x = independently organized TED event

This event occurred on
May 30, 2015
10:00am - 3:00pm PDT
(UTC -7hrs)
Portland, Oregon
United States

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized (subject to certain rules and regulations).

Keller Auditorium
222 SW Clay Street
Portland, Oregon, 97201
United States
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Con Bro Chill

It’s time to have fun and it’s time to do it together. That is, in essence, what Con Bro Chill of Portland, Oregon wants you to know. CBC is a party vortex showcasing elements of high-energy pop to create its own brand of neon dance revolution. Their goal is to take over Planet Globes! The statement to every Boom Trooper the world over is clear: the Neon Army is recruiting and CBC has come to celebrate life with you. Let’s party #NeonArmy (Yes, CBC do #hashtags)


Speech formed the Grammy Award-winning group Arrested Development, which has been a pioneering force in the music world since the early 1990s. With five successful solo albums, his performances have spanned the likes of James Brown, The Roots, Herbie Hancock, and President Obama. He serves his community as an ordained minister and by supporting the plight of the homeless through the Mr. Wendal Foundation with love, communication and respect.

The von Trapps

The von Trapps Are Back With a New Musical Sound - The hills are alive again with a new American generation of the singing family made famous by the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical. www.vontrapps.net

Regina Ellis

Regina Ellis is the Founder and Chief Joy Officer of the Children’s Cancer Association (CCA), the only organization of its kind in the nation. Established in 1995 after her daughter Alexandra died of cancer, CCA delivers JoyRx to seriously ill children, teens, and their families when they need more than medicine. What started around Regina’s kitchen table has now grown to be one of the largest children’s health organizations in the Pacific Northwest, with award-winning programs that reach children in 32 states and counting. For children diagnosed with serious illness, every moment is precious. Regina Ellis’ goal is to transform as many of those moments as possible—with joy.

Amber Starks

Amber Starks is the owner of Conscious Coils Salon in Portland. In 2013, the Oregon Legislature passed the “Natural Hair Act,” which Amber initiated and helped revise in an effort to make it easier for natural hair stylists to get licensed to care for African and African-American hair. She advocates for the creation of spaces where people from all backgrounds can come together to celebrate, share, and be informed about inclusion in our society. She believes this is crucial to understanding standards of beauty.

Benji Wagner

Benji Wagner is the Co-Founder and Creative Director of Poler Outdoor Stuff, which he started after a camping trip with friends whom he shared a love for the outdoors with. The idea is bringing together the outdoor and action sports worlds for the first time. He has been a photographer and filmmaker for 20 years and continues to inspire people to get outside through his art and product.

Cameron Smith

Cameron M. Smith, PhD, of Portland State University’s Department of Anthropology began his career excavating million-year-old stone tools in Africa. However, Dr. Smith’s current quest is to put humans into space with low-cost, DIY methods, and Icarus Interstellar’s work on multi- generational voyaging to exoplanets. In recent years Dr. Smith has presented his concepts at NASA, NASA/DARPA, the Mars Society, SpaceX, the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, TEDxBrussels, OMSI and Copenhagen Suborbitals.

Daniel Wilson

Daniel H. Wilson, PhD, is the author of the New York Times-bestselling Robopocalypse and its sequel Robogenesis, as well as seven other books, including How to Survive a Robot Uprising, A Boy and His Bot, and Amped. Wilson is a Contributing Editor to Popular Mechanics and writes the Earth 2: Society series for DC Comics. In 2008, he hosted The Works on History. He earned a PhD in Robotics from Carnegie Mellon University, as well as Master’s degrees in Artificial Intelligence and Robotics. His novel Robopocalypse was purchased by DreamWorks and is currently being adapted for film by Steven Spielberg. Wilson lives in Portland, Oregon.

Fawn Weaver

Fawn Weaver is the bestselling author of Happy Wives Club, CEO of ValRentco and volunteers her time and talent to helping several human rights organizations. Her site, happywivesclub.com – spontaneously launched while she was working as a hotel general manager – has garnered international acclaim. Fawn serves as an Executive Board Member for MEND Poverty (mendpoverty.org) and Slavery No More (slaverynomore.org), an anti- human trafficking organization, and is a supporter of the International Justice Mission (ijm.org).

G Douglas Bundy

G Douglas Bundy is a parent, musician, artist, and teacher at Raleigh Hills K-8 in Portland. Working from his underground lair at Raleigh Hills, he is building a technology arts program that seeks to preserve and develop creativity and the love of learning for children, teachers, and parents alike. Bundy uses project-based learning that starts with something a kid is interested in to foster creativity through video-game design, web applications, filmmaking, sound-design, programming, prototyping, and photography. At the core of his belief is the role of teachers to become “interest creators” and to “draw out” the remarkable capacities in children. Ideally this allows for teachers and students to collaborate to do real work for real purpose. One of his students encapsulated this vision beautifully with the statement: “The world needs more kid made things.”

Gregory Gourdet

Gregory Gourdet is the trendsetting Executive Chef at Portland’s popular pan- Asian restaurant, Departure. Gourdet studied pre-med, wildlife biology and French before pursuing a degree from the Culinary Institute of America after discovering a passion for cooking. Gourdet trained at the prestigious Jean-Georges restaurant empire, eventually working his way up to Sous Chef at Jean-Georges. As a part-time ultra runner, hot yoga devotee, and CrossFitter, Gourdet brings his health-mindedness to the table as well. Gourdet was named Chef of the Year by the Oregon Department of Agriculture in 2013 and competed on season 12 of Bravo TV’s Top Chef.

Jacob Miller & The Bridge City Crooners

Jacob Miller and The Bridge City Crooners bill their music as West Coast ragtime, jazz, and blues. Although you can hear all of those influences, there’s also a strong undercurrent of youthful abandon. It is the kind of wild joy from the American road (or rails) that filled the gas tank of Woody Guthrie’s dreams and kept him rolling down the highway.

Jenna Nicholas

Jenna Nicholas project-manages the Divest-Invest Philanthropy movement, a global coalition of foundations directing divestment from fossil fuels toward new energy solutions. Jenna is a native of London and studied at both Stanford and Oxford. Via her firm, Phoenix Global Impact, she also consults on impact investing and social entrepreneurship.

Jon Wexler

Hailing from the suburbs of Chicago, Jon Wexler has lived in Portland for the better part of the past 18 years where he has emerged as one of the most influential people in the sneaker community. He has worked his way up from an entry-level product role to that of Senior Director of Entertainment and Influencer Marketing at adidas. In this role he focuses squarely on people, and relationship management. is his art.

Karen Gaffney

Karen is the President of a non-profit organization dedicated to championing the journey to full inclusion in families, schools, the workplace, and the community for people with developmental disabilities. She graduated from St. Mary’s Academy in Portland, Oregon, and earned a two-year Associate of Science degree from Portland Community College. Karen has also been awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the University of Portland on May 5th, 2013, for her work in raising awareness regarding the abilities of people who have Down syndrome. She is a fearless open-water swimmer having successfully swam the English Channel, escaped Alcatraz (16 times) and conquered Lake Tahoe in 59-degree water. Karen swims to raise funds and awareness of what people with Down syndrome can do. http://www.karengaffneyfoundation.com/

Kent Thornburg

Dr. Kent L. Thornburg received his PhD in Developmental Physiology and studied Cardiovascular Physiology as a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Postdoctoral Fellow at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). He participates in co-funded projects with scientists in England, New Zealand, France, Finland and Australia. He serves regularly on advisory panels at the NIH, the American Heart Association and the Children’s Heart Foundation and recently served as Co-Chair of the task force to determine the 10-year vision of the developmental origins of health and disease for the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

Linda Smith

Linda Smith is a leader in the global movement to end sex trafficking. In 1998, while serving in Congress, Linda traveled to a notorious brothel district in India where the hopeless faces of women and children forced into prostitution compelled her to found the Shared Hope International organization. Linda is the primary author of From Congress to the Brothel and Renting Lacy, co-author of The National Report on Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking, and instrumental in creating the DEMAND Report. Linda has testified before Congress, presented at national and international forums, and has been published in numerous news outlets and journals. Linda served as a Washington State legislator (1983-93) before being elected to Congress in 1994.

Vidya Spandana

As a teenager, Vidya Spandana cofounded DMV.org, turning it into a multi-million dollar business by the time she earned her computer science and engineering degree. After extended emotional trauma and burnout, Vidya woke up one day and left her life and success behind. She spent three years traveling, studying the science of non-duality, teaching yoga, surfing, and making art. Vidya has since spent 15 years advising startups on strategic growth. In 2013, she became a Presidential Innovation Fellow working to bring President Obama’s Executive Order on Open Data to life, and working with federal agencies to prove how open data could drive economic growth in the world’s poorest countries.

Organizing team

Paul Anthony

Portland, OR, United States


Portland, OR, United States