x = independently organized TED event

This event occurred on
September 15, 2009
6:00am - 6:00am EDT
(UTC -4hrs)
United States

Our city joined Berlin, London, New York, Paris, San Francisco, Sydney, Tokyo, and some 50 other places around the world in becoming a part of the TEDx community.

The moment seemed right to ask ourselves what the future of Atlanta required of us.

Eric Lewis — the rockjazz pianist — broke open our minds with his preface performance. Evolution is not wholesale change, his music said to us, but a beautiful, intentional, all-in commitment to what we can see or hear or imagine.

The issues addressed by the eight speakers were close to home, even when they took our minds far away. Michael Meyer tackled the issue of traffic, appropriate in a city at the top of commuter miles. Ciannat Howett pierced us with the question we’ll have to answer from our children: why did you use clean, fresh drinking water to flush the toilet? Greg Lindsay took us into modern aerotropolises and the planned cities of China, giving us an eagle’s perspective of the city planning of the future.

Gregory Jones challenged us to be the slug, which is, after all, nothing more than a collective response to need for change. And Keith Eigel reminded us that it is in the challenges — and only in the challenges — that we grow as leaders.

United States
See more ­T­E­Dx­Atlanta events


Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Eric Lewis

Eric Lewis channels the raw emotion of alternative rock into fiery, take-no-prisoners jazz piano arrangements. Before setting out to capture the voice of alt rock in the keys, he toured with the likes of music legends Wynton Marsalis and Elvin Jones, and was winner of the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition.

Ciannat Howett

Ciannat is Director of Sustainability Initiatives at Emory University, which boasts the largest square footage of energy-efficient buildings in the nation. The school is nearly halfway through an ambitious 10-year plan that is reducing energy use and changing behaviors about the environment. Now Howett has turned her attention to embedding sustainability in the curriculum of every academic department.

Dr. Michael Meyer

One of the leading authorities on transportation planning, Michael is a professor at Georgia Tech, where he has served as Chair of The School of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He started his career as a professor at MIT, then served for five years as the Head of Transportation Planning & Development for the State of Massachusetts.

Dr. Gregory Todd Jones

Gregory Todd Jones is a lawyer, statistician, decision scientist, and policy analyst. He's the Faculty Research Fellow at Georgia State University's College of Law. He directs an interuniversity consortium on Negotiation and Conflict Resolution. And he's the founding director of the Computation Laboratory for Complex Adaptive Systems. Really, he just helps people understand the power of potential of cooperation.

Dr. Richard Farson

Dr. Richard Farson, psychologist, author, lecturer and educator, is president of the Western Behavioral Sciences Institute (WBSI), an independent, nonprofit organization he helped found in La Jolla, California, devoted to research, education and advanced study in human affairs. He is also the author of The Power of Design.

Justin De Leon

Justin de Leon received a Master of Arts Degree in International Relations with a focus on economic development and conflict. He has directed award-winning documentaries concerning issues of urban poverty, homelessness, conflict, environmental degradation, and religion.

Greg Lindsay

Greg Lindsay writes frequently about the intersection of transportation, urbanization, and globalization. He is the author, with John D. Kasarda, of the forthcoming Aerotropolis, which examines how and where we choose to live in an interconnected world — in cities orbiting airports, and not the other way around. He is a contributing writer for Fast Company, and has written for Fortune, BusinessWeek, Wired, and The Guardian.

Dr. Keith Eigel

Keith is the co-founder of The Leaders Lyceum, a leadership development institute specializing in developing leaders for effectiveness in all areas of their life—a whole-person approach.

Chef Shane Touhy

Known for his sophisticated and seasonally driven cuisine, renowned chef and Atlanta native Shane Touhy has built his career on years of experience, hard work and personal flair. Dogwood, his new restaurant located in the heart of Atlanta, gives patrons the opportunity to indulge in Touhy’s one-of-a-kind dishes.

Organizing team


Atlanta, GA, United States
  • Jenn Graham
    Speaker Liasion
  • Jenn Flemish
    Technical Producer
  • Sherry Duffy
  • Dave Whitling
  • Steve Hsu
  • Dawn Gahan
  • Molly Hargather
    Event Planning/Invitation Coordination