x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Emergence

This event occurred on
May 21, 2023
Providence, Rhode Island
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).

The Vets
One Ave of the Arts
Providence, Rhode Island, 02903
United States
Event type:
Standard (What is this?)
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Agonza Art

Agonza is a Latina artist from Providence Rhode Island. She has drawn her whole life. She came from a family of creative fine motor skills. She now has turned her drawing skills into paintings she I fell in love with blending paints together to create a smooth or textured surface. Acrylic paint on canvas and walls has been her primary go-to passion. The ability to absorb and feel the environment around where she will be painting has become a tradition within her creations. As well as all the conversations and feedback from those who spend most of their time around the area.

Barnaby Evans

Barnaby Evans is an artist, designer, developer, thought leader and consultant who uses his experience in many fields and media to create original solutions in planning, public art, public space, environmental resiliency and urban interfaces. Originally trained as a scientist focusing on environment and ecology, Evans creates original art works and design solutions involving major urban interventions, site-specific sculpture installations, photography, landscape, architectural and design projects, writing, and conceptual works. Evans combines his technical and ecological expertise, an awareness of spatial psychology, his sensitivity as an artist and a design philosophy to create unique solutions to public art and urban issues. Evans created WaterFire in Providence in 1994 as part of an effort to rebrand and re-establish Providence as a destination. Frustrated by the intense negativity of the local residents about their capital city and recognizing that the just finished award-winning river relocation plan and park would need pump priming to be an effective change agent, Evans designed WaterFire as a city-scale intervention that combines a design approach with aesthetics, land art, installation, site specific work, music, ritual and spectacle.

Christian Cowan

Christian Cowan is the Executive Director of 401 Tech Bridge. He is a senior executive with more than 20 years of experience in technical manufacturing operations and marketing in the IT networking, energy and textile industries. He brings both domestic and overseas hands-on manufacturing experience to the University of Rhode Island Research Foundation (URIRF), Polaris MEP’s parent organization. He most recently served as the Center Director of Polaris MEP. Christian earned his BSEE degree from Villanova University and his MBA from the University of Rhode Island.

Gabrielle Gibson

Dedicated to her craft, Gabrielle “Queen G” Gibson is a multi-faceted creative, educator, and public speaker whose superpower is empowering people. Utilizing her diverse background in the arts, she spent years performing and teaching all over the United States and around the world, engaging diverse audiences on various platforms. Her creative work investigates identity, challenges oppression, and reimagines community, culture, and faith as it reinforces her belief in the power of storytelling. As a published author and professional spoken word artist, she won multiple titles; Button Poetry, Write About Now, Sanctified Podcast, You Had Me at Black Podcast, My Vulva and Me: Volume 3 book, Poets in Autumn national tour, Bandaloop, and Voyage Magazine have featured her work. She uses her affinity for words on and off the stage as a podcast host and as a voice actor (for clients like Scholastic and Harvard). Her passion and capacity to strategically transform potential into measurable outcomes platform her as a skilled coach, consultant, and copywriter. She has extensive experience in community development and education; this produces engaging, enlightening, and culturally competent content when she creates curricula, cultivates programs, and consults for corporations and independent clients. She worked domestically and internationally, with 20 years of experience in non-profits, workshop facilitation, public speaking, youth development, and leadership training. She is the founder of the #UnfilteredDecember challenge, the Living Unfiltered project, and the Unfiltered Poetry youth program—all focused on empowering us to live our most unapologetic, unadulterated, unfiltered, abundant lives. This work led her to become a 2021-2022 National Artist Strategies Creative Community Fellow. Currently, she splits her time between Providence, RI and Atlanta, GA, manages Queen G Creative full-time, leads The Unfiltered Collective, facilitates for Roger Williams University part-time, and continues to formulate programs and strategies that prioritize the pursuit of equity, empathy, and education through creativity and communication.

Isabelle Mitchel

Isabelle Mitchell is currently a junior at the Wheeler School in Providence, RI. She was one of the finalists for last year’s Transform RI Scholarship with her idea to celebrate and support BIPOC small business owners and young artists through an annual festival in addition to loan programs, financial literacy workshops, grants, scholarships, and more.

Jason Allard

Jason is a director, editor and photographer specialized in producing videos for corporate and small business clients. His work includes promotional shorts, interviews/talking heads, music videos and feature-length documentaries. He also maintains a YouTube channel of 16,000+ subscribers, where he documents abandoned historical icons throughout New England through drone cinematography. To date, the series has over 1,000,000 views. In 2014, Rhode Island PBS broadcast his documentary, “My Old School,” to more than 40,000 households. His current video series, "Abandoned from Above," has earned more than one million views on YouTube and been featured on WCVB-TV Boston (Chronicle), CBS Boston, The Rhode Show and Insider.

Jim Owens

Jim is a mission-driven systems expert working in service of a secure and equitable future. -Leader of a team focused on the rapid development, prototyping, and transition of novel textile-integrated systems for DOD and commercial customers -Deep experience with high-value networked sensor systems including the Indonesia Integrated Maritime Surveillance System (IMSS) and global Search and Rescue Satellite-Aided Tracking (SARSAT) systems -Educator and supporter of STEM education in Rhode Island -Mentor and supporter of impact-focused technology entrepreneurship

John Tarantino

John has been recognized by Best Lawyers of America, Chambers USA, Benchmark and Lawdragon as one of the top attorneys in the country. He has tried many high-profile cases, both civil and criminal, in state and federal courts, and has also argued many appeals in state and federal appellate courts. His clients are broad-based and diverse: governors, senators, representatives, CEOs, boards of directors, entrepreneurs, major chemical companies, railroads, athletes, sport coaches and managers and leading real estate developers. His practice areas are equally broad-based and diverse: complex issues of constitutional law, antitrust and trade regulation, intellectual property, product liability, toxic torts, business and commercial disputes, white collar crime, employment law and sports law. John is equally proud of the work that he has done for clients who are not as famous or well known, often at reduced rates or on a pro bono basis, and he has received numerous awards and recognitions for his pro bono work. John’s passion and dedication to his work and his profession are well known. He lectures frequently on trial practice and techniques and is a leading author of 11 legal texts and more than 200 articles on product liability, discovery, evidence, procedure, legal ethics and trial strategy. He has won significant trial victories for Atlantic Richfield Company, the Governor of Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Senate, the House of Representatives and many other entities and individuals in cases ranging from toxic tort, to constitutional law, to bribery and wire fraud, to ethics violations, to voting law and redistricting.

Joshua Roman

Joshua Roman is a cello soloist and composer, hailed for his “effortlessly expressive tone… and playful zest for exploration” (New York Times), as well as his “extraordinary technical and musical gifts” and “blend of precision and almost improvisatory freedom… that goes straight to the heart” (San Francisco Chronicle). His genre-bending programs and wide-ranging collaborations have grown out of an “enthusiasm for musical evolution that is as contagious as his love for the classics” (Seattle Times). Committed to bringing Classical music to new audiences, Roman opened the acclaimed 2017 TED Conference, and his performance of the complete Bach Solo Cello Suites after the 2016 U.S. Presidential election was the most-viewed event in the history of TED’s social channels, with nearly a million live viewers. Roman has collaborated with world-class artists across genres and disciplines, including Yo-Yo Ma, Edgar Meyer, DJ Spooky Tony-winner/MacArthur Genius Bill T. Jones, Grammy Award-winning East African vocalist Somi, and Tony Award-nominated actor Anna Deavere Smith. As a soloist, Roman’s “exceptionally high quality of performances” (LA Times) combines “the expressive control of Casals with the creative individuality and virtuoso flair of Hendrix himself” (Gramophone). He has performed with leading orchestras around the United States and the world, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, New World Symphony, Toronto Symphony, BBC Scottish, and Mariinsky Symphony Orchestra, and he was principal cellist at Seattle Symphony from age 22 to 24. Roman’s 2022-23 season highlights include his debut with the St. Louis Symphony, recitals with the Cliburn and Princeton University Concerts, and a performance of Tavener’s The Protecting Veil at The Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn. For the 2023-24 season, Roman will continue as Las Vegas Philharmonic’s inaugural Artist In Residence, and will perform as a soloist with the Detroit, Oregon, Monterey, Vermont, and Greenville Symphonies. His ongoing trio project with Edgar Meyer and Tessa Lark will also have a performance at the acclaimed Big Ears Festival. Roman has long been a leader and innovator in his use of digital and social media, with projects like his Popper Etude videos amassing nearly 2 million views. His solo performance with the YouTube Symphony at Carnegie Hall was viewed by 33 million people across nearly 200 countries, with Yo-Yo Ma introducing him as “one of the great exemplars of the ideal 21st century musician.”

Leslie Moore

Leslie Moore works in real estate development and urban renewal in Pawtucket Rhode Island. She is working to redevelop numerous properties on main street in Pawtucket to support black-owned businesses and nurture BIPOC entrepreneurs while bringing much needed economic development and activity to the downtown core.

Mack Scott

Mack Scott is a historian, educator, and member of the Narragansett Indian Tribe. His work focuses on the intersections of race and identity and employs agency as a lens through which to view and understand the voices, stories, and perspectives of traditionally marginalized peoples. He has published works illuminating the experiences of African American, Native American, and Latinx peoples. He is currently working on a project that traces the Narragansett nation from the pre-colonial to the modern era.

Mariam Kaba

Mariam Kaba comes from an underprivileged community and is the daughter of West African parents and a student at Woonsocket High School/Woonsocket Career and Technical Center. In 2022, she was awarded the first-ever Transform Rhode Island Scholarship, the only scholarship program of its kind in the United States. For her transformative idea, focused on Black, Indigenous, and People of Color communities in Rhode Island, Mariam received a seat at the table as the Papitto Opportunity Connection invested $1 million to bring her idea to life to help restore the community of Woonsocket, Rhode Island.

Sendurai Mani

Sendurai A. Mani is a tenured Professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and Dean’s Endowed Chair for Translational Oncology. He is also the Associate Director for Translational Oncology at Legorreta Cancer Center and Director of the Cancer Stem Cell Center at Brown University. After completing his Ph.D. at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India, Dr. Mani joined the Weinberg laboratory at the Whitehead Institute/MIT as a postdoctoral fellow. Dr. Mani and his colleagues at MIT demonstrated that the activation of latent embryonic epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) promotes metastasis. In addition, Dr. Mani was the first to show that the activation of EMT provides stem cell properties to cancer cells. This highly cited finding provided insights into the presence of plasticity within the tumor and how cancer cells survive in the circulation and develop metastasis similar to the tissue of origin at the distant site. Dr. Mani received several prestigious awards, including the V-Scholar and American Cancer Society Research Scholar awards and Dean's Endowed Chair for Translational Oncology at Brown University. He is an elected member of the scientific research honor society Sigma Xi and an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS).

Organizing team


Providence, RI, United States


Providence, RI, United States