x = independently organized TED event

Theme: FearLess

This event occurred on
February 9, 2013
10:00am - 6:00pm CST
(UTC -6hrs)
Austin, TX
United States

TEDxAustin is proud to bring TED’s movement of “ideas worth spreading” to a city brimming with its own “ideas worth sharing”. Austin is a thriving hub of extraordinary thinkers and doers -- people who initiate and ignite imaginative and innovative ideas, collaborating and connecting to lead the world forward. We design and create a thoughtful experience at the local, national and international levels; supporting a forum in which other forward-thinking, action-oriented individuals can share ideas and bring meaningful change to our community and beyond.

In 2013 we look to transcend those things that stand in the way of our best selves as individuals and as a collective. To surpass limitations. To embrace that which we most fear, and in doing so weaken its hold. This year we celebrate the spirit of FearLess.

In our fourth year of this well-received event, we look forward to exploring all the facets of FearLess with our speakers, performers, and totally immersive experience. To learn to Fear Less. And perhaps, to actually fear fear less.

You are invited to join us in person or via livestream. We truly hope you do.

Circuit Of The Americas
9201 Circuit of the Americas Boulevard
Austin, TX, 78610
United States
Event type:
Standard (What is this?)
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Anne Mahlum

While running through the streets of Philadelphia, Anne’s mission caught up with her. Compelled to create Back on My Feet, she and her team encourage those currently experiencing homelessness to run in the right direction, empowering them to change their perceptions of themselves—and what is possible. This holistic approach has improved thousands of lives in nine cities so far. Time to lace up your sneakers…the Austin chapter launched last week!

Andrea Alù

Seems the (nano) superhero lab exists right here in Austin. After moving to UT Austin four years ago, Andrea and his team have created the first-ever 3D cloak of invisibility! Yes, you heard that right. Pushing the laws of physics beyond conventional limits, he’s proving that the combination of light, radio waves and nanomaterials can produce vastly new opportunities beyond what nature can offer, with implications in bioscience, energy, defense. And maybe someday Wonder Woman?

Faith Dickey

Many of us seek balance in our lives. Few have taken the same approach as Faith. Her world-record slacklining requires a physical and emotional fearlessness that transcends normal boundaries. Walking where birds fly requires an intuitive understanding of oneself and a subconscious ability to respond to the environment without having to focus on it. It’s no wonder she is so well-grounded.

Graham Reynolds

Graham is a musical juggernaut, combining alternative classical, noir jazz and a decidedly experimental take on American roots music into a seamless breathtaking whole. His music has been heard throughout the world on TV, on stage, in films, and on radio, from HBO to the Kennedy Center to the BBC. His score to the 2006 Robert Downey, Jr. feature “A Scanner Darkly” was named Best Soundtrack of the Decade by Cinema Retro magazine.

Bill Burgess

Bill is a restless musician, video artist, former Apple Marketing executive and steady-eyed horizon watcher. As a musician/producer he toured on 3 continents, produced 25 records and composed music for NBC, Disney, Miramax and Apple. These days Bill lives on the front edge of music software and is an in-demand training expert with over 500 on-line videos. Burgess dreams of improvising with sound and image realtime with the same nuance and ferocity of ‘60s experimental jazz.

Elizabeth Andoh

A culinary philosopher who has made Japan her home for decades, Elizabeth is passionate that eating is an experience that transcends taste. In her writing and teaching, she encourages us to appreciate the holistic ways in which food is sourced, cooked, and shared—and how these all speak volumes about a culture: its past, its present, and where it’s headed in the future.

Caleb Hans Polashek

"He is an adventurous sort, so this might be right up his alley." A performer not limited to one genre, Caleb is active with the avant-indie rock band Les RAV. Les RAV has played for F1 fans and automotive enthusiasts at the 2012 Formula 1 Exposition. In addition to performing, Caleb composes pieces for solo violin and has played them for a variety of audiences. He has recently begun recording these works and continues to write. Caleb plays on a Bernd Hiller violin made in Leipzig, Germany in 2009 -- and at TEDxAustin, on a violin from the Recycled Orchestra crafted by Nicolás “Cola” Gómez Martínez from materials collected from the landfill in Cateura, Paraguay and the subject of the Landfill Harmonic documentary.

Michael McDaniel

Michael is an idea magnet. This includes innovations as a Principal Designer for frog & his own ideas like Reaction emergency housing. With Michael, a good idea often triggers a complete design vision and probably a prototype in his garage. His attention is drawn to effective over expensive, and ideas that build community. He is a talented designer for wayfinding and an energetic combination of D.I.Y. & never say die. @WireAustin

Jared Ficklin

Jared loves to make an impact using as many sciences as possible. As a Fellow at frog design, he’s the man behind the annual launch party (and collective social experiment) for a few thousand people attending SXSW Interactive…and has spent years building free public skateparks around town. Never afraid to play, Jared is famous for “sonic experiments that stood out for their individuality, drama and casual disregard for health and safety.” @WireAustin

Joel Selanikio

What can a practicing pediatrician, CDC epidemiologist, former Wall Street computer consultant and homeland security advisor create? Well, when you are Joel, you develop the most widely adopted mobile data open access software in the world of international development. With over 14,000 users in more than 170 countries, it empowers a range of data-informed solutions in regions of the world where such information is dangerously scarce. OK, make that non-existent.

Laurie Frick

Living in both Austin and Brooklyn, Laurie enthusiastically embraces paradox. Straddling neuroscience, big data, and art, her work is stunning to see…while it also allows us to see something stunning. And it points not only to where we’ve been but also illuminates patterns which may crack open whole new insights about where we are going. It’s possible the language of art may soon have a brand-new definition.

Darden Smith

A Texas native, Darden is a critically acclaimed singer-songwriter and educator, built with equal parts refined talent, wicked sense of humor and very generous heart. Nearly a decade ago he launched the Be An Artist Program, inspiring over 15,000 students globally to see themselves as artists, regardless of their interests or talents. More recently, his SongwritingWith: project has unlocked moving collaborations with a surprising range of people, transforming their stories into songs. All with so very much to say—and sing—about.

Jeff Sharpe

Jeff loves to make things. And not simply beautiful things, but ones that provoke a specific behavior. An award-winning architect, experimental filmmaker, institutional change champion (oh, and former Detroit nightclub owner), he masterfully leverages the synergy between anthropology, sociology, and storytelling to create environments that both amplify and shape how we feel and how we act. This, expressed purposefully and viscerally, is the power of intentional design.

Jamie Pennebaker

By chairing one of the largest university Psychology departments in the country, we can assume that Jamie knows plenty about how the mind works. Ever curious, however, the author of The Secret Life of Pronouns, is using new technologies to determine how the smallest words we each use can offer the most surprising insight into how we’re really feeling and relating to the world around us. So, who’s sending him the first tweet?

Jia Jiang

Like many of us have imagined doing, Jia quit his corporate job to build his own startup (four days before his first child was born). When he hit a financing roadblock, he hit it hard. The best way to recover? 100 Days of Rejection Therapy. Halfway through now, it’s been an astonishing journey, and proof positive that we have no idea what is waiting on the other side of an audacious request.

Robyn Metcalfe

Tenacious curiosity. Determined experimentation. These terms only begin to describe Robyn, an historian, desert distance runner, and food futurist with a lifelong hunger to try—and often create—something new. She recently formed The Food Lab to help visualize how timeless the questions of food security are; who knew the bread riots of the French Revolution and the grain prices of the Arab Spring share a timeline often overlooked? @austinfoodlab

Byron Reese

A fantastically better tomorrow is inevitable—one without disease, hunger, poverty, ignorance or war. Impossible? Not according to Byron, who assures us technology (and the choice to use it) will forever eradicate the world’s most vexing problems. An accomplished high-tech trailblazer, inventor, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and author of Infinite Progress, this optimistic historian offers even more to smile about: Greatness is not just reserved for the few.

Eric Horvitz

Decisions, uncertainty, and intelligence. This is what Eric spends considerable attention contemplating. He’s pursued advances and insights about the computational foundations of thinking and action. He works at the confluence of artificial intelligence, human cognition, machine learning, and big data. And Eric believes we are in the early days of a computational revolution that will empower people in new and surprising ways.

Organizing team


Austin, TX, United States


Austin, TX, United States
  • Nancy Giordano
    Licensee + Lead Curator
  • Shawna Butler
    Partnership Enchantment + Curator
  • Jeff Sharpe
    Creative Director
  • Liv Sharratt
    Event Designer
  • Stacy Weitzner
    Communications Lead
  • Ben Quirt
    Attendee Engagement