x = independently organized TED event

This event occurred on
October 18, 2011
8:30am - 6:00pm EDT
(UTC -4hrs)
Washington, DC, DC
United States

TEDxPennQuarter is a distinctive platform where people and ideas come together around the theme: REINVENTINGx. Our diverse group of speakers will share their unique stories and intriguing thoughts about reinvention. The conference offers something for every interest and provides the opportunity for all in attendance to inspire and be inspired.

Woolly Mammoth Theatre
641 D Street, NW
Washington, DC, DC, 20004
United States
See more ­T­E­Dx­Penn­Quarter events


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

Christylez Bacon

Christylez Bacon (pronounced: chris-styles) is a GRAMMY Nominated Progressive Hip-Hop artist and multi-instrumentalist from Southeast, Washington, DC. As a performer, Christylez multi-tasks between various instruments such as the West African djembe drum, acoustic guitar, and the human beat-box (oral percussion), all while continuing the oral tradition of storytelling through his lyrics. With a mission towards cultural acceptance and unification through music, Christylez is constantly pushing the envelope – from performances at the National Cathedral, to becoming the first Hip-Hop artist to be featured at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, composing and orchestrating an entire concert for a 12-piece orchestra commissioned by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Smithsonian Institute, or recording a Folk/Hip-Hop children’s album.

Jeff Benabio

Dr. Benabio is a graduate of Brown University and Wake Forest University School of Medicine. He graduated first in his class in medical school and served as chief dermatology resident at the University of California Irvine. He's currently a Voluntary Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at UCSD and partner physician at Kaiser Permanente in San Diego, CA. An award-winning speaker, he has addressed national audiences for Kaiser Permanente, the American Academy of Dermatology, and the American Telemedicine Association. For over five years, Dr. Jeff Benabio has been using social media channels to help patients learn about skin health and disease and to help doctors learn about engaging patients more effectively. In his practice Dr. Benabio uses disruptive tools such as telemedicine and mobile devices to improve patient access and reduce medical costs. In his talk he'll show us how we're re-inventing medicine with Twitter and Facebook, and why it's the best thing to happen to medicine since vaccines.

Sam Calagione

Sam Calagione is the founder and President of Dogfish Head, a Delaware craft brewery producing “off-centered ales for off-centered people.” When Sam opened Dogfish Head in 1995, it was the smallest commercial brewery in America, brewing batches of 10 gallons at a time. Today, Dogfish Head is among the fastest growing breweries in the country, selling beer in 30 states and 3 countries. Sam is the maverick behind all of the “off-centered” things that happen at Dogfish Head, his passion and brainchild. He’s creating brews with unconventional ingredients: herbs and spices, raisins, wood, corn and Aztec cocoa powder. Sam’s innovative style has earned him a reputation as one of America's most adventurous entrepreneurs. Ranked among Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business in 2011, he’s been named Businessman of the Year by The Small Business Association, and a Game Changer for 2010 by the Huffington Post. He’s been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, Playboy, People, and Bon Appetit and was a finalist for the 2011 James Beard Awards (only the second beverage producer to ever be nominated). His books include Brewing Up a Business; Extreme Brewing: He Said Beer, She Said Wine and he was the host of Brew Masters on the Discovery Channel. Sam serves as the Vice Chair of the Brewers Association, an articulate ambassador for the craft-brewing world. He’s often on the road promoting Dogfish Head and the spirit of small business through beer, song, dance, and words. He has spoken for Fast Company, Inc. Magazine, corporations and associations around the country.

Chris Chabris

Christopher Chabris is a psychology professor at Union College in New York, where he studies intelligence, thinking, and decision-making. He is the co-author of the New York Times bestseller and Editor’s Choice book The Invisible Gorilla, and Other Ways Our Intuitions Deceive Us, which is being translated into 17 languages. He shared the 2004 Ig Nobel Prize in Psychology (awarded for "achievements that first make people laugh, and then make them think"), given for the experiment that inspired the book. Chris has spoken to audiences at major conferences and businesses, and his work has been published in leading journals including Science, Nature, Perception, and Cognitive Science. He is also a chess master, poker amateur, and contributor to the Wall Street Journal and other national publications

Sam Moore Cicotello

Sam Moore Cicotello is the Dean of Motley Fool University and is responsible for all of The Motley Fool’s learning and development initiatives. She has 10 years of experience in marketing and product strategy and was shocked to find her passion in learning and leadership development. She embraces her marketing background in her current role and is constantly testing and learning within Fool U. She persistently encourages Fools to “try it” and “top it.” She was awarded the title of Chief Rabblerouser of the Highest Order by her peers in 2006 and still holds the coveted position.

Lee Burbage

Lee Burbage, People Fool At The Motley Fool, if it has to do with people, Lee is likely leading the charge. Lee, a graduate of the University of Maryland, has been with the Fool since 1998 when he joined from Bank of America. At Bank of America, he was a Regional Human Resources Manager covering Maryland, Northern Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Much of his work focused on mergers and acquisitions, building a sales culture, and management development in the retail business. At the Fool, our boy is not your typical HR executive. Lee has been able to shape an incredible culture where people use their passion and skills to deliver for our business. Often quoted and interviewed for our creative, market-leading HR practices, Lee is best known for his jump shot and great hair. At the Motley Fool, Lee and Sam, Professional Boat Rockers and Envelope Pushers and Brain Expanders, are reconstructing the foundations of human and organizational development. The idea of work/life balance assumes that each happens separately. Your life doesn’t stop when you come to work. With a foundation of trust, respect they push the boundaries for performance and autonomy challenging and destroying long held “professional standards

Ryan Holladay

Ryan Holladay is one half of the music duo, BLUEBRAIN, along with his brother Hays. Last Spring they released 'The National Mall', the first location-aware album, composed and designed exclusively as an iPhone app. It is the first in a series of location-based compositions, music that shifts as the user traverses a landscape. On October 4th they released 'Listen to the Light' for Central Park in New York City. Bluebrain have been featured in The Washington Post, Engadget, WIRED, Fast Company, NPR's All Things Considered and BCC World Service among others

Carol Ross Joynt

Carol Ross Joynt, in addition to being an author, is an Emmy Award-winning network television producer, interviewer, blogger, photographer. She was born in Denver, grew up in Europe, Ohio, and on the East Coast, and lives in Washington, DC. She is host of the popular local talk show, The Q&A Cafe, which she created in 2001. It airs Fridays at 8 p.m. on DC Cable. Carol is also the author of the memoir "Innocent Spouse," published by Crown in May 2011. "Innocent Spouse" was featured in Vogue and on the Today show, as well as a variety of other print and broadcast media. and received enthusiastic reviews. She will be signing copies of her book at TEDxPennQuarter 2011 Carol hosted TEDxPennQuarter in 2010.

Kat Koppett

Kat Koppett is the co-director of The Mop & Bucket company, a NY State-based improvisational theatre company, and the Eponymous Founder of Koppett + Company, a consultancy specializing in applying the principles and techniques of improv to enhance individual and group performance anywhere. Her book on the subject, Training to Imagine is considered a seminal work in the field, and she is proud to be a founding member of the Applied Improv Network. Kat has worked with bankers, physicians, engineers, animators, teachers, attorneys, and troubled youth in places ranging from India to Brazil to Paris to Oklahoma. 1n 1995, TheatreWeek Magazine named Kat one of the Year's Unsung Heroes for her invention of the musical improv format Spontaneous Broadway® which is now performed around the world.

Jimmy Lynn

Jimmy Lynn is the founder and managing partner of JLynn Associates, a global strategic advisory firm focused on sports-related media, marketing, and retail for a diverse set of clients including teams, athletes, leagues and associations, media outlets and other businesses. Previously, Lynn served as Vice-President, Strategic Development and Partnerships at AOL, where he and his team were responsible for the strategic development and account management of AOL Sports’ strategic partnerships and organizations including the NFL, NBA, NASCAR, MLB, WNBA, NHL, PGA Tour, ABC Sports, CBS Sports, HBO Sports, Sports Illustrated, Turner Sports, NFL Players Association, WWF, The Sporting News, STATS, SportsTicker, etc. During his 14-year career at AOL, he was also instrumental in developing AOL Sports into one of the leading global sports destination internet sites. He also served as a Vice-President, Diversity Partnerships and Strategic Relationships for AOL's Office of Diversity and Inclusion, where he managed AOL's employee affinity networks and partnerships with community service organizations Additionally, Lynn serves on the Board of Directors for countless charities and is recognized for his outstanding leadership and many accomplishments in voluntary public service, human rights and/or equal opportunity efforts. He is on the Advisory Council of the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund, the Capitol Movement Project and the Leadership Council of George Washington University’s Department of Tourism and Hospitality Management. In 2010, he received an award from Washington, DC Mayor Fenty for outstanding community service. Lynn is a full-time faculty member of Georgetown University's Sports Industry Management graduate program, as well as member of the Adjunct Faculty at the McDonough School of Business. He has a B.A. in Public Communication and an M.B.A. in Marketing from American University.

Jess McMullin

Jess is the founder of the Centre for Citizen Experience, a startup “do tank” dedicated to advancing design innovation to improve public sector service delivery and policy making. Based in Edmonton, Alberta, Jess works with public sector clients across North America to design services, systems and policies that make a difference in the daily lives of citizens. He also partners with clients to increase their own design competency, change organizational culture and use design as an important and untapped way to help make the right decisions faster. Jess also works with private sector clients in order to bring new learning, ideas and experiences from industry to public service. He is active in the user experience, design and innovation communities. He cofounded the Overlap innovation retreat, started Canux, the Canadian User Experience Workshop, and regularly writes and speaks about the importance of design

David Kord Murray

Dave began his career as an aerospace engineer. He worked on the Space Shuttle and the conceptual development team of the International Space Station. Over the years he’s been a scientist, chief marketing officer, entrepreneur, CEO, product development specialist, software programmer and line manager for both small and large organizations. He was the Head of Innovation at the software company Intuit. And he started his own online tax preparation company that he sold to H&R Block a few years ago. Just recently, Dave published his first book called Borrowing Brilliance: The Six Steps to Business Innovation by Building on the Ideas of Others. It’s been a Wall Street Journal best seller and named by Inc Magazine as one of the Best Business Books of 2009. BusinessWeek called Dave’s innovation process “one that actually seems to work.” Dave’s second book is being released in September and is called Plan B: How to Hatch a Second Plan that’s Always Better than the First. It’s about the implementation and evolution of an innovative idea.

Rory Pullens

Having joined Duke Ellington School of the Arts as CEO in January of 2006, Mr. Pullens has brought extraordinary vision, a greater sense of community, and unwavering enthusiasm to the school. A writer, producer, and script-editor before entering the world of education as a theater and journalism teacher and, later, administrator, Mr. Pullens’ career has taken him from Hollywood to the Los Angeles Arts Academy to Nashville Schools to an entertainment company and, most recently, the Denver School of the Arts (DSA). At DSA, Mr. Pullens served as Principal Director of the Arts, supervising ten art majors, the arts curriculum, recruitment, the audition/selection process, and the performance calendar, as well as fundraising and marketing.

Vijay Ravindran

Vijay Ravindran joined The Washington Post Company as senior vice president and chief digital officer in February 2009. In his role, Ravindran focuses on digital news product development. Ravindran founded and leads WaPo Labs, which develops experimental news products, including the personalized news aggregation site Trove. Ravindran also serves in various leadership roles at SocialCode (the leading Facebook-dedicated advertising agency), The Washington Post’s online initiatives, Slate, Avenue100 Solutions (a leading analytics-based performance marketing company), and Ongo (a Company investment). Previously, as chief technology officer of Catalist LLC, a start-up political technology company that built a national voter database and data mining tools for political campaigns, Ravindran led all the technology aspects of developing the company’s software products. He joined Catalist at its inception in late 2005. During the 2008 election cycle, Catalist clients included the Obama for America and Hillary Clinton presidential campaigns. Prior to Catalist, Ravindran was a technology director at From 2003 to 2005, he led the ordering services group; the department was responsible for consumer purchasing on all Amazon properties. This included the product development and operations for “Shopping Cart,” “Checkout,” “1-Click” and “Your Account,” as well as the initial creation and management of “Amazon Prime.” From 2001 to 2003, he built and led the teams that owned the core order-processing and identity services for Amazon and its partners. Ravindran joined Amazon in 1998 as a software engineer. Prior to Amazon, Ravindran was a software developer at American Management Systems in Fairfax, VA, and Dusseldorf, Germany. Ravindran graduated from the University of Virginia with a BS in systems engineering. He is a member of the board of directors of the Alliance for Excellent Education.

Damian Saccocio

Damian is a something of a nerd-gone-astray -- while working toward his computer engineering degree as a young Buckeye, he correctly observed his relative lack of skills in VAX VMS DCL compared to peers so wrote a thesis on "red apples" that told the story of the Soviet Union's long standing policy of appropriating western technology; this led to a master's in political science from MIT where he focused not so much on how to build bridges as it were but where they should be built and their impact; these bridges turned into information superhighways and brought him to DC where he was privileged to work on technology policy issues of great importance at the National Research Council long before most folks thought they were important. Missing the freedom that comes with being poor, Damian went back to graduate school and earned a doctorate in Management from Rensselaer Poytechnic Institute (the nation's first, after West Point, engineering school which was founded to help train civil engineers for the communication/commerce pathways of the time, canals). Upon returning to DC, Damian began a decade with AOL which began with 28.8 baud modems and ended with streaming video over broadband—talk about disruptive technology! He's particularly excited about the current, if slow, revolution in watching (and interacting with) moving images over long distances (aka TV) and has worked with the "free-space" motion controller folks at Hillcrest Labs and the media backend system folks at Artesia (now Open Text). He is currently a Director with the Advisory Group at Huron where he advises universities on how best to connect the dots between research, faculty, and students with the broader innovation ecosystem of companies, investors, and customers. In his spare time he enjoys watching the Rugby World Cup and wrestling with his three kids.

Bill Smith

Bill worked for more than 30 years trying to figure out how to help masses of people make positive change in their lives. He designed and managed programs around the world focused on combating infant diarrhea, immunizing children, saving the environment, and reducing obesity. He wrote a couple of books; received a set of awards and now he consults and speaks widely on lessons he learned after 30 years of imperfect, but interesting work. His field is social marketing, not social media, but the application of basic marketing principles to programs that make difficult change fun, easy, and popular to adopt. In "Let's Get Naked", he'll show us how a simple idea can change the way you think and act.

John Sununu

John E. Sununu is Senior Fellow at PWC and Senior Policy Advisor at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld. He represented New Hampshire in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1997 to 2003, and in the U.S. Senate from 2003 to 2009. In the Senate he served on the Commerce, Finance, Banking and Foreign Relations committees, writing the Patriot Act Amendments of 2005, and the Internet Tax Freedom Act of 2007. He led delegations monitoring the Palestinian Presidential Elections in 2005, and Lebanese Parliamentary elections in 2009. From 2008-2009, Sununu served on the Congressional Oversight Panel for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, and currently serves as a Director of Time Warner Cable and Boston Scientific. He writes a weekly column for the Boston Globe. Prior to his election to Congress he worked for emerging high-tech firms as an engineer, a strategy consultant and a chief financial officer. He earned a B.S. and M.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.

Adam Wade

Adam Wade is originally from New Hampshire, and has been performing in New York City for the past ten years. He is a record 17-time StorySlam Champion at The Moth ("New York's hottest and hippest literary ticket" by The Wall Street Journal), and a two-time GrandSLAM Champion (2006, 2009). He’s been profiled in Time Out New York Magazine's Comedy Section. The magazine also named him to their 'Best of 2009 List' in the Most promising young talents category. "The tales are a little sweet, a little sad, and okay, a lot of them depict failing with girls. But underneath brims an unfaltering self-confidence; he believes in the power of being a good egg." – Jane Borden, Time Out New York Adam has made television appearances on Comedy Central, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, ESPN and TV Land. He’s written for the New York Times, the New York Press and Glamour Magazine. For the past two years he’s taught Storytelling classes at NYC's Magnet Theater. For more information, go to:

Organizing team


Upton, MA, United States
  • Kes Sampanthar
  • Shawn Broxson
    Lead Organizer
  • Jessica Murphy
    Event Coordinator
  • Chris Hayes
    Media Manager
  • Bram Weinstein
  • Seaton Smith