x = independently organized TED event

Theme: "The View from in Here"

This event occurred on
May 11, 2012
10:30am - 7:00pm EDT
(UTC -4hrs)
New York, NY
United States

Finding ourselves in a time of considerable social upheaval, we recognize this as an opportunity with our community to step back and look at things more critically. This means to examine, discuss and interrogate the ideas around them. With a tightly curated program of 25 ideas, personalities and performances, we are designing a day that will take the TEDxEast experience to a whole new level.

The View from In Here is designed to engage our community in a whole new way. Our event will offer an examination of multiple perspectives - the shades of grey that inhabit all aspects of life.

It will be for our attendees to decide if the talks presented are magnanimous or mercurial; useful or useless; and if the ideas presented are the beginning of the end or the next big thing.

Times Center
242 West 41st Street
New York, NY, 10036
United States
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Oded Aharonson

Oded Aharonson is a Professor of Planetary Science. After receiving degrees in Applied and Engineering Physics from Cornell University, a stint in the Israeli Air Force, and a PhD in Planetary Science from MIT, he arrived at Caltech and most recently the Weizmann Institute of Science, where his research focuses on planetary surfaces. On Mars for example, Aharonson has studied the history of water, the rock record of past climate, and a giant impact event smashing the planet. Aharonson participates in many spacecraft investigations of solar system bodies, including the Mars Exploration Rovers, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, the Cassini mission to Titan, and is a hopeful member of the Titan Mare Explorer team, a ship to float and navigate the seas of Titan.

T. Colin Campbell

For more than forty years, Dr. T. Colin Campbell has been at the forefront of nutrition research. Trained at Cornell (M.S., Ph.D.) and MIT (Research Associate) in nutrition, biochemistry and toxicology, he spent 10 years on the faculty of Virginia Tech’s Department of Biochemistry and Nutrition before returning to the Division of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell in 1975 where he presently holds his Endowed Chair (now Emeritus). Dr. Campbell’s principal scientific interest has been on the effects of nutritional status on long term health, particularly on the causation of cancer. His legacy, the China Project, is the most comprehensive study of health and nutrition ever conducted. He has conducted original research both in laboratory experiments and in large- scale human studies; has received over 70 grant-years of peer-reviewed research funding (mostly NIH), has served on several grant review panels of multiple funding agencies, has authored over 300 peer-reviewed research papers, and has contributed to national nutrition policy. As well, he is the coauthor of the bestselling book, The China Study: Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health, with ~800,000 copies sold since its publication in 2005.

Matthew Cross

Matthew Cross has been a Golden Ratio researcher and emissary since age 13. His passion led to co-authoring the groundbreaking Golden Ratio-themed books: The Golden Ratio Lifestyle Diet and The Divine Code of Da Vinci, Fibonacci, Einstein & YOU with Robert Friedman, M.D. He is President of Leadership Alliance, an international consulting firm providing breakthrough strategies for growth and transformation. Matthew is also the founder of Hoshin Media publishing company, whose mission is to inspire, empower and align. He is a Deming quality scholar, Hoshin Kanri strategic alignment specialist and inspiring speaker who works with Fortune 100 organizations. In the 1980’s he conceived and launched the Greenpeace Gift Collection and later played a strategic role in the national launch of the Discover Card.

Gillian Grassie

Gillian Grassie is an indie harpist/singer-songwriter from Philadelphia. Grammy-winner Marc Cohn has said of her music, “it’s rare to hear a young singer with such control and understated soulfulness, and even more rare to hear a harp provide such a deep percussive groove. I was immediately captivated by her sound.” Her innovative use of the harp, expressive vocals, and sophisticated but accessible songwriting prowess have earned her grants from the Thomas J. Watson Foundation and the U.S. State Department, a slew of awards, and the fervent support of her fans, who collectively funded Grassie’s third album, “The Hinterhaus,” produced by Todd Sickafoose (Ani DiFranco, Anaïs Mitchell, Erin McKeown). A natural storyteller and comparative literature major, her music is often inspired by literary works and has been featured on radio, film, and television. She has toured across the United States, Canada, Russia, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Germany, and France.

Dr. Kim Janda

Dr. Kim D. Janda currently holds the rank of the Ely R. Callaway, Jr. Chaired Professor in the Departments of Chemistry, Immunology and Microbial Science at The Scripps Research Institute and is the Director of the Worm Institute of Research and Medicine (WIRM) at The Scripps Research Institute. He is also a Skaggs Scholar within the Skaggs Institute of Chemical Biology. Janda obtained a BS degree from the University of South Florida in Clinical Chemistry and a Doctoral degree from the University of Arizona in natural product total synthesis. A hallmark of his research is his ability to uniquely combine principles of medicinal chemistry together with modern molecular biology, immunology & neuropharmacology, helping to pioneer the field of immunopharmacotherapy. Professor Janda has received numerous awards including the AC Cope Scholar, an AP Sloan Fellowship, a Doctor of Philosophy honoris causa, University of Helsinki, Finland, 2009 and was recognized by Discover magazine’s Top 100 Science Stories for his obesity vaccine. He has published over 450 original publications in refereed journals and founded the biotechnological companies CombiChem, Drug Abuse Sciences and AIPartia. He is a member of the NIH study section Vaccines against Microbial Diseases and is the associate editor of Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry.

Jon Marks

Jonathan Marks (a product of the 1960s New York City public school system and The Horace Mann School, class of ‘71) is currently Professor of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where he has taught since the beginning of the present millennium, after stretches at Yale and Berkeley. His primary interests lie in the cultural aspects of science, particularly evolution and genetics. He received the 1999 Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching from the American Anthropological Association, and served as President of its General Anthropology Division from 2000-2002. In 2006 he was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Recently he has been a Visiting Research Fellow at the Genomics Center in Edinburgh and at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin. His most recent book is “The Alternative Introduction to Biological Anthropology” (Oxford University Press). He is also the author of “What It Means to Be 98% Chimpanzee” (2002); and “Why I Am Not a Scientist” (2009), both published by the University of California Press. Paradoxically, however, he is about 98% scientist, and not a chimpanzee.

Dean Obeidallah

Dean Obeidallah is a former lawyer turned political comedian who has appeared on numerous TV shows including Comedy Central’s “Axis of Evil”, “The View,” NBC’s “Rock Center,” MSNBC’s “Up with Chris Hayes,” CNN, and the PBS Special “Stand Up: Muslim-American Comics Come of Age.” Dean is co-directing the upcoming documentary “The Muslims Are Coming!” featuring a stand up comedy tour of Muslim- American comedians performing free shows across the South and West in an effort to dispel misconceptions about Muslims. The film features interviews with Jon Stewart, Rachel Maddow, Soledad O’Brien, comedians Lewis Black, David Cross & many more. He is the co-founder of the annual NY Arab-American Comedy Festival and served as Executive Producer of the Amman Stand up Comedy Festival – the first and only annual stand up comedy festival in the Middle East. Dean also co-created the comedy show “Stand up for Peace” along with Jewish comic Scott Blakeman which they perform at colleges across the country in hope of fostering understanding between Jewish and Muslim-Americans.

Keith Yamashita

For the past two decades, Keith Yamashita has worked alongside CEOs and their leadership teams to define—and then attain— greatness for their institutions. He has worked with leaders at Apple, IBM, General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, eBay, Nike, and Gap, among others. Keith founded, and currently serves as chairman of, SYPartners (www. sypartners.com)—a firm steeped in the belief that transformation of individuals, teams, and institutions requires equal parts empathy, aspiration, and a bravery to act. SYPartners Consulting’s work has been recognized in The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company Magazine, and Fortune Magazine for its uniquely human-centered approach. The firm fuses systems thinking and creativity to help organizations in times of seismic change. In 2011, SYPartners launched a sister company called Unstuck (www.unstuck.com)— that brings the firm’s knowledge of transformation to everyday people. The first offering is an iPad-based app that helps people find a way forward, when they don’t know how to go forward. The app debuted to critical acclaim by Oprah.com, The New Yorker, Lifehacker, & others. SYPartners’ next offering will be a suite of collaborative tools focused on helping managers and teams perform at their best.

Carmen Delavallade

CARMEN DELAVALLADE first appeared in NYC with the Lester Horton Dance Theatre and subsequently made her Broadway debut in House of Flowers (1954). She has appeared in a number of films for Twentieth Century Fox including Carmen Jones (1954), starring Dorothy Dandridge and Harry Belafonte. As a dancer she has had ballets created for her by Alvin Ailey, Lester Horton, John Butler, Glen Tetley, Agnes De Mille, Geoffrey Holder, Donald McKayle, Louis Johnson and Tally Beatty. She was a principle dancer with the Metropolitan Opera, a guest artist with American Ballet Theater and a soloist with the NYC Opera. At Yale she taught movement classes for actors and eventually became a member of Yale Repertory Theatre and American Repertory Theatre at Harvard. She has choreographed for Dance Theatre of Harlem, Joyce Trisler, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and a number of operas including the landmark production of Porgy & Bess at the Metropolitan Opera House.  She continues to dance, and work on stage and film projects, such as the stage movement for Oscar Wilde’s Salome with Al Pacino, appearing in Big Daddy with Adam Sandler, and in John Sayles’ film Lone Star.  She received the Dance Magazine Award (1964) and an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree (1994) from the Boston Conservatory of Music.

Charles Atlas

Charles Atlas has been a pioneering figure in film and video for over four decades, Atlas has extended the limits of his medium, forging new territory in a far-reaching range of genres, stylistic approaches, and techniques. Throughout his production, the artist has consistently fostered collaborative relationships, working intimately with such artists and performers as Leigh Bowery, Michael Clark, Douglas Dunn, Marina Abramovic, Yvonne Rainer, Mika Tajima/New Humans, Antony and the Johnsons, and most notably Merce Cunningham, for whom he served as in-house videographer for a decade from the early 1970s through 1983; their close working relationship continued until Cunningham’s death in 2009. Atlas was born in St. Louis, MO in 1949; he has lived and worked in New York City since the early 1970s. His work has been exhibited domestically and internationally in such institutions as Tate Modern, London; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Centre Pompidou, Paris; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Recent solo exhibitions include the New Museum, New York; the De Hallen, Haarlem; and Bloomberg SPACE, London.

Julian Crouch

Julian Crouch is a director, designer, writer, and teacher whose career has spanned Theatre, Opera, Film, and Television. Julian is a founding member and artistic director of Improbable Theatre and was co- director and co-designer of the international and West End phenomenon SHOCKHEADED PETER. Other shows for Improbable include SATYAGRAHA in a co-production with the English National Opera and The Metropolitan Opera, SPIRIT, which Julian directed, and which was a co-production with The Royal Court, COMA, which he co-devised and co-designed, STICKY, THE HANGING MAN, COMA and 70 HILL LANE. He designed and was associate director on the multi award-winning JERRY SPRINGER: THE OPERA at the National Theatre, West End and UK tour. Other recent productions include DR ATOMIC for The Met / ENO, THE MAGIC FLUTE for Welsh National Opera, the Broadway musical of THE ADDAMS FAMILY, and THE ENCHANTED ISLAND for The Met. His most recent production was THE DEVIL AND MISTER PUNCH which he devised, directed and designed, and has just finished a sell out run at the Barbican, London.Julian is currently Artist in Residence at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City. He lives in Brooklyn with his family

Oskar Eustis

Oskar Eustis is the Artistic Director of The Public Theater and has worked as a director, dramaturg, and artistic director for theaters around the country. Previously, Eustis has worked at the Eureka Theatre Company in San Francisco and L.A.’s Mark Taper Forum. Mr. Eustis also served as Artistic Director at Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, Rhode Island for 11 years. In 2005, he took the helm at New York’s Public Theater where he directed the New York and World premiere of Rinne Groff’s The Ruby Sunrise and Compulsion; Angels in America, Part I: Millennium Approaches (Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Director); Angels in America & Part II: Perestroika. He was a professor of Theatre, Speech and Dance at Brown University, where he founded and chaired the Trinity Rep/Brown University Consortium for professional theater training. He received an honorary doctorate from Rhode Island College in 1999 and Brown in 2001 and has held professorships at Brown, UCLA and NYU. He currently serves as Professor of Dramatic Writing and Arts and Public Policy at New York University. Oskar was the lead producer on the Tony Award-winning revival of Hair, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and The Merchant of Venice on Broadway.

Michael Friedman

Michael Friedman wrote the music and lyrics to Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, which recently played at The Public Theater and on Broadway. As an Associate Artist with the acclaimed theater company The Civilians, he has written music and lyrics for Canard Canard Goose, Gone Missing, Nobody’s Lunch, This Beautiful City, In the Footprint, and The Great Immensity, and co-created the groups 2012 TED Talk. Other works include Saved and The Brand New Kid. With Steve Cosson, he is the co-author of Paris Commune. His music has appeared in shows at most major New York theaters and at theaters around the country. He was the dramaturg for the recent Broadway revival of A Raisin in the Sun. He is an Artistic Associate at New York Theatre Workshop, and has been a MacDowell Fellow, a Princeton Hodder Fellow, a Meet The Composer Fellow, and a Visiting Professor at the Princeton Environmental Institute. He received an OBIE Award for sustained achievement.

Maya Lin

Maya Lin has maintained a careful balance between art and architecture throughout her career, having virtually redefined the idea of the monument with her highly acclaimed Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial in 1982. She has since gone on to successfully pursue the creation of a remarkable body of work that encompasses large-scale site- specific installations, intimate studio artworks, architectural works and memorials. In her large-scale environmental artworks, Lin has consistently explored how we experience and relate to the landscape. She has made works that merge seamlessly with the terrain, blurring the boundaries between two- and three-dimensional space and setting up a systematic ordering of the land that is tied to history, time, science and language. Lin’s studio artwork interprets the world through a twenty-first century lens, utilizing technological methods to study and visualize the natural world, merging rational order with notions of beauty and the transcendental and translating them into sculptures and drawings. Her work has been shown in solo and group shows throughout the United States and abroad, most recently at the Carnegie Museum of Art and the Dayton Art Institute.

Peter Wegner

Peter Wegner is an artist concerned primarily with color and language. His work ranges across media, from painting and sculpture to installation and photography. Recent artworks include THE UNITED STATES OF NOTHING, an 80-foot wall work in neon installed at The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; LEVER LABYRINTH, a maze constructed with two million sheets of paper in various greens at mid- town’s iconic Lever House; and BUILDINGS MADE OF SKY, a series of photographs focused on the invisible cities found suspended between skyscrapers. Wegner’s MONUMENT TO CHANGE AS IT CHANGES is one of five new permanent installations he created at Stanford University. This moving sculpture uses the flip-digit technology seen in European train stations, but substitutes color for arrival and departure information. Wegner’s work can be found in the permanent collections of The Guggenheim Museum, The Museum of Modern Art, and The Yale University Art Gallery, among others. Last week he installed an exhibition of new work in Dusseldorf; this fall, he will have a solo exhibition at The Leipzig Museum. Wegner grew up in South Dakota and graduated from Yale University.

Antonio Bolfo

Antonio Bolfo was born and raised in New York City to Korean and Italian immigrants. He grew up drawing and painting and attended the art univVideo and became the senior animator at the video game development company Harmonix. For 4 years he worked on Playstation games such as Guitar Hero, Amplitude, and Anti-grav, among others. Antonio left the videogame industry and attended the International Center of Photography Photojournalism program in 2009. He is the recipient of the New York Times Foundation Scholarship, 1st place winner in the 2011 NPPA Best of Photojournalism, winner in the 2009 World Wide Photography Gala Awards, and 2011 participant in the World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass. His work has been published in the New York Times, Time Magazine, Newsweek, MSNBC, American Photography, and Communication Arts, among others. He is based in New York City and is represented by Reportage by Getty Images.

Helen Fisher

Helen Fisher, PhD Biological Anthropologist, is a Research Professor and member of the Center for Human Evolution Studies in the Department of Anthropology, Rutgers University and Chief Scientific Advisor to the Internet dating site, Chemistry.com, a division of Match. com. She has conducted extensive research and written five books on the evolution and future of human sex, love, marriage, gender differences in the brain and how your personality type shapes who you are and who you love.

Cassandra Lin

Cassandra Lin is a 13 year old young entrepreneur from Westerly, RI. Cassandra co-founded her award-winning Project, TGIF - Turn Grease Into Fuel, when she was age 10. The project collects waste cooking oil from residents and restaurants, refines it into biodiesel and then distributes the fuel to families who cannot afford heat in the winter. Project TGIF has expanded to 10 towns and cities in Rhode Island and Connecticut and generates over 50,000 gallons of biodiesel, which helps heat 80 households each year. Cassandra was named one of the Top 10 Volunteers of the Year by the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards as well as one of the top 5 environmentalists under 18 by bigmamma.net in 2011. She and her project were featured on CNN, MTV International, huffingtonpost.com and the United Nations’ website. In October 2011, she was a keynote speaker during the Future Trends Conference in Miami, Florida.

David Pizarro

Dr. David Pizarro is an associate professor of psychology at Cornell University (Ithaca, NY). His research focuses primarily on the origins of human morality: Why do some people find certain actions to be morally wrong (or even abhorrent) when there are others couldn’t care less about those actions? How do people decide who is responsible for their actions, who deserves to be blamed and punished, who deserves to be praised, and who deserves neither? His research has also focused on how various emotions shape and influence moral judgments. Much of his recent work has implicated the emotion of disgust as a powerful influence on both moral judgment and political beliefs. His recent work has shown that individuals made to feel disgust in a laboratory, and individuals who are more likely to be easily disgusted in everyday life, are also more likely to make moral and political judgments consistent with a more conservative political orientation.

Samantha Sleeper

Samantha Sleeper offers beautiful, luxe and eco-conscious clothing and accessories for woman and home. The company is based in New York and San Francisco. Samantha’s collections have been featured on the cover of Woman’s Wear Daily, and in major publications such as InStyle, Lucky, Essence, German Vogue, The Guardian and many others. Her custom evening and wedding wear have been seen on red carpets from LA to Cannes. Katy Perry and Ciara are among the beautiful, smart, putting-it- out-there women who have chosen her clothes. Samantha’s eponymous collection will be debuting at NY fashion week in September, 2011, where she will be showing inspired dressing for Spring/Summer 2012. More information on collections, press and events. The company is committed to conscious making, using salvaged, reclaimed or repurposed materials and honoring ethical production practices.

Jeff Carter

Jeff Carter is a multidimensional thinker, researching the profound impacts to human evolution caused by the convergence of a person’s digital and physical identity. He holds several patents related to information banking and the monetization of personal data for the privacy, control and empowerment of an individual. In 2008, Carter founded the Center for Future Banking, a joint venture between Bank of America (BoA) and MIT that researched the impact of identity on global banking. As head of innovation for BoA, Carter helped create the bank’s first information strategy, a catalyst for advanced quantitative analysis, risk assessment and increased customer intimacy. He has been recognized as one of the most innovative leaders by several groups of his peers, including American Banker magazine.

Beth Coleman

Dr. Beth Coleman believes in the power of storytelling to transform the world. She works with new technology and art to create transmedia forms of engagement. She is the director of City as Platform, Amsterdam, a Faculty Fellow at Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Harvard University, as well as a professor at the Institute of Network Cultures, Hogeschool van Amsterdam. Since 2005, Coleman has been a professor of comparative media studies and the primary investigator of the Pervasive Media lab at MIT. As an artist, she has a history of international exhibition including venues such as the Whitney Museum of American Art, New Museum of Contemporary Art, and Musée d’Art moderne Paris. She is the co-founder of SoundLab Cultural Alchemy, an internationally acclaimed multimedia performance platform. Her book Hello Avatar is published by the MIT Press.

Sam Gregory

Speakers at TEDx Sam Gregory is a human rights advocate, trainer and video producer who helps people use the power of the moving image and participatory technologies to create human rights change. He is currently the Program Director at WITNESS - the leading organization supporting people to use video for human rights. He runs their ‘Cameras Everywhere’ initiative - focused on empowering millions of people to use video effectively, safely and ethically. Over the past decade, Sam has worked extensively with human rights activists, particularly in Latin America and Asia, integrating video into impactful campaigns on a range of issues. Known for his expertise in emerging forms of advocacy, Sam publishes in human rights, social entrepreneurship & visual media journals, and teaches on the topics as an Adjunct Lecturer at the Harvard Kennedy School. A graduate of the University of Oxford, he completed a Masters in Public Policy as a Kennedy Memorial Scholar at Harvard. In 2012, Sam was named a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum.

Ross Martin

Ross Martin is an Executive Vice President at Viacom Media Networks and runs Scratch, a creative swat team driving innovation across the company, including MTV, VH1, Comedy Central & more. Scratch partners with select brands to channel the power of Viacom’s portfolio and its unparalleled connection to youth in new ways, including consumer insights, product development, design, branding and the development, production and distribution of original content. Previously, Ross served as Senior Vice President of MTV 360 Production and Development. Ross joined MTV in 2004 as the first Head of Programming for Emmy and Peabody Award winning college network, mtvU. In this role, he oversaw the development and production of all original programming, on-air, online and on mobile. Prior to MTV, Ross founded Plant Film, a Los Angeles based production company partnered with Fox, VH1 and Dimension Films; was a development executive for Spike Lee’s 40 Acres and A Mule Filmworks; and taught poetry at Washington University, RISD & The New School. His writing appears in The Kenyon Review, The Harvard Review, McSweeney’s, Denver Quarterly, BOMB Magazine, and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. His first book, “The Cop Who Rides Alone,” was published in 2002.

Mahmoud Natout

In the past, when asked to write a ‘bio’ of my accomplishments/ life, my mind almost automatically leaps into constructing a rigidly linear timeline of my major achievements laid out in a chronological fashion and articulated in words that depict a progression of some sort. Having been asked to write a bio for this event, I have decided to approach the matter differently. What I would like this bio to represent is but an iteration of what I will present at the event: Experimenting with programming game consoles as a kid to flirting with fractal geometry in calculus class as an engineering student, to attempting to sell Bibles and encyclopedias door to door as a deluded drop-out and later selling computers and running a family business, to reflecting on questions about the historical construction of scientific knowledge as a Masters student in ‘Science and Religion’, to experiencing the process of conducting a doctoral research project in Educational Studies. On the day of my presentation, I hope to be able to graph in front of you yet another image/figure/re-presentation of my bio; a process that I have come to call iteracy.

Pasi Sahlberg

Pasi Sahlberg is the school improvement activist & director general of CIMO (the Ministry of Education and Culture) in Helsinki, Finland. He has experience in classroom teaching, training teachers, coaching schools to change, national policy development, and advising education reformers around the world. He is an international advocate of public education and a passionate speaker for an alternative course of education reform. He has published numerous articles and books, among them “The fourth way of Finland”, “Rethinking accountability in a knowledge society”, “Creativity & innovation through lifelong learning”, and “Education reform for raising economic competitiveness”. His latest book is “Finnish Lessons: What can the world learn from educational change in Finland?” (Teachers College Press, 2011). He earned his PhD from the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, and is adjunct professor at the Universities of Helsinki and Oulu in Finland. More on pasisahlberg.com & Twitter @pasi_sahlberg.

Organizing team


Brooklyn, NY, United States


New York, NY, United States
  • Marisa Farina
  • Connie Frances Avila
    Event Production
  • Vico Sharabani