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Program Speaker Bios A-Z

A
American Ballet Theatre American Ballet Theatre
Dance company

The legendary American Ballet Theatre has been presenting dance and movement since 1939 -- honoring ballet's tradition and ever looking forward to new forms.

In 2006, by an act of Congress, American Ballet Theatre was named America’s National Ballet Company. Since its founding in 1939, ABT has developed a repertoire of traditional ballets and encouraged the creation of bold new work. The classic repertoire includes all of the great full-length ballets of the 19th century, such as Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty and Giselle: the finest works from the early part of this century, such as Apollo, Les Sylphides, Jardin aux Lilas and Rodeo, and acclaimed contemporary masterpieces such as Airs, Push Comes to Shove and Duets. ABT has commissioned works by the great choreographic geniuses of the 20th century: George Balanchine, Antony Tudor, Jerome Robbins, Agnes de Mille and Twyla Tharp, among others.

Session 9: The Design Studio
Thurs Mar 1, 2012
2:15 – 4:00
Chris Anderson Chris Anderson
TED Curator

After a long career in journalism and publishing, Chris Anderson became the curator of the TED Conference in 2002 and has developed it as a platform for identifying and disseminating ideas worth spreading.

TED's Chris Anderson was born in a remote village in Pakistan, and spent his early years in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan, where his father worked as a missionary eye surgeon. He graduated from Oxford University with a degree in philosophy, and then trained as a journalist. After several years at newspapers and radio stations, he got hooked on the strange new "home computers" which had just started appearing. He became an editor at one of the UK's early computer magazines, and a year later, in 1985, formed a tiny start-up to launch his own magazine. Its unlikely success led to more launches, and his company Future Publishing grew rapidly under the moniker "media with passion."

Anderson expanded to the United States in 1994, where he built Imagine Media, publisher of Business 2.0 magazine, and creator of the popular games website IGN. The combined companies eventually spawned more than 100 monthly magazines, employing 2,000 people. And they allowed Anderson to create a private nonprofit foundation, the Sapling Foundation, which hoped to find new ways of tackling tough global issues by leveraging media, technology, entrepreneurship, and most of all, ideas. Sapling acquired the TED Conference in 2001, and Anderson then left his businesses to focus on growing TED. (He is not to be confused with his super-smart friend, the Chris Anderson who edits WIRED magazine and wrote The Long Tail.)

Session 11: The Classroom
Fri Mar 2, 2012
8:30 – 10:15
B
Karen Bass Karen Bass
Natural history filmmaker

Karen Bass has traveled the world to explore and capture footage from every environment across the Earth.

Karen Bass is a director and producer with a passion for travel and natural history. In 20 years at the BBC’s Natural History Unit, Bass made wildlife films in almost every environment across the Earth, from the rainforests of the Congo (where she produced the first-ever film of our closest relative, the bonobo), to the deserts of Libya, Syria and Jordan, from the icy peaks of the Andes to the swamps of the Amazon, from erupting volcanoes in the Caribbean to the nocturnal world of raccoons in downtown Manhattan. Her series include Andes to Amazon, exploring the wildlife and extreme landscapes of South America; Jungle, an investigation of the world’s rainforests; Wild Caribbean, about the varied nature, weather and landscapes of the Caribbean; and Nature’s Great Events, a dramatic portrayal of six of the planet’s most spectacular wildlife events.

Bass is now producing Untamed Americas, an epic series on the natural history of North, South and Central America, for National Geographic Television. The series is set to premiere in June 2012.

Her passion for travel and natural history were evident from an early age, and she has travelled widely on all the continents -- on scientific expeditions, for pleasure and to make films. In recent years she has sought out dragons on Komodo, dived the remote coral reefs of New Guinea, hang-glided over the cliffs of Byron Bay in Australia, climbed active volcanoes in Ethiopia, rafted the length of the Grand Canyon, sailed a traditional dhow in the Indian Ocean and trekked with camels through the Sahara.

 

Session 5: The Earth
Wed Feb 29, 2012
11:00 – 12:45
Sharon Beals Sharon Beals
Photographer

Sharon Beals photographs the work of “nature’s most fastidious architects” -- birds’ nests.

A self-described “urban naturalist,” Sharon Beals is a San Francisco photographer whose bread-and-butter is commercial work, but in between she  photos "what moves my heart and concerns my conscience, from habitat restoration, plastic in the ocean, to the ecology of rivers and birds’ nests." Her book Nests: Fifty Nests and the Birds that Built Them is exactly that: birds'-eye views of the nests in the historic collections of The California Academy of Sciences and The Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, and The Western Foundation of Vertebrate Zoology. The photos have an almost heartbreaking power. As we peer into these intimate structures, we get a visceral sense of the domestic life of birds -- and feel the risk they take every time they place the delicate future of their species on the limb of a tree. American Photo listed it as one of the best photo books of the year, adding that the text text that's as free of scientific jargon as it is informative." Her hope for this project is that it will "seduce even a wider audience than "birders" into learning about birds and caring about the conservation issues that affect them. 
 
Also astounding and surprising are Beals’ photographs of plastic and rubbish found in the ocean -- plastic bags, balloons, Styrofoam – “the detritus of our lives arranged into still-lives to make large-scale, deceptively beautiful yet confrontational prints.” Her work has appeared in Audubon Magazine, Orion, and Scientific American. 

Session 5: The Earth
Wed Feb 29, 2012
11:00 – 12:45
John Bohannon + Black Label Movement John Bohannon + Black Label Movement
Science writer + Dance troupe + Cellists

John Bohannon is a scientist and writer who runs the annual Dance Your Ph.D. contest. Black Label Movement is an explosively physical Minneapolis dance company. And Jelloslave is a pair of amazing cellists.

John Bohannon is a biologist and journalist. After embedding in southern Afghanistan in 2010, he engineered the first voluntary release of civilian casualty data by the US-led military coalition. As a visiting scientist at Harvard, he studies the evolution of fame using data provided by Google. His research on the blurring line between the cuisine of man and pet caused Stephen Colbert to eat cat food on television.

Using an alter ego known as the Gonzo Scientist, he runs the "Dance Your Ph.D." contest for the journal Science, an international competition for scientists to explain their research with interpretive dance.

Carl Flink is the choreographer and artistic director of the Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN based dance theater Black Label Movement (www.blacklabelmovement.com). He is also the endowed Nadine Jette Sween Professor of Dance and Chair of the Department of Theatre Arts and Dance (theatre.umn.edu) at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities.  A one-time company member and soloist with the New York City based Limón Dance Company (www.limon.org), his choreography is known for its intense athleticism, daring risk taking and humanistic themes that address diverse social, scientific, political and working class subjects in addition to more abstract dance approaches. Beyond the dance world, he graduated from Stanford Law School in 2001 and worked as a staff attorney with Farmers' Legal Action Group, Inc. protecting the legal rights of low-income family farmers and promoting sustainable agriculture until 2004.

Cellists/composers Michelle Kinney and Jacqueline Ultan are in demand as a duo and individually among some of the world's foremost artists in new and creative music, dance, theater and film; including Grammy winners Dan Wilson (Adele, Dixie Chicks), Sheryl Crow & Natalie Merchant. Their band Jelloslave 's two critically acclaimed CDs, Touch It, 2006, and Purple Orange, 2010 are available on itunes.

Black Label Movement is a Twin Cities-based dance theater dedicated to creating wildly physical, naturally virtuosic, intellectually and emotionally engaging art. Led by Carl Flink, this collective of dance artists seeks to push the mind, body, and heart to the edge of what is possible and beyond.

Credits for the TED2012 performance: 
BLM Movers: Lauren Baker, Natalie Bucey, Jose Bueno, Renee Copeland, Jessica Ehlert, Bryan Godbout, Eddie Oroyan

Music from Jelloslave (Michelle Kinney & Jacqueline Ultan): www.myspace.com/jelloslave

Credits for the TEDxBrussels performance:
BLM Movers: Jessica Ehlert, Brian Godbout, Stephanie Laager, Edward Oroyan, Nelle Hens, Camille Prieux, Mariel Blaise, Gapson Nenaks, David Zagari & Marcio Canabarro

Music: Greg Brosofske (and you can download the music)

Support from the Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of Minnesota was crucial.
Session 11: The Classroom
Fri Mar 2, 2012
8:30 – 10:15
Brené Brown Brené Brown
Vulnerability researcher

Brené Brown studies vulnerability, courage, authenticity, and shame.

Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. She has spent the past ten years studying vulnerability, courage, authenticity, and shame. She spent the first five years of her decade-long study focusing on shame and empathy, and is now using that work to explore a concept that she calls Wholeheartedness. She poses the questions:

How do we learn to embrace our vulnerabilities and imperfections so that we can engage in our lives from a place of authenticity and worthiness? How do we cultivate the courage, compassion, and connection that we need to recognize that we are enough – that we are worthy of love, belonging, and joy?

Read the TED Blog's Q&A with Brené Brown >>

Session 12: The Moment
Fri Mar 2, 2012
11:00 – 12:45
Julie Burstein Julie Burstein
Writer and radio producer

As a producer, Julie Burstein builds places to talk (brilliantly) about creative work. Her book "Spark: How Creativity Works" shares what she has learned.

From where does creativity flow? In 2000, Julie Burstein created Public Radio International's show Studio 360 to explore pop culture and the arts. Hosted by novelist Kurt Andersen and produced at WNYC, the show is a guide to what's interesting now -- and asks deep questions about the drive behind creative work. Now, Burstein has written Spark: How Creativity Works, filled with stories about artists, writers and musicians (like Chuck Close, Isabel Allende, Patti Lupone). Burstein is the host of pursuitofspark.com full of conversations about creative approaches to the challenges, possibilities and pleasures of everyday life and work. She also "loves sitting in for Leonard Lopate."

Session 3: The Dinner Party
Tues Feb 28, 2012
5:00 – 6:45
C
Susan Cain Susan Cain
Quiet revolutionary

Our world prizes extroverts -- but Susan Cain makes a case for the quiet and contemplative.

Susan Cain is a former corporate lawyer and negotiations consultant -- and a self-described introvert. At least one-third of the people we know are introverts, notes Cain in her new book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking. Although our culture undervalues them dramatically, introverts have made some of the great contributions to society – from Chopin's nocturnes to the invention of the personal computer to Gandhi’s transformative leadership. Cain argues that we design our schools, workplaces, and religious institutions for extroverts, and that this bias creates a waste of talent, energy, and happiness. Based on intensive research in psychology and neurobiology and on prolific interviews, she also explains why introverts are capable of great love and great achievement, not in spite of their temperaments -- but because of them.

How did Susan write her talk (in a week)? Watch this interview >>

Session 1: The Observatory
Tues Feb 28, 2012
11:00 – 12:45
Thomas P. Campbell Thomas P. Campbell
Museum director

Thomas P. Campbell, director of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, aims to make the venerable museum's offerings both narrative-driven and accessible.

Thomas P. Campbell became the ninth Director of The Metropolitan Museum of Art in January of 2009.  Since he began, Campbell has pursued an agenda for the Met that focuses on scholarship and accessibility. These priorities maintain the Museum’s excellence in its exhibitions, publications, acquisitions and permanent collections, while encouraging new thinking about the visitor experience. Further initiatives include exploring the judicious use of technology in the Museum and fully integrating education into all the Met’s activities.

Campbell led the Met through the fiscal setbacks caused by the 2008 recession without reducing hours, gallery openings or programs. He launched an effort to redesign the Museum’s website which now attracts more than 50 million visits per year. FY2011 also saw the Met’s highest attendance in 40 years, rising to 5.6 million. The Museum has just opened new galleries for its Islamic Art Department and American Wing, and is working on plans to renovate The Costume Institute and to reconfigure the outdoor plaza and fountains. In 2011, Campbell announced a collaboration with the Whitney Museum in which the Met will program its landmark Breuer Building on Madison Avenue starting in 2015.  

 
Campbell had worked in the Metropolitan's Department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts for fourteen years, rising steadily through the curatorial ranks as Assistant Curator (1995-97), Associate Curator (1997-2003), and Curator (2003 to December 2008). During this time, he conceived and organized the major exhibitions Tapestry in the Renaissance: Art and Magnificence (2002) and Tapestry in the Baroque: Threads of Splendor (New York, 2007; Palacio Real, Madrid, spring 2008), both of which incorporated drawings, paintings, and prints, as well as tapestries, and received widespread acclaim. The 2002 exhibition was named "Exhibition of the Year" by Apollo Magazine and its catalogue won the Alfred H. Barr, Jr. Award (College Art Association) for distinguished exhibition catalogue in the history of art (2003).  Since shortly after his arrival at the Museum, he also served as Supervising Curator of The Antonio Ratti Textile Center, which houses the Museum's encyclopedic collection of 36,000 textiles and is one of the preeminent centers of textile studies in the world.

 

Session 9: The Design Studio
Thurs Mar 1, 2012
2:15 – 4:00
Cameron Carpenter Cameron Carpenter
Organist

Cameron Carpenter is bringing drama, improv -- and glitter -- back to the majestic organ, "the king of instruments."

Cameron Carpenter is a world-renowned organist who is revolutionizing the mighty instrument through his creativity, virtuosity, and questioning of its boundaries. The Los Angeles Times considers him "the most accomplished organist ever witnessed... And, most important of all, the most musical".

Session 6: The Crowd
Wed Feb 29, 2012
2:15 – 4:00
Jack Choi Jack Choi
Technologist

Jack is the CEO of Anatomage, a company specializing on 3D medical technology.

Jack W. Choi is the founder and CEO of Anatomage Inc., based in California. Beginning as an imaging software company, Anatomage now makes 3D imaging software, an image-guided surgical device, anatomy modeling contents and the virtual dissection table.

Session 4: The Lab
Wed Feb 29, 2012
8:30 – 10:15
Billy Collins Billy Collins
Poet

A two-term U.S. Poet Laureate, Billy Collins captures readers with his understated wit, profound insight -- and a sense of being "hospitable."

Accessibility is not a word often associated with great poetry. Yet Billy Collins has managed to create a legacy from what he calls being poetically “hospitable.” Preferring lyrical simplicity to abstruse intellectualism, Collins combines humility and depth of perception, undercutting light and digestible topics with dark and at times biting humor.

While Collins approaches his work with a healthy sense of self-deprecation, calling his poems “domestic” and “middle class,” John Taylor has said of Collins: “Rarely has anyone written poems that appear so transparent on the surface yet become so ambiguous, thought-provoking, or simply wise once the reader has peered into the depths.”

In 2001 he was named U.S. Poet Laureate, a title he kept until 2003. Collins lives in Somers, New York, and is an English professor at City University of New York, where he has taught for more than 40 years.

Credits for the animations in this talk:

"Budapest," "Forgetfulness" and "Some Days" -- animation by Julian Grey/Head Gear

"The Country" -- animation by Brady Baltezor/Radium

"The Dead" -- animation by Juan Delcan/Spontaneous
 

Session 2: The Parlor
Tues Feb 28, 2012
2:15 – 4:00
D
Wade Davis Wade Davis
Anthropologist, ethnobotanist

A National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, Wade Davis has been described as “a rare combination of scientist, scholar, poet and passionate defender of all of life’s diversity.”

Wade Davis is perhaps the most articulate and influential western advocate for the world's indigenous cultures. A National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence, he has been described as “a rare combination of scientist, scholar, poet and passionate defender of all of life’s diversity.” Trained in anthropology and botany at Harvard, he travels the globe to live alongside indigenous people, and document their cultural practices in books, photographs, and film. His stunning photographs and evocative stories capture the viewer's imagination. As a speaker, he parlays that sense of wonder into passionate concern over the rate at which cultures and languages are disappearing -- 50 percent of the world's 7,000 languages, he says, are no longer taught to children. He argues, in the most beautiful terms, that language is much more than vocabulary and grammatical rules. Every language is an old-growth forest of the mind.  

Indigenous cultures are not failed attempts at modernity, let alone failed attempts to be us. They are unique expressions of the human imagination and heart, unique answers to a fundamental question: What does it mean to be human and alive? When asked this question, the peoples of the world respond in 7,000 different voices, and these collectively comprise our human repertoire for dealing with all the challenges that will confront us as a species over the coming centuries.

Davis is the author of 15 books including The Serpent and the Rainbow, One River, and The Wayfinders. His many film credits include Light at the Edge of the World, an eight-hour documentary series produced for the National Geographic. In 2009 he received the Gold Medal from the Royal Canadian Geographical Society for his contributions to anthropology and conservation, and he is the 2011 recipient of the Explorers Medal, the highest award of the Explorers’ Club, and the 2012 recipient of the Fairchild Medal for Plant Exploration. His latest books are Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory and the Conquest of Everest and The Sacred Headwaters: the Fight to Save the Stikine, Skeena and the Nass.

Session 5: The Earth
Wed Feb 29, 2012
11:00 – 12:45
Peter Diamandis Peter Diamandis
Space activist

Peter Diamandis runs the X Prize Foundation, which offers large cash incentive prizes to inventors who can solve grand challenges like space flight, low-cost mobile medical diagnostics and oil spill cleanup. He is the chair of Singularity University, which teaches executives and grad students about exponentially growing technologies.

Watch the live onstage debate with Paul Gilding that followed Peter Diamandis' 2012 TEDTalk >>

Peter Diamandis is the founder and chair of the X Prize Foundation, a nonprofit whose mission is simply "to bring about radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity." By offering a big cash prize for a specific accomplishment, the X Prize stimulates competition and excitement around some of the planet's most important goals. Diamandis is also co-founder and chairman of Singularity University which runs Exponential Technologies Executive and Graduate Student Programs.

Diamandis' background is in space exploration -- before the X Prize, he ran a company that studied low-cost launching technologies and Zero-G which offers the public the chance to train like an astronaut and experience weightlessness. But though the X Prize's first $10 million went to a space-themed challenge, Diamandis' goal now is to extend the prize into health care, social policy, education and many other fields that could use a dose of competitive innovation.

Session 1: The Observatory
Tues Feb 28, 2012
11:00 – 12:45
Liz Diller Liz Diller
Designer

Liz Diller and her maverick firm DS+R bring a groundbreaking approach to big and small projects in architecture, urban design and art -- playing with new materials, tampering with space and spectacle in ways that make you look twice.

Liz Diller's firm, Diller Scofidio & Renfro, might just be the first post-wall architects. From a mid-lake rotunda made of fog to a gallery that destroys itself with a robotic drill, her brainy takes on the essence of buildings are mind-bending and rebellious. DS+R partakes of criticism that goes past academic papers and into real structures -- buildings and art installations that seem to tease the squareness of their neighbors.

DS+R was the first architecture firm to receive a MacArthur "genius" grant -- and it also won an Obie for Jet Lag, a wildly creative piece of multimedia off-Broadway theater. A reputation for rampant repurposing of materials and tricksy tinkering with space -- on stage, on paper, on the waterfront -- have made DS+R a sought-after firm, winning accounts from the Juilliard School, Alice Tully Hall and the School of American Ballet, as part of the Lincoln Center overhaul; at Brown University; and on New York's revamp of Governer's Island. Their Institute for Comtemporary Art has opened up a new piece of Boston's waterfront, creating an elegant space that embraces the water.

Learn more about the Hirshhorn Museum >>

 

Session 9: The Design Studio
Thurs Mar 1, 2012
2:15 – 4:00
Regina Dugan Regina Dugan
Former director of DARPA

As director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Regina Dugan oversaw the US armed forces' innovation engine. Now she deploys the same research tactics at Google.

Businesswoman and technology developer Regina Dugan achieved national prominence when she became the first woman in charge of Darpa, the Pentagon's research arm. Dugan earned a reputation as a motivator and creative thinker, spurring non-traditional projects like a nationwide contest to find hidden balloons in order to test the power of social networks for intelligence gathering.

In a previous stint at the agency, Dugan investigated mine-detection technology, and her work wasn't limited to the lab. In Mozambique she drove a mine-clearing vehicle during a live detection exercise. Dugan currently is senior vice president at Motorola, where her mission is to advance the company's technology, which one day may include password tattoos. Ask her and she may show you hers.

Session 4: The Lab
Wed Feb 29, 2012
8:30 – 10:15
E
Rafe Esquith Rafe Esquith
Educator

Rafe Esquith teaches fifth-graders at a public school in Los Angeles.

For the past three decades, Esquith has taught fifth-graders at a public school in a Los Angeles neighborhood plagued by guns, gangs and violence. His exceptional classroom at Hobart Elementary -- known simply as Room 56 -- is unlike any other in the country. Esquith's students are mostly immigrants or children of immigrants, living in poverty, and learning English as a second language. Yet, under his tutelage, they voluntarily come to class at 6:30 in the morning, and often stay until five in the afternoon. They learn math, reading and science. But they also play Vivaldi, perform Shakespeare, often score in the top 1 percent on standardized tests, and go on to attend the best universities. For his work, Esquith is the only teacher to be awarded the president's National Medal of the Arts. He's also written three books: Teach Like Your Hair's On Fire, There Are No Shortcuts and Lighting Their Fires. His fourth book, Real Talk for Real Teachers will be published in 2012. Esquith has also been featured, along with his students, in the PBS documentary The Hobart Shakespeareans

Session 11: The Classroom
Fri Mar 2, 2012
8:30 – 10:15
F
Jared Ficklin Jared Ficklin
Visualizer

In his day job, Jared Ficklin makes user interfaces at frog design. As a hobby, he explores what music looks like ... in light, in shapes, in fire.

Jared Ficklin is a Senior Principal Design Technologist at frog, where he builds user experiences for clients, playing with interactions including touch and multi-touch, and applying physics to enhance the user experience. A passion for music and making things introduced him to the hobby of sound visualization, which has led him on occasion to play with fire. (As Flash on the Beach puts it, "Jared Ficklin’s sonic experiments stood out for their individuality, drama and casual disregard for health and safety.") Every March in Austin, Texas, Ficklin organizes the frog party, a collective social experiment for a few thousand people attending SXSW Interactive. It's a form of playful R&D for social technology. And he has spent 10 years helping fund, design and  build quality free public skateparks for Austin as part of the Austin Public Skatepark Action Committee. 

Session 10: The Campfire
Thurs Mar 1, 2012
5:00 – 6:45
Joshua Foer Joshua Foer
Writer

Joshua Foer is a science writer who 'accidentally' won the U.S. Memory Championship.

In 2005 science writer Joshua Foer went to cover the U.S. Memory Championship. A year later he was back -- as contestant. A year of mental training with Europe's top memorizer turned into a book, Moonwalking with Einstein, which is both a chronicle of his immersion in the memory culture and wonderfully accessible and informative introduction to the science of memory. Much more surprisingly, that year of training also turned into a first-place victory at the national competition in New York and the chance to represent the U.S. at the World Memory Championship. Foer's writing has appeared in National Geographic, Slate, the New York Times, and other publications. He is the co-founder of the Atlas Obscura, an online guide to the world’s wonders and curiosities, and is also the co-founder of the design competition Sukkah City.

Session 10: The Campfire
Thurs Mar 1, 2012
5:00 – 6:45
G
Atul Gawande Atul Gawande
Surgeon and journalist

Surgeon by day and public health journalist by night, Atul Gawande explores how doctors can dramatically improve their practice using something as simple as a checklist.

A general and endocrine surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Atul Gawande is also a staff writer at The New Yorker who's changing the way we think about best practices in medicine (and, necessarily, about the state of the US healthcare system). In 1996 Gawande wrote his first piece for Slate, an analysis of the then-controversial illness known as Gulf War Syndrome. At The New Yorker, he turned in a shocking June 2009 piece, “The Cost Conundrum,” about McAllen, Texas, the town with the second most expensive health-care market in the U.S., taking on America’s high-cost low-quality healthcare system. (The piece was cited by President Obama during his campaign for healthcare reform.)

Gawande approaches medicine with a personal outlook, emphasizing the importance of a doctor’s intention and reliability, and urging doctors to make small changes to improve performance. In his most recent book, The Checklist Manifesto, Gawande shows how even a simple five-point checklist can decrease up to two-thirds of ICU infections. He suggests that as modern medicine -- and indeed, the modern world -- becomes increasingly complex, we should respond with ever-simpler measures.

In the fall of 2012, Gawande founded Ariadne Labs, a center for health systems innovation run through Harvard and the Brigham and Women's Hospital. The Labs are working to create more efficient, higher quality health care while simplifying the whole system. 

Session 3: The Dinner Party
Tues Feb 28, 2012
5:00 – 6:45
Leymah Gbowee Leymah Gbowee
Peace activist, Nobelist

Leymah Gbowee is a peace activist in Liberia. She led a women's movement that was pivotal in ending the Second Liberian Civil War in 2003, and now speaks on behalf of women and girls around the world.

Liberia's second civil war, 1999-2003, brought an unimaginable level of violence to a country still recovering from its first civil war (1989-96). And much of that violence was directed at women: Systematic rape and brutality used women's bodies as fields for war.

Leymah Gbowee, who'd become a social worker during the first war, helped organize an interreligious coalition of Christian and Muslim women called the Women of Liberia Mass Action for Peace movement. Dressed in white, these thousands of women staged pray-ins and nonviolent protests demanding reconciliation and the resuscitation of high-level peace talks. The pressure pushed Charles Taylor into exile, and smoothed the path for the election of Africa’s first female head of state, Leymah's fellow 2011 Nobel Peace laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.

Gbowee is the co-founder of the Women Peace and Security Network Africa (WIPSEN-Africa) to promote cross-national peace-building efforts.

Session 12: The Moment
Fri Mar 2, 2012
11:00 – 12:45
Paul Gilding Paul Gilding
Writer

Paul Gilding is an independent writer, activist and adviser on a sustainable economy. Click through to watch the onstage debate that followed this talk.

Watch the debate with Peter Diamandis that followed this talk >>

Paul Gilding has spent 35 years trying to change the world. He’s served in the Australian military, chased nuclear armed aircraft carriers in small inflatable boats, plugged up industrial waste discharge pipes, been global CEO of Greenpeace, taught at Cambridge University, started two successful businesses and advised the CEOs of some the world’s largest companies.

Despite his clear lack of progress, the unstoppable and flexible optimist is now a writer and advocate, travelling the world with his book The Great Disruption alerting people to the global economic and ecological crisis unfolding around us, as the world economy reaches and passes the limits to growth. He is confident we can get through what’s coming and says rather than the end of civilization, this could be the beginning! He argues we will rise to the occasion and see change at a scale and speed incomprehensible today, but need to urgently prepare for The Great Disruption and “the end of shopping”, as we reinvent the global economy and our model of social progress.

Read his reaction to attending TED2012: "Will the techno-optimists save the world?

Session 1: The Observatory
Tues Feb 28, 2012
11:00 – 12:45
Edward Glaeser Edward Glaeser
Economist

Edward Glaeser's work focuses on the determinants of city growth and the role of cities as centers of idea transformation.

Edward Glaeser is the Fred and Eleanor Glimp Professor of Economics in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University, where he has taught since 1992. He is Director of the Taubman Center for State and Local Government and Director of the Rappaport Institute of Greater Boston. He regularly teaches microeconomic theory, and occasionally urban and public economics.  He has published dozens of papers on cities, economic growth, and law and economics. He received his PhD from the University of Chicago in 1992.

 

Session 7: The City
Wed Feb 29, 2012
5:00 – 6:45
Rebecca Newberger Goldstein + Steven Pinker Rebecca Newberger Goldstein + Steven Pinker
Philosopher, Novelist & Linguist, Psychologist

Rebecca Newberger Goldstein writes novels that explore questions of philosophy, morality and being. Steven Pinker studies human nature, with deep insight into how we think, speak, and interact.

Rebecca Newberger Goldstein, a professional philosopher, writes novels, from The Mind-Body Problem to her latest, Thirty-Six Arguments for the Existence of God, that show philosophical problems roiling beneath the surface of our lives: What are the limits of rationality? What are the sources of morality?  How do ideas become passions? Steven Pinker brings linguistics and history together with cognitive neuroscience to explore the human condition. His latest book, The Better Angels of Our Nature, suggests that despite impressions from the bloody headlines, we're living in the least violent time in our history. What made us better—sentiment or reason? A Socratic dialogue plays out the arguments.

 

 

Session 3: The Dinner Party
Tues Feb 28, 2012
5:00 – 6:45
Mama Foundation for the Arts: Gospel for Teens Choir Mama Foundation for the Arts: Gospel for Teens Choir
Teen choir

Gospel for Teens Program is a program of The Mama Foundation for the Arts and Vy's Higginsen's School of Gospel, Jazz and R&B Arts that has grown to be a highly respected and influential program for youth between the ages of 13 and 19.

Gospel for Teens is a program of The Mama Foundation for the Arts and Vy's Higginsen's School of Gospel, Jazz and R&B Arts, located in Harlem, New York.  Gospel for Teens was founded in 2006, when acclaimed writer and producer Vy Higginsen (Mama, I Want to Sing) and gospel legend Dr. Emily "Cissy" Houston joined forces to teach aspiring teenagers about the importance of gospel music as an art form.  Since then, Gospel for Teens has become a highly respected and influential program for youth between the ages of 13 and 19.
 
Twice a year, between 40 and 60 participants are selected through an audition process, and selected teens attend for no cost.  Students learn music history and vocal techniques in classes held at the Foundation's renovated Harlem brownstone, and are encouraged to discover their personal artistic talent and expressions while building self-confidence, on stage and off.
 
The Gospel for Teens Choir was created to pass the music from this generation to the next. The choir serves as ambassadors of gospel music, bringing together people of every race, nationality, and religious or spiritual background with the message that we are more alike than we are different. We all have spirit.
 
Under the direction of the Foundation's seasoned music masters, the Gospel for Teens Choir has performed at various venues across New York City (including the world famous Apollo Theater, the American Museum of Natural History, Yankee Stadium, Central Park’s Wollman Rink and St. Paul Community Baptist Church), and nationally (Stellar Gospel Music Awards 2012, Rollins College, etc.).
Session 7: The City
Wed Feb 29, 2012
5:00 – 6:45
Brian Greene Brian Greene
Physicist

Brian Greene is perhaps the best-known proponent of superstring theory, the idea that minuscule strands of energy vibrating in a higher dimensional space-time create every particle and force in the universe.

Greene, a professor of physics and mathematics at Columbia University, has focused on unified theories for more than 25 years, and has written several best-selling and non-technical books on the subject including The Elegant Universe, a Pulitzer finalist, and The Fabric of the Cosmos—each of which has been adapted into a NOVA mini-series. His latest book, The Hidden Reality, explores the possibility that our universe is not the only universe.

Greene believes science must be brought to general audiences in new and compelling ways, such as his live stage odyssey, Icarus at the Edge of Time, with original orchestral score by Philip Glass, and the annual World Science Festival, which he co-founded in 2008 with journalist Tracy Day.

Session 1: The Observatory
Tues Feb 28, 2012
11:00 – 12:45
H
Jonathan Haidt Jonathan Haidt
Social psychologist

Jonathan Haidt studies how -- and why -- we evolved to be moral. By understanding more about our moral roots, his hope is that we can learn to be civil and open-minded.

Haidt is a social psychologist whose research on morality across cultures led up to his much-quoted 2008 TEDTalk on the psychological roots of the American culture war. He asks, "Can't we all disagree more constructively?" In September 2009, Jonathan Haidt spoke to the TED Blog about the moral psychology behind the healthcare debate in the United States. He's also active in the study of positive psychology and human flourishing.

At TED2012 he explored the intersection of his work on morality with his work on happiness to talk about “hive psychology” – the ability that humans have to lose themselves in groups pursuing larger projects, almost like bees in a hive. This hivish ability Is crucial, he argues, for understanding the origins of morality, politics, and religion. These are ideas that Haidt develops at greater length in his new book, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion. Learn more about his drive for a more productive and civil politics on his website CivilPolitics.org. And take an eye-opening quiz about your own morals at YourMorals.org

During the bruising 2012 political season, Haidt was invited to speak at TEDxMidAtlantic on the topic of civility. He developed the metaphor of The Asteroids Club to embody how we can reach. common groun. Learn how to start your own Asteroids Club at www.AsteroidsClub.org.

Watch Haidt talk about the Asteroids Club on MSNBC's The Cycle >>

Session 3: The Dinner Party
Tues Feb 28, 2012
5:00 – 6:45
James Hansen James Hansen
Climatologist

James Hansen has made key insights into our global climate -- and inspired a generation of activists and scientists.

James Hansen is Adjunct Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University’s Earth Institute. He was trained in physics and astronomy in the space science program of James Van Allen at the University of Iowa. His early research on the clouds of Venus helped identify their composition as sulfuric acid. Since the late 1970s, he has focused his research on Earth's climate, especially human-made climate change. From 1981 to 2013, he headed the NASA Godard Institute for Space Studies. He is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Hansen is known for his testimony on climate change to congressional committees in the 1980s that helped raise broad awareness of the global warming issue. Hansen is recognized for speaking truth to power, for identifying ineffectual policies as greenwash, and for outlining the actions that the public must take to protect the future of young people and the other species on the planet.

Session 5: The Earth
Wed Feb 29, 2012
11:00 – 12:45
John Hockenberry John Hockenberry
Journalist

Journalist and commentator John Hockenberry has reported from all over the world in virtually every medium. He's the author of "Moving Violations: War Zones, Wheelchairs and Declarations of Independence."

Three-time Peabody Award winner, four-time Emmy award winner and Dateline NBC correspondent, John Hockenberry has broad experience as a journalist and commentator for more than two decades. He is the co-anchor of the public radio morning show “The Takeaway” on WNYC and PRI. He has reported from all over the world, in virtually every medium, having anchored programs for network, cable and radio. Hockenberry joined NBC as a correspondent for Dateline NBC in January 1996 after a fifteen-year career in broadcast news at both National Public Radio and ABC News. Hockenberry's reporting for Dateline NBC earned him three Emmys, an Edward R Murrow award and a Casey Medal.

His most prominent Dateline NBC reports include an hour-long documentary on the often-fatal tragedy of the medically uninsured, an emotionally gripping portrait of a young schizophrenic trying to live on his own, and extensive reporting in the aftermath of September 11th. In 2009 Hockenberry was appointed to the White House Fellows Commission by President Barack Obama where he participates in the selection of the annual Fellows for this most prestigious of Federal programs. Hockenberry is also the author of A River out of Eden, a novel based in the Pacific Northwest, and Moving Violations: War Zones, Wheelchairs and Declarations of Independence, a memoir of life as a foreign correspondent, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1996. He has also written for The New York Times, The New Yorker, I.D., Wired, The Columbia Journalism Review, Details, and The Washington Post.

Hockenberry spent more than a decade with NPR as a general assignment reporter, Middle East correspondent and host of several programs. During the Persian Gulf War (1990-91), Hockenberry was assigned to the Middle East, where he filed reports from Israel, Tunisia, Morocco, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Iran. He was one of the first Western broadcast journalists to report from Kurdish refugee camps in Northern Iraq and Southern Turkey. Hockenberry also spent two years (1988-90) as a correspondent based in Jerusalem during the most intensive conflict of the Palestinian uprising. Hockenberry received the Columbia Dupont Award for Foreign News Coverage for reporting on the Gulf War.

 

Session 9: The Design Studio
Thurs Mar 1, 2012
2:15 – 4:00
John Hodgman John Hodgman
Expert

John Hodgman is a writer, humorist, geek celebrity, former professional literary agent and expert on all world knowledge. He was the bumbling PC in Apple's long-running "I'm a Mac; I'm a PC" ad campaign.

You may know him only as the PC in Apple's PC vs. Mac smackdown ads, or as the Daily Show with Jon Stewart's Resident Expert. But John Hodgman has many other claims to fame. He's the author of The Areas of My Expertise, which provides vital and completely fake details on the great lobster conspiracy, hoboes, nine US presidents who had hooks for hands, and how to win a fight; the followup More Information Than You Require; and his newest (and he claims last), That Is All.

He is a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine; host of the Little Gray Book Lectures, a monthly series that has aired on This American Life; and an actual former professional literary agent.

Session 9: The Design Studio
Thurs Mar 1, 2012
2:15 – 4:00
Reid Hoffman Reid Hoffman
Social entrepreneur

Reid Hoffman is co-founder and executive chair of LinkedIn, and a partner with Greylock.

For more than a decade, Reid Hoffman has nurtured what today has blossomed into the social web as an investor, founder, and advisor. In 2003 Hoffman co-founded LinkedIn as the place where today over a 100 million people connect for work, skills, and insights. Hoffman has invested in the first rounds of pioneering social sites like Facebook, Flickr and Zynga -- sites with hundreds of millions of users and great network effects. Hoffman joined Greylock in 2009, where he focuses on marketplaces, networks, and platforms.  As a Greylock Partner, he has led investments in Airbnb, Coupons.com, Edmodo, Groupon, and Shopkick – among others.  Hoffman serves on a number of non-profit boards, including Kiva.org, Endeavor.org, DoSomething.org, and Startup America Partnership.  His new book, The Start-up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career, outlines the playbook for being the entrepreneur creating your own life.  
Session 6: The Crowd
Wed Feb 29, 2012
2:15 – 4:00
I
Civilians Investigative Theater Civilians Investigative Theater
Theater company

Steve Cosson and Michael Friedman create new work for stage and media with The Civilians Investigative Theater.

From The New Yorker: “The Civilians deserve credit as top-notch journalists, creating portraits that are vivid, agenda-free and marked by a benevolent irony.” Working with the company’s unique brand of in-the-field theatrical research, artists have created shows on such subjects as the Evangelical movement in Colorado Springs, the adult entertainment industry of Los Angeles, and a media project/play in which four actors play their parents to tell their stories of marriage and divorce. Over the past ten years, Civilians has created thirteen original works that have been performed Off-Broadway and in over 40 cities nationally and internationally. Civilians’ TED show takes inspiration from the new play The Great Immensity by Cosson and Friedman. Supported by the National Science Foundation, The Great Immensity is both a play about the effort to transform our thinking about climate change and also a media project exploring the confluences of art, activism and science: thegreatimmensity.org. The company also sustains an ongoing “investigative cabaret” and podcast series: Let Me Ascertain You

Steve Cosson is the Artistic Director of Civilians; other current projects include a play about a beauty pageant held in a Bogotá prison by José Rivera (The Motorcycle Diaries), a new rock musical by singer-songwriter Jill Sobule, and a national crowd sourced media project about Occupy. Michael Friedman was recently represented on Broadway by Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and has created multiple works for Civilians. He received an Obie Award in 2007 for sustained achievement. Performers for TED: Emily Ackerman, John Ellison Conlee, Maria Dizzia. Choreography: Tracy Bersley. Projections: Jason H. Thompson. Costumes: Sarah Beers. 

Session 5: The Earth
Wed Feb 29, 2012
11:00 – 12:45
J
JR JR
Street artist

With a camera, a dedicated wheatpasting crew and the help of whole villages and favelas, 2011 TED Prize winner JR shows the world its true face.

Working anonymously, pasting his giant images on buildings, trains, bridges, the often-guerrilla artist JR forces us to see each other. Traveling to distant, often dangerous places -- the slums of Kenya, the favelas of Brazil -- he infiltrates communities, befriending inhabitants and recruiting them as models and collaborators. He gets in his subjects’ faces with a 28mm wide-angle lens, resulting in portraits that are unguarded, funny, soulful, real, that capture the sprits of individuals who normally go unseen. The blown-up images pasted on urban surfaces – the sides of buildings, bridges, trains, buses, on rooftops -- confront and engage audiences where they least expect it. Images of Parisian thugs are pasted up in bourgeois neighborhoods; photos of Israelis and Palestinians are posted together on both sides of the walls that separate them.

JR's most recent project, "Women Are Heroes," depicts women "dealing with the effects of war, poverty, violence, and oppression” from Rio de Janeiro, Phnom Penh, Delhi and several African cities. And his TED Prize wish opens an even wider lens on the world -- asking us all to turn the world inside out. Visit insideoutproject.net ...

Session 7: The City
Wed Feb 29, 2012
5:00 – 6:45
K
David Kelley David Kelley
Designer, educator

David Kelley’s company IDEO helped create many icons of the digital generation -- but what matters even more to him is unlocking the creative potential of people and organizations to innovate routinely.

As founder of legendary design firm IDEO, David Kelley built the company that created many icons of the digital generation -- the first mouse, the first Treo, the thumbs up/thumbs down button on your Tivo's remote control, to name a few. But what matters even more to him is unlocking the creative potential of people and organizations so they can innovate routinely.

David Kelley's most enduring contributions to the field of design are a methodology and culture of innovation. More recently, he led the creation of the groundbreaking d.school at Stanford, the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design, where students from the business, engineering, medicine, law, and other diverse disciplines develop the capacity to solve complex problems collaboratively and creatively.

Kelley was working (unhappily) as an electrical engineer when he heard about Stanford's cross-disciplinary Joint Program in Design, which merged engineering and art. What he learned there -- a human-centered, team-based approach to tackling sticky problems through design -- propelled his professional life as a "design thinker."

In 1978, he co-founded the design firm that ultimately became IDEO, now emulated worldwide for its innovative, user-centered approach to design. IDEO works with a range of clients -- from food and beverage conglomerates to high tech startups, hospitals to universities, and today even governments -- conceiving breakthrough innovations ranging from a life-saving portable defibrillator to a new kind of residence for wounded warriors, and helping organizations build their own innovation culture.

Today, David serves as chair of IDEO and is the Donald W. Whittier Professor at Stanford, where he has taught for more than 25 years. Preparing the design thinkers of tomorrow earned David the Sir Misha Black Medal for his “distinguished contribution to design education.” He has also won the Edison Achievement Award for Innovation, as well as the Chrysler Design Award and National Design Award in Product Design from the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, and he is a member of the National Academy of Engineers.

Session 9: The Design Studio
Thurs Mar 1, 2012
2:15 – 4:00
Chip Kidd Chip Kidd
Graphic designer

Chip Kidd's book jacket designs spawned a revolution in the art of American book packaging.

You know a Chip Kidd book when you see it -- precisely because it's unexpected, non-formulaic, and perfectly right for the text within. As a graphic designer for Alfred A. Knopf since 1986, Kidd has designed shelves full of books, including classics you can picture in a snap: Jurassic Park, Naked by David Sedaris, All the Pretty Horses … His monograph, Chip Kidd: Book One, contains work spanning two decades. As editor of comics for Pantheon, Kidd has commissioned work from graphic novelists like Chris Ware, Art Spiegelman, Dan Clowes and Ben Katchor. He's a novelist as well, author of The Cheese Monkeys and The Learners.

Session 9: The Design Studio
Thurs Mar 1, 2012
2:15 – 4:00
Vijay Kumar Vijay Kumar
Roboticist

At the University of Pennsylvania, Vijay Kumar studies the control and coordination of multi-robot formations.

At the General Robotics, Automation, Sensing and Perception (GRASP) Lab, at the University of Pennsylvania, flying quadrotor robots move together in eerie formation, tightening themselves into perfect battalions, even filling in the gap when one of their own drops out. You might have seen viral videos of the quads zipping around the netting-draped GRASP Lab (they juggle! they fly through a hula hoop!). Vijay Kumar headed this lab from 1998-2004; he's now the Deputy Dean for Education in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, where he continues his work in robotics, blending computer science and mechanical engineering to create the next generation of robotic wonders.

Session 4: The Lab
Wed Feb 29, 2012
8:30 – 10:15
Cesar Kuriyama Cesar Kuriyama
Video maker

Cesar Kuriyama has been selecting one second of video from every day of his life, and editing them together into a montage that both records his life, and forces him to reevaluate how he approaches each day.

As a video maker, director, producer and animator Cesar Kuriyama has worked for giant clients like Hershey's, BMW, Verizon, Gillette and the NFL. But what we love about him are his personal projects -- based on his travel, his love of the arts community, and his family and friends. Imagine a movie that contains one day of your entire life ...
Session 12: The Moment
Fri Mar 2, 2012
11:00 – 12:45
L
Suja Lowenthal Suja Lowenthal
Vice mayor of Long Beach

Suja has focused on addressing issues such as parking, public safety, air & water quality and commercial development through sustainable, long-term policies.

Dr. Suja Lowenthal is an  urban planner elected to represent the Second District in a special election held on June 6th, 2006.  She ran unopposed and was re-elected to a four-year term in June 2008.  Her colleagues on City Council elected her Vice Mayor for a two-year period in 2010.  She holds a Bachelor's degree in Economics from UCLA, a Master's in Business Administration from California State University, Los Angeles and a Doctorate in Policy, Planning and Development from USC.

In 2001, Suja was elected to the Board of Education in the Long Beach Unified School District and helped it earn recognition as the best urban school district in the nation by the Broad Foundation.  She served as an alternate on the California Coastal Commission and currently represents Long Beach on the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, a consortium of 26 cities and water districts responsible for providing high quality and reliable drinking water to nearly 18 million in Los Angeles and surrounding counties.  Suja also serves on the board of Heal the Bay and as an alternate on the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission Governing Board. 

Suja’s professional background includes her work for the City of Los Angeles Department of Aging and the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office as the Coordinator of its Domestic Violence Unit.  She has over 10 years of experience in the water industry serving policy roles in the Central Basin Municipal Water District, West Basin Municipal Water District and Water Replenishment District of Southern California.  In 2007, she joined the faculty as an Adjunct Professor at California State University, Long Beach, teaching an upper-division class on California’s water supply, water-pricing and best practices for water management and a most recently taught a Political Science class on contemporary issues.

Suja has combined her experience in the community and on the school board with her education in business and planning to address issues such as parking, public safety, water quality and commercial development through sustainable, long-term policies.  She has provided the political will and leadership to advance the City’s award-winning bicycle-friendly agenda, progressive strategies in animal care services and green policies involving plastic bags, recycling, stormwater runoff and alternative forms of energy.
Session 7: The City
Wed Feb 29, 2012
5:00 – 6:45
M
Awele Makeba Awele Makeba
Storyteller, teaching artist

Awele (ah WAY lay) Makeba is a storyteller and teaching artist who sparks "aha!" moments about life and U.S. history.

Awele Makeba is a truth teller, an artist for social change: She researches, writes and performs hidden African American history, folklore, and personal tales. Her audience grapple with the meaning of their own lives as they make meaning of past lives. She has made it her life's work to tell history through the words of its silenced and oft-forgotten witnesses, using art to catalyze deep conversations about race, our common humanity, and our vision of a just, humane, multiracial society.

She has written two one-woman shows, Rage Is Not a 1-Day Thing!: The Untaught History of the Montgomery Bus Boycott and I'm Not Getting On Until Jim Crow Gets Off, which tells the story of the 1955-56 Montgomery bus boycott through the eyes of two girls and two women: Claudette Colvin, Mary Louise Smith, Rosa Parks and JoAnn Robinson. She is working on a new picture book and a creative work Mississippi Roots:Tracing My Family Tree.

Session 11: The Classroom
Fri Mar 2, 2012
8:30 – 10:15
Reuben Margolin Reuben Margolin
Kinetic sculptor

Reuben Margolin's moving sculptures combine the logic of math with the sensuousness of nature.

Reuben Margolin makes wave-like sculptures that undulate, spiral, bob and dip in gloriously natural-seeming ways, driven by arrays of cogs and gears. As a kid, Margolin was into math and physics; at college, he switched to liberal arts and ended up studying painting in Italy and Russia. Inspired by the movement of a little green caterpillar, he began trying to capture movements of nature in sculptural form. Now, at his studio in Emeryville, California, he makes large-scale undulating installations of wood and recycled stuff. He also makes pedal-powered rickshaws and has collaborated on several large-scale pedal-powered vehicles.
Session 2: The Parlor
Tues Feb 28, 2012
2:15 – 4:00
Kate Messner Kate Messner
Author, educator, speaker

Kate Messner believes in nature, art, magic, lake monsters, science, and the power of literacy to change the world. She writes books for people who believe in those things, too.

Kate Messner is an award-winning author of books for children and teens, including Eye of the Storm, Over and Under the Snow, and the Marty McGuire chapter book series. A former journalist and middle school English teacher, she believes that words can change the world. Kate visits schools and libraries around the world, both in person and via videoconference, to inspire readers and writers of all ages.
Session 11: The Classroom
Fri Mar 2, 2012
8:30 – 10:15
Angie Miller Angie Miller
Language arts teacher

Angie Miller is the 2011 New Hampshire Teacher of the Year. She has spent the past year traveling the nation, speaking and collaborating with K-12 teachers and other educational stakeholders.

Angie Miller has been immersed in middle school education for 11 years, which has deeply affected her spelling and humor. In a typical classroom that Miller runs, students develop their voices to make change. Her students have helped an elderly homeless woman completely furnish her new apartment; they have raised enough money to buy a generator so that a village in Southern Sudan could have refrigeration in its health clinic, allowing them to store vaccinations; they have supported education in Pakistan; they have sent funds to the Joplin, Missouri, hospital. She feels it is critical to help her students become educated activists who know when to take action and when to accept reality. She also has the amazing ability to gently inform pre-adolescents when deodorant is necessary.

Session 11: The Classroom
Fri Mar 2, 2012
8:30 – 10:15
N
Bill Nye Bill Nye
Science guy

Bill Nye is a man with a mission: to help people understand and appreciate the science that makes our world work.

Scientist, engineer, comedian, author, inventor, and now CEO of the Planetary Society -- Bill Nye makes science entertaining and accessible. A mechanical engineer by training, Nye uses his comedy skills (his TV career started after he won a Steve Martin lookalike contest) to painlessly and memorably share big ideas from physics, chemistry, algebra and green living. His Emmy-winning show Bill Nye the Science Guy has spun into three other science shows, several books, and a math series called Solving for X. These days he's the CEO of the Planetary Society, the world's largest non-governmental space interest organization. He wants everyone to know and appreciate our place in space. It's all about the P, B, & J -- the Passion, Beauty, and Joy -- of science and math.

Session 11: The Classroom
Fri Mar 2, 2012
8:30 – 10:15
P
Eduardo Paes Eduardo Paes
Mayor of Rio de Janeiro

Mayor Eduardo Paes is on a mission to ensure that Rio's renaissance creates a positive legacy for all its citizens.

Eduardo Paes started his political career as the head of the Barra da Tijuca and Jacarepaguá in Rio de Janeiro. He then became a city councilman, a congressman, the Municipal Secretary for Environment and State Government’s Secretary for Sports and Tourism in 2007. Paes was empowered by the Governor of Rio, Sérgio Cabral, to bring the preparations for the Pan American Games that would begin just seven months later back on track. In 2008, Eduardo Paes was elected Mayor of Rio de Janeiro.

Paes says that his mission as mayor is to ensure that Rio’s renaissance thanks to the Brazilian economic boom, the effective pacification policy developed by the State Government and the successful bid to host the 2016 Olympic Games creates a positive legacy for all Rio’s citizens.

He has created programmes such as Porto Maravilha (revitalisation of the port area), Morar Carioca (urbanisation of all the favelas), UPP Social (development of social programmes in pacified favelas), the Rio Operations Centre (a nerve centre that monitors all municipal logistics), and the establishment of the BRT system (four express corridors for articulated buses that will connect the whole city).

Session 7: The City
Wed Feb 29, 2012
5:00 – 6:45
Jennifer Pahlka Jennifer Pahlka
Code activist

Jennifer Pahlka is the founder of Code for America, which matches software geniuses with US cities to reboot local services.

Jennifer Pahlka is the founder and executive director of Code for America, which works with talented web professionals and cities around the country to promote public service and reboot government. She spent eight years at CMP Media where she led the Game Group, responsible for GDC, Game Developer magazine, and Gamasutra.com; there she also launched the Independent Games Festival and served as executive director of the International Game Developers Association. Recently, she ran the Web 2.0 and Gov 2.0 events for TechWeb and co-chaired the successful Web 2.0 Expo. She is a graduate of Yale University and lives in Oakland, CA with her daughter and six chickens.

Session 6: The Crowd
Wed Feb 29, 2012
2:15 – 4:00
Sarah Parcak Sarah Parcak
Space archaeologist, TED Fellow

Sarah Parcak, a TED Fellow, uses satellite imagery to discover ancient, previously unknown archeological sites.

Sarah Parcak is an archaeologist and Egyptologist, and specializes in making the invisible past visible using 21st-century satellite technology. She co-directs the Survey and Excavation Projects in the Fayoum, Sinai, and Egypt's East Delta with her husband, Dr. Greg Mumford. Parcak is the author of Satellite Remote Sensing for Archaeology, the first methods book on satellite archaeology, and her work has seeded several TV documentaries and specials on the BBC, CNN, the Science Channel and the Discovery Channel. She founded and directs the Laboratory for Global Observation at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and is a National Geographic Explorer, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and a TED Fellow.

Session 1: The Observatory
Tues Feb 28, 2012
11:00 – 12:45
Philippe Petit Philippe Petit
High-wire artist

High-wire artist Philippe Petit surprised the world when he walked illegally between the Twin Towers in 1974.

Besides having stretched a steel cable without permission between the towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, high-wire artist Philippe Petit is a street juggler, writes, draws, performs close-up magic, practices lock-picking and 18th-century timber framing, plays chess, studies French wine, gives lectures and workshops on creativity and motivation, and was recently sighted bullfighting in Peru. Also, he has been arrested over 500 times … for street juggling.

Petit’s book To Reach the Clouds is the basis of the Academy Award-wining documentary film Man on Wire. His new high-wire project on Easter Island -- Rapa Nui Walk -- is an homage to the Rapa Nui and their giant carved stone statues, the Moai.

Petit is working on his seventh book, Why Knot? He just completed his first series of Master Classes: Tightrope! An Exploration into the Theatre of Balance. He is also hard at work on a new one-man stage show titled Wireless! Philippe Petit Down to Earth.

Session 10: The Campfire
Thurs Mar 1, 2012
5:00 – 6:45
T. Boone Pickens T. Boone Pickens
Entrepreneur and energy theorist

A legendary oil and gas entrepreneur, T. Boone Pickens is now on a mission to enhance U.S. energy policies to lessen the nation’s dependence on OPEC oil.

T. Boone Pickens views America's dependence on OPEC oil as the greatest threat to the country's national security and economic well-being. In developing The Pickens Plan for America’s energy future, he's advocating for domestic alternatives and even greater new technologies. Pickens grew from humble beginnings in Depression-era Holdenville, Oklahoma, to be one of the nation’s most successful oil and gas entrepreneurs, and has been uncannily accurate in predicting oil and gas prices (CNBC coined him the “Oracle of Oil”) -- and he's established a very successful energy-oriented investment fund. Pickens is also an innovative, committed philanthropist who has donated nearly $1 billion to charity.

Session 5: The Earth
Wed Feb 29, 2012
11:00 – 12:45
Q
Quixotic Fusion Quixotic Fusion
Performance ensemble

Anthony Magliano and Mica Thomas are the founder and artistic directors of Quixotic, a mixed-media theater/performance/aerialist company.

Quixotic, conceived by founder Anthony Magliano is an ensemble of artists from various disciplines including aerial acrobatics, dance, fashion, film, music and visual f-x. This inventive group of artists goes beyond the limits of any specific art form, challenging traditional perceptions and creating a total sensory experience unlike any other for its audience while exploring infinite possibilities of movement, sound and multimedia.

Session 2: The Parlor
Tues Feb 28, 2012
2:15 – 4:00
R
Ainissa Ramirez Ainissa Ramirez
Science evangelist

Ainissa Ramirez is a science evangelist and science lecturer, passionate about getting kids of all ages excited about science.

Ainissa Ramirez is a science evangelist, dedicated to sharing the joy of materials, process and creativity with students of all ages. You can find her work at Material Marvels. Prior to taking on the call to improve science understanding, she was a professor of mechanical engineering and materials science at Yale, leading a research program in smart materials and nanomaterials. She has published several book chapters and scores of scientific articles and holds 10 patents. Prior to working at Yale, Ainissa was a member of technical staff (MTS) at Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, NJ, where she developed a universal solder (a reactive solder that bonds to glass) for which she was awarded MIT’s Technology Review TR100 award (in 2003). She later founded a company, called Adhera Technologies, which commercializes this invention.

Session 11: The Classroom
Fri Mar 2, 2012
8:30 – 10:15
Aaron Reedy Aaron Reedy
Teacher

Aaron Reedy teaches at Thomas Kelly High School in Chicago, where he uses innovative projects to connect his classroom to the wider world of science.

Aaron Reedy is one of those science teachers you dreamed of having. In pursuit of great education, he sea-kayaked down the Mississippi River, immersed kids in field studies of reptile reproductive biology and climate change, and carried out professional-level science in the classroom. Right now, he's a team member on a National Geographic/Waitts grant to investigate the role that the sex ratio plays in evolution and population growth in island populations of lizards. 

At his blog, wideworldscience.blogspot.com, he helps bring field biology into classrooms and shared the work of his students with the world.

Session 11: The Classroom
Fri Mar 2, 2012
8:30 – 10:15
Jon Ronson Jon Ronson
Writer and filmmaker

Jon Ronson is a writer and documentary filmmaker who dips into every flavor of madness, extremism and obsession.

In his latest book, The Psychopath Test, Jon Ronson explores the unnerving world of psychopaths -- a group that includes both incarcerated killers and, one of his subjects insists, plenty of CEOs. In his books, films and articles, Ronson explores madness and obsession of all kinds, from the US military's experiments in psychic warfare to the obscene and hate-filled yet Christian rap of the Insane Clown Posse. He wrote a column for the Guardian and hosted an essay program on Radio 4, and contributes to This American Life.

Session 10: The Campfire
Thurs Mar 1, 2012
5:00 – 6:45
S
Donald Sadoway Donald Sadoway
Materials engineer

Donald Sadoway is working on a battery miracle -- an inexpensive, incredibly efficient, three-layered battery using “liquid metal."

The problem at the heart of many sustainable-energy systems: How to store power so it can be delivered to the grid all the time, day and night, even when the wind's not blowing and the sun's not shining? At MIT, Donald Sadoway has been working on a grid-size battery system that stores energy using a three-layer liquid-metal core. With help from fans like Bill Gates, Sadoway and two of his students have spun off the Liquid Metals Battery Corporation (LMBC) to bring the battery to market.

Session 4: The Lab
Wed Feb 29, 2012
8:30 – 10:15
Henrik Schärfe Henrik Schärfe
Roboticist

How will we talk, work, live with robots? Henrik Scharfe and his robot double, Geminoid-DK, want to know.

TEDxBrussels says it best: "Henrik Scharfe lives with two bodies. One was born in Denmark in the late sixties, and one was born in Japan in 2011." Body #2 is Geminoid-DK, an ultra-realistic android that looks exactly like its ... master? owner? executive? human? The tension in this word choice hints at what Scharfe and Geminoid-DK want to explore: How we as humans will relate to robots that will soon form an intimate part of our lives. Geminoid-DK takes meetings in Scharfe's office and sparks uncanny reactions everywhere it goes. Curious? Take a look at www.geminoid.dk and see if you spot the human. Scharfe is director of the Center for Computer-Mediated Epistemology at Aalborg University in Denmark, where he researches what technology can help us know -- and how technology can help us understand what it is to be human.

Session 12: The Moment
Fri Mar 2, 2012
11:00 – 12:45
Tali Sharot Tali Sharot
Cognitive neuroscientist

Tali Sharot studies why our brains are biased toward optimism.

Optimism bias is the belief that the future will be better, much better, than the past or present. And most of us display this bias. Neuroscientist Tali Sharot wants to know why: What is it about our brains that makes us overestimate the positive? She explores the question in her book The Optimism Bias: A Tour of the Irrationally Positive Brain. 

In the book (and a 2011 TIME magazine cover story), she reviewed findings from both social science and neuroscience that point to an interesting conclusion: "our brains aren't just stamped by the past. They are constantly being shaped by the future." In her own work, she's interested in how our natural optimism actually shapes what we remember, and her interesting range of papers encompasses behavioral research (how likely we are to misremember major events) as well as medical findings -- like searching for the places in the brain where optimism lives. Sharot is a faculty member of the Department of Cognitive, Perceptual and Brain Sciences at University College London.

 

Session 8: The Courtroom
Thurs Mar 1, 2012
11:00 – 12:45
Andrew Stanton Andrew Stanton
Filmmaker

Andrew Stanton has made you laugh and cry. The writer behind the three "Toy Story" movies and the writer/director of "WALL-E," he releases his new film, "John Carter," in March.

Andrew Stanton wrote the first film produced entirely on a computer, Toy Story. But what made that film a classic wasn't the history-making graphic technology -- it's the story, the heart, the characters that children around the world instantly accepted into their own lives. Stanton wrote all three Toy Story movies at Pixar Animation Studios, where he was hired in 1990 as the second animator on staff. He has two Oscars, as the writer-director of Finding Nemo and WALL-E. And as Edgar Rice Burroughs nerds, we're breathlessly awaiting the March opening of his fantasy-adventure movie John Carter.

Session 2: The Parlor
Tues Feb 28, 2012
2:15 – 4:00
Jim Stengel Jim Stengel
Marketer

Jim Stengel is a brand ­marketer looking to change the narrative of business.

When he left Procter & Gamble, Jim Stengel was Global Marketing Officer, working with P&G's intimately loved brands (Crest, Pampers, Gillette ...). He left to pursue a larger vision: How can we change the narrative of business to focus on core values? He's looking for a new story of business -- a new kind of leadership that amplifies the ideal at the core of every business, and creates the kind of growth that makes our world a better place. With his consultancy, The Jim Stengel Company, he's been looking at 50 of the world's top companies, analyzing some 50,000 brands. And he found that there's a cause-and-effect relationship between the companies' financial performance and their ability to connect with fundamental human emotions, hopes, values and greater purposes. His new book is Grow: How Ideals Power Growth and Profit at the World’s Greatest Companies.

Session 8: The Courtroom
Thurs Mar 1, 2012
11:00 – 12:45
Bryan Stevenson Bryan Stevenson
Public-interest lawyer

Bryan Stevenson is the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, fighting poverty and challenging racial discrimination in the criminal justice system.

Bryan Stevenson is a public-interest lawyer who has dedicated his career to helping the poor, the incarcerated and the condemned. He's the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, an Alabama-based group that has won major legal challenges eliminating excessive and unfair sentencing, exonerating innocent prisoners on death row, confronting abuse of the incarcerated and the mentally ill, and aiding children prosecuted as adults.

EJI recently won an historic ruling in the U.S. Supreme Court holding that mandatory life-without-parole sentences for all children 17 or younger are unconstitutional. Mr. Stevenson’s work fighting poverty and challenging racial discrimination in the criminal justice system has won him numerous awards. He is a graduate of the Harvard Law School and the Harvard School of Government, and has been awarded 14 honorary doctorate degrees

Session 8: The Courtroom
Thurs Mar 1, 2012
11:00 – 12:45
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Marco Tempest Marco Tempest
Techno-illusionist

A magician and illusionist for the 21st century, Marco Tempest blends cutting-edge technology with the flair and showmanship of Houdini.

Marco Tempest’s imaginative combination of computer-generated imagery, quick-cut video and enthusiastic stage presence has earned him a place in the pantheon of great illusionists. At 22, the Swiss magician won the New York World Cup of Magic, launching him into international prominence. Tempest's award-winning television series “The Virtual Magician” airs in dozens of countries worldwide, while his lively phonecam postings on YouTube, done without post-production and video-editing tricks to astonished people on the street, get millions of views (search on "virtualmagician"). His Vimeo channel showcases his artistic side -- like his recent hypnotic series "levitation," using a high-speed camera. At the MIT Media Lab, Tempest is researching the link between magic and technology as a Director's Fellow.  

Through his art, Tempest creates a highly entertaining way to be entranced by the reality-bending tech magic that surrounds us all every day. Watch more Marco magic courtesy of Scobleizer ... or see Marco profiled on CNN.com's Next List.

He says: "I blend the line between what is incredibly real and what is incredibly not."

Watch a video on the making of his augmented-reality illusion >>

Watch a video on the making of his Nikola Tesla pop-up book >>

Session 4: The Lab
Wed Feb 29, 2012
8:30 – 10:15
Michael Tilson Thomas Michael Tilson Thomas
Musician, Conductor

Conductor Michael Tilson Thomas (call him MTT) is an all-around music educator -- connecting with global audiences, young musicians and concertgoers in San Francisco and London.

As a conductor, Michael Tilson Thomas might be best known for his interpretation of the emotionally charged music of Gustav Mahler. But his legacy won't stop at his Grammy-winning recordings of the complete Mahler symphony cycle with his home orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony. He's also the founder of the New World Symphony, an orchestra that helps to educate young and gifted musicians as obsessed with their craft as he. Since its establishment in 1987, New World Symphony has launched the careers of more than 700 young musicians, and in its new Miami Beach concert hall designed by Frank Gehry, it's bringing well-played classical music to a truly popular audience. 
 
He's the guest conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra -- and the artistic director of the YouTube Symphony Orchestra (YTSO), a 96-member ensemble selected from online video auditions. Tilson Thomas conducted the YTSO at Carnegie Hall in 2009 and in 2011 in Sydney, Australia. And he's the creator of the Keeping Score education program for public schools, which uses PBS TV, web, radio and DVDs, and a K-12 curriculum to make classical music more accessible. In 2010, Tilson Thomas was awarded the National Medal of Arts, the highest award given to artists by the US government.

Session 2: The Parlor
Tues Feb 28, 2012
2:15 – 4:00
Sherry Turkle Sherry Turkle
Cultural analyst

Sherry Turkle studies how technology is shaping our modern relationships: with others, with ourselves, with it.

Since her pathbreaking The Second Self: Computers and The Human Spirit in 1984 psychologist and sociologist Sherry Turkle has been studying how technology changes not only what we do but who we are. In 1995's Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet, Turkle explored how the Internet provided new possibilities for exploring identity.

Described as "the Margaret Mead of digital cuture," Turkle has now turned her attention to the world of social media and sociable robots. As she puts it, these are technologies that propose themselves "as the architect of our intimacies." In her most recent book, Alone Together: Why We Expect More From Technology and Less From Each Other, Turkle argues that the social media we encounter on a daily basis are confronting us with a moment of temptation. Drawn by the illusion of companionship without the demands of intimacy, we confuse postings and online sharing with authentic communication. We are drawn to sacrifice conversation for mere connection. Turkle suggests that just because we grew up with the Internet, we tend to see it as all grown up, but it is not: Digital technology is still in its infancy and there is ample time for us to reshape how we build it and use it.

Turkle is a professor in the Program in Science, Technology and Society at MIT and the founder and director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self.

Session 8: The Courtroom
Thurs Mar 1, 2012
11:00 – 12:45
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Al Vernacchio Al Vernacchio
Sexuality educator

In his 12th-grade Sexuality and Society class, Al Vernacchio speaks honestly and positively about human sexuality.

Al Vernacchio teaches at Friends’ Central, a private Quaker school just outside Philadelphia. His positive, enthusiastic and often humorous approach to comprehensive sexuality education (rather than abstinence-only education) has made “Mr. V.” a popular speaker -- and has recently brought him to the attention of the New York Times Magazine, which profiled his class in the November 20, 2011, cover story "Teaching Good Sex". When not talking about sexuality, Vernacchio teaches English and is the faculty moderator of the school's Gay-Straight Alliance. He's also a seasoned wedding officiant.

Session 11: The Classroom
Fri Mar 2, 2012
8:30 – 10:15
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Frank Warren Frank Warren
Secret keeper

Frank Warren is the creator of the PostSecret Project, a blog full of secrets anonymously shared via postcard.

Frank Warren is the creator of The PostSecret Project, a collection of highly personal and artfully decorated postcards mailed anonymously from around the world, displaying the soulful secrets we never voice. Since November 2004, Warren has received more than 500,000 postcards, with secrets that run from sexual taboos and criminal activity to confessions of secret beliefs, hidden acts of kindness, shocking habits and fears. PostSecret is a safe and anonymous "place" where people can hear unheard voices and share untold stories.

Session 6: The Crowd
Wed Feb 29, 2012
2:15 – 4:00
Abigail Washburn Abigail Washburn
Clawhammer banjo player

Abigail Washburn pairs venerable folk elements with far-flung sounds, creating results that feel both strangely familiar and unlike anything anybody's ever heard before.

If American old-time music is about adopting earlier, simpler ways of life and music-making, Abigail has proven herself a bracing challenge to that tradition. A singing, songwriting, Chinese-speaking, Illinois-born, Nashville-based, clawhammer banjo player, Abigail is every bit as interested in the present and the future as she is in the past, and every bit as attuned to the global as she is to the local. From the recovery zones of earthquake-shaken Sichuan to the hollers of Tennessee, she pairs venerable folk elements with far-flung sounds, and the results feel both strangely familiar and unlike anything anybody’s ever heard before. To put it another way, she changes what seems possible.
Session 10: The Campfire
Thurs Mar 1, 2012
5:00 – 6:45
Reggie Watts Reggie Watts
Vocalist, beatboxer, comedian

Reggie Watts creates unpredictably brilliant performances on the spot using his voice, looping pedals and his giant brain.

The winner of TED's Full Spectrum auditions, Reggie Watts works on the edge of improv performance -- at a place where you can almost visibly see his brain moving, as he pulls spoken and musical snippets from the sonosphere and blends them into a stream-of-consciousness flow. On screen, Reggie has appeared on The Conan O’Brien Show, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, HBO’s The Yes Men Save the World, Comedy Central’s Michael and Michael Have Issues and PBS’ Electric Company. Last summer, he opened nightly on Conan O'Brien’s sold-out North American “Prohibited From Being Funny on Television” tour.

Session 6: The Crowd
Wed Feb 29, 2012
2:15 – 4:00
Sebastian Wernicke Sebastian Wernicke
Statistics whiz

After making a splash in the field of bioinformatics, Sebastian Wernicke moved on to the corporate sphere, where he motivates and manages multidimensional projects.

Currently an Engagement Manager at Oliver Wyman, Sebastian Wernicke originally studied bioinformatics at Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena. During his time in academia, he devised an algorithm for analyzing biological networks that now aids researchers in dealing with their innate complexity.

Before his career in statistics began, Wernicke worked stints as both a paramedic and successful short animated filmmaker. He's also the author of the TEDPad app, an irreverent tool for creating an infinite number of "amazing and really bad" and mostly completely meaningless talks. He's the author of the statistically authoritative and yet completely ridiculous "How to Give the Perfect TEDTalk."

Session 12: The Moment
Fri Mar 2, 2012
11:00 – 12:45
Taylor Wilson Taylor Wilson
Nuclear scientist

At 14, Taylor Wilson became the youngest person to achieve fusion -- with a reactor born in his garage. Now he wants to save our seaports from nuclear terror.

Physics wunderkind Taylor Wilson astounded the science world when, at age 14, he became the youngest person in history to produce fusion. The University of Nevada-Reno offered a home for his early experiments when Wilson’s worried parents realized he had every intention of building his reactor in the garage.

Wilson now intends to fight nuclear terror in the nation's ports, with a homemade radiation detector priced an order of magnitude lower than most current devices. In 2012, Wilson's dreams received a boost when he became a recipient of the $100,000 Thiel Prize. Wilson now intends revolutionize the way we produce energy, fight cancer, and combat terrorism using nuclear technology.

Session 8: The Courtroom
Thurs Mar 1, 2012
11:00 – 12:45
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Lior Zoref Lior Zoref
Crowdsourcing advocate

Lior Zoref is a blogger, speaker and marketing guy -- and he'll be delivering Long Beach's first crowd-sourced TEDTalk. You can help ...

Lior's talk was created using crowd wisdom from thousands of people globally. This is a completely new way to create a TED talk. At TED we get inspired by the best speakers in the world. But it's just one speaker at a time who reaches out to many. Lior's talk was prepared by many, presented by one, to inspire many. He'll offer a fresh idea about using social networks to gather crowd wisdom as a new way to think.

About a year ago, Lior attended TEDx in Tel-Aviv. It was then that he decided to share his dream about speaking at TED with his friends on social networks. Then, something amazing happened: his Facebook friends decided to help him make his dream come true.

Session 6: The Crowd
Wed Feb 29, 2012
2:15 – 4:00