Creating Home: A Conversation at Mary's Place

Join us at Mary's Place for a unique tour and conversation.

Mary's Place is a nonprofit organization operating in King County to addressing homelessness and empower homeless women, children, and families to reclaim their lives by providing emergency shelter, nourishment, housing & employment resources. Listen and participate in a community conversation on family homelessness and policy reform in Seattle/King County. We will share a spectrum of viewpoints - including those from Mary’s Place, the City of Seattle, Seattle Public Schools, and families experiencing homelessness - to develop, analyze, and suggest policy solutions that address homelessness.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


The amazing power of toilet innovation

Sometimes things we use every day can seem very unlikely places for innovation. Learn how new and inventive and creative innovations of the toilet can make an important and surprisingly vast difference.

Brian Arbogast is the Gates Foundation’s Director of Water, Sanitation & Hygiene Team Global Development Program. He is working on a technology that could lead to the greatest improvements in health and longevity in the developing world. That life-changing technology? The toilet. As part of the Gates Foundation’s efforts to bring groundbreaking innovations in sanitation to the developing world, he’ll share exciting new designs, some already in use, helping to reduce cholera, typhoid, and more. A toilet that needs no water, no plumbing, and creates an end product that can be used in gardens? It is closer to reality than you think.