x = independently organized TED event

Theme: What Matters Next

This event occurred on
November 4, 2010
5:00am - 2:00pm EDT
(UTC -4hrs)
Newport News, VA
United States

Last year NASA, NIA and our industry and community partners worked together to combine the unique format and intrigue of TED with the ingenuity and reach of NASA. TED presenters are known for posing intriguing questions. NASA is known for inventive solutions. Together, in TEDxNASA, they create a vehicle for discovery, an opportunity for exposure to new ideas, and to revisit traditional ones from a new perspective. The result is an inspiring, one day, interactive conference designed to engage its participants and promote the exchange of ideas worth spreading. My thought was to combine the generally analytical NASA thinkers with the creative, more free thinking entertainers and musicians. This is how the conference came to include scientists and musicians, artists and engineers, authors and visionaries. Each expert, performer and video was intentionally selected to deliver a powerful message somehow relating to creativity, innovation, or an idea worth spreading. Attendees were given time to participate in open discussions in the belief that by bringing together thought leaders from a variety of professions, great ideas and solutions will emerge.

Imagine as you walk up the pathway to the building’s entry, surprises abound. Entering the lobby is like wandering into a wonderland, filled with cutting edge exhibits to elicit curiosity and tantalize the senses. Presenters are unconventional. Their presentations are extraordinary, quick, but intricate, while still relating to the conference theme – What Matters Next.

Ferguson Center for the Arts
Christopher Newport University
1 University Place
Newport News, VA, 23606
United States
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Bobby Braun

His plan is to re-charge NASA technology. Dr. Robert D. (Bobby) Braun was appointed NASA Chief Technologist in February 2010. As lead of the Game-Changing Technology Development Program, his charge is to develop radically new approaches to NASA’s future space missions and to the nation’s significant aerospace portfolio. Where other development activities seek the steady and deliberate evolution of system and mission capabilities, Dr. Braun’s focus is on technological innovation; his mission is to create devices and opportunities that have to-date only been imagined. The only way we can accomplish these far-reaching goals, says Dr. Braun, is to invest today in groundbreaking technologies –propulsion systems, lightweight structures, inflatable habitats and radiation protection.

Daniel Burrus

He is convinced -- technological, social and business forces are converging to create enormous untapped opportunities. In 1983, Daniel Burrus was the first and only futurist to accurately identify the 20 technologies that would become the driving forces of business and economic change. He has continued to hold a worldwide reputation for his exceptional record for predicting the future of technological change and its impact on the business world. He has authored six books, including the international best seller Technotrends, and his newest book, Flash Foresight: How To See the Invisible and Do the Impossible. The New York Times has called Burrus one of America’s top three business “gurus.”

Barry Collin

Survived the recession but not the recovery? Barry Collin leads a unique consultancy solely dedicated to helping clients -- in any economy – multiply revenue by developing new applications and new customers for their products and services. He advises on how to create product modifications, strategic alliances with startups and leveraging idle facilities and intellectual property. That’s the Moddition way, says Collin, founder and CEO. Companies today are only focusing on their current customers and current market. Everyone is afraid to move forward as the future is so uncertain. Frozen with fear, that’s the way Collin describes businesses – and the same with consumers.

William A. Draves

He edited his first newsletter at 12 for a scout troop in his hometown of Fond du Lac, WI. William A. Draves is the president of the Learning Resources Network (LERN), the leading association for lifelong learning that boasts more than 4,000 members in 20 countries. Originally headquartered in Kansas, LERN went virtual in 1998 and is now a leader for online learning. Between 1900 and 1920, Draves says, the whole world changed, and it’s happening again. Half of all learning in the 21st century is online. Draves believes the Internet is delivering cognitive learning better than face-to-face classes. The author of Teaching Online, he is the most frequently interviewed expert on lifelong learning, including quotes in the New York Times, and on NBC Nightly News.

Sean Forbes

“Def” has been a part of the hip-hop lexicon since the early 1980s, but for Sean Forbes it means something different. A profoundly deaf musician, Forbes suffered permanent hearing loss at the age of one, yet pursued a lifelong aspiration towards a career in the music industry. He co-founded the Deaf Professional Arts Network (D-PAN), a non-profit organization dedicated to making music and music culture accessible to deaf and hard of hearing audiences. To increase access to music for the deaf community, he conceived the idea of American Sign Language (ASL) music videos. To date, D-PAN has created ASL music videos of songs my John Mayer, Christina Aguilera and Eminem. A 28-year-old deaf rapper from Detroit, Forbes is making waves in the music world.

Jim Green

Has any person traveled beyond Earth’s magnetosphere? The best person to ask is Dr. James L. Green, director of the Planetary Science Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington D.C. The farthest any human has gone into space, he reminisces, is the moon, which is mostly outside Earth’s magnetosphere. The magnetosphere, the area around the space controlled by Earth’s magnetic field, surrounds Earth like a bubble. Dr. Green, who began his NASA career in 1980, was assigned to the Magnetospheric Physics Branch at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville. There he developed and managed the Space Physics Analysis Network that provided scientists all over the world with rapid access to data, to other scientists and to NASA computer and information resources.

Phyllis Greenberger

She’s been named one of the twenty most influential women in medicine today. Phyllis Greenberger is the president and CEO of the Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR), a national non-profit based in Washington D.C. SWHR is committed to ensuring that women’s health issues remain a high priority on the national agenda. She’s the co-author of The Savvy Women Patient: How and Why Sex Differences Affect Your Health. Due to Greenberger’s leadership, women are included in medical research and scientists are looking at the ways health and disease affect men and women differently. Women’s Day magazine awarded Phyllis Greenberger the 2006 “Red Dress Award” for her leadership of the fight against heart disease in women and, this year, recognized her as one of the 50 women who are changing the world.

Eric Haseltine

An expert in managing innovation processes, Eric Haseltine has been helping organizations “harvest the future” by developing far-sighted technological solutions that deliver near-term value. Applying principles described in his book Long Fuse, Big Bang, he specializes in helping organizations whose sales and profits have reached a plateau to re-discover aggressive growth. Haseltine brings a remarkable resume as a PhD neuroscientist and over 30 years experience as director of research for the National Security Agency, associate director for science and technology in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, executive vice president of Walt Disney Imagineering and director of engineering for Hughes Aircraft.

Sam Horn

She’s called America’s intrigue expert. Sam Horn is a business and career strategist who helps organizations and entrepreneurs develop one-of-a-kind approaches so they “break out” versus “blend in.” As founder of the Intrigue Institute, she is an expert at brainstorming, strategizing and scaling a message and mission to increase both visibility and revenue. She is the author of POP!, considered a pioneering resource for creating original, compelling communications that capture and keep the attention of the customer. The best communicators, says Horn, introduce ideas that result in an epiphany – either something we once knew and have forgotten or something that crystallizes in front of us and we see a truth for the first time.

Frans Johansson

His mission is to connect diverse people and ideas across the world for one single purpose – to change it. Author of the bestseller, The Medici Effect, Frans Johansson advocates collaboration between people with diverse experiences, skills, expertise, perspectives, backgrounds and cultures. He breaks down silos and leverages diversity to promote the best ideas. Via the book, he takes readers on a fascinating journey to the Intersection – a place where ideas collide, igniting an explosion of innovation. Out of these seemingly random combinations have come groundbreaking ideas that have created whole new fields. His Medici Group guides individuals, teams and organizations to generate an incredible number of ideas and turn the best ones into groundbreaking solutions.

Willy Jolley

“It only takes a minute to change your life.” That’s the title of Willie Jolley’s first book and his mantra. This singer, motivational speaker and author uses his unique blend of music and message to move people to believe they can achieve. In 1990, D.C. Public Schools asked Jolley to join the Drug Prevention division as project coordinator to develop a program using art and music to encourage youth to seek positive alternatives to drugs and violence. The program, called “Positive Images,” became an overnight success, winning awards from the Department of Education and Blue Cross/Blue Shield. Now president of InspirTainment Plus, Jolley works with organizations that want to rapidly accelerate growth and create top achievers.

Rita J. King

She thinks of technology as a prism held up to the bright beam of the imagination to create a new global culture and economy. Rita J. King is innovator-in-residence at IBM’s Analytics Virtual Center, a security futurist at the Aspen Institute, and a senior fellow at two think-tanks. She works globally across platforms to produce creative mixed media, mixed-reality events, research projects, broadcasts and related products. Storyteller, artist and writer, she is the founder and creative director of Dancing Ink Productions, a company that develops business strategy, immersive narrative, multimedia, games, conferences and other events for the Imagination Age. King espouses the creative use of digital technology to inhabit ideas, facilitate new dialogue and collaborate on solutions to challenging issues.

Josh Koppel

He pushes the limits of what’s possible on a small digital screen . . . think iPhone. Josh Koppel’s company, ScrollMotion, is currently the largest developer of “apps” for Apple products. His goal is to help people connect with a new kind of entertainment. He focuses on usability, design and fun! Scientific discoveries, he says, are being developed at a rate that has never been matched in human history. The mastermind behind bringing Tribune newspapers and consumer magazines like Esquire and People to the iPhone, Koppel predicts there will be at least 200 million iPhones by 2013 used by doctors and lawyers, soldiers and teachers, people all over the world. The iPad and iPhone are making reading a social experience – click on a passage and send it to a friend or chat about it with a group of like-minded individuals.

Ben Rigby

In a unique approach to voluntarism, Ben Rigby has taken the time element out of doing good works. For the past 15 years, he has focused his efforts on developing youth-focused Web and mobile phone software for non-profits and brand-name companies. In 2008, he co-founded The Extraordinaries, the micro-volunteering network that allows people to volunteer on-demand and on-the-spot using mobile phones and the Internet. Rigby’s group is part of a new movement that combines tiny technology and huge social goals. He is the author of Mobilizing Generation 2.0, a handbook that promotes using virtual technologies to recruit, organize and engage youth. It's all part of the micro world. What began with microscopes and microbiology has morphed into microeverything: microchips, microhousing, microjobs. And now: microvolunteerism.

Lesa Roe

Deliver on today’s commitments . . . prepare for tomorrow’s opportunities. Lesa Roe, director of NASA’s Langley Research Center, is convinced that this strategy is critical to the Center’s ability to continue making valued contributions to the Agency and the nation. As senior management official of the country’s first civilian aeronautical research lab and NASA’s original field center, she leads a team of nearly 4,000 researchers, engineers and talented problem solvers. Ms. Roe earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Florida and a master’s degree from the University of Central Florida. She’s held numerous positions in engineering and management from her early days as a Space Shuttle communications engineer at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to director of research for the International Space Station at Johnson Space Center in Houston. She welcomes you to TEDxNASA.

Tim Seibles

His streetwise, syncopated poems zero in on such wide-ranging subjects as basketball, sex, dogs, race in America and the inner thoughts of cartoon characters. An extraordinary poet and dynamic reader, Tim Seibles is the recipient of the Open Voice Award and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center. His love for Greek and Roman mythology and dreams of writing science fiction novels were balanced by a driving ambition to become a professional football player. Ultimately he discovered poetry. Now poet and professor, he is the author of five collections of poetry, most recently Buffalo Head Solos. Elegant and silly, irreverent and fun, his poetry celebrates the spirit’s little moments of joy.

Andrew Shatte

Resilience – the ability to “bounce back” -- is a critical competency for success at work, for happiness at home and for balancing the two. Dr. Andrew Shatte is the vice president of research and development at Adaptiv Learning Systems and the architect of Adaptiv’s resilience training programs. He has devoted his career to understanding the psychological aspects of motivation and resilience and to developing programs to optimize human performance in a wide array of arenas – in the workplace, in health, in academics and in sports. Co-author of The Resilience Factor. Dr. Shatte is a highly acclaimed teacher, selected University of Pennsylvania’s Best Professor in Social Sciences in 2004 and the recipient of the Dean’s Award for Distinguished Teaching in 2006. Learn how to harness your emotions, thoughts and values to make the most of opportunity when it knocks.

Andy Stefanovich

He is called one of the most disruptive but effective advisors in business. Andy Stephanovich is chief curator and provocateur at Prophet. He’s spent the past 20 years helping companies like GE, General Mills, Proctor & Gamble, The U.S. Olympic Committee, and Coca Cola drive innovation from the inside out. His true passion lies in guiding his clients through the powerful evolution from inspiration to creativity to innovation. Stefanovich teaches practical skills, leadership behaviors, and specific processes for developing and implementing ideas at work. In 1990, Andy co-founded Play, a creativity and innovation company that changed the way business does business. While there, he helped companies find ways to inspire and equip their people to create sustainable innovation. Prophet and Play joined forces in December 2008.

Maggie Stiefvater

Is this American author of young adult and urban fantasy novels the next JK Rowling? Maggie Stiefvater calls herself a 26-year-old with a serious Peter Pan complex. Her debut novel, Lament, is a skillful blend of magic and ordinary life. Her second book, Shiver, was featured on the New York Times top ten list for Children’s Chapter Books. She’s been a waitress, a calligraphy instructor, a technical editor, an artist and a musician. She’s now an award-winning professional novelist. Her duo subjects – faeries and werewolves – are geared to different age levels. For her, faeries pull up lost connections with nature, lost innocence and magic. Werewolves, on the other hand, are metaphors for the loss of personal identity, a phenomenon, she says, of our increasingly homogenized world. A new production company, Unique Features, has acquired screen rights to all three books in the The Wolves of Mercy Falls series.

The Living Daylights

Anything you want to hear in almost any genre! The Living Daylights is a Memphis-based band that covers all the musical bases. Comprised of a handpicked group of musicians, all are veterans of the music scene in one way or another. The lead, Donnie Smith, picked up a guitar at the early age of six and hasn’t put it down since. His love of all styles of music is apparent through the band’s diverse song list. Joining Smith is Kevin Kilgore and Zach Horvath. Kilgore is songwriter, guitarist and vocalist. His eclectic interests and influences allow him to move comfortably among a myriad of music styles. Zack Horvath’s first impetus to pursue drumming was watching the Animatronic gorilla play drums at Chuck E. Cheese when he was a kid. As fate would have it, he accidentally found himself in band class in high school, asked to learn the drums, and has been wowing crowds ever since. NASA Langley’s own Timothy Allen plays more than 20 musical instruments and originally hails from Memphis. Today, he is revisiting his Beale Street roots as he fills in for The Living Daylights regular bassist, Jordan Garrison.

Oliver Uberti

The design process begins and ends with research -- so he shares an office with a human skeleton. Oliver Uberti is a visual journalist and designer who dabbles in maps, infographics and words. He is art director and design editor at National Geographic magazine. On a given day at Geographic, Uberti says he may be found painting with crude oil, charting man’s migration from Africa, drawing Stonehenge, counting jelly beans or directing a photo shoot of highway litter. He’s drawn to images that make him feel something – joy, sorrow, surprise or wonder. Uberti writes a blog titled The Process, the stories behind National Geographic’s award-winning art, maps and designs. Here he answers the oft-asked question “How did they do that?”

Bruce Wielicki

Clouds affect the energy Earth receives, keeps and emits back to space – it’s all a matter of balance. Dr. Bruce Wielicki is senior scientist for Earth science at NASA’s Langley Research Center. His research has focused on clouds and their role in Earth’s radiative energy balance for more than 25 years. He served as principal investigator on NASA’s CERES science team and as co-investigator on the CALIPSO missions. NASA is now gearing up for a mission to compile the most accurate climate data ever. Dr. Wielicki is mission scientist for CLARREO that will provide accurate, credible and tested climate records that lay the groundwork for decisions on policies that address the effects of climate change on society.

Organizing team


Hampton, VA, United States


Newport News, VA, United States
  • Steve Craft
    NASA - Executive Sponsor and Overall Project Lead
  • Harla Sherwood
    NIA - Lead for Sponsors/Partnerships, and Logistics Support
  • Hayley Foster
    Hayley Foster, LLC - Professional Speaker Coach & Programming Director
  • Eileen Spillane
    NASA/Tessada - Speaker Coordinator & Coach
  • Tim Allen
    NASA/RTI - Marketing & Communications Lead
  • Scott Bednar
    NIA - Marketing & Communications
  • Rene´ Peniza
    NIA - Lead for Graphics and Website Development
  • Chris Kilzer
    NASA/Lockheed - Young Professionals Coordinator & Logistics