x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Tinker, Noodle, Obsess

This event occurred on
May 9, 2011
11:00am - 6:30pm EDT
(UTC -4hrs)
New York, NY
United States

There are many things in life that capture our attention; get into our heads or under our skin. At this event we will explore the ideas, hobbies, obsessions, talents and endeavors that some people are tinkering, noodling and obsessing about.

Times Center
242 West 41st Street
New York, NY, 10036
United States
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Gever Tulley

Gever has made it his mission to re-introduce the world to children: the real world as revealed through unscripted, hands-on, meaningful learning experiences. Children today are increasingly treated like exotic animals: kept in special cages and fed a diet of pre-digested ideas, lest they skin a knee or have an original thought - but there is great value in the minor scrape or bruise and the lessons that they teach. So Gever celebrates the plans that go awry, the spectacular failures, the magnificent successes, the unexpected discoveries, and the ideas that are just so big that they must be tried. He appreciates the empty carton, the empty lot next door, the broken clock that begs to be dismantled, and the tree with branches spaced perfectly for climbing. Gever treasures the really good stick and the lovely bit of string. He is thankful for duct tape, but love the well-placed screw.

Nancy Callan

Boston native Nancy Callan joined the Seattle glass community in 1996. She began her career as assistant to Lino Tagliapietra and production gaffer for the Manifesto Lighting Corporation. While developing her own artwork, Callan assisted prominent artists including Flora Mace and Joey Kirkpatrick, Ginny Ruffner, and Josiah McElheny. Today, Callan remains a key member of Lino Tagliapietras glassblowing team and travels internationally as the maestros assistant. Callan has taught advanced glassblowing workshops at the Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, WA and Haystack Mountain School on Deer Isle, ME. Her artwork has garnered numerous awards, including the Creative Glass Center of America (CGCA) Fellowship in Millville, NJ and two Residencies at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, WA.

Matthew B. Crawford

Matthew B. Crawford is the author of the New York Times bestseller Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work (The Penguin Press 2009), translated into seven languages. In this book he explores the cognitively rich activities of making things and fixing things, and reflects on the ethical significance of such work. Noting our increasing manual disengagement from the world as mystified consumers, the book also speaks up for the honor of the manual trades, and suggests that such work can be a life worth choosing for young people. Crawford studied physics at U.C. Santa Barbara, worked as an electrician, then turned to political philosophy, earning a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. He has published articles on ancient Greek philosophy, the cultural authority of neuroscience, and education, among other topics.

Lauren Redniss

Lauren Redniss is the creator of Century Girl: 100 years in the Life of Doris Eaton Travis, Last Living Star of the Ziegfeld Follies and Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie, A Tale of Love and Fallout. Her writing and drawing has appeared in numerous publications including the New York Times, which nominated her work for the Pulitzer Prize. Lauren was a fellow at the Cullman Center for Scholars & Writers at the New York Public Library in 2008-2009 and in 2010 became a New York Institute for the Humanities fellow. She teaches at Parsons the New School for Design in New York City.

Tyler Cowen

Tyler Cowen is the Holbert C. Harris Professor of Economics at George Mason University. He is the author of numerous books, most recently his e-Book *The Great Stagnation: How America Ate All the Low-Hanging Fruit of Modern History, Got Sick, and Will (Eventually) Feel Better*. He writes regularly for The New York Times and other popular media outlets and he co-writes a blog, www.marginalrevolution.com, which has been named the #1 economics blog in the world.

Will Ryman

Will Ryman is an artist who creates figurative art, including larger than life urban sculptures that range from 4 to 20 feet tall. Rymans work has been featured at: P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, Marlborough Gallery, Klemens Gasser & Tanja Grunert Inc., The Saatchi Gallery, Galerie Bernd Kluser, and Paul Kasmin Gallery. Ryman was a longtime playwright prior to becoming an artist. In 2001, his first sculpture was based on a character from a play that he wrote. He has devoted himself exclusively to sculpture since 2002 and has held various solo exhibitions to date. Rymans artwork is currently displayed in New York City on the Park Avenue Mall between 57th and 67th Streets.The installation is presented by The Fund for Park Avenue Sculpture Committee and New York City's Department of Parks and Recreation

Bjarke Ingels

Bjarke Ingels is a Danish architect. He heads the architectural practice Bjarke Ingels Group which he founded in 2006. In his designs, Bjarke Ingels often tries to achieve a balance between playful and practical approaches to architecture. Ingels was named one of Fast Companys Most Creative People of 2010 and his newest project for Durst Fetner Residential at 57th Street along the West Side Highway is indeed quite BIG on urban references: Manhattan skyscrapers against courtyard gardens and parks.

David Binder

David Binder is a producer who is committed to bringing new artists and audiences to the theater. Credits include the first Broadway revival of A Raisin in the Sun starring Sean Combs and 33 Variations, which marked Jane Fondas return to the stage after a 45-year absence. David is the original producer of John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trasks rowdy, loud and ultimately sweet rock n roll musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch. David is a four time Tony nominee. He has been honored by Performance Space 122 and is the recipient of the Robert Whitehead Award for Outstanding Achievement in Commercial Theatrical Producing. He is a frequent public speaker and is on the faculty of the Yale School of Drama.

Charles Wurm

Since 1970 Charles has been fascinated with and built several electric vehicles. He continues to work on patent projects regarding drive systems and the efficient use of vehicle energy. The field of semiconductor manufacturing has been Charles' day job since 1980. Some of the companies he has worked for are Orbit Semiconductor, Applied Materials, Ultratech Stepper, and Spectra Physics Lasers. Currently he works for Micrel Semiconductor in San Jose. Since 1988 his work in this field has been related Environmental Health and Safety including permitting, occupational exposure analysis and job hazard analysis. Recently his activities have involved Carbon Footprinting and Sustainability.

Jenni Wolfson

Jenni Wolfson is a human rights activist, writer and performer. Since April 2006, Jenni has been the Managing Director of WITNESS, an international human rights organization based in New York, that uses video to open the eyes of the world to human rights violations. She also worked globally for the United Nations for 12 years as a human rights advocate. A native of Glasgow, Scotland, Jenni speaks six languages. She has an MA in Human Rights from the University of Essex, and much to the delight of her parents, an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Strathclyde. She studied acting at the Deena Levy Theater Studio.

Organizing team


New York, NY, United States
  • Marisa Farina
  • Connie Frances Avila
    Event production
  • Vico Sharabani
  • Susanna Pollack
  • Jim Gold
    Member at large