TEDxSeattle 2018: Tall Order


A tall order, by definition, is demanding. It’s a significant, and potentially unreachable, challenge. Meet the people setting the bar high, and taking the challenge head-on.

The Schedule & Speakers

8:00am McCaw Hall opens
9:30am – 10:40am Session 1, awakening

Hosted by KUOW’s Deborah Wang

  • Sam DinningDeputy Prosecuting Attorney of King County’s juvenile division
    • Why we need to stop treating everyone equally.
  • Amy Ansel, Founder of Titan Bioplastics & Titan Hemp 
    • Plant power—how hemp could change our world.
  • Chuck Murry, M.D., Ph.D.Director, UW Medicine’s Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine
    • He won’t fix your love life but he can repair broken hearts, literally.

11:10am – 12:30am Session 2, discovery

  • Deseo CarminSpanish music with an edge
  • barry johnson, Multi-Disciplinary Artist, children’s book author, and editor
    • Improve your life through multiple personalities.
  • Sara SanfordExecutive Director, Gender Equity Now (GEN) 
    • Women, work, and fairness. There is strength in numbers.
  • Colin MacDonald, Design Director at Parkour Visions, and play enthusiast
    • Why our world would be better with more obstacle courses.

12:30pm – 1:45pm Lunch Break (See below for details)
1:45pm – 3:00pm Session 3, revelation

  • Jono Vaughan, Artist, transgender activist, and Asst. Prof. at Bellevue College
    • Honoring lives ended by violence.
  • Kirk Grogan, Digital Strategist and marketing & sales consultant
    • Those ads that follow you on the internet? That just scratches the surface of how social media and search is affecting you.
  • Anastacia-ReneéSeattle Civic Poet, former Hugo House Poet-in-Residence, and author
    • Good poetry is never polite.
  • Joe Kyeviolinist-looper and vocalist

3:30pm – 4:30pm Session 4, transformation

  • Anirudh KoulHead of Artificial Intelligence & Research, Aira
    • The inspiring story behind the technology bringing sight to the visually impaired.
  • Judy TwedtClimate Researcher, atmospheric scientist, and data sound artist
    • The science of climate change gets a soundtrack.

Interactive Activities

During the breaks, a variety of interactive stations and conversation tables will be arranged for attendees to meet, mingle and discuss ideas and areas relevant to our current world. Topics often range from Education, Changes in Seattle, Access to Health Care, or the best hikes within an hour of the city. To ensure the topics are close to your heart, we’ve asked YOU for suggestions. You told us what’s important to you, and what ideas are worth discussing and sharing. These will come to life in activities and exhibits spread over two floors in the main lobby.

Joining the interactive experiences available during the break, we’ll also have art and entertainment from these area artists and musicians:

So many options for lunch.

Every year, we offer a variety of box lunches to pre-order and have waiting at McCaw Hall so you don’t miss a thing. The pre-order time has passed, but a few box lunches will still be available, as well as other concessions. Outside food is not allowed in McCaw Hall, so if neither of these options work for you, then we encourage you to step out and visit the other restaurants at the Seattle Center who are offering food discounts to everyone wearing their Tall Order badges. Locations and discounts listed below:

  • Ceres Roasting Co. (10%)
  • Premier Meat Pies (10%)
  • Quincy’s (20%)
  • Skillet: Counter (20%)
  • Culture Kitchen at MoPOP (20%)
  • La Marzocco Cafe, in the KEXP Meeting Space (10%)

TEDxSeattle 2018 only happens once a year. If you haven’t already purchased tickets, you can still do so online, or at the door.  Tickets are still on sale.

A look back at TEDxSeattle 2017

Deborah Wang standing on the stage with the TEDxSeattle logo behind her on the big screen at McCaw Hall

KOUW’s Deborah Wang hosting TEDxSeattle in 2017

Group of people taking a selfie in the audience lobby

Selfie with TEDxSeattle 2017 speaker, Aji Piper

Audience inside the McCaw Hall auditorium talking to one another

A stretch and speak break during the morning’s session at TEDxSeattle 2017

Two attendees pose inside the 7 fooot tall red X built for climbing on and into

View from the back of the stage looking towards the audience during a TEDxSeattle 2017 presentation

Date November 17, 2018
Time 8am (Doors Open) to 4:30pm

McCaw Hall

321 Mercer St

Seattle, WA, 98109

Tickets Get tickets


Amy Ansel

Combining people, programs and processes to create plant-based materials to change how we create just about everything.


Anastacia-Reneé is a writer, performance artist, and workshop facilitator who has been described as a queer super-shero of color. She […]

Anirudh Koul

Anirudh Koul is a noted AI expert with experience in deep learning, computer vision, robotics and Natural Language Processing (NLP). […]

barry johnson

Barry Johnson is a multi-disciplinary artist and author who works across all mediums.  He is known to constantly shift the […]

Chuck Murry, M.D., Ph.D.

Chuck Murry is a physician-scientist at the University of Washington, where he founded and currently directs the Institute for Stem […]

Colin MacDonald

Colin MacDonald sees a playground sprouting from the handrails and staircases of the urban landscape. A decade of practicing and […]


DESEO CARMIN plays a sultry fusion of Latin, Jazz-Funk with the spice of flamenco. In other words, “Spanish music with […]

Joe Kye

Born in Korea and raised in Seattle, violinist-looper and vocalist Joe Kye has drawn rave reviews since launching his music […]

Jono Vaughan

Jono Vaughan is a Seattle-based artist who currently serves as a highly-rated Assistant Professor of Drawing and Painting at Bellevue […]

Judy Twedt

Judy Twedt is a fifth-generation Washingtonian who set out to better understand the physics of global climate change by pursuing […]

Kirk Grogan

Kirk Grogan is a marketing and sales strategist in Seattle, WA and has worked with multiple Fortune 500 companies. He […]

Sam Dinning

Sam Dinning is a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in King County. Working in the Juvenile Division, Sam is part of a […]

Sara Sanford

Sara Sanford founded Gender Equity Now (GEN) to bring gender balance to the U.S. workplace. She is the architect behind […]


Sam Dinning 15:22

A Prosecutor’s Case Against Equality

Criminal justice reform depends on our willingness to reexamine fundamental principles. Pursuing equity, rather than equality, would produce more just […]

Judy Twedt 17:50

Connecting to climate change through music

To fight climate change fatigue, researcher Judy Twedt hacked her data and used it to compose music. Her score lets […]

Colin MacDonald 12:55

Designing a more playful city

When was the last time you went out to play? Parkour designer Colin MacDonald believes physical play is as important […]

Amy Ansel 15:00

Hemp holds the key to a sustainable future

The Hemp plant — marijuana’s sober cousin — is poised to revolutionize industry by taking the place of more toxic […]

Sara Sanford 17:20

Improving gender parity through corporate accountability

Sara Sanford has long heard women colleagues and friends telling stories of unequal treatment at work. She realized systemic problems […]


Latin music with a message

Stella Rossi leads the Seattle-based band that integrates hand-clapping, percussive footwork, and intricate Flamenco dance moves into their performances. Their […]

Jono Vaughan 15:22

Memorializing transgender murder victims through art and performance

Jono Vaughan is an artist, activist, professor and the creator of Project 42, a series of works dedicated to memorializing […]

Joe Kye 16:59

Multi-layered tales told with violin and vocals

A gifted violinist and vocalist, Korean-American Joe Kye uses digital looping — the live recording and play-back of chords and […]

Anastacia-Reneé 7:40

Poetry to set hearts on fire

“I write poetry from my own experiences,” says Anastacia-Reneé, “and to make those experiences tangible for others to help create […]

Kirk Grogan 13:55

The dark side of our personal marketing data

We all know advertisers on the internet are stalking us, but Kirk Grogan shows us that marketers now have the […]

barry johnson 12:36

The power of embodying new personas

barry johnson believes that when you fully immerse yourself in a new persona, you grow into a richer, better version […]

Anirudh Koul 17:59

Using AI to transform the lives of the blind

Phone apps make everyone’s lives easier, but for members of the blind community, a new seeing AI app transforms how […]

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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.