x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Livable Communities & the Human Condition

This event occurred on
March 19, 2011
10:00am - 5:00pm AKDT
(UTC -8hrs)
Anchorage, AK
United States

Livable Communities & the Human Condition -- Alaska's Story
Alaska has an incredibly powerful story to share, at the same time it has an opportunity to learn from others. That exchange of ideas contributes to stronger partnerships and more sustainable communities. Alaska is part of a global narrative on livability that Partners for Livable Communities, among others, defines as the sum of the factors that add up to a community’s quality of life—including the built and natural environments, economic prosperity, social stability and equity, educational opportunity, and cultural, entertainment and recreation possibilities. Join us as TEDxAnchorage explores this concept within Alaska’s context.

Performing Arts Center
621 West 6th Avenue
Anchorage, AK, 99501
United States
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Aaron Cooke

Aaron Cooke is a designer with the Cold Climate Research Center in Fairbanks, Alaska. The Research Center promotes the development of healthy, durable, and sustainable shelter for Alaskans and other circumpolar peoples. He has worked in Siberia, Denmark, Canada and the Alaskan north and currently designs and monitors experimental prototype homes for rural Alaskan communities.

Evan Cutler

Evan is a private consultant providing technical and marketing research, business planning, patent analysis & defense, and writing and multimedia in a variety of areas ...since moving to Alaska in 1999. He is also a partner in Advanced Market Systems, Inc, where he works with a small team to develop patented software technology that will revolutionize the real-time stock/financial market data delivery & display industry. As co-founder of Sustainable Girdwood in 2009, under the non-profit umbrella of Girdwood Inc., he has worked on developing plans and building support in his community for small and midscale renewable energy and year-round food production infrastructure. In 2010 Sustainable Girdwood built their first 4 ½ test greenhouses, began the hands on process of growing food, and worked with engineers to develop plans for hydropower in Girdwwod. His goal in this area is for Girdwood, and Alaska as a whole, to apply proven technologies to rapidly become energy and food independent in a sustainable manner so as to alleviate the rapidly mounting problems caused by participating in an unsustainable, non-renewable, earth degrading consumption society . Among other things, he was an Alaskan Republican Delegate for Ron Paul to the 2008 National Republican Convention, helped found the Green Party USA, has written one book, produced several DVDs, and is co-author on one patent application pending.

Diane Kaplan

In 2001, Diane Kaplan was named president of the Anchorage-based Rasmuson Foundation. She began administering the Foundation in 1995. From 1994-2001, Kaplan's consulting company provided management and government relations services to philanthropic and nonprofit organizations and Native corporations and tribes. She was previously president & chief executive officer of Alaska's 28-station public radio network. Kaplan earned a degree in Communications and Women's Studies from the University of Pennsylvania, graduating summa cum laude. She was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. She attended executive management programs at the Wharton School, Stanford University and UC Berkeley. Kaplan is a member of the executive committee of the Anchorage Schools Foundation. She serves as a board member of The Foraker Group, Alaska Children's Trust and United States Artists. In addition, she is a member of the Alaska Native Heritage Month Advisory Board, University of Alaska Anchorage Honors College Advisory Board, Alaska Railroad Corporation Community Advisory Board, Philanthropy Northwest Honorary Council, and the Anchorage Rotary Club. Ms. Kaplan's community contributions have been recognized by the National Organization of Black Elected Legislative Women, the Council on Foundations, Alaska Federation of Natives, YWCA, and Anchorage Chamber of Commerce ATHENA Society. Kaplan married Mel Sather in 1987. Their family includes three grown sons and five grandchildren.

Michelle Sparck

Michelle (Macuar) Sparck grew up in Bethel and is a member of Chevak's Qissunamiut Tribe. While attending the American University in Washington, D.C., Michelle worked for the Alaska Delegation on Alaska Resource and social service issues. With Senate and House experience, Michelle returned home to work for the Association of Village Council Presidents and a number of regional and statewide tribal organizations throughout the years. Five years after first winning a series of seed money from the Alaska Federation of Natives' Alaska Marketplace competition modeled after a World Bank program to spark entrepreneurial ideas in developing nations, or in this case, off-the-grid Alaska, Michelle, along with her triplet sisters Cika and Amy, are utilizing traditional gathering knowledge to produce a high-end skin care line, cosmetics and toiletries. Launching their debut product this month, an Anti-Aging Skin Serum from their premier Quyung-lii Line (The Potent One,) this Alaska Native family owned and operated company attempts to bring about innovative economic development in harmony with the Yup'ik / Cup'ik traditional way of life. It is Applied Subsistence in the marketplace with 100% resource utility.

Dr. Alex Hills

Dr. Alex Hills is Distinguished Service Professor at Carnegie Mellon University. He is best known for his work in communication technology. He built the world’s first Wi-Fi network, and he was instrumental in bringing modern telecommunications services – radio, television and telephone – to small Alaska villages at a time when these services were badly needed. Beginning in 1993, Professor Hills conceived, founded and led Carnegie Mellon’s Wireless Andrew project, a campus-wide high-speed wireless network that served as a prototype for modern Wi-Fi networks. This work is the subject of his new book, The Road to Wi-Fi. In Alaska he worked in the 1970s and 1980s to build public radio stations across Alaska and to develop the state’s telecommunications networks so that even small villages could receive telephone and television service. In those days, he was known to radio listeners as “Alex in the Morning.” A wireless researcher, Dr. Hills is a frequent speaker at universities, conferences and conventions. He has authored many journal papers and technical reports, and he also writes for the public in magazines like Scientific American. An inventor with 12 patents, he is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. Professor Hills has a great deal of international experience. He has lectured and consulted in many countries: Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Ghana, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Panama, Russia, Singapore, South Africa and South Korea. He lives with his wife Meg, who is a nurse practitioner. The couple has two daughters, Rebecca and Karen, both Ph.D. candidates.

Amy Pettit

Amy Pettit was raised on a cow-calf operation on the Southern Oregon Coast where her father is a 3rd generation rancher. Amy lived and worked on a farm in Australia while pursuing her Bachelors’ degree from Oregon State University in Agricultural Business Management. She then worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Kansas prior to being imported to the State of Alaska by her husband, who was born and raised in Palmer. Amy started as a summer intern with the Division of Agriculture in 2005. She then became a Development Specialist in the Marketing & Inspection Section in 2006. In 2010 reorganization put Amy in charge of the Marketing section managing the Alaska Grown program, a variety of State and Federal Grant programs, the Country of Origin Labeling inspection program as well as the new Farm to School program for the Division.

Allison Warden

Allison Warden: Indigenous Inter-Disciplinary Art - A Way to Inspire Conversations within Community Allison Warden (AKU-MATU) is an Iñupiaq Eskimo Inter-Disciplinary Artist with a passion for the self-determination of Indigenous Peoples. She raps under the name AKU-MATU and loves working w...ith young people, empowering them through the use of theatre and music. She creates her own beats for her rhymes, sampling traditional sounds and inserting her Iñupiaq language into her songs. She recently performed as AKU-MATU at Columbia University, as part of a concert put on by the Department of Ethnomusicology. She lives in Anchorage, Alaska and has close ties to her home community of Kaktovik, Alaska. Her one-woman show, “Ode to the Polar Bear” has toured extensively across Alaska and the lower-48 and is being re-worked into a completely new and longer piece, titled “Calling All Polar Bears”. She acted in Andrew MacLean’s film, “Sikumi” that will premiere at Sundance in 2011. In 2009, she was part of the “virtual subsistence” exhibition at MTS Gallery and coordinated over 25 people to participate in a performance which focused on the incident with the Point Hope caribou and land use issues. Allison is an engaged community member, passionate about awakening Indigenous youth to their potential and voice.

Marian Call

Marian Call is a professional musician and online entrepreneur boldly road-testing new and alternative business models to monetize her art and kickstart her travel. In the last year she used Twitter and Facebook to coordinate and fund a tour of all fifty United States as well as most of populated Canada, and she is currently wrapping work on her third album, which is entirely funded by fans of her work. She has too many schemes and ideas to fit in her own head so she hopes to share them other artists, entrepreneurs, and community-builders around the world.

Organizing team


Anchorage, AK, United States
  • Nils Andreaseen
    Planning Committee
  • Tamar Yosef
    Planning Committee
  • Peter Briggs
    Planning Committee
  • George Cannelos
    Planning Committee
  • Eva Aigner
    Planning Committee
  • Tony Sheppard
    Planning Committee
  • Alan Erikson
    Video and Tech