x = independently organized TED event


This event occurred on
March 16, 2018
Nashville, Tennessee
United States

Join us March 16th and March 17th, 2018 for riveting, mind-expanding talks, enchanting musical performances, and an overall thought-provoking experience that will spark your imagination and leave you feeling empowered and inspired.

Tennessee Performing Arts Center
505 Deaderick St
Nashville, Tennessee, 37219
United States
Event type:
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Amy Stroup

Independent artist Amy Stroup has songs featured on 30+ TV shows (This Is US, Parenthood, Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, Vampire Diaries, Walking Dead, One Tree Hill, Pretty Little Liars) and National TV ads for Calvin Klein, New Balance, Lexus & more. Amy has released 3 digital EPs and one nationally distributed full-length solo recorded entitled Tunnel. She is the newest member of the TEN OUT OF TENN tour. With Mary Hooper, Amy co-wrote a single called "This Is My Time” featured on NBC’s This is Us. Trent Dabbs and Stroup released Sugar & The Hi-Lows, which Billboard magazine called 'Sweet Stuff.' USA Today said,'The only thing better than the bluesy, garage-rock guitars is Trent Dabbs and Amy Stroup's vocal chemistry.' Marie Claire magazine stated, 'This Nashville duo’s sultry garage rock comes in like a lion, thanks to fuzzy guitars and Amy Stroup’s salted-caramel voice.' She has shared this stage with Chris Stapleton, Kings of Leon, Kacey Musgraves, Ingrid Michaelson and more.

Anca Pop

Anca Pop is a serial entrepreneur with success in tech, fintech, and healthcare. Leveraging extensive experience with product design, and automating manual processes through technology, Anca is a valuable asset for companies seeking guidance on blockchain and the use of crypto-currency. Anca is involved with several businesses as an advisor and partner — Adela Investment, a crypto-currency hedge fund based out of Nashville TN; CEO and Founder of Striker Advisory, an information security consultancy. She also owns Luxurious Clean and Sharon Michie which are companies that support other women in their entrepreneurial venture from a cleaning company to custom fashion design. Anca holds an M.B.A. from Owen Graduate School of Management, Vanderbilt University; a B.B.A. in Computer Information Systems from Eastern Michigan University; an A.D in Computer Science and Math from Washtenaw Community College; an A.D. in Telecommunications and Electrical Engineering from Technical University of Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

David Haase, MD

Chief Medical and Innovation Director for XYMOGEN, Founder and CEO of MaxWell Clinic, Co- founder of MDOmics
David Haase, MD received his medical training at Vanderbilt University and completed residency at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He is board certified in Family Medicine and Integrative Holistic Medicine, and is a leader in the field of Personalized Systems Medicine. He teaches nationally and internationally on a wide variety of topics including genomics, metabolomics, neurotherapy, systems medicine, nutritional therapies and mitochondrial function. Dr. Haase is the founder of the MaxWell Clinic, with offices in Nashville and Clarksville, Tennessee. He serves as Chief Medical Officer, board of directors for MaxWell Biosciences. MaxWell Biosciences has developed a new patent-pending Alzheimer’s treatment - Heterochronic Optimized Plasma Exchange (HOPE)” TM. As published in Nature, heterochronic plasma exchange has been shown to increase stem cell activation rates and to regenerate multiple tissues in mammals.

David Haskell

Professor at the University of the South; Award-winning Author
David Haskell’s work integrates scientific, literary, and contemplative studies of nature. His first book, "The Forest Unseen," was a finalist for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in nonfiction and received numerous honors including the National Academies’ Best Book Award. Haskell’s latest book, "The Songs of Trees," examines biological networks through the lives of a dozen trees around the world. The book was the winner of the 2018 John Burroughs Medal, named one of the Best Science Books of 2017 by NPR’s Science Friday, among other honors. Haskell is a Guggenheim Fellow and a Professor at the University of the South in Sewanee, TN, where his classes have received national attention for combining action in the community with contemplative practice. Website: Twitter: @DGHaskell Facebook: Instagram:

David Ikard

Professor of African American & Diaspora Studies at Vanderbilt University, Award-winning Author
David Ikard is a Professor of African American and Diaspora Studies at Vanderbilt University. His research and teaching interests include African American Literature, black feminist criticism, hip-hop culture, black masculinity and whiteness studies. He is the author/co-author of four books, including "Breaking The Silence: Toward a Black Male Feminist Criticism" (2007), "Nation of Cowards: Black Activism in Barack Obama's Post-Racial America" (2012; co-authored with Martell Teasley and winner of the 2013 Best Scholarly Book Award by DISA), "Blinded by the Whites: Why Race Still Matters in 21st-Century America" (2013), and "Lovable Racists, Magical Negroes, and White Messiahs" (2017). His essays have appeared in African American Review, MELUS , Palimpsest, African and Black Diaspora Journal, The Journal of Black Studies, and Obsidian III.

Dr. Robert Talisse

Democratic Theorist, Philosopher, Philosophy Department Chair and Professor at Vanderbilt University, Author
Dr. Robert B. Talisse is a political philosopher based in Nashville, TN. He earned his PhD in Philosophy at the City University of New York, and currently is W. Alton Jones Professor of Philosophy, Professor of Political Science, and Chairperson of the Philosophy Department at Vanderbilt University. Author of over 100 scholarly articles and dozens of books, Talisse specializes in philosophical questions concerning democracy. Specifically, he writes about the problem of sustaining a civil democratic order among citizens who are divided over fundamental moral commitments. This is the topic of his 2009 book, "Democracy and Moral Conflict," and his co-authored work, "Why We Argue (And How We Should)." He has lectured at universities around the world, including Oxford University, The Collège de France, The University of Copenhagen, and Princeton University, among many others. In addition, Talisse hosts two popular podcasts. He is currently writing the book "Putting Politics in its Place."

Gigi Butler

Founder, Gigi’s Cupcakes
Gigi Butler opened the first location of Gigi’s Cupcakes in Nashville, TN in 2008. Just a few short years later, Gigi’s Cupcakes was already generating an estimated $43 million in sales and had become a national phenomenon. Today, there are over 100 locations of Gigi’s cupcakes in 23 states. Gigi is also the author of the popular business book, “The Secret Ingredient: Recipes for Success in Business and Life.” Follow Gigi Butler on Instagram: @officialgigibutler Like Gigi Butler on Facebook: @gigibutler Learn more at

Gitanjali Rao

America’s Top Young Scientist of 2017
Gitanjali Rao is 12 years old and was named America’s Top Young Scientist of 2017 by the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge with a device to detect lead in water faster than any other current techniques. She has received scholarships and awards for achievements in science, arts and community service. She is an active STEM promoter, promoting STEM-based activities in schools, clubs and the community. She was selected as the STEM Scout of the Year and was selected as one of the 12 delegates to Report to the Nation. Gitanjali has won awards for her writing in national and international contests. She published her first book at age of 9, called, “­Baby Brother Wonders.” She is a “TIME for Kids” kid reporter for the current school year and writes articles for the magazine. Gitanjali has been an active volunteer for an organization called Children’s Kindness Network that spreads an anti-bullying message and promotes the importance of kindness.

Juanito Pascual

Innovative Flamenco Guitarist/Composer
Flamenco guitarist and composer Juanito Pascual has been called "one of the hottest flamenco guitarists in recent years" by National Public Radio. A graduate of Boston's New England Conservatory along with years spent learning in Spain, he is now based in L.A. His frequent national and international tours have brought him to venues including Lincoln Center, Tanglewood, The Panama Jazz Festival, and Madrid's Casa Patas. He has been featured on film and TV soundtracks including the 2016 film "Call Me Francesco" and his 2014 release "Juanito Pascual New Flamenco Trio", blending elements of jazz, rock and flamenco was included in NPR critic Milo Miles' Top 10 World Music Albums for that year.

Martha Ivester

City Manager for Google Fiber
Martha Ivester is the City Manager for Google Fiber in Nashville where she oversees Fiber’s day-to-day business operations and leads the local team on community affairs, business outreach, and customer acquisition and retention. Prior to joining Google in 2015, Martha was an executive at Creative Artists Agency (CAA). Prior to CAA, Ivester worked as Global Olympics Brand Director at Nike. She also previously headed Microsoft's marketing in Greater China, where she created and launched one of the company's first customer loyalty programs and accompanied Bill Gates on his first visit to China. Ivester began her career on Hewlett Packard's communications team and has also worked as brand consultant to United Airlines, IBM and STAR TV. She serves on boards for Nashville Entrepreneur Center, The Nashville Public Library Foundation, Communities in Schools of Tennessee, Tennessee Performing Arts Center, and Nashville Ballet, and is Board Chair of the Tennessee Entertainment Commission.

Mary Gauthier

Award-winning Songwriter & Musician
Mary Gauthier is a troubadour who has released 10 studio albums. Her most recent release, Rifles & Rosary Beads, is a collection of songs co-written with wounded veterans through the Songwriting:WithSoldiers program. Mary’s awards include: (2018) Nomination for the Record of the Year Americana Music Association, (2018) Inspiration Award for Rifles& Rosary Beads, Lafayette Film Festival, (2015) Nominated for GLADD Outstanding Music Artist of the Year at 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards, (2014) Trouble and Love, Named One of Best 40 Country Albums of 2014 by Rolling Stone Magazine, (2014) "Mercy Now” Named One of Saddest 40 Country Songs of All Time by Rolling Stone Magazine, (2010) The Foundling named No. 3 Record of the Year by LA Times, (2005) Mercy Now on Top 10 List in New York Times, LA Times, The Daily News, Billboard Magazine, (2005) Awarded “New Artist of the Year” by The Americana Music Association, (2005) Mercy Now voted the No. 6 Record of the Decade by No Depression Magazine

Michael Brody-Waite

CEO at Nashville Entrepreneur Center, Co-founder of InQuicker, Founder of Leader Confidential
Connect with Michael at In 2010, Michael left a Fortune 50 company at the height of the recession to co-found and lead InQuicker, a healthcare SaaS company that allows patients to self-schedule appointments. His leadership grew the organization from 2 employees to 50 employees and 20,000% revenue growth in less than 6 years. This exceptional growth landed InQuicker a spot on the Inc. 500 list of Fastest Growing Private Companies. Additionally, InQuicker was named “Best Place To Work” by the Nashville Business Journal 4 times and recognized by the Nashville Chamber of Commerce as Healthcare company of the year. Brody-Waite’s accomplishments include being named Most Admired CEO, Top 40 under 40 by the Nashville Business Journal and recognized by the Nashville Chamber of Commerce as Healthcare Entrepreneur of the Year. Today, Michael is CEO of the Nashville Entrepreneur Center (EC) and Founder of Leader Confidential (LC).

Paris Goodyear-Brown, MSSW, LCSW, RPTS

Founder and Director of Nurture House, Play Therapist, Trauma Expert
Paris Goodyear-Brown, LCSW, RPT-S, is a child trauma expert and a professional player with 23 years of experience in helping traumatized children and their families heal. She is the founder and Clinical Director of Nurture House, serves the Association for Play Therapy in several roles, is a sought-after international speaker and a prolific author. With specialties areas in sexual abuse, maltreatment, and attachment repair, her trauma model is best explained in her books "Play Therapy with Traumatized Children: A Prescriptive Approach," "Tackling Touchy Subjects," and her newest book "Taming the Trauma with Children and Families" (in press). Her hope for hurt children is best communicated in her children’s book A Safe Circle for Little U. Paris lives in Franklin, Tennessee with her husband and three children, and to balance the weight of holding the hard stories of those in her care she likes to drive her yellow jeep with the doors off whenever the weather allows.

Paul Cardall

Award-winning Piano Artist
Paul Cardall is a Steinway & Sons sponsored pianist with more than 1.5 billion streams on his beautiful, healing music. He debuted #1 on the Billboard New Age Chart, #2 on Billboard’s Classical Album Chart, as well as #1 on Amazon and iTunes, all while averaging 25 million listeners a month on Pandora. He performs his music as a soloist and alongside orchestras and choirs in sold-out venues throughout the United States, London, Slovenia, and Croatia. Additionally, Paul founded Stone Angel Music in 1999: an independent, award-winning record label and premiere recording studio. Born with Congenital Heart Disease, he received a heart transplant in 2009, then established an endowment at Salt Lake Community College to award scholarships for students affected by congenital heart disease. In 2011, Utah State Board of Regents awarded Paul an honorary doctorate for his community service. He is also a former executive board member of the Saving Tiny Hearts Society.

Seth Stephens-Davidowitz

Data Scientist; Author of "Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are"
Seth Stephens-Davidowitz is a New York Times op-ed contributor, a former Google data scientist, and the author of "Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are." He received a BA in philosophy from Stanford, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa, and a PhD in economics from Harvard.

Southern Word

Spoken Word Artists, Youth
These poetry performances are part of an intentional educational strategy to help young people represent themselves, build communication skills, and process the challenges in their lives. Through school and community programs in 8 Tennessee counties, Southern Word serves more than 7,500 youth a year who all have the potential to write and speak with powerful voices.

Striking Matches

Striking Matches is an American duo consisting of guitarists/songwriters Sarah Zimmermann and Justin Davis.
Striking Matches is a Nashville-based duo, featuring Sarah Zimmermann and Justin Davis, both on lead guitars and vocals.

Susannah Meadows

Author of “The Other Side of Impossible: Ordinary People Who Faced Daunting Medical Challenges and Refused to Give Up” and Contributor to The New York Times
Susannah Meadows is the author of "The Other Side of Impossible: Ordinary People Who Faced Daunting Medical Challenges and Refused to Give Up." It tells the stories of unlikely recoveries and the science behind them and was featured on Good Morning America, Fox & Friends, and NPR, as well as in Oprah Magazine and The New York Times. The Times’ Jane Brody said the “compelling stories left me in awe,” and Buzzfeed said it was “really moving and inspiring.” Curtis Sittenfeld wrote: “An amazing book—insightful, compassionate, and quite possibly life-changing.” Meadows is a former Senior Writer for Newsweek. Since 2002, she has been a contributor to The New York Times. Her widely-read 2013 story for The New York Times Magazine, "The Boy With a Thorn in His Joints," about her young son’s arthritis and the experimental diet therapy they tried, dominated the “most read” lists. She has appeared on CBS, ABC, ESPN, MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, NPR, and The Charlie Rose Show.

Suzana Herculano-Houzel, Ph.D.

Biologist, Neuroscientist, and Author
Suzana Herculano-Houzel, Ph.D., is a biologist and neuroscientist at Vanderbilt University, where she is Associate Professor in the Departments of Psychology and Biological Sciences. Her research focuses on what different brains are made of; what that matters in terms of cognition, energy cost, and longevity; and how the human brain is remarkable, but not special, in its makeup. She is the author of The Human Advantage (MIT Press, 2016), in which she tells the story of her discoveries on how many neurons different species have—and how the number of neurons in the cerebral cortex of humans is the largest of them all, thanks to the calories amassed with a very early technology developed by our ancestors: cooking. She spoke at TEDGlobal 2013 and TEDxNashville 2018 and is an avid communicator of science to the general public.

Tim Shaw

Former NFL Linebacker, Author, World Changer
As linebacker and Special Teams Captain for the Tennessee Titans, Tim Shaw was known for his speed, hard-hitting ability, and enthusiastic leadership skills. His seven years in the NFL included seasons with the Carolina Panthers, Jacksonville Jaguars, and the Chicago Bears, where he set a club record for special teams tackles. He was also named to the USA Today All-Joe Team, honoring the NFL’s unsung and underrated players. As a three-year starter and graduate of Penn State, Tim earned Academic All-American honors. He also holds an MBA from George Washington University, and is the author of "Blitz Your Life." Now an entrepreneur and investor, Tim is a frequent motivational speaker and supporter of ALS awareness.

Ty Tashiro

Social Scientist, Professor of the Year at the University of Colorado and University of Maryland, TIME magazine contributor, Author
Ty Tashiro, Ph.D., is the author of "Awkward: The Science of Why We’re Socially Awkward and Why That’s Awesome" and "The Science of Happily Ever After." His work has been featured at the New York Times,,, NPR, Sirius XM Stars radio, and VICE. He received his Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Minnesota, has been an award-winning professor at the University of Maryland and University of Colorado, and has addressed TED@NYC, Harvard Business School, MIT’s Media Lab, and the American Psychological Association. He lives in New York City.

Tyl van Toorn

Co-Founder / CEO Watershed Partners
With a passion for learning and courage to question the rules we play by, Tyl is focused on assembling new combinations of knowledge, capability, and skill to improve cross-systemic communication, multi-stakeholder alignment, and strategy design. Tyl has a knack for getting the right people into a room and having transformational conversations that lead to real outcomes. Using a unique synthesis of collaborative design practices involving hi-touch methodologies and custom built digital solutions, he and the Watershed team are responsible for growing the firm into a globally relevant lever for positive change. Tyl has co-founded several successful companies over the past 15 years, including TNT Productions Inc., transmitNOW (, the Fantan Group, and most recently, Watershed Partners. Through these companies, Tyl has been responsible for the creation and management of hundreds of internal, B2B, and B2C projects across North America, Asia, Australia, and Europe.

Ulrich Boser

Learning Guru
An expert in the science of learning, Ulrich Boser is a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress and the founder of the Learning Agency.

Organizing team


Nashville, TN, United States


Nashville, TN, United States