Roger Anderson at TEDxNaperville 2020

Hello TEDxNaperville!

First of all, I hope you enjoy the game I created for this year’s intermission called “Person to Person Trivia”. The game is designed to connect people briefly – I hope it worked for you.

For those of you who do not know me, I’m a humble telephone engineer. You know that person at work who makes sure your telephones work? That’s me. Often my work is invisible – like the plumber. If all goes well, you never notice me. That’s why 2016 was such a shock for me. All of a sudden, there were news articles written about me. I was asked to do newspaper, radio, and TV interviews! It was crazy. I was invited to speak at TEDxNaperville 2016. The theme was “Exposure”, which was definitely what I was feeling. I was a humble telephone engineer.¬†Exposed to publicity, scrutiny, judgement, and trolls. It has been terrible and wonderful journey. And I wouldn’t trade a moment.

I love telephones. I think it’s the “anyone to anyone” connectivity that appeals to me. I grew up in a family that didn’t talk much. Alas, we still don’t. So I think I was drawn to telecommunications because I liked the idea of helping others connect. So when I spoke at TEDxNaperville, I made a game to connect the audience. In 2016, we were all packed into one place. I called the game “Marco Polo Trivia” because the goal was to find each other at the event. Of course, now in 2020, we must all attend these events remotely. So I modified the game to be played entirely over the phone and call this game “Person-to-Person Trivia” to honor the old “operator assisted” telephone network of the last century.

I hope you found the game interesting, exciting, interactive, social, and new. And it is all played on a 144-year-old network. I think this game would work well for many different types of events. And in situations where the players are stuck inside. Isolated and remote. Like we all are right now. You can host your own game simply by texting “host game” to the same number you used for this TEDx event. Answer a couple questions to set it up and your friends can all play together.

If you poke around this web site for a minute or two, you’ll find that I love telephones and hate unsolicited telemarketing. Do you hate telemarketing? If so, I can turn it around so you will WANT telemarketing calls. Jolly Roger makes them entertaining. As Kevin O’Leary told us on Shark Tank, this is the only business he knew that monetized revenge in such a socially acceptable way.

So thank you for participating in TEDxNaperville this year! And thank you for reading this far. Please contact me at if you would like to connect and talk about Person-to-Person Trivia or anything else related to this event or game.

Thank you!