x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Transforming Expectations

This event occurred on
September 29, 2012
9:00am - 5:30pm PDT
(UTC -7hrs)
Claremont, CA
United States

TEDxClaremontColleges is an all-day event on September 29th that features 15 speakers giving 18 minute or less talks on whatever they care most about. Along with 650 other attendees, you’ll watch some of the most interesting people talk about "Transforming Expectations". The best part of a TEDx event, though, is getting a chance to interact with your fellow attendees and the speakers. With conversation breaks and a leisurely lunch included in the program, there will be no shortage of opportunities to meet a myriad of interesting people.

Garrison Theater
East 10th Street
Claremont, CA, 91711
United States
Event type:
University (What is this?)
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Diane Halpern

Diane F. Halpern, a past president of the American Psychological Association, is currently the McElwee Family Professor of Psychology at Claremont McKenna College. Diane has published hundreds of articles and many books including, Thought and Knowledge: An Introduction to Critical Thinking, Sex Differences in Cognitive Abilities, and Women at the Top: Powerful Leaders Tell Us How to Combine Work and Family. Diane’s research focuses on ways to improve critical thinking skills. She is currently working on a computerized learning game that teaches critical thinking and scientific reasoning. In her talk, she discusses the psychological science behind partisan thinking and suggests ways to move toward a more productive government.

Divya Kakaiya

Dr. Divya Kakaiya’s passion for working with eating disorders translates into the extensive prevention work she conducts in San Diego, California, where she is the Clinical Director and Founder of the Healthy Within treatment program. Since 1994, Dr. Kakaiya had begun massive outreach efforts in the community in an effort to wage war against the current dieting paradigm. She firmly believes that mass media has had a detrimental affect on men and women’s self-images and eating behaviors. Why embrace a culture that dismisses, devalues, and disempowers women and men? Dr. Kakaiya proposes that a fundamental shift in what it means to look and feel healthy is an absolute imperative. Divya believes that the time has come for all of us to reclaim our inner control and live healthy, authentic lives. In 2009 Dr. Kakaiya received an award from the Girls Scouts Council that named her as one of the “Top 10 Cool Women of San Diego.” For all the work she has done to promote health in her community and others, we think she indeed is pretty dang cool!

Elly Schofield

Elizabeth Schofield, a mathematics major and senior at Harvey Mudd College, has a passion for mathematics education. She firmly believes that every child should have the chance to develop strong mathematical background; it should be considered a civil right. Sadly, this is something available only to a privileged few, and far fewer actually take the time to pursue it. Whether through restructured curriculum, reformatted classrooms, or a revamped system for the school system itself, Elizabeth is keen on exploring how the U.S. can create a better form of math education, one that engages and supports all students. As a student, Elizabeth has enjoyed exploring applied mathematics fields such as Operations Research and Statistical Analysis. Outside of class, she has tutored students in both math and writing since high school. Most important to her, she takes on multiple student leadership roles every year, in which she helps to construct the supportive environment that a challenging education requires.

Vanessa Kettering

Vanessa Kettering is a fun loving, free spirit. Her ultimate goal in life is to connect with others and make a small dent in the efforts to alleviate suffering and build a more positive future for all beings. On a more immediate level, she is pursuing a PhD in Positive Developmental Psychology as a means to learn more about the best practices for promoting optimal health and human development. Also to that end, she spent 5 weeks in Thailand completing a training program that was designed based on an imperative from the Dalai Lama to address afflictive emotions in society. In her talk, she will introduce a few basic concepts that may contribute to the overall formula for building a happier, healthier life. Namely, she will focus on habit formation and ways to train attention and cultivate emotional balance through meditation and yoga. Further she will discuss the advent of new technologies to support and promote health and relate these tools to elements of her own personal transformation as well as the great potential for transformation that is present in everyone.

Bob Evans

Bob Evans is a tool maker. His work is dedicated to augmenting human intelligence and quality of life by providing tools to support analysis and exploration. For the past three years of his time as a software engineer at Google, Bob has been working on an open source, free platform called Paco (named after his dog, but, you can also call it the Personal Analytics COmpanion to sound more official). Paco allows individuals and behavior scientists to easily create and conduct behavior studies and interventions on mobile phones. Through tools like PACO, Bob believes that we can understand ourselves better by becoming more systematically aware of our experiences and surroundings. Our expectations lead to actions, and, as someone said, “Expectations are disappointments in training.” Bob wonders, “What if these expectations were transformed by raised awareness?” In addition to being a computer scientist, Bob is an armchair philosopher, and classical guitarist. His previous work to augment human abilities includes building network management systems for Fujitsu, work on the programming tool, JBuilder, at Borland Software, and research on correctness testing tools at Agitar Software.

Roko Belic

Roko Belic’s directorial debut, the acclaimed “Genghis Blues” (1999), won the Sundance Audience Award and was nominated for an Academy Award® for best documentary feature. He is co-founder of Wadi Rum Films, Inc. Roko started his filmmaking life in third grade with his brother, Adrian, when their friend, Christopher Nolan (Dark Knight Rises, Inception) borrowed a super-8 movie camera from his parents. Heavily influenced by Star Wars, the young team experimented with special effects and the surreality of film. Later, because his mother used a wrench to lock their TV to the local PBS channel, Roko became enchanted with programs through which he could explore the world. Belic recently directed the 44-minute documentary “Dreams: Cinema of the Subconscious,” which was released on the “Inception” Blu-Ray. For his current project, Belic teamed up with Hollywood heavyweight Tom Shadyac (“Liar Liar,” “Bruce Almighty”), who executive produced, to direct the feature documentary HAPPY. HAPPY combines powerful human stories from around the world with cutting edge science to give us a deeper understanding of our most valued emotion.

David Allen

David Allen’s name has become synonymous with time management. His work coaching executives the secrets of organizational and personal productivity has earned him a spot as one of Forbes’ top five executive coaches in the United States. His Getting Things Done (GTD) methodology has shown millions how to transform a stressful, over-committed, and fast-paced life into one that is balanced and integrated. In a world where we are connected to information 24/7, his productivity and time management practices offer a way to achieve a more optimal and stress-free existence. Time magazine called Getting Things Done the self-help business book of its time. His other two bestselling books, Ready for Anything and Making It All Work, further extend and expand the methodology popularized by Getting Things Done. In his talk, David will be exploring the idea of how we make decisions when facing a crisis. You know how things just seem to “happen” during times of great distress? You don’t spend a lot of time deliberating over decisions or procrastinating because your life kind of depends on it. What if you could achieve that clarity of mind without the obligatory crisis? In his talk, he’ll be looking at how you can find flow and optimal performance in your life by adopting some pretty simple habits.

Dave Bruno

Dave Bruno used to pursue the American dream at stores, where the good life is allegedly sold. Then a realization struck, “We are always getting, but never getting there.” It was time to stop buying into consumerism’s failed promises and start heading toward a new dream life. Bruno decided to embark on what he called the 100 Thing Challenge, a simple living project focused on breaking free from the constraints of excessive consumerism. Bruno’s journey is chronicled in his 2010 book named after the challenge – a journey that has been spreading and inspiring people across America and around the world to live simply. Bruno’s talk will explore the reason why simple living is so important for our times and how simplicity can lead people in the direction of a fulfilling life. Bruno continues to live an American dream-like life in San Diego with his wife and three daughters, only now their house is less cluttered and the family no longer engages in shop therapy. When not writing or speaking about simplicity, Bruno works at Point Loma Nazarene University as the manager of online marketing and as an adjunct professor of history. You can learn more about Dave at:

Takako Mino

Takako Mino graduated from Claremont McKenna College in 2011 and is currently pursuing a Masters degree in Education at Claremont Graduate University. She is a recipient of CMC’s Center for Human Rights Leadership fellowship grant and the prestigious Napier Creative Leadership Award. Mino earned these awards to launch and expand a school-based public debate pilot project, modeled on the Claremont Colleges Debate Union’s Public Debate Program, in partnership with the Forum for African Women Educationalists in East Africa. After graduating from CMC, Mino traveled throughout Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, and Rwanda to hold professional development workshops for teachers and trainings for students in order to create a sustainable foundation for public debate programming in East Africa. Her talk will focus on how the Public Debate Program she introduced in primary and secondary schools helped African youth discover their voices and become empowered to create social change in their communities. Mino can be found today teaching English at Diamond Ranch High School in Pomona, CA. She continues to serve as the Director of Operations for Africa and Western Asia for the Public Debate Foundation, based in Claremont, CA.

Nate Damm

In 2011 Nate Damm readied his gear in Delaware and, 7 ½ months later, had the pleasure of feeling the Pacific Ocean against his toes as he completed his walk across America. With little to no travel experience beforehand, the then 23-year-old Damm found a surprisingly bounty of kindness, conversation and love at 3 mph. In his talk, Nate will share some of the biggest benefits gained from his trek and the things he discovered about his home country, as well as himself. He will also talk about how he kept the positive momentum he gained on the walk going once he returned home. When not traveling, Nate lives in Maine. He is currently writing a book about his walk across America.

Michael Crooke

Dr. Crooke is an Assistant Professor of Strategy at the Graziadio School of Business and Management (Pepperdine). Dr. Crooke is the founding and lead faculty of the school’s Social, Ethical, and Environment Responsibility (SEER) Certificate Program, and he teaches the Advanced Strategy course for this program in the spring trimester. He also teaches the final capstone MBA Strategy course which students complete the semester before graduation. In January of 2012 Dr. Crooke was selected as one of North America’s Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business Behavior – 2012. This honor has been awarded by Trust Across America™, a think tank dedicated to unraveling the complexities of trustworthy business behavior. Recipients include leaders from the public and private sectors as well as authors, consultants, researchers and academics. Michael’s selection is based on his extensive and positive contribution to building trust in business. Co-honorees include: Tony Hsieh (Zappos), Mark Parker (Nike), Thomas Friedman (Author), and Howard Schultz (Starbucks). From 1999 to 2005, Crooke served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Patagonia, Inc., and Patagonia’s parent company, Lost Arrow Corporation. He succeeded Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia’s founder, in taking the Lost Arrow post. Patagonia, a designer and distributor of technical outdoor clothing, is widely known for its commitment to product quality and environmental responsibility. Prior to his arrival at Patagonia, Michael served as CEO/Chairman of Pearl Izumi, the premier manufacturer of cycling and performance apparel based in Colorado. In addition, he was Managing Director of legendary backpack innovator Kelty Packs for several years and has also worked in senior leadership roles with other outdoor companies, including Yakima and Moonstone Mountaineering. Michael started his career as a Navy SEAL after graduating from BUD/S class 89.

Emily Warren

Emily Warren is currently going into her third year at Claremont Graduate University as a PhD student in Social Psychology. Emily is also in charge of the Peer Mentoring program at her school as well as the creator of an original series of graduate school workshops designed to help guide new students through the novel terrain of their new graduate life. Emily hopes to combine her love for theater with her passion for helping people develop their potential into a psychology career that is all her own. She stresses the importance of critically examining our own behavior and decisions – both in our work and our relationships. It is the wisdom born from these experiences that she plans to share with everyone today, as one of four nominated student speakers for this event.

Aaron Donaghy

Aaron Donaghy is not your typical high school teacher. He has not reinvented the classroom, found the answer to education’s problems through online learning, or even seen a surge in test scores in his classes. He views the push for more curriculum standards, more content in less time, and repeated testing of students as downfalls of our current educational system. Instead, Aaron believes that there’s a better way to create amazing students. For the past ten years, he has pushed his students to realize their full potential and grow as leaders. He believes that through developing students’ sense of purpose, challenging them to become community builders, and then unleashing them to act, he can help create a generation that has the ability to change the world. Aaron started GO four years ago as an avenue to connect leadership and charity. By providing a direct link between students’ actions and global development he believed students would be inspired to act. Four years later, the students in GO are directly responsible for community development both locally and globally in Haiti and Tanzania. GO has evolved into a non-profit that is on a mission to inspire student leaders to believe they can achieve the impossible. These students move beyond the textbook to begin to question and seek their purpose. They gain perspective of the world around them by seeing themselves as leaders in community development both in their communities and also in the global community. The students move (they GO) and by moving they see how great their potential truly is.

Zak Ringelstein and Leah Schrader

Zak Ringelstein and Leah Schrader are elementary school teachers whose vision is to leverage technology to connect all wired K12 classrooms around the world and therefore redefine classroom collaboration to incorporate the entire planet. Last month they launched an online platform called United Classrooms ( which gives classrooms access to a global community of learners. Since its launch, students and teachers on five continents are logging in to share projects, discussions, questions and ideas not only in their classes, but across once unbridgeable distances. The mission of United Classrooms is to motivate and equip the next generation for more active and informed citizenship in their classrooms, their communities and their world. It all began while Zak and Leah were teaching in Tanzania after three years of working in inner city schools in the United States. Puzzled that their students were growing up in a globalizing world and yet still being educated in insular classroom environments, they both set out to find classrooms across the world with whom their students could meaningfully communicate. When they found that there was no comprehensive platform to facilitate these imperative relationships, they decided to make one. Zak and Leah both grew up in tiny mountain towns in New England, went to college in New York (Columbia and Bard) and served with Teach For America in Phoenix, AZ. Their talk will illuminate the evolution of their idea into its current reality and how United Classrooms itself will facilitate a similar cycle of success for the student visionaries of the world. It will also shed light on a rarely discussed element of the “achievement gap” which is inhibiting the development of our young, creative minds in the current educational climate.

Kate MacAleavey

Kate MacAleavey is currently a second year Master’s student at CGU. She is earning dual degrees in Positive Organizational Psychology with a co-concentration in Evaluation as well as working toward completing her M.B.A. Kate has been a passionate researcher of Positive Psychology for the past 7 years. MacAleavey’s talk will center around the research she has done on appreciation. She strongly believes in the importance of expressing appreciation and the role it plays in creating a happier, better and more connected life. This past summer Kate served as an expert evaluator, creating and evaluating Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work for List of 2013. Kate’s main focus after graduation is to be a consultant helping create healthier, happier and more productive work places with the practices of Positive Psychology.

Organizing team


Columbus, OH, United States


Claremont, CA, United States
  • Sam Spurlin
  • Jeff Fajans
    On-stage Host
  • Susan Mangan
    On-stage Host
  • Syd Peterson