Speakers & Performers
Below are our past speakers. For the TEDxPhoenixChange 2013 speaker lineup, please go here.
Artist & Designer
Kelli Anderson is an artist, designer, and tinkerer who enjoys the challenge of seeking out hidden possibility in the physical and digital world. From interactive paper to layered, experimental websites, everything begins and ends in Kelli's Brooklyn studio which houses a 1919 letterpress and an assortment of other benevolent contraptions.
In 2008, Kelli worked with a large group of collaborators to create the Utopia New York Times hoax, which reported on what the world would be like if campaign promises came true, and just recently she collaborated on a paper record player that garnered major attention from numerous media outlets including Mashable, Kottke, Slashdot, Make:, PCWorld, Wired, and NPR. In both of these instances, Kelli's goal of surprising an audience through the unexpected or absurd is evident.
Kelli grew up in New Orleans and moved to NYC to attend graduate school at the Pratt Institute for fine art and art history. Her academic focus was primarily on photography and painting, but she picked up design by working on various projects for friends. In 2010, she left her position at the American Museum of Natural History as a digital collections photographer to focus on her own work.
Actor & Physical Comedian
Nathan Barnatt is a character actor and physical comedian bordering on stuntman. Two of his influences are Buster Keaton and Andy Kaufman. He is a performer at the Upright Citizens Brigade theater in Los Angeles. Nathan has made a name for himself with his original brand of comedy. He has done it all, from falling off buildings into dumpsters to crashing panels with Peter Jackson and James Cameron. And he is quite the dancer.
Justin Beckett was born in San Francisco and lived in five states and three countries before graduating high school, whereupon he returned to the Bay area to attend the California Culinary Academy. Although Justin loved his formal education he is a strong believer in education thru experience. He often states that his real education started when he left school and worked in the kitchens of great restaurants.
Justin started out in this business with one goal, "play with food everyday". Although his career has required him to do all types of daily restaurant duties, he is happiest creating and making food for the neighborhood.
More recently Justin has found great satisfaction in working with local vendors, shopping at farmers markets and creating relationships with his everyday guests. He also is turning to his creative side and working on projects such as a local seasonal produce calendar and community groups to help promote the local food culture in Phoenix. Justin has also been bitten by the social media bug and even been nicknamed "the social media chef".
Now with his business partners Scott & Katie Stephen and his wife Michelle, Justin has opened, Beckett's Table, a restaurant that he can call home. With the "seasonal american cooking" concept appearing across the US, he believed Phoenix was ready for his spin on the new trend. His skill set, passion, leadership skills and love for "the hood" make Justin a perfect candidate to be a successful restaurateur. Beckett says he believes cooking is a metaphor for a rewarding life, and tries to fill it with artistry, hard work, love and continued change.
At the age of eighteen, Michelle threw a dart at a map and it landed in Arizona, thus beginning her move to the Valley of the Sun. Since then, she has been traveling and documenting life through her music and photography, while searching for the subtle similarities that stitch the quilt of massively different groups of people.
For Michelle, music is universal and she jumps at the chance to move someone with a sound, a word, or an idea. She is most known for playing the ukulele, and in 2009, she released her first full length album entitled Oh, Nostalgia!.
Along with music, Michelle hopes to be remembered for never settling into a comfort zone, and for pursuing life fearlessly and honestly, with passion. Photo by John Hall
Managing Director, Norman Lear Center
Johanna Blakley, PhD, is the managing director and director of research at the Norman Lear Center, a research and public policy institute that explores the convergence of entertainment, commerce and society. Based at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, Johanna performs research on a wide variety of topics, including global entertainment, cultural diplomacy, celebrity culture, fashion, digital media and intellectual property law. She has two talks on TED.com: Social Media & the End of Gender and Lessons from Fashion's Free Culture, which have logged over a half million views on TED and YouTube. She speaks frequently in the U.S. and abroad about her research and her work has been cited in Reuters, New York Times Magazine, The Economist, The Atlantic, the Los Angeles Times, Politico, and Huffington Post.
She received a PhD in English from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she taught courses on popular culture and twentieth-century literature. Johanna has held a variety of positions within the high-tech industry, including Web producer and digital archivist at Vivendi-Universal Games. She is on the advisory board of TEDxUSC, the first TEDx event in the world, and she's on the board of directors for Les Figues Press, a venue for literary experimentation.
Brenda Brathwaite is an awarding-winning game designer, artist, writer and game developer who entered the video game industry in 1981 at the age of 15. She was named Woman of the Year by Charisma+2 Magazine in 2010, named one of the top 20 most influential women in the game industry by Gamasutra.com in 2008, and of the 100 most influential women in the game industry by Next Generation magazine in 2007. Nerve magazine also called her one of the the 50 artists, actors, authors, activists and icons who are making the world a more stimulating place.
Brenda worked with Sir-tech Software for 18 years on the Wizardry series and later the Jagged Alliance series among others before moving on to work with Atari on Dungeons & Dragons. During this time, Brenda had the opportunity to work alongside legends in the game industry and quite literally apprenticed in the ways of game design moving up through the ranks from lowly acolyte to lead game designer to creative director.
In 2009, Brenda released her game Train which won the coveted Vanguard Award at IndieCade for "pushing the boundaries of game design and showing us what games can do." Currently, she is the co-founder, COO and game designer at Loot Drop.
Founder and CEO, The Ebeling Group
Co-Founder, The Not Impossible Foundation, The Eyewriter Project
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.
2 years ago Mick was inspired by his friend, ALS patient and famous street artist, Tempt, to create something that would allow Tempt to draw again. After a year of planning and scheming, in April of 2009, Mick flew 5 programmers and hackers from around the world to Los Angeles and in the living room of his home, The Eyewriter was born.
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. The documentary feature film of the journey of the Eyewriter's creation, "Getting Up," will be completed in 2012.
Born in Long Beach, raised in Phoenix, Mick attended Brophy College Preparatory in Central Phoenix. He then went on to play basketball for the Air Force Academy and eventually graduated from UC Santa Barbara with a degree in Political Science.
Director, ASU's Arts Entrepreneurship Program, p.a.v.e.
Linda Essig heads ASU's arts entrepreneurship program, p.a.v.e, which has helped launch 27 arts-based ventures into the Phoenix area and beyond since its inception in 2005. She was Founding Director of the School of Theatre and Film in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts where she also served as Artistic Director of the school's MainStage Season from 2004-2010.
A professional lighting designer, Essig's design for the ASU production of Suzan-Lori Parks's "Venus" was part of the USA National Exhibit of theatrical design at the Prague Quadrennial in 2007. Essig has designed lighting for theatres throughout the country including Cleveland Playhouse, Milwaukee Rep, Missouri Rep, Utah Shakespearean Festival, Skylight Opera, La Mama ETC, Pioneer Theatre, Madison Repertory Theatre and others.
She is the author of articles and book chapters on both arts entrepreneurship and lighting design as well as two books: Lighting and the Design Idea (to be published in a third edition January 2012) and The Speed of Light: Dialogues on Lighting Design and Technological Change.
Actress, Author & Social Activist
Katie Goodman is an award-winning actress, author, creative coach, social activist, and writer for O, The Oprah Magazine. She was also the founder and producer of the National Women's Theatre Festival in Los Angeles, the artistic director of the Philadelphia Women's Theatre Festival, founding member of the nationally touring Spontaneous Combustibles comedy troupe, and the star of Broad Comedy where she has toured internationally and graced the stages of the Stuart Street Playhouse (one of Boston's top stages) and Caroline's Comedy Club in Times Square on Broadway (America's #1 comedy club).
Katie and her co-author/co-director Soren Kisiel were nominated for the MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant for their extensive work in theatre, and were also nominated for The EPIC Award from The White House Project for emerging artists. In addition, they have worked together in several non profits as well as running Camp Equinox, a theatre camp for 250 kids, many of whom are at-risk youth.
Katie splits her time residing in Montana, Los Angeles and NYC and was recently upgraded to Delta's Elite Status, and hopes to work her way up to Pilot status in the next year.
Samuel is most known for his memorization and recitation of poetry at such a young age, in particular Billy Collins' "Litany". Samuel is most passionate about animals, words, stories, drawing, poetry, and superheroes. He loves to learn new things and teach them to others.
Samuel has so far has lived in Escondido, CA; Scottsdale, AZ; and now lives in Tucson, AZ where his Dad serves as pastor of Covenant Orthodox Presbyterian Church.
Director, Positive Exposure
Rick Guidotti was a speaker at TEDxEast in New York, and is the director of POSITIVE EXPOSURE, a non-profit organization that challenges the stigma associated with difference by pioneering a new vision of the beauty and richness of genetic diversity.
Rick's body of work entitled Positive Exposure, The Spirit of Difference premiered at the People's Genome Celebration in June 2001 at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History in Washington DC, and continues to exhibit in galleries, museums, and public arenas around the world. His Redefining Beauty photo essay premiered in Life Magazine where it won the Genetic Alliance's Art of Reporting award.
Rick has worked in the fashion and portraiture industry for more than 15 years where he has worked in Milan, Paris, and London for such clients as Yves Saint Laurent, Elle, Harpers Bazaar, Revlon, L'Oreal, and Life Magazine. He completed his education in photography and film making at New York's School of Visual Arts, and established his studio in Manhattan.
Marc is passionate about creating experiences that deeply connect with audiences and playfully move them into action. As founder of the experience design firm Seso, Marc has led the creation of digital experiences for organizations such as Nasa, The Smithsonian, UCLA Health Systems and LACMA.
He also serves as the Director of Marketing & Partnerships at Glow, an all-night cultural experience on Santa Monica Beach that fosters human interaction through participatory, temporary art. The inaugural Glow featured over 20 commissioned art works and attracted more than 200,000 visitors.
Marc currently teaches User Experience Design at UCLA Extension in Los Angeles.
Sustainability Consultant & Author
Jane Poynter was the first TEDx speaker to have their talk featured on TED.com, where it has received more than 180,000 views. She's a British-born sustainability consultant, author, TV host, speaker, Biosphere 2 crew member, and the president of the Blue Marble Institute (a 501c3 Non-Profit) and the Paragon Space Development Corporation.
Jane is one of only eight people to agree to live sealed in an artificial world for two years where she managed the design and operation of the farm where the Biosphere 2 crew grew its food. In 2009, the National Association for Female Executives awarded Jane its Entrepreneur of the Year award for her work with Paragon Space Development Corporation, which has been listed on Inc 500's list of fastest growing companies for three years straight.
Jane also consults on, and writes about sustainable development and has worked with the World Bank on projects to mitigate global climate change, and serves on the City of Tucson's Climate Change Committee. She has authored two books and her latest book, Champions for Change, was launched at the United Nations in New York in 2009 and is now a successful middle school program.
AMC News Correspondent and Executive Director of Why Tuesday?
Jacob Soboroff was a speaker at TEDActive 2011, and is the founding correspondent of AMC News on the award-winning network. He has hosted specials and reported from film festivals around the U.S. including the co-hosting of the NBC series School Pride, and exective producing and narrating the AMC original documentary Committed which was directed by Oscar and Emmy nominee Morgan Spurlock. In addition, Jacob has contributed to NPR Weekend Edition and the PBS/Wired Magazine series Wired Science.
Jacob has conducted on-camera interviews with a diverse group of "influentials," from Barack Obama and John McCain, to Brad Pitt, George Lucas, and Woody Allen. He has been recognized with multiple Webby Award nominations, the Film Your Issue Award, and with a Los Angeles Press Club National Entertainment Journalist Award for best news story.
Jacob is the executive director of Why Tuesday?, a non-partisan group working to increase voter participation. He is also an LA native and holds a B.A. in Politics and an M.A. in Political Theory and Philosophy from New York University.
Director, Social Change Design
Anne Quito was a speaker at TEDGlobal 2010 in Oxford, where she talked about the rediscovery of forgotten art collections. She is also the founding director of Social Change Design, an award-winning creative studio that champions the strategic value of design in creating positive social change. Housed within one of the world's most prominent development organizations, their work spans a multitude of issues, sectors, and continents.
Anne works with numerous government, multilateral and private institutions including the United Nations, the Centers for Disease Control, MIT, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, HRSA, GED, and USAID where her team crafts distinct communication solutions tailored to a project's unique context, be it a campaign against binge drinking at MIT or an education initiative in Senegal.
Anne currently works in Washington DC and studied design at the School of Visual Arts where she was inspired by Milton Glaser, one of the most celebrated graphic designers in the U.S., to demand more from herself as a designer. Anne also holds a Masters Degree in Visual Culture from Georgetown University.
Principal for S2 Consulting, LLC
Colin Tetreault holds a Master of Arts from Arizona State University's School of Sustainability, the first program of its kind in the United States. Colin serves as Principal for S2 Consulting, LLC, an innovation- driven sustainability and management consulting firm. Colin is charged with enabling organizational structure, culture, and operations to be more profitable and sustainability minded through business acumen and scientific rigor.
Colin actively leads civic and community organizations focused on advancing sustainability issues. As a Director of the Valley Forward Association, Colin acts as an advocate for a balance between economic development and environmental quality; he and the organization seek to convene business, community and civic leaders in thoughtful public dialogue on critical sustainability issues.
Colin holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. He has studied international business and development at the Baltic Business School and consulted for an international telecommunications firm while living in Sweden.
Lucianne Walkowicz studies the inscrutable faces of the stars for clues to the inner workings of their hearts. She got her taste for astronomy as an undergrad at Johns Hopkins, testing detectors for the Hubble Space Telescope's new camera (installed in 2002). She also learned to love the dark stellar denizens of our galaxy, the red dwarfs, which became the topic of her PhD dissertation at University of Washington.
Nowadays, she works on NASA's Kepler mission, studying starspots and the tempestuous tantrums of stellar flares to understand stellar magnetic fields. She is particularly interested in how the high energy radiation from stars influences the habitability of planets around alien suns. Lucianne is also a leader in the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope, a new project that will scan the sky every night for 10 years to create a huge cosmic movie of our Universe. Lucianne spoke at TEDGlobal 2011 and is a 2011 TEDGlobal Fellow.
President, One Agency
Dave Weaver is an ad agency president, a relentless self-experimenter, a provocateur, long-time TEDster, and...according to many, "a darn nice guy." Dave Weaver joined Cheil-owned "One Agency" as President in January 2011.
A native Iowan, Dave is a 20-year advertising and marketing veteran. He has conceived and implemented marketing programs and advertising campaigns that have done more than win gold EFFIEs for effectiveness and a Cannes Gold Lion for creativity, but also differentiated companies in ways that drastically built brands and sales.
With over twenty years of experience directing strategy for some of the most respected and innovative companies in the world, Dave's worked with a wide variety of clients, from technology (Samsung, HP, T-Mobile), automobiles (Nissan, Infiniti), sports (the Los Angeles Dodgers, Fox Sports Network), travel and tourism (American Airlines, Washington State Department of Tourism), and traditional packaged goods (Nestle, Hot Pockets).
Dave has spoken on the TED Mainstage in 2010, TEDActive in 2011, and at TEDxSMU in 2010. Dave is honored to be a part of the TED community.
Architect, Designer, & Creative Thinker
Kristine Woolsey is an architect, designer, and creative thinker whose passion is the experience of living well. She was born in Memphis, moved dozens of times from coast to coast and north to south, and then settled in Arizona when she was offered a faculty position at ASU.
After years of teaching, she opened Woolsey Studio Inc and began designing and building her own work. That work has been published in magazines, academic journals, and books. It has been shown numerous times on HGTV and other broadcasts.
She has lectured and been involved in guest teaching opportunities at universities across the country.
We are looking for individuals who are interested in speaking at the TEDxPhoenix 2011 event. Check out the application form and details here.
(in alphabetical order)
- Syed Toufeeq Ahmed →
- Louis Basile →
- Jolyana Bitsuie →
- Michelle Blades
- Prasad Boradkar →
- Jany Deng →
- Charles P. Gerba →
- Bob Grossfeld →
- Goran Konvejod →
- Faridodin "Fredi" Lajvardi →
- Kimber Lanning →
- Simone Gorete Machado
- Jane Maienschein →
- Nina Miller →
- Helene Neville →
- Greg Peterson
- Margaret Regan →
- Jay Rogers →
- Scott Saleska
- Pamela Slim →
- Eric Torres →
- Dry River Yacht Club