TEDxRainier 2015


Guided by this year’s theme, “Space Between,” we’ll spend the day exploring what lies between what is and what might be. Our speakers will explore inspiration and implementation, cause and effect, the intergalactic and the intercellular, the past, the present and futures unknown.

TEDxRainier 2015 is a one-day event that brings together top thinkers to share ideas with our local audience. Speakers from around the Northwest will deliver talks that challenge, move and inspire. In the spirit of TED’s mission, “Ideas Worth Spreading,” TEDxRainier offers a TED-style event at the local level. Our attendees come from a wide range of disciplines, ages and backgrounds, and share a bond of curiosity and desire to make a difference. Together we make the TEDxRainier event an important Northwest experience.

Our daylong program provides a focus and impetus for conversation and inspiration. The meetings and discussions that happen during breaks and at meals are a part of what makes this event so special. This year we will be putting a special emphasis on audience participation and interaction, creating opportunities for conversation among participants.

Join us to hear ideas worth sharing and to become part of TEDxRainier!

Date November 21, 2015

McCaw Hall

321 Mercer St

Seattle, WA, 98109

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Acrobatic Conundrum

Terry is a longtime practitioner of capoeira, contact improvisation, hip hop dance, physical theater, and tree climbing.

Akash Thakkar

Akash Thakkar is an award-winning composer, sound designer, and public speaker within the video game industry.

Brian Arbogast

Brian Arbogast is the Gates Foundation’s Director of Water, Sanitation & Hygiene Team Global Development Program.

Dan Diamond, MD

Dr. Diamond currently serves as a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine and he is a physician at Harrison Urgent Care Clinics.

Dan Finkel

Dan Finkel wants everyone to have fun with math and has devoted much of his life to understanding and teaching the motivation, history, aesthetics, and deep structure of mathematics.

David Schmader

David Schmader is a multi-talented writer, playwright, newspaper columnist, and performance artist.

Deep Dhillon

Deep is an accomplished technologist with over 18-years of experience conceptualizing, architecting, and deploying multiple advanced networking applications.

Dr. Kinari Webb

A doctor turned environmentalist, Dr. Webb’s mission is improve both human and human environmental health.

Dr. Rusty Rodriguez

Dr. Rusty Rodriguez is a microbiologist who has studied symbiotic interactions between plants and microorganisms for more than 25 years.

Erika Wagner

Erika Wagner is a major player in the field of commercial space ventures and is at the forefront of developing technologies to enable human space transportation.

G. Willow Wilson

G. Willow Wilson is an award-winning book and graphic-novel author.

Jesse Hagopian

Jesse Hagopian is best described by the name of his blog, I Am An Educator. He is a teacher, educator, and activist.

Maura O’Neill

Maura O’Neill places innovation at the center of her work, study, and attitude. Through her work in the public, private, and academic sectors, she has created entrepreneurial and public policy solutions for some of the toughest domestic and global problems.

Megan Ming Francis

Megan Ming Francis is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Washington. Megan specializes in the study of American politics, race, and the development of constitutional law.

Neel Baxi

Neel Baxi is a senior at Skyline High School in Sammamish, Washington and an International Baccalaureate Diploma Candidate.

Susie Lee

Susie Lee is a visual artist and the CEO of Siren, the radical new social discovery app which “brings civilized flirting to the dating space.”

Tanmeet Sethi, M.D.

Tanmeet Sethi, M.D. is an integrative physician, teacher, writer and mother. She is passionate about Real Medicine—not the kind that comes out of a bottle, but the kind that comes from caring for ourselves.

Tom Skerritt

Emmy Award winning actor, writer, and director Tom Skerritt is a much loved resident of Washington State. While an English major in Wayne State University, his interest in filmmaking led him to UCLA to study film directing.

Xolie Morra

Xolie Morra Cogley is an active representative of the Autism community, speaking personally about her life with Asperger’s Syndrome.


Despair and hope 9:00 – 10:30 am
Host Deborah Wang
Guests Dan Diamond, M.D.
Tanmeet Sethi, M.D.
Tom Skerritt
Neel Baxi
Willow Wilson

Break 10:30 – 11:00

Thinking and doing 11:00 – 12:15 pm
Host Ross Reynolds
Guests Xolie Morra Conley
Dan Finkel
Deep Dhillon
Maura O’Neill
Jesse Hagopian

Lunch 12:15-1:30 pm

The few and the many 1:30-3:00 pm
Host Elizabeth Coppinger
Guests The Acrobatic Conundrum
Erika Wagner
Brian Arbogast
Akash Thakkar
Megan Francis

Break 3:00 – 3:30 pm

What is and what can be 3:30-5:00 pm
Host Lesley Hazleton
Guests Dave Schmader
Susie Lee
Rusty Rodriguez
Kinari Webb, M.D.


G. Willow Wilson 12:50

A Superhero for Generation Why

Using a new superhero, Ms Marvel, as a parallel for the challenges of a misunderstood generation – the millennials.

David Schmader 12:22

Stoners coming out – beyond the marijuana monster myths

Making the case for thinking more broadly about what a marijuana user is and could possibly be.

Brian Arbogast 16:21

The amazing power of toilet innovation

What’s a technology that could lead to the greatest improvements in health and longevity in the developing world? The toilet.

Erika Wagner 7:42

The future of space flight for the rest of us

The history of spaceflight and and the possibility of future space adventures for everyone.

Akash Thakkar

The musical revolution is here, all you need to do is play

An invitation into the epicenter of a new musical revolution engaging millions – video games.

Acrobatic Conundrum 18:16

Why I ran away to join the circus

A circus performance shows how together we can be greater than the sum of our parts.

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What is TEDxSeattle?

Seattle, and all the upper left-hand corner, are known for trailblazing ideas put into action. We welcome and champion those who want to challenge the status quo and drive change. TEDxSeattle is a platform that amplifies the ideas of those change makers; a forum to foster new perspectives, and a community committed to challenging its members to be better.