x = independently organized TED event

This event occurred on
October 16, 2010
10:00am - 6:00pm CDT
(UTC -5hrs)
United States

The topic of this year’s TEDxSMU is serious stuff. We’re talking about human survival.
The range of perspectives on the theme is vast, but at the heart of all the talks is a
common thread: how are we going to make it as a global community?

Dee & Charles Wyly Theatre
2400 Flora St.
Dallas, 75201
United States
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Roger Black

For more than 35 years, Roger Black has worked with magazines like Rolling Stone, newspapers like The New York Times and websites like, developing ways to communicate content more effectively. A partner in the Font Bureau and Danilo Black, both founded in 1989, Roger and his teams have redesigned Reader's Digest, Esquire, The Nation (Bangkok) and the Los Angeles Times, to name a few. Last year he redesigned The Washington Post newspaper and the news website for MIT. Currently, Roger is putting the finishing touches on a new design for the Scientific American's website and magazine. Recently, he helped launch four new companies: Webtype, Treesaver, Ready-Media and Nomad Editions.

Salah Boukadoum

Salah Boukadoum is a successful lifelong entrepreneur who teaches businesses how to make positive social impact by working with sustainable social institutions. Originally an internationally touring concert pianist, Salah has been building and selling businesses since age 27. His most recent Dallas-based venture, Soap Hope, invests every dollar of profit into non-profit organizations that provide microloans to women in poverty worldwide. Salah is the inventor of the Good Returns model, in which businesses dedicate all profits for one year of service to society before paying them out as dividends. Prior to founding Soap Hope, Salah was Founder and CEO of Atrana Solutions, a technology company creating software and electronic transaction processing solutions for the prepaid services industry; Atrana was acquired in 2005 by publicly traded Alliance Data. Salah has a vision and plan for Good Returns: to teach 1,000 businesses to implement Good Returns, thereby creating one billion dollars for social good.

Baba Brinkman

Baba Brinkman is a Canadian actor and rap artist and former tree-planter who has personally planted more than one million trees. Baba has received international acclaim for his rap comedy theatre shows, which cover topics as diverse as evolutionary psychology, the Canterbury Tales, democracy, and civil disobedience. Last year he won the Scotsman Fringe First Award at the Edinburgh Fringe for his “Rap Guide to Evolution,” which is transferring to New York in 2011. When he is not on tour, Baba resides in his hometown of Vancouver.

Majka Burhardt

Majka Burhardt is a writer, climber, and American Mountain Guides Association Certified Rock Guide. A lifelong adventurer, she has traveled and guided throughout the world by bike, canoe, and, more often than not, by foot. Much of Majka’s recent work has been focused on Africa, where she first went to Ethiopia in search of a rare coffee. Unexplored sandstone towers kept her in Ethiopia and resulted in her book Vertical Ethiopia, short-listed for the Banff Book Award. Her second book, Coffee Story: Ethiopia, will be released in the fall of 2010. In 2009, Majka produced Waypoint Namibia, now touring film festivals around the world. Majka is a frequent contributor to national magazines and a seasoned lecturer. She arrives at TEDxSMU fresh from her most recent project—leading a three-week journey of adventure, global stewardship and sacred connection, all united by a collective commitment to contributing to new schools in rural Ethiopia.

Daniel Bernard Roumain

Daniel Bernard Roumain: Having carved a reputation for himself as an innovative composer, performer, violinist, and band leader, Haitian-American artist Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR) melds his classical music roots with his own cultural references and vibrant musical imagination. Proving that he’s "about as omnivorous as a contemporary artist gets" (New York Times), DBR recently collaborated and performed with Lady Gaga on FOX’s American Idol. His accolades range from being voted as "America’s Assignment" on the CBS Evening News, to receiving praise as one of the "Top 100 New Yorkers" (New York Resident), "Top 40 Under 40" business people (Crain’s New York Business), one of the entertainment industry’s "Top 5 Tomorrow’s Newsmakers" (1010 WINS Radio), and spotlighted as a "New Face of Classical Music" in Esquire Magazine.

Elan Vytal

Elan Vytal, aka DJ Scientific: DJ/Composer Elan Vytal aka DJ Scientific combines precisely engineered hip-hop beats and scratched rhythms with classical and world music, creating a uniquely contemporary urban sonic experience. From dance clubs to concert halls, his crossbreed of musical genres and traditions has earned him critical acclaim and audiences worldwide. He began his musical career as an MC in Oakland, CA with politically charged hip-hop group Rizing Sun Productions. Upon his arrival in New York in 2002, he began spinning regularly at clubs and high-end social events while attending School of Audio Engineering. In 2003, he met composer/violinist DBR and the duo began collaborating and touring extensively, premiering a series of new works. In 2008 Elan Vytal self-released Life Force, a solo album representing a myriad of collaborations. He is currently touring a children’s show entitled Prospect Bear, featuring turntables, video, strings and a vocalist.

Andres Diaz

Since winning the First Prize in the 1986 Naumburg International Cello Competition, Andrés has exhilarated both critics and audiences with his intense and charismatic performances. Andrés was awarded the prestigious Avery Fisher Career Grant, as well as a grant from the Susan W. Rose Fund for Music, in 1998. He has performed with the Atlanta Symphony, the American Symphony at Carnegie Hall, the symphony orchestras of Milwaukee, Seattle, and Rochester, the Boston Pops and Esplanade Orchestras, the Chicago Symphony, and the National Symphony Orchestra, as well as in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, Canada, Chile, Venezuela, Argentina, the Dominican Republic, the Soviet Union, and New Zealand. Andrés was born in Santiago, Chile in 1964, and began studying the cello at the age of five. He graduated from the New England Conservatory and currently plays an active role in chamber music performances with the Conservatory’s faculty. Presently, Andrés is an Associate Professor at Southern Methodist University’s Meadows School of the Arts. Andrés plays a 1698 Matteo Goffriller Cello with a bow made by his father, Manuel Díaz.

Mick Ebeling

Mick’s quest to make cool stuff has been relentless. For the last 10 years, he and the other insomniacs at The Ebeling Group - have been making things like James Bond main titles, Grammy nominated music videos, commercials for Fortune 100 brands, and Cannes Lion winning branded content. Two years ago Mick was inspired by his friend, ALS patient and famous street artist, Tempt, to create something else - The Eyewriter. The Eyewriter - the first project of The Not Impossible Foundation - is an open source, low-cost, DIY device that gives anyone suffering from paralysis the ability to draw again using only their eyes. Along with The Eyewriter, Mick launched The Not Impossible Foundation to continue matching ordinary problems with extraordinary people to create low-cost, DIY solutions for real-world issues. Fifteen years ago, Mick convinced this insanely creative girl named Caskey to marry him. Now they have 3 giant boys - Angus, BoJameson, and Trace. They will be playing in the NBA in 2025, 2027, and 2031 respectively. Stay tuned.

Cari Guittard

Cari is Executive Director for Business for Diplomatic Action and a native of Dallas, Texas. After receiving her B.A. in Political Science and Public Administration and Master of Public Affairs & Public Administration from the University of Texas at Dallas, she was selected for the Presidential Management Fellowship and began work as a computer security specialist and spokesperson for cyber threats and critical infrastructure protection for the U.S. Department of State. During her tenure at State, Cari worked globally and managed portfolios that included Public Affairs & Public Diplomacy, East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Political Military Affairs, Diplomatic Security, Counter-terrorism and Information Resource Management. In 2003, Cari was selected to lead Business for Diplomatic Action, the only private-sector led a-political nonprofit whose mission is to enlist the U.S. business community in public diplomacy and global engagement efforts. Cari also serves as an Adjunct Faculty member for USC’s Master of Public Diplomacy Program and the University of San Francisco’s MBA Program, teaching “Corporate Diplomacy and Geopolitics.”

Omar Jahwar

Omar Jahwar tackles the politics and issues that affect inner city youth in the Dallas community. Emerging as an important leader and outspoken voice in the community, he is the founder of Vision Regeneration, Inc., a life-shaping entity designed to assist the social sculpting of inner city youth. Based on the philosophy that crime and violence can be prevented by transforming the thoughts and perceptions of individuals who participate in crime and violence, Vision Regeneration presently provides gang prevention, counseling, and mentoring services to 17 Dallas public schools. Omar is also the creator and founder of Positive XChange, a social media movement to stop youth violence and positively change youth culture. Positive Xchange promotes positive social networking via, inspiring positive entertainment and encouraging creative artistic expressions with new messages of positive values and transformation.

Frans Lanting

Frans Lanting has been hailed as one of the great nature photographers of our time. His influential work appears in books, magazines, and exhibitions around the world. For more than two decades he has documented wildlife and our relationship with nature in environments from the Amazon to Antarctica. He portrays wild creatures as ambassadors for the preservation of complete ecosystems, and his many publications have increased worldwide awareness of endangered ecological treasures in far corners of the earth.

Jim LeDuc

Jim LeDuc, Ph.D. joined the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in 2006 as the inaugural Robert E. Shope, M.D. and John S. Dunn Distinguished Chair in Global Health and was recently appointed Director for the Galveston National Laboratory. Jim joined UTMB from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), where he served as Influenza Coordinator and Director, Division of Viral and Rickettsial Diseases. While at the CDC, Jim coordinated research activities, prevention initiatives and outbreak investigations for viral and rickettsial pathogens of global importance, including viral hemorrhagic fevers, influenza and other respiratory infections, childhood viral diseases, and newly emerging diseases such as SARS. Jim has also served as the Associate Director for Global Health in the Office of the Director, National Center for Infectious Diseases at CDC, and was a Medical Officer in charge of arboviruses and viral hemorrhagic fevers at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. During a 23-year career as a U.S. Army officer, Jim held leadership positions in medical research and development, with assignments in Brazil, Panama, and the United States.

Bill Lively

Bill Lively is President and CEO of the North Texas Super Bowl XLV Host Committee. From 2000 through 2008 Bill Lively served as the founding President and CEO of the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts. During his tenure as President and CEO, the Center raised more than $334 million to construct the venues. For twenty-five years Bill served on the faculty and in the administration of Southern Methodist University. During his tenure at SMU, Bill founded SMU’s Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series, John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies, Doak Walker National Running-Back Award and SMU’s Athletic Forum. Concurrent with his quarter of a century service to SMU, Bill worked for 23 years with the Dallas Cowboys as Director of the Dallas Cowboys’ Band and producer of the Cowboys Game Day Entertainment. In his spare time, Bill is an avid mountain climber and has climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, the Grand Tetons and adjacent peaks in Wyoming, and many of Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks.

Stephen Mills

Under the artistic leadership of Stephen Mills, Ballet Austin has emerged as one of the nation’s premiere dance organizations, recognized by the Washington Post in 2004 as “one of the nation’s best-kept secrets.” Stephen attracted national media attention with his production of Hamlet in 2000 and led Ballet Austin to perform at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC in 2002, 2004, and 2008. The company has performed at The Joyce Theater in New York as well as a State Department sponsored tour of Europe in 2006. Stephen’s ballets are in the repertories of companies including The Hong Kong Ballet, American Ballet Theater Studio Company, Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, Washington Ballet, The Atlanta Ballet, Cuballet (Havana, Cuba), BalletMet/Columbus, The Dayton Ballet, Milwaukee Ballet, The Sarasota Ballet of Florida, The Louisville Ballet, The Nashville Ballet, Dallas Black Dance Theater, and Texas Ballet Theater. Stephen was the recipient of the 2006 Humanitarian Award from the Anti-Defamation League for his work Light/The Holocaust and Humanity Project.

Anne Pasternak

Anne Pasternak, President and Artistic Director of Creative Time, joined the organization in the fall of 1994, with the goal of presenting some of the most adventurous art in the public realm. Creative Time is the only national public arts organization, with programs that have reached from New York to New Orleans, from Denver to Dallas, and from PA to LA. Renowned projects under her direction include exhibitions and performances in the historic Brooklyn Bridge Anchorage, sculptural installations in Grand Central Station’s Vanderbilt Hall, sign paintings in Coney Island, skywriting over Manhattan, and the Tribute in Light, the twin beacons of light that illuminated the former World Trade Center site six months after 9/11. She has worked closely with such artists as Doug Aitken, Laurie Anderson, David Byrne, Jenny Holzer, Gary Hume, Vik Muniz, Takashi Murakami, Shirin Neshat, Steve Powers, Cai Guo Qiang, and many more. In addition to her work at Creative Time, Anne curates independent exhibitions, consults on urban planning initiatives, and contributes essays to cultural publications.

Steven Potter

Steve grew up an army brat, constantly on the move. By the time he graduated from high school he had lived in seven different states, spent two years in Paraguay, and three years in Germany. He was educated at University of Colorado, Boulder, UCLA (B.S), University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (Ph.D), and Harvard Medical School (Postdoctoral Research Fellow). Steve has been a professor at Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati for the past 25 years, where he has worked on genetic engineering, modifying the mouse genome to better understand the genetics that drive mammalian development. Steve has published more than 100 research papers, including over a dozen in the influential journals, Cell, Science, and Nature. His work takes up most of his time, but he also likes to hike the backcountry of the U.S. Southwest with his daughter, read, and ride his sport motorcycle.

Joshua Prince-Ramus

Joshua Prince-Ramus is Principal of REX. In addition to the AT&T Performing Arts Center Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre in Dallas, Texas, REX recently completed the Vakko Fashion and Media Center in Istanbul, Turkey. Current work includes Museum Plaza, a 62-story mixed-use skyscraper housing a contemporary art center in Louisville, Kentucky; the new Central Library and Music Conservatory for the city of Kortrijk, Belgium; and a 2.6 million square-foot luxury residential development in Songdo Landmark City, South Korea. Notably, within the past year, REX received second prize in both the international competition for the Finnish Innovation Fund’s Low2No sustainable development competition in Helsinki, Finland, and the new Edvard Munch Museum in Oslo, Norway. Recently, REX was shortlisted to participate in the international competition to design the new Victoria and Albert Museum in Dundee, Scotland. Prince-Ramus was the founding partner of OMA New York—the American affiliate of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) in the Netherlands—and served as its Principal until he renamed the firm REX in 2006. While REX was still known as OMA New York, Prince-Ramus was Partner in Charge of the Guggenheim-Hermitage Museum in Las Vegas and the Seattle Central Library, hailed as Time magazine’s 2004 Building of the Year and by Herbert Muschamp in the New York Times as “the most exciting new building it has been my honor to review in more than 30 years of writing about architecture.” Prince-Ramus was recently described as the “savior of American architecture” by Esquire magazine. Additionally, he was identified as one of “The 20 Essential Young Architects” by ICON magazine, as one of the world’s most influential young architects by Wallpaper*, and as one of the 20 most influential players in design by Fast Company.


Flat pages can't contain Rives' storytelling, even when paper is his medium. The pop-up books he creates for children unfold with surprise. On stage, his poems burst in many directions, too, exposing multiple layers and unexpected treats: childhood memories, grown-up humor, notions of love, of what is lost forever, and of what’s still out there waiting to unfold. On his Bravo special, Ironic Iconic America, he and co-star Bar Rafaeli toured the United States looking for wonderfulness, on "A Roller Coaster Ride Through the Eye-Popping Panorama of American Pop Culture."

SMU Skunkworks Lab

Austin Hodges is a junior at Southern Methodist University, double majoring in Computer Science and Mathematics. Austin’s current interests are artificial intelligence programming and biometrics. Austin works as a member of the SMU Biometrics Research Team, where his primary focus is on developing and testing iris recognition algorithms on various platforms. Austin is also an active student in the Innovation Gymnasium and has participated in two of the Immersion Design Experiences, both of which have concentrated on remotely controlling an unmanned aerial vehicle from a smartphone. Nathan Huntoon is the Director of the Innovation Gymnasium at Southern Methodist University. He runs several programs that involve undergraduate students participating in interdisciplinary design projects. In addition to leading design teams, Nathan teaches Senior Design in the Electrical Engineering Department and coordinates the joint Senior Design Program for the Lyle School of Engineering. When not teaching design, Nathan works on his first love electromagnetics. His current research interests include neurophotonics, high performance computing and innovative cultures.

David Stern

Rabbi David Stern is Senior Rabbi of Temple Emanu-El in Dallas, Texas. Prior to joining Temple Emanu-El, David served as an intern at Central Synagogue in New York City. Rabbi Stern attended Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion at its Jerusalem, New York, and Los Angeles campuses, receiving his rabbinical ordination in 1989, his M.A. in Jewish Education in 1988 and his M.A. in Jewish Letters in 1986. In 2002, Rabbi Stern studied for six months at Harvard Divinity School while on sabbatical and in 2005, participated in a study mission to the Darfuri refuge camps on the Chad-Sudan border. Stern serves as a board member of the Union for Reform Judaism and is a member of the Reform Movement’s Joint Commission on Social Action, where he has served as Vice Chair of the Commission and as Chair of the Task Force on Economic Justice. Locally, Rabbi Stern is a member of the Rabbinic Association of Greater Dallas and serves on the board of Dallas Faith Community Coalition.

Kelly Stoetzel

As the Director of Content at TED, Kelly spends most of the year working on the speaker program and finds that assembling and working with 50 of the most interesting and relevant people in the world is at least as much fun as it sounds. She is also the Director and co-host of TEDActive (with Rives), the intimate, relaxed and very, very fun event in Palm Springs featuring special workshops, immersive, multi-sensory experiences, and a live simulcast of the TED2010 program in Long Beach. Before TED, Kelly was the Director of Mixed Greens, a contemporary art gallery with the goal of making contemporary art a little more accessible. Most of her career before that was spent in the art world in one way or another, but the job that had the most influence was camp counselor, and she did that for much longer than she should probably admit. A fan of Adair’s burgers and the State Fair of Texas, Kelly is a native Dallasite and SMU grad.

Lisa "Jaya" Waters

Jaya is an independent consultant, a life and leadership coach, and a yoga life coach. As a Senior Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher with nearly 30 years experience in the yoga field, she conducts yoga workshops throughout the world and continues to deepen her practice and engagement with yoga through regular study under the Iyengar family at the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Iyengar Yoga Institute in Pune, India. Jaya completed her M.A. in Integral Theory at John F. Kennedy University with an interest in applying embodied applications of Integral Theory to transition at individual, organizational, and global levels. She is particularly interested in the interface between yoga and Integral Theory, and in the practical and embodied use of metatheory for engaging life, making decisions, and discovering solutions.

Ray Zahab

On November 1, 2006 Ray and two other runners set out on an epic expedition to cross the Sahara Desert by foot. One hundred and eleven days and 7500 kms after leaving the coast of Senegal, they completed their journey by dipping their toes into the Red Sea. After witnessing and experiencing the water crisis and malaria epidemic in Africa, Ray decided to dedicate his future adventures to raising awareness and funding for causes that he supports and believes in. Two years after touching the Red Sea, Ray and two other Canadians, broke the world speed record for an unsupported expedition by a team to the South Pole. In the process, Ray became the first person to trek this traditional route from Hercules Inlet to the South Pole solely on foot and snowshoes – without the use of skis. This expedition was completed as part of Ray’s foundation, Impossible2Possible, a non-profit organization with a mission to inspire and educate youth through adventure learning, and inclusion and participation in expeditions.

Organizing team


Dallas, TX, United States
  • Jim Young, Jr.
    Steering Committee
  • Jim Young
    Steering Committee, Chair
  • Carole Young
    Steering Committee, Chair
  • Geoffrey Orsak
    Steering Committee
  • Bobby Haas
    Steering Committee