x = independently organized TED event

Theme: No Permission Necessary

This event occurred on
October 11, 2011
9:00am - 5:00pm EDT
(UTC -4hrs)
Buffalo, NY
United States

The theme of TEDxBuffalo 2011 is "No Permission Necessary." Our speakers have changed, disrupted, improved, and sparked new ideas in the fields they work in. Some have built entirely new things, organizations, and movements from the sweat of their brow and the power of their ideas. Most of our speakers just want anyone hearing their message to realize that some great things don’t require a grant, a contract, a factory, or a committee--just a change of thinking.

Montante Cultural Centre
2001 Main Street
Buffalo, NY, 14208-1098
United States
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Karen Armstrong

Karen is currently is the President/Owner of CADDimensions which is a New York State certified WBE Design and Management small business. Ms. Armstrong has diligently worked to educate the WNY community on careers in the Engineering Industry through her work as the Western New York Regional Coordinator for Future City Competition and through BEAM (Buffalo Engineering Awareness for Minorities and Woman).

Chuck Banas

Chuck Banas is a city lover, rabble-rouser, author, and urban planning consultant in Buffalo, New York. He has chaired the SmartCode Committee at the New Millennium Group of WNY, and helped establish the now-underway Buffalo GreenCode project. He also sings a pretty mean Sinatra, and plays the trumpet way too loudly for the neighbors.

John Bordynuik

With his patent-pending Plastic2Oil (P2O) technology, John Bordynuik has pioneered a process that has the ability to change the way the world handles waste plastic and plastic recycling. By transforming unsorted, unwashed waste plastic into ultra-clean, ultra-low sulphur fuel John's revolutionary P2O process provides a simple, immediate solution for industry, communities and government organizations with waste plastic recycling challenges. JBI, Inc. has worked with all levels of government in New York State to validate the process and establish the first Plastic2Oil plant in Niagara Falls, NY. Founder, John Bordynuik, comes from an extensive background of hardware and software innovation, including ground-breaking work in data recovery and has a personal mission to help clean the global environment.

Dr. Barbara Seals Nevergold & Dr. Peggy Brooks-Bertram, Ph.D.s

A project aiming to preserve the histories and stories of African American women and men across the country. Working with Dr. Peggy Brooks-Bertram, Ph.D., the Uncrowned team has built an award-winning, encyclopedia-style Web site, four books, three national conferences, and many other projects to preserve and spread the untold stories of African American influences.

Ethan Cox

Ethan is one of the founders of CBW, and works as President & chief instigator. He has a long-standing passion for beer and brewing, sparked largely in the mid-1990′s Boston of Sam Adams, Pete’s Wicked Ale, and Catamount. He has been a homebrewer for over 10 years, and has won a few awards along the way, though he doesn’t really compete that much. He is also certified as a homebrewing judge through the BJCP program. In a similar vein, he recently became accredited in the Cicerone(r) program, at the Certified level. He believes strongly that Buffalo can rebuild its pre-Prohibiton ‘bierkultur,’ which, aside from making awesome beer, is CBW’s mission: we’re here to Embeer Buffalo.

Remy DeCausemaker

Remy serves as Campaign Architect of FOSS@RIT – center of gravity for all things Free/Opensource at Rochester Institute of Technology. Inside and outside of the classroom, he helps mentor and guide the students and faculty of RIT’s Humanitarian Free/Opensource Software Development course. He also serves the board of CIVX.us, who’s mission is to improve access, openness, and transparency of public information. With help from Sugarlabs, TeachingOpensource, The Software Freedom Law Center, The Fedora Project, and many others, Remy brings The Open Source Way to campuses, conferences, and campaigns everywhere he can.

Patrick Finan

Block Club formed in early 2007 with Block Club Magazine, a hyperlocal quarterly publication which highlights the many people, organizations and businesses that make Western New York such a dynamic community. In the last four years, Patrick Finan and his team have expanded Block Club into a boutique design and creative studio that’s pushed out some of the region’s most visible and stylish products and campaigns. They did this with bootstrapped funds, hard work, and an eye for what locally-owned businesses need. Now they’re taking their design and publishing business model and expanding into other pro-local communities, from Boston to Phoenix.

Drew Kahn

Kahn, a professor and executive producer in the theater department at Buffalo State College, staged a version of The Diary of Anne Frank in 2006 that wove the horrors of the 1994 Rwandan genocide into the tale. Kahn later visited Rwanda itself in early 2011, and returned more motivated than ever to show how theater, story-telling, and the arts can intervene in and heal the effects of atrocities, and bring us closer to our shared humanity. Kahn is the founder of The Anne Frank Project, organizer of several conferences, and a speaker at the first “TEDxSemesterAtSea” event, sponsored in part by the University of Virginia

Brandon Kessler

Brandon Kessler, backed by the U.S. General Services Administration, Challenge.gov sets up and administers public challenges to encourage innovation for the public good. Founder/CEO Brandon Kessler oversees such initiatives as NYC Big Apps, asking developers, designers, and other mobile app thinkers to come up with programs “to make New York City better,” and “Apps for Healthy Kids,” with cooperation from the USDA and First Lady Michelle Obama. Prior to that, Kessler founded independent record label Messenger Records which was repeatedly singled out for its creative use of grassroots and online promotions. Kessler holds undergraduate and MBA degrees from Columbia University.

Patrick Lango

Raised on a dairy farm in rural Western New York, Patrick Lango returned to selling milk from East Otto in the Southern Tier, to find a very different landscape for commodity milk. By making handcrafted dairy and food that respects its sources and its craftsmanship, Lango has found a fervent following among foodies, glossy food publications, the New York Times, and local grocery buyers.

Eric Walker

Eric Walker is a co-founder of People United for Sustainable Housing in Buffalo (PUSH Buffalo), a force for affordable, sustainable, quality housing in Buffalo, with a greater mission of creating strong neighborhoods with hiring opportunities and community resources. Walker’s Green Development Zone project and plans have won an international sustainable housing competition and spurred interest in PUSH’s ideas for comprehensive community development.

Stacey L. Watson

In New York, 38,000 youth drop-out of the public school system each year, however there is very little legislation or funding at the local, state and national level to address the needs of out-of-school youth. Stacey Watson has spent the last decade developing and implementing the Drop-In Nation curriculum co-authored with her mentor and retired principal Susan-Mendel Hausman. This curriculum has led to Watson’s programming leading the state in GED accreditations since 2003.Watson has now taken this curriculum, which served as her basis for success at the South Buffalo Education Center, and opened Drop-In Nation – an education program designed specifically for out-of-school youth. The center is located in downtown Buffalo, a city which is suffering from a 50% drop-out rate. Watson has graduated over 680 students of which 73% enter college, job training or employment within the first year of graduation. Watson is leading the way in recapturing American youth who otherwise are facing painful futures, in fact her goal is to have our country listen to the voices of our youth that the future might never hear if we don’t start paying attention.

Organizing team


Buffalo, NY, United States
  • Leah MacVie
    Chair, Attendees & Arrangements
  • Carl Skompinski
    Chair, Program
  • Tricia Marcolini
    Chair, Marketing & Communication
  • Levi Neuland
    Chair, Sponsorship
  • Pete Herr
    Chair, Production
  • Paddy Foran
    Chair, Remote Locations