x = independently organized TED event

This event occurred on
April 12, 2014
9:00am - 5:00pm PDT
(UTC -7hrs)
Portland, OR
United States

Does it exist? If so, what is it? Ask a thousand people and you’ll get a thousand different answers. Whether you’re talking about a person, place, thing or idea, this word provokes discussion. The desire for it pushes people to think of bigger and better things, challenging them to make their own definitions and maybe even make them a reality.

Keller Auditorium
222 SW Clay Street
Portland, OR, 97201
United States
Event type:
Standard (What is this?)
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Nong Poonsukwattana

Nong was born in Bangkok, Thailand. Nong’s mother taught her, from the time she was a little girl, to cook in traditional Thai-style, focusing on quality ingredients crafted from scratch. Nong came to Portland in 2003 with two suitcases and $70 to pursue her dream. After honing her skills at local Thai restaurants, such as Pok Pok, Nong opened Nong’s Khao Man Gai food cart in 2009 and quickly received substantial international attention and critical acclaim.

D’Wayne Edwards

D’Wayne was the Footwear Design Director of Nike’s JORDAN Brand. Over the course of his 25-year career, D’Wayne received numerous design awards, was granted over 30 patents, and designed over 500 styles for some of today’s premiere athletes, such as Derek Jeter, Carmelo Anthony and Michael Jordan. In 2010, D’Wayne decided to start a new chapter in his career and founded the first academy in the U.S. dedicated to footwear design, PENSOLE.

G Cody QJ Goldberg

Born and raised in Marin County, California, Cody is convinced that the secret to building a better world for all is building better playgrounds. Cody and his wife, April, live in Portland with their daughters, Harper and Lennon. Due to eight-year-old Harper’s unique needs, the couple launched “Harper’s Playground,” a passion project that has spurred a movement to design and build the city’s first inclusive playground, one that adapts to the needs of children of all abilities.

Frank Moore

Tough as nails, gentle as a poet and determined as a badger, 91-year old Frank loves fly fishing. Even during his World War II service, he paid attention to the rivers he and his fellow troops crossed in war-torn towns. Since then, he has focused on conservation and fishing. He and his wife of 70+ years, Jeanne, built and were the long-time proprietors of the world-renowned Steamboat Inn along the North Umpqua River. Frank was inducted into the Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame in 2010 and is featured in the critically acclaimed documentary Mending The Line.

Jackson Gariety

Jackson is a computer programmer, struggling idealist and Portland native. Inspired by visionaries like Bret Victor, he left high school to find ways to use computers to teach people to think. In the past year, Jackson started a high school class to teach coding, helped develop companies in TechStars, and began selling shares in himself. Today, he is working on a thesis that shows how programming can be an art form.

Lisa Sedlar

Lisa has worked in the restaurant and natural foods industries for over 25 years. She was the CEO of New Seasons Market and worked as the Director of Purchasing for Whole Foods Market in the Midwest. In 2013, she founded Green Zebra Grocery in Portland. Committed to transparency, through open-book financials and sustainability, by curating local community partnerships, Green Zebra makes trustworthy groceries easier to find.

James Keller

James is a designer who enjoys blurring the lines between physical and digital experiences. After leading Wieden+Kennedy’s digital strategy team, she left to co-found Small Society, a mobile agency that created the first wave of native mobile apps for Starbucks, Zipcar and Amazon. In 2012, Small Society was acquired by WalmartLabs. Today, James continues to help define the next generation of mobile retail experiences.

Zalika Gardner

Zalika is the co-founder and Director of Learning for KairosPDX Early Learning Center. After teaching in Los Angeles Public Schools, Zalika spent 13 years at the Catlin Gabel School and two years teaching and consulting for the Opal School at the Portland Children’s Museum. Zalika is currently a school improvement specialist for Portland Public Schools. She has a passion for child development, literacy and historical perspectives, having spent the last 10 years facilitating a variety of equity experiences for children, families and educators.

Andy Revkin

Andy Revkin has written about environmental sustainability for more than three decades, from the Amazon to the White House to the North Pole, mainly for The New York Times. Time Magazine recently named his DotEarth blog one of the top 25 blogs of 2013. Revkin has won the top awards in science journalism multiple times, along with a Guggenheim Fellowship, and is as Senior Fellow for Environmental Understanding at Pace University.

Aaron Draplin

Born from the loins of the proud Midwest, Aaron grew up on a steady stream of Legos, Star Wars, family trips, drawing, skateboarding and snowboarding. After making a name for himself as art director for Snowboarder magazine and Portland design firm Cinco, Aaron stepped out on his own in 2004 to start The Draplin Design Company. Since then, he has rolled up his sleeves for brands ranging from Burton Snowboards to President Obama. Aaron proudly calls Portland home.

Isaiah Holt

A Portland native, Isaiah became involved with gangs as a young man. During a confrontation in which he feared for his and his friend’s life, Isaiah was shot–and shot another youth. Isaiah recovered from his own gun wounds, but served seven years in the Oregon State Penitentiary for his crime. He was offered early parole for good behavior but decided to carry out his full term because he had not completed a rigorous training program to become a licensed electrician. Isaiah’s story is one of second chances and turning your life around.

Eric Giler

Eric heads WiTricity, a startup with a product directly out of science fiction: wireless electricity beamed from a base station to an electrical device. Prior to WiTricity, Eric was the Chairman and CEO of Groove Mobile, a mobile music commerce platform company, and founded Brooktrout Inc., a telecom software and hardware provider. He was granted eight patents, a BS from Carnegie-Mellon and a Master’s from Harvard Business School.

Zach King

Zach is a filmmaker, born and raised in Portland. He started his film journey at age seven when his parents gave him a camera at a wedding. After being rejected from film school, he started the YouTube channel “FinalCutKing,” where he posted video editing tutorials. Zach has garnered more than 400,000 subscribers to his channel. In September 2013, he launched a Vine account based around his “magic” editing and has grown an audience of nearly 1 million followers.

Organizing team


Portland, OR, United States


Portland, OR, United States
  • David Rae
  • Paul Anthony
  • Pete Achterman
  • Clare Ryan
  • Jessica Sinn
  • Mark Starkey