x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Play, Learn, Build, and Share

This event occurred on
November 19, 2011
10:30am - 3:00pm EST
(UTC -5hrs)
New York, NY, NY
United States

On 11/19/11, we hope to inspire youth to make a difference in this world.

The School at Columbia University
556 West 110th Street
New York, NY, NY, 10025
United States
Event type:
Youth (What is this?)
See more ­T­E­Dx­Youth@­The­School events


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

Charles Wilson

Co-author of Chew on This -- Charles Wilson grew up in West Virginia and has written articles for numerous publications such as the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Economist. He has worked at the New York Times Magazine and The New Yorker. His writing has often explored broader social issues through the lens of personal stories. As a young man, he helped round up beef cattle on horseback at his uncle’s ranch. Chew on This is his first book.

Mauricio Salgado

Artists Striving To End Poverty -- As the Director of Domestic Programming for Artists Striving To End Poverty, Mauricio Salgado handles volunteer recruitment, training and coordination, program management, and curriculum. Originally from Miami, Florida, Mauricio graduated with a BFA from The Juilliard School of Performing Arts. Mauricio has been invited by organizations around the world (the Dominican Republic, South Africa, Peru and India) to teach the ASTEP methodology of using the arts as a catalyst for mentorship and education. In 2005 and 2006, Mauricio was hired as a teaching artist for Dreamyard to work with New York City public school children. He currently teaches annual Social Justice through the Arts workshops at Santa Clara and Juilliard Universities. In March of 2009 Mauricio was presented with the prestigious Martin E. Segal Award in recognition of his outstanding work with ASTEP. Mauricio is passionate about story-telling, compassionate service, and his wife.

Sharon Unis

Pop-Up Adventure Play -- Sharon Unis co-founded Pop-Up Adventure Play and serves as the Managing Director of Business Development. Pop-Up Adventure Play is a US/UK social enterprise advocating for children’s hands-on and self-directed play within communities of supportive adults. Working internationally to catalyze free play opportunities, her team operates both globally and regionally, promoting low-cost, place-specific solutions for optimizing community organizing on behalf of children’s play. Sharon’s other recent experience includes work with the New York Coalition for Play, the Children’s Garden at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and the NYU Child Study Center. She earned a BA in Economics and Environmental Science from Barnard College at Columbia University. Sharon is passionate about children/youth, nature, and playing/laughing.

Monica Louie

Engineers Without Borders -- Monica has been volunteering with Engineers Without Borders NY Chapter (EWB) for 3 years. EWB is a non-profit humanitarian organization that provides engineering services to developing communities. Monica’s involvement brought her to Cambodia with the design and construction of a dam that provides water for irrigation to 9000 residents, and Kenya, for a clean water distribution system. She has actively been involved in promoting the organization’s vision and mission as a member of the executive board. The Education Committee promotes engineering and global development to students K-12 in NYC.

Don Buckley

Director of Innovation at The School at Columbia University -- Don Buckley has transformed learning spaces so they work for teachers and students and not just architects, he has transformed textbooks so that they work for students and teachers and not just publishers, and he has transformed new media resources so that they work for students and teachers and not just programmers. Don has advanced degrees from leading European universities, and he is a former industrial chemist, published photographer, and consultant to MOMA. As well as teaching a graduate course at Columbia Teacher’s College in Educational Technology and directing the Communications Technology program at The School he is an author for Pearson’s Interactive Science Program (a K-8 Science series for 21st century schools). Don is constantly exploring Travel, Architecture, Design, Change, The Future, and Innovation. He is a scientist, technologist, educator, author, traveler, futurist, innovator, and dual citizen of Ireland and the United States. Don is passionate about architecture, travel, and design.

Dickson Despommier

The Vertical Farm -- Dr. Dickson Despommier was born in New Orleans in 1940, and grew up in California before moving to the New York area. He earned his Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of Notre Dame and conducted laboratory-based biomedical research with NIH-sponsored support at Columbia University for 27 years. An Emeritus Professor, Dickson has always been interested in the environment and the damage we have caused by the simple act of encroachment. At present, he is engaged in a project to produce significant amounts of food crops in tall buildings situated in densely populated urban centers. There are now five vertical farms up and running: Korea, Japan, Holland and two in the U.S.A. Dickson has received numerous teaching awards and has lectured on the subject of vertical farming to engineers, professors, and government agencies all over the world. He has given a TED talk, and three TEDx talks (Washington, D.C., Chicago, and Bermuda). Dickson is passionate about fly fishing, teaching, and photography.

Lucas Ward

8th Grader at The School at Columbia University -- Lucas Ward is an 8th grader at The School at Columbia University. He writes music as well as recording and producing his own songs and music videos. He created the music group Ninjaz Entertainment, which already has three songs on its YouTube channel, but more are coming. He enjoys using Flash to draw, design graphics, and animate. He also draws freehand and especially likes to draw cartoons. He hopes you enjoy his presentation. Lucas is passionate about music, drawing/cartoons, and animation.

Charles Colten

Aikido in The Schools -- Charles Colten is the founder and chief instructor of Aikido in the Schools, which is dedicated to bringing the benefits of Aikido into public and private schools. After decades of practicing Aikido and working as a classroom teacher, he brought these two streams together, and has been sharing Aikido in schools for the past four years. Charles began his Aikido training in 1986, currently teaches Aikido to adults and children in New York City, gives seminars around the USA and has also taught/practiced in Asia, Europe and Latin America. He earned a Masters Degree in Organizational/Educational Leadership at Columbia University Teacher’s College and sits on the Board of Aikiextensions, an international organization dedicated to applying Aikido principles in business, law, mediation, health-care, arts, education, play therapy, and international development. Charles is passionate about learning, play, Aikido, and the “places” where they all happen together.

Conrad Milhaupt

Co-host. Conrad is an eighth grader at The School at Columbia University, and is currently the President of the Student Government. As President this year, he hopes to empower the students of The School, and prove that students of all ages can make a difference in their communities. He is an athlete, learner, and devoted community service volunteer. He is looking forward to co-hosting the incredible TEDxYouth@TheSchool event this year.

Brandon Bell

Co-host. Brandon is an 8th grader at The School at Columbia University, and is Vice President of the Student Government. One of Brandon's campaign promises was to work on the need for additional community service projects in his school so that kids can make a difference by helping those in need. He is looking forward to co-hosting TEDxYouth@theSchool. Brandon is passionate about swimming, running, and reading.

Shannon Durugordon

Shannon is an 8th grader at The School at Columbia University and a member of the Student Government. She participating in JR's InsideOut Project as an Art elective, and she will explain the project and her inspiration. Shannon is a scholar-athlete and an integral member of The School's community. Shannon is passionate about sports, acting, and taking care of others.

Kate Scheuermann

Kate is an 8th grader at The School at Columbia University. She participating in JR's InsideOut Project as an Art elective, and she will explain the project and her inspiration. Kate is a scholar-athlete and an integral member of The School's community. Kate is passionate about lacrosse, training wild mustangs, and skiing.

Ben Hirschfeld

Ben Hirschfeld founded the Lit! Solar Lantern Project as a high school freshman in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York. Lit! provides solar lanterns to students without electricity in the developing world, replacing their kerosene lamps. Kerosene smoke contributes to diseases like asthma, pneumonia, and even lung cancer, and contains carbon dioxide that leads to global warming. Lit!’s research shows that children receiving lanterns are better prepared for school, while their families can buy much-needed food now with the money formally used to buy kerosene. By providing solar lanterns, Lit! is preventing global warming at the same time as helping children gain literacy, better nutrition, and better health. Ben is passionate about the Lit! Project, flannel, and the outdoors.

Namgyal Wangchuk Trichen Lhagyari

Born and raised as a Tibetan exile in India, Trichen is currently at boarding school in the United States. Last year, he made his first documentary film about his life as the descendant of the Great Kings of Tibet and the struggle of the Tibetan people in exile. His film, <em>My Country is Tibet</em>, was made through BYkids and has screened to critical acclaim at film festivals around the world. The film will be distributed by Discovery Education to half the schools in America. The Dalai Lama has recommended he go to college in the United States, so Trichen is passionate about studying, teaching people about Tibet, and rowing.


Nonsequitur is an a cappella (without music) group from Columbia University. Founded in 2000 by five Columbia students, the group was originally formed as an all-male group specializing in alternative rock. Nonseq (as it’s popularly known) quickly grew to include all genders and genres, eventually becoming Columbia’s hippest group. Students come together to combine awesome vocal harmonies and killer choreography. Over the last eleven years, they have toured Canada and the East Coast, and performed with renowned a cappella groups from across the country, and in 2009, took first place in the quarterfinal round for the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella. Nonsequitur has also enjoyed great success off the stage. In 2007, they won the Columbia Organizational Achievement Leadership Promise Award for being the student organization with the best potential for positive impact on Columbia’s campus.

Organizing team


New York, NY, United States
  • Karen Blumberg
  • Kathryn Kaiser
  • Belinda Nicholson
  • Gina Marcel
  • Jasslin Tejada
  • Katherine Cheung
  • Zoe Paraskevopoulos
  • Claire Anderton
  • Edna Suarez
  • Jazmin Sherwood