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A
Allan Adams image Allan Adams
Theoretical physicist

Allan Adams is a theoretical physicist working at the intersection of fluid dynamics, quantum field theory and string theory.

Allan Adams is a theoretical physicist working at the intersection of fluid dynamics, quantum field theory and string theory. His research in theoretical physics focuses on string theory both as a model of quantum gravity and as a strong-coupling description of non-gravitational systems.

Like water, string theory enjoys many distinct phases in which the low-energy phenomena take qualitatively different forms. In its most familiar phases, string theory reduces to a perturbative theory of quantum gravity. These phases are useful for studying, for example, the resolution of singularities in classical gravity, or the set of possibilities for the geometry and fields of spacetime. Along these lines, Adams is particularly interested in microscopic quantization of flux vacua, and in the search for constraints on low-energy physics derived from consistency of the stringy UV completion.

In other phases, when the gravitational interactions become strong and a smooth spacetime geometry ceases to be a good approximation, a more convenient description of string theory may be given in terms of a weakly-coupled non-gravitational quantum field theory. Remarkably, these two descriptions—with and without gravity—appear to be completely equivalent, with one remaining weakly-coupled when its dual is strongly interacting. This equivalence, known as gauge-gravity duality, allows us to study strongly-coupled string and quantum field theories by studying perturbative features of their weakly-coupled duals. Gauge-gravity duals have already led to interesting predictions for the quark-gluon plasma studied at RHIC. A major focus of Adams's present research is to use such dualities to find weakly-coupled descriptions of strongly-interacting condensed matter systems which can be realized in the lab.
Session 4: Lifehacks
Tues Feb 16, 2016
2:15 – 4:00
Chris Anderson image 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.

Chris Anderson is the Curator of TED, a nonprofit devoted to sharing valuable ideas, primarily through the medium of 'TED Talks' -- short talks that are offered free online to a global audience.

Chris was born in a remote village in Pakistan in 1957. He spent his early years in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan, where his parents worked as medical missionaries, and he attended an American school in the Himalayas for his early education. After boarding school in Bath, England, he went on to Oxford University, graduating in 1978 with a degree in philosophy, politics and economics.

Chris then trained as a journalist, working in newspapers and radio, including two years producing a world news service in the Seychelles Islands.

Back in the UK in 1984, Chris was captivated by the personal computer revolution and became an editor at one of the UK's early computer magazines. A year later he founded Future Publishing with a $25,000 bank loan. The new company initially focused on specialist computer publications but eventually expanded into other areas such as cycling, music, video games, technology and design, doubling in size every year for seven years. In 1994, Chris moved to the United States where he built Imagine Media, publisher of Business 2.0 magazine and creator of the popular video game users website IGN. Chris eventually merged Imagine and Future, taking the combined entity public in London in 1999, under the Future name. At its peak, it published 150 magazines and websites and employed 2,000 people.

This success allowed Chris to create a private nonprofit organization, the Sapling Foundation, with the hope of finding new ways to tackle tough global issues through media, technology, entrepreneurship and, most of all, ideas. In 2001, the foundation acquired the TED Conference, then an annual meeting of luminaries in the fields of Technology, Entertainment and Design held in Monterey, California, and Chris left Future to work full time on TED.

He expanded the conference's remit to cover all topics, including science, business and key global issues, while adding a Fellows program, which now has some 300 alumni, and the TED Prize, which grants its recipients "one wish to change the world." The TED stage has become a place for thinkers and doers from all fields to share their ideas and their work, capturing imaginations, sparking conversation and encouraging discovery along the way.

In 2006, TED experimented with posting some of its talks on the Internet. Their viral success encouraged Chris to begin positioning the organization as a global media initiative devoted to 'ideas worth spreading,' part of a new era of information dissemination using the power of online video. In June 2015, the organization posted its 2,000th talk online. The talks are free to view, and they have been translated into more than 100 languages with the help of volunteers from around the world. Viewership has grown to approximately one billion views per year.

Continuing a strategy of 'radical openness,' in 2009 Chris introduced the TEDx initiative, allowing free licenses to local organizers who wished to organize their own TED-like events. More than 8,000 such events have been held, generating an archive of 60,000 TEDx talks. And three years later, the TED-Ed program was launched, offering free educational videos and tools to students and teachers.

Inside TED
Thurs Feb 18, 2016
9:00 – 10:15
B
Jonathan Bell image Jonathan Bell
Branding expert

Jonathan Bell is the founder of WANT, a consultancy, and a branding expert who has created over 150 company names and the identities of over 400 products and services.

When Google changed its holding name in Alphabet, everyone seemed to have an opinion about it. That’s because brands have relevance in today’s world. Brand naming is a science, argues Jonathan Bell He is the founder of WANT, a consultancy, and a branding expert who has created over 150 company names and the identities of over 400 products and services. He is also a faculty member at the New York’s School of Visual Arts. His most challenging assignment? Naming his two kids. Thankfully his wife chose the names: Lucas and Luiza.
TED University
Wed Feb 17, 2016
2:15 – 4:00
Alexander Betts image Alexander Betts
Social scientist

Alexander Betts explores ways societies might empower refugees rather than pushing them to the margins.

In media and in public debate, refugees are routinely portrayed as a burden. Professor Alexander Betts argues that refugees, who represent a wide spectrum of professional backgrounds, are in fact an untapped resource that could benefit nations willing to welcome them into their economies. 

Betts is the director of the Refugee Studies Centre at the University of Oxford, where he spearheads research on refugee and other forced migrant populations. His book, Survival Migration, explores the predicaments of people who are fleeing disaster yet fall outside legal definitions of refugee status.

Session 12: Wake up!
Fri Feb 19, 2016
9:30 – 12:10
Sanford Biggers image Sanford Biggers
Conceptual artist

Sanford Biggers creates art that upends traditional narratives about topics ranging from hip hop to Buddhism to American history.

An LA native working in NYC, Sanford Biggers creates artworks that integrate film, video, installation, sculpture, drawing, original music and performance. He intentionally complicates issues such as hip hop, Buddhism, politics, identity and art history in order to offer new perspectives and associations for established symbols. Through a multi-disciplinary formal process and a syncretic creative approach, he makes works that are as aesthetically pleasing as they are conceptual.

The significance of Biggers' work within contemporary society has been celebrated through solo exhibitions both nationally and internationally, most recently at the Brooklyn Museum, Sculpture Center and Mass MoCA. He has participated in prestigious residencies and fellowships including: Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart, Germany; Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw, Poland; Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito, California; ARCUS Project Foundation, Ibaraki, Japan; and the Art in General/ Trafo Gallery Eastern European Exchange in Budapest, Hungary. He has been a fellow of the Creative Time Global Residency, the Socrates Sculpture Park Residency, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council World Views AIR Program, the Eyebeam Atelier Teaching Residency, the Studio Museum AIR Program, the P.S. 1 International Studio Program and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture residency.

Biggers' installations, videos and performances have appeared in venues worldwide including Tate Britain and Tate Modern in London, the Whitney Museum and Studio Museum in Harlem, New York and the Yerba Bue a Center for the Arts in San Francisco, as well as institutions in China, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Poland and Russia. The artist's works have been included in notable exhibitions such as: Prospect 1 New Orleans Biennial, Illuminations at the Tate Modern, Performa 07 in NY, the Whitney Biennial and Freestyle at the Studio Museum in Harlem. His works are included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Walker Art Center, Whitney Museum, Brooklyn Museum and Bronx Museum.

Biggers has won awards including: the American Academy in Berlin Prize, Greenfield Prize, New York City Art Teachers Association Artist-of-the-Year, Creative Time Travel Grant, Creative Capital Project Grant, New York Percent for the Arts Commission, Art Matters Grant, New York Foundation for the Arts Award, the Lambent Fellowship in the Arts, the Pennies From Heaven/ New York Community Trust Award, Tanne Foundation Award and Rema Hort Mann Foundation Award Grant.

Biggers is Assistant Professor at Columbia University's Visual Arts program and a board member of Sculpture Center, Soho House and the CUE Foundation. He has also taught at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Sculpture and Expanded Media program and was a visiting scholar at Harvard University's VES Department in 2009.

TED Fellows Talks, Session 1
Mon Feb 15, 2016
11:30 – 1:15
Jherek Bischoff image Jherek Bischoff
Composer, musician

Jherek Bischoff is a Los Angeles-based composer, arranger, producer and multi-instrumental performer.

Jherek Bischoff has collaborated with the likes of Kronos Quartet, Bang on a Can, David Byrne and Neil Gaiman, and he has performed in venues and festivals around the globe including Royal Albert Hall for BBC Proms, Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall, Adelaide Festival and Tasmania's MONA FOMA. His work as a composer has garnered commissions from Kronos Quartet, Lincoln Center, and St Ann's Warehouse and has been performed by Seattle Symphony, Adelaide Art Orchestra, Wordless Music, Stargaze and yMusic.

His critically-acclaimed releases include 2016's Cistern, 2012's Composed, and a co-release in 2016 with Amanda Palmer, Strung Out In Heaven: A Bowie String Quartet Tribute. He has been interviewed by Terry Gross on "Fresh Air" and by Jonathan Ross for BBC Radio 2's "Arts Show". In 2014, Bischoff made his musical scoring debut with Johnny Breitwieser at Vienna's Schauspielhaus; in 2015, Bischoff ventured into television, contributing work to Starz' "Blunt Talk" and Netflix's "Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp."

Bischoff was the artist in residence for the month of August for Times Square's Midnight Moment, where his video for "Cistern" was broadcast every night on Times Square's electronic billboards, culminating in two live performances in the middle of Times Square. He is currently working on his next musical score for Theater Basel's production of "Das Fliegende Klassenzimmer," which premieres in December, and a collaborative album with Kronos Quartet.

Session 12: Wake up!
Fri Feb 19, 2016
9:30 – 12:10
Blitz the Ambassador image Blitz the Ambassador
Afrobeat/hip-hop artist

Blitz the Ambassador infuses Brooklyn hip-hop style with the infectious polyrhythms of Afrobeat and highlife.

Born in Ghana and inspired by American rap pioneers like Public Enemy and KRS-One, Samuel Bazawule (better known as Blitz the Ambassador) brings a West African flavor to contemporary hip-hop. Now living in Brooklyn, Blitz connects his Afrobeat roots and his adopted hip-hop scene with live musicians (whose grooves and horns recall Nigerian legend Fela Kuti) and a host of collaborators, including Public Enemy’s Chuck D.

Blitz’ latest album, Afropolitan Dreams, explores the immigrant experience from a fresh, unexpected -- and danceable -- new perspective.

Session 3: Imagination. Invention. Ingenuity.
Tues Feb 16, 2016
11:15 – 12:45
Blitz the Ambassador image Blitz the Ambassador
Afrobeat/hip-hop artist

Blitz the Ambassador infuses Brooklyn hip-hop style with the infectious polyrhythms of Afrobeat and highlife.

Born in Ghana and inspired by American rap pioneers like Public Enemy and KRS-One, Samuel Bazawule (better known as Blitz the Ambassador) brings a West African flavor to contemporary hip-hop. Now living in Brooklyn, Blitz connects his Afrobeat roots and his adopted hip-hop scene with live musicians (whose grooves and horns recall Nigerian legend Fela Kuti) and a host of collaborators, including Public Enemy’s Chuck D.

Blitz’ latest album, Afropolitan Dreams, explores the immigrant experience from a fresh, unexpected -- and danceable -- new perspective.

Session 3: Imagination. Invention. Ingenuity.
Tues Feb 16, 2016
11:15 – 12:45
Joanna Bloor image Joanna Bloor
Amplifier

Joanna Bloor co-founded and leads The Amplify Lab, which she describes as an “accelerator for people.”

Joanna Bloor loves helping people overcome obstacles and grow their potential as part of her business, The Amplify Lab. She has applied the same principles to herself, becoming a late-in-life athlete: “I went from couch potato to marathon running in my thirties”, she says. To lose weight and keep herself motivated to train and to make better food choices, she has devised a very original and smart method, which involves technology, but doesn't involve a scale.
TED University
Wed Feb 17, 2016
2:15 – 4:00
Tabetha Boyajian image Tabetha Boyajian
Astronomer

Tabetha Boyajian is best known for her research on KIC 8462852, a puzzling celestial body that has inspired otherwise sober scientists to brainstorm outlandish hypotheses.

Planet hunter Tabetha Boyajian studies KIC 8462852 (dubbed "Tabby's star" after her team's research): a star exhibiting bizarre (and thus far unique) variations in brightness. These fluctuations have led scientists to postulate causes ranging from comet dust (Boyajian's most likely scenario) to alien megastructures. The latest studies of Tabby's star have proved even more baffling: KIC 8462852 has been gradually dimming over the last century, a strikingly short period of time on an astronomical scale.

Boyajian currently serves as a postdoc with the Yale Exoplanet group, whose research is assisted by the Planet Hunters -- a citizen science group that combs data from the NASA Kepler Space Mission for evidence of exoplanets and other unusual interstellar activity.
Session 5: Deep memory
Tues Feb 16, 2016
5:00 – 7:00
Arthur Brooks image Arthur Brooks
Social scientist, author

As president of the American Enterprise Institute, Arthur Brooks is changing the way conservatives think about poverty and opportunity.

When classical French horn player Arthur Brooks returned to the United States from Spain with no money and few academic credentials, he felt he was immigrating to his own country. Now, as president of the conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute (and an author of many columns and books, including his latest, The Conservative Heart), he's injecting a much-needed dose of compassion into contemporary conservative discourse.

A tireless advocate of free enterprise, Brooks argues that "a conservatism that fights poverty, promotes equal opportunity and extols spiritual enlightenment" is what the United States needs to restore prosperity and happiness.

Session 9: Outside the box
Thurs Feb 18, 2016
11:00 – 12:50
Monica Byrne image Monica Byrne
Author and playwright

Novelist, writer, culture critic and playwright Monica Byrne thinks that there's an infinite number of stories to tell, and she intends to tell as many as she can.

Novelist, writer, culture critic and playwright Monica Byrne deftly avoids the traps of conventional fiction by inventing mold-­breaking characters who express themselves in surprising ways. Her first novel, The Girl in the Road, has garnered acclaim both inside and outside the spheres of science fiction.

In addition to her work on her new novel The Actual Star, Byrne is a resident playwright at Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern in Durham, NC. Her story "Blue Nowruz" was commissioned for TED2015 by Neil Gaiman. She holds degrees in biochemistry from MIT and Wellesley.

Session 11: Fantasists and catalysts
Thurs Feb 18, 2016
5:00 – 7:00
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Moran Cerf image Moran Cerf
Brain hacker

Moran Cerf studies the underlying mechanisms of our psychology by eavesdropping on the activity of our brain from the inside out.

As a hacker, Moran Cerf had an enviable life: infiltrating the security of large companies and banks. Now, translating these skills to neuroscience, he looks at the ultimate "black box" - the human brain.

Analyzing the brain's inner workings during neurosurgical procedures, Cerf eavesdrops on the activity of individual cells inside open brains as we make decisions, feel, think, imagine or dream. His results help us understand how we think, and how we can use our understanding of the activity inside our head to predict behaviors and understand the underlying mechanisms of our psychology.

Session 9: Outside the box
Thurs Feb 18, 2016
11:00 – 12:50
Prosanta Chakrabarty image Prosanta Chakrabarty
Ichthyologist

Evolutionary biologist and natural historian Prosanta Chakrabarty explores the world in an effort to understand fundamental aspects of biological diversity.

Dr. Prosanta Chakrabarty is an Associate Professor and Curator of Fishes at the Museum of Natural Science and Department of Biological Science at Louisiana State University.

Chakrabarty is a systematist and an ichthyologist studying the evolution and biogeography of both freshwater and marine fishes. His work includes studies of Neotropical (Central and South America, Caribbean) and Indo-West Pacific (Indian and Western Pacific Ocean) fishes. His natural history collecting efforts include trips to Japan, Australia, Taiwan, Madagascar, Panama, Kuwait and many other countries. He has discovered over a dozen new species including new anglerfishes and cavefishes.

The LSU Museum of Natural Science fish collection that Chakrabarty oversees includes nearly half a million fish specimens and nearly 10,000 DNA samples covering most major groups of fishes. He earned his PhD at the University of Michigan and his undergraduate degree is from McGill University in Montreal. He has written two books including A Guide to Academia: Getting into and Surviving Grad School, Postdocs and a Research Job. He was named a TED Fellow in 2016.

TED Fellows Talks, Session 1
Mon Feb 15, 2016
11:30 – 1:15
Holly Cohen image Holly Cohen
Occupational therapist, tinkerer

By teaching simple hacks, Holly Cohen adapts toys and other consumer electronics to create accessibility for all, including people with disabilities.

As an occupational therapist at NYU Langone’s Rusk Rehabilitation and NYU professor, Holly Cohen is an expert on assistive technology: technology that improves the quality of life for people with disabilities.

In her quest to discover ways to make technology more accessible, Holly (and fellow explorer John Schimmel) co-founded DIYAbility, a maker organization empowering DIY designers to create tools for engaging their world (and to have fun doing it). Their projects include a video game controller for individuals that cannot use their hands, and teaching simple “hacks” to make the world more accessible.

Session 3: Imagination. Invention. Ingenuity.
Tues Feb 16, 2016
11:15 – 12:45
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Raffaello D'Andrea image Raffaello D'Andrea
Autonomous systems pioneer

Raffaello D'Andrea explores the possibilities of autonomous technology by collaborating with artists, engineers and entrepreneurs.

Raffaello D'Andrea combines academics, business, and the arts to explore the capabilities of autonomous systems. As part of his research as professor of dynamic systems and control at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zürich), he and his collaborators enchant viewers with works like the self-destructing, self-assembling Robotic Chair, or the Balancing Cube that can perch itself on its corners.

D’Andrea and his team created the Flying Machine Arena to test the gravity-defying abilities of their athletic flying robots. Building on research in the Flying Machine Arena, ETH Zürich partnered with its spin-off company Verity Studios and with Cirque du Soleil to create “Sparked,” a short film showcasing the unexpected airborne dexterity of quadcopters. D’Andrea is the co-founder of Kiva Systems, a robotics company that develops intelligent automated warehouse systems and that was acquired by Amazon in 2012.

Session 6: Code power
Wed Feb 17, 2016
8:30 – 10:15
Angélica Dass image Angélica Dass
Artist and photographer

By cataloging every conceivable human skin tone, Angélica Dass illustrates that skin color and race are more complex than they might appear at first glance.

As a member of a multi­racial family, Brazilian artist Angélica Dass is acutely aware of how small differences in skin tone can swell into large misconceptions and stereotypes about race.

In her ongoing project Humanæ, Dass pairs thousands of portraits of people from diverse parts of the world with their Pantone codes, revealing that our racially­ charged skin color labels --­­ red, white, brown --­­ as not only inaccurate but also absurd. Instead, she shows us that "these colors make us see each other as different, even though we are equal."

Session 10: The dreams that define us
Thurs Feb 18, 2016
2:15 – 4:00
Sue Desmond-Hellmann image Sue Desmond-Hellmann
CEO, Gates Foundation

Sue Desmond-Hellmann leads the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s mission to establish equity for every person.

As CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Sue Desmond-Hellmann leads the organization's vision for a world where every person has the opportunity to live a healthy, productive life. Drawing on her diverse experience as scientist, physician and business executive, she oversees a variety of missions focused on eradicating disease, poverty and inequity. She leads 1,400 people, across four continents, working in more than 100 countries to help more children and young people survive and thrive, combat infectious diseases that hit the poorest hardest, and empower people -- particularly women and girls -- to transform their lives.

Trained as an oncologist, Dr. Desmond-Hellmann spent 14 years at biotech firm Genentech, developing a number of breakthrough medicines, including two of the first gene-targeted therapies for cancer, Avastin and Herceptin. In November 2009, Forbes magazine named her one of the world's seven most "powerful innovators," calling her "a hero to legions of cancer patients." Her time at Genentech put her at the forefront of the precision medicine revolution, and in her current role she champions a similar approach to global development: precision public health -- getting the right interventions, to the right populations, in the right places, to save lives.

Immediately prior to joining the foundation in 2014, Dr. Desmond-Hellmann was the first female chancellor of the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF), overseeing all aspects of the university and medical center's strategy and operations. It was her second stint at UCSF, having completed her clinical training there in the 1980s. She moved to Uganda in 1989 to work on HIV/AIDS and cancer, which she credits as a turning point in her career. "It was so profound to recognize ... that all the learning I had done to become a doctor didn't matter at all if I didn’t make a contribution," she said.

Dr. Desmond-Hellmann is the recipient of numerous honors and awards. She was listed among Fortune magazine's "50 most powerful women in business" for seven years. In 2010, she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and elected to the Institute of Medicine. She serves on the boards of directors at Facebook Inc. and the Procter & Gamble Company.

Session 12: Wake up!
Fri Feb 19, 2016
9:30 – 12:10
Wanda Diaz Merced image Wanda Diaz Merced
Sonic astrophysicist

While searching for ways to study stellar radiation without relying on sight, Wanda Diaz Merced has developed a way to represent complex data about our universe as sound.

When Wanda Diaz Merced lost her sight in her early 20s, her dreams of studying stars in the visually oriented scientific world suffered a major setback -- until she discovered “sonification,” a way to turn huge data sets into audible sound using pitch, duration and other properties. Merced realized that she could use her ears to detect patterns in stellar radio data, and could uncover connections obscured by graphs and visual representation.

While working at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Merced’s sonifications inspired musician and researcher Gerhard Sonnert to create X-Ray Hydra, an album of oddly jazzy music based on her audio representations.

Session 3: Imagination. Invention. Ingenuity.
Tues Feb 16, 2016
11:15 – 12:45
R. Luke DuBois image R. Luke DuBois
Artist, composer, engineer

R. Luke DuBois weaves information from a multitude of sources into art and music exploring the tensions between algorithms, portraiture and temporal space.

R. Luke DuBois is a multidisciplinary artist mining the intersection of art, culture and technology, often expanding or contracting perspectives or timespans to accentuate aspects of each work. As a musician, he has produced a spectrum of electro-acoustic works with a multitude of artists, including Bora Yoon, Bang on a Can and the Freight Elevator Quartet.

As an artist, DuBois focuses on exposing the long narratives created by arcs of data, in the same way that time-lapse photographs expose long swaths of motion in a single image. As a programmer, DuBois is co-author of Jitter, a software suite that allows real-time manipulation of video and 3D imagery.

DuBois teaches at New York University, where he co-directs the Integrated Digital Media program at the Tandon School of Engineering. His artwork is represented by bitforms gallery in New York City.

Session 6: Code power
Wed Feb 17, 2016
8:30 – 10:15
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EL VY image EL VY
Musical group

EL VY delivers funny and intriguingly askew observations within intimate, catchy and deceptively understated songs.

Formed by The National’s Matt Berninger and Portland musician Brent Knopf after years of near-collaboration, EL VY (as a pronunciation hint, the band suggests “plural of Elvis”) layers humorously dour musings on life and fame over crystal clear pop/rock arrangements.

Far from being a footnote to either musician’s previous projects, EL VY’s debut album Return to the Moon presents not only conceptual paeans to musical idols ranging from the Beatles to the Minutemen but also bittersweet renderings of Berninger’s middle American past. In January 2016, EL VY played a concert preceding Obama’s final State of the Union address.
Session 11: Fantasists and catalysts
Thurs Feb 18, 2016
5:00 – 7:00
Hugh Evans image Hugh Evans
Humanitarian

Through the Global Citizen platform, humanitarian Hugh Evans has created an online community of millions of people -- all driven to eradicate extreme poverty by the year 2030.

At 14, Hugh Evans spent the night in a Manila slum. The harsh realities of his hosts’ lives motivated Evans to challenge the status quo of extreme poverty. Following a trip to South Africa in 2002 as World Vision's inaugural Youth Ambassador, Evans worked on the Make Poverty History campaign and helped stage the Make Poverty History Concert, fronted by Pearl Jam and Bono.

In 2012, under the mantle of the Global Poverty Project (launched 2008), Evans co-founded Global Citizen, and with it, the Global Citizen Festival -- a free, ticketed event requiring fans to perform anti-poverty actions in exchange for entry, recruiting millions into the war against global poverty. In 2015 alone, Global Citizens took 2.3 million actions, helping to secure commitments from governments around the world that are set to affect more than 210 million lives.

Session 7: Imagine there's no countries
Wed Feb 17, 2016
11:00 – 12:45
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Negin Farsad image Negin Farsad
Comedian, filmmaker

Stand-up comedian Negin Farsad counters Islamophobia in funny and clever ways.

Negin Farsad was named one of the Funniest Women of 2015 by Huffington Post, one of the 10 Best Feminist Comedians by Paper magazine and was selected as a TED Fellow for her work in social justice comedy.

Farsad is the author of the recently released How to Make White People Laugh, a memoir-meets-social-justice-comedy manifesto (published by Grand Central, a division of Hachette). She is also the director/writer/star of the rom-com "3RD Street Blackout," starring Janeane Garofalo, Ed Weeks and John Hodgman, set for a summer 2016 release. She has written for/appeared on Comedy Central, MTV, PBS, IFC, Nickelodeon and others. She is director/producer of the feature films The Muslims Are Coming! starring Jon Stewart, David Cross and Lewis Black, and Nerdcore Rising, starring Weird Al Yankovic. She has sued New York State’s MTA over the right to put up funny posters about Muslims and won! She started her comedy career as a Cornell and Columbia-educated policy advisor for the City of New York. 

TED Fellows Talks, Session 2
Mon Feb 15, 2016
2:30 – 4:15
Christiana Figueres image Christiana Figueres
Climate advocate

Christiana Figueres is the executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), who led the recent COP 21 climate talks in Paris.

Christiana Figueres has been the executive secretary of the UNFCCC since July 2010. She has directed five consecutive successful Conferences of the Parties, and is now charged with the intergovernmental process to deliver the 2015 Paris agreement on climate change.

Figueres has a long trajectory in the field of global climate change, having been a member of the Costa Rican negotiating team 1995- 2009, and having played a number of key roles in the governance of the UNFCCC before formally joining the secretariat. She initiated her life of public service as Minister Counselor at the Embassy of Costa Rica in Bonn, Germany in 1982. Moving to the USA, she was Director of Renewable Energy in the Americas (REIA) and in 1995 founded the nonprofit Center for Sustainable Development of the Americas (CSDA) which she directed for eight years. She designed and helped to establish national climate change programs throughout Latin America and served as high level advisor to both governments and private companies. In 2001 she received the Hero for the Planet Award from National Geographic.

Session 7: Imagine there's no countries
Wed Feb 17, 2016
11:00 – 12:45
Adam Foss image Adam Foss
Juvenile justice reformer

By shifting his focus from incarceration to transforming lives, Adam Foss is reinventing the role of the criminal prosecutor.

As Assistant District Attorney in the Juvenile Division of Suffolk County, Adam Foss has become one of Boston's leading voices for compassion in criminal justice. Recognizing that prosecutors have a unique opportunity to intervene in offender's lives, Foss co-founded the Roxbury CHOICE Program, a collaborative effort between defendants, the court, the probation department, and the D.A. to recast probation as a transformative experience rather than a punitive process.

In addition to his work with the DA's office, Foss is the founder of the SCDAO Reading Program, a project designed to bridge the achievement gap of area elementary school students.

Session 9: Outside the box
Thurs Feb 18, 2016
11:00 – 12:50
Keolu Fox image Keolu Fox
Geneticist, indigenous rights activist

Keolu Fox explores the links between human genetic variation and disease in underrepresented populations.

Keolu Fox's research interests include genome sequencing technologies, genome editing and indigenizing medical research. Fox is currently a PhD Candidate at the University of Washington, Department of Genome Sciences working with experts at Bloodworks Northwest, in Seattle, WA. His work focuses on the application of genome sequencing to increase compatibility for blood transfusion therapy and organ transplantation.

Along with fellow indigenous geneticists Katrina Claw (PhD) and Joe Yracheta, Fox co-founded IndiGenomics, a tribal non-profit organization with a mission of bringing genomic expertise to indigenous communities, empowering indigenous research capacity and positively contributing to health research with indigenous communities for present and future generations.

Recently Fox's work has been in the international media spotlight, with recognition in outlets such as Wired, the BBC, CBC, NPR, The Atlantic, Forbes, Indian Country Today and others. He was named a TED Fellow in 2016.

TED Fellows Talks, Session 1
Mon Feb 15, 2016
11:30 – 1:15
Franz Freudenthal image Franz Freudenthal
Pediatric cardiologist

With his unique inventions (including a device knitted from threads of high-tech alloy by indigenous craftswomen), Franz Freudenthal saves children from congenital heart defects.

In his quest to understand the complexities of congenital heart disease, Bolivian-German physician and inventor Franz Freudenthal creates and produces sophisticated devices aimed at improving the lives of patients, especially children that will carry this device inside their heart for the rest of their lives.

His most heralded invention, the Nit Occlud, closes a hole in the heart or arteries and restores basic heart functionality. Freudenthal works with top scientists and universities from Europe and North and South America; however, his heart is in Bolivia, where he works with a team of engineers and highly skilled laborers and dreams of healthy children.

Session 3: Imagination. Invention. Ingenuity.
Tues Feb 16, 2016
11:15 – 12:45
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Joe Gebbia image Joe Gebbia
Designer, co-founder of Airbnb

As a designer, entrepreneur and the co-founder and Chief Product Officer of Airbnb, Joe Gebbia helped redesign the way the world travels and people connect.

When Joe Gebbia first envisioned Airbnb in his living room in 2007, his motivation was simple -- to pay his rent. Starting as a simple room-sharing service, Joe and co-founders Brian Chesky and Nathan Blecharczyk turned Airbnb into a major disruptive force for the hospitality industry, creating a new economy for millions of people in 190 countries around the world.

Gebbia serves as a part-time design partner at Y Combinator, the prestigious startup incubator that helped launch Airbnb. He earned dual degrees in Graphic Design and Industrial Design at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), where he now serves on the institution's Board of Trustees. He plays a leading role in shaping Airbnb’s future innovation, distinctive culture, and design aesthetic, and through his work, seeks to expand the richness of human connection in the world.
Session 2: Radical repatterning
Tues Feb 16, 2016
8:30 – 10:15
Casey Gerald image Casey Gerald
American

Casey Gerald chronicles the current state of the American Dream and explores ways to sustain it for a new generation.

Casey Gerald has witnessed every facet of the American Dream -- from his harrowing childhood in Texas, to his tenure at the heights of America's elite institutions, to his journeys through the cities and towns of the American heartland where he has spent his recent years as cofounder and CEO of MBAs Across America. Now his work as a writer, speaker, and business leader centers on the question: will the American dream survive another generation?

Gerald began his career in economic policy and government innovation at the Center for American Progress, and he has worked as a strategist with startup social ventures such as The Future Project as well as companies like The Neiman Marcus Group.

Born and raised in Dallas, Gerald received an MBA from Harvard Business School, where he delivered the 2014 commencement address, and a BA in Political Science from Yale College. He has been featured on MSNBC, in The New York Times, Financial Times, The Guardian, and he has appeared on the cover of Fast Company, which also named him one of the "Most Creative People in Business." He currently serves on the advisory board of NPR's Generation Listen.

Session 12: Wake up!
Fri Feb 19, 2016
9:30 – 12:10
Rhiannon Giddens image Rhiannon Giddens
Musician

With a rich voice and an equally rich sense of history, Rhiannon Giddens animates American folk tradition with her electrifying song interpretations.

Since 2005, singer, fiddler and banjo player Rhiannon Giddens has been energizing audiences with her fiery performances with Grammy-winning string band Carolina Chocolate Drops. She's interpreted fragments of Dylan with the New Basement Tapes (along with fellow group members Elvis Costello and Marcus Mumford).

Now Giddens is lending her formidable, classically trained voice -- and her socially conscious sensibility -- to the American songbook. Tomorrow Is My Turn, her 2015 album of standards, celebrates songs made famous by feminine legends of jazz, folk and country.

Session 8: Nightmare?
Wed Feb 17, 2016
5:00 – 7:00
Rhiannon Giddens image Rhiannon Giddens
Musician

With a rich voice and an equally rich sense of history, Rhiannon Giddens animates American folk tradition with her electrifying song interpretations.

Since 2005, singer, fiddler and banjo player Rhiannon Giddens has been energizing audiences with her fiery performances with Grammy-winning string band Carolina Chocolate Drops. She's interpreted fragments of Dylan with the New Basement Tapes (along with fellow group members Elvis Costello and Marcus Mumford).

Now Giddens is lending her formidable, classically trained voice -- and her socially conscious sensibility -- to the American songbook. Tomorrow Is My Turn, her 2015 album of standards, celebrates songs made famous by feminine legends of jazz, folk and country.

Session 5: Deep memory
Tues Feb 16, 2016
5:00 – 7:00
Mark Goffman image Mark Goffman
Storyteller

Mark Goffman is a producer of Sleepy Hollow and West Wing -- and has an extraordinary family story of his own.

As a storyteller, Mark Goffman is used to writing about characters that have to overcome significant obstacles. But when his 3-month old son was diagnosed with a rare retina condition, he gained a new perspective. While a cure hasn’t been found yet, adjustments in attitude have led to the child’s embracing his challenges, and flourishing. “There is a sweet spot for young children who need intervention”, Mark says. He is a television producer and writer whose credits include the TV series Sleepy Hollow and West Wing and the feature documentary Dumbstruck.
TED University
Wed Feb 17, 2016
2:15 – 4:00
Anthony Goldbloom image Anthony Goldbloom
Machine learning expert

Anthony Goldbloom crowdsources solutions to difficult problems using machine learning.

Anthony Goldbloom is the co-founder and CEO of Kaggle. Kaggle hosts machine learning competitions, where data scientists download data and upload solutions to difficult problems. Kaggle has a community of over 600,000 data scientists and has worked with companies ranging Facebook to GE on problems ranging from predicting friendships to flight arrival times.

Before Kaggle, Anthony worked as an econometrician at the Reserve Bank of Australia, and before that the Australian Treasury. In 2011 and 2012, Forbes named Anthony one of the 30 under 30 in technology; in 2013 the MIT Tech Review named him one of top 35 innovators under the age of 35, and the University of Melbourne awarded him an Alumni of Distinction Award. He holds a first call honors degree in Econometrics from the University of Melbourne.  

TED University
Wed Feb 17, 2016
2:15 – 4:00
Al Gore image Al Gore
Climate advocate

Nobel Laureate Al Gore focused the world’s attention on the global climate crisis. Now he’s showing us how we’re moving towards real solutions.

Former Vice President Al Gore is co-founder and chairman of Generation Investment Management. While he’s is a senior partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and a member of Apple, Inc.’s board of directors, Gore spends the majority of his time as chair of The Climate Reality Project, a nonprofit devoted to solving the climate crisis.

He is the author of the bestsellers Earth in the Balance, An Inconvenient Truth, The Assault on Reason, Our Choice: A Plan to Solve the Climate Crisis, and most recently, The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change. He is the subject of the Oscar-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth and is the co-recipient, with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, of the Nobel Peace Prize for 2007 for “informing the world of the dangers posed by climate change.”

Gore was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1976, 1978, 1980 and 1982 and the U.S. Senate in 1984 and 1990. He was inaugurated as the 45th Vice President of the United States on January 20, 1993, and served eight years.

Session 8: Nightmare?
Wed Feb 17, 2016
5:00 – 7:00
Adam Grant image Adam Grant
Organizational psychologist

After years of studying the dynamics of success and productivity in the workplace, Adam Grant discovered a powerful and often overlooked motivator: helping others.

In his groundbreaking book Give and Take, top-rated Wharton professor Adam Grant upended decades of conventional motivational thinking with the thesis that giving unselfishly to colleagues or clients can lead to one’s own long-term success. Grant’s research has led hundreds of advice seekers (and HR departments) to his doorstep, and it’s changing the way leaders view their workforces.

Grant’s new book Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World examines how unconventional thinkers overturn the status quo and champion game-changing ideas.

Session 4: Lifehacks
Tues Feb 16, 2016
2:15 – 4:00
Meron Gribetz image Meron Gribetz
Founder and CEO, Meta

At Meta, Meron Gribetz is leading an effort to produce and sell augmented reality glasses with natural gestural hand recognition.

Meron Gribetz' first encounter with augmented reality was during his service in an elite technological unit of the Intelligence Corps. He later studied computer science and neuroscience at Columbia University, which inspired the core of Meta’s Neurointerface 3D User Interface design philosophy. On the heels of Meta's explosive start, Gribetz was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 list in technology.

Session 6: Code power
Wed Feb 17, 2016
8:30 – 10:15
Dan Gross image Dan Gross
Gun-control activist

As president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Dan Gross seeks to cut US gun deaths in half by 2025.

"For too long we've been playing Mister Nice Guy," says Dan Gross, who takes an unapologetic stance against gun violence in the United States. As leader of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, he's fought a fierce battle in favor of background checks and against "bad apple" firearms dealers. Through aggressive media campaigns, he leads the charge to transform the nation's conversation on guns and gun safety.

Gross's activism stems from personal tragedy: in 1997, his brother was permanently disabled in a shooting at the Empire State Building, inspiring Gross to found the Center to Prevent Youth Violence (now known as PAX).

Session 8: Nightmare?
Wed Feb 17, 2016
5:00 – 7:00
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Ameera Harouda image Ameera Harouda
Fixer

Ameera Harouda leads journalists to the harrowing (and often hidden) stories of the Gaza Strip that they couldn’t find on their own.

In the Gaza Strip, foreign correspondents rely on state-approved "fixers" to direct and guide them on the ground. Although Hamas requires journalists to use fixers as local "sponsors," the fixers also provide ease of movement, translation and an eye for where the real stories are -- making them an invaluable asset in frequently chaotic scenarios.

Ameera Harouda has been a fixer for over a decade. Although many fixers are male, journalists increasingly seek women like Harouda for their access to areas where men are forbidden, and for a new lens on stories of human suffering often overlooked in the headlines.

Session 11: Fantasists and catalysts
Thurs Feb 18, 2016
5:00 – 7:00
Uri Hasson image Uri Hasson
Neuroscientist

Why do great thoughts and stories resonate so strongly with so many people, and how do we communicate them? Using fMRI experiments, Uri Hasson is looking for the answers.

Rather than purging real-world complexity from his experiments, Uri Hasson and his Princeton lab collaborators use messy, real-life stimuli to study how our brains communicate with other brains.

Using fMRI to peer into his subjects’ brain activity, Hasson has discovered that a great storyteller literally causes the neurons of an audience to closely sync with the storyteller’s brain -- a finding that has far-reaching implications for communicators, teachers, performers, and scientists alike.

Session 11: Fantasists and catalysts
Thurs Feb 18, 2016
5:00 – 7:00
Danny Hillis image Danny Hillis
Computer theorist

Inventor, scientist, author, engineer -- over his broad career, Danny Hillis has turned his ever-searching brain on an array of subjects, with surprising results.

Danny Hillis is an inventor, scientist, author and engineer. While completing his doctorate at MIT, he pioneered the concept of parallel computers that is now the basis for most supercomputers, as well as the RAID array. He holds over 100 US patents, covering parallel computers, disk arrays, forgery prevention methods, and various electronic and mechanical devices, and has recently been working on problems in medicine as well. He is also the designer of a 10,000-year mechanical clock, and he gave a TED Talk in 1994 that is practically prophetic. Throughout his career, Hillis has worked at places like Disney and now Applied Minds, always looking for the next fascinating problem.

Session 5: Deep memory
Tues Feb 16, 2016
5:00 – 7:00
Eric Hirshberg image Eric Hirshberg
CEO, Activision

Eric Hirshberg leads Activision, one of the world's largest interactive entertainment companies.

Under Eric Hirshberg's leadership, Activision has delivered the largest entertainment launch in history three times with Call of Duty, the biggest new franchise launch in the industry's history with Destiny, and both the biggest kids' game and the biggest action figure line in the world with Skylanders. All of this has helped Activision Blizzard to be named as one of the 50 most innovative companies in the world by Fast Company and one of the 100 best places to work by Fortune.

Before his time at Activision, Hirshberg built the award winning advertising agency, Deutsch LA as its Co-CEO/Chief Creative Officer. Under Eric's leadership, DeutschLA was named Agency of the Year seven times. Hirshberg has been named one of the 10 most influential people in marketing by Advertising Age Magazine and one of the 50 most creative people in business by Creativity Magazine.

Hirshberg also sits on the boards of the UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture and The X-Prize Foundation. In 2015, Hirshberg gave the commencement address for the School of the Arts and Architecture on June 13, 2015.

Session 5: Deep memory
Tues Feb 16, 2016
5:00 – 7:00
ShaoLan Hsueh image ShaoLan Hsueh
Technologist, entrepreneur

ShaoLan want to help people understand China's culture and language, and to bridge the gap between East and West.

ShaoLan is an entrepreneur, angel investor, geek, writer, traveller and dreamer. She is the founder and creator of Chineasy, which she launched after her TED Talk in Long Beach, California in 2013.

In just over three years, she has built Chineasy into one of the most popular methods of learning Chinese across the Internet with several hundred thousand fellow learners. Her first book, Chineasy, The New Way to Read Chinese, was launched in March 2014 and has been translated into 18 languages. Her next book, Chineasy Everyday, was launched in March 2016.

ShaoLan is a tech entrepreneur with extensive business experience. At the age of 22, while studying for her MBA, she wrote four best-selling books on software in Taiwan, and her books were bundled by Microsoft. She co-founded pAsia, one of the major players on Internet in Asia in 1990’s. After a second masters degree at the University of Cambridge, she began Caravel Capital in 2005 to advise young tech companies.

Chineasy represents a return for ShaoLan to her artistic upbringing and in many ways a design project. This project is the culmination of her life’s journey through the East and West. Her aim is to help people to understand China, Chinese culture, its language and to bridge the gap between East and West. Her next step is to help Chinese children to enjoy and appreciate the beauty of their own language. 

 

TED University
Wed Feb 17, 2016
2:15 – 4:00
Tom Hulme image Tom Hulme
Designer, venturer

Tom Hulme's enthusiasm spans physics, design, entrepreneurship and investment.

Tom Hulme is currently a general partner at GV where he invests in high growth technology companies; he also occasionally works with GV's extensive design team to keep his design muscles working. 

Hulme is also an advisor to IDEO, where he was previously a design director. There, he founded OpenIDEO, an open innovation platform where more than 150,000 users from more than 170 countries solve challenges for social good. He also launched OIEngine, a SaaS platform with clients including Harvard Business School and the Knight Foundation.

Previously, Hulme also started and exited two technology companies and subsequently angel-invested in more than 20 companies, including as the founding investor in Mile IQ (sold to Microsoft).

Hulme has been recognized as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, and has been featured in WIRED UK's Top 100 Digital Power Brokers every year. He has also been included in the Evening Standard list of London's 1000 Most Influential People.

Hulme earned a first class bachelor's degree in physics from the University of Bristol, and an MBA from Harvard Business School, where he received the Baker Scholar Award of high distinction. He also received an honorary doctorate in design from University of the Arts London.
TED University
Wed Feb 17, 2016
2:15 – 4:00
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Laura Indolfi image Laura Indolfi
Biomedical entrepreneur

Laura Indolfi is revolutionizing cancer treatment with new technologies including implantable devices for delivering drugs locally to the site of a tumor.

Laura Indolfi is a biomedical entrepreneur, CEO and co-founder of PanTher Therapeutics, an early stage spin-out from MIT and MGH that provides superior technologies for revolutionizing the treatment of locally advanced inoperable solid tumors. Prior to this she served as an entrepreneur-in-residence at the MGH Cancer Center and as a research associate in the Harvard-MIT Institute for Medical Engineering and Science. She was selected as a TED Fellow in 2016.

Indolfi has broad professional experiences and interests ranging from biomedical engineering to entrepreneurship and outreaching initiative to promoting science. Her scientific expertise covers a broad range of therapeutic areas (cardio, cancer, inflammation, regenerative medicine) and approaches (drug delivery, cell therapy, implanted devices). Together with her strong technical background, Laura has hands-on business and managerial know-how developed during her biomedical business training at Sloan and Harvard Business Schools and with several consulting firms. She strongly believes in the power of outreach initiatives to promote research awareness and foster the public audience's discovery of the beauty of science. In 2014 the line of clothes Cytocouture, created in collaboration with Colombian designer Carlos Villamil and inspired by her cell-therapy research, won the global competition Descience.

Indolfi holds a MS/BS degree in materials science and engineering and a PhD in biomaterials from the University of Naples Federico II in Italy. Upon graduation, she joined the Harvard-MIT Division of health, science and technology, working on several projects spanning from devices for local drug delivery to tissue engineering approaches for cell therapies.

TED Fellows Talks, Session 2
Mon Feb 15, 2016
2:30 – 4:15
Dave Isay image Dave Isay
Story collector

Over thousands of archived and broadcast interviews, StoryCorps founder Dave Isay -- winner of the 2015 TED Prize -- has created an unprecedented document of the dreams and fears that touch us all.

From the first interview he recorded, 2015 TED Prize winner and MacArthur Fellow Dave Isay knew he’d found his calling: preserving the stories of everyday Americans. Since then, Isay has amassed hundreds of thousands of recordings, most of previously unheard or ignored voices, all speaking in their own words. The archives of StoryCorps -- which Isay founded in 2003 -- are included at the Library of Congress’ American Folklife Center, and now constitute the largest single collection of recorded voices in history.

StoryCorps invites friends, loved ones and strangers to conduct 40-minute interviews at intimate recording booths in Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco, and (until 2011) New York, as well as in mobile studios nationwide. Offering moving and surprising glimpses into the hearts of often marginalized and forgotten subjects, the interviews are a familiar feature of NPR’s Morning Edition and Storycorps.org.

At TED2015, Isay shared an audacious wish for StoryCorps: to open up the format from its signature booths with a StoryCorps app that allows anyone to add to this "digital archive of the collective wisdom of humanity." The vision: to broaden this idea, and begin to take it global.

 

Session 5: Deep memory
Tues Feb 16, 2016
5:00 – 7:00
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Mae Jemison image Mae Jemison
Astronaut, engineer, entrepreneur, physician and educator

Astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison‘s inclusive, audacious journey to improving life here on earth and beyond is paving the way for human interstellar travel.

Dr. Mae Jemison, the first woman of color in space, is at the forefront of integrating physical and social sciences with art and culture to solve problems and foster innovation. Leading the 100 Year Starship seed funded by DARPA to ensure interstellar capabilities, she exploits her experience as a physician, engineer, social scientist and dancer to build a global movement generating radical leaps in knowledge, technology and humanity.

A member of the National Academies, Jemison founded two technology companies and nonprofit Dorothy Jemison Foundation, was Area Peace Corps Medical Officer for Sierra Leone and Liberia --­­ and appeared on Star Trek.

Session 3: Imagination. Invention. Ingenuity.
Tues Feb 16, 2016
11:15 – 12:45
Bill T. Jones image Bill T. Jones
Director/choreographer, dancer

With his artistry and creativity, Bill T. Jones has inspired a generation of dancers, choreographers -- and audiences.

In 1982, Bill T. Jones co-founded the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company with his partner Arnie Zane. As the company’s artistic director and choreographer, Jones has created more than 140 works, and in 2011, merged his company with New York’s historical Dance Theater Workshop to create New York Live Arts. The company’s 2015 piece Analogy/Dora: Tramontane is based on Jones’ mother-in-law’s recollections of life under the Nazi occupation of France.

Jones is a 1994 MacArthur Fellow; he received the Kennedy Center Honors in 2010 and the National Medal of Arts from President Obama in 2013. He has won two Tony awards for Best Choreography, for the Broadway musicals Spring Awakening in 207 and Fela! in 2010. Jones is the author of a memoir, Last Night on Earth, and Story/Time, a reflection on his 2012 piece inspired by the work of John Cage.

Session 1: Our tomorrow
Mon Feb 15, 2016
5:00 – 7:05
Paul Tudor Jones II image Paul Tudor Jones II
Investor

Paul Jones is founder of Tudor Investment Corporation and an active philanthropist.

Paul Tudor Jones II started to work on Wall Street in 1976. "If there was ever a free market free-for-all, this was it," he says. "Men wearing ties but acting like gladiators fought literally and physically for a profit." Jones emerged victorious, and as founder of Tudor Investment Corporation and other companies within the Tudor Group, he engages in trading in the fixed income, equity, currency and commodity markets. Headquartered in Greenwich, Connecticut, Tudor manages some $13.7 billion and employs almost 400 people.

Jones is an active philanthropist, including founding the Robin Hood Foundation and the Excellence Charter School, and he sits on the Boards of Just Capital, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Everglades Foundation, and Sonima Foundation. He is also a trustee of NYU's Langone Medical Center.

TED University
Wed Feb 17, 2016
2:15 – 4:00
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Jennifer Kahn image Jennifer Kahn
Science journalist

In articles that span the gene-editing abilities of CRISPR, the roots of psychopathic behavior in children, and much more, Jennifer Kahn weaves gripping stories from unlikely sources.

Jennifer Kahn likes to seek out complex stories, with the goal of illuminating their nuances. She teaches in the magazine program at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, and is a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine; she has written features and cover stories for The New Yorker, National Geographic, Outside, Wired and many more.

Her work has appeared in the Best American Science Writing anthology series four times, most recently for the New Yorker story “A Cloud of Smoke,” a story on the complicated death of a policeman after 9/11.

Session 8: Nightmare?
Wed Feb 17, 2016
5:00 – 7:00
Travis Kalanick image Travis Kalanick
Problem solver-­in-­chief, Uber

As Uber's co-founder and CEO, Travis Kalanick is disrupting an entrenched industry and reinventing urban transportation.

In 2010, entrepreneur and angel investor Travis Kalanick, with his co-­founder Garrett Camp, took a niche product -- Uber -- and turned it into a global platform that has transformed the way we move around the world.

In 68 countries and 360 cities, riders can push a button and get a ride, and drivers have a flexible, independent way to make money. With big investments in China, India, carpooling, self-driving cars and logistics,­ Uber's future promises to be as headline-­grabbing as its past, continuing to reinvent urban transportation as we know it.

Session 2: Radical repatterning
Tues Feb 16, 2016
8:30 – 10:15
Ishita Katyal image Ishita Katyal
Writer

Adults, listen up, says Ishita Katyal: Stop asking kids what they want to do when they grow up -- ask what they want to do right now.

Ishita Katyal is the youngest TEDxYouth organizer in the Asia-Pacific region, as organizer of TEDxYouth@Balewadi. She wrote her first book, Simran’s Diary, when she was 8 years old. She  believes success comes from wanting happiness in the present moment, and loves to read and write in her spare time.

Session 1: Our tomorrow
Mon Feb 15, 2016
5:00 – 7:05
Brian Kelly image Brian Kelly
Frequent flyer

Brian Kelly is the founder of ThePointsGuy, all about the art of maximizing travel experiences while minimizing spending.

From an early age BRIAN KELLY discovered how – by using his father’s airline miles – he could send his family on luxurious trips at a lower cost. Since then he has mastered the art of maximizing travel experiences while minimizing spending. He turned his passion into a career when he founded ThePointsGuy, where a team of travel editors share advice, deals and breaking news on frequent flier programs, credit cards, hotel points and more.
TED University
Wed Feb 17, 2016
2:15 – 4:00
Parag Khanna image Parag Khanna
Global strategist

Geopolitical futurist Parag Khanna foresees a world in which megacities, supply chains and connective technologies redraw the map away from states and borders.

Global theorist Parag Khanna travels the world with his eyes open -- seeing patterns emerging from the chaos of today’s complex world. In his new book, Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization, he redraws the way humanity is organized according to lines of infrastructure and connectivity rather than our antiquated political borders.

At TED2016, he presented glowing maps of our hyper-connected global network civilization. Previously, at TEDGlobal 2009, Khanna spoke about "Mapping the future of countries," and at TEDGlobal 2012, he curated and guest-hosted the session "The Upside of Transparency."

Session 7: Imagine there's no countries
Wed Feb 17, 2016
11:00 – 12:45
Alex Kipman image Alex Kipman
Inventor

With his latest invention, HoloLens, Kinect creator Alex Kipman has opened a virtual holographic universe for users to explore -- and he may have changed the face of computing forever.

In 2001, after graduating from RIT, Technical Fellow and inventor Alex Kipman joined Microsoft. In 2008 he created Kinect, the motion controller that revolutionized gaming and became the fastest-selling consumer device of all time, selling one million units on its first day of release.

Now Kipman has unveiled HoloLens, a jaw dropping device that turns everyday environments into interactive holographic worlds, mixing digital content right into our world. In addition to marking Microsoft's first foray into HMDs, HoloLens has the potential to turn computing as we know it inside out

Session 9: Outside the box
Thurs Feb 18, 2016
11:00 – 12:50
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Kenneth Lacovara image Kenneth Lacovara
Paleontologist

In his quest to understand the largest dinosaurs to have walked the Earth, Lacovara blends exploration with the latest imaging and modeling techniques from engineering to medicine.

Paleontologist Kenneth Lacovara famously unearthed some of the largest dinosaurs ever to walk our planet, including the super-massive Dreadnoughtus, which at 65 tons weighs more than seven T.Rex.

When he's not excavating fossils from far-flung locations, Lacovara works on the cutting edge of applying 21st-century technology to the study of dinosaurs. By using 3D imaging, 3D printing, robotics, and medical modeling techniques, his work is helping to shift our perspective of giant herbivorous dinosaurs from their historic portrayal as hapless lumbering prey to that of fearsome, hulking, hyper-efficient eating machines.

Lacovara led the effort to create the Rowan University Fossil Park in suburban Mantua Township, New Jersey. The quarry preserves a rich cache of marine fossils that Lacovara is using to shed light on the calamitous events that wiped out the dinosaurs. 

Session 5: Deep memory
Tues Feb 16, 2016
5:00 – 7:00
Jessica Ladd image Jessica Ladd
Founder and CEO, Sexual Health Innovations

Jessica Ladd is using technology to advance sexual health in the US.

Jessica Ladd is the Founder and CEO of Sexual Health Innovations and a TED Fellow. She has been honored as a Fearless Changemaker by the Case Foundation, an Emerging Innovator by Ashoka and American Express, and as the Civic Hacker of the Year by Baltimore Innovation Week. 

Before founding Sexual Health Innovations, Ladd worked in the White House Office of National AIDS Policy, as a Public Policy Associate at The AIDS Institute and as a sexual health educator and researcher for a variety of organizations. She also founded The Social Innovation Lab in Baltimore and a chapter of FemSex at Pomona College. She received her Masters in Public Health at Johns Hopkins and her BA in Public Policy/Human Sexuality at Pomona College. She left a PhD program in infectious disease epidemiology at Johns Hopkins in order to pursue work at Sexual Health Innovations full-time.

Ladd has created a platform, Callisto, for students to report assaults online without having to identify their assailant -- a type of information escrow that only releases information to a third party if certain pre-agreed conditions are met, such as if someone else reports the same attacker.

TED Fellows Talks, Session 1
Mon Feb 15, 2016
11:30 – 1:15
Norman Lear image Norman Lear
Producer, activist

Writer, producer and free-speech champion Norman Lear defined decades of US popular culture with his groundbreaking TV shows.

With his blockbuster TV hit All in the Family, Norman Lear introduced new icons -- Archie and Edith Bunker -- while simultaneously redefining television and its role in America’s moral conscience. The series spawned hit spin-offs like The Jeffersons, One Day at a Time and Maude, making Lear a household name throughout the 1970s and 1980s.

Lear’s free-speech activism dovetails with his entertainment career. In 1981, Lear founded People for the American Way in response to a wave of religious fundamentalism he viewed as a threat to the separation of church and state. In 2001, he purchased an early print of the Declaration of Independence, showing it throughout the US as part of the Declaration of Independence Road Trip.

Lear's memoir, Even This I Get to Experience, was released in 2014. The PBS documentary series American Masters will release Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You in theaters July 2016 and on PBS and Netflix Fall 2016.

Session 5: Deep memory
Tues Feb 16, 2016
5:00 – 7:00
Kang Lee image Kang Lee
Developmental researcher

Kang Lee has devoted his career to understanding the development of social cognition and behavior.

With an international team based at the University of Toronto, Kang Lee investigates the neurological and social basis of emerging social behaviors in young children. His two­-pronged research focuses first on how and when children develop the capacity to lie, to detect liesand to feel guilty about it afterwards.

The second focus of Lee's research is facial recognition, which has led to revelations of when children develop the ability to distinguish races ­­and has helped explain why some people occasionally see Jesus' face on a piece of toast.

Session 10: The dreams that define us
Thurs Feb 18, 2016
2:15 – 4:00
John Legend image John Legend
Singer, musician, composer

With his philanthropic work, John Legend is leveraging his stardom to raise social consciousness and make a positive impact on a global scale.

Fueled by a lean, immediate sound and a message rooted in optimism, John Legend has become a true superstar with blockbuster tours, high-profile collaborations, nine Grammys and an Oscar (for Best Original Song, “Glory” in 2015’s Selma).

Legend is well-known for his philanthropic work, which includes the Show Me Campaign, an organization that seeks to provide every child with access to a quality education. Most recently, Legend launched #FREEAMERICA, a multi-year cultural change campaign focused on ending mass incarceration. As a respected artist, Legend is using his platform to engage stakeholders from all areas of the criminal justice system to work towards that goal.

Session 9: Outside the box
Thurs Feb 18, 2016
11:00 – 12:50
Brian Little image Brian Little
Personality researcher

Cambridge research professor Brian Little analyzes and redefines the threads of our personalities -- and suggests ways we can transform ourselves.

Brian Little is an unapologetic introvert -- but in front of a classroom or a lecture hall, he delivers impassioned and witty explorations of contemporary personality psychology. In Little's view, we are as driven by spontaneous, "out of character" moments (and the projects we are passionate about) as we are by innate and learned traits.

Little's book Me, Myself and Us not only beautifully outlines Little's personality theories, but also imparts potentially life-changing advice for readers, while it warns of the hidden costs of hiding your true personality.

Session 4: Lifehacks
Tues Feb 16, 2016
2:15 – 4:00
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Courtney E. Martin image Courtney E. Martin
Journalist

Courtney E. Martin’s work has two obsessions at its core: storytelling and solutions.

In her upcoming book, The New Better Off, Courtney E. Martin explores how people are redefining the American dream with an eye toward fulfillment. Martin is a columnist for On Being, and the cofounder of the Solutions Journalism Network, Valenti Martin Media, and FRESH Speakers, as well as a strategist for the TED Prize and an editor emeritus at Feministing.com.

In her previous book Do It Anyway: The New Generation of Activists, she profiled eight young people doing social justice work, a fascinating look at the generation of world-changers who are now stepping up to the plate.

Session 12: Wake up!
Fri Feb 19, 2016
9:30 – 12:10
Erin McKean image Erin McKean
Dictionary editor

As the co-founder of Reverb Technologies, the maker of the online dictionary Wordnik, Erin McKean is reshaping how we interact with language itself.

Erin McKean's job as a lexicographer involves living in a constant state of research. She searches high and low -- from books to blogs, newspapers to cocktail parties -- for new words, new meanings for old words, or signs that old words have fallen out of use. In June of this year, she involved us all in the search by launching Wordnik, an online dictionary that houses all the traditionally accepted words and definitions, but also asks users to contribute new words and new uses for old words. Wordnik pulls real-time examples of word usage from Twitter, image representations from Flickr along with many more non-traditional, and highly useful, features. 

Before Wordnik, McKean was one of the youngest editors of the New Oxford American Dictionary. She continues to serve as the editor of the language quarterly  Verbatim ("language and linguistics for the layperson since 1974") and is the author of multiple books, including That's Amore and the entire Weird and Wonderful Words series. All that, and she maintains multiple blogs, too: McKean is the keen observationalist behind A Dress a Day and Dictionary Evangelist. Is there anything she can't do? Surprisingly, she is notoriously bad at Scrabble.  

 

 

Session 12: Wake up!
Fri Feb 19, 2016
9:30 – 12:10
John McWhorter image John McWhorter
Linguist

Linguist John McWhorter thinks about language in relation to race, politics and our shared cultural history.

John McWhorter is Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, teaching linguistics, Western Civilization and music history. He is a regular columnist on language matters and race issues for Time and CNN, writes for the Wall Street Journal "Taste" page, and writes a regular column on language for The Atlantic. His work also appears in the Washington Post, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Aeon magazine, The American Interest and other outlets. He was Contributing Editor at The New Republic from 2001 until 2014.

McWhorter earned his PhD in linguistics from Stanford University in 1993 and is the author of The Power of BabelDoing Our Own ThingOur Magnificent Bastard TongueThe Language Hoax and most recently Words on the Move and Talking Back, Talking Black. The Teaching Company has released four of his audiovisual lecture courses on linguistics. He guest hosted the Lexicon Valley podcast at Slate during the summer of 2016.

Beyond his work in linguistics, McWhorter is the author of Losing the Race and other books on race. He has appeared regularly on Bloggingheads.TV since 2006, and he produces and plays piano for a group cabaret show, New Faces, at the Cornelia Street Cafe in New York City.

Session 4: Lifehacks
Tues Feb 16, 2016
2:15 – 4:00
Chris Milk image Chris Milk
Immersive storyteller

Working at the frontiers of interactive technology, Chris Milk stretches virtual reality into a new canvas for storytelling.

Chris Milk is a visual artist who has created music videos for Kanye West, Arcade Fire, Beck, U2, Johnny Cash, Gnarls Barkley and many more. He is known for weaving artistic and technological innovations in pursuit of the next great platform for storytelling. Milk's acclaimed interactive projects include Wilderness Downtown (with Arcade Fire), The Johnny Cash Project and The Treachery of Sanctuary. His interactive installation artworks have been showcased at the MoMA, the Tate Modern and museums around the world.

Milk's most recent contribution to the art and tech frontier is as founder and CEO of the virtual reality company Within (formerly Vrse). In collaboration with the New York Times, Zach Richter and JR, Milk created two VR films, Walking New York and The Displaced, which were distributed along with Google Cardboard viewers to 1 million NYT subscribers in 2015. He has also collaborated on VR projects with the United Nations (Clouds Over Sidra and Waves of Grace), Vice, SNL and U2.

Session 11: Fantasists and catalysts
Thurs Feb 18, 2016
5:00 – 7:00
Dalia Mogahed image Dalia Mogahed
Muslim studies scholar

Researcher and pollster Dalia Mogahed is an author, advisor and consultant who studies Muslim communities.

As director of research at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, Dalia Mogahed keeps her finger on the pulse of the Muslim world. She served on Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships in 2009, advising the president on how faith-based organizations can help government solve persistent social problems.

Mogahed is a former director of the Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, where her surveys of Muslim opinion skewered myths and stereotypes while illuminating the varied attitudes of Muslims toward politics, religion, and gender issues. Her 2008 book with John Esposito, Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think, outlines these surprising findings.

Session 7: Imagine there's no countries
Wed Feb 17, 2016
11:00 – 12:45
Siyanda Mohutsiwa image Siyanda Mohutsiwa
Writer

When her hashtag #IfAfricaWasABar went viral, Botswana writer Siyanda Mohutsiwa triggered a lighthearted but electrifying discussion of some serious African issues.

Blogger, humorist and math student Siyanda Mohutsiwa explores African topics both weighty (reviving Pan­Africanism) and witty (“5 things NOT to say when trying to seduce an Afrikaner”). Her columns for African media outlets like the Mail & Guardian, Za News, and her own website Siyanda Writes have gained a loyal following. 

But when Mohutsiwa’s hashtag #IfAfricaWasABar exploded on Twitter, the viral thread (which pondered the hypothetical bar mannerisms of various African nations) became a platform for everyday Africans to unite in a playful dialogue on national differences, and helped turn Mohutsiwa into a social media star. 

Session 10: The dreams that define us
Thurs Feb 18, 2016
2:15 – 4:00
Michael Murphy image Michael Murphy
Designer

As co-founder and CEO of MASS Design Group, Michael Murphy envisions and creates community-centric structures with healing built into their core.

Michael Murphy is the executive director of MASS Design Group. He spearheads MASS' research and design programs and has helped expand the firm into ten countries and three continents.

Murphy led the design and construction of MASS's first project, the Butaro Hospital in Rwanda, which opened in 2011. The award-winning hospital established the MASS blueprint: immersive study of each location for its challenges and advantages, design of buildings that will improve the well-being of patients and communities, low-impact and environmentally sensitive construction that enriches the community, and evaluation of each design’s impact in improving lives.

Session 8: Nightmare?
Wed Feb 17, 2016
5:00 – 7:00
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Nalini Nadkarni image Nalini Nadkarni
Tree researcher

Called "the queen of canopy research," Nalini Nadkarni explores the rich, vital world found in the tops of trees. She communicates what she finds to non-scientists -- with the help of poets, preachers and prisoners.

Nalini Nadkarni has spent two decades climbing the trees of Costa Rica, Papua New Guinea, the Amazon and the Pacific Northwest, exploring the world of animals and plants that live in the canopy and never come down; and how this upper layer of the forest interacts with the world on the ground. A pioneering researcher in this area, Nadkarni created the Big Canopy Database to help researchers store and understand the rich trove of data she and others are uncovering.

Nadkarni teaches at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, but her work outside the academy is equally fascinating -- using nontraditional vectors to teach the general public about trees and the ecosystem. For instance, she recently collaborated with the dance troupe Capacitor to explore the process of growth through the medium of the human body. In another project, she worked with prison inmates to grow moss for the horticulture trade, to relieve the collecting pressure on wild mosses. The project inspired in her students a new reverence for nature -- and some larger ecochanges at the prison.

She's the author of Between Earth and Sky: Our Intimate Connections to Trees.

TED University
Wed Feb 17, 2016
2:15 – 4:00
Mary Norris image Mary Norris
Copy editor

As a copy editor for the New Yorker, Mary Norris enforces some of the most authoritative (some might say eccentric) style rules in publishing.

Mary Norris settled into her 30-year New Yorker copy-editing post almost by accident -- and after a picaresque series of occupations ranging from checking feet at a Cleveland swimming pool to driving a milk truck. Over the years, she has mustered her skills in the service of such storied writers as Philip Roth, Pauline Kael and George Saunders.

In her book Between You & Me, Norris reflects on her career, the oft-debated quirks of New Yorker style, the serial comma and the joys of a well-sharpened pencil.

Session 6: Code power
Wed Feb 17, 2016
8:30 – 10:15
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Dan Pallotta image Dan Pallotta
Author, speaker, reformer

We dream boldly in the dimension of our doing, but set the bar no higher than stability in our emotional lives. It’s time to dream in multiple dimensions at the same time, says AIDSRide Founder Dan Pallotta. He aims to transform the way society thinks about giving, and being.

"The nonprofit sector is critical to our dream of changing the world. Yet there is no greater injustice than the double standard that exists between the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. One gets to feast on marketing, risk-taking, capital and financial incentive, the other is sentenced to begging,” Dan Pallotta says in discussing his book Charity Case. This economic starvation of our nonprofits is why he believes we are not moving the needle on great social problems. “My goal … is to fundamentally transform the way the public thinks about charity within 10 years.”

Pallotta is best known for creating the multi-day charitable event industry, and a new generation of philanthropists with the AIDS Rides and Breast Cancer 3-Day events, which raised $582 million in nine years. He is president of Advertising for Humanity, which helps foundations and philanthropists transform the growth potential of their favorite grantees. He is also the founder and President of the Charity Defense Council .

Session 1: Our tomorrow
Mon Feb 15, 2016
5:00 – 7:05
Amanda Palmer image Amanda Palmer
Musician, blogger

Alt-rock icon Amanda Fucking Palmer believes we shouldn't fight the fact that digital content is freely shareable -- and suggests that artists can and should be directly supported by fans.

Amanda Palmer commands attention. The singer-songwriter-blogger-provocateur, known for pushing boundaries in both her art and her lifestyle, made international headlines this year when she raised nearly $1.2 million via Kickstarter (she’d asked for $100k) from nearly 25,000 fans who pre-ordered her new album, Theatre Is Evil.
 
But the former street performer, then Dresden Dolls frontwoman, now solo artist hit a bump the week her world tour kicked off. She revealed plans to crowdsource additional local backup musicians in each tour stop, offering to pay them in hugs, merchandise and beer per her custom. Bitter and angry criticism ensued (she eventually promised to pay her local collaborators in cash). And it's interesting to consider why. As Laurie Coots suggests: "The idea was heckled because we didn't understand the value exchange -- the whole idea of asking the crowd for what you need when you need it and not asking for more or less."

Summing up her business model, in which she views her recorded music as the digital equivalent of street performing, she says: “I firmly believe in music being as free as possible. Unlocked. Shared and spread. In order for artists to survive and create, their audiences need to step up and directly support them.”

Amanda's non-fiction book, The Art of Asking, digs deeply into the topics she addressed in her TED Talk. 

Session 12: Wake up!
Fri Feb 19, 2016
9:30 – 12:10
Sarah Parcak image Sarah Parcak
Satellite archaeologist + TED Prize winner

Like a modern-day Indiana Jones, Sarah Parcak uses satellite images to locate lost ancient sites. The winner of the 2016 TED Prize, her wish will help protect the world’s cultural heritage.

There may be hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of undiscovered ancient sites across the globe. Sarah Parcak wants to locate them. As a space archaeologist, she analyzes infrared imagery collected from far above the Earth’s surface and identifies subtle changes that signal a manmade presence hidden from view. A TED Senior Fellow and a National Geographic Explorer, she founded the Laboratory for Global Observation at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Her goal: to make the world's invisible history visible once again.

Parcak was inspired by her grandfather, an early pioneer of aerial photography. While studying Egyptology in college, she took a class on remote sensing and went on to develop a technique for processing satellite data to see sites of archaeological significance. She's written the textbook on satellite archaeology, which allows for the discovery of new sites in a rapid and cost-effective way. In Egypt, her techniques have helped locate 17 potential pyramids, in addition to 3,100 potential forgotten settlements and 1,000 potential lost tombs. She's also made discoveries in the Viking world and Roman Empire, and appeared in the BBC documentary Rome’s Lost Empire and the PBS Nova special, Vikings Unearthed.

Parcak's method also provides a way to see how ancient sites are being affected by looting and urban encroachment. By satellite-mapping Egypt and comparing sites over time, she’s noted a 1,000 percent increase in looting since 2009 at major sites. It’s likely that millions of dollars worth of artifacts are stolen each year. Parcak hopes that, through mapping, unknown sites can be protected to preserve our rich, vibrant history.

As the winner of the 2016 TED Prize, Sarah is building a citizen science platform, called GlobalXplorer, which will enable anyone with an internet connection to discover the next unknown tomb or potential looting pit. GlobalXplorer will launch in early 2017. Sign up for email updates and get early access »

 

 

Session 5: Deep memory
Tues Feb 16, 2016
5:00 – 7:00
Andrew Pelling image Andrew Pelling
Biohacker

Andrew Pelling's unconventional and creative scientific process is founded on play.

Scientist, professor, entrepreneur and TED Fellow Andrew Pelling has built a career on unapologetic curiosity, creativity and serendipity. He is a professor and Canada Research Chair at the University of Ottawa, where he founded and directs a curiosity-driven research lab that brings together artists, scientists, social scientists and engineers. The lab uses low-cost, open source materials and methods to explore speculative living technologies of the future. He has, for instance, created human body parts made from plants and grown living skins on LEGOs -- innovations with the potential to replace prohibitively expensive commercial biomaterials.

Pelling is also the co-founder and CTO of Spiderwort Inc., a mission driven company developing open source platforms to enable the widespread and global adoption of biological research in all environments and economic contexts. Most recently, he founded pHacktory, a street-level research lab in Ottawa that amplifies community ideas through a potent mixture of craft, serendipity and curiosity.

Pelling's work has been in the international media spotlight for many years, with recognition in outlets such as Wired, Huffington Post, NPR, Scientific American, Popular Science, BBC, Der Spiegel, Deutsche Welle and others, as well as numerous highlights in the Canadian media and Scientific media. He was named a TED Fellow in 2016.

TED Fellows Talks, Session 1
Mon Feb 15, 2016
11:30 – 1:15
Judit Polgár image Judit Polgár
Chess grandmaster

Chess legend Judit Polgár uses lessons learned from a career in competitive chess to teach children creative ways to solve problems.

Hungarian chess grandmaster Judit Polgár is widely considered the strongest female chess player in history. After becoming the youngest chess grandmaster of all time at age 15, a record previously held by Bobby Fischer, Polgár went on to become the first woman to ever compete for a World Chess Championship. She was the world no. 1 female chess player for more than 25 years and achieved a peak ranking of no. 8 on the World Men's Rating List.

Polgár represented Hungary as a member of the national men’s team at eight Chess Olympiads, winning a silver medal at the 2014 Olympiad before retiring from competitive chess to focus on the international promotion of chess through education. Today, her foundation works on programs that facilitate the development of children through chess, using the game as an educational tool to teach logical thinking and quick, smart decision-making. In 2015, Polgár was appointed as the new captain and head coach for the Hungarian national men’s chess team.

Session 10: The dreams that define us
Thurs Feb 18, 2016
2:15 – 4:00
Linsey Pollak image Linsey Pollak
Musician, instrument maker, composer

Linsey Pollak harvests everyday items you might otherwise send to the recycling bin and transforms them into unique musical instruments to create intricate, mesmerising music.

A clarinet made from a carrot, bagpipes made from a rubber glove: these are just two of the many whimsical musical instruments Linsey Pollak has crafted from deceptively ordinary objects (and which have garnered him fame in his native Australia).

His performances combine spectacle, comedy, and music, but their novelty hides a serious purpose: to inspire us to look twice at objects we might ignore, and allow them to ignite our creativity. In addition to inventing instruments, Linsey Pollak organizes events and community projects built around music, and creates music from the sounds of endangered species.

Session 10: The dreams that define us
Thurs Feb 18, 2016
2:15 – 4:00
Jason Pontin image Jason Pontin
Editor

Jason Pontin is the editor-in-chief and publisher of MIT Technology Review.

As the editor-in-chief and publisher of MIT Technology Review, Jason Pontin looks into the future, and thinks deeply about what technologies are going to get us there. Pontin has been editor-in-chief of the magazine since 2004 and publisher since 2005, at which point he began its transition to a digital-first magazine. Pontin reduced the number of annual print issues from eleven to six while refocusing the publication's energy toward original daily content. From 1996 to 2002, Pontin was the editor of the now-defunct Red Herring magazine.

TED University
Wed Feb 17, 2016
2:15 – 4:00
Rachel Pritzker image Rachel Pritzker
Philanthropist

Rachel Pritzker wants to address “the world's most wicked problems."

Rachel Pritzker is the founder of the Pritzker Innovation Fund, which supports the development and advancement of bold ideas, primarily focused on climate change, global poverty and energy. Rachel is a co-signer of the Ecomodernist Manifesto, which outlines a powerful alternative approach to climate mitigation and human development. She also chairs the advisory board of the Breakthrough Institute, serves on the boards of Third Way and the Center for Global Development, and advises a number of other organizations.
TED University
Wed Feb 17, 2016
2:15 – 4:00
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AR Rahman image AR Rahman
Composer, musician

In India, AR Rahman is a household name. Now his infectious music is poised to capture the ears (and the hearts) of the rest of the world.

In India, AR Rahman is a household name. Now his infectious music is poised to capture the ears (and the hearts) of the rest of the world. While he’s known in the West for scoring Slumdog Millionaire (which earned him two Oscars and two Grammys), in South Asia, film composer AR Rahman is a superstar. His music is featured in hundreds of movies, his recordings are among the best-selling releases in history, and his fans number in the billions.

Rahman’s film scores are an eclectic blend of Eastern classical, Western electronica and pop-culture touchstones in a musical mélange familiar to Indian film fans. But with appearances at the 2012 London Olympics and several successful global tours, his soulful music has spread far beyond the silver screen.

Session 1: Our tomorrow
Mon Feb 15, 2016
5:00 – 7:05
Joseph Ravenell image Joseph Ravenell
Physician and men’s health advocate

Using unexpected channels like the pulpit and the barber’s chair, Dr. Joseph Ravenell delivers basic health care information to an at-risk demographic -- African-American men.

Colorectal cancer and hypertension are the two leading causes of death among African-American males over 50, and yet these men remain underserved by basic diagnostic procedures such as blood pressure checks or cancer screening. By tapping the members of the African-American community most often trusted by men -- barbers and religious leaders -- Joseph Ravenell hopes to change that.

Working with New York University's Men's Health Initiative, Ravenell studies and implements community-based strategies to diagnose and treat these preventable and potentially deadly diseases, offering blood pressure readings at barbershops and health education at churches and mosques.

Session 3: Imagination. Invention. Ingenuity.
Tues Feb 16, 2016
11:15 – 12:45
Alice Rawsthorn image Alice Rawsthorn
Design critic

Columnist and author Alice Rawsthorn illuminates the mesh of design woven into every aspect of our everyday lives and communities.

As a columnist for Frieze and a writer for the International New York Times, Alice Rawsthorn explores the world of design, seeking projects that fit their function "while also being responsible, ethically and environmentally, and desirable." In 2015, Rawsthorn launched a daily Instagram diary to demonstrate how social media could enrich the collective conversation on design.

In her acclaimed book Hello World: Where Design Meets Life, Rawsthorn demonstrates the influence and impact of design on our lives and culture. She is active with various arts organizations, including London's Chisenhale Gallery and Michael Clark's contemporary dance company (where she chairs the boards of trustees).

Session 11: Fantasists and catalysts
Thurs Feb 18, 2016
5:00 – 7:00
Shonda Rhimes image Shonda Rhimes
Writer and producer

With the runaway success of shows like Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes has become one of Hollywood’s most powerful icons.

When ABC kicked off its 2014 television season by devoting its Thursday night line-up to the Shondaland shows How to Get Away With Murder, Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes -- already one of the most influential producers in Hollywood -- became arguably the single most powerful voice in television today. In 2015, ABC snapped up Rhimes’ latest series, The Catch. Shondaland shows have the special ability to capture both fan devotion and critical attention – she’s won everything from a Peabody Award to a People’s Choice Award.

Rhimes is known for her groundbreaking storytelling, her candor and humor in the face of her critics, and for never shying away from speaking her mind. She’s also known for her social media savvy, and fans of her shows basically own Twitter on Thursday nights. Her first book, Year of Yes, was published in November 2015.

Session 1: Our tomorrow
Mon Feb 15, 2016
5:00 – 7:05
Usman Riaz image Usman Riaz
Artist, composer

TED Senior Fellow Usman Riaz is an artist and composer.

Usman Riaz is the founder of Mano Animation Studios -- Pakistans first hand-drawn animation studio. Their first project, The Glassworker (شیشہ گر), was created by a team of creatives from Pakistan, Malaysia, Canada, South Africa, the US and the UK. 

TED Fellows Talks, Session 1
Mon Feb 15, 2016
11:30 – 1:15
Usman Riaz image Usman Riaz
Artist, composer

TED Senior Fellow Usman Riaz is an artist and composer.

Usman Riaz is the founder of Mano Animation Studios -- Pakistans first hand-drawn animation studio. Their first project, The Glassworker (شیشہ گر), was created by a team of creatives from Pakistan, Malaysia, Canada, South Africa, the US and the UK. 

Session 12: Wake up!
Fri Feb 19, 2016
9:30 – 12:10
Tom Rielly image Tom Rielly
Satirist

Traditionally, Tom Rielly closes the TED Conference with a merciless 18-minute monologue, skewering all the speakers with his deadpan delivery, spot-on satire and boundary-less performance (complete with PowerPoint, pratfalls and partial nudity).

Talk a walk back through the history of digital media, and you'll find our colleague Tom Rielly every step along the way. He entered the mediasphere with a memorable turn in the 1980 film My Bodyguard. A lifelong performer, he soon found a second love in personal computing. He recognized early on the incredible power of Macs, CD-ROMs and the Web, founding Yale's Macintosh User Group in 1984, then working at SuperMac, Farallon and Voyager, among other pioneering companies.

Rielly is perhaps best-known for co-founding PlanetOut, the first digital home for gays and lesbians, which went public in 2004. He also co-founded the influential nonprofit Digital Queers. As TED's Director of Partnerships, Tom now choreographs the wide range of collaborations that help bring TED to life, at the conference and online. But he's found his true vocation as TED's resident satirist, a role he's played for more than a decade.

Since 1995, Rielly has been hijacking the final session of the conference with his whip-smart satire of all the speakers who came before him -- skewering the egos, mocking the flights of fancy, parroting the doomsday predictions, and imagining a world where Al Gore tells him "I can't quit you."

Fearless and unfailingly funny, Tom's lightning performances bring a flash of brilliance to the closing session and draw a standing ovation every time.

Inside TED
Thurs Feb 18, 2016
9:00 – 10:15
Joshua Roman image Joshua Roman
Cellist

Joshua Roman, a TED Fellow, is an independent-minded cellist.

Dubbed a “Classical Rock Star” by the press, cellist Joshua Roman has earned a national reputation for performing a wide range of repertoire with an absolute commitment to communicating the essence of the music at its most organic level. Before embarking on a solo career, he was for two seasons principal cellist of the Seattle Symphony, a position he won in 2006 at the age of 22. For his ongoing creative initiatives on behalf of classical music, he has been selected as a 2011 TED Fellow, joining a select group of Next Generation innovators who have shown unusual accomplishments and the potential to positively affect the world.

Roman’s 2009–10 season engagements include debuts as concerto soloist with the San Francisco Symphony, as well as the Albany, Arkansas, and Santa Barbara Symphonies, the New Philharmonic Orchestra in Illinois, Oklahoma’s Signature Symphony, and Kentucky’s Lexington Philharmonic. In recent seasons he has performed with the Seattle Symphony, where he gave the world premiere of David Stock’s Cello Concerto, as well as with the Symphonies of Edmonton, Quad City, Spokane, and Stamford, and the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, among others. In 2008, Roman performed Britten’s third Cello Suite during New York’s Mostly Mozart Festival in a pre-concert recital at Avery Fisher Hall. In April 2009, he was the only guest artist invited to play an unaccompanied solo during the YouTube Symphony Orchestra’s debut concert at Carnegie Hall.

In addition to his solo work, Roman is an avid chamber music performer. He has enjoyed collaborations with veterans like Earl Carlyss and Christian Zacharias, as well as the Seattle Chamber Music Society and the International Festival of Chamber Music in Lima, Peru. He often joins forces with other dynamic young soloists and performers from New York’s contemporary music scene, including Alarm Will Sound, So Percussion, and artists from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s CMS Two. In spring 2007, he was named Artistic Director of TownMusic, an experimental chamber music series at Town Hall in Seattle, where he creates programs that feature new works and reflect the eclectic range of his musical influences and inspirations.

Committed to making music accessible to a wider audience, Roman may be found anywhere from a club to a classroom, whether performing jazz, rock, chamber music, or a solo sonata by Bach or Kodály. His versatility as a performer and his ongoing exploration of new concertos, chamber music, and solo cello works have spawned projects with composers such as Aaron Jay Kernis, Mason Bates, and Dan Visconti. One of Roman’s current undertakings is an online video series calledThe Popper Project—wherever the cellist and his laptop find themselves, he performs an étude from David Popper’s “High School of Cello Playing” and uploads it, unedited, to his YouTube channel. Roman’s outreach endeavors have taken him to Uganda with his violin-playing siblings, where they played chamber music in schools, HIV/AIDS centers, and displacement camps, communicating a message of hope through music.

TED University
Wed Feb 17, 2016
2:15 – 4:00
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Riccardo Sabatini image Riccardo Sabatini
Scientist, entrepreneur

Riccardo Sabatini applies his expertise in numerical modeling and data to projects ranging from material science to computational genomics and food market predictions.

Data scientist Riccardo Sabatini harnesses numerical methods for a surprising variety of fields, from material science research to the study of food commodities (as a past director of the EU research project FoodCAST). His most recent research centers on computational genomics and how to crack the code of life.

In addition to his data research, Sabatini is deeply involved in education for entrepreneurs. He is the founder and co-director of the Quantum ESPRESSO Foundation, an advisor in several data-driven startups, and funder of The HUB Trieste, a social impact accelerator.

Session 1: Our tomorrow
Mon Feb 15, 2016
5:00 – 7:05
Safwat Saleem image Safwat Saleem
Artist, graphic designer, filmmaker

Safwat Saleem uses satire and art to bring to light stories of adversity.

Safwat Saleem is a Pakistani-American visual artist, graphic designer and filmmaker. He's best known for making politically-charged satirical art. Safwat's artwork has used a variety of media, including illustration, writing, animation, audio, film and sculpture. He often combines several media to create multimedia storytelling experiences that get his audiences talking -- and laughing -- about subjects that tend to otherwise make people feel uncomfortable. Saleem is also the founder of Bandbaja, a Pakistani music magazine that promoted the use of modern popular music as a socio-political tool.

Saleem has a penchant for doing voiceovers in his films for all kinds of silly characters like a bear, sheep, greeting card and a whale to name a few. His work is shown regularly in galleries around the U.S. and has been featured in publications such as Wired, BoingBoing and Brainpickings. Safwat is a TED Senior Fellow and he likes pizza (like, a lot).

TED Fellows Talks, Session 1
Mon Feb 15, 2016
11:30 – 1:15
Reshma Saujani image Reshma Saujani
Education activist

Through her nonprofit, Girls Who Code, Reshma Saujani initiates young women into the tech world. Her goal: one million women in computer science by 2020.

Reshma Saujani walked away from a finance career in 2010 to run for the House of Representatives. Although her Congress bid (and a subsequent shot for the office of New York City Public Advocate) was ultimately unsuccessful, Saujani's passion for public service was fired up.

In 2012, Saujani founded Girls Who Code to stoke excitement for computer science among high-school women. She aims to enroll one million women in the program by 2020 -- and tech has stepped in to help: Google and Twitter are backers, and engineers at Facebook, AT&T and others have signed on as mentors.

Session 6: Code power
Wed Feb 17, 2016
8:30 – 10:15
Adam Savage image Adam Savage
Maker, critical thinker

Adam Savage is an internationally renowned television producer, host and public speaker.

Adam Savage's mother is a psychologist; his father was a celebrated artist, painter and filmmaker. From the youngest age they encouraged his flights of fancy. Savage has been a paperboy, a projectionist, juggler, unicycle rider, sculptor, graphic designer, scenic painter, robot builder, welder, carpenter, machinist, prop maker, toy designer, actor, writer, executive producer and director. He spent six years in theater and 10 years in commercial and film special effects working for clients such as Nike, Corning, Hershey's, and Coca-Cola, and films like Star Wars, The Matrix films, A.I., Space Cowboys, Terminator 3 and Galaxy Quest.

Savage has built everything from theater sets to miniature particle accelerators. From spaceships to animatronic arms. He's made Rube Goldberg machines, hand props and spacesuits. His online videos have generated over 230 million page views. He's written for Popular Mechanics, the Wall Street Journal and Wired Magazine, among others. His program "Mythbusters" produced 270 episodes that aired in over 100 countries for 14 years. Adam shares his builds, his love for movie props and costumes, and passion for the transformative power of making on his award winning website Tested.com. He lives in San Francisco with his wife Julia, his twin boys Thing1 and Thing2, and two amazing dogs.

(Photo: Michael Shindler)

Session 2: Radical repatterning
Tues Feb 16, 2016
8:30 – 10:15
Mariano Sigman image Mariano Sigman
Neuroscientist

Mariano Sigman combines neuroscience, mathematics and social sciences to illuminate the hidden information flowing through our brains.

A physicist by training, Mariano Sigman is an international leading figure in the cognitive neuroscience of learning and decision making. Using fMRI and other imaging technologies, Sigman and his lab hope to lay bare the basis of cognition, consciousness and dreams, truly using science to "read minds."

Sigman has made essential contributions to the theory of how neural systems operate as we make choices and has collected decisive experimental data on human decision-making (relying on a massive corpus of behavior). Lately, he has focused his research on understanding how neuroscience may help improve educational practice. Throughout his career he has developed numerous research interactions with representatives of different domains of human culture including musicians, chess players, mathematicians, magicians, visual artists and chefs.

Session 10: The dreams that define us
Thurs Feb 18, 2016
2:15 – 4:00
Silk Road Ensemble image Silk Road Ensemble
Musical explorers

With an eclectic repertoire spanning classical, improvisational and folk traditions from around the globe, the Silk Road Ensemble spins unique sounds that celebrate cultural solidarity.

Inspired by the exchange of ideas and traditions along the historical Silk Road, cellist Yo-Yo Ma established Silkroad in 1998 to explore how the arts can advance global understanding. Since 2000, the Silk Road Ensemble has been at the core of Silkroad's work. Representing a global array of cultures, the Ensemble models new forms of cultural exchange through performances, workshops and residencies. The artists of the Ensemble draw on the rich tapestry of traditions from around the world that make up our many-layered contemporary identities, weaving together the foreign and familiar to create a new musical language.

The Ensemble performs throughout the world and has recorded six albums. "St. James Infirmary Blues" appears on its new album, Sing Me Home, which was developed and recorded alongside the new documentary feature The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble from Oscar-winning director Morgan Neville.

Silk Road Ensemble is: 

Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz (bass)
Johnny Gandelsman (violin)
Joseph Gramley (percussion)
Karen Ouzounian (cello)
Kojiro Umezaki (shakuhachi)
Michael Ward-Bergeman (accordion)
Reylon Yount (yangqin)
Evan Ziporyn (clarinet)

Session 5: Deep memory
Tues Feb 16, 2016
5:00 – 7:00
Shivani Siroya image Shivani Siroya
Mobile finance entrepreneur

Shivani Siroya created a tool that allows anyone with a cell phone to build a financial track record.

Shivani Siroya is the CEO & Founder of InVenture, a company that facilitates financial access to small businesses owners around the world by providing mobile financial tracking tools and direct flexible financing in order to help these businesses and their communities lift themselves out of poverty. She was selected as a TED Fellow in 2013.

Siroya has a wide array of professional experiences in global health, micro-finance and investment banking. Prior to InVenture, she worked health costing at UNFPA and Mergers & Acquisitions at Health Net and Citigroup.

Siroya is a 2011 Echoing Green Fellow and 2011Unreasonable Institute Fellow. She is also a blogger for the Huffington Post and has written on Microfinance 2.0 as well as small business growth in the U.S. She is also on the board of ReWork and Young Women Social Entrepreneurs.

Siroya holds a M.P.H in Health Economics and International Policy from Columbia University and a B.A. in International Relations from Wesleyan University.

TED Fellows Talks, Session 1
Mon Feb 15, 2016
11:30 – 1:15
Michael Sng image Michael Sng
Toy designer

With more than 400 3D-printed parts and an obsessive DIY spirit, Michael Sng has designed what may be the ultimate motorized model robot.

After the successful run of his cult-favorite STIKFAS action figures ran aground, lead designer Michael Sng dreamed of creating a toy that could free him from being a “slave to mass production, mass marketing and big retailers.”

With the rise of 3D-printing technology, Sng was able to realize his dream. His custom-crafted, hand-built robot Codename Colossus incorporates steampunk aesthetics, hundreds of parts, servos, an Arduino and “a ridiculous level of craftsmanship” into a towering robot that defies the label of “toy.”

Session 3: Imagination. Invention. Ingenuity.
Tues Feb 16, 2016
11:15 – 12:45
So Percussion image So Percussion
Percussion ensemble

With pieces ranging from hypnotic to cacophonic, So Percussion is building a new canon of modern avant-garde percussion music.

Formed at Yale to breathe new life into contemporary classical percussion works by composers like John Cage, Brooklyn quartet So Percussion has continued to grow an impressive repertoire of original commissioned works and genre-bending collaborations.

Over the course of some 18 albums, and using a variety of head-turning instruments like tuned two-by-fours and an amplified cactus, So has presented commissioned pieces by Steve Reich, Bang on a Can’s David Lang, the National’s Bryce Dessner, and many others. Since 2009, So has sponsored the So Percussion Summer Institute at Princeton, a two-week seminar to mentor budding percussionists and composers.

Session 2: Radical repatterning
Tues Feb 16, 2016
8:30 – 10:15
Somi image Somi
Vocalist, composer and culturist

With her lustrous voice and wide-ranging musical curiosity, Somi spins elegant vocal jazz from African legacies.

In late 2011, East African vocalist and songwriter Somi moved from New York City to Lagos, Nigeria, for 18 months in search of new inspiration. The result: her chart-topping 2014 major label debut, The Lagos Music Salon (Sony Music). The album, with guests Angelique Kidjo, Common and Ambrose Akinmusire, draws its material from the tropical city's boastful cosmopolitanism, urgent inspiration and giant spirit, straddling the worlds of African jazz, soul and pop with a newfound ease and voice that Vogue Magazine calls "powerful."

Born in Illinois to immigrants from Rwanda and Uganga, African and Jazz legacies are crucial to Somi's sound. Referred to as a modern-day Miriam Makeba, JazzTimes magazine describes her performance as "the earthy gutsiness of Nina Simone blended with the fluid vocal beauty of Dianne Reeves," while Billboard remarks that she's "all elegance and awe... utterly captivating." 

In 2013, Somi was invited by Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to perform at the United Nations' General Assembly in commemoration of the International Day of Rememberance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.  

A TED Senior Fellow, inaugural Association of Performing Arts Presenters Fellow, founder of the non-profit New Africa Live, and a two-time recipient of the Doris Duke Foundation's French-American Jazz Exchange Composers’ Grant, Somi began an exploration of African and Arab jazz traditions alongside French-Lebanese trumpeter Ibrahim Maalouf, while investigating the role of the female voice during the Arab Spring protests. That body of work was premiered at the Kennedy Center’s 2014 Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival. Somi is a 2015 Artist-in-Residence at UCLA's Center for the Art of Performance and The Robert Rauschenberg Foundation.

She is currently working on a jazz opera about the life and legacy of South African singer and activist Miriam Makeba.

 

 

TED Fellows Talks, Session 2
Mon Feb 15, 2016
2:30 – 4:15
Amit Sood image Amit Sood
Technologist

As the director of Google's Cultural Institute and Art Project, Amit Sood leads the effort to bring cultural artifacts from museums, archives and foundations onto the web in extraordinary detail.

Amit Sood is the director of Google's Cultural Institute. He and his team work on making art and culture accessible and engaging for everyone. They have partnered with over 1,000 museums, archives and other institutions from more than 70 countries to bring our shared heritage onto the web and connect them with people through new technologies. Most recently they have been experimenting with combining art with machine learning algorithms and other advanced technologies to create new ways to explore our cultures.

Session 7: Imagine there's no countries
Wed Feb 17, 2016
11:00 – 12:45
Kio Stark image Kio Stark
Stranger enthusiast

Kio Stark explores the myriad ways encounters with strangers impact our lives.

Kio Stark has always talked to strangers. She started documenting her experiences when she realized that not everyone shares this predilection. She's done extensive research into the emotional and political dimensions of stranger interactions and the complex dynamics how people relate to each other in public places.

Her novel Follow Me Down began as a series of true vignettes about strangers placed in the fictional context of a woman unraveling the eerie history of a lost letter misdelivered to her door.

Stark did doctoral work at Yale University’s American Studies program, where she thought a lot about the history of science and medicine, urban studies, art, and race -- and then dropped out. Because she also taught graduate courses at NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program, numberless people consulted her about whether or not to go back to school. Those conversations inspired Don't Go Back to School, a handbook for independent learners.

Stark is the author of the TED Book When Strangers Meet, in which she argues for the pleasures and transformative possibilities of talking to people you don’t know. 

Beyond strangers, Stark's abiding fixations include the invisibility of technology; how people learn; practices of generosity and mutual aid; the culture, infrastructure and ephemera of cities; mythology and fairy tales; and advocating for independent learning, data literacy, social justice and feminism. Fiction writers get to dive down wonderful rabbit holes, and some of her favorites have been the forging and stealing of art, secret societies, the daily lives of medical examiners, the physics of elementary particles, bridge design, the history of maps, the mechanisms of wrongful conviction and psychoanalysis.

When not writing books, Stark has worked in journalism, interactive advertising, community research and game design. She writes, teaches and speaks around the world about stranger interactions, independent learning and how people relate to technology. She also consults for startups and large companies helping them think about stranger interactions among their users and audiences.

Session 4: Lifehacks
Tues Feb 16, 2016
2:15 – 4:00
Bryan Stevenson image 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. Bryan is the author of Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption

Session 8: Nightmare?
Wed Feb 17, 2016
5:00 – 7:00
Julia Sweeney image Julia Sweeney
Actor, comedian, playwright

Julia Sweeney creates comedic works that tackle deep issues: cancer, family, faith.

Known for her stint on Saturday Night Live and her powerful solo shows, Julia Sweeney has carved out her own territory in entertainment, one that moves between the personal and the political, the controversial and the comical. Her piece Letting Go of God traces a spiritual journey that takes an unexpected turn toward science (a turn that, incidentally, also led her to TED) and ends with atheism. Her latest book is If It's Not One Thing, It's Your Mother, on parenting and being parented.

In this, as in all her performances, Sweeney projects a warmth and sincerity on stage that's unmatched in today's theater; you immediately feel you're chatting with an old friend. And this gift of intimacy allows her to achieve the impossible: an utterly disarming show that honestly confronts the most controversial topic of our times. Her earlier shows God Said “Ha!” and In the Family Way also garnered praise and prizes for their pairings of humor and poignant truth.

Session 12: Wake up!
Fri Feb 19, 2016
9:30 – 12:10
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Astro Teller image Astro Teller
Entrepreneur, inventor, author

As "Captain of Moonshots" for X, Astro Teller oversees the secret projects that could reshape our lives in coming decades.

Astro Teller oversees X, Alphabet's moonshot factory for building magical, audacious ideas that can solve concrete problems for millions of people through science and technology. As X’s head, Teller has an unmatched vantage point from which to watch possible futures unfold.

In addition to his day job shepherding Peter Pans with PhDs, Teller is on the board of several businesses including AI­-based hedge fund Cerebellum Capital, Inc., and Flux.io, a startup reinventing how buildings are designed and built. He is also the author of two novels and co-author (with Danielle Teller) of Sacred Cows, a non­fiction work analyzing society’s attitudes on divorce.

Session 1: Our tomorrow
Mon Feb 15, 2016
5:00 – 7:05
Trevor Timm image Trevor Timm
Writer, activist and legal analyst

Trevor Timm is the co-founder and executive director of Freedom of the Press Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports and defends journalism dedicated to transparency and accountability.

Trevor Timm is a co-founder and the executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation. He is a journalist, activist, and lawyer who writes a twice weekly column for The Guardian on privacy, free speech, and national security. He has contributed to The Atlantic, Al Jazeera, Foreign Policy, Harvard Law and Policy Review, PBS MediaShift and Politico.

Trevor formerly worked as an activist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Before that, he helped the longtime General Counsel of The New York Times, James Goodale, write a book on the Pentagon Papers and the First Amendment. He received his J.D. from New York Law School.

TED Fellows Talks, Session 1
Mon Feb 15, 2016
11:30 – 1:15
Tshering Tobgay image Tshering Tobgay
Prime Minister of Bhutan

Acting on his mandate to move Bhutan into the 21st century, Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay is transforming his nation -- while maintaining its “Gross National Happiness.”

Tshering Tobgay went from civil servant to politician to prime minister -- all the while maintaining his star social media profile in one of Asia’s most progressive emerging states. As the second democratically elected Prime Minister of Bhutan, Tobgay continues to emphasize his country’s core value of happiness.

Bhutan's acclaimed "Gross National Happiness" index prioritizes well-being over financial growth. But Tobgay also seeks to solve Bhutan's great challenges: unemployment, poverty, gaps in education and infrastructure. WIth a foundation of optimism, his administration and the country's young democracy hope to become a paragon of stability in the developing world.

Session 12: Wake up!
Fri Feb 19, 2016
9:30 – 12:10
Peter J. Toren image Peter J. Toren
Litigator

Intellectual property litigator Peter J Toren’s family has recovered a famous painting stolen by the Nazis.

The recent movie Woman in Gold, based on a true story, has opened a window into the difficulties of recovering art looted by the Nazis. Intellectual property litigator Peter J. Toren lived one such “stories of struggle, success and redemption”, as he says, that finally led to a painting owned by his family being recovered. The Nazis stole the work, by German impressionist Max Liebermann, from his great uncle, and after almost 75 years, it turned up at the house of the son of Hitler's art dealer, together with 1200 other works.
TED University
Wed Feb 17, 2016
2:15 – 4:00
Linus Torvalds image Linus Torvalds
Software engineer

In 1991, Linus Torvalds shared the Linux kernel with a few computer hobbyists. The operating system they built reshaped the software industry.

Fascinated by the economy and elegance of experimental operating system Minix, computer scientist Linus Torvalds wrote an operating system kernel and shared it with independent programmers. The system that they fleshed out and released in 1994 -- Linux -- was remarkable not only for its utility and efficiency but also for the collaboration of its community.

Now enjoying mainstream respectability (and the support of the computer industry), Linux runs on the servers of Amazon, Google, and much of the wired world. As the sole arbiter of code for the Linux Foundation (which he characteristically downplays by saying “the only power I have is to say ‘no’”), Torvalds quietly inspires open-source projects worldwide.

Session 6: Code power
Wed Feb 17, 2016
8:30 – 10:15
Dave Troy image Dave Troy
Technologist

The co-host of TEDxMidAtlantic, Dave Troy is a serial entrepreneur and a data-viz fan.

Dave Troy is a serial entrepreneur and community activist in Baltimore, Maryland. He is CEO and product architect at 410 Labs, maker of the popular e-mail management tool Mailstrom.co. He has been acknowledged by the founding team at Twitter as the first developer to utilize the Twitter API, with his project “Twittervision,” which was featured in the 2008 MoMA exhibition “Design and the Elastic Mind.” His crowdsourced project Peoplemaps.org uses social network data to map cities. He is also organizer of TEDxMidAtlantic and is passionate about data, cities, and entrepreneurship.

Read his post, "The Math Behind Peoplemaps."

TED University
Wed Feb 17, 2016
2:15 – 4:00
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Tim Urban image Tim Urban
Blogger

With Wait But Why, Tim Urban demonstrates that complex and long-form writing can stand out in an online wilderness choked with listicles and clickbait.

Tim Urban has become one of the Internet’s most popular writers. With wry stick-figure illustrations and occasionally epic prose on everything from procrastination to artificial intelligence, Urban's blog, Wait But Why, has garnered millions of unique page views, thousands of patrons and famous fans like Elon Musk.

Session 4: Lifehacks
Tues Feb 16, 2016
2:15 – 4:00
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Haley Van Dyck image Haley Van Dyck
Disrupter

Haley Van Dyck is building a startup at the White House and recruiting world-class technology talent to change how government works for the American people.

Haley Van Dyck helped found the US Digital Service in August 2014. As its Deputy Administrator, she's building a team of tech experts to improve the usefulness, user experience and reliability of America's most important digital services. The team is already making a difference on services that matter most to citizens, from healthcare to immigration to veterans' benefits. 

Since 2008, Van Dyck has helped craft President Obama's technology strategy, including the US Open Data Policy. Her work is helping infuse lean operating strategies and Silicon Valley expertise into the federal government.

Session 2: Radical repatterning
Tues Feb 16, 2016
8:30 – 10:15
Cédric Villani image Cédric Villani
Mathematician

Cédric Villani tackles perplexing problems in mathematical physics, analysis and geometry with rigor, wit and a signature personal style.

His Byronesque hair, colorful ascots and spider brooches have earned Cédric Villani the nickname “the Lady Gaga of Mathematics.” But this moniker has not obscured Villani’s deeper, serious mission: inspiring students to delve into the mysteries of mathematics.

Villani’s fame is based on his work resolving difficult problems of kinetic theory, for which he received the Fields Medal in 2010. His book Birth of a Theorem is an exhilarating journey into the nocturnal dilemmas of mathematicians hot on the trail of discovery.

Session 2: Radical repatterning
Tues Feb 16, 2016
8:30 – 10:15
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Stephen Wilkes image Stephen Wilkes
Narrative photographer

By blending up to 100 still photographs into a seamless composite that captures the transition from day to night, Stephen Wilkes reveals the stories hidden in familiar locations.

Since opening his studio in New York City in 1983, photographer Stephen Wilkes has built an unprecedented body of work and a reputation as one of America's most iconic photographers, widely recognized for his fine art, editorial and commercial work.

His photographs are included in the collections of the George Eastman Museum, James A. Michener Art Museum, Houston Museum of Fine Arts, Dow Jones Collection, Griffin Museum of Photography, Jewish Museum of NY, Library of Congress, Snite Museum of Art, The Historic New Orleans Collection, Museum of the City of New York, 9/11 Memorial Museum and numerous private collections. His editorial work has appeared in, and on the covers of, leading publications such as the New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, TIME, Fortune, National Geographic, Sports Illustrated and many others.

In 1998, a one-day assignment to the south side of Ellis Island led to a 5-year photographic study of the island's long abandoned medical wards where immigrants were detained before they could enter America. Through his photographs and video, Wilkes helped secure $6 million toward the restoration of the south side of the island.

Day to Night, Wilkes' most defining project, began in 2009. These epic cityscapes and landscapes, portrayed from a fixed camera angle for up to 30 hours capture fleeting moments of humanity as light passes in front of his lens over the course of full day. Blending these images into a single photograph takes months to complete. Day to Night has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning as well as dozens of other prominent media outlets and, with a grant from the National Geographic Society, was recently extended to include America's National Parks in celebration of their centennial anniversary. The series will be published by TASCHEN as a monograph in 2017.

Wilkes, who lives and maintains his studio in Westport, CT, is represented by Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery, New York; Peter Fetterman Gallery, Los Angeles; Monroe Gallery of Photography, Santa Fe; and ARTITLEDContemporary, The Netherlands.

Session 12: Wake up!
Fri Feb 19, 2016
9:30 – 12:10
Esther Wojcicki image Esther Wojcicki
Moonshot educator

Esther Wojcicki is a journalism teacher and the founder of the Palo Alto High School Media Arts Program.

Esther Wojcicki focuses on “moonshot education” by empowering students and teaching them 21st-century skills through the use of media. She is a journalism teacher and the founder of the Palo Alto High School Media Arts Program, currently the largest scholastic media program in the United States. She co-authored the book Moonshots in Education: Launching Blended Learning in the Classroom that offers a vision for revolutionizing education for the digital age. She was among the speakers at the G20 Summit in Mexico in 2012.
TED University
Wed Feb 17, 2016
2:15 – 4:00
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Özge Yilmaz image Özge Yilmaz
Entrepreneur

Özge Yilmaz's wedding to her husband, Cagri, was an opportunity to raise money for a Turkish foundation supporting orphan kids.

In Turkey, weddings are mostly defined by the extravaganza, the sums spent for the event and the money the couple raises. Özge Yilmaz (and entrepreneur and organizer of TEDxIstanbul) and her husband Cagri, who got married last November, went against the trend -- and ended up losing control of their wedding. It started with a good cause: using the opportunity to raise money for a Turkish foundation supporting orphan kids by providing a real home with second mothers. They set it up as an “open wedding”, with tickets sold online and more.
TED University
Wed Feb 17, 2016
2:15 – 4:00
Andrew Youn image Andrew Youn
Anti-hunger activist

With One Acre Fund, Andrew Youn is transforming African agriculture by helping farmers overcome the obstacles that hobble their harvests.

Andrew Youn has lived in rural Africa for the last ten years, learning from the largest group of poor people in the world: smallholder farmers. When he first visited Kenya in 2006, he was an MBA student who knew very little about farming. During that first trip, Andrew met two farm families. One family was harvesting two tons of food on a single acre of land and thriving; the other was going hungry. He began asking questions.

Ten years later, the organization he founded, One Acre Fund, serves more than 400,000 farm families, providing them with the financing and agricultural training they need to increase their yields and climb out of poverty. Youn is also the co-founder of D-Prize, an organization that funds early-stage startups that are innovating better ways to distribute proven life-enhancing technologies.

Youn graduated from Yale magna cum laude, is a former management consultant at Oliver Wyman, and received his MBA from Kellogg School of Management. 

Session 8: Nightmare?
Wed Feb 17, 2016
5:00 – 7:00
Lidia Yuknavitch image Lidia Yuknavitch
Author

In her acclaimed novels and memoir, author Lidia Yuknavitch navigates the intersection of tragedy and violence to draw new roadmaps for self­-discovery.

Writer Lidia Yuknavitch discovered her calling after an interrupted journey as a would­-be Olympic swimmer. Her prose erases the boundaries between memoir and fiction, explodes gender binaries and focuses on the visceral minutiae of the body.

She was inspired by Ken Kesey (with whom she collaborated on a collective novel project at Oregon University); her latest book, The Small Backs of Children, stands as a fictional counterpoint to her memoir The Chronology of Water, which has garnered her a cult following for its honesty and intensity.

Session 9: Outside the box
Thurs Feb 18, 2016
11:00 – 12:50
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Noah Zandan image Noah Zandan
Data scientist

Noah Zandan uses data science to illuminate hidden (and often unconscious) messages in our communications -- and suggests ways that speakers might heighten their impact.

With his startup Quantified Communications, Noah Zandan scientifically drills down to the physiological and psychological roots of how we communicate. Focusing on data-driven analysis of body language, verbal content, and audience influence, Quantified Communcations offers leaders new pathways to increasing charisma and confidence. In his viral TED-Ed Lesson “The language of lying,” he exposes four ways in which liars unwittingly reveal themselves.

Zandan is also the co-founder and executive director of the Rockway Foundation, a nonprofit philanthropic organization spearheading education initiatives in Latin America.

Session 4: Lifehacks
Tues Feb 16, 2016
2:15 – 4:00