Frankie Bonilla
“From Consumer to Creator: Turning Digital Dementia into Creative Brilliance” – Watch HERE.
3rd Annual TEDxWilmingtonWomen: Showing Up // 30 November 2018

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Meet the Speakers: Frankie Bonilla for TEDxWilmingtonWomen

For many years I have been praised for my creativity and my ability to spontaneously react in an innovative manner. Often I believed that I did “have the juice” as many have called it and that I possessed an innate special ability that allowed me to think out of the box. Today I know better, CREATIVITY is not a magic potion, it is a learned skill that we can all harness and develop. Today’s ever evolving world economy has become one of specialized knowledge.

As our commerce has transitioned from hand to hand services to an online presence, the need for technological literacy is at an all time high. The following five step approach was developed as a multisensory experience to promote a creative mindset regardless of prior experiences, training or atmosphere. In addition it is intended as a vehicle to aid the transitory necessities required to go from consumer to creator.

Mindfulness, Movement, Play, Creativity and Reflection are tools in simplifying the approach for us to viably reach a mental state in which we are not scripted thinkers but innovators within our fields and careers. Technology is not our enemy, it is a tool that will level the playing fields between the disenfranchised and the affluent. It is a vehicle for progression and innovation. The aforementioned five steps were put together as minimalist and low risk habits, that if taken serious and practiced with consistency can lead to drastic changes in our neurological connections.

Receiving an invitation to speak at the next TEDxWilmington event has served as not only validation for my hard work as an urban educator but also as a thought leader within the field of creativity. I am uber excited at the opportunity to share creativity as specialized knowledge with the world.

As I prepare for TEDxWilmington, I am inspired by the enthusiasm from thought leaders and coaches. I’m receiving incredible offers of support for everything from content to images to students willing to provide feedback on my talk.

I’m so thankful for the opportunity to give this TEDx talk—and feel excited to engage a wonderful audience.


the TEDx process: Frankie Bonilla for TEDxWilmingtonWomen

As an educator and former preacher I am accustomed to the planning of 45 minutes to an hour of content delivering. I have always been a fan of great orators and captivated by their communicative styles. The passion, rhythm and impartation by which a message is rendered is beguiling to me. Needless to say, condensing my passionate thoughts and ideas to 10 minutes or less, has been a challenge. This is in no form a complaint. The opposite is true, this has been an extremely fun and engaging puzzle to solve. My mother is one of 15 siblings. I have well over 60 first cousins. In my younger years we would all get together at family events and it would be quite the fiasco. I learned to be loud, focused and not afraid of the crowd. If I wanted to be heard, I had to speak up. But for the first time I have to be conscious of the volume of information that I have to transmit. The time is of the essence. Every word has to count. My annunciation, fluidity and clarity have to be at peak levels. In order to best memorize my talk I have recorded myself reading the written talk on the Voice Memos app on my iPhone. I have been playing it back to myself during morning and evening commutes to and from work. I also find myself sharing parts of my talk with people at social gatherings often. Despite not being planned, they are starting to feel more and more natural and less rehearsed. Most recently I’ve been waking up in the wee hours of the morning to my own internal mental voice performing my talk. It’s very humbling and encouraging. I can’t wait until it’s my turn to grace that magnificent red stage.


TEDxWilmington Frankie Bonilla, Photo by Alessandra NicoleReflecting: Frankie Bonilla for TEDxWilmingtonWomen

Well, it’s a few days after the 3rd Annual TEDxWilimngtonWomen.  A time to reflect on the journey.   A year ago last December, my son challenged me to give a TEDx talk.  I was clueless about the entire process.  However, I quickly put it on my intentions list.  Guess what?  In April, I was nominated by  TEDx speaker alum Theresa Bodnar.  It was the spring board to my uncomfortable zone.  We all need these zones in life, to grow and reach.  To become a greater self.  My brain was building and strengthening neural connections.  Talk about firing and wiring those neurons.  They were on fire.   My Talk was on the lies that our brains tell us, and mine was relentless.   My brain attempted to reward me with self-doubt and overthinking.  Instead, my best advice is stay positive and enjoy the process.  You will meet the most incredible people, who are in the same space.  There is so much diversity and opportunity in that room.  Kindness, love and most of all, people who want you to succeed.   Remember, your intent!  I was practicing in Starbucks.  Afterward a young man approached me and thanked me for my message.  Isn’t that why we are doing this event in the first place!  It fired me up!

I would also highly recommend using a TEDx speaker coach.  I have to thank Jill Wesley for her TEDx advice and Ben Patwa TEDx coach and angel.  Ben you showed me the power within.

TEDxWilmington is a gift of pure love, to empower people.  The team is dedicated and beyond talented.  They are passionate and share the intent of making this planet a better place.  So many of the staff volunteer their time, like  the amazing Executive Producer Ajit Mathew George. His staff is brilliant, Assistant Producer Elissa Ben-Eli and speaker curator Jake Voorhees. They will be there to support you during the entire process.

Last but not least, thank you friends, family and love ones.  It’s a labor of love for all of you as well.

Watch Frankie Bonilla’s TEDx talk HERE.

TEDxWilmingtonWomen 2018, Photograph by Alessandra Nicole

Frankie Bonilla is the current Assistant Principal at El Centro de Estudiantes Big Picture Philadelphia. El Centro is a Philadelphia alternative Project Based Learning school which practices the Big Picture Learning model. Most recently he was a founding teacher/advisor at the Workshop School. While at the Workshop School he was under the mentorship of Simon Hauger. During his tenure at the Workshop School, Frankie honed in his creative approach to academics by transitioning from a Hip Hop curriculum based approach to a wider creativity based model.  Mr. Bonilla began his teaching career in the Philadelphia Public School system after graduating with a B.A. in Elementary & Early Childhood Ed from Temple University in 2002. READ MORE

3rd Annual TEDxWilmingtonWomen: Showing Up // 30 November 2018
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