x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Breakthrough

This event occurred on
November 4, 2011
9:00am - 4:00pm EDT
(UTC -4hrs)
Atlanta, GA
United States

Presentations this year will focus on breakthrough inventions, research and experiences that have wide-ranging impact on society, the world and beyond.

Zoo Atlanta
800 Cherokee Avenue
Atlanta, GA, 30315
United States
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Michael Horn

Michael B. Horn is the co-founder and Executive Director, Education of Innosight Institute, a not-for-profit think tank devoted to applying the theories of disruptive innovation to problems in the social sector. He is the coauthor of Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns (McGraw-Hill: June 2008) with Harvard Business School Professor and bestselling author Clayton M. Christensen and Curtis W. Johnson, president of the Citistates Group. Business Week named the book one of the 10 Best Innovation & Design Books of 2008, Strategy + Business awarded it the best human capital book of 2008, Newsweek named it as the 14th book on its list of “Fifty Books for Our Times,” and the National Chamber Foundation named it first among its 10 “Books that Drive the Debate 2009.” Disrupting Class uses the theories of disruptive innovation to identify the root causes of schools’ struggles and suggests a path forward to customize an education for every child in the way she learns. Horn has been a featured keynote speaker at many conferences including the Virtual School Symposium and Microsoft’s School of the Future World Summit. Tech&Learning magazine also named him to its list of the 100 most important people in the creation and advancement of the use of technology in education. Prior to this, Horn worked at America Online during its re-launch, and before that he served as David Gergen’s research assistant, where he tracked and wrote about politics and public policy. Horn has written articles for numerous publications, including Education Week, Forbes, the Boston Globe, and U.S. News & World Report. In addition, he has contributed research for Charles Ellis’ book, Joe Wilson and the Creation of Xerox (Wiley, 2006) and Barbara Kellerman’s Bad Leadership: What It Is, How It Happens, Why It Matters (Harvard Business School Press, 2004). Horn earned his MBA from Harvard Business School and an AB from Yale University, where he graduated with distinction in History.

Frans de Waal

Dr. Frans B. M. de Waal is a Dutch/American biologist and primatologist known for his work on the behavior and social intelligence of primates. His first book, Chimpanzee Politics (1982) compared the schmoozing and scheming of chimpanzees involved in power struggles with that of human politicians. Ever since, de Waal has drawn parallels between primate and human behavior, from peacemaking and morality to culture. His scientific work has been published in hundreds of technical articles in journals such as Science, Nature, Scientific American, and outlets specialized in animal behavior. His popular books – translated into fifteen languages – have made him one of the world’s most visible primatologists. His latest books are Our Inner Ape (2005, Riverhead) and The Age of Empathy (2009, Harmony). De Waal is C. H. Candler Professor in the Psychology Department of Emory University and Director of the Living Links Center at the Yerkes National Primate Center, in Atlanta, Georgia. He has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences (US), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences. In 2007, he was selected by Time as one of The Worlds’ 100 Most Influential People Today, and in 2011 by Discover as among 47 (all time) Great Minds of Science.

Daniel Weingarten

Daniel Weingarten was born on March 13, 1992 in Los Angeles, CA. At 19 years of age, he is a rising Junior at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. A double major in Creative Writing and Sociology, it is the former where his passion truly lies. A poet, comedian, and filmmaker he loves the word and the presentation of it. He was a member of the 2010 I.E. Youth Slam Team, the 2010 L.A. Adult Slam Team, and the 2011 Emory Slam Team. He has performed at prestigious venues such as Da Poetry Lounge, and the Nuyorican Poets Cafe. Recently, he opened for Emory’s State of Race event ft. CNN anchor, Soledad O’Brien. Additionally, he is the founder, and current president, of Emory’s premier spoken word organization, Minds on Mic.

Sarah Miller Caldicott

A great grandniece of Thomas Edison, Sarah Miller Caldicott has been engaged in creativity and innovation throughout her life. Inspired by a family lineage of inventors dating back five generations, Sarah began her 25-year career as a marketing executive with major brand-driven firms, including Quaker Oats and the Helene Curtis subsidiary of Unilever. Concerned that America was losing its innovation leadership, Sarah spent three years researching Edison’s innovation methods with experts at Rutgers University. She co-authored the first book ever written on the subject of Edison’s world-changing innovation methods, entitled, “Innovate Like Edison: The Five-Step System for Breakthrough Business Success.” Innovate Like Edison has been translated into six languages, and is used as a textbook in graduate and undergraduate programs across the U.S. An award-winning speaker, Sarah travels all over the world inspiring audiences on how they can employ Edison’s timeless innovation methods today. Dedicated to revitalizing America’s global innovation leadership, Sarah also serves on the Steering Committee of the Edison Awards – a body devoted to recognizing innovations and innovators. Innovate Like Edison has been featured in The New York Times, Fortune Small Business, and USA Today. Sarah has also appeared as an innovation expert on PBS television, CNBC, the Fox Business Network, and NPR. She is president of her own Chicago-based consultancy, The Power Patterns of Innovation, offering organizations of all sizes expert training and guidance on how to achieve innovation success in the global economy. Her clients include Motorola, Microsoft, Intel, and Abbott Laboratories among many others. Sarah holds a BA from Wellesley College, and an MBA from the Amos Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth

John Copenhaver

John Copenhaver is a consultant and serves as the Director of Response and Recovery Services for the firm of WorleyParsons. He also serves as a senior advisor to the Business Continuity Institute and has been a Certified Business Continuity Professional (CBCP) since 1993, and a member of the Business Continuity Instutite (MBCI) since 2010. Previously, Copenhaver has served in a number of senior executive roles, including a Presidential appointee to FEMA, Chairman of the Atlanta Federal Executive Board from 2000 to 2001, and President and CEO of the DRI International. He has enjoyed an illustrious array of appointments throughout his career including: Editorial Board, The Journal of Emergency Management, March 2010-Present Advisory Board of the Canadian Centre for Emergency Preparedness, 2004-Present Capital Campaign Committee of the University of Georgia School of Law in October, 2004-Present U.S. Chamber of Commerce National Security Task Force, 2007- 2010 FEMA National Advisory Council Private Sector Subcommittee, 2008- 2010 Who’s Who In America since 2004, Who’s Who in the World since 2005 Principal of the Council for Excellence in Government, Washington, D.C., 2003-2008 University of Georgia School of Law, Board of Visitors in June, 2002-2005 Copenhaver is a widely sought after speaker on disaster preparedness and response and has spoken to audiences in eight countries. He is also frequently called upon by national media outlets to provide expert commentary to ABC-TV, NBC-TV, CNN, MSNBC, and NPR. Copenhaver is also the co-author of “Jane’s Citizen Safety Guide,” an industry standard among emergency preparedness professionals. He recently spoke at the World Conference on Disaster Management in Toronto, Canada in June, 2011.

Ekaterina Walter

Ekaterina Walter is a marketer, thinker, speaker, and connector. As a Social Media Strategist for Intel, Ekaterina works at the intersection of high tech and integrated marketing—driving global strategies and helping colleagues to leverage new media in support of business goals. She believes that building relationships with customers should be at the core of any business and that social media provides a perfect opportunity to do so. At Intel Ekaterina is responsible for corporate social networking strategy and company-wide social media enablement. She sits on the Board of Directors for Internet Strategy Forum and is a guest blogger for publications such as Mashable, Fast Company, AdWeek, and others. You can connect with her on Twitter @ekaterina. She blogs on her blog – Building Social Bridges.

Adriane Randolph

Dr. Adriane B. Randolph is director of the BrainLab and an Assistant Professor of Information Systems in the Michael J. Coles College of Business at Kennesaw State University (KSU). She received a Ph.D. in Business Administration from the Department of Computer Information Systems at Georgia State University and a B.S. in Systems Engineering with Distinction from the University of Virginia (UVA). Prior to academia, Dr. Randolph worked for Accenture, a leading information technology and management consulting firm, implementing change management and human performance tools in the federal government sector in Washington, D.C. Dr. Randolph’s research focuses on brain-computer interface systems which allow for non-muscularly controlled assistive technologies and reflect varying human mental states. As director of the KSU BrainLab, she is working to discover impactful solutions for brain-computer interfaces by uncovering the underlying characteristics that affect users’ control. Her work will be highlighted as part of the 2011 TEDxPeachtree event held in November. Other research interests include human-computer interaction and process improvement. Dr. Randolph has been honored by the Atlanta Business Chronicle as one of “40 Under 40” Young Professionals on the Rise, as a member of Leadership Georgia, and as a person who is “transforming the world” in Entrepreneur Magazine. She has published several refereed papers including manuscripts in the International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction, ACM Transactions on Accessible Computing, and the premier International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS). Dr. Randolph was a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Award Recipient, KPMG Ph.D. Project Doctoral Scholar, Georgia State University Dissertation Award Recipient, and Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) Doctoral Scholar. She is currently a member of the Association for Information Systems (AIS), Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), and National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). In addition to her service for KSU, Dr. Randolph volunteers with the 21st Century Leaders Program, serves on the UVA Walter N. Ridley Scholarship Committee, and participates in numerous other initiatives for her Virginia alma mater. Dr. Randolph has always been interested in technology since graduating from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Virginia. In contrast to these right-brained ventures, she enjoys traveling, dancing, creating art, and spending time with her family.

Courtney Spence

Courtney Spence is an innovator and visionary beyond her years. As the Founder & Director of Students of the World (SOW), she has worked tirelessly to promote the power of creative media to tell stories of global progress. Understanding the desire of college students to engage globally, the power of media and a need for solution-oriented storytelling, at the age of 19 Courtney founded SOW at Duke University. Eleven years later, SOW is a national nonprofit that has partnered more than 300 students with 45 organizations working in 30 different countries. Spence has dedicated herself to building SOW into a sustainable and scalable organization. Through this journey, she has deepened her understanding of creative college students, the mediums of storytelling, and the work of innovative organizations. Her travel experience ranges from the West Bank to Uganda to Cambodia and Haiti. Courtney’s gift for adapting to emerging technologies and tools while preserving the core mission of SOW is a unique talent. Most recently, Courtney spoke on a Schooldocs panel at Silverdocs Documentary Festival in June 2011 — speaking on the power of youth voices to shape the next generation of documentary film-making.

Ami Klin

Ami Klin is the Chief of Autism and Related Disorders of the Marcus Autism. Dr. Klin is also a Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar at Emory University and director of the Division of Autism and Related Developmental Disabilities in the Department of Pediatrics at Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Klin is an internationally recognized psychologist and researcher. Dr. Klin's primary research activities focused on the social mind and brain, and aspects of autism from infancy through adulthood. In his most noted work, Klin used eye-tracking technology to visualize and measure social engagement, allowing him to monitor infants who potentially have an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). His research goal is to identify individuals with ASD as early as possible so that potential therapies can have their maximal effect.

Richard Cope

CEO, COO and CTO of both public and private technology firms (electronics, automotive, fuel cells); Retired Marine Corps Officer (Special Ops Advisor to Gen. Norman Schwartzkopf for Desert Storm, head of Marine Corps Missile R&D); Program manager, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency; Global experience - raised capital and/or built manufacturing in Europe, North America and Asia.

CORE Performance Company

CORE (formally Several Dancers Core) is a professional dance organization that creates, performs, and presents contemporary dance, and is dedicated to opening channels of communication and education between artists and the community. Founded in 1980, CORE is home to the internationally acclaimed CORE Performance Company, known for its innovative, passionate, captivating dance works. Delving deeply into the arts and the many cultures of the world, CORE unearths and presents unique and compelling dance experiences. Guided by a strong sense of community responsibility, CORE uses dance to educate, to question, to connect, to heal, and to inspire. CORE was founded and is led by artistic director Sue Schroeder, a choreographer and arts leader with more than 30 years of experience in dance. The organization is dual-homed, with operations based in both Houston and Atlanta, from which CORE Performance Company has traveled to perform in more than 63 cities in nine countries.

AMP Teaching Artists

Modeled on El Sistema, Venezuela’s National System Of Youth And Children’s Orchestras, the Atlanta Music Project is a 5-day-a-week, after-school, youth orchestra and choir program targeting underserved communities in metropolitan Atlanta. Founded in February 2010, the Atlanta Music Project is led by Dantes Rameau, a member of the inaugural class of Abreu Fellows. AMP believes the pursuit of musical excellence leads to the development of confidence, creativity and ambition, thus sparking positive social change in the individuals and the communities it serves.

Organizing team


Smyrna, GA, United States
  • Chandra Farley
    Head of Event Logistics
  • Jacqui Chew
    Head of Marketing, Sponsorships & Brand Development
  • Sarah Smith
    Head of Special Projects
  • Teresa Roth
    Executive Producer
  • Nwandi Lawson