x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Convergence

May 16, 2024
1:00pm - 5:00pm EDT
(UTC -4hrs)
Savannah, Georgia
United States
This event is open to the public.
Tickets are available.

The 2024 TEDxSavannah event will feature thought-provoking talks by area residents and thrilling live performances about the theme of convergence. Each TEDxSavannah speaker is limited to a maximum of 12 minutes to present an interesting talk influenced by the theme and of interest to the Savannah community. It is a powerful source of inspiration, a vibrant community, and a dynamic place to network with Savannah-area leaders and influencers.

Georgia Southern University, Fine Arts Auditorium, Armstrong Campus
11935 Abercorn St.
Savannah, Georgia, 31408
United States
Event type:
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Bonzo K. Reddick

District Health Director, Georgia Department of Public Health
A native of Savannah, Georgia, Dr. Bonzo Reddick earned his bachelor’s degree from Morehouse College and his M.D. degree from Morehouse School of Medicine. He completed a Family Medicine residency and earned master’s degree in public health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill before returning to Chatham County in 2014. He currently serves as a Professor of Community Medicine at Mercer University’s School of Medicine and provides medical care at a mobile Healthcare for the Homeless (HCH) clinic through the J.C. Lewis Primary Health Care Center. He is board-certified in Family Medicine and was named the Georgia Family Physician of the Year in 2021.

Briana Paxton

Chief Executive Officer, Hestia Community Partners LLC
Briana Paxton is a local historic preservation professional, small-scale developer and single-mom to a four-year-old daughter. She resides in Baldwin Park and recently redeveloped a historic commercial building on Waters Avenue into a space for three new businesses. She volunteers with Historic Savannah Foundation and was named the HSF 2022 Volunteer of the Year for her efforts to launch the nonprofit organization’s affordable housing initiatives. On the national level, she brings the preservation voice to Congress as the Chairwoman of Preservation Action, a grassroots lobbying group dedicated to historic preservation. In her free time, she enjoys playing ultimate frisbee at Forsyth Park.

Bruce Feiler

Author, Speaker and TV Host
Bruce Feiler stands apart as one of America’s most thoughtful voices on contemporary life. He is the author of seven New York Times bestsellers, including Life Is in the Transitions, The Secret of Happy Families, Walking the Bible and Council of Dads. His three TED Talks have been viewed more than four million times, plus he teaches the popular TED Course “How to Master Life Transitions.” A longtime New York Times columnist, Bruce writes the popular newsletter “The Nonlinear Life,” about navigating life’s ups and downs and has contributed to The New Yorker, Parade and Gourmet. He has been the subject of a Jay Leno joke and a JEOPARDY! question, plus his face appears on a postage stamp in the Grenadines. Originally from Savannah, Georgia, he currently lives in Brooklyn with his wife and their identical twin daughters.

Christian Shellman

Community Development Manager, Housing Savannah, Inc.
A Savannah, Georgia native and Valdosta State University graduate, Christian M. Shellman earned a master’s degree in Public Administration from Georgia Southern University and has more than four years of experience working in local government. She recently transitioned to the nonprofit sector, working as the Community Development Manager at Housing Savannah. Her mission is to dispel myths around affordable housing, fostering collaboration and supporting education, advocacy and fundraising initiatives for affordable housing options in Chatham County. She strives to illuminate the convergence of diverse perspectives, urging stakeholders to collectively address housing challenges to create a more resilient community.

Deidre Grim

Executive Director, Forsyth Farmers’ Market
Deidre Grim, Ph.D., serves as the executive director of the Forsyth Farmers’ Market and is a food justice advocate, social scientist, planner and activist who believes in overcoming challenges without excuses. Growing up in South Carolina, her passion for equity and equality stems from her family’s dedication to activism. As the CEO of Ivory Bay Community Development Corporation and the first Black executive director of Forsyth Farmers’ Market, she strives to create opportunities for others. She earned a Ph.D. in Public Policy from the University of California-Irvine, a master’s in Public Health from Columbia Southern University and a B.A. in Urban Studies from the College of Charleston. Inspired by Vice President Kamala Harris, Deidre believes that it is her duty to ensure that everyone has access to the same opportunities and is passionate about food justice.

Elizabeth Adams

Affiliate Fellow, Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence
Elizabeth M. Adams is a respected AI influencer who has been recognized by Forbes as one of “15 AI Ethics Leaders Showing The World The Way Of The Future.” She has studied the science of business and the influences of technology on society for more than two decades while leading large-scale technology initiatives for Fortune 500 companies and government organizations. As a scholar-practitioner, she developed her expertise working with tech and non-tech leaders, creating alliances that translate theory into results. Her commitment to inclusivity and ethical tech is reflected in her work driving broader employee stakeholder engagement. Currently pursuing a doctorate in Leadership of Responsible AI, her research focuses on how leaders can engage employees, particularly those exposed to AI harm. Her goal is to encourage individuals who have traditionally been excluded from the AI landscape to become active participants in building the future of AI.

Jessica Leigh Lebos

Award-Winning Writer
Jessica Leigh Lebos has been writing about interesting people and enchanting places for more than 25 years. She is an award-winning local columnist and community builder who has published two popular books, Savannah Sideways and The Camellia Thief & Other Tales. Swept off her feet by a native son sometime in the last century, she is originally from Arizona and introduces herself at cocktail parties as “Southern by marriage.”

Lillian Grant-Baptiste

Gullah-Geechee Storyteller and Founder of Baobab Speaks Consulting Group
Lillian Grant-Baptiste is a renowned storyteller who focuses on healing, resiliency, and reconciliation stories. She recently retired from the City of Savannah and is a sought-after trainer and motivational speaker who facilitates a variety of cultural diversity, youth development, and leadership workshops. Known in Savannah for her advocacy for personal, family, and community empowerment, she has been actively involved in the social change movement for over 30 years. She is the Co-owner of a Touch of Afrika Boutique and Cultural Shop, and the founder and principal consultant of Baobab Speaks Consulting Group. She serves on the board of directors for the King Tisdell Cottage Foundation and the Martin de Porres Society. She is the immediate Past Chair of the board of directors for Healthy Savannah, the former Champion of Step-up Savannah’s Faith-based Committee, and the past Chair of Healthy Savannah’s Faith and Health Coalition. She loves spending time with her three grandsons.

Mike Kentz

English Teacher, Benedictine Military School
Mike Kentz is an award-winning educator at Benedictine Military School with more than 15 years of experience in journalism and teaching. He currently leads an AI Exploration Program with select upperclassmen and hopes to develop a Self-Directed Learning Program for high school students leveraging AI technology. He is a graduate of Georgetown University, the Relay Graduate School of Education and Wilkes University and is a lacrosse coach as well as an avid basketball, tennis and pickleball player.

Nina Samuels

Sculptor Working with Clay and Sustainable Materials
Nina Samuels is a ceramic-based sculptor who lives and works in Savannah, Georgia. She uses wild clay and other natural materials she has foraged across the Southeast to create original work inspired by the land, sea and fauna of the natural world. Her work has been exhibited in more than 30 art galleries across the United States. Her current work centers around marine sustainability and ceramics, using algae waste material and wild clay to create innovative ceramic sculptures designed to support marine reef growth. Many of her sculptures are currently hosting life in waterways across the Southeast.

Steve Hein

Founder and Executive Director, Georgia Southern University Wildlife Center
Steve Hein brings his passion for falconry, artistic talent, business skills and a tremendous sense of fun to his work at Georgia Southern University’s Center for Wildlife Education, where he has served as the director since the Center’s inception in 1991. He earned a degree in Business Administration from Georgia Southern University and holds federal and state licenses as a Master Falconer, practicing this ancient art with tremendous enthusiasm. An award-winning wildlife artist, he received the Georgia Governor’s “Artist of Excellence” award and was honored three times as the Georgia Ducks Unlimited Artist of the Year. He is the past president of the Statesboro Convention and Visitors Bureau; completed Leadership Bulloch, Leadership Southeast Georgia and Leadership Georgia; and is a past chair of Leadership Southeast Georgia. He also served two terms as a council member on the Bulloch County Board of Education. He and his wife have four adult children and four grandchildren.

Suzanne Kirk

President and Executive Human Resources Consultant, Employee Development Strategies, Inc.
Suzanne Kirk is a human resources and organizational development consultant with Employee Development Strategies, Inc., a firm she established in 2011. Helping companies align culture, vision and objectives with performance management, she is a certified senior professional in Human Resources with a specialty credential in Inclusive Workplace Cultures. Raised in Toronto, Canada, she has called Savannah home since 2001, where she and her husband are parents to three teenagers and two rescue dogs. She serves on the board of directors for Emmaus House and Chatham-Savannah Citizen Advocacy and is most proud of becoming a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2023.

Organizing team


Savannah, GA, United States


Savannah, GA, United States
  • Allison Hersh
  • Cecilia Tran Arango
  • Clinton Edminster
  • Ravi Gondaliya