TEDYouth 2014

TEDYouth 2014 took place at the Brooklyn Museum in New York City on Saturday, November 15 from 11am to 6pm ET. At TEDYouth — and the TEDxYouthDay 2014 events happening the same day around the globe — young people gathered to explore the theme: "Worlds Imagined." They heard mind-shifting stories and big ideas in a broad array of topics that impact the world today. They envisioned new scenarios for our future, and thought through how they can contribute to its creation.


Attendance was free of charge for 400 middle and high school students from the New York City area. The program was made up of three sessions of speakers, plus a lunch break with engaging activities, demos, and a chance to meet the speakers.

Session 1: 11:00am - 12:30pm ET
Lunch and activities onsite: 12:30pm - 2pm ET
Live speaker Q&A: 12:45pm - 1:00pm ET*
Session 2: 2:00pm - 3:30pm ET
Snacks and activities onsite: 3:30pm - 4:30pm ET
Live speaker Q&A: 3:45pm - 4:00pm ET*
Session 3: 4:30pm - 6:00pm ET

*For livestream viewers only — tweet questions to @TEDYouth or email questions to tedyouthqa@ted.com.

Speaker lineup

  • Andrew Cotton has surfed some of the biggest waves out there, with world champions in Portugal and in little-known spots in Ireland. Coming from the less-than-famed shores of North Devon, he’s helped to put the UK on the surfing map.
  • Bethany Ehlmann is a geologist on the NASA Mars Rover Curiosity mission, analyzing rocks and directing a machine to gather information about the Red Planet from 200 million kilometers away.
  • Artist Brian Dettmer digs into a good book (literally, with a knife) to create beautifully intricate forms that reflect how we see old information in a modern world.
  • As a poet, Carol Brown fuses spoken word and punk rock in the Fractal Ensemble. On her own, she uses her work to talk about feminism and gender. Carol is also involved with Urban Word NYC, which provides free youth literary arts education programs.
  • Armed with an 18th-century map, a GPS and reams of data, Eric Sanderson re-plotted the Manhattan of 1609. Now he is thinking about New York's future.
  • As the co-founder of Reverb Technologies, the maker of the online dictionary Wordnik, Erin McKean is reshaping how we interact with language itself.
  • 15-year-old Flynn McGarry is a whiz in the kitchen. His pop-up supper club, EUREKA, gained a cult following when it operated out of his mother’s home and it has since spilled over into well-known restaurants in both New York and Los Angeles.
  • Fredy Peccerelli is a forensic anthropologist who helps solve some of history’s worst crimes by studying the bodies and bones of murder victims. He works out of a high-tech lab in Guatemala City, where his team combines DNA, archeology and journalism to find justice for the dead.
  • Gil Weinberg is a music technologist, which means he rocks out with robot musicians, helps non-musical humans make music with mobile apps, and gets humans and robots alike to express themselves.
  • Jaap de Roode studies parasites and hosts, asking: If parasites and hosts evolved to be co-dependent, then why does a parasite so often make its host sick? At his lab at Emory University, he and his team study monarch butterflies and the protozoa that live on them.
  • Jennifer Mascia is an American author who fuses heart and journalistic excellence into eclectic and meaningful projects, such as a memoir surrounding her father's murder conviction, New York Times editorial pieces and contributions to The Gun Report, a gun violence project.
  • Bioengineer Kakani Katija studies the effect that tiny creatures have on much larger forces in the ocean. In her emerging field of ocean mixing, even something as small as one krill, when part of a whole, could have big consequences for the Earth.
  • Katharina Ribbeck is an MIT biologist who studies how mucus works to protect our bodies from pathogens – with a surprisingly complex screening process.
  • Kenneth Shinozuka created a heel-attaching sensor that sends out alerts whenever his grandfather, who has Alzheimer’s, wanders at night. He won the first prize for the Scientific American Science in Action Award for his sensor and hopes to eventually bring it to market.
  • Lilian Chen, aka Milktea, spent three years playing Super Smash Brothers Melee in national tournaments. She now speaks out about life in the Smash community – how it helped her find her voice, and how she used that voice to combat sexism.
  • Astronomer Lisa Kaltenegger studies planets outside our own solar system. Using a technique called spectral analysis, she compares them to planet Earth – now and in the distant past – to see which might hold the possibility for alien forms of life.
  • Mark Siddall is a zoologist with a deep appreciation for the time-tested survival strategy of parasitism. In his Leech Lab at the American Museum of Natural History, he explores blood-feeders like the infamous anal-dwelling hippo leech.
  • Fifteen-year-old Marrec Selous is an Israeli-born French-English New Yorker. From a tiny village in France to bustling Manhattan to the pages of his favorite sci-fi, he learns from his surroundings and prepares for great adventure.
  • Nathan Pyle knows how to be polite in NYC — and his animated GIF series tells tourists all the secrets that New York kids already know, like how to act in the subway, on the sidewalk and in a deli.
  • During the Cretaceous period, North Africa was a maze of rivers rather than a desert land. Paleontologist Nizar Ibrahim seeks to uncover the creatures that lived in this lost world.
  • Pashon Murray is helping to revitalize Detroit and improve its carbon footprint through her organizations Detroit Dirt and Sustainable Integration. She empowers her community to increase environmental stewardship and sustainability.
  • Ruddy Roye is a photojournalist and dedicated Instagram activist. He takes to the Brooklyn streets with his phone camera, capturing overlooked stories of race and class through searing, personal portraits.
  • Sarah Bergbreiter makes impressively tiny robots that can overcome obstacles eighty times their height. With these innovations, she hopes to develop technologies that could advance medicine, consumer electronics and science.
  • Sicily Kolbeck is a 14-year-old girl who is known for constructing a tiny, 128-square foot second house that quickly became a symbol of emotional resilience and community solidarity nationwide.
  • Storyboard P is a break-dancer who brings a narrative flair to flex, a style that uses body pantomime, body contortions and complex footwork. Hailed the “King of the Streets” by the prestigious Battlefest tournament, he has performed nationwide and was featured in Jay Z’s “Picasso Baby” music video.
  • Tahir Hemphill is the creator of the Hip Hop Word Count, a searchable rap lyrics database that allows deep analysis of national and global cultural trends. He’s part of the Rap Research Lab, teaching students art, design and critical thinking through visualizing and analyzing hip-hop.

About TEDYouth

TEDYouth is a day-long event for middle and high school students, with live speakers, hands-on activities and great conversations. Scientists, designers, technologists, explorers, artists, performers (and more!) share short talks on what they do best, serving both as a source of knowledge and inspiration for youth around the globe.

Learn more about TEDYouth