x = independently organized TED event

This event occurred on
December 6, 2019
Cambridge, Massachusetts
United States

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32 Vassar St, Cambridge
Cambridge, Massachusetts, 02139
United States
Event type:
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Alan Edelman

Professor of @MIT Math, member of @MIT_CSAIL and MIT Computational Science & Engineering.

Alex (Sandy) Pentland

Alex `Sandy’ Pentland has helped create and direct MIT’s Media Lab, the Media Lab Asia, and the Center for Future Health. He chairs the World Economic Forum’s Data Driven Development council, is Academic Director of the Data-Pop Alliance, and is a member of the Advisory Boards for Google, Nissan, Telefonica, the United Nations Secretary General, Monument Capital, and the Minerva Schools. Book: Social Physics In 2012 Forbes named him one of the ‘seven most powerful data scientists in the world’, along with Google founders and the CTO of the United States, and in 2013 he won the McKinsey Award from Harvard Business Review. He is among the most-cited computational scientists in the world, and a pioneer in computational social science, organizational engineering, wearable computing (Google Glass), image understanding, and modern biometrics. Professor Pentland’s research has been featured in Nature, Science, and Harvard Business Review, as well as being the focus of TV features on BBC World, Discover and Science channels. His most recent book is Social Physics, published by Penguin Press. Over the years he has advised more than 50 PhD students. Almost half are now tenured faculty at leading institutions, with another one-quarter leading industry research groups and a final quarter founders of their own companies. His research group and entrepreneurship program have spun off more than 30 companies to date, three of which are publicly listed and several that serve millions of poor in Africa and South Asia. Recent spin-offs have been featured in publications such as the Economist and the New York Times, as well as winning a variety of prizes from international development organizations. Interesting experiences he has had include winning the DARPA 40th Anniversary of the Internet Grand Challenge, dining with British Royalty and the President of India, staging fashion shows in Paris, Tokyo, and New York, and developing a method for counting beavers from space.

Amy Gleason

US Digital Service and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Amy Gleason is a Digital Services Expert with the United States Digital Service at the White House and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). She began her career in nursing and quickly found that she loved technology. She has worked on several different electronic medical records applications, and after her daughter was diagnosed with a rare diseases, she discovered firsthand how difficult being a patient and caregiver is in the healthcare system. From this experience, she confounded CareSync, a care coordination company. She joined the US Digital Service for a tour of duty last November, and she is enjoying working with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on data and interoperability projects.

Bill Walczak

CEO, South End Community Health Center
Bill Walczak is President & CEO of South End Community Health Center. Previously he was President of the Lewis Family & Grand Circle Foundations and Vice President of External Relations at Shawmut Design and Construction, a leading national construction management firm. Bill is founder of the Codman Square Health Center, a multi-service center where he was CEO from 1980- 2011. Bill is founding president of Codman Academy Charter School. Bill was a founder of the Edward Kennedy Health Careers Academy. From 2011-2012, he was President of Carney Hospital, and in 2013, he was a candidate for Mayor of Boston. Bill is a co-founder and was Co-CEO of DotWell, a partnership with the Dorchester House Multi-Service Center and is the founding president of the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network, Massachusetts’ association for nonprofits. He is on the Executive Advisory Council for WBUR. He served on the New England Steering Committee for the Barack Obama presidential campaign.

Bindu kalesan

Director, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Community Health Science
Dr. Kalesan is a clinical epidemiologist and data scientist, with three interdisciplinary research pillars, within the umbrella of eliminating racial disparities and discrimination and promoting equity and social justice: 1) trauma and violence (firearm injury epidemiology), 2) cardiometabolic diseases 3) psychiatric and mental health conditions. She uses novel statistical methodology, supervised and unsupervised machine learning and emerging m-health technologies. Her most recent study in the Journal of Affective Disorders found that the average profile of an American using a gun for suicide is a married, white male over the age of 50 who is experiencing deteriorating health.

Carl Streed

Clinician-Investigator at Boston Medical Center Center for Transgender Medicine & Surgery
Carl Streed Jr MD, MPH is a physician by training and advocate in action focused on improving the status, health, and well-being of vulnerable communities. For over a decade, he has been dedicated to understanding and eliminating disparities among sexual and gender minorities, including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) communities. He uses a decidedly health-focused perspective with emphasis placed on the intersection of identities. He has approached the issues facing LGBTQ individuals and communities through education reform, professional development, and systems redesign. With his experience advocating for institutional, state, and national level change, he has advised as a consultant the creation of new LGBTQ-focused symposia and resources for healthcare systems, non-profit organizations, and federal agencies.

Catherine McCartin

Senior lecturer at Massey University and co-owner of a beef and sheep farm.

Daniela Rus

Daniela Rus is the Andrew (1956) and Erna Viterbi Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and Director of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) at MIT. Rus’s research interests are in robotics, mobile computing, and data science. Rus is a Class of 2002 MacArthur Fellow, a fellow of ACM, AAAI and IEEE, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and the American Academy for Arts and Science. She earned her PhD in Computer Science from Cornell University.

Darya Guettler

Darya Guettler is a Junior in Mechanical Engineering and Political Science. Her research interests revolve around climate change mitigation and renewable energy technologies. She is a member of the MIT Symphony Orchestra, the MIT Climate Action Team and the MIT Energy Club, and has spent her last summer interning at Tesla Energy. She hopes to work at the intersection of policy and technology for climate change in the future.

David McGee

David McGee’s research focuses on understanding the atmosphere’s response to past climate changes. By documenting past changes in precipitation and winds using geochemical measurements of stalagmites, lake deposits and marine sediments and interpreting these records in the light of models and theory, he aims to offer data-based insights into the patterns, pace and magnitude of past hydroclimate changes. His primary tool is measurements of uranium-series isotopes, which provide precise uranium-thorium dates for stalagmites and lake deposits and allow reconstructions of windblown dust emission and transport using marine sediments. McGee joined the faculty in 2012 after completing a postdoctoral fellowship with a joint appointment at the University of Minnesota and the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. He holds a Ph.D. in Earth and environmental sciences from Columbia University.

David Silverstein

Founder & CEO at Amaze PBC
David co-founded Breakthrough Management Group in 1999 and grew the company into an internationally recognized strategic consulting firm, actively serving clients in more than 20 countries. In 2016, he shut down BMGI and launched the Lean Methods Group as a more focused firm with a somewhat smaller global footprint. This also offered him the opportunity to found the non-profit in an effort to transform the US healthcare system. He has been featured in or has written for The Washington Post, The Economist, Inc. Magazine, The Robb Report, CNBC, NPR, Fox News and many other media outlets. David has also published several books on innovation, business management and executive leadership, including the most recent book in his Connect the Dots series, Three Steps Ahead. He also co-authored The Innovator’s Toolkit: 50+ Techniques for Predictable and Sustainable Organic Growth and Insourcing Innovation: How to Achieve Competitive Excellence Using TRIZ.

George Murphy

Co-Director Boston Medical Center's Center for Regenerative Medicine
George J. Murphy is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Department of Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine, the Director of Research in the Division of Hematology-Oncology, and Co-Director of the Boston University and Boston Medical Center’s Center for Regenerative Medicine Dr. Murphy received his doctorate in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Oxford University in the United Kingdom where he was a Fulbright Scholar and named the Mary Lundt Scholar in Biology. He then conducted his post-doctoral studies in the laboratory of Richard C. Mulligan, Ph.D at Harvard Medical School and the Children’s Hospital in Boston, where he was a Fellow in Molecular Medicine responsible for the design, development and implementation of stem cell and gene-based protocols aimed at combating hematopoietic, immunologic, and musculoskeletal disease. Dr. Murphy is an American Society of Hematology Scholar Award recipient and a National Blood Foundation Fellow.

Hilary Vogelbaum

Senior at MIT in Materials Science & Engineering

Jennifer Tseng

Surgeon-in-Chief, Boston Medical Center
Jennifer F. Tseng, MD, MPH, is Utley Endowed Professor and Chair of the Deparment of Surgery at Boston University School of Medicine, and Surgeon-in-Chief at Boston Medical Center. She was formerly the founding Chief of the Division of Surgical Oncology and Clinical Co-Director of the Cancer Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Tseng is a surgical oncologist and gastrointestinal surgeon. A graduate of Stanford University and the UC, San Francisco Medical School, Dr. Tseng completed a residency in general surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital and a research fellowship in molecular medicine at Harvard Medical School. She completed a clinical fellowship in surgical oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and holds a master’s degree in public health from the Harvard. Dr. Tseng founded Surgical Outcomes Analysis & Research, a clinical and outcomes research institute based at BIDMC.

Juan Enriquez

The Founding Director of the Life Sciences Project at Harvard Business School, Enríquez is also a fellow of Harvard’s Center for International Affairs. His work has been published in the Harvard Business Review, Foreign Policy, Science, and The New York Times. He is the author of many books, including Evolving Ourselves: How Unnatural Selection and Nonrandom Mutation are Changing Life on Earth (Current-Penguin Group, 2015), Homo Evolutis: Please Meet the Next Human Species (TED, 2012), As the Future Catches You: How Genomics & Other Forces are Changing Your Life, Work, Health & Wealth (Crown Business, 2005), and The United States of America: Polarization, Fracturing, and Our Future (Random House, 2005). He works in business, science, and domestic/international politics.

Juan Enriquez

The Founding Director of the Life Sciences Project at Harvard Business School, Enríquez is also a fellow of Harvard’s Center for International Affairs. His work has been published in the Harvard Business Review, Foreign Policy, Science, and The New York Times. He is the author of many books, including Evolving Ourselves: How Unnatural Selection and Nonrandom Mutation are Changing Life on Earth (Current-Penguin Group, 2015), Homo Evolutis: Please Meet the Next Human Species (TED, 2012), As the Future Catches You: How Genomics & Other Forces are Changing Your Life, Work, Health & Wealth (Crown Business, 2005), and The United States of America: Polarization, Fracturing, and Our Future (Random House, 2005). He works in business, science, and domestic/international politics.

Karthish Manthiram

Karthish Manthiram is the Warren K. Lewis Career Development Professor in Chemical Engineering at MIT. His lab is focused on electrifying chemical manufacturing, so that air, water, and renewable electricity can be used to make diverse chemicals. Examples include converting air and water into fertilizers, fuels, and plastics. Karthish received his bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Stanford University and his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from UC Berkeley, and, most recently, he was a postdoctoral researcher at the California Institute of Technology. Karthish’s research and teaching have been recognized with several awards, including Forbes 30 Under 30 in Science, Dan Cubicciotti Award of the Electrochemical Society, 3M Nontenured Faculty Award, and the C. Michael Mohr Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award.

Kelli Bravo

Healthcare and Life Sciences Executive, Pegasystems, Inc.
Kelli Bravo is the Vice President, Healthcare and Life Sciences at Pegasystems where she leads the go-to-market strategy for their healthcare and life sciences engagement, services and digital automation solutions. Prior to Pegasystems, Kelli was the Vice President, Product Marketing at Casenet, a Centene company, where she led the go-to-market strategy for the enterprise care management business. She was also the Assistant Vice President of Product Marketing at McKesson where she successfully managed the marketing strategy for the InterQual, Clear Coverage and Advanced Diagnostics businesses. Kelli has previously held executive management positions at Microsoft, Epocrates and Athenahealth where she was responsible for evolving the marketing and operations, public relations, demand generation and product marketing strategies. She has an MBA and an MS in Manufacturing Systems Engineering from Stanford University.

Mark Stibich

Chief Scientific Officer & Founder, Xenex Disinfection Services
Dr. Stibich is a founder and Chief Scientific Officer for Xenex Healthcare Services, a company that uses a patented pulsed xenon disinfection system to make patient care areas safer by reducing the microbial contamination (from “superbugs” such as MRSA, VRE and C. diff.). Xenex has been featured in Forbes, CNN and other media outlets as well as in peer-reviewed scientific publications. Dr. Stibich specializes in creating efficient solutions for public health problems. He received his doctoral training from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and has been involved in multiple international research and intervention projects. He is an inventor on over 80 granted patents and a principal investigator on an NIH grant. Specialties: infection control, protocol design, UV disinfection, area disinfection, disinfection of public spaces, public health, business development.

Marty Makary

Professor of Surgery, Health Policy & Management at Johns Hopkins, NYT Bestselling Author
Dr. Makary is an advocate for health care innovation, writing in The Wall Street Journal and USA Today. He is principle investigator of a Robert Wood Foundation Grant to lower health care costs in the U.S. Dr. Makary is the author of two bestselling books: Mama Maggie and Unaccountable. He is a surgical oncologist specializing in minimally-invasive surgery and teaches health policy and management at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Makary is director of The Center for Opioid Research and Education and founder of At Johns Hopkins he has served as the endowed chair of gastrointestinal surgery, director of surgical quality and safety, and founding director of the Johns Hopkins Center For Surgical Outcomes Research and Clinical Trials. He has published over 250 scientific articles and currently serves as the chief of the Johns Hopkins Center for Islet Transplantation and director of the appropriateness in medicine project at Johns Hopkins.

MIT Ohms

We are the Ohms, MIT’s electrifying competitive South Asian a cappella group! Really, we’re a pretty awesome group of people who love punny statements and pride ourselves on having the lowest time commitment on campus. Nevertheless, we have received plenty of praise for our creative arrangements, vocal talent, and upbeat spirit. We have been featured at MIT’s 150th Anniversary celebrations, MIT Campus Preview Weekend, and at our very first concert (Ohms: Resistance) in March 2011. For us, the Ohms are a family. Though we started as just a really cool idea in Date Room B in McCormick Hall, we are who we are today because of a team effort. Every member of the Ohms has left a lasting imprint on our group, and we have created so many memories together. We collaborate, we’re efficient, we’re fun. We’re a little bit nerdy and little bit crazy, but that is why we love each other. Above all else, we love to sing and celebrate the richness of our culture.

MIT Syncopasian

Syncopasian is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's co-ed East Asian music a cappella group. We celebrate East Asian pop culture at MIT through our eclectic a cappella repetoire featuring songs in English, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and other East Asian languages.

MIT Asian Dance Team

MIT Bhangra

MIT Resonance

Mohamadou Bella Bah

Mohamadou Bella Bah sees coordination problems everywhere. A Junior (2021) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) majoring in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (6-2), Bella’s research interests include artificial intelligence, multi-agent systems, and algorithms and controls for cyber-physical systems. Bella believes that many of today’s cyber-physical systems can be made fully autonomous; wherein, a human operator provides no additional instruction beyond providing the desired system state. Bella’s research addresses how to achieve coordination in networks that have numerous, diverse, and independent agents, through the interactions of autonomous and intelligent agents — particularly in the context of smart grids. Bella’s most recent project is a communications and services platform for smart grids that enables distributed energy resources to autonomously self-coordinate pursuant of demands made by a system operator.

Morgan Gleason

Experienced Patient Advocate and Public Speaker
Morgan Gleason is a senior at Auburn University. After being diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease called juvenile dermatomyositis at age 11, Gleason began making YouTube videos that went viral. She now advocates for patients across the country and shares her journey by speaking at conferences and writing a blog. She plans to work in patient experience after she graduates in May 2020.

Nathalie Northrup

Systems Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Nir Barzilai

The Rennert Chair of Aging Research, Professor of Medicine and Genetics, Director of The Institute for Aging Research; Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Dr. Nir Barzilai is the director of the Institute for Aging Research at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the Director of the Paul F. Glenn Center for the Biology of Human Aging Research and of the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) Nathan Shock Centers of Excellence in the Basic Biology of Aging. He is the Ingeborg and Ira Leon Rennert Chair of Aging Research, professor in the Departments of Medicine and Genetics, and member of the Diabetes Research Center and of the Divisions of Endocrinology & Diabetes and Geriatrics. Dr. Barzilai’s research interests are in the biology and genetics of aging. He has received numerous grants, among them ones from the National Institute on Aging (NIA), American Federation for Aging Research, the Ellison Medical Foundation and The Glenn Medical foundation. He has published over 230 peer-reviewed papers, reviews, and textbook chapters. He is an advisor to the NIH on several projects and serves on several editorial boards.

Noelle Selin

Noelle Eckley Selin is an Associate Professor in the Institute for Data, Systems and Society and the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences. Her research uses atmospheric chemistry modeling to inform decision-making on air pollution, climate change and hazardous substances such as mercury and persistent organic pollutants (POPs). Professor Selin received her PhD from Harvard University in Earth and Planetary Sciences as part of the Atmospheric Chemistry Modeling Group, where she developed and evaluated a global, 3D model of mercury pollution. Prior to her current appointment, she was a research scientist with the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change. In addition to her scientific work, she has published articles and book chapters on the interactions between science and policy in international environmental negotiations, in particular focusing on global efforts to regulate hazardous substances. Previously, she was a research associate with the Initiative on Science and Technology for Sustainability at Harvard’s Kennedy School, a visiting researcher at the European Environment Agency in Copenhagen, Denmark, and worked on chemicals issues at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. On campus, Professor Selin is also affiliated with the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change and the MIT Center for Environmental Health Sciences.

Poojah Kumar

Partner at McKinsey & Company
A physician by background, Pooja is currently a partner at McKinsey & Company where she focuses on health system performance transformations as well as growth and partnership strategies in markets experiencing payment reform. She has worked across public- and private-sector institutions and for both not-for-profit and for-profit health systems, and she leads much of McKinsey’s academic medical center work. Dr. Kumar currently leads McKinsey’s knowledge development on ambulatory and academic medical center operations and strategy. In the past, Pooja has worked extensively in refugee health with UNHCR (Congo-Zambia border), Save the Children (East Timor), UNICEF (India), International Rescue Committee (Azerbaijan), and Doctors without Borders. Pooja received her MD from Harvard Medical School, MSc in economic & social history from Oxford University—Magdalen College, and BA in health policy from Duke University.

Raffaele Ferrari

I am a physical oceanographer interested in the circulation of the ocean, its interaction with the atmosphere and climate. I use a combination of observations, theory and numerical models to investigate all oceanic motions from scales of centimeters to thousands of kilometers. I got interested in oceanography while a physics major at the University of Torino in Italy. I so much enjoyed applying physics principles to explain the world around us that I decided to pursue a Ph.D. in physical oceanography at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (La Jolla, CA). After a short postdoc at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (Woods Hole, MA), I arrived at MIT (Cambridge, MA) in 2002. Here I have fun investigating the physics of the ocean, atmosphere and climate with the exceptional students and postdocs that come to MIT. It is very rewarding to apply physics principles to understand one of the defining scientific questions of our time: the inner workings of Earth’s climate. I am a faculty of the MIT Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Science Department, Director of the MIT Program of Atmospheres, Oceans and Climate, and a member of the MIT/WHOI Joint Program in Physical Oceanography and the MIT Climate Modeling Initiative.

Ryan Allard

Ryan Allard is a transportation analyst with broad knowledge of transportation systems and their impact on climate. His specialties include passenger intermodality, intercity transport, competitive issues in transportation, and cooperation among transportation systems, on which he has published peer-reviewed research and presented at international conferences. In the past, Ryan worked as a consultant, aiding in the development of more effective government and state agencies. He has a PhD and MSc in Transportation Systems Analysis from the University of Lisbon, and a BS in Aerospace Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Talia Khan

Talia Khan, an Arizona native, is a junior at MIT. She majors in Materials Science and Engineering and Music. At MIT, Talia studies vocal jazz and performs in the MIT Vocal Jazz Ensemble. She has also appeared in many professional musical theater performances and is a student of classical voice. Talia thanks her teachers – Laura Grill Jaye, Fred Harris, and John Harbison – for this opportunity.

Thea James

VP of Mission & Associate Chief Medical Officer at Boston Medical Center
Dr. Thea L. James is an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine. She is also the Associate Chief Medical Officer, Vice President of Mission, and Director of the Violence Intervention Advocacy Program at Boston Medical Center. Dr. James has chaired and served on national committees within the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine. She was appointed to the SAEM Women in Academic Emergency Medicine Task Force, is a member of the Boston University School of Medicine Admissions Committee, and in 2009, was appointed to the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine. She presently serves as Chair of the Licensing Committee. Dr. James is the 2008 awardee of the David H. Mulligan Award for public service. Dr. James is a Supervising Medical Officer on the Boston Disaster Medical Assistance Team. She is a graduate of Georgetown University School of Medicine and was a chief resident at Boston City Hospital.

Timothy Gutowski

Timothy Gutowski received his Ph. D. in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1981. Currently he is a professor of mechanical engineering at MIT and a member of the Laboratory for Manufacturing and Productivity (LMP).

Tom Peacock

Having received his B.Sc. (Physics) from Manchester University and D. Phil. (Physics) from Oxford University, Professor Thomas Peacock of the Mechanical Engineering Department at MIT is the Director of the Environmental Dynamics Laboratory (ENDLab). His research group conducts field studies, laboratory experiments and modeling of environmental flows with an emphasis on ocean dynamics and transport. Professor Thomas Peacock received NSF and ONR sponsored projects, including recent studies in the Arctic Ocean, the Timor Sea, and the Western Pacific. Recently, he established a research program at MIT that studies scientific and societal aspects of deep-sea mining, with activities ranging from plume dynamic studies in the Pacific Ocean to the development of an international royalty payment regime for the International Seabed Authority.

Vasan Ramachandran

Principal Investigator, RURAL Study at BU School of Medicine
Vasan S. Ramachandran, M.D., Principal Investigator and Director of the FHS, and Director of the FHS fellowship program in cardiovascular epidemiology for the last 25 years. Dr. Ramachandran is a Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at BUSM/BUSPH, and Chief, Section of Preventive Medicine and Epidemiology, Department of Medicine, BUSM. He is the Jay & Louis Coffman Professor of Vascular Medicine at BUSM. Dr. Ramachandran is a trained cardiologist with subspecialty training in echocardiography. He is a fellow of the AHA Councils on Epidemiology and Prevention and Functional Genomics and Translational Biology, and a fellow of the American College of Cardiology. He received the Outstanding Mentor awards from the Department of Medicine, BUSM, and the AHA Council on Epidemiology and Prevention, and the prestigious AHA Population Science Award in 2014.

Vibha Agarwal

Vibha Agarwal is a software intern at Google. "Robotics, autonomous control, machine learning - oh my! Hi, I'm Vibha, and I'm passionate about using innovative technology to help others. I have experience working on drones, software backend, and embedded systems, and like working on innovative projects that challenge the 'What If?'. "

Organizing team


Brookline, MA, United States


Cambridge, MA, United States