Back of the room at The Riveter as the audience watches TEDxSeattleLive on the large screen

TEDxSeattleLive: Watching TED 2018 "The Age of Amazement"

 

To introduce TED2018, TED owner Chris Anderson and TED Head of Curation Helen Walters asked the audience to complete a simple task: to turn to someone whom they didn’t know and state what, over the last year, the main emotion is that they’ve felt. In Seattle, the crowd that was gathered at TEDxSeattleLive followed suit. Strangers exchanged quick greetings and with just a few minutes for the exercise began sharing their hope—and fears—from the past year.  Looking from the back of the audience during TEDxSeattleLive 2018 held at The Riveter

While there was plenty of apprehension in the crowd, there was also hope for what the next year would bring despite an increasingly divisive global culture. Seattle has long been known as a city filled with forward-thinking innovation and passion for change, so it’s no surprise a day full of learning and inspiration was met with such an openness to how an idea can shape the future.

The event screened two different sessions over the course of the day: “Doom. Gloom. Outrage. Uproar.” then “Wow. Just wow.” Between the two sessions, the audience listened to topics ranging from the #MeToo movement by Tracee Ellis Ross, to how artificial intelligence can upheave the job market as we know it today by Kai-Fu Lee.


Blue jeans or blue water? Fashion powering conservation around the world

Most people don't link high fashion with the conservation movement but Ava Holmes founded Fashion for Conservation (FFC) to do exactly that.

Ava and her team of industry-leading fashion professionals and her colleagues in the conservation movement have been raising awareness as well as funds by producing wildlife-inspired fashion campaigns and hosting events at Fashion Weeks around the world such as Elephantasia, a campaign to help protect African elephants, And now Elephantasia can be seen as part of TEDxSeattle in the first fashion show included in a TEDx talk. Inspired by her film producer mother and by her father, an instructor in outdoor survival skills, Ava grew up with a deep love of nature as well as beautiful art. A noted producer, Holmes’ career in fashion has always been influenced by her connection to nature, so combining her interests in fashion and conservation became an obvious choice. Eschewing traditional fashion production because of its excessive waste, Holmes decided fashion should be the solution to its own problem and created Fashion for Conservation. It’s working. Her nature-inspired approach to fashion is featured on the catwalk in fashion weeks worldwide as well as in mainstream media, reaching non-traditional audiences with a message of conservation. Fashion for Conservation now funds a variety of innovative conservation projects in threatened ecosystems around the world.


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.”


Everyone has a song - welcoming refugees through music

What started as a place to sing became a refuge.

Founded by Erin Guinup, just as the U.S. was closing its borders to citizens from select countries, the Tacoma Refugee Choir was determined to turn its musical practice into a celebration of human connection by welcoming voices from around the world. The Choir has created an original song to showcase the idea that it takes diversity to create true harmony. Featuring vocals by Wanz, QDot and Stephanie Anne Johnson.


How traveling at the speed of a bullet will change a region's culture

Hyperloop technology will allow travel at the speed of a commercial jet on the ground. What happens when cities like Seattle and Portland – three hours apart by car – are suddenly a 20-minute pod ride apart?

Charlie Swan, student and Hyperloop proponent, believes the new commuter option could do more than relieve traffic congestion and redistribute housing prices across a region. Swan argues the speed of connection will transform culture and even sense of personal identity for the people along its path. Charlie Swan, co-founder of Pacific Hyperloop, is a senior at the University of Washington pursuing undergraduate degrees in Economics and Entrepreneurship. Out of over 2600 applicants worldwide, Pacific Hyperloop represents the region as 1 of 12 semi-finalists in the Hyperloop One Global Challenge. As head of Regional Engagement & Economic Development at Pacific Hyperloop, Charlie has engaged with organizations across the business and engineering spectrum as well as evaluating the economic and cultural implications of a Seattle to Portland hyperloop route on an urban and regional scale. He routinely communicates about hyperloop to public and private stakeholders, and is navigating partnerships with local industry and policy-makers.


Northwest Tap Connection on the TEDxSeattle 2017 stage

Dance as protest; say their names see their names feel their names

Using a combination of live performance and their viral-sensation video of the protest dance “Hell You Talmbout”, these Northwest Tap Connection students work to heighten awareness about black individuals killed by police.  Movement is power and these young people have the power to move us all.


Creating purposeful wonder

Inspired by the view through his first telescope of a fuzzy, but awe-inducing glimpse of Saturn, entrepreneur Jim Haven was spellbound by wonder.

He is now creating ways to discover and share that sense of wonder with others. Haven’s message to all of us is look up and wonder. A lifelong daydreamer and former advertising creative, Jim learned from some of the most creative people in the business before forming a creative agency in Seattle and London. It was this relationship with creativity that inspired him to change careers and a chance encounter with Saturn that has sparked his present endeavor. Jim has turned his focus skyward, co-founding Look Up where he serves as Wondernaut and Executive Director. Look Up explores the power of wonder through art, science, and space. The organization is creating collaborative experiences designed to incite wonder.


Ending homelessness, block by block

Architects Rex Hohlbein and Jenn LaFrenier ask us to consider “Yes in my backyard” as an answer to homelessness.

This father-daughter duo has an idea: let's reimagine our personal space by inviting homeless residents to move into beautifully designed, off-grid, homes built in residential backyards. Called “The Block Project” these tiny homes — built with neighborhood support and community volunteers— provides a path out of homelessness that encourages neighbors to come together as advocates, mentors and friends to those currently living on our streets. A Seattle native, Rex ran a successful residential architectural firm for 30 years. Seven years ago, after befriending several men experiencing homelessness along the Fremont canal, Rex started a Facebook page to raise awareness for those living unsheltered through the sharing of photos and personal stories. Today, that Facebook page has over 46,000 followers, becoming a thriving and inspirational non-profit, Facing Homelessness. This year begins a new chapter, as Rex combines both architecture and community outreach in starting a social justice architecture firm, BLOCK Architects, with his daughter Jenn LaFreniere. Jenn spent a little over five years working at Graham Baba Architects on an array of projects from small remodels to large commercial buildings. Discussions about starting a firm with her father, BLOCK Architects, sparked conversations about the ties between architecture and social justice, ultimately leading to the formation of the BLOCK Project, the first endeavor for their architectural firm


Virtual reality can be a powerful tool for understanding each other

Virtual Reality is a work in progress, says Sandy Cioffi, and she outlines exciting ways VR is being used to experience "the other," to virtually "walk in someone else’s shoes."

Artists as using immersive media, to create new narratives that would allow you to put on a high-tech headset and feel what it’s like to float down the Amazon river, experience life as a different gender, or scatter in the wake of destruction on a Syrian street. With examples of some of the most exciting work going on in this new media, Sandy argues that VR can provide a seismically new way to understand ourselves and, in the end, give us a greater understanding of what it is to be human. Sandy Cioffi was the Director of SIFFX, the Seattle film festival's celebration of virtual reality and immersive filmmaking and is currently director of the New Media and Virtual Reality X Fair coming in 2018. As a filmmaker, Sandy has worked with human rights organizations in global hot zones and has worked extensively with Hate Free Zone (now One America) producing films about treatment of immigrants post-September 11th. In 2005-2008, Sandy traveled to the volatile Niger Delta in Nigeria to film "Sweet Crude," documenting conditions and interviewing the region’s key stakeholders, including leadership of the armed resistance movement. She has been active in political advocacy for the Delta’s people, appealing to media, U.S. legislators, international diplomats, and NGOs. Sandy has worked as an artist-in-residence at many middle and high schools in Washington State and through the mentor/apprentice film program at the Langston Hughes Cultural Arts Center. She was the founder and Director/Chair of Film + Media at Cornish College of the Arts. Currently, Sandy is directing a non-fiction media project with CREA, a feminist human rights organization. She is the co-founder and Creative Director of the start-up fearless360º creating immersive media and education events around the world. 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.


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”