x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Urban Sustainability

This event occurred on
April 21, 2011
6:00pm - 9:30pm MST
(UTC -7hrs)
Scottsdale, AZ
United States

Our first event has now happened! We learned an enormous amount from having been through the entire process, and look forward to improving our next event.

People from 9 cities in our urban cluster turned out to help us initiate the Urban Sustainability series, 76% of them between 22-54 years old - the perfect mashup to get things done!

116 guests were initially curated from 181 applicants. 20 offered their regrets before the event, allowing wait-listed applicants to be accepted. 106 guests arrived of these 116. There was a 10% no show rate. It was a no-charge event.

10% of them heard about us through, and 12% through Facebook or Twitter. 48% had a connection with someone involved in the event - many of these connections were professional - several of the metro area’s more prominent architects came to hear the ASU Design School Director speak for instance. 30% left that question blank.

There were standing ovations for two of the speakers, and the entire speaker lineup came out for a bow at the end - the crowd stood and cheered for over 5 minutes! Each speaker touched on a different aspect of sustaining a city, and each was very well received. There remains a great deal of subject matter to uncover!

Response to the event has been inspiring - and we’re already exploring a TEDx in the women’s state prison complex on the outskirts of our urban cluster.

Each of our team did an exceptional job, and special thanks to Tyler Hurst, who pulled together all the technical aspects of the event as well as being a master recruiter of volunteers, Layal Rabat who created the social media leading up to and during the event as well as jumping in at the last minute to redesign the brochure and nametags, and Krystofer VanSlyke who managed the live stream by massing the entire event’s video into a seamless whole, archiving the raw video feeds for editing.

We received help, guidance and cheers from TEDx Licensees around the world as we worked through all the challenges of putting on this first event. It’s wonderful to be part of this global project!

The speaker videos are all up.

ASU SkySong
1475 N Scottsdale Road
Scottsdale, AZ, 85257
United States
See more ­T­E­Dx­Scottsdale events


Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Darren Petrucci

Director of The Design School at ASU in The Herberger Institute, Associate Professor, architect and urban designer, and founder and Principal of A-I-R (Architecture-Infrastructure-Research). He received both a Master’s Degree in Architecture and a Master’s Degree of Architecture & Urban Design with distinction from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. His design and research focuses on what he calls “Amenity Infrastructure” which develops new public/private urban infrastructures that facilitate multiple scales of public use within the contemporary city.

Tania Katan

Tania Katan is an author and comedic solo-performer. Her memoir My One-Night Stand With Cancer has been awarded the Judy Grahn Nonfiction Award, Stonewall Book Award, and was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. Rock-n-Roller Melissa Etheridge said of Katan’s book, “This book rocks! It’s passionate, playful, and downright beautiful.” As a solo-performer, Katan has been seen at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, ACT Seattle, Queer Memoir New York, The Painted Bride, Comedy Central Stage, and more

Miguel Jardine

Miguel Jardine is founder and CEO of Vermisoks, LLC. Created a patentable system for growing organic produce under harsh environmental conditions, specifically extreme heat and low water. Each acre VermiSoks installation converts 1,100 tons of food waste into 7,600 cu.ft. of top soil while simultaneously growing food. The system was developed to help overcome the urban food desert crisis by increasing the supply of fresh produce to low-income communities suffering from higher rates of diet-related illnesses like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

Yuri Artibise

Yuri Artibise—aka the Incurable Urbanist—has spent the past four years creating community in the urban desert that is better known as Phoenix. Through his Yurbanism brand, Yuri explores the ‘Y’ of urbanism by sharing ways to make our cities more livable, community-oriented places one block at a time. To this end, he has organized Jane’s Walk Phoenix for the past three years and helped coordinate events such as CenPhoCamp and Park(ing) Day. Yuri is a recovering public policy wonk with a Master's Degree in Public Administration and a depth of experience in the research and analysis of contemporary policy issues. He put these skills to use as a senior research analyst at Arizona State University’s Morrison Institute for Public Policy and in positions with the governments of British Columbia and Canada.


This spirited graffiti artist is taking the barrio with him onto the main stage. He's spent years developing and executing barrio neighborhood cleanup and artmaking efforts, engaging the police in a precedent-setting alleyway graffiti permitting process.

Organizing team


Phoenix, AZ, United States


Chandler, AZ, United States
  • Layal Rabat
    Social Media PR, Online Marketing and branding, and Graphic and Brochure Design
  • Tyler Hurst
    Operations Manager
  • Dierk Seeburg
    Presenter Coach
  • Krystofer James VanSlyke
    Webcast Manager
  • Christine Slomski
  • Mark Jamnik
  • Luis Salazar
    fundraising and product research
  • Jeemy Steves
    PowerPoint coordination