x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Play

This event occurred on
May 12, 2018
New York, New York
United States

Play to Inspire, Ideas Worth Spreading

TEDxYouth@BrowningSchool strives itself to question the world around us.
Humanitarian ideals present psychological viewpoints with real-life scenarios.
The event is venturing to add a more 'worldwide lens' to the range of speakers we offer, which may include talks from the following list:

Robotics relates to play because of robotics competitions, building robots, and inventing new ideas and concepts. In a robotics competition such as The First Tech Challenge, the students design a robot to play the game. When people build robots, they play with the parts to find the best configuration of the parts. When people invent new mechanisms and concepts, they have played with the parts in order to create their own idea.

The idea of Sports relates to the overarching theme of play because in many aspects including camaraderie and hard work, but they also relate in the sense that they teach and provide real-world skills. Camaraderie and Hard work can be shown throughout most team works and are some of the most apparent ideals in sports. However, sports also teach people to work skills and have real-world applications, which can be shown often when athletes have to overcome obstacles, both psychical and mental.

Jane McGonigal at TED2010 really struck a chord with us when she mentioned the 'epic win'. Especially as we were able to relate to a boys' educational perspective, this 'epic win' brought opportunity that once was not yet conceived. As the theme of our event is play, we plan to incorporate recreation in an innovative sense. Video games are an integral part of the culture of play, particularly in the 21st century. They allow people to enter unfamiliar lands and take on unique adventures, while at the same time to interact with like-minded friends and family members. They foster a playful community in so many ways, and we find it necessary that we include gaming and a variety of digital game play mediums including virtual reality, augmented reality, animated design interface, etc. in our event.

The Browning School
52 East 62nd Street
New York, New York, 10065
United States
Event type:
Youth (What is this?)
See more ­T­E­Dx­Youth@­Browning­School events


Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Alexander Kwok

Alexander Kwok is a 16 year old student currently living in New York City. He has worked on UI/UX for a few past projects including WebDeck. He started playing golf at a young age and has fallen in love with the sport. In addition to being the captain of the varsity golf team at his school for the past two years, Alex also is a writer for the school newspaper and a co-president of the Browning Sustainability Club.

Alfonso Laffont

Alfonso Laffont is a junior at the Browning School. From a young age, he grew up with computer, learning more about them every day. He is attending some classes but learned most of what he knows through the internet. His discussion follows AI and how he utilized it.

Jordan Stephens

Philosophy and Public Health + Writer
Jordan Stephens is a native East Tennessean with degrees from the University of Tennessee in philosophy and public health. He has written political opinions, satire, philosophy, and tech for several publications, including the online tech journal Hacker Noon. Stephens plays trumpet for the Tennessee Wind Symphony and enjoys music festivals, language learning, and spending time with his dog.

Joshua Velasquez

Youth Mentor + Writer
Josh Velasquez a recent college graduate from The University of Arizona who is a passionate and persistent man who desires to see the world better then he entered it. His greatest passion is people. Celebrating people, mentoring people and listening and responding to their needs. A man who is dedicated to living out loud, Josh has used his life as a living and breathing example. Coming out of the closet in a very public way catapulted Josh into the path of a mentor to many questioning and scared youth. He stepped up to the challenge and now is a beacon for many LGBTQ youth. On his free time he loves to swim, travel and writes for several media outlets including Beverly Hills Lifestyle Magazine, where he is a travel and adventure writer.

Julie Kerwin

Chief Elemental Officer
Julie Kerwin is Chief Elemental Officer of IAmElemental, creators of the first female action figures designed specifically for children. The company conducted a Kickstarter campaign in 2014 which was fully funded in two days and named by TIME Magazine as one of the “25 Best Inventions of 2014” and “Top 10 Toys of 2014.” IAmElemental's groundbreaking products were honored by the Toy Industry Association as 2017 Toy of the Year finalists in the Action Figure of the Year and Rookie of the Year categories, and Kerwin received a Wonder Woman Award in the Rising Star category from Women in Toys, Licensing & Entertainment. The company was also named a 2018 Toy of the Year finalist in the Action Figure of the Year category and recently announced a partnership with The Jim Henson Company to develop an animated children's show. Kerwin is a Browning School parent, as well as a voracious researcher, writer and thinker on the topics of gendered toys, creativity in children, and the power of play.

Justin Blitz

Lawyer + Founder of Law Firm
Justin Blitz, Esq. is a lawyer and founder of the law firm Schulman Blitz, LLP located in New York City. He focuses on litigating all types of civil cases from inception to resolution. An experienced trial lawyer and skillful negotiator, Blitz has tried cases throughout the state of New York and obtained many substantial jury verdicts. Blitz is a member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association (NYSTLA) and a member of several other bar associations, including the American Association for Justice. Blitz also frequently lectures to Attorneys across the country on various legal and trial advocacy topics. Blitz has been selected by his peers as a Super Lawyer for the last 4 years in a row. Blitz is a native of New York City and was once a student at Browning when he was in high school. His son Julian is in the current kindergarten class and Blitz lives in New York City with his wife Jordana, his son Julian and their young daughter Rosie.

Max Gregori

Startup Founder
Max Gregori is currently 17 years old. He was born in Hamburg, Germany, but has since lived in Cape Town, South Africa, Boca Raton, Florida, and now New York City. He has been a Varsity swimmer for the the past six years, and also enjoys doing game and web-development in his free time. Additionally, he founded his own startup in 2017, with the goal of allowing shoppers to round up and donate their every-day credit and debit card transactions. This startup was recently acquired by a sizable competitor, which has now put him on a path to find his next venture.

Organizing team


New York, NY, United States


New York, NY, United States
  • Alexander Kwok
  • Christian Kim
  • Dylan Steck
  • Eric Sigg
  • George Stavropoulos
  • Jackson Richter
  • Rohan Singh