x = independently organized TED event

Theme: What If?

This event occurred on
April 27, 2013
12:00am - 12:00am PDT
(UTC -7hrs)
Portland, OR
United States

What if Portland were Boston? In 1845, Francis Pettygrove and Asa Lovejoy disagreed about the name of their new city. Lovejoy preferred Boston, Oregon. While Pettygrove was partial to Portland, Oregon. With a flip of a coin, Pettygrove won the right to choose and the rest is history.
Today, Portland is s city filled with over 2 million inventive, creative, environmentally friendly coffee lovers and beer drinkers who never stop asking "What if?" Like, what if Portland weren't home to both the smallest and one of the largest city parks in the world? Or, what if I grew an ironic mustache? Or, what if Portland didn't support funky local businesses? And what if Portland weren't one of the greenest cities in the United States?
Home to so many great things, we welcome you to the city of "What if?"

2013 was Year Three for TEDxPortland, held at the Portland Art Museum.
A one day experience featuring 12 live Talks, 5 Performances and 5 TED.com selected videos.

Ticket price: $100
Includes: Breakfast & Lunch provided by Whole Foods, Stumptown Coffee all day, Salt n Straw afternoon Ice Cream snack, Widmer & Naked Winery Happy Hour, a souvenir Nike T-Shirt and TEDxPortland "8 Ball" What If? toy. AND 12 live Talks, 5 Performances and 5 TED.com selected videos.

We also currated an TEDxPortland inspired Art Show in partnership with the University of Oregon benefitting the Children's Healing Art Project. Over the past two years we have donated $16,000 to the cause.

A city-wide Scavenger Hunt was also organized earlier in the month to encourage physical activity and exploration. Winners were given free tickets to the event! Highlight film here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhs2XxzzwL4

A partner appreciation night was organized to thank and recognize all of our sponsors. Without their support TEDxPortland would not be what it is today.

A private invitation only Speaker Dinner was organized the night before the event at Irving St. Kitchen to create community and amongst our organizing team and the speakers / performers. It was wonderful to "break bread" and get to know one another before the event the following day.

Portland, OR
United States
See more ­T­E­Dx­Portland events


Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Kate Bingaman-Burt

Kate Bingaman-Burt is an illustrator and educator. She’s been making work about consumption since 2002, teaching since 2004 and drawing since 2006. Her first book, obsessive consumption: What Did You Buy today?, was published by Princeton architectural Press in 2010. she lives in Portland, where she’s an assistant professor of graphic design at Portland State University. Her work is represented by Jen Bekman in New York City. Recent clients include IDEO, Etsy, the New York Times, the MoMA and Hallmark.

Kimberly Howard

Kimberly Howard was appointed in 2009 to oversee the oregon cultural trust—to develop and sustain arts, heritage and humanities. Previously she was managing director at Portland’s interstate Firehouse cultural center and education/out- reach director for artists Repertory theatre. Howard is an accomplished actress with credits in new York, the Williamstown theatre Festival and Portland theaters, including Sojourn Theatre and Boom Arts' staged reading of Hollow Roots by Christina Anderson at Reed College.

Ben Huh

Ben Huh is the founder and CEO of the cheezburger network. He’s been credit- ed with pioneering internet culture as entertainment, crowd sourcing and main- streaming internet memes. His media company includes more than 50 online humor sites, receives 400 million page views monthly, has spawned two new York times Best sellers and inspired a tV series. He’s a cofounder of circa, an online journalism start-up re-imagining the way we consume news. Huh holds a BsJ from northwestern university and lives in seattle with his wife, Emily.

Jonathan Krisel

Jonathan Krisel is a grad of NYU’s Film school where he was obsessed with cable access, industrial films and animation. In 2007, he parlayed this into a role as director, co-executive producer, editor, animator and co-writer of Tim and Eric awesome show, great Job! He’s also co-directed, co-executive produced and edited check it out with Dr. Steve Brule. Krisel has just finished co-executive producing and directing the entire third season Portlandia and executive producing, writing and directing Kroll show on Comedy Central.

Dr. Laurie Marker

Dr. Laurie Marker is founder and executive director of the Cheetah Conservation Fund. Having worked with cheetahs since 1974, Dr. Marker set up the not-for-profit fund in 1990 and moved to Namibia to develop a permanent conservation Research centre for the wild cheetah. Dr. Marker also helped develop the U.S. and international captive program, establishing the most successful captive cheetah-breeding program in North America during her 16 years (1974—1988) at Wildlife Safari in Winston, Oregon.

Brian Grant

During and after his 12-year-career in the NBA, Brian Grant dedicated his life to programs assisting seriously ill and underprivileged youth. In 2008, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and started the Brian Grant Foundation. the Foundation is dedicated to helping those affected by Parkinson’s live active and fulfilling lives. Among its other efforts, the Foundation hosts an annual fundraiser gala called “Shake It Till We Make It” that raises money to provide resources and support for those in need.

Brian Faherty

Brian Faherty, owner, founder and creative director of Schoolhouse Electric & Supply co., began the lighting and lifestyle housewares brand in 2003. His passion stems from his desire to help people create personal spaces that inspire. Faherty is a proponent of micro-manufacturing and believes that building a strong U.S. vendor community will help to put the United States back on the map as a thoughtful, sustainable and competitive place to manufacture quality goods. Faherty lives with his wife, Jill, and their three children in Portland.

Naomi Pomeroy

Since Naomi Pomeroy and her sous chef, Mika Paredes, opened Beast in 2007, Bon Appétit named her as one of the top six of a new generation of female chefs in 2008 and Food & Wine Magazine recognized her as one of the 10 Best new chefs in america in 2009—and she’s been named three times as a finalist for the James Beard Foundation award for Best chef in the northwest. Pomeroy appeared as a contestant on Top Chef Masters and a judge on Top Chef. This year, she was included in the U.S. Diplomatic Culinary Partnership initiative in Washington, Dc.

Di-Ann Eisnor

Di-Ann Eisnor , Vice-President of platforms and partnerships at Waze, runs U.S. operations and is crafting the cartography of “live mapping” for Israeli crowd-sourced navigation and real-time traffic. Eisnor is a neogeography pioneer and serial entrepreneur employing all means to increase the world’s citizen mappers. Prior to Waze, Eisnor founded Platial, the People's atlas, and Eisnor interactive. Eisnor believes social mapping to be a critical tool for cultural diplomacy. she sits on the board of gray area Foundation for the arts (GAFFTA).

Mike Thelin

Feast Portland co-founder Mike Thelin conceives, creates and consults for food-re- lated projects nationally. He has invented pop-up cooking schools for Whole Foods Market, started a national food festival and worked with a wide range of partners to create projects that grab attention and maximize outcomes. after traveling the world, Thelin returned to Portland to launch a career as a food writer and critic and found the multi-platform Bolted services. You may recognize him from the cooking channel’s unique eats.

Guido Rahr

Guido Rahr is the President and chief executive of the Wild Salmon Center, where he works to help protect wild salmon habitats in the Pacific northwest, British Columbia, Alaska, Russia and Japan. He has also worked with the United Nations, Oregon Trout, the Nature Conservancy, conservation international, Rainforest alliance and ESPN. Rahr is a master fly fisher who has explored salmon and trout streams all over the world. He lives in Portland with his wife, Lee, and their three boys.

Tom Brokaw

Tom Brokaw has been an award-winning journalist and news anchor for over 40 years. His esteemed career includes the first one-on-one interview with Mikhail Gorbachev and the first network report on human rights abuses in Tibet with an exclusive interview with the Dalai Lama. He was also the only American network anchor to report from scene when the Berlin Wall fell. In 1998, Brokaw published The Greatest Generation, one of the most popular nonfiction books of the 20th Century.

Masataka Odaka

Born in Kuala Lumpur to a Filipina mother and Japanese father, Masataka Odaka grew up in Tokyo, graduated from high school in Putney, Vermont, and cut his teeth as a composer/musician in New York City for nine years before moving to Portland. as a bassist, Odaka has accompanied Pink Martini, Sir Richard Rodney Bennett, Linda Hornbuckle and the von Trapp Children. He composed the title score to TEDxPortland in 2011 and 2012.

Asia Greene

Since she was a young girl, Asia Greene has used poetry as a way to express herself. Her message has always been one of hope, strength and empowerment. Most recently, she was recognized by Portland Police Chief, Mike Reese and former Mayor Sam Adams for a poem she wrote about gang violence. Greene is a graduate of Roosevelt High school with a full-ride academic scholarship to George Fox university. she enjoys spending time with her family and doing puzzles with her grandmother.

Rose City Trombones

Rose City Trombones is a group of passionate musicians dedicated to showcasing the majestic trombone. Our goal is to provide both concerts and educational outreach to unravel the mysteries of this shiny machine. Our members’ musical pedigrees include being part of well-established music organizations across the Northwest and music schools around the country. We are thrilled to partner with TEDxPortland to help add a little flair.

The Royal Blues

The Royal Blues headline Portland's Grant High School choir effort. Their music medium is an advanced co-educational course of study that perfects all types of choral music including classical, madrigal, popular and jazz. the Royal Blues perform many times throughout the community and around the World during the school year. Scholarship, showmanship, musicianship and dedication are paramount.


Chief songwriters Birger Olsen, Mike Elias and Tom Bevitori are co-founders and lead vocals for this “ramshackle all-star country band.” The band has since filled out its lineup with a stellar supporting cast, which includes Blitzen trapper’s Eric Earley and Michael Van Pelt, drummer Sean Macneil and a rotating crew of even more of Portland’s finest musicians.

Organizing team

Paul Anthony

Portland, OR, United States


Portland, OR, United States
  • Mark Starkey
    Board / Speaker Committee
  • Pete Achterman
    Operations / Speaker Committee / Glue
  • Clare Ryan
    Operations / Speaker Committee / Glue
  • Renny Gleeson
    Board / Advisory Team / Speaker Committee
  • Susan Hoffman
    Board / Advisory Team / Speaker Committee
  • Michael Doherty
    Board / Advisory Team / Speaker Committee
  • Seth Walker
    Sponsorship / Speaker Committee