x = independently organized TED event

This event occurred on
November 22, 2014
9:00am - 5:00pm PST
(UTC -8hrs)
Seattle, WA
United States

Our theme is: The known and the unknown. We all face a shared future that is inherently riddled with unknowns. Our speakers and performers present windows into a rich variety of explorations, actions and reactions that may offer possible solutions to many long-present and new challenges. Stretch beyond the constraints of what we know and spark your curiosity for deeper exploration and engagement. Each of our speakers offers new knowledge informed by their work and their unique perspectives. Each raises intriguing questionsthat help us define and guide how we perceive and embrace our future.

321 Mercer Street
Seattle, WA, 98109
United States
Event type:
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Dee Boersma

Dubbed the “Jane Goodall of penguins” by the New York Times, seabirds are Dee Boersma’s passion. She considers penguins “marine sentinels,” sounding the alarm on environmental threats to ocean ecosystems. For over 30 years, she has been the director of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s study of Magellanic penguins at Punta Tombo, Argentina, home of the world’s largest colony of Magellanic penguins. Boersma and her students follow the lives of individual penguins, monitor the colony, and develop the data needed to plan effective conservation efforts. In the Galápagos Islands, she is building “condos” to increase the Galápagos penguin population.

Hadi Partovi

Hadi Partovi is an entrepreneur, investor, and co-founder of Code.org, a nonprofit dedicated to growing computer science education in the US and worldwide. Hadi began his career during the browser wars in the 1990s, when he was Microsoft’s Group Program Manager for Internet Explorer. Hadi was also General Manager of MSN.com where he helped deliver 30% annual growth and MSN’s only year of profit. He was on the founding teams of Tellme and iLike. As an angel investor and startup advisor, Hadi’s portfolio includes Facebook, Zappos, Dropbox, airbnb, OPOWER, Flixster, Bluekai, TASER, and many others.

Paul Yager

Paul Yager and his teams have been working to develop ultra-low-cost instrument-free diagnostic technologies based on two-dimensional paper networks (2DPNs). These technologies couple inexpensive disposable tests with cell phones for quantitative readout and rapid connectivity with the healthcare system. This work is supported by NIH and DARPA. Paul has been a Research Chemist, Professor at the UW Department of Bioengineering, and was Chair of the department from 2007 to 2013. One of his long-range goals is to use microfluidic devices and systems for the analysis of biological fluids for use in low-cost point-of-care biomedical diagnostics. The primary aim has been to expand access to healthcare by creating technology that could be used anywhere.

Preston Singletary

Preston Singletary’s artwork features themes of transformation, animal spirits, and shamanism through elegant blown glass forms and mystical sand carved Tlingit designs. His work has become synonymous with the relationship between European glass blowing traditions and Northwest native art. He learned the art of glass blowing by working with artists in the Seattle area, including Benjamin Moore and Dante Marioni. As a student and assistant, his work took him to Kosta Boda (Sweden) where he studied Scandinavian design. Throughout his 30+ years of experience, he learned the secrets of the Venetian glass masters and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Arts degree from the University of Puget Sound. He teaches and lectures internationally, and his artwork is included in collections worldwide.

Kathleen MacFerran

Kathleen holds a vision for a peaceful, just, and sustainable world Communication and conflict resolution exploration is a passion of hers. Kathleen has worked with organizations and individuals including businesses, schools, colleges, community groups, faith-based communities, hospitals, families, prison inmates, and correctional and law enforcement employees. She serves as a lead trainer for the Freedom Project of Seattle, an organization that strengthens community safety by supporting the transformation of prisoners into peacemakers. Kathleen offers trainings, facilitation, and mediation in concrete skills of nonviolence leading to reconciliation with ourselves, our loved ones, and the community.

Bob Davidson

Bob Davidson has been the President & CEO of the Seattle Aquarium since 2010, after serving as CEO of the Seattle Aquarium Society since 2002. He guided a repositioning of the Aquarium Society leading to the successful Aquarium Operations and Management Agreement with Seattle in 2009. A key component was the $41.5 million public/private New Currents Aquarium expansion in 2007, which has increased attendance and made Seattle the ninth largest aquarium in the US. He was also a leader in the earlier $40 million project to revitalize Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo, during which time he worked as co-initiator of Mayor Royer’s Zoo Commission, board president of the Zoological Society, and as the zoo’s Executive Director & CEO.

Jonathan Bricker

Jonathan Bricker is an internationally recognized scientific leader in a bold approach called acceptance and commitment therapy. A Stanford researcher called his use of the approach “a breakthrough in behavioral research [that] has major public health implications for the major causes of preventable death.” Bricker and his team, having received $10 million in total federal research grants to study this topic, are rigorously testing this intervention on multiple platforms, including smartphone apps, websites, and telephone coaching. His SmartQuit app for quitting smoking was recently launched and is now in distribution worldwide.


Drawing from an eclectic palette of musical influences, Shaprece Renee Richardson’s artistic direction ranges from electronic beats to orchestral arrangement, soulful vocals to ambient soundscapes. Blending digitally altered tones with sultry and smoky vocals, she has created a musical category all her own. Inspired by Bjork, Little Dragon, and Aaliyah, among others, forming a pleasant fusion of dreamy melodies and atmospheric sounds. Shaprece, along with electro-ambient producer IG88, has been working on her debut full length album here in Seattle. Phillip Peterson and Daniel Butman, contribute strings and other orchestral elements. Shaprece’s album is being recorded between IG88’s home studio and the legendary Robert Lang Studios.

Gifford Pinchot III

Gifford is currently President of Pinchot University, and has also been an organic dairy farmer, a blacksmith, an author, an innovation consultant, software CEO, and an angel investor. His bestselling book “Intrapreneuring” introduced a new way of fostering innovation by creating space for innovators to express their entrepreneurial spirit within existing organizations. “The Intelligent Organization,” written with his wife, takes self- organization a step further, to include the everyday work of ordinary employees. Recently, Bainbridge Graduate Institute became partners with Organizational Systems Renewal and Center for Inclusive Entrepreneurship. They offer degrees, certificates, and programs that address the challenges of the future.

Sarah Bergmann

Sarah Bergmann is the founder of the Pollinator Pathway, a participatory ecology and design initiative that rethinks the relationship between urban, agricultural and wilderness landscapes. The Pollinator Pathway connects existing isolated green spaces to foster greater biodiversity, and in urban areas works by piggybacking on existing infrastructure (curb space, rooftops, etc.). In Seattle, the original Pollinator Pathway connects Seattle University’s campus to a small woods with a mile long corridor of native plants and pollinator- friendly gardens. The Pollinator Pathway crosses art, ecology, urban planning and design, and is a public extension of Bergmann’s interdisciplinary work and ideas in museums, institutions, talks, and a book.

Michael Skinner

Mark Skinner’s research has demonstrated the ability of environmental toxicants to promote epigenetic transgenerational inheritance of adult onset disease phenotypes. This non-genetic form of inheritance has a role in disease etiology and areas such as evolution. Dr. Skinner established and was the founding Director of the Washington State University and University of Idaho Center for Reproductive Biology (CRB) since its inception in 1996. It is one of the largest reproductive sciences research centers in the world. Dr. Skinner also established and was the founding Director of the Center for Integrated Biotechnology (CIB). His research has been highlighted in BBC, Smithsonian, and PBS documentaries.

David Schomer

David Schomer is the founder of Seattle’s Espresso Vivace, a Seattle area coffee shop and roaster known for its high quality of coffee and roasting practices. Schomer is known within the coffee industry for his innovations, such as how he customizes his grinders and espresso machines to achieve a more constant water temperature, which ultimately leads to a better cup of coffee. Barista and coffee bar owners have traveled from as far away as Australia and the UAE to learn from him. He is also credited with developing and popularizing latte art in the US. In 1995, he wrote “Espresso Coffee: Professional Techniques,” and later an updated version “Espresso Coffee 2013.” In 1995, he also produced a video course entitled “Caffe Latte Art.”

Jim McDermott

Jim McDermott is an M.D., has served as a psychiatrist, and is the US Representative for Washington’s 7th congressional district, serving since 1989. He is a member of the Democratic Party. The 7th District includes most of Seattle, Vashon Island, Tukwila, Burien, Shoreline, Lake Forest Park, Lynnwood, Mountlake Terrace, Woodway and Edmonds. He serves on the House Ways and Means Committee and belongs to several dozen Congressional caucuses, and co-chairs the Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus, Congressional Progressive Caucus, and the Congressional Kidney Caucus.

Ed Viesturs

Ed Viesturs is a professional mountaineer who successfully reached the summits of all of the world’s fourteen 8000-meter peaks without supplemental oxygen, an 18-year project he christened Endeavor 8000. His goal was completed with his ascent of Annapurna, one of the world’s most treacherous peaks. He is one of only a handful of climbers in history (and the only American) to accomplish this. He has also made seven successful ascents of Mt. Everest and more than two hundred ascents of Mount Rainier. He also works as a design consultant and serves as a member of the Board of Directors for Big City Mountaineers (BCM), an organization that instills critical life skills in under-resourced youth through wilderness mentoring experiences.

Kristi Morgansen

Kristi Morgansen collaborates across University of Washington departments and colleges on a daily basis. In fact, she chose to work at UW based on its strong interdisciplinary approach and potential. Dr. Morgansen has worked for the UW Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics since 2002, pursuing her research interests including nonlinear and coordinated control systems, bio- inspired sensing and actuation, fin-based propulsive methods, control of coordinated systems with communication constraints, vision-based sensing for state estimation, and the development of integrated human and autonomous multivehicle systems. She an MS in Mechanical Engineering from Boston University, an S.M. in Applied Mathematics and a PhD in Engineering Sciences in 1999 from Harvard.

Tonya Lockyer

Tonya Lockyer is Executive/Artistic Director of Velocity and Affiliated Faculty of Cornish College of the Arts. She came to Velocity after twenty years as a leading NW dance artist focused on the borderlands of performance, embodiment, and social engagement. She has received awards and commissions for intercultural collaborations, 24-hour improvisations, and more.

Ezra Dickenson

Ezra Dickinson is a multi-disciplinary artist trained at Pacific Northwest Ballet. She is co-artistic director of The Offshore Project and Actually Really, a member of The New Mystics, The Maureen Whiting Company, and HYPERNOVA. She does performance/choreography, ceramics, sculpture, visual art, photography, etc.

Velocity Dance

Rex Hohlbein

Rex Hohlbein is the Executive Director of the nonprofit “Facing Homelessness” and is an Architect/Principal at Rex Hohlbein Architects in Seattle. In 2011 he began the Facebook Community page “Homeless In Seattle” as a photo journal project to build community awareness for those living without shelter and other basic needs. Through the sharing of photos and personal stories, he highlights the unique beauty of each person, asking the viewer to break through the negative stereotype against those living on our streets and open their compassion to create a new connection of friendship. By focusing on the beauty of each person through imagery, storytelling, and community building, he aims to humanize the issue of homelessness as a means to ending it.

Chris Lewicki

Chris Lewicki has been intimately involved with the lifecycle of NASA’s Mars Exploration Rovers and the Phoenix Mars Lander. Lewicki performed system engineering development and participated in assembly, test, and launch operations for both Mars missions. He was Flight Director for the rovers Spirit and Opportunity, and the Surface Mission Manager for Phoenix. The recipient of two NASA Exceptional Achievement Medals, he has an asteroid named in his honor: 13609 Lewicki. Chris holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Arizona. At Planetary Resources, his responsibilies include customer and scientific community engagement and leading day-to-day operations.

Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger

Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger is an astronaut now working in Seattle who was a mission specialist with NASA on the International Space Station and on the Space Shuttle on STS-131. She also has a passion for science education, especially Geology and entomology. Originally a high school science teacher, she was selected by NASA as a Mission Specialist and spent two years in training. After her space flight, she worked as a Cape Crusader for the final three shuttle missions. In June 2012, she commanded the NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations (NEEMO) 16. In this underwater habitat, the international crew of four aquanauts and two habitat technicians carried out simulated spacewalks to investigate the techniques and tools that may be used at a Near Earth Asteroids.

Organizing team


Seattle, WA, United States
  • Elizabeth Coppinger