x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Sustainable Happiness

This event occurred on
September 30, 2012
1:00pm - 7:00pm PDT
(UTC -7hrs)
Bellevue, WA
United States

Our mission is to bring together local thinkers, experts and leaders to engage in "ideas worth doing." Our 2012 theme is Sustainable Happiness--from "someday" to every day.

Cast Iron Studios
10650 Northeast 4th Street
Bellevue, WA, 98004
United States
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Alan Durning

Alan Durning, founder and executive director of Sightline Institute, will share how Northwesterners have already come together to change the rule books for the better, and will offer inspiration for further reform that will set the region on a path toward a greener and more prosperous economy. “Making Sustainability Legal” is one of a suite of ideas offered by Sightline Institute, an independent, nonprofit research and communications center working to make the Northwest a global model of sustainability. Alan is a sought-after speaker having lectured at the White House, major universities, and numerous conferences. He is author of numerous publications including the award-winning This Place on Earth: Home and the Practice of Permanence.

John de Graaf

John de Graaf is a documentary filmmaker, author, and activist. As co-director of the Sustainable Happiness Initiative and national coordinator of Take Back Your Time, an organization challenging time poverty and overwork in the U.S. and Canada, John is a frequent speaker on issues of overwork and over-consumption in America. He is co-author of the best-selling AFFLUENZA: THE ALL-CONSUMING EPIDEMIC, and WHAT'S THE ECONOMY FOR ANYWAY? John has worked for 30 years with KCTS-TV, the Seattle PBS affiliate, as an independent producer of television documentaries. More than 15 of his programs have been broadcast in Prime Time nationally on PBS. He is the recipient of more than 100 regional, national and international awards for film-making, including three Emmy awards. Serving on the board of Earth Island Institute, John has played a major role in the Simplicity Forum--a national think tank for the Voluntary Simplicity movement, World Food Day in Rome, and the Forum on Social Wealth.

Thach Nguyen

Thach Nguyen, Realtor and Philanthropist, has been a guest on local and national radio and TV, including being featured on CBS, “The Early Show, American Hero". His mission is to inspire and empower a billion people. A Vietnamese refugee who once lived in a homeless shelter, Nguyen became a self-made millionaire at age 27, three years ahead of his aggressive schedule. Driven by a desire to help others, Nguyen participates in various philanthropic ventures, including the American Dream program, Scoutreach Foundation, and First Place School helping homeless families. Nguyen is also co-founder of The Gift, an online community to connect people and teach them how to achieve their dreams through being of service to others.

Carol Sanford

Carol Sanford believes that business can and will play a major role in creating a better world. She has worked with businesses for four decades who have successfully done so BY building great businesses. To that end, Carol has been leading major consulting change efforts in both Fortune 500 and new-economy businesses for more than 30 years including Colgate Europe and Africa and DuPont Canada, US, Asia and Europe, Intel, Agilent and leaders of corporate responsibility such as Seventh Generation. Carol has published dozens of works in 10 languages and was shortlisted for Best Business Book of the Year (out of 11,000 Biz books) and she was named to Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business Behavior - 2012.

Imani Sims

Imani Sims is a Seattle native who spun her first performance poem at the age of fourteen. Since then, she has developed an infinitely rippling love for poetry in all of its forms. She believes in the healing power of words and the transformational nuance of the human story. She allows her selves (Healer, Woman, Poet, Storyteller, Survivor) to tell their truths through her work. Imani is a Board Member and teacher at Bent Writing Institute, and the founder of Split Six Productions in Seattle, WA. She is also a 2012 CD Forum Creation Artist and has featured in productions with Poetry + Motion, Generation Waking Up, Arts Corps, Seattle SPIT, Ladies First, Voices Rising, Langston Hughes Cultural Arts Center, The Tribes Project, and Hampton University. Her book Twisted Oak is available on Requiem Press.

Shari Storm

Shari Storm is an executive, author and mother who believes that the skills we use to raise children are the same skills we need to help our employees thrive at the office. By drawing parallels between business and family, we create a framework for discussing business that is more accessible and empowering for working women and working mothers in particular. Storm’s book, Motherhood is the New MBA: Using Your Parenting Skills to be a Better Boss (St. Martin’s Press) has been featured in Redbook, Time Magazine, Costco Connection, and on Martha Stewart’s radio program and magazine, as well as numerous other media. The publishing rights have been purchased in Canada, Brazil and China.

Sarah Van Gelder

Sarah van Gelder is co-founder and executive editor of YES! Magazine and YES! is an innovator in solutions journalism, featuring topics ranging from cooperative economics to prison alternatives, from climate justice to sustainable happiness. Sarah writes, commissions articles, and speaks on these and other topics with a focus on the powerful ideas and practical actions that can lead to a more just and sustainable world. Sarah has also co-founded a cohousing community, organized low-income tenants, built a farm-to-urban cooperative network, and lived in China, India, and Central America. She serves on the board of the Suquamish Tribe’s foundation, and worked in partnership with the Tribe to win the return of Old Man House Park, the home of Chief Seattle.

Matt Smith

Matt Smith is a performance artist, world-class fundraising auctioneer, writer, improv teacher, communications consultant and film actor. His film credit include Outsourced, Sleepless in Seattle, Spiderman, and KING TV's Almost Live. His solo performances include My Last Year with the Nuns, Helium, and All My Children, which was just selected as one of sixteen (out of 186 productions) for the Best of Fest Encore Series at FringeNYC in New York. Based at Freehold Theater in Seattle for 20 years, Matt has taught many thousands of people to improvise. He is a partner in Cookus Interruptus, the popular web-based cooking show where healthy meets funny. And Matt is an ambassador for Hanford Challenge, dedicated to the clean-up of the Hanford Nuclear Waste Site.

Jeffrey van Dyk

Jeffrey Van Dyk is an international thought leader, innovator, and developer of leading-edge personal growth and consciousness best-practices in life and business. Jeffrey is recognized for his unique gift in helping people use business as a path of personal transformation. He is co-founder of Spiritual Marketing Quest and True Purpose Israel, and has served on faculty at True Purpose Institute and Dream Coach University. Over the past two decades, he has worked with Circle of Excellence Consulting, NPR and Microsoft, interfacing with Bill Gates, Jacques Chirac, Donald Trump, Peter Jennings, Ariel Sharon and many more.

Alex Cahana

Dr. Cahana is an internationally recognized anesthesiologist and pain specialist. He is passionate about seeking answers to the question, "Why does pain hurt?" He practices and teaches at the University of Washington Medical Center, and is chief of the Division of Pain Medicine. Born in Israel, he studied medicine at Tel Aviv University and was awarded the Purple Heart as a medical officer in the Marine Corps. He completed his training in anesthesiology in his native Israel and completed a fellowship in pain management and palliative care at Vanderbilt University. Most recently, he served as director of the Postoperative and Interventional Pain Program at Geneva University Hospitals in Switzerland. He is leading the creation of the National Pain Registry, and is developing the Washington State Opioid Reform Initiative. In addition to his medical degree, Dr. Cahana holds a master's degree in bioethics and medical humanities from the Faculty of Theology, University of Lausanne.


Choklate is an international singer songwriter based in Seattle, WA. She has shared the stage and/or collaborated with the likes of Anthony Hamilton, Musiq Soulchild, De La Soul, Eric Roberson, Boyz II Men, Bilal, Anthony David, Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings, Nikka Costa, Baaba Maal, Res, Erykah Badu, Dwele, Raheem DeVaughn, Roy Ayers, Black Sheep and many more. The release of her self-titled 2006 CD and its re-release in 2008 created a tremendous global buzz for Choklate’s music and live performances. With the release of her 2009 "To Whom It May Concern,” Choklate once again teamed up with hip-hop/soul producer Vitamin D. The Seattle Weekly says “When the album's listened to in one sitting, it's clear Choklate has matured and found a sound that can revive contemporary soul, just when others were questioning if it was dead.” She has toured Sweden, France, Italy, Japan and the UK, and performed at the Blue Note in New York, Jazz Alley in Seattle, and countless other historical music venues around the world, and headlined her own U.S. tour. She continues to stretch the boundaries of Soul music. Her TEDx talk will highlight the joys of learning, that no matter what foundation or circumstance you are born into, you can have a powerful impact on the community and world by finding your own voice, passions, convictions, and lending them wherever they will have the most positive effect on the community. In doing so, you will find more and more of your destiny as time progresses.

Jean Lloyd

Working everywhere from India to South Africa, Jean has been a coach, facilitator and speaker for 25 years, advising corporate executives and tribal chiefs, educators and miners. With a blend of power, compassion and humor, she inspires clients to see what they can accomplish beyond “Business as Usual.” She is a senior consultant with Vanto Group.

Organizing team


Mountlake Terrace, WA, United States
  • MJ Petroni
    Co-organizer and Content Director
  • Matt Koren
    Managing Director and Event Production
  • Zita Gustin
    Speaker Concierge and Speaker Coach
  • Michael Brandt
    Marketing and PR Lead
  • Marta Sivertsen
    Art Director and Graphic Design
  • Brad Neuman
    Ticketing and Audience Curation