x = independently organized TED event

This event occurred on
November 6, 2010
8:00am - 8:00pm PDT
(UTC -7hrs)
Santa Monica, CA
United States

This event will focus on the global plastic pollution crisis. Thought leaders, political leaders, scientists, activists, youth leaders, artists and many others across the globe will come together to report on the global plastic pollution crisis and challenge individuals, businesses and plastic manufacturers to reduce their plastic footprint and eliminate the use of disposable plastic objects.

Annenberg Beach House
415 Pacific Coast Hwy
Santa Monica, CA, 90402
United States
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Sylvia Earle

Sylvia Earle is an American oceanographer. She was chief scientist for the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration from 1990-1992. In 1992, Earle founded Deep Ocean Exploration and Research to further advance marine engineering. Today Earle serves as Explorer in Residence at the National Geographic Society and the company known as DOER Marine is run by her daughter. The company continues to design, build and operate innovative equipment for the deep ocean and other challenging environments.

His Excellency John Dramani Mahama

His Excellency John Dramani Mahama is the vice president of the Republic of Ghana. He was first elected to the Parliament of Ghana in 1996 to represent the Bole/Bamboi Constituency for a four-year term, and was re-elected in 2000 for another four-year period. He again won the seat in 2004 for a third term. From 2001 to 2004, he served as Minority Parliamentary spokesman for Communications. In 2002, he was appointed Director of Communications for the NDC. In 2002, Mr. Mahama was among International Observers who watched the Zimbabwe parliamentary elections. He is a member of the UNDP Advisory Committee on Conflict Resolution in Ghana.

Charles Moore

Captain Charles Moore founded Algalita Marine Research Foundation in 1994. He is the lead author of two scientific papers published in Marine Pollution Bulletin: The first paper documented his 1999 study, which shocked the scientific world when it found 6 times more plastic fragments by weight in the central Pacific than the associated zooplankton. His second paper found that plastic outweighs plankton by a factor of 2.5 in the near coastal surface waters of Southern California. Captain Moore has conducted ocean and coastal sampling for plastic fragments through more than 40,000 miles of the North Pacific Ocean, across 22 degrees of latitude and 70 degrees of longitude. His latest 10,000 mile voyage took him and his crew two-thirds of the way to Japan across the International Dateline.

Arlene Blum

Arlene Blum is an American mountaineer, writer, and environmental health scientist. She is best known for leading an all-woman ascent of Annapurna, a climb that was also the first successful American ascent. She was also a deputy leader of the first all-woman ascent of Mount McKinley and the first American woman to attempt to ascend Mount Everest. Blum taught at Stanford University, Wellesley College, and the University of California, Berkeley. In 2007 Blum co-founded the Green Science Policy Institute (GSP) with the goal of bringing scientific research results into policy decisions to protect human health and the environment from toxic chemicals.

JD Russo

JD Russo is a member of the Plastic Pollution Coalition Advisory Council. He is student at Carmel High School, and an outspoken advocate of alternatives to plastic. He strongly believes in the power of the public to affect change, and that people need to be personally connected to the issues in order to be engaged. In his words, “we must raise not just more awareness, but raise care.” JD Russo works at the Monterey Bay Aquarium as a volunteer guide.

Stacy Malkan

Stacy Malkan is the author of the award-winning book, “Not Just a Pretty Face: The Ugly Side of the Beauty Industry” and co-founder of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a national coalition of health and environmental groups that are committed to eliminating harmful chemicals from personal care products and shifting the beauty industry to green sustainable practices. Stacy is a former journalist and newspaper publisher, and a leading expert on chemical exposures, health concerns and the latest market developments in safe products.

Wallace Nichols

Dr. Wallace “J.” Nichols is a scientist, activist, community organizer, author and dad. He works to inspire a deeper connection with nature. J. is a Research Associate at California Academy of Sciences, founder of Ocean Revolution, an international network of young ocean advocates, and Science Advisory Board Chair for the Plastic Pollution Coalition. He earned his MEM in Environmental Policy and Economics from Duke University’s Nicholas School and his PhD in Wildlife Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from University of Arizona. He advises a motivated group of international graduate students and serves as an advisor to numerous non-profit boards.

Rose Mikankomeje

Dr. Rose Mukankomeje, a biologist, received her Ph.D. in Sciences from “Facultés Universitaires Notre Dame de la Paix, Namur Belgium”. She is the Director General of the Rwanda Environment Management Authority. Dr. Rose Mukankomeje is the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Operational Focal Point for Rwanda, NEPAD Country Focal Point for Environment and national technical focal for African Ministerial Council of Environment (AMCEN). In collaboration with Ministry of Science, Technology and Scientific Research, she was the Vice President of the Scientific Committee of the International research Conference on Biodiversity Convention. She lead the African Group of UNCCD Experts in 2007 in Rwanda. She was the technical lead for UNEP for the World Environmental Day 2010 which took place in Rwanda on the 5th June 2010.

Van Jones

Van Jones is a globally recognized, award-winning pioneer in human rights and the clean-energy economy. Van is a co-founder of three successful non-profit organizations: the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Color of Change and Green For All. He is the best-selling author of the definitive book on green jobs: The Green-Collar Economy. He served as the green jobs advisor in the Obama White House in 2009. Van is currently a senior fellow at the Center For American Progress. Additionally, he is a senior policy advisor at Green For All. Van also holds a joint appointment at Princeton University, as a distinguished visiting fellow in both the Center for African American Studies and in the Program in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

Ken Cook

Ken Cook is President and co-founder of Environmental Working Group, which was founded in 1993. He is the author of dozens of articles, opinion pieces and reports on environmental, public health and agricultural topics. Cook earned B.A., B.S., and M.S. degrees from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He is the author of dozens of articles, opinion pieces and reports on environmental, public health and agricultural topics. He is married to Deb Callahan and lives in Washington, D.C.

Aimee Christensen

Aimée Christensen has worked at the intersection of environment, development, and human rights for nearly two decades. She is an adviser, a lawyer, an advocate, an entrepreneur, a political strategist, and a connector. Aimée guides individuals and institutions seeking to address the global challenges of climate change, ecosystem degradation, and resource scarcity, including the Clinton Global Initiative, Carbon War Room, Duke Energy, Ogilvy, Swiss Re, the United Nations Development Program, the U.S. Department of Energy, Virgin Unite, and Wolfensohn + Co. As a climate adviser at, she developed the “RechargeIT” plug-in hybrid vehicle-to-grid project and advised the “Greenteam” in the company’s commitment to carbon neutrality. Aimee serves on the Boards of the American Council on Renewable Energy and the Clean Economy Network. Aimee addressed energy issues at the 2008 Democratic National Convention, and in 2010, the Aspen Institute awarded Aimee a Catto Fellowship for her environmental leadership.

Daniella Russo

Daniella Russo is a social activation strategist and a business leader. Daniella believes that progressive societies are fueled by the power of informed and engaged people. It is important to understand the world. It is important to believe that you can change it. It is important to engage. Every one of us carries the responsibility for the future of our planet, and change is possible only if we work together. Daniella has worked on the issues of plastic pollution for several years. She launched and ran the award winning campaign Think Beyond Plastics and co-founded the Plastic Pollution Coalition.

Organizing team


Carmel, CA, United States
  • Daniella Dimitrova Russo
    Project Director
  • Dianna Cohen
    Creative Director
  • Julia Cohen
    Business development
  • Wendy Smith
    Media and Communications
  • Catherine Genauracos
    Media and Communications
  • Lyn Stout
  • Sean Ganett
    Line Producer