x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Forging the Future

This event occurred on
March 10, 2018
Baltimore, Maryland
United States

Facing highly complex and novel challenges within each avenue and intersection of society, we often find comfort in settling with the status quo and relying on ideas of the past. In such settings, the striking voices of those bold enough to defy convention and envision the future are the critical vehicles that bring forth the important changes for our community. This year’s theme was developed with the goal of celebrating the ideas that challenge norms and the resilient individuals behind them. By disrupting conventional perspectives, we can break through the limitations that we have placed on ourselves. Whether our work is focused locally in Baltimore city, nationally, or globally, we must be eager to remain at the forefront of change. Through this thematic direction, we hope this event will serve as a reflection of the changes we have made, the lengths we have come, and the obstacles we have defeated. At the same time, it will remind us of the struggles we still face, the goals we still have, and the futures we still dream.

Mudd Hall
3400 N Charles st.
Baltimore, Maryland, 21218
United States
Event type:
University (What is this?)
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Aaron Maybin

Art-Activist + Former Professional NFL Player
Aaron Maybin is a 29-year-old Art-Activist and former professional football player from Baltimore City, Maryland. Selected as the 11th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills as a former All-American defensive end at Penn State University, Aaron went on to play in the NFL for the New York Jets and the Cincinnati Bengals in a 5-year career before making the decision to walk away from football to pursue a career as a professional artist, activist, writer, educator and community organizer. Aaron uses his platform and gifts to advocate for racial and economic equality, arts education, and programing in underprivileged communities across the country. As an arts teacher in Baltimore city, he continues to advocate for public policy to see Art programs restored in the schools and more economic opportunities to be provided for the underprivileged people of Baltimore.

George Mwinnyaa

Public Health Graduate Student + Health Worker
George Mwinnyaa was born and raised in Ghana, West Africa. George worked as a community health worker in rural Ghana, providing health care to under-served populations which sparked his passion to study public health. Upon immigrating to the United States, George began pursuing his education at a community college and then transferred to Johns Hopkins University where he earned his Bachelor of Arts in Public Health Studies. George is currently a graduate student at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health studying Infectious Disease Epidemiology. He is interested in talking about how public health has become increasingly portrayed solely through numbers, and has forgotten the faces behind the numbers.

Jordan Green

Biomedical Engineer + Entrepreneur
Dr. Jordan J. Green is an Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, Materials Science & Engineering, Ophthalmology, Oncology, and Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University. He is also an associate researcher of the Institute for NanoBioTechnology, co-founder and associate director of the Translational Tissue Engineering Center at JHU, and CTO and co-founder of the Baltimore biotech startup company, AsclepiX Therapeutics. Dr. Green’s main research interests are creating biomaterials and nanobiotechnology to engineer cells and developing advanced therapeutics and his work has resulted in the publication of over 80 papers and numerous awards, including being named by Popular Science as one of the “Brilliant Ten”.

Katerina Jeng, Krystie Mak

Entrepreneurs + Storytellers
Frustrated by the lack of Asian American representation in mainstream media, co-founders Katerina Jeng and Krystie Mak started Slant’d, a media company that celebrates Asian American identity and the stories that make us human. Slant’d launched its inaugural issue in 2017 and is expanding into digital and in-person programming to build an intersectional community that boldly defies stereotypes, one story at a time. As emerging voices in the media landscape, Katerina and Krystie have been featured on CBS News, Colorlines, the first ever “100 most Influential Asians” list, and more.

Mina Cheon

Artist + Educator
Mina Cheon is a Korean-American global new media artist, scholar, and educator who divides her time between Korea and the United States. Cheon has exhibited her political pop art known as “Polipop” internationally and draws inspiration from global media and popular culture to produce work that intersects politics and pop art in evocative ways. While she creates works that range in medium from new media, video, installation, performance, and public projects to traditional media of painting and sculptures, the content of the work is in historic alignment to appropriation art and global activism art. Cheon has exhibited her work at numerous collections and locations domestically and internationally, is currently on the Board of Directors of the New Media Caucus of the College Art Association, an Associate Editor of the academic journal Media-N, and a Full-time Professor at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA).

René Vidal

Electrical Engineer + Computer Scientist
René Vidal, a world leader in computer vision, machine learning, and medical image analysis, is a professor in the department of Biomedical Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University with secondary appointments in Computer Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering. The staggering modern digital revolution has resulted in extraordinary advances in how to acquire and process complex data but automatically interpreting and utilizing this data, on par with human abilities, is exceedingly difficult. Dr. Vidal is passionate about his work developing mathematical models that enable computers to see, analyze, and interpret images, videos, and biomedical data which will help to revolutionize the world.

Sapna Kudchadkar

Pediatric Intensivist + Anesthesiologist
Sapna Kudchadkar is pediatric intensivist and anesthesiologist at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She is the Director of the Johns Hopkins PICU Up! Early Mobilization Program, a multidisciplinary program dedicated to optimizing healing environments for children in the hospital. Dr. Kudchadkar's clinical and research initiatives focus on integrating play, exercise, and sleep hygiene into the hospital routine during a time that is most stressful for both children and their families. Additionally, Dr. Kudchadkar is passionate about the role of social media to engage as educational and collaborative tool to engage within the medical community and beyond. As a result, PICU Up! has been adapted in multiple pediatric intensive care units internationally, sparking widespread culture change for the care of critically ill children.

Schuyler Bailar

Transgender Student Athlete
Schuyler Bailar is the first openly transgender athlete to compete in any sport on an NCAA Division 1 men’s team. By 15, he was one of the nation’s top 20 15-year-old breast strokers. By 17, he set a national age group record. Now he swims for Harvard University. Schuyler’s difficult choice – to transition while potentially giving up the prospect of being an NCAA Champion – was historic and timely. His story has appeared everywhere from The Washington Post to 60 Minutes and The Ellen Show. Schuyler chronicles his experiences on Instagram –@pinkmantaray – so others may explore his example in their journey.

Organizing team


Baltimore, MD, United States


Davis, CA, United States