x = independently organized TED event

This event occurred on
October 20, 2012
12:00am - 6:00pm EDT
(UTC -4hrs)
Providence, RI
United States

We all admire the type--those visionary doers and thinkers who, by approaching an old problem from a new perspective, change their respective fields forever. But what does it take to become a game-changer in business or politics, medicine or the movie industry?

This event brought back to campus a group of notable Brown alumni whose liberal education experiences have influenced their intellectual, personal, and professional development in unexpected ways—and who have, as a result, changed their worlds for the better. With two powerful Faculty voices and an inspiring Student speaker, our event offered an exciting and inspiring day of talks.

This event took place on October 20, 2012, Granoff Center, Brown University.

Granoff Center
154 Angell Street
Brown University
Providence, RI, 02912
United States
Event type:
University (What is this?)
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Katherine Chon

Katherine Chon is the co-founder and President Emerita of Polaris Project, a leading nonprofit organization combating modern slavery in the United States and Asia. She has spent the last ten years creating high-impact, measurable solutions to fight human trafficking.

Tom Gardner

Tom Gardner is co-founder and CEO of The Motley Fool. A company founded with his brother, David, in 1993, the Motley Fool's mission is to help the world invest better by focusing on long-term investments in world-class businesses.

Jill Huchital

Jill Huchital is the head of engineering for a Silicon Valley startup building a content discovery and launch platform. Until recently, she was the engineering and product director for, responsible for projects that use Google’s technology to address global challenges.

Richard Morrill

Dr. Richard L. Morrill is President of the Teagle Foundation, a national nonprofit dedicated to supporting new thinking in higher education. He also continues to serve as Chancellor of the University of Richmond, a largely honorary position that he assumed in 1998 to serve as an ambassador of good will for the University following his 10-year presidency.

Nawal M. Nour

Dr. Nawal Nour actively researches the health and policy issues regarding female genital cutting (FGC). With support from a 2003 MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, she established the African Women's Health Center, which provides appropriate health and outreach programs to the African community in Boston; the clinic is the only center of its kind nationwide.

Sonja Brookins Santelises

Dr. Sonja Brookins Santelises is Chief Academic Officer for Baltimore City Public Schools; since her appointment to the position in 2010, she has focused on setting academic priorities for City Schools to bolster the achievement of students across all schools.

Brad Simpson

Brad Simpson is a film producer and partner in Colorforce, which is responsible for The Wimpy Kid franchise, One Day, and Hunger Games. As an executive and producer at the New York independent production company Killer Films, he co-produced Far From Heaven (nominated for four Academy Awards and three Golden Globes), and served as an Associate Producer on the acclaimed Boys Don’t Cry (for which Hillary Swank won the Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Actress).

Amanda Anderson

Dr. Amanda Anderson is a literary scholar and theorist who has written on nineteenth-century literature and culture, as well as on contemporary debates in the humanities. She is the director of an interdisciplinary summer institute, The School of Criticism and Theory, which is currently hosted by Cornell University, and Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Humanities and English at Brown University.

Philip Gruppuso

Dr. Philip A. Gruppuso, M.D., is currently Professor of Pediatrics, Professor of Molecular Biology, Cell Biology and Biochemistry (Research) and Associate Dean for Medical Education at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. Through his years in academic medicine, Dr. Gruppuso has maintained his interest in music as an active jazz and blues pianist in and around Providence, RI.

Ari Matusiak

Ari Matusiak serves as the director of private sector engagement and executive director of the White House Business Council. He is the co-founder and former chairman of Young Invincibles, a national organization dedicated to improving economic opportunities for 18 to 34 year olds. Previously, he was vice president for strategy and community impact at The Rhode Island Foundation.

Ria Mirchandani

Ria Mirchandani is a Brown Sophomore from Mumbai, India, and is currently comfortably confused about her major. She is soaking in Brown’s open curriculum by taking classes in departments ranging from Engineering to Archeology. She is uncertain of which career path to follow, but is certain that she wants to travel, especially to places of historical significance and great hot chocolate.

Organizing team


Providence, RI, United States
  • Kimberly Takahata
    Student Co-Organizer
  • Jessica Tabak
    Graduate Student Co-Organizer
  • Joel Simundich
    Graduate Student Co-Organizer