x = independently organized TED event

This event occurred on
September 25, 2015
12:00pm - 9:00pm EDT
(UTC -4hrs)
Washington, District of Columbia
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).

Sidney Harman Hall
610 F Street Northwest
Washington, District of Columbia
United States
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

City of the Sun

Formed in NYC in the early 2010s, the trio has blazed a trail through the city playing everywhere from street corners to venues, selling out hotspots like Rockwood Music Hall, Mercury Lounge, and The Bowery Electric. They’ve shared stages with a diverse array of artists including Rock & Roll Hall of Fame member Marky Ramone, Matisyahu, and Greensky Bluegrass. City of the Sun has also traveled abroad to perform for exclusive TEDx showcases and TED Talks.

Gay Men's Chorus of DC

Lord Jim Knight and Mina Patel

Jim Knight is the Chief Education Adviser at TES Global Ltd, a member of the House of Lords and a visiting Professor at the London Knowledge Lab of the Institute of Education. He was a Member of Parliament in the United Kingdom from 2001-2010 and served as Education Minister and Employment Minister. Mina is the founder and Executive Director of Video Conferencing for Global Learning (VCfGL). Mina jointly chairs the UK VC Partnerships Group, where she has worked alongside national advisers from across the UK, to put together broadband guidelines for the Department for Education to support VC technology in schools.


Aaron Silverman

Aaron Silverman is a chef and founder of Washington, DC restaurant Rose’s Luxury, which was recently named as ‘the best new restaurant in America’ by Bon Appétit Magazine. His resume includes working for chefs David Chang, Sean Brock, Marco Canora, and George Mendes but now Silverman is shaking up and redefining the restaurant scene in the nation’s capital.

Adarsh Desai

Adarsh is passionate about leveraging technology, data, and innovations for accelerating development impact. Adarsh currently leads the World Bank Innovation Labs, overseeing a variety of programs ranging from Big data Analytics, Social Enterprise Innovations for service delivery to poor, Open Aid Partnership, Open Innovation, and Human-centered Design.

Adriana Beltrán

As head of the Citizen Security Program for the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), a U.S.-based advocacy and research organization, Adriana promotes policies that identify and address the root causes of violence and improve the effectiveness and accountability of police and judicial systems.

Alex Winter

Alex Winter entered show business as a child actor on Broadway and came to prominence in the wildly popular BILL AND TED franchise. Winter’s latest, award-winning documentary DEEP WEB, recently had a critically acclaimed world premiere at SXSW and a broadcast premiere in the U.S. on the Epix network, to be followed by a worldwide release on all platforms in September 2015.

Avi Rubin

Dr. Aviel (Avi) D. Rubin is Professor of Computer Science and Technical Director of the Information Security Institute at Johns Hopkins University. He is also the Director of the JHU Health and Medical Security Lab. Prior to joining Hopkins, Rubin was a research scientist at AT&T Labs. He testified about information security before the U.S. House and Senate on multiple occasions, and he is the author of several books about computer security.

Barbara Amaya

Barbara is an anti-trafficking advocate, speaker, trainer, author and survivor leader in the movement to end modern-day slavery and human trafficking. She is Senior Technical Adviser, Policy, Programs and After Care Services at SeraphimGlobal, and has been actively raising awareness of the sexual exploitation of children and domestic sex trafficking since 2012.

Behnaz Babazadeh

Behnaz Babazadeh is Afghan-American artist and designer whose work spanning photography, sculpture and film, challenges the western preconceptions of women in burqas with a series of works made from materials found in the candy aisle. With her background in branding, interaction and user experience design, Behnaz creates experiential exhibits that evoke new ways of looking at a traditional garment.

Blair Glencorse

Blair Glencorse founded and runs the Accountability Lab, an organization that is redefining how we ensure the accountability of decision-makers around the world. After spending years working with international organizations and civil society groups- and talking to everyone from Pakistani tribal elders to Zimbabwean students- Blair founded the Lab to catalyze a new generation of change-makers that can push for integrity.

Carl Safina

Ecologist, writer
Carl Safina’s work has been recognized with MacArthur, Pew, and Guggenheim Fellowships, and his writing has won the Lannan Literary Award and the John Burroughs, James Beard, and George Rabb medals. He has a PhD in ecology from Rutgers University. Safina is the inaugural endowed professor for nature and humanity at Stony Brook University, where he co-chairs the steering committee of the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science and is founding president of the not-for-profit Safina Center. He hosted the 10-part PBS series Saving the Ocean with Carl Safina. His writing appears in The New York Times, National Geographic, Audubon and other periodicals, and on the Web at National Geographic News and Views, Huffington Post, and CNN.com. Carl Safina’s writing shows how humanity is changing the natural world and what those changes mean for wildlife and for people.

Carla Dirlikov

Ms. Dirlikov Canales is a passionate humanitarian who for the past 10 years has served as a U.S. Department of State Cultural Arts Envoy promoting American culture overseas, giving master classes and teaching music to orphans and poverty-stricken youth.

Chris Mondini

Chris Mondini is a Vice President of Business Engagement for ICANN, where he works to build relationships with companies beyond the domain name sector, by educating global businesses on the role of ICANN as well as increasing cross-cultural dialogue about topics of internet governance. Mondini is a former management consultant, United States diplomat, and corporate investigator.

Cynthia Schneider

Cynthia P. Schneider, Distinguished Professor in the Practice of Diplomacy at Georgetown University, teaches, publishes, and organizes initiatives in the field of cultural diplomacy, with a focus on relations with the Muslim world. Additionally, she co-directs the Timbuktu Renaissance, an innovative strategy and platform for countering extremism and promoting peace and development, which grew out of her work leading the Arts and Culture Dialogue Initiative within Brookings’ Center for Middle East Policy.

Daniella Carter

Daniella Carter has worked with various celebrities to raise awareness of LGBTQIA youth homelessness. Daniella’s message transcends boundaries of race, class and gender, focusing on the intersection of identities. She recently shared her experience at the Humans Rights Campaign “Time to Thrive Conference” for LGBTQIA youth . Daniella attended the White House annual emerging leaders day, highlighting 100 black leaders. Daniella recently became a Human Rights foundation Youth Ambassador . Daniella recently started working at Equality New Mexico as there policy and program coordinator .

Dayvon Love

Dayvon Love is Director of Research and Public Policy for Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle, a Baltimore- based non-profit. Dayvon is a resident of Northwest Baltimore City and graduate of Towson University majoring in African and African American Studies. Dayvon has deep experience with grassroots activism in the Baltimore community. He has given numerous speeches and led workshops around Baltimore to give insight into the plight of the masses of Baltimore citizens.

Elise Roy

Elise Roy is a lawyer, artist, artisan, and human rights advocate who works in the vanguard of the social design movement, which holds that designers have the capacity and responsibility to address and resolve human problems on micro and macro scales and thereby contribute to social well-being.

Elsa D'Silva

ElsaMarie D’Silva is the cofounder and Managing Director of Red Dot Foundation (Safecity) which is a platform that documents sexual harassment and abuse in public spaces. She aims to make public spaces safer and equally accessible to all especially women and children. She is a fellow at Aspen New Voices and Vital Voices.

Harry Jackson

Harry R. Jackson, Jr. is senior pastor of Hope Christian Church, a 3,000-member congregation in the nation’s Capital with his wife Vivian Michele. Having earned an MBA from Harvard, Bishop Jackson approaches ministry from a unique perspective. Bishop Jackson is also the Presiding Bishop of the International Communion of Evangelical Churches. This network of networks currently oversees 1000+ churches around the world.

James Bernstein

Dr. Bernstein is the co-founder and CEO of Eniware, LLC, an innovative, for-profit healthcare company committed to reducing the global incidence of surgical and healthcare-associated infection by increasing the prevalence of medical instrument sterilization, particularly in resource-challenged healthcare settings. Dr. Bernstein has an extensive resume as a health sector entrepreneur with more than 35 years of experience leading ground-breaking enterprises in the U.S. and abroad.

James Siegal

James Siegal is President of KaBOOM!, the national non-profit that seeks to give children the childhood they deserve filled with play. Prior to KaBOOM!, James served as Chief of Staff for the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that supports citizen engagement to address community challenges through AmeriCorps, the Social Innovation Fund and other programs.

Jay Newton-Small

Jay Newton-Small is Washington correspondent for TIME. She writes about everything from Washington politics to foreign policy and national trends. She has covered stories on five continents for TIME from conflicts in the Middle East to the earthquake in Haiti to the Scottish independence movement and the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris. She has written half a dozen TIME cover stories and contributed to dozens of others.

Jessica Ladd

Jess Ladd is the Founder and CEO of Sexual Health Innovations (SHI), a non-profit dedicated to creating technology that advances sexual health and wellbeing in the United States. At SHI, she spearheaded the creation of the STD partner notification website So They Can Know, the STD test result delivery system Private Results, and the college sexual assault reporting system Callisto.

Jim Knight

Jonas Singer

Jonas Singer is a native of Chevy Chase, MD who is committed to advancing culture and economic opportunities throughout the Washington, D.C. region. As a Founder of Union Kitchen, Jonas works to build a food system that is profitable, just, and sustainable. Since Jonas and co-founder Cullen Gilchrist launched Union Kitchen in 2012, the business has worked with more than 150+ businesses.

José Andrés

Kathy Crosby

Kathleen Crosby is currently Director of the Office of Health Communication and Education at the Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The Office of Health Communication and Education at CTP is responsible for public education, stakeholder education, and information programs to assure success in all aspects of FDA’s implementation of the Tobacco Control Act.

Katie Bechtold

Katie Bechtold is a real-time spacecraft flight controller at Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory. Katie was part of NASA’s New Horizons mission and helped oversee the spacecraft’s 3 billion mile journey to Pluto, which recently captured the world’s attention. New Horizons will help us better understand Pluto’s composition, geology, atmosphere, and surface temperature. The probe will also check out Pluto’s largest moon, Charon.

Katie Meyler

Katie Meyler is the founder and CEO of More Than Me, an organization that started by working to get vulnerable girls off the streets and into school in Monrovia, Liberia and is now working to improve education across the country. Named a 2015 TIME Person of the Year for her fight on the front lines of the Ebola outbreak, Katie refuses to settle for the status quo. After Ebola, Katie realized young girls in Liberia will never have the security and opportunity they need and deserve until widespread, systematic change occurs across Liberia’s education system.

Kavita Shukla

Kavita is the Founder & CEO of Fenugreen, a social enterprise taking on the massive global challenge of food waste with a simple innovation, FreshPaper. Her incredible story of simple beginnings, belief, and empowerment has inspired entrepreneurs worldwide. Kavita holds four patents, and has received several international honors as an inventor, designer, and entrepreneur, including the INDEX: Design to Improve Life Award – the world’s largest prize for design. Her work has been featured by CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Bloomberg, Oprah Magazine, Glamour, and The Today Show. Kavita was also recently featured as one of the “7 Entrepreneurs Changing the World” by Fast Company and on the Forbes “30 under 30” list. She holds a BA from Harvard University.

Kristjan Kuurme

Kristjan Kuurme is a career diplomat currently serving as the consul and political affairs diplomat at the Embassy of Estonia in Washington, DC. In addition to representing the country dubbed “e-Estonia” for its digital prowess in all matters e-residency, he is responsible for relations with the US Congress and covering various US domestic and foreign policy matters.

Larry Lessig

Legal activist
Lawrence Lessig is the Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership at Harvard Law School, former director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University, and founder of Rootstrikers, a network of activists leading the fight against government corruption. He has authored numerous books, including Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupts Our Congress—and a Plan to Stop It, Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace, Free Culture, and Remix.

Leana Wen

Dr. Leana Wen is the Baltimore City Health Commissioner. An emergency physician and patient and community advocate, she leads the oldest health department in the United States, formed in 1793, with an annual budget of $130 million and over 1,000 employees. Dr. Wen has been a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford, a Clinical Fellow at Harvard, and a consultant with the World Health Organization and the Brookings Institution.

Lemond Brown

Lemond "IMAG" Brown continues to make Authentic Hip Hop Soul music that the whole family can enjoy. Born in Washington, D.C., IMAG is eclectic by nature, mainly the reason he is an Educator, producer, songwriter, and Engineer. Engaging in music has been a passion of IMAG for over 15 years, and has been a gift he has shared with people in many different places from South Africa to Australia. In 2012 he founded the Swaliga Foundation that continues to use creative outlets to steer at-risk youth toward future success.

Lisa Fitzpatrick

Dr. Lisa Fitzpatrick, MD, MPH, MPA is a CDC-trained medical epidemiologist and board-certified infectious diseases physician with both domestic and global experience in public health. Although her career has traversed clinical medicine, prevention research and program implementation in tuberculosis, HIV and STDs, she is most passionate about improving the nation’s health literacy and demystifying health information.

Makayla Gilliam-Price

She is the 2015 recipient of the Princeton Prize in Race Relations Certificate of Accomplishments and the Wired Up Community Hero Award for Outstanding Accomplishment in Youth Leadership. Makayla is a senior at Baltimore City College High School in Baltimore, Maryland.

Mark Warner

Senator Mark Warner of Virginia was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2008 and reelected to a second term last November. During his time in the Senate, Senator Warner has established himself as a bipartisan leader who has worked across the aisle to find commonsense solutions to jumpstart the economic recovery, cut red tape, increase government transparency, and promote private sector innovation and jobs.

Melvin Russell

Lt. Colonel Melvin T. Russell is Chief of the Community Partnership Division, Baltimore Police Department. Russell graduated from the BPD academy in 1981 as the first and only African American class valedictorian. Russell worked both as a uniform patrol and then an undercover officer for 20 years before re-emerging as an Eastern District Lieutenant in 2007. In this position, Russell turned the worst-performing midnight patrol shift in the city into the best-performing in 3 months and was promoted to Major of the Eastern District 11 months later.

Mina Patel

Mónica Palacio

Mónica Palacio has served as the Director of the District of Columbia Office of Human Rights (OHR), the District’s civil rights enforcement agency, since March 2014. Mónica brings twenty years of experience in civil rights, strengthening communities in crisis and capacity building for social justice organizations. She brings extensive experience advocating in partnership with under-represented and disenfranchised communities through issue-based coalitions, government and community partnerships, and social justice organizations at the local and national level.

Nina Martin

Nina Martin is founder of Public Health United, an organization dedicated to improving science & public health communication to the public via podcasts, articles and outreach. Through her podcast, she has discussed the difficulties of translating complex science into accessible concepts for the public with leaders in science and public health research.

Palak Shah

Palak Shah is the social innovations director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance. Palak leads NDWA’s experimental and market-based approaches to improve working conditions, services and employment opportunities for domestic workers. Palak was previously a member of Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s Administration, serving as a member of the governor’s budget team and then as the Commonwealth’s Deputy Director of Performance Management.

Samuel Kargbo

Dr. Samuel Kargbo is the director of Health Systems, Policy, Planning and Information in the in Ministry of Health & Sanitation of Sierra Leone. His present responsibility is to oversee the planning and monitoring the implementation of the post Ebola recovery strategy and building of a resilient health system. Dr. Kargbo has championed free health care in Sierra Leone, introduced policies and strategies to improve maternal and child health services and by extension, the citizenry of the country.

Shawn Domagal-Goldman

Shawn also works on the Curiosity mission, which is a rover driving around Mars looking for past habitable environments.

Sheldon Scott

Sheldon Scott, a native of Pawley’s Island, SC, began his career in Social Work as a Unit Director for the Boys & Girls Club of Horry County, SC. Upon moving to the Washington DC area, he joined a private practice, specializing in Mental Health, Substance Abuse and Sex-Offender treatment at Northern Virginia Counseling Group. After years as a practicing Psychotherapist, he began a creative life as a Storyteller in 2005. He has since performed four sold-out solo storytelling shows in the Capital Fringe Theatre Festival and various venues including Busboys & Poets, and the Hirshhorn Museum. Scott’s creative focus has now become his Fine Art practice. He has exhibited his works at (e)merge art fair, WPA Select Auction, Arlington Arts Center, Delaware State University and Art Miami.

Shirley Malcom

Dr. Malcom is a trustee of Caltech and a regent of Morgan State University, and a member of the SUNY Research Council. She is a leader in efforts to improve access of girls and women to education and careers in science and engineering.

Sonja Sohn

Thea Kano

Led by Artistic Director Thea Kano, the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC is now entering its 35th season with a mission that is dynamic and socially-relevant: The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington delights audiences and champions gay equality with robust artistry, fun and surprise. GMCW has more than 250 singing members, two select vocal ensembles and an annual audience of more than 10,000 people.

Vivian Graubard

Vivian Graubard is a founding member of U.S. Digital Service at the White House, where she focuses on immigration (DHS) and criminal justice (DOJ). She previously served as an Advisor to the United States Chief Technology Officer, Todd Park, within the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). She led OSTP’s Tech Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking, which focuses on leveraging technological innovation to help combat human trafficking and enable victims to connect to help and support.

Wendell Pierce

On the morning of August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina barreled into New Orleans, devastating many of the city's neighborhoods, including Pontchartrain Park, the home of Wendell Pierce's family and the first African American middle-class subdivision in New Orleans. Heartbroken but resilient, Pierce vowed to help rebuild, and not just his family's home, but all of Pontchartrain Park. Wendell is a native of New Orleans, and has worked to rebuild the neighborhood in which he was raised. He formed Ponchartrain Park Neighborhood Association, a non-profit corporation, to rebuild 350 affordable and environmentally friendly homes which will preserve the community character and help longtime residents come back to their neighborhood.

William LeoGrande

William M. LeoGrande is a professor of Government and former Dean of the American University School of Public Affairs. He is an expert on Latin America. Most recently, he is coauthor of Back Channel to Cuba: The Hidden History of Negotiations between Washington and Havana. Previously, he served on the staffs of the Democratic Policy Committee of the United States Senate.

Organizing team


Baltimore, MD, United States


Washington, DC, United States