x = independently organized TED event

This event occurred on
August 16, 2018
Needham, Massachusetts
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).

TripAdvisor Headquarters
400 First St.
Needham, Massachusetts, 02494
United States
Event type:
Salon (What is this?)
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Anthony Flint

Author and Journalist
Anthony Flint is a senior fellow at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, a think tank in Cambridge, Mass., with expertise in urban planning, housing, climate change and resilience, infrastructure, and global urbanization. He is author of Modern Man: The Life of Le Corbusier, Architect of Tomorrow (New Harvest); Wrestling with Moses: How Jane Jacobs Took on New York’s Master Builder and Transformed the American City (Random House); and This Land: The Battle over Sprawl and the Future of America (Johns Hopkins University Press); and co-editor of Smart Growth Policies: An Evaluation of Programs and Outcomes (Lincoln Institute). He has been a journalist for over 30 years, primarily at The Boston Globe, a policy advisor on smart growth for Massachusetts state government, a visiting scholar and Loeb Fellow at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, writer in residence at The American Library in Paris, and a practitioners fellow at The Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center.

Billie Weiss

Manager Of Photography, Boston Red Sox
Billie Weiss is based in Boston, Massachusetts, where he is the Manager of Photography for the World Series Champion Boston Red Sox. Currently in his seventh season with the Red Sox, he previously completed two Major League Baseball seasons as the Assistant Team Photographer of the Baltimore Orioles. He is also a freelance commercial, editorial, portrait, event, and wedding photographer and videographer, and produces visual content for private, local, and national clients of all types. He has been an official tournament Photographer and Video Producer for the US Open Tennis Championships, The Championships Wimbledon, the BNP Paribas Open, and several other tournaments and events on the ATP and WTA tours.

Cady Coleman

Former NASA Astronaut, Scientist, Explorer
Dr. Cady Coleman is a former NASA Astronaut and a retired US Air Force Colonel who started her career as a polymer chemist. After working as a research chemist at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Cady was selected as astronaut in 1992. Over the course of her 24 year career at NASA and the USAF, Cady flew twice on the Space Shuttle Columbia and completed a six month mission aboard the International Space Station (ISS). Cady’s space shuttle missions spanned leadership of microgravity science as a precursor mission to the ISS and responsibility for deploying the Chandra X-Ray Observatory. In 2010, she served as the Lead Science Officer for ISS Expedition 26/27, providing onboard supervision of more than 100 science and technology experiments. As the Lead Robotics Officer for the mission, she became the second-ever astronaut to capture a free-flying supply ship from the ISS.

Holly Fisher

Graphic Designer & Illustrator at Spence Creative
Holly’s grandmother, Jane Spence, had her creative hands in just about everything, and was a master at it all. Like her, Holly’s interests and talents are broad but there isn’t much she does half-way. Holly is a New England native who spent 7 years in print and production design before heading to Atlanta for a formal design education at Portfolio Center, where she discovered a crazy, impassioned love for all things typographic, and gained a reputation for expertly wielding an Exacto knife (true story). She’s so much more than a graphic designer, so she founded Spence Creative in 2009 to encompass all things right-brained (with a highly practical and punctual dose of left).

Jeff Marlow

Geobiologist and Postdoctoral Scholar
Jeffrey Marlow is a Geobiologist at Harvard University and a National Geographic Emerging Explorer. His current research examines deep-ocean microbiology and the inner workings of methane-metabolizing microorganisms; previous projects explored deep sea vents in the Eastern Pacific, lava lakes in Vanuatu, and acidic rivers of Spain’s Rio Tinto. He has participated in several of NASA’s robotic missions to Mars, including the Mars Exploration Rovers, the Phoenix Mars Lander, and the Mars Science Laboratory. In addition to his scientific research, Marlow is a science journalist with articles at venues including Wired Magazine, Discover Magazine, and The New York Times. He is also the founder of the Ad Astra Academy, a global education project that brings the excitement and inspirational power of exploration to under-resourced communities around the world.

Kitty Pechet

Avid Surfer & Artist
I surf I paint, I draw a longtail (a Bermuda sea gull). We ride air currents. At some point, I give up control. I break free of the graph paper source of calligraphy Into the open space of board and brush, I ride through foam, aware Of teeming life and layers beneath My brush, no outsider, strokes Deep inside the beauty, Folly and energy of this world. I begin to paint and draw, often as play, With intention but no plan. Charcoal, paint, board take on Their own life, start to breathe, Demand nourishment, direct me.

Lauren Kuntz

NOAA Climate and Global Change Postdoctoral Fellow | Decathlete
As an undergraduate at MIT and then a PhD student at Harvard University, Lauren Kuntz developed a fascination for climate dynamics and the hurdles we must overcome to reach a low carbon future. Now, as a NOAA postdoctoral fellow her research focuses on the role of the ocean in modulating climate change. When she’s not thinking about ocean currents, you can find her running around a track. Since picking up pole vault while at MIT, Lauren has become one of the first female decathletes trying to set the foundation for gender equality in track and field. She is a 3 time All-American in pole vault, and finished in 5th place at the inaugural women’s decathlon national championship.

Marcie Black

Co-Founder & CEO of Advanced Silicon Group
Marcie is the Co-Founder & CEO of Advanced Silicon Group. Marcie is using silicon nanotechnology to make solar electricity cost less and to enable doctors to monitor cancer treatments by a rapid and low-cost blood test.

Marie Incontrera

Jazz Muscian
Marie Incontrera is a social media and marketing consultant, virtual assistant, and jazz musician. Her virtual assistant and consulting services include: social media and online branding services for individuals and small businesses; media bookings (podcasts, internet radio, traditional radio, and more); TEDx talk development and speaker booking outreach; blogging and ghostwriting (on platforms such as Thrive, Quora, Medium, LinkedIn Pulse, and more); and general VA services. Her clients have included national best-selling business authors, medical professionals, wellness experts, a popular science-based gaming app, and more. Her speaker clients have booked TEDx conferences across the country, and TED residencies in New York City. Her media clients have been booked on popular podcasts and radio stations such as The World’s Most Amazing People, Entrepreneur On Fire, and more.

Marshall Chang

Founder & CIO of A.I. Capital Management
Marshall has been trading FX markets for 5 years. As a Master in Finance graduate from Brandeis International Business school, he combines his insight in financial markets with a passion for machine learning and expertise in programming, striving to build the first game-changing A.I. trading system to disrupt the markets. He has a strong passion for quantitative trading and machine learning and started AI Capital Management in September 2016. His inspiration came from Google DeepMind’s AlphaGo project, which is a Deep Learning agent that beats human Go world champions. Go, as a game with complexity at a number more than the atom in the universe, is arguably as hard as or even harder than trading financial markets, which they believe is the next game to be solved with Artificial Intelligence.

Max Holm

Pianist, Composer & Presidential Scholar at Berklee College of Music
Max Holm is a Presidential Scholar at the Berklee College of Music. Each year, over 7,000 students from around the world apply for admission. 7 of them are offered Presidential Scholarships which cover 100% of all costs of attendance for up to 5 years, worth about $360,000. Students cannot apply for this honor. They are nominated by an internal selection process only. Max won the 2018 Yamaha Young Performing Artists Competition for jazz, earning an Honorable Mention overall in the combined classical, contemporary and jazz category. He has been playing professionally for six years, and has performed over 200 gigs, may with well-known artists, including Stephen Colbert’s house band, Jon Batiste and Stay Human. He was featured on 8 of the 10 tunes on 2016 NIMA Jazz Album of the Year, The Inside of the Outside, with Grammy winners Jeff Coffin of the Dave Matthews Band, Branford Marsalis, Victor Wooten and others.

Mike Whitehead

Paralympian at Canada Wheelchair Rugby & 4x Olympian
Before his spinal cord injury, Mike Whitehead was an avid multi-sport athlete who enjoyed basketball, volleyball, hockey, soccer and badminton. He was introduced to wheelchair rugby when his future teammates, including David Willsie, came to visit him at the Parkwood Rehabilitation Hospital in London, Ontario. Whitehead quickly became hooked on the contact and the level of competition and made the team just one year after his initial injury. Today, he works for VESCO Metalcraft measuring athletes for rugby wheelchairs and also at Canada Wheelchair Rugby.

Mohsin Mohi Ud Din

Founder & CEO at #MeWe International
Mohsin is the founder and CEO of #MeWe international Inc., which created the award winning #MeWeSyria program. He also helped create and design Ashoka’s Youth Venture ‘Storytelling for Changemakers’ program. Mohsin thrives on creative collaboration and is passionate about empowering global citizens through storytelling and communications innovations. Mohsin has over 8 years of experience working on human rights, global digital campaigns, strategic communications, and youth issues centered on global development—including more than three years of work as a strategic communications officer at the United Nations and UN agencies, such as UNICEF. At the UN, Mohsin developed creative advocacy campaigns, compelling narratives and public messages from complex health, economic, and political events.

Monalisa Johnson

TV Personality & Founder of Parents with Incarcerated Children
Monalisa is not just an International TV Personality who recently appeared on Season 2 of the hit TV Show “60 Days In” which aired on A&E. She regularly appears for TV interviews, radio talk shows, and is a sought after for advice on the Prison Family from the USA to Australia and worldwide. She is also the CEO & Executive Producer who owns Sierra Productions, a largely successful video production and event logistics company. Monalisa Johnson has proven herself to be as an exceptional, accomplished TV Personality, businesswoman, visionary and mother!

Navroop Sahdev

Blockchain expert, Economist, & Fellow at MIT
An economist by training, Navroop is building a blockchain-based trading platform for crowdfunded equity at Ad Meliora LLC. Navroop is also a Fellow at MIT Connection Science and a Research Associate at the Centre for Blockchain Technologies (CBT) at University College London. She holds a host of leadership roles in the DLT space, both as a practitioner as well as a researcher. A United Nations Youth Delegate for 2017, Navroop has co-authored Hyperledger’s Blockchain for Business online course. She speaks regularly at FinTech and blockchain conferences and currently serves on the advisory board of a host of blockchain companies, across industries. Previously, she has worked at Harvard University and United Nations Environment Programme. Her research interests are focused on Distributed Ledger Technologies, Game Theory, Networks Theory and Complex Systems Science. She has three masters in IP Management, Economics of Innovation and Applied Economics.

Panagis Galiatsatos

Pulmonary and Critical Care Physician at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
Panagis Galiatsatos is the co-founder and co-director of Medicine for the Greater Good, a community engagement initiative for healthcare professionals in training, allowing them to have meaningful partnerships with the local community. His research focus is on community engagement and health disparities, and has recently authored “Building Healthy Communities through Medical-Religious Partnerships”. Further, he investigates how community engagement can be a valuable tool to offset burnout many physicians-in-training are experiencing. He completed received his bachelor of science from Temple University, his medical degree from the University of Maryland School of Medicine, and completed his medical training at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center (internal medicine), Johns Hopkins Hospital (pulmonary medicine) and the National Institutes of Health (critical care medicine).

Polly Witker

Content Creator & Head of Marketing at Epic Road
Polly Witker is a travel writer, marketing consultant, professional trip planner, blogger and adventure-seeker who believes that tourism has the power to change the world for the better. Her favorite way to travel is alone, her favorite places are remote, and she is happiest when finding herself in an unfamiliar place: observing, adapting, and making new friends. Her favorite memories involve travel mishaps because they make the best stories. After spending a decade working as a fashion publicist, escaping to distant places as often as possible, Polly realized she needed to adjust her career compass. She is now the head of marketing at Epic Road, a New York City-based travel company that creates transformative travel experiences for curious global nomads. At Impact Travel Alliance, Polly helps lead a team of global volunteers working to transform the travel industry into a force for good. You can read her travel stories and destination guides on her blog,

Tyler Schwartz

President, Chess at Three, Teacher of Chess to 3 Year Olds
Tyler is a Master Story Crafter. Tyler is the Founder and Creative Director for Chess At Three. Chess At Three tells stories that transform the chess pieces into a memorable cast of characters. These characters have quirky qualities that help children understand how the chess pieces move. Every Chess At Three lesson has a fun story that introduces children to important themes that go far beyond chess. Chess At Three students learn about sportsmanship, grit, and math, all through stories.

Vick Liu

CoFounder and Team Lead at TravlerPack
A student at MIT, Vick Liu designed, manufactured, and tested TravlerPack—a quality, multi-purpose sleeping bag for refugees in extreme weather conditions. He performed market analysis and research of Humanitarian Aid and contracted supplies with the United Nations and Red Cross. He also established logistics chain to manufacture 600 TravlerPacks, ship them overseas to a non-profit, and distribute them in Syria and Lebanon. TravlerPack has launched two crowdfunding campaigns, raising $50,000 overall.

Vik Parthiban

Researcher, Engineer, and Product Developer at MIT Media Lab
Vik Parthiban is passionate about teams and technologies that shape how people interact with digital information and the physical world. He helped build the Magic Leap One AR headset announced in December 2017, where he led an R&D project for the advanced photonics team. Currently a graduate researcher at the MIT Media Lab, Vik is building new holographic interfaces and hardware that hope to push AR/VR technology forward. On the side, he dabbles in high-speed travel with Elon Musk’s SpaceX-Hyperloop and leads the construction of the first Hyperloop transport vehicle using air bearing technology.

Organizing team


Brookline, MA, United States