x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Illuminate

This event occurred on
March 17, 2017
Nashville, Tennessee
United States

TEDxNashville 2017 is a two-day TEDx event on March 17th from 6:00pm-10:30pm and March 18th 1:00pm-5:30pm at Tennessee Performing Arts Center in downtown Nashville. For more information, visit

Tennessee Performing Arts Center
505 Deaderick St
Nashville, Tennessee, 37219
United States
Event type:
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Simplicity; that is the key, and also; honesty. If you take those two things and merge them together something very profound and beautiful is what will result. The music of, Albatross, (30 year old Adam Stockdale) focuses around this idea. In a world full of people trying their hardest to outdo each other in whatever way fashion dictates in that week, Albatross’, heartfelt and often philosophical songs offer some well needed relief. The masterly crafted tunes cut straight to the heart with lyrical themes rushing from love and life, but with added poignancy being brought to the table by the optimistic and inspiring message throughout. 2016 saw Adam play a number of shows, including Music City Roots, and become a regular on the airwaves of Nashville's own Lightning 100. The record features Scott Avett, Jerry Douglas and Charlie McCoy, plus Mike Marsh and Paul Defiglia of the Avett Bros. on Drums and Bass and Kai Welch again on Keys. The record should be out late 2017.


A trio with musical influences that extend far beyond their hometown of Nashville, BASECAMP came to fruition when the three producers joined forces. Deconstructing typical genre boundaries by utilizing haunting melodies, intensified by thumping bass lines and heavily percussive drums, they layer tempo changes with elements of subtle glitch and organic strings. Releasing their self-titled debut EP in 2013, tracks like ‘Emmanuel’ and ‘Smoke Filled Lungs' instantly stole the attention of audiences and fellow artists through the EP’s combination of seductive vocals and R&B timbre. After touring America with Chvrches and Phantogram, selling out headline shows in USA, Canada, and Europe, the band signed to Skrillex’s boutique record label, OWSLA to release their anticipated follow-up, ‘Greater Than.’ Now, the stage has again been set for the return of BASECAMP - in the form of their forthcoming six song ‘In Stone’ EP.

Chaos Emeralds

Chaos Emeralds is R&B-drenched electronic pop for love + parties. Born from a mutual affinity for soaring melodies and woozy synthesizers, Nashville’s Daniel Ellsworth (of Daniel Ellsworth and the Great Lakes) and Kyle Andrews combine soulful falsetto, rich production, and often heart-wrenching lyrics in this new collaboration.


Harpist and Songwriter
Recently featured on Jack White’s album, “Lazaretto”, Nashville based harpist and songwriter Timbre has been enchanting audiences throughout the US and Europe in growing numbers with her unique brand of harp-fronted chamber-folk. She has recorded and collaborated with rock legends Jack White, Tom Jones, Ricky Skaggs, and rock bands such as mewithoutYou, O’Brother, Brooke Waggoner, and The Chariot. Hailed by as “a gorgeous tapestry of audible poetry”, Timbre’s newest album Sun & Moon paints vividly with the light, the joy, the passion of modern music, and the darkness, depth, and richness of classical music, and shows that together, they can communicate beauty in greater depths than either can alone.

Transit Dance Company

Dance Collective
Transit Dance Company is a new contemporary dance collective founded by Artistic Director and Choreographer, Lindsay Fine Smith in East Nashville. Transit Dance Company explores the effects of music through movement by performing with musical artists from all different genres of music. Transit Dance Company will be performing again at the TPAC May 7th, 2017 and will be premiering a larger body of work in the months to come. The dancers performing tonight are Sophie Kowaleski, Carly Wood, Alexa Curico, Rachel Ladner and Natalie Wood. To learn more about upcoming performances, classes and scheduling please visit and follow them on Instagram @transitdanceco.

Ann Powers

NPR Music, critic and correspondent
Ann Powers is NPR Music’s critic and correspondent. She writes for NPR’s music news blog, The Record, and she can be heard on NPR’s newsmagazines and music programs.Powers served as chief pop music critic at the Los Angeles Times from 2006 until she joined NPR. Prior to the Los Angeles Times, she was senior critic at Blender and senior curator at Experience Music Project. From '97-'01 Powers was a pop critic at The New York Times and before that was a senior editor at the Village Voice. Powers began her career working as an editor and columnist at San Francisco Weekly.Powers co-wrote Tori Amos: Piece By Piece, with Amos, published in 2005. In 1999, Power’s book Weird Like Us: My Bohemian America was published. was published. She was the editor, with Evelyn McDonnell, of the 1995 book Rock She Wrote: Women Write About Rock, Rap, and Pop and the editor of Best Music Writing 2010.

Bobby Bones

National Syndicated On-air personality, Bestselling author, stand up comedian
Bobby Bones, dubbed by New York Times as “the biggest thing in country radio,” recently announced that he will take his FUNNY & ALONE STAND UP COMEDY TOUR nationwide in 2017. The host of iHeartMedia’s The Bobby Bones Show, reaching millions  of listeners on nearly 100 stations, Bones’ stand-up show combines his love for country music and comedy in his distinct humorous patter, while regaling stories from growing up in rural Arkansas, to hosting the biggest show in country radio. Heralded by Rolling Stone as “if not a king of all media, then at least a prince,” Bones’ profile catapulted this year with the release of BARES BONES: I’M NOT LONELY IF YOU’RE READING THIS BOOK (Dey Street Books). The release spent 4 weeks on New York Times Bestsellers List, following an overwhelming debut that saw the memoir claim the No. One spot on multiple lists including USA Today and Wall Street Journal. Bones was recently honored by ASCAP with the “Partners In Music” Award.

David Owens

Professor, Practice of Management and Innovation, Vanderbilt
Professor Owens serves on the faculty at Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management in the area of management, where he also directs the Executive Development Institute. Specializing in innovation and new product development, he is known as a dynamic speaker and is the recipient of numerous teaching awards. He provides consulting services for a wide range of clients around the world, and his work has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, London Guardian and San Jose Mercury News, as well as on NPR’s Marketplace. Owens has consulted for NASA, The Smithsonian, Nissan LEAF, Gibson Music, American Conservatory Theater, Alcatel, Tetra Pak, Tennessee Valley Authority, Cisco, LEGO, The Henry Ford Museum and many other organizations. He has done product design work for well-known firms including Daimler Benz, Apple Computer, Dell Computer, Coleman Camping, Corning World Kitchen, Steelcase and IDEO Product Development.

Dr. David Vago

Research Director, Osher Center for Integrative Medicine
A Cognitive Neuroscientist by training, David Vago has close to 20 years of experience with mindfulness practice and teaching, and over a decade conducting translational neuroimaging, cognitive, and clinical research on the basic mechanisms and therapeutic relevance of mindfulness and associated meditation/contemplative practices. Through his research, Dr. Vago focuses on one basic question – “What are the basic neurobiological and physiological components that constitute adaptive mind-brain-body interactions and their therapeutic relevance in psychiatric settings?” In addition to being an expert in the emerging field of contemplative neuroscience, David has studied the neural mechanisms of neuropsychiatric disease and chronic pain using fMRI and is translating these findings into biologically-based diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for alleviating suffering. He is the research director at the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and a research associate in the Functional Neuroimaging Laboratory, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School.

Dr. David Wright

Vanderbilt Director of LIGHT – Laboratories for Innovation in Global Health Technologies
David Wright studies innovative ways to meet the diagnostic healthcare needs of the 4 billion people living at the bottom of the healthcare pyramid. His lab develops new diagnostic approaches for diseases such as malaria, schistosomiasis, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS. His approach uses everyday objects and phenomena as the inspiration for these new low-resource diagnostics. While almost any device can work in a lab, the greatest challenge is in the real world, which is why his researchers at the Laboratories for Innovation in Global Health Technologies (LIGHT) test their devices in the field around the world. He is the Stevenson Professor of Chemistry and the Dean of Natural Sciences at Vanderbilt University. He obtained his PhD in Inorganic Chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Dr. James Crowe, Jr.

Professor of Pediatrics, Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology at Vanderbilt University
Dr. Crowe is Professor of Pediatrics, Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology at Vanderbilt University, and the Ann Scott Carell Chair and Director of the Vanderbilt Vaccine Center. His laboratory studies the molecular, genetic and structural basis of human immune responses to virus infection or vaccination. His group is working on new methods in computational immunology for rational design of vaccines and antibodies.For instance, Crowe and his team are spearheading the Human Immunome Project, an ambitious effort to identify the sequence of all transcripts for adaptive immune receptors on the planet.He is an elected member of the National Academy of Medicine and has been the recipient of a number of major investigator awards for research.

Dr. Jerome Burt

Heritage Medical Associates psychologist
For more than a decade, Dr. Jerome Burt, a Heritage Medical Associates psychologist, has used his clinical expertise to assist hundreds of individuals struggling with mood and anxiety disorders as well as relational struggles. He routinely assists his physician colleagues in planning and managing the care of their patients, particularly those with chronic illness. Dr. Burt also works as a consultant with a prominent Nashville mediation firm advising couples going through the collaborative divorce process. He also provides performance and executive coaching for clients such as Cisco Systems and Hitachi Data Systems. He is a firm believer in giving back to the community and recently started a middle school mentoring program with a goal of helping young African American males reach their potential.

Dr. Julie Adams

Vanderbilt Professor, Computer Science and Computer Engineering
Dr. Julie A. Adams joined the faculty of the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department at Vanderbilt University in August 2003, founding the Human-Machine Teaming Laboratory at that time. Prior to joining Vanderbilt, Dr. Adams was an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). Before returning to academia, she worked in Human Factors for Honeywell, Inc. and the Eastman Kodak Company from 1995 to 2000. Dr. Adams was also an Adjunct Professor in the Computer Science Department at the University of Rochester from 1999 until she joined RIT. Dr. Adams has published over 120 publications in the areas of multiple robot coalition formation, human-robot interaction, human-computer interaction, and complex human-machine systems. She has received the NSF Career Award and was a member of the DARPA Computer Science Study Panel. She is an associate editor for the IEEE Transactions on Human-Machine Systems, a senior editor of the Journal of Intell

Dr. Natalie Hinkel

Planetary Astrophysicist
Dr. Natalie Hinkel is a researcher at Vanderbilt University, studying the composition of nearby stars and how that may affect the make-up of planets orbiting those stars. She got her bachelor’s degree in physics and math at Oberlin College. Her work has brought to light a number of important (and technical) truths within the field, which she has sought to explain by leading multiple international collaborations. Natalie also observes planets that are outside of the solar system, or exo-planets, by using the Cerro Tololo Interamerican Telescope in Chile. She has studied exotic systems where planets. Her PhD is in Astrophysics from the School of Earth and Space Exploration, which combines the fields of geology, planetary science, and astronomy, at Arizona State University. Natalie has put together the largest catalog of element abundances measured in stars near to the Sun, called the Hypatia Catalog; it contains +65 elements in over 6000 stars:

Dr. Steven Schlozman

Harvard Medical School, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital
Dr. Steve Schlozman is an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and a psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital. He majored in English and biology at Stanford University, and after teaching high school English and science, attended Dartmouth and Brown University Medical Schools. Schlozman has authored more than 40 academic publications. He has helped design video games that teach adolescents about neurobiology and has collaborated at Kings College, London to assess attitudes regarding psychiatry among medical educators and curricula. He teaches the subject at Harvard and is the author of, “The Zombie Autopsies.” Additionally, Schloman blogs for The Huffington Post and Psychology Today, and has written articles for The New York Times Sunday Magazine, Psychology Today, The Southwest Airlines Magazine,,,, Newsweek and The Guardian.

Éva Boros

Co-founder of Nashville Walls Project, and an Executive Producer of "Saving Banksy"
Éva Boros is the Co-founder of Nashville Walls Project, and an Executive Producer of Saving Banksy. Born in Schorndorf, Germany, in 1988, Boros grew up in Hungary after the withdrawal of Soviet Occupation in 1991. At age 11, she emigrated to the United States. Although the transition from a post-communist culture to the hyper-capitalist U.S. proved difficult, witnessing graffiti was a primary point of similarity among the various cities and countries she frequented during her adolescence. As a result, she became fascinated by the subculture and visuals surrounding the art form. She has since written and produced Saving Banksy, a documentary about the theft and appropriation of street art and graffiti.She is also Co-Founder of Nashville Walls Project, which aims to bring street art by both international and local artists to public spaces.

Joe Robinson

Joe Robinson is considered gifted as a virtuoso guitarist and singer/songwriter. Robinson started playing guitar at age nine and after outpacing his guitar instructor began educating himself via the Internet. At 13 years old, he won the Australian National Songwriting Competition and was soon sharing stages with artists like Tommy and Phil Emmanuel, releasing his first album at age 15. When 16-year-old Robinson burned through a Chet Atkins-inflected medley of “Day Tripper” and “Lady Madonna” at the opening round of the 2008 Australia’s Got Talent television series competition, the entire house gave him a standing ovation. He went on to win $250k with his take on Tommy Emmanuel’s arrangement of “Classical Gas.” Robinson relocated to Nashville and was awarded the title of “Senior Grand Champion Performer of the World” at the World Championships of Performing Arts in Hollywood. That year he also performed at Bonnaroo, and was voted “Best New Talent” in the Guitar Player Readers’ Poll.

Judge Sheila D.J. Calloway

Juvenile Court Judge
Sheila Calloway, a native of Louisville, KY, came to Nashville, Tennessee in 1987 to attend Vanderbilt University. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications in 1991 and her Doctor of Jurisprudence in 1994 both from Vanderbilt University. After graduating from law school, Sheila Calloway worked at the Metropolitan Public Defender’s Office in both the adult system as well as the juvenile system. In January 2004, she was appointed by Judge Betty Adams Green to the position of Juvenile Court Magistrate and served in that position until November 2013, when she announced her intention to run for the position of Juvenile Court Judge. She was elected Juvenile Court Judge in August 2014. She serves as an Adjunct Professor at Vanderbilt University where she teaches both in the Undergraduate and Law Schools.

Ken Paulson

President of the Newseum Institute’s First Amendment Center, Dean of the College of Media and Entertainment at MTSU, USA Today columnist and former editor-in-chief
Ken Paulson, BJ ’75, became president of the First Amendment Center in August 2010 and dean of the College of Mass Communication at Middle Tennessee State University on Aug. 1, 2013. After receiving his law degree from the University of Illinois College of Law, Paulson returned to journalism, first on the staff of the Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press and subsequently on the founding team of USA TODAY in 1982. A pioneer in online newspaper content, Paulson launched online newspaper editions in Florida and New York in 1993. As both a lawyer and a journalist, Paulson takes great pride in the First Amendment. In 1998, while working at the First Amendment Center, he created the multimedia show “Freedom Sings” to celebrate the First Amendment and educate citizens of its importance. He returned to USA TODAY as editor in 2004, and served in this capacity until being named president of the Newseum and later, president of the First Amendment Center.

Kira Pollack

Director of Photography and Visual Enterprise at TIME
Kira Pollack is the Director of Photography and Visual Enterprise at TIME. In October 2011, she was named the photo editor of the year at the Lucie Awards. Since Pollack joined TIME in October 2009, the brand’s photography has been recognized with many prestigious awards including the World Press photo of the Year, and the Visa D’Or award at Visa Pour l’Image. Pollack spearheaded TIME’s Beyond 9/11 project, which was awarded an Emmy in October of 2012. In March 2011, she established TIME’s photography site LightBox, and in August, 2013, she established TIME's new documentary film unit, Red Border Films. Previously, Pollack was the Deputy photo editor at The New York Times Magazine.

Kris Allen

Winner of American Idol Season 8
On New Year’s Day in 2013, Kris Allen and his then-­pregnant wife Katy were in a head-­on collision that left the singer/songwriter/guitarist with a career-­threatening shattered wrist. In the 2 years that followed, he underwent three surgeries, relearned how to play guitar (despite regaining just 30% movement in his wrist), recorded his third album, and toured relentlessly—including a 2-­month-­long stint that started just one week after his accident. The American Idol Season 8 winner ultimately immersed himself in a songwriting spell that yielded more than 70 new tracks. Allen’s fourth full-­length album "Letting You In" finds the Nashville-based artist delivering his most intimate and dynamic work to date. "Letting You In" builds off the soulful musicality Allen first showcased with his platinum-­selling 2009 single “Live Like We’re Dying.”

Kyshona Armstrong

Music Therapist, Songwriter, Musician
Kyshona Armstrong, a music therapist gone rogue, has a natural gift for using music to tap into emotion. Audiences will often find a common thread of overcoming, hope, and empowerment in her songwriting and storytelling. She uses her emotional intelligence to create her unique bluesy and soulful style of music. Her latest album, "The Ride", shows off vocal stylings that are reminiscent of Aretha Franklin, Etta James and Al Green. As she has traveled across the country the last 7 years, Kyshona has had the privilege of sharing the stage with Wynonna Judd, Lake Street Dive, Meiko, Margo Price, Lera Lynn, Hope For A Golden Summer, Angel Snow, Randall Bramblett, Dwayne Shivers, Anthony David, Cracker, and many more. She currently resides in Nashville, TN where she is writing, performing and donating her time to youth empowerment programs in her community and performing for the incarcerated.

Lisha Lercari

Director, Music and the Brain
Lisha Lercari has been a teacher of music for more than 30 years and a lover of music for much longer—for nearly 20 of those years she’s lead her non-profit Music and the Brain (MATB). Inspired by neurological research linking music and cognitive development, MATB is the experience of what studies are telling us; when children receive sequential music instruction, it can impact their proficiency in language, reading, math and cognition. Nearly 300 schools across the world use the easy-to-teach curriculum to help children (and adults) understand and appreciate the language of music as well as read music and play the piano. Lercari designed all the materials, wrote the piano books and teacher’s manuals, and produced/directed the CD recordings and videos. (See Lisha lives in New York City with her husband and daughter (who is 5th generation NYC). She holds a bachelor’s degree in music theory and a master’s degree in music education from the Manhattan School of Music. She also studied music in Paris with Nadia Boulanger.

Maneet Chauhan

Executive chef, Restaurateur, Food Network personality
Chef Maneet Chauhan is the executive chef and co-owner of Chauhan Ale & Masala House and co-owner of Mantra Artisan Ales in Nashville, TN. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Chef Chauhan worked in some of the finest hotels in India before the start of her professional career in America. Chef Chauhan is most recently known for her work on Food Network’s “Chopped” where she sits on the permanent panel of judges and is a James Beard Award for Excellence recipient. She wrote a cookbook, "Flavors of My World." Heavily lauded by print and broadcast media in the United States and abroad, Chef Chauhan has been featured in publications such as "Bon Appétit," "Food & Wine," "New York Times," "USA Today," and more. Her television appearances include “TODAY,” “The View”, “CBS This Morning,” “Iron Chef” and “Next Iron Chef.” Locally, Chef Chauhan was the 2016 Event Chair for March of Dimes Signature Chef Auction and selected as one of The Nashville Business Journal’s 40 under 40 list.

Michael Puett

Walter C. Klein Professor of Chinese History, Harvard
One of the most popular courses at Harvard University, Classical Chinese Ethical and Political Theory, is taught by Michael Puett, an award-winning Harvard professor and internationally renowned scholar. Learn about the unexpected popularity of Puett's course in "The Atlantic" article, "Why Are Hundreds of Harvard Students Studying Ancient Chinese Philosophy?"( Puett is also the co-author of the "New York Times" bestseller “The Path: What Chinese Philosophy Can Teach Us About the Good Life.” In addition, Puett is the Walter C. Klein Professor of Chinese History in Harvard University’s Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, as well as the Chair of the Committee on the Study of Religion. For his work in these departments, Puett is the proud recipient of a Harvard College Professorship for excellence in undergraduate teaching. Puett is also the author of “The Ambivalence of Creation: Debates Concerning Innovation and Artifice in Early China” and “To Become a God: Cosmology, Sacrifice, and Self-Divinization in Early China,” as well as the co-author of “Ritual and its Consequences: An Essay on the Limits of Sincerity."

Miles Adcox

Onsite, Owner and CEO
Miles Adcox is the Owner and CEO of Onsite, an internationally known therapeutic and personal growth workshop center which has been featured on Good Morning America, 20/20, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. He is the founder of Milestones Recovery Center and Inspire Publishing. He co-hosted FOX’s The Daily Helpline, is a regular guest expert on The Dr. Phil Show and has been on the The Doctors and A&E’s Intervention. In the past year, Miles has been a featured speaker and facilitator at various events including The Storyline Conference, Random House & O-The Oprah Magazine’s Rising Strong Day with Dr. Brene Brown and Catalyst among many others. Miles is a communication and mental health advisor to the entertainment industry providing coaching, consulting and other services for those in need. He is co-founder, executive producer and host of Inspire Nashville. He is an advisory board member for Musicians on Call, Possibilities Inc, Dream 514 and C4 Recovery Solutions.

Rodney Crowell

#1 songwriter, Grammy Winner, Americana Award Winner
Rodney Crowell has been doing this for a while. There’s the record-making, which dates back to 1978 with "Ain’t Living Long Like This,", peaked commercially a decade later with "Diamonds & Dirt," which yielded five No. 1 country hits, and has only grown in sophistication and power in recent years. His fiercely lyrical and personal songwriting has attracted the attention of everyone from Bob Seger, who famously covered "Shame On the Moon," to Keith Urban who had a No. 1 hit with "Making Memories of Us." His autobiographical writing extends beyond music to a memoir, "Chinaberry Sidewalks," published in 2011. Now there’s a new album, "Close Ties," on which Crowell both demonstrates his strengths as a songwriter and illustrates how he has learned to balance personal recollection, literary sophistication, and his profound musical reach. "It Ain’t Over Yet," a collaboration with his ex-wife Rosanne Cash, and John Paul White, addresses how the passage of time can burnish love.

Shaka Mitchell

Regional Director (Tennessee) at Rocketship Education
As Rocketship Education’s Regional Director for the state of Tennessee, Shaka Mitchell is responsible for the planning, growth, and success of Rocketship’s network of elementary, public charter schools throughout the state. Shaka began his career in education at the D.C.-based Center for Education reform. He then led outreach efforts at the Institute for Justice, a constitutional law firm based in Arlington, VA. Prior to joining Rocketship, Shaka was the Director of External Affairs for LEAD Public Schools, a network of public charter schools founded in Nashville, TN. He is an alumnus of Belmont University where he teaches American Government and Constitutional Law as an adjunct faculty member. He earned his J.D. from the Wake Forest University where he sits on the Board of Advisors for the Journal of Law and Policy. Shaka is a member of the Tennessee State Advisory Committee to the U.S.Commission on Civil Rights.

Thomas Eastham

U.S. Space Shuttle program, NASA, Kennedy Space Center
Tom Eastham spent 32 years working for the U.S. Space Shuttle program at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, and is part of a small group that worked the entire duration of the shuttle program’s 135 missions, STS-1 to STS-135, including the first test vehicle OV-101 Enterprise, in 1979. He is one of a handful to have witnessed every launch, including milestones that include the Hubble Telescope and the International Space Station (ISS) missions, as well as both the Challenger and Columbia disasters. Working in a wide variety of roles that range from Launch Control Centers data analysis, safety and environmental areas, to the space shuttle processing procedures, he provides a unique perspective on the achievements of the Shuttle Program as well as the importance of one of NASA’s mandates, “to go where no one has gone."Recently retired, Tom volunteers his time as a Docent for NASA and the Shuttle Atlantis.

Organizing team


Nashville, TN, United States


Nashville, TN, United States
  • Jay Horne