconnect” from devices theme woven into each Summit since. We could see that people were craving to step away from the information overload they experience daily and the opportunity to unplug for a short period of time and focus on human connection and distraction-free creative experiences.

Why do you think highlighting community innovators is important?

Highlighting community innovators is extremely important to EPIC. This is core to what we do with our projects. From the annual EPIC International Summit to our EPIC Innovation Awards, we strongly believe that providing space to recognize the work that innovators do, not only encourages the innovator, but also those who have a chance to learn about their work. This creates a ripple effect and provides an opportunity to inspire others to take a step out and move forward on ideas that could solve complex challenges desperately needing innovative breakthroughs.

Why was your company created? What is “your why”?

The EPIC International Summit was created to give professionals across industries a retreat-like conference experience where they could disconnect from their devices, learn disruptive and innovative tools and methods to apply to their careers, and discover how to sharpen their creative leadership abilities. This and the added element of fostering an environment where there is a cross-pollination of international thought leaders, educators, executives, artists, and entrepreneurs gathered together to encourage creative thinking makes EPIC the experience it is. During lunch at the inaugural Summit, I witnessed a university dean eating in the same space as a NASA/JPL engineer and an actor. This cross-pollination of industries is truly a unique environment and fosters an opportunity to learn from others that you normally wouldn’t in a typical conference experience. It is at the intersection of diverse perspectives where new creative insights can emerge.

What drives you to do what you do?

This world is changing so fast, and professionals need to be equipped to navigate the uncertainty. Our organizations and institutions need leaders who will approach these complex challenges with a new mindset and innovative tools. What we have done in the past won't always help solve the new challenges we will face. The EPIC International Summit provides a chance to learn new innovative tools, methods, and strategies to help leaders expand their ways of approaching challenges requiring new solutions.

What do you hope more people will understand about innovation?

I hope more people understand that you cannot innovate without creativity. Creativity is something new or novel that has some use or value. Innovation is the process of putting this (creativity) into practice. We need to honor and provide space to be creative before we expect innovation. Second, I hope more people discover that innovation does not have to be the next disruptive product or service. Unfortunately, I often see this belief deter some people from learning more about innovation. They might believe they are not creative or innovative based on certain myths they might believe, or they may compare themselves to high-profile innovators in the media. Innovation can be incremental, and understanding this can be extremely impactful in making various positive changes to products, services, or processes. When someone can see that there are various tools and methods they can apply to their personal and professional life to make some changes, it helps build creative confidence. This is what the EPIC International Summit hopes to provide with the various program elements during the three-day conference.

What are the key trends shaping the future of your industry? What are you excited about, and what are you worried about?

While there is a lot of excitement with all the wonderful advancements in technology, I am concerned that the investment in experiences to foster human connection may not take priority. There is no doubt that there are amazing benefits to the emerging technological advancements. However, we need to be sure this doesn’t overshadow the importance of human connection. Unplugging from devices and stepping away from a high tech-saturated world is very important for creative-thinking and human to human interaction. Creativity is like a muscle. We need to exercise it and the more we do, the stronger and sharper we get. We need to be aware that while the new advances in technology are helpful and can improve areas in our lives, we should also keep exercising our creative-thinking at the same time.
Picture of EPIC Impact Society

EPIC Impact Society

The EPIC Impact Society is a community of international professionals from a cross-pollination of industries who endeavor to serve the EPIC mission of empowering creative leadership through education, arts, and community engagement. With the vision to be a creative force for positive change in the world, the Society produces the EPIC International Summit. Recognized as one of the Top 15 Most Innovative Meetings in North America (Bizbash), this three-day conference includes experiential workshops covering creativity and innovation topics related to business, education, and personal growth, themed panels, interviews, and the EPIC Innovation Awards night.

Don't miss out on the inspiring talks and ideas at TEDxLogan Circle 2024 – secure your tickets today!