Kathleen Macferran

Kathleen holds a vision for a peaceful, just and sustainable world. She is committed to co-creating a world where peace replaces violence, love replaces hate, equity replaces inequity, and all people live meaningful lives. She has worked as a Certified Trainer for the Center for Nonviolent Communication (CNVC) since 2003, and as a CNVC Assessor since 2010.  Since 2003, she has served as a workshop facilitator for the Freedom Project of Seattle, WA, an organization that supports healing and restoration inside and outside prisons through Nonviolent Communication, mindfulness, racial equity and anti-oppression.

Kathleen is co-author with Jared Finkelstein of Choice: A Field Guide for Navigating the Polarization of Our World and Living Interdependently. She is the author of the children’s books How Giraffes Found Their Hearts and How Giraffes Got Their Ears, and conductor for Giraffe Tales a children’s CD setting those stories to music. Kathleen is the conductor on multiple Rainier Chamber Winds classical music recordings. Her website is www.StrengthofConnection.com where her TEDx talks, books, and music can be found.

Watch her full TEDxSeattle talk: The Art of Listening and TEDxMonroeCorrectionalComplex talk: Houses of Healing

Jeannie Yandel

Jeannie Yandel is a special projects editor at KUOW Public Radio in Seattle, where she works on everything from podcasts to special broadcast series to live events. She’s been a host, reporter, and producer, and she’s won local and national awards for her reporting and interviewing. Recently she created and co-hosted the podcast Battle Tactics For Your Sexist Workplace. She loses arguments daily to her 8-year old daughter.

Headshot credit: KUOW Photo / Megan Farmer

on Thursday, May 17, 2018, in Seattle. KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Vanessa “Nessy” Quarantello

Vanessa “Nessy” Quarantello facilitates Usui Reiki and Breathwork in the 3-part breath style taught by David Elliott. Her purpose is to help people overcome trauma and align with their subtle energies to step into their divine potential.

Nessy spent over a decade in NYC working in finance and made a pivot into healing arts after beginning her own healing journey to overcome childhood and workplace trauma. She now resides in her native San Diego and works virtually and in-person with individuals and groups all over the world. Visit No Greater Love to learn more.

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.

Barbara J. King

BARBARA J. KING is emerita professor of anthropology at William & Mary and a freelance science writer. The author of seven books including How Animals Grieve, Personalities on the Plate: The Lives and Minds of Animals We Eat, and the forthcoming (March) Animals’ Best Friends: Putting Compassion to Work for Animals in Captivity and in the Wild, she focuses on animal emotion and cognition and the ethics of our relating with animals. Her work has appeared in Scientific American, NPR, Aeon, the TLS, and Undark. Barbara is a frequent media guest on radio and TV shows, such as “Species Unite” podcast, interviewed by Elizabeth Novogratz, and has enjoyed doing science outreach at places like the 92nd St Y; the National Academy of Sciences’ Science & Entertainment Exchange “science speed dating” night; and the 2019 Vancouver TED conference. Interact with Barbara on Twitter @bjkingape. www.barbarajking.com.

Watch her full TEDxVancouver talk: Grief and Love in the Animal Kingdom

Shanelle Donaldson West

Shanelle Donaldson West is an urban farmer, food preservationist, and food justice advocate focused on healthy relationships to land, power and community. From working with toddlers growing gardens to connecting locally sourced food to people experiencing homelessness, Shanelle has supported more than one thousand King County residents over the last decade. She expanded her nutrition education to include food preservation classes as a method of self-care and extending the harvest. Most recently, she co-founded Percussion Farms whose mission is to undo racism and other oppressions that prevent access to nutrition and healthy spaces for Black people, Indigenous people, and people of color. Shanelle is a proud alumna of the Black and Latinx Farm Immersion Class at Soul Fire Farm in Grafton, New York. When she’s not farming, Shanelle can be found reading, cooking with her husband, Mike, playing board games, or most likely staring at her sweet dog, Koda.

Elizabeth Arnold


Elizabeth Arnold is a former National Public Radio (NPR) Political Correspondent, Current Chair and Professor of Journalism at the University of Alaska, and the producer of arcticprofiles.com.  For twenty years she was a familiar voice on NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered and a regular presence on PBS Washington Week, covering Congress, the White House, and the American West. Arnold has received numerous awards, including a duPont Columbia Silver Baton and the Dirksen Award for Distinguished Reporting of Congress. Over the last decade, she has reported on the ecological and human impacts of global warming from some of the most remote areas of the Arctic. A frequent lecturer and recent Fellow at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, Arnold authored the paper “Gloom and Doom: The Role of the Media in the Public’s Disengagement on Climate Change. “ https://shorensteincenter.org/media-disengagement-climate-change/

Watch her full TEDxSeattle talk: What’s Happening in the Arctic and Why it Matters 

Phyllis Fletcher

Phyllis Fletcher is senior editor at APM Studios from American Public Media, where she provides editorial guidance to a suite of arts and culture podcasts. Phyllis was the Public Media Journalists Association’s inaugural Editor of the Year. She has served as president of the Seattle Association of Black Journalists and as a mentor with Northwest Journalists of Color. Phyllis holds a Master of Communication with a fellowship in demography from the University of Washington. Her writing on journalists of color and the unique ethical decisions they make is included in the 2021 edition of The Handbook of Global Media Ethics. phyl.com

Watch her full TEDxSeattle talk: Hiding in the Spotlight 

2019 TEDxSeattle Photos

2019 TEDxSeattle Photos

TEDxSeattle Announces Speaker Line-up for 2018 Event

SEATTLEJuly 31, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- TEDxSeattle today announced its speakers selected for the ninth annual TEDxSeattle event, taking place at McCaw Hall on November 17, 2018. Speakers and entertainers will take the stage to inspire and engage with the audience, creating a unique experience around the theme "Tall Order."

A tall order, by definition, is demanding. In today's landscape, humans encounter moments that may feel unattainable. This year's theme balances the sense that these are challenging times – but the challenges can be met. The speakers and topics selected for TEDxSeattle 2018 will identify and examine tall orders facing our communities and our society as part of the day-long event, encouraging attendees to explore the tall orders in their lives.

With more than 200 applicants, the speaker selection team identified a diverse mix of activists, researchers, artists, leaders and innovators. Attendees can expect to hear topics ranging from gender parity to stem cell research and the role of blockchain. The full roster of speakers includes:

  • Amy Ansel, Founder, Titan Bioplastics & Titan Hemp
  • Sam Dinning, Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, King County
  • Kirk Grogan, Marketing and sales strategist
  • barry johnson, Multi-disciplinary artist, children's book author, editor
  • Anirudh Koul, Artificial intelligence (AI) researcher and data scientist
  • Colin MacDonald, Designer for Parkour Visions, play enthusiast
  • Mark Mueller-Eberstein, Blockchain expert, author, Adgetec CEO
  • Chuck Murry, M.D., Ph.D., Director, UW Medicine's Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine
  • Sara Sanford, Executive Director, Gender Equity Now (GEN)
  • Anastacia-Renee, Seattle civic poet, former Hugo House poet-in-residence, author
  • Judy Twedt, Climate researcher, atmospheric scientist, data sound artist
  • Jono Vaughan, Artist, transgender activist, assistant professor, Bellevue College

TEDxSeattle is made possible by volunteers and our sponsors. The Washington State Employees Credit Union (WSECU) will return as TEDxSeattle's lead sponsor for the fourth year running, this year as the 2018 Title Partner. Additional partners include KCTS, The Riveter, Edelman and SAP Concur. Learn more about partnering with us today.

Tickers are now on sale and can be purchased by visiting www.tedxseattle.com/tickets.

About TEDx
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDx. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. Our event is called TEDxSeattle, where x = independently organized TED event. At our TEDxSeattle event, TEDTalks video and live speakers will combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events, including ours, are self-organized.

About TEDxSeattle
TEDxSeattle is a self-sustaining, volunteer-run, non-profit with a license from TED to independently organize a local TED event. What started in 2010 as TEDxRainier with an audience of 600 for a one-day event has evolved to TEDxSeattle with an audience filling McCaw Hall's 2,800-seat auditorium. Over the years, attendees have heard 130 speakers. Of those speakers, several have gone on to speak at TED Global while the videos of their presentations have received more than 15 million views. Learn more at tedxseattle.com.

WSECU is a not-for-profit community credit union offering membership to anyone in Washington state, with a special focus on public employees and others who work to improve their communities. Learn more at wsecu.org.

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.

Ideas taking flight… and landing!

The space between theory and reality in space travel just narrowed dramatically for humankind. Mere days after Erika Wagner spoke at TEDxRainier 2015 about space travel for the everyday person, we can now celebrate an historic feat in rocket science taking us one step towards commercial space travel!

In a test launch on Monday, November 24th in the Texas desert, Blue Origin (where Wagner works) sent a rocket 62 miles above earth, and then brought it back down in a perfectly safe vertical landing. A successful landing of a spent rocket leaps a huge hurdle for space travel, and Blue Origin plans to put this advancement towards one day sending civilian astronauts up into space to look down at their home planet, weightless from above.

This idea worth spreading has literally taken flight! Watch this incredible video of New Shepard’s successful landing below, and congratulations to Erika Wagner and the Blue Origin team!