x = independently organized TED event

This event occurred on
April 20, 2012
9:00am - 1:00pm EDT
(UTC -4hrs)
Cleveland, OH
United States

TEDxCLE 2012 will be held on Friday, April 20, 2012, we welcome you to join us and experience great positive thinking from some of Cleveland's best & brightest. Visit for more details.

Cleveland, OH, 44102
United States
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Tom Benson

Tom Benson is an aerospace engineer in the Inlets and Nozzles Branch at the NASA Glenn Research Center. He earned Bachelor and Master's degrees in Aerospace Engineering from Ohio State University in 1971. He then spent four years in the Air Force at Wright Patterson AFB doing high speed inlet testing and installed-engine performance calculations for the F-16, B1-A, YF-17 and F5-E. He returned to graduate school at OSU in 1975 and passed the qualifiers for a PhD. While at OSU, he worked on the application of fluid dynamics solvers to the problem of blood flow through the circulatory system. He started working at NASA Glenn in 1978. During the 80's and 90's he built, verified and applied computer programs to model the flow of gases through high speed inlets. He worked on the National Aerospace Plane (NASP) project to study a vehicle that would fly from a runway into orbit. He also served as the NASA representative on a NATO-AGARD Working Group on high speed inlet computations. He worked for several years to develop computational models for microgravity liquids, including an experiment that flew on the Space Shuttle during STS-43 and STS-52. He then studied fundamental fluids problems, such as the jet-in-cross flow and flow past a cylinder, using computational fluid dynamics (CFD). He is the author of more than 50 technical papers dealing with various aspects of CFD. For the last 20 years, he has divided his time between high speed CFD and educational outreach. Tom is the author of The Beginner's Guide to Aeronautics , a large NASA educational website that describes the math and science of aeronautics as applied to airplanes, gas turbine engines, rockets, kites and sports. He is the author of FoilSim, EngineSim, RocketModeler, and KiteModeler. These are interactive computer programs available on the web to allow students to explore math and science through inquiry-based learning. He developed several interactive computer programs that demonstrate the effects of aerodynamics on the game of baseball. His programs were displayed at the Baseball Hall of Fame exhibit, and on the Cleveland Indians Jumbotron at Progressive Field, as part of WKYC Weather Days with the Tribe. (He even got to throw out the first pitch). During the Centennial of Flight Celebration, he developed several computer simulations related to the Wright Brothers wind tunnel tests, aircraft, and engines. NASA's Re-Living the Wright Way website shows students the math and science behind the invention of the airplane. Tom and Roger Storm give educational presentations around the country as Wilbur and Orville Wright describing the invention process. Tom is currently a presenter for the Digital Learning Network (DLN) delivering lessons to students using interactive television on such varied subjects as Humans in Space, Simple Machines, and Galileo. He has participated in many NASA outreach events, including the Cleveland National Air Show, the Ingenuity Science and Art Festival, the Smithsonian Folk Life Festival, the USA Science and Engineering Festival, and Donovan McNabb's Football Camp in Philadelphia. Tom was born in Columbus, Ohio, graduating from Bishop Watterson High School. He likes all kinds of music; has sung with and conducted the church choir, played guitar and bass guitar for a garage band and a blue-grass band at NASA, and appeared as a super in a Metropolitan Opera presentation of Aida in Cleveland. He likes sports; playing football and basketball as a kid, and coaching basketball and soccer for his son. He is also a board member of the Cleveland Astronomical Society where he has given talks on the Apollo Moon program and the International Space Station.

Philip Niles

Philip Niles is pursuing his M.D. and M.B.A. degrees at Case Western in Cleveland. He completed his undergraduate magna cum laude in three years as a Trustee's scholar, and majored in economics. Philip has been living and working in Cleveland for the past 8 years and has pursued several independent projects including: evaluating the economic value of renovating public square, starting an HIV/AIDS testing center in Kenya, working as a supply chain management consultant for ORBIS International, an organization committed to preventing avoidable blindness through the use of its airplane-turned-eye hospital, in the Philippines, Myanmar and Vietnam. Philip was named a Cleveland Clinic Healthcare Management Scholar, and consulted for the Cleveland Clinic Quality and Patient Safety Institute on the costs of postoperative complications. Philip has performed research at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, studying the cost-effectiveness of diagnostic imaging in glaucoma patients, and he delivered a podium presentation at the 2011 meeting of the Association for Research and Vision in Ophthalmology (ARVO). He will begin his ophthalmology residency in July, 2013 at the University of Iowa. Philip is part of the TED2009 Fellow class. Philip enjoys rebuilding sound systems from the 1970s and 1980s, as well as skiing and traveling. He is also a monster on the foosball table.

Dr. Yohannes Haile-Selassie

Dr. Yohannes Haile-Selassie is the Curator and Head of Physical Anthropology at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and Adjunct Professor of Anthropology at Case Western Reserve University. He conducts research on early human evolution in Africa. His work centers on the Afar region of Ethiopia where he and his team survey large areas looking for fossil remains of early humans and other animals to better understand the paleobiology and paleoecology of these early humans and, ultimately, our origins. His research has been published in top scientific journals, including Nature, Science, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. He is a Fellow at the Institute of the Science of Origins (Case Western Reserve University) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Dr. Brian Grimberg

Dr. Brian Grimberg, an Assistant Professor of International Health at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, as Principal Investigator, leads an international team of researchers investigating treatment and prevention options for malaria at the School of Medicine's Center for Global Health & Diseases which is home to a National Institutes of Health (NIH) International Center of Excellence for Malaria Research - one of only ten around the world. Perhaps surprising to many is the devastating damage malaria still reaps; it kills 1.2 million people annually and hampers the modernization of endemic countries Dr. Grimberg's research is focused on the cell biology of malaria parasites.. Widespread drug resistance to current treamtments has further limited treatment opitons for those in need. This challenge drives the mission of Dr. Grimberg's lab, which focuses on screening traditionally used native t reatments (i.e., natural products) to develop new drugs to combat this infection. Additionally, he is working on the development of new antimalarial vaccines and rapid malaria diagnostics. Dr. Grimberg is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene and has received numerous awards including Excellence in Science, American Association for the Advancement of Science; Young Investigator Award, Great Lakes International Imaging & Flow Cytometry Association; Young Investigator Award, Honorable Mention, American Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene; andSuperior Merit Award for Efforts Above the Call of Duty, NIH. A graduate of Cleveland's St. Ignatius High School, Dr. Grimberg received his bachelor's degree in biology from the Univeristy of Rochester. His undergraduate studies were followed by training at the NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Dr. Grimberg earned his doctorate in biology from Wake Forest University. Prior to his academic appointment, Dr. Grimberg performed two National Research Service Awards sponsored post-doctoral fellowships in Geographic Medicine and Hematology at Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals Case Medical Center.

Mort Epstein

Mort Epstein has had a lifetime of involvement in social and political causes and in artistic pursuits as a designer, woodworker and teacher. From his start as the son of New York City immigrants, to his 95th year in 2012, Mort has covered a lot of territory, producing creative work along the way. Mort attended WPA art and cartooning classes in Manhattan. At the WPA school he was exposed to radical political conversations typical of the Depression years of the 1930s. Mort became committed to equal rights and opportunity for all. These concepts have been the guiding principles of his life. In 1937 Mort attended The Cooper Union School of Art. At Cooper, Mort developed his life-long commitment to the design principles of directness, simplicity and the Bauhaus idea that "form follows function." Mort entered the U.S. Army in 1942, where he spent three years as a designer and model maker. While on leave in the nation's capital he passed a storefront with a sign "National Committee to Abolish the Poll Tax" in its window. Curious, he went inside and learned that poor people were disenfranchised by a tax that, as a Northerner, he had never heard of. Immediately he volunteered to help in the cause, and thus began a lifetime of action for equal rights and civil liberties. Strong advocates for civil rights in the 1950s, Mort and his wife Marion were active locally in the movement for racial equality. They provided graphic design and artwork, participating in marches and other public demonstrations. In the 1960s and 70s Mort's political involvement was three-fold. He was active in the fair housing movement which assisted African American families who wanted to find homes in segregated white areas of greater Cleveland. He participated in the anti-Vietnam War/pro-peace movement. Mort was also a member of the Cleveland Committee on Soviet Anti-Semitism, helping reduce restrictions on Jews in the Soviet Union and, ultimately, led to the possibility of their emigration. Community involvement in the 1980s included serving as president of the board of The Art Studio at MetroHealth Medical Center. Mort remains actively involved in the ACLU. Mort started an independent graphic design company based in the Old Arcade, called Community Graphic. He had many commercial accounts, and provided below cost or free graphic services for social service agencies on tight budgets. Mort joined forces with John Szilagyi and formed Epstein & Szilagyi, Designers, Inc., which thrived for 21 years. When Epstein & Szilagyi disbanded in the 1980s, Mort formed another partnership, a firm known today as Epstein Design Partners Inc. Celebrating its 50 th anniversary in 2012, Epstein Design continues to be an influential and well-respected firm in the city of Cleveland. Beginning in the late 1960s, Mort also taught in the Graphic Design Department at the Cleveland Institute of Art, helping develop a program where advanced student designed communications for area non-profit organizations. Mort retired from graphic design gradually, and spent more time and energy doing woodworking, creating unique tables, cabinets, sculptures, and the occasional political sign in his midtown Cleveland workshop. He became involved with Habitat for Humanity, not only as a graphic designer and photographer helping the local group with their printed materials but as a carpenter volunteer helping build houses in Cleveland's Central neighborhood and in rural Mississippi. Mort continues to be active in various political and social causes. Mort was honored in 2009 with the Cleveland Arts Prize, Lifetime Achievement Award.

Justin Bibb

Justin Bibb serves as Special Assistant to Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald. Prior to joining the FitzGerald Administration, Justin was Associate Partner and Director of Community Strategies with Gallup in Washington, D.C. Currently, he serves on the boards of Cuyahoga Community College and City Year Cleveland. He pursued his undergraduate degree in urban studies from American University and the London School of Economics.

Josh Taylor

Josh Taylor is the Vice President of Brand Strategy and Development at TWIST Creative. He was previously the Director of Marketing and Public Relations for Downtown Cleveland Alliance. He is actively involved in the local development and civic communities and has experience in building partnerships that allow organizations to become more efficient. A native Clevelander, Josh has a passion for restoring pride in the growth and progress of Cleveland and is an advocate for the development of world-class parks and public spaces.

Genna Petrolla

Genna Petrolla is a marketing professional who lives on the west side of Cleveland. She began her career in Cleveland as the Marketing Director of locally owned Progressive Urban Real Estate, where she grew to love the culture and history of each of Cleveland's distinct neighborhoods. Following her work at PURE, Genna helped to launch a program called Greater Circle Living, an employer-assisted housing program that encouraged employees of institutions such as the Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, The Cleveland Museum of Art and Case Western Reserve University to live closer to work in the neighborhoods surrounding University Circle. She was also part of the team that founded and produced messy magazine, an online submission-based art, literary and fashion magazine featuring the work of up-and-coming local artists. She was the recipient of the 2010 Judson Smart Living Award for Volunteerism and serves on the Board of Directors of SPACES, a presenting contemporary art venue dedicated to artists who explore and experiment. In addition, Genna serves on the boards of LiveCleveland, a non-profit that promotes the livability of Cleveland neighborhoods and Buzz & Growl, a Cleveland-based sewing and fashion incubator

Cloud Nothings

In 2009, Cleveland's Dylan Baldi began writing and recording lo-fi power-pop songs in his parents' basement, dubbing the project Cloud Nothings. His music quickly started making the Internet rounds, and fans and critics alike took note of his pithy songcraft, infectiously catchy melodies, and youthful enthusiasm. Baldi soon released a string of 7"s, a split cassette, and an EP before putting out Turning On--a compilation spanning about a year's worth of work--on Carpark in 2010. January 2011 saw the release Cloud Nothings' self-titled debut LP, which, put next to Turning On, found Baldi cleaning up his lo-fi aesthetic, pairing his tales of affinitive confusion with a more pristine aural clarity. In the interval since the release of Cloud Nothings, Baldi has toured widely and put a great deal of focus on his live show, a detail that heavily shapes the music of his follow-up album, Attack on Memory. After playing the same sets nightly for months on end, Baldi saw the rigidity of his early work, and he wanted to create arrangements that would allow for more improvisation and variability when played on the road. To accomplish this desired malleability, the entire band decamped to Chicago--where the album was recorded with Steve Albini--and all lent a hand in the songwriting process. The product of these sessions is a record boasting features that, even at a glance, mark a sea change in the band's sound: higher fidelity, a track clocking in at almost nine minutes, an instrumental, and an overall more plaintive air. The songs move along fluidly, and Baldi sounds assured as he brings his vocals up in the mix, allowing himself to hold out long notes and put some grain into his voice. Minor key melodies abound, drums emphatically contribute much more than mere timekeeping, and the guitar work is much more adventurous than that of previous releases. For all of early Cloud Nothings' fun and fervor, Baldi admits that it never sounded like most of the music he listens to. With Attack on Memory, he wanted to remedy this anomaly, and in setting out to do so, Baldi and co. have created an album that shows vast growth in a still very young band.

Lolah Brown

Out of the Cardinal State and home of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, hails a songbird whose melodic tone effortlessly captivates the hearts of all who encounter her. Lolah Brown, the Cleveland, Ohio native who began singing at the age of five, has proven that hard work, determination, and unwavering faith can trump any and all obstacles throughout the uncharted roads of life and bring you one step closer to your destiny. Making a name for herself within the industry with hard work, perseverance, and undeniable passion for music has allowed her many rewarding opportunities to travel with some of todays sensational and brightest stars. As a leading background vocalists to pop & r&b sensations; Nicki Minaj, Keri Hilson and John Legend she has had the opportunity of sharing the stage with Kanye West on the Evolver World Tour, Estelle, Rick Ross, the legendary Stevie Wonder and many more! This year alone, she has juggled being a background vocalist for two national tours, traveling on both the Pink Friday promotional tour for Nicki Minaj and the No Boys Allowed promotional tour with Keri Hilson. Currently, Lolah is working vigorously on her solo project, all while traveling on her second national tour with John Legend. Longtime admirers of Lolah Brown are eager for the rest of the world to hear the voice they have fallen in love with.

David Rabinsky

A 13 year resident of the Warehouse District in Cleveland, Ohio, David Rabinsky was born and raised in the east side of the city. After studying abroad and receiving a hospitality degree from the Tadmor School of Hospitality Management in Herzliya, Israel, he returned to Cleveland and opened David's Gourmet, Inc., an off premise catering company in Cleveland Heights operating from 1983 through 1999. After selling his business, David immediately joined The Ritz-Carlton, Cleveland and is currently the director of social catering. His responsibilities include selling all social events, primarily wedding celebrations at the hotel and The Silver Grille in the Higbee building. In his late 30s, David was diagnosed with the familial genetic condition, Retinitis Pigmentosa and then noticed the slow loss of peripheral and ultimately most of his central vision. At present, some 15 years with the condition, David can see light and dark and occasionally can notice some shapes. David and 4 year-old guide dog, Kody, greet perspective clients in the Motor Lobby of the hotel and escort them to appropriate venues throughout the hotel. Between appointments, David drafts custom proposals on his office computer which is adapted with voice technology, allowing him to keep up with the technology-driven modern brides. David and Kody can be seen traversing the streets of downtown, particularly in the Warehouse District neighborhood.

Dr. Lisa Damour

Dr. Lisa Damour directs the Center for Research on Girls at Laurel School, maintains a private psychotherapy practice, consults to schools nationally, is a clinical instructor at Case Western Reserve University, and serves on the board of the Eating Disorders Network. Dr. Damour is the author of numerous academic papers, chapters, editorials, and books related to education and child development. She is co-author with Dr. James Hansell of Abnormal Psychology, a widely-used college textbook and co-author with Dr. Anne Curzan of First Day to Final Grade, a handbook introducing college instructors to the art and craft of teaching. She has worked for the Yale Child Study Center and held fellowships from the Pediatric AIDS Foundation, the Bush Center for Child Development and Social Policy, and the Sadye Harwick Power Foundation. Dr. Damour received her B.A. from Yale University and her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Michigan.

Dar Caldwell

Dar is a co-founder of LaunchHouse, a Cleveland-based business accelerator and collaborative, entrepreneurial co-working space. LaunchHouse invests money, mentorship, and business development resources into promising entrepreneurs to quickly turn their ideas into startup companies. In collaboration with the City of Shaker Heights, LaunchHouse transformed a 23,000 square foot abandoned car dealership into a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem that is home to over 100 startups and entrepreneurs. Dar is passionate about cultivating strong local and regional support for the entrepreneur community in NE Ohio.He serves as a board member for several young professional organizations and startups as well as the Cornell Center for Transformative Action, Ohio Homecoming, and IngenuityFest. BS Landscape Architecture, Cornell University '04.

Organizing team


Cleveland, OH, United States