x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Mavericks & Moonshots

This event occurred on
June 9, 2022
Washington, District of Columbia
United States

We live in an incredible era of new possibilities, yet we still face many challenges. Today’s issues are not just limited to technological progress, they cut across all aspects of our society. Our willingness to ask big questions and seek bold solutions to our most pressing problems is at the heart of being human. It’s what drives the dreamers and doers to think outside the box, imagine the impossible, and shoot for the moon.

Now more than ever we need moonshots — bold innovations that aim to address insurmountable problems — to develop new solutions to humanity’s most pressing problems, from climate change to human rights violations. Paving the way forward will not be easy, but the most remarkable challenges always lead to remarkable innovations. To turn these obstacles into opportunities, it is up to each of us to hone our unique skills and come together to achieve a purpose greater than just our own. Through bold innovation and perseverance in the face of obstacles, we we can go from small steps to giant leaps and achieve the impossible.

In 2022, TEDxPearlStreet is shooting for the moon. Join us as we welcome an extraordinary line-up of unorthodox and independent-minded thinkers to the stage to share ideas worth spreading. Be inspired by their bold ideas and courage, as MAVERICKS & MOONSHOTS energizes the audience and inspires change across Washington, DC and beyond.

The Hamilton Live
600 14th St NW
Washington, District of Columbia, 20005
United States
Event type:
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Alani Bankhead

Special Agent
Alani Bankhead is a Special Agent with the Hawaii Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. Together with her partner, K9 Lulu, Alani is fulfilling her life’s purpose to protect and uplift the most vulnerable – women and children. A United States Air Force veteran and reservist, Alani is helping to stop the spread of child sex abuse material and bring criminals to justice. As one of the leading experts in the child safety space, Alani’s secret weapon is K9 Lulu, an elite crime-fighting canine who is one of only 40 electronic detection dogs in the United States.

Ché Bolden

USMC (Retired)
Ché Bolden is a United States Marine Corps veteran with 26-years of experience and extensive operational expertise in political military affairs, international affairs, and critical infrastructure. He is now the President and CEO of The Charles F. Bolden Group, an executive leadership firm established for the global advancement of science and security.

Chelsea Ritter-Soronen

Chelsea Ritter-Soronen is a multi-disciplinary visual artist living and working in Washington, D.C. When not creating large scale murals, Chelsea Ritter-Soronen stays busy with Chalk Riot, her pavement art business that specializes in chalked street art and semipermanent ground murals. Formally trained by scenic artists and informally trained by graffiti artists, Chelsea's murals often combine trompe l'oeil elements with modern playful twists.

Cyndy Porter

Image Consultant
Cyndy Porter believes that when you discover your unique value and show it to the world, the world responds generously. An award-winning photographer, image consultant and personal stylist, Cyndy is the creator of Success thru Style, an organization that blends art and science and psychology to help her clients elevate their personal brand and style. Prior to creating her business, Cyndy was a sales and marketing executive at Eastman Kodak Company and AOL.

Dawn Laguens

Social Impact Strategist
Dawn Laguens is the Chief of Global Strategy and Innovation for Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Planned Parenthood Global, and Planned Parenthood Action Fund and is changing the way cultures view sex, health and equality in the U.S. and around the world. A social impact strategist, award- winning writer and director, mother of triplets, and passionate advocate for people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights, Dawn has dedicated her life’s work to fighting for access to care for millions of patients and advance reproductive rights and freedoms for all people.

Diane Carter-Bryant

Criminal Justice Reformer
Diane Carter-Bryant is a community health worker and HIV case manager for Community Family Life Services (CFLS). At CFLS, Diane's work is focused on helping women rebuild their lives and return to society after incarceration. She is a passionate advocate for gender responsive justice initiatives and believes the criminal justice system must work harder to understand the unique pathways of women and girls into the justice system.

Dr. Hazel Edwards

Urban Designer
Dr. Hazel Ruth Edwards, professor and former chair of Howard University’s Department of Architecture of the College of Engineering and Architecture, was the first female department chair since 1911. Her training in architecture, urban design and city planning enables multidisciplinary approaches to complex urban challenges. She’s nurtured a new generation of professionals who express the built environment in a broad spectrum of cultural values, thereby increasing diverse voices in the planning and design fields. In 2021, President Biden appointed her to the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts where she is the first African American woman to serve as Vice Chair.

Dr. Melissa Clarke

Healthcare Reformer
Dr. Melissa Clarke is a Harvard educated Emergency Medicine physician, with over 30 years of healthcare experience. She has been on the frontlines in addressing health disparities, health literacy and improving the way doctors and patients work together. Dr. Clarke is passionate about health equity for communities of color and empowering individuals to be their best health advocates. Her book, “Excuse Me, Doctor. I’ve got WHAT?!” is a roadmap for how to be a smart healthcare consumer.

Emily Janoch

Emily Janoch is the Director for Knowledge Management and Learning at CARE, focusing on ways to better learn from, share, and use implementation experiences on eradicating poverty through empowering women and girls in order to improve impact. With 16 years of experience, she is an expert in designing systems to capture and share information across many sources, and facilitating conversations with practitioners and decision makers. Emily holds a Masters' in Public Policy in Internationals and Global Affairs from the Harvard Kennedy School.

Ilona Maher

Ilona Maher is a Professional Rugby Player who recently represented the USA at the Tokyo Olympics. While there, she shared her journey on Tik Tok and became a viral sensation through her witty commentary and insightful view into the Olympic Village. Originally from Burlington, Vermont, Ilona received her Bachelors of Nursing from Quinnipiac University. Two weeks after graduating, she decided to pursue her Olympic dream and focus solely on rugby. She has become very open about her struggles with mental health after the Olympic Games and is a champion for Women’s Empowerment.

Jackie Barbieri

Jackie Barbieri is obsessed with inventing ways to better understand our world so that we can make it better. She is a former intelligence analyst, and now the founder and CEO of Whitespace. Jackie and her team are on a mission to bring deep insights to high-impact decision makers and strategists globally.

Jane Mayer

Jane Mayer is the chief Washington correspondent for The New Yorker, where she covers politics, culture, and national security. Previously, she worked at the The Wall Street Journal where she covered the bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, the Gulf War, and the fall of the Berlin Wall. In 1984, she became that paper’s first female White House correspondent. Jane is the author of four best-selling books including “Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right,” which in 2016 the Times named as one of the ten best books of the year.

Jared Holt

Jared Holt is a senior research manager at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue, where he researches domestic extremist movements in the United States and their usage of the internet. His work carries a reputation for its aggressive lines of inquiry and its ability to innovate in the field of extremism reporting and research. Jared is one of the nation's most visible experts on modern domestic extremism, frequently speaking to national broadcast media and journalists about his work.

Jasmine Jones

Fashion Entrepreneur
Jasmine Jones is the founder and CEO of Myya, the first online direct-to-consumer, insurance-billable post-mastectomy intimates brand. Inspired by her grandmother's battle with breast cancer, Jasmine created Myya to address the challenge of finding well-fitting post-mastectomy bras that provide support when you need it most. Incubated at Cherry Blossom Intimates, the brand’s retail space, Myya is the next step in the company’s evolution, connecting women across the country with certified mastectomy fitters. Offering breast cancer survivors a completely customizable virtual post-mastectomy bra fitting, ensuring that all women get the perfect fit. Myya is the only online post-mastectomy bra boutique that can both fit and bill insurance directly for its customers, making the shopping process seamless for them.

Joe Mechlinski

Social Entrepreneur
Joe Mechlinski, Founder and CEO of SHIFT and New York Times bestselling author, wants to change the way we work to transform the way we live. At SHIFT, a tech-enabled management consulting firm nationally recognized as a ‘Best Workplace,’ Joe helps leaders build healthy and high-performing organizations by disrupting outdated norms, building engaged teams, and using technology to unlock human potential. Passionate about equity in the workplace, Joe is a partner at Conscious Venture Partners: a group that invests in minority and female-founded businesses.

K9 Lulu

Electronic Detection K9
Meet K9 Lulu, a canine super hero. Lulu is an Electronic Detection K9 on the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force at the Hawaii Department of the Attorney General. Lulu's job is to sniff out electronic devices used in child sex abuse, including laptops, cell phones, hard drives, and even tiny micro-SD cards. Not only is she a canine crime fighter, Lulu also provides emotional support to the children she protects.

Mei Xu

Mei Xu is a Chinese American entrepreneur. The founder and CEO of three global companies, Yes She May, BlissLiving Home® and Chesapeake Bay Candle®. Xu successfully negotiated the sale of Chesapeake Bay Candle to Newell Brands in 2017, a conglomerate with a $14 billion portfolio of consumer goods. Mei is now focused on helping women-owned consumer product companies grow and prosper with the Yes She May product platform.

Renee Wynn

Cybersecurity Expert
Renee Wynn is helping to build the new space economy, working with companies and countries to help them build out their space capabilities and navigating cybersecurity issues. She is the former Chief Information Officer at NASA, and has also served as the Acting Assistant Administrator for the Office of Environmental Information and Chief Information Officer for the Environmental Protection Agency. Renee serves on the Board of Virginia Tech - Applied Research Corporation (VT-ARC) and as a strategic advisor to Aquia, Interos, Level 6, and Palo Alto Networks.

Sarah Fuhrman

Sarah Fuhrman is an attorney and humanitarian aid professional with more than a decade of experience in policy, advocacy, research, and operations. She has worked with a variety of organizations on issues including adherence to international law, food insecurity, gender equality, and the protection of civilians in conflict. Sarah has supported humanitarian responses in Afghanistan, DRC, Iraq, Kenya, Mexico, South Sudan, Thailand, and Yemen. She is the Director of Humanitarian Policy at InterAction and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.

Sol Salinas

Sustainability Expert
Sol Salinas is a globally recognized Smart Cities and Sustainability expert and was one of the founders of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ENERGY STAR program. As the EVP & Sustainability Lead at Capgemini in Arlington, VA, Sol oversees the Group’s sustainability work across the Americas and with Capgemini global clients. Sol's personal journey has come full circle–from growing up in the streets of Managua, Nicaragua and begging for food and shelter to being a successful advertising executive helping to “invent desire” in others. Early in his career, Sol was fortunate to be given an assignment to develop the first global campaign on climate change. This changed his life and led to designing and running ENERGY STAR, which ultimately gave me the tools to educate companies across multiple industries to help reduce their carbon impacts.

Trevor Potter

Trevor Potter is one of the nation's best-known and most experienced campaign and election lawyers. He is the President of the Campaign Legal Center, a former Commissioner and Chairman of the Federal Election Commission, and counsel to several Presidential campaigns. The American Bar Association Journal has described Trevor Potter as “hands-down one of the top lawyers in the country on the delicate intersection of politics, law and money.” During the 2020 election season, Trevor was named to the cross-partisan National Task Force on Election Crises. He is a member of the DC Bar and the U.S. Supreme Court Bar.

Will Hackman

Climate Advocate
Will Hackman is a conservation and climate policy expert with more than a decade of global environmental issue advocacy. Will first developed a love for the ocean working as a commercial Alaskan fisherman, and since has dedicated his career to advancing public policies related to ocean and public land conservation as well as clean energy and the environment. He has attended four United Nations climate conferences and is a frequent climate policy expert voice online and in the media. Will is working on a book about radically reframing the climate conversation.

Yasmin Elhady

Yasmin Elhady is a half Libyan, half Egyptian refugee who sought asylum in the United States when she was five years old. Today, this attorney, comedian, relationship expert, and TikTok sensation enjoys sharing her life in the form of storytelling and helping others find love.

Organizing team


Washington, DC, United States