TEDxSeattle 2017 Changing Places


From the program:

In the spirit of TED’s belief that ideas can change the world, we have chosen Changing Places as our 2017 theme.  

  • Changing places is not just about watching the changes —it is about our own power to change the places and issues we care about.
  • Places change around us and often our attention goes to the changes we dislike in our community, culture or city; today we will focus on positive changes.
  • Changing places is also about the power of empathy—what we can learn when we figuratively change places to look through the world from another’s perspective.

We’ve curated our speakers and performers for their unique and powerful stories. We have also curated and created experiences in the lobby.  These attendee experiences can create opportunities for conversation and interactions.

The chance meetings and encounters during breaks and over meals are an important part of what makes this event so special.

Thank you for being here—and best wishes for a memorable day.

Elizabeth Coppinger, 

TEDxSeattle Organizer and Curator

View all of the 2017 Talks here

Date November 18, 2017
Time 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM

McCaw Hall


Aji Piper

Aji grew up in the woods of the Kitsap Peninsula in Washington, where he developed a deep love and connection to the forest and waters of the Pacific Northwest. He is now an activist, working to protect our environment.

Ava Holmes

Ava Jordan Holmes, founder of Fashion for Conservation (FFC), believes bridging the gap between the industries of conservation and fashion is a key to human survival.

Charlie Swan

Seattle to Portland in 20 minutes? Charlie Swan, co-founder of Pacific Hyperloop, is working to make that happen.

Fariba E Alamdari, Ph.D

Fariba Alamdari, Vice president at the Boeing, is a strong advocate of diversity and is a speaker at diversity forums and believes in a compassionate leadership style focused on achieving results based on trust and respect for all.

Geoffrey Castle

Geoffrey Castle is a pioneer on the electric six-string violin. Introduced to the instrument at the age of eight, Castle […]

Jenn LaFreniere

Jenn LaFreniere is co-founder of the BLOCK Project, which invites community into the task of ending homelessness by placing a BLOCK Home in the backyard of homes across Seattle.

Jennifer Hansen

Jennifer Hansen, Senior Officer at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is an equity advocate with a fierce dedication to ensuring information and scientific knowledge is free and available to all.

Jevin West, Ph.D

Jevin West, Assistant Professor at the University of Washington, co-founded the DataLab — a collection of faculty and graduate students focused on data science and analytics.

Jim Haven

A lifelong daydreamer and former advertising creative, Jim co-founded Look Up, where he serves as Wondernaut and Executive Director. Look Up explores the power of wonder through art, science and space

Northwest Tap Connection on the TEDxSeattle 2017 stage

Northwest Tap Connection

Northwest Tap Connection inspires and teaches youth from underserved communities to comment on social issues through the physical expression of […]

Patty Fleischmann

A licensed marriage and family therapist of 23 years, Patty is also the co-founder and President of the StolenYouth board, which works to end child trafficking.

Rex Hohlbein

Founder + Creative Director at Facing Homelessness / Principal at BLOCK Architects / Co-founder of the BLOCK Project

Sandy Cioffi

Sandy Cioffi is a Seattle-based film and video artist. She has produced and/or directed several independent films, including the critically acclaimed Sweet Crude, Crocodile Tears, Terminal 187 and Just Us.

Steve Davis

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.

Tacoma Refugee Choir

Tacoma Refugee Choir fosters friendships across diverse communities through the power of song. At a time when the US is divided […]


Patty Fleischmann 17:08

A powerful strategy for disrupting child trafficking

As a therapist and “kid advocate,” Fleischmann uses her ability to attract a diverse and committed community to disrupt child trafficking.

Jim Haven 8:35

Creating purposeful wonder

Inspired by the view through his first telescope of a fuzzy, but awe-inducing glimpse of Saturn, entrepreneur Jim Haven was […]

Northwest Tap Connection 12:21

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 […]

Steve Davis 18:47

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 […]

Tacoma Refugee Choir 14:30

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 […]

Charlie Swan

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 […]

Aji Piper 15:10

Kids sue the government to fight climate change– and win

As a high school student, Aji Piper joined with other students in the fight to combat global warming. Together, they […]

Geoffrey Castle 12:04

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 […]

Fariba E Alamdari, Ph.D 15:28

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 […]

Sandy Cioffi 14:21

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 […]

Jevin West, Ph.D 18:19

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 […]

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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.