x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Creativity, Action and Service

This event occurred on
March 16, 2013
Spokane, Washington
United States

TEDxSpokane will feature over a dozen inspirational speakers, such as a local choreographer speaking on dance and creativity, a holistic doctor who has traveled his own amazing healing journey, and an award-winning author whose work has been described as "lyrical, prophetic, brutal yet ultimately hopeful." We have brought together speakers that will share their stories and ideas to stimulate action in others in our community. TEDxSpokane is action-oriented and through the sharing of ideas hopes to develop initiatives generated by the community, for the local and global community. We have innovative individuals in Spokane and we have the privilege of sharing them and their talents with the world.

Saint George's School
Saint George's School
2929 West Waikiki Road
Spokane, Washington, 99208
United States
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Muthu Alagappan

Muthu Alagappan graduated from Stanford University in 2012 with a major in Biomechanical Engineering. During his undergraduate studies, he focused on the intersection of health care and information technology. He is a co-founder of Creobase, a crowd-sourced global need-finding database that aims to expose the world's biggest medical needs. He has also worked on numerous medical device design projects, hosted health screenings for local underprivileged taxi drivers, and volunteered abroad in rural eye clinics. Muthu is a Pearson Prize National Fellow and a Stanford Mayfield Fellow, and is currently in his first year of medical school at Stanford School of Medicine. Muthu's other passion is basketball, a sport he grew up playing and watching frequently as a teenager in Houston. Inspired by the "Moneyball" revolution in baseball and the upcoming analytics movement in the NBA, Muthu began consulting for Ayasdi, a Palo Alto based startup, and using their computational topology software to perform basketball analytics. His presentation "Redefining the Positions of Basketball" at the 2012 MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference received the award for Best Evolution of Sports talk. He was subsequently featured in a long-form piece by GQ titled "Muthuball," as well as in articles by the New York Times, ESPN, and the Wall Street Journal. In December 2012, he was named to Forbes 30 under 30 "Sports" alongside international superstars LeBron James and Usain Bolt, and he is currently working with NBA teams on applying his research to front office decision making.

Dr. Mark William Cochran

Dr. Mark William Cochran is a holistic doctor who has traveled an amazing healing journey in his own life. For many years, the pain of inflammatory arthritis made it a painful challenge for him to climb just one flight of stairs. At age 47, Mark experienced a quantum shift in his health and at 49, ran his first marathon, the Spokane Marathon. Dr. Mark is a thought leader in today's healthcare arena, and brings a unique, empowering and sometimes controversial perspective to his writing. Some of his thoughts: "The 'Doctor Within' is the most successful doctor in history." "We don't have a healthcare system. We have a disease industry." "Germs are not the cause of disease." "If you want healthy kids, let them get dirty." Dr. Mark is the author of the award winning book, Oby's Wisdom! A Caveman's Simple Guide to Holistic Health and Wellness. He is a holistic chiropractor and energy healer in private practice in Hayden and Sandpoint, Idaho. Dr. Mark, his lovely wife, Cricket and their fuzzy feline companions, Magick and Angel, feel blessed to live, love, work and play amid the towering pines, majestic mountains and sparkling lakes of the Idaho panhandle.

Dr. Shann Ray Ferch

Dr. Shann Ray Ferch is a systems psychologist and a National Endowment for the Arts Fellow. He has served as a research pscyhologist for the Centers for Disease Control and a panelist for the National Endowment for the Humanities, Research Division. He has served as a visiting scholar in the Netherlands, the Philippines, Canada, South Africa, and Colombia. He writes poetry and fiction under Shann Ray in honor of his mom Saundra Rae. Shann Ray's collection of stories American Masculine (Graywolf Press), named by Esquire as one of Three Books Every Man Should Read and selected by Kirkus Reviews as a Best Book of 2011, won the Bakeless Prize, the High Plains Book Award, and the American Book Award. Sherman Alexie called it "tough, poetic, and beautiful" and Dave Eggers said Ray's work is "lyrical, prophetic, and brutal, yet ultimately hopeful." Dr. Ferch's creative nonfiction book of political theory Forgiveness and Power in the Age of Atrocity (Rowman & Littlefield) sheds light on the nature of categorical human transgressions and engages the question of ultimate forgiveness in the context of ultimate violence. The winner of the Subterrain Poetry Prize, the Crab Creek Review Fiction Award, and the Ruminate Short Story Prize, his work has appeared in some of the nation's leading literary venues including McSweeney's, Narrative, Story Quarterly, and Poetry International. Shann grew up in Montana and spent part of his childhood on the Northern Cheyenne reservation. He lives with his wife and three daughters in Spokane, Washington where he teaches leadership and forgiveness studies at Gonzaga University.

Robin Hayford

Robin Hayford believes in the importance of disconnecting from our technology and seeing each other eye to eye. As a hair stylist for over 27 years, she realizes how important the gift of eye contact, touch, and listening has been in her career. She calls this "the village effect on the human soul." Robin wants us to think about what a great impact we can have in our own village through serving others and connecting with our humanity.

Sarah Kladar

A 14-year-old freshman at Coeur d’ Alene High School, Sarah created a non-profit organization with her siblings four years ago to help families of children needing heart surgery far from their hometowns. Since then, Kids Helping Kids Fix Broken Hearts has raised nearly $90,000 and helped 35 families from the U.S., Mexico, and Costa Rica. Their non-profit has received local and national honors, including the 2010 Spirit of Jim Chase Youth Award , a finalist for the national 2011 Classy Award - Small Charity of the Year, a national winner of the Kohl’s Cares for Kids Scholarship, and a national winner of the 2012 Prudential Spirit of Community Award. This fall, Kids Helping Kids Fix Broken Hearts will be featured in a new book, “Stand Up!”, written by the anthologist and publisher of the number one best seller, Chicken Soup for the Soul.

Douglas Linman

Douglas Linman, PhD., Solar Energy Science Innovator, Founder/Chief Executive, SUNTCO is the pioneer behind the leap in electrochemistry and nano science capturing solar energy in a new way and delivering it as Liquid Power. As its inventor he has become the Father of Solar Liquid Power (SLP). Imagine being able to coat or spray, onto just about any material, an energy source captured and transformed into electricity from an endless service provider source, the Sun. Also confidently drive electric cars thousands of miles without need to find a charging station, or treating electronics and clothing with an environmentally safe and endless source of power. Doug Linman has been working on it. He holds a Science Doctorate working in Electrochemistry and Electrical Engineering with years dedicated to energy fringe sciences plus a 40-year background in Defense, Aerospace and Renewable Energy. Linman has long been studying ways, using nanotechnology, to advance the knowledge that the position of a single atom can make all the difference in a nanoparticle, which would precisely permit full control of the properties and the behavior of a designed nanomaterial. His invention and work is called Solar Liquid Power or SLP. He says; "the issue with solar power as currently designed in panels, inks, films and cells is that they remain terribly inefficient and costly and narrowly market focused because of this. Taking a significant leap was not possible 20 years ago, simply because we could not physically see the level of matter needed to be observed, but over these last 10 years that dramatically has changed and here we are now! His TEDx talk will be on the state of the art in Nano-Science and how this relatively new science of matter will continue to change the way we live, work and play for the next 100 years."

Aaron Berenbach

Aaron Berenbach is the Education Coordinator at Mobius Science Center. He has been sharing his passion for science for over a decade. A life-long wonderer and professional-level question asker, he has been a Mad Scientist, an educator, an artist, and is now using the Mobius Science Center to continue his never ending quest to see what happens next. He was aided in conceptualizing his talk by Joelene Brabazon, Mobius Science Center Educator, and Don Riefler, Mobius Science Center Director of Education.

Suzanne Ostersmith

Suzanne Ostersmith is a Theatre Artist, Choreographer, Visual Artist, and Arts Educator. She serves as Academic Dance Program Director for Gonzaga University's theatre and dance department. In the last decade Suzanne created and developed the curriculum for Gonzaga and Whitworth University Dance Minor Programs. She is the Founding Director of Old Orchard Theatre Company which empowers community members, producing annual musicals to raise money for college scholarships. At Gonzaga, Suzanne created the capstone course, Strategies for Dance Instruction in which students learn to develop and implement lesson plans using creative dance concepts in an after school dance program for local elementary school children. In the 1990s, Suzanne was the first coordinator of DanceChance at the Pacific Northwest Ballet as well as resident choreographer for Taproot Theatre Company. She earned her undergraduate degree in Theatre from U.C. San Diego, studied at the American Conservatory Theatre, San Francisco and British American Drama Academy, Oxford England and is completing an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College. Suzanne is a Theatre Mentor for Arts Impact which is a recipient of a US Department of Education Grant, researching the effectiveness of integrating theatre, dance and visual arts in the teaching of math and literacy in elementary schools. Suzanne and her husband Mark have two sons in high school.

Heather Pieczonka

Heather Pieczonka is the President & Owner of Funsational, Inc a fantastically fun company that makes personalized party games. Starting with one game, Funsational has grown to over 750 games; over 300,000 customers; and over 10 million games sold in over 110 countries. Pieczonka has over 10 years of e-commerce experience and is an entrepreneur at heart. Armed with a Bachelors in Computer Science from Arizona State University, she carved a niche in the online world by designing, creating and selling party games for events and occasions like holidays, family reunions, birthdays and baby/bridal showers. Pieczonka has served on the board of NAWBO Inland Northwest for 4 years and is currently the President-Elect. She is the mama of 2 rockin' kids who love sports and video games. She has one fantastic husband who is the love of her life and has a passionfor planning celebrations and all things sweet!

Don Spencer

Don Spencer, Owner, Chief Executive Officer, and leader of the SPENCER Solutions Team, has more than 20 years' experience in business management, operations, managerial development, strategic planning, performance management and productivity improvement. In addition, his clients enjoy the substantial benefits of his comprehensive background in the financial, healthcare and insurance industries, as well as the academic arena. A Mott Fellow, former Professor and Dean, Whitworth College, Washington, and former Director, Training and Development for MARSH, Spencer is a member of the boards of directors for the Girl Scouts of Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho, and the Krista Foundation for Global Citizenship. He has been published in the Seattle University Law Review, among other publications. Don Spencer has lent his expertise as a member of the Executive Committee of the Washington Governor's Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS. He also has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Better Business Bureau, is a past member of the Board for Leadership Spokane, and is a founding board member of the Inland Northwest Society of Consulting Professionals. Last year, Don was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and has used his management training in bringing a team together to aid in his fight against the disease.

Mitch Williams

Mitch Williams currently serves as Chief Operating Officer of Gravity Jack, Inc., bringing experience in design work, custom software development, and marketing within the telecommunications industry. Williams leads a team of over 20 developers, working on game changing technology and the future of computing - through visual search, computer vision and augmented reality. Williams joined the Gravity Jack team in 2010, where he held the position of Creative Director, overseeing the entire creative process during the augmented reality studio's startup. With both extensive company and leadership growth, Mitch accepted the position of Chief Operating Officer, in 2011, helping to grow Gravity Jack in both size and reach, and establishing the company as a indisputable leader in the augmented reality space.

Mark Hay

A sophomore at Saint George's School. Mark has developed a communication tool to be used during disasters to update worried loved ones on the status of those in harms way.

Alaina Jacobsen

A junior at Saint George's School, Alaina has had the opportunity to travel abroad over the years. Instead of a passive approach, Alaina has taken an active role to research a specific topic or event and then record from the locale on what she has found in her travels. A new approach for students to educate themselves.

Sarah Wagstaff

A senior at Saint George's School, Sarah has been researching subspecies of honeybees. She has used a scanning electron microscope to identify the wing veination in the subspecies.

Organizing team


  • Jamie Tender
  • Joe Kennedy
    Host/ Development
  • Erle Furbeyre
    Webpage Design
  • Doug Miles
  • Tom Holmberg
  • David Demand
  • Jim Elder
    Technology Liason
  • Travis Cullitan
    Technology Coordinator
  • Tony Shuler
  • Grace Leaf
    Social Media Coordinator/ Speaker Coach
  • Mike Poutiatine
    Speaker Coach
  • Jeanne Hardie
    Stage Design/ Lighting
  • Jannah Garner
    Administrative Support/ Travel Coordinator
  • John Carter
    Marketing/ Public Relations
  • Tyler Hartanov
    Student Speaker Coach
  • Doug Christy
    Facilities Management
  • Alan Armitage
  • Brian Lubanski