Playing a Violin Outside the Box

Geoffrey Castle aims to shatter people’s preconceived notions of what is possible on a violin.

With a strong interest in community outreach, Castle is thrilled to give back through performances at schools from kindergarten to college. When playing for schools, Castle loves inspiring kids— first to pick up a stringed instrument, and then to learn to “play outside the box”.


Setting scientific research free

The results from taxpayer-funded, scientific research are often locked behind a paywall.

Jennifer Hansen, a senior officer in Knowledge and Research at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, says the cost of accessing that data is too high. Limiting access to the research results in social inequity and puts human lives at risk. She argues that the current model of research distribution is overdue for disruption. Hansen says it’s time to foster a scientific revolution through open access to data. Jennifer Hansen is an equity advocate with a fierce dedication to ensuring information and scientific knowledge is free and available to all. Her professional career has revolved around closing the digital divide and inspiring others to believe in the power of knowledge to shape their world. Ms. Hansen currently works at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as the Senior Officer for Knowledge & Research. She drives the strategy development and management of the foundation’s research outputs and is an influencer in shaping the future of scholarly communication. She championed and led the implementation of the Foundation’s groundbreaking Open Access Policy – a policy requiring that all its funded published research be immediately available to everyone, everywhere without barrier or restriction. Nature called the bold action to open up scholarly research the”world’s strongest policy on open access research.” And, The Economist described it as “something that may help to change the practice of science.”


A powerful strategy for disrupting child trafficking

Patty Haven Fleischmann is successfully combating child trafficking in Seattle and catalyzing similar nationwide efforts.

As a therapist, child of a Holocaust survivor, and “kid advocate,” Fleischmann uses her ability to hold two opposing truths to attract a diverse and committed community and disrupt a seemingly insurmountable problem. Launching a Seattle-based non-profit which has raised $4.5 million to fund local organizations that combat both supply and demand, Fleischmann is galvanizing the community and driving a national conversation.   A licensed marriage and family therapist of 25+ years, Patty is the co-founder and President of the StolenYouth board. StolenYouth’s mission is to support the rescue and recovery of our community’s sexually exploited youth. Patty and StolenYouth have worked tirelessly to build a unique coalition of organizations fighting trafficking on all fronts. Since then, these organizations have pioneered new ways to disrupt the scope and nature of child trafficking. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.


Disease eradication is within reach

Steve Davis is working to bring an extraordinary vision to reality—the global elimination of some of the world’s most deadly and debilitating diseases.

Davis is the president and CEO of PATH, a 40-year-old, Seattle-based, global health-focused, non-governmental organization which works on vaccines, drugs, diagnostics, devices, and system/service innovations. In this talk, Davis lays out the “how to” of disease elimination calling on his diverse experience as a former human-rights lawyer, a nationally-recognized technology business innovator and social activist. Steve Davis, president and CEO of PATH, combines extensive experience as a technology business leader, global health advocate, and social innovator to accelerate great ideas and bring lifesaving solutions to scale. Prior to joining PATH in 2012, he served as director of Social Innovation at McKinsey & Company, CEO of the global digital media firm, Corbis, interim director of the Infectious Disease Research Institute, and he practiced law at the international law firm K&L Gates. Earlier, he worked extensively on refugee programs and policies, and Chinese politics and law. Mr. Davis is a lecturer on social innovation at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He currently is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, serves on the board of InterAction, and sits on several advisory groups, including the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Social Innovation and the Clinton Global Initiative’s Global Health Advisory Board. He also serves as a trustee of the World Economic Forum’s Global Health Challenge. Mr. Davis earned his BA from Princeton University, his MA in Chinese studies from the University of Washington, and his law degree from Columbia University. He also studied at Beijing University.


We're drowning in BS, but you can learn how to fight back

Jevin West is not afraid to call out bullshit for what it is and wants to teach us how to do the same.

West is an assistant professor and co-creator of a new course, “Calling BS: data reasoning in a digital world” at the University of Washington. In this engaging talk, West shows how dangerous and misleading some news stories can be and warns that while BS is fairly easy to create, it’s harder to clean up, especially when shared relentlessly on social media. Jevin D. West is an Assistant Professor in the Information School at the University of Washington. He co-founded the DataLab, a collection of faculty and graduate students focused on research in Data Curation, Computational Social Science, Data for Social Good, Information Visualization and the Science of Science. He is one of the chief architects of the new Data Science curricula for undergraduate and graduate programs at UW. Together with Carl Bergstrom, he developed the Calling Bullshit course to help the public refute the onslaught of misinformation in today’s digital and data-driven environments. The course is being adopted at universities and high schools around the world. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.


Use the power of your diversity

As Vice President of Marketing for Boeing, Fariba Alamdari is the picture of success.

But the hurdles to achieve this have been many: being raised in a culture that prizes males, being an Iranian in Western society, and one of few women in the aerospace field. Despite the naysayers, Alamdari has continued to believe that being a woman and immigrant makes her a major asset — a belief affirmed when Boeing promoted her twice before she had even accepted their offer. For Alamdari, success starts with embracing your own diversity, and knowing the value you bring to your organization and community. Fariba Alamdari is Vice president, Marketing at the Boeing Commercial Airplanes. She joined Boeing from Cranfield University in the United Kingdom, where she served as chair of the university’s Department of Air Transport, and Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Manufacturing and Science. She has published extensively on aviation-related issues. Fariba is a strong advocate of diversity and is a speaker at diversity forums. She believes in a compassionate leadership style focused on achieving results based on trust and respect for all. She is the recipient of several awards including: “Woman of the Year” by Air Transport News in 2016, “Ellis Island Medal of Honor” from The National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations (NECO) in 2016, “Leadership Award” from the Centre for Women & Democracy in 2015, the “Professional Award” from Career Communication Group, Inc in 2011. She is married, and has a son and a daughter. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.


Nature's internet: how trees talk to each other in a healthy forest

This fascinating talk presents the scientific research that shows the interconnectedness of life in the forest ecosystem.

It takes us beneath the forest floor where we learn how trees are communicating and exchanging resources. Going beyond the simple view of a forest as a resource to be exploited, it presents the forest as a complex network of life. Her examination of the relationships that make up the complexity of nature present compelling support for the idea that “We are all one”


Teens must learn to craft a life they love

In this thought-provoking talk, Neel Baxi invites viewers to see how preconceived notions of success are hurting individuality and growth in teens.

Neel Baxi is a senior at Skyline High School in Sammamish, Washington and an International Baccalaureate Diploma Candidate. The program requires rigorous focus on traditional academic subjects and an exploration of the nature of knowledge through the program’s unique “Theory of Knowledge” course.

Neel is surrounded by incredible rigor and constant demand for hard work and perseverance. This is also accompanied by some of the highest levels of stress and anxiety teenagers have ever experienced. The impact the current education system has on Neel and his friends prompted his interest in making schools and student culture better for everyone. He wants to change the way kids approach school and other high-stress environments, as well as the way adults serve as role models for the youth in their lives. In his free time he enjoys playing the guitar and ukulele as well as soccer for both his club, Eastside F.C., and for his high school.


Leading the conversation on education reform

Jesse Hagopian is leading the conversation on education reform both locally and nationally. A history teacher at Garfield High School, Hagopian led the 2013 boycott against common core testing, unanimously backed by Garfield faculty.

Hagopian has taken an active role in speaking out against standardized testing, appearing on NBC and in a recent feature on PBS Newshour. He and many other educators argue that excessive testing distracts from the actual goals of education – teaching critical thinking and giving students tools for success. Through his blog I Am An Educator, Hagopian works to educate parents and students about their right to opt out of testing, and just this past year over half of all Juniors in Washington state chose to opt out.

In a hopeful announcement, President Obama himself recently called for a cap on excessive testing, citing that kids need to enjoy learning, teachers must be able to teach creatively, and that the tools our students need in order to be prepared for their futures can’t be learned by filling in bubbles.

Jessie Hagopian will be sharing some of his experiences at this year’s TEDxRainier at McCaw Hall.