TEDxSeattle 2019


Join us for our 10th anniversary event, TEDxSeattle 2019. This year’s theme is SHIFT and our inspiring speakers will present talks from the fields of medical research, art, technology and philanthropy encompassing multiple aspects of change from the power of a subtle shift in attitude to major changes in ecosystems.

2019 TEDxSeattle Speaker Schedule

Session 1 – 9:30am – 10:40am

· Dr Sam Sharar – Professor UW Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine
· Karen Okonkwo – Marketer and Co-Founder, TONL
· Leah Garces – President of Mercy For Animals, author and activist

Conversation Break – 10:40am – 11:20am

Session 2 – 11:20am – 12:30pm

· Ellen Forney – Cartoonist and Mental Health Advocate
· Gretchen Yanover – Cellist, composer, performer
· Traca Savadogo – Seattle Freeze Buster
· Alexandra Morton – Independent Field Biologist

Lunch Break – 12:30pm – 1:50pm

Session 3 – 1:50pm – 2:50pm

· Hollis Wong-Wear – Songwriter, musician, speaker and community advocate
· James Miles – Executive Director of Arts Corps and Fresh Professor
· Dr. Hans Peter Kiem – Director Stem Cell and Gene Therapy program, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Conversation Break – 2:50pm – 3:30pm

Session 4 – 3:30pm – 4:30pm

· Andrea Driessen – Event designer, author and hospice volunteer
· David Blatner – Author, publisher and event producer
· Chris Jordan – Photographer and Filmmaker


Date November 23, 2019
Time 8am to 5pm
Tickets Get tickets


Alexandra Morton

Alexandra Morton is a marine biologist known for her 30-year study of wild killer whales in the Broughton Archipelago in […]

Andrea Driessen

Andrea Driessen is a meeting designer, author, and hospice volunteer. As founder and Chief Boredom Buster at Seattle-based No More […]

Chris Jordan

Chris Jordan is an internationally acclaimed photographer and filmmaker whose works are exhibited and published worldwide. His work walks the […]

David Blatner

David Blatner is a renaissance raconteur, a graphic design guru, and an expert on the infinite. His prolific career spans […]

Dr. Hans-Peter Kiem

Dr. Hans-Peter Kiem, the Director of the Stem Cell and Gene Therapy program at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, […]

Ellen Forney

Ellen Forney is a cartoonist, teacher, and mental health advocate. She is the author of the New York Times bestselling […]

Gretchen Yanover

Locally grown cellist Gretchen Yanover began playing cello in Seattle Public Schools. She earned a BA in Music Performance and […]

Hollis Wong – Wear

Hollis Wong – Wear is a songwriter, musician, speaker, creative generator and community advocate who lives between Los Angeles and […]

James Miles

James Miles is the executive director of Seattle-based Arts Corps. He works to revolutionize arts education by igniting the creative […]

Karen Okonkwo

Karen Okonkwo is a Nigerian-American social entrepreneur based in Seattle. She became an avid blogger in 2013 while in college. […]

Leah Garcés

Leah Garces is President of the nonprofit Mercy For Animals, one of the world’s largest farmed animal rights organizations and […]

Sam Sharar

Sam Sharar, MD, refers to himself as “an academic anesthesiologist.” He is a board-certified anesthesiologist and cares for seriously injured […]

Traca Savadogo

Traca Savadogo is a professional social butterfly. She has a passion for driving big ideas and conversation, and her approach […]


Hollis Wong – Wear 15:30

“All My Weight” – ”Back to Me” – ”The FOMO Song”

Singer-songwriter and activist Hollis Wong-Wear brazenly confronts contemporary issues, but she does it through surprisingly soothing vocals. Her three original […]

David Blatner 9:23

A trip through the invisible universe

How much of the world around us can we truly see? David Blatner takes us on a mind-bending, fast-paced journey […]

Chris Jordan 15:20

Can beauty save our planet?

Chris Jordan is all in on beauty. After photographing sea birds dying by the dozens from consuming bits of plastic, […]

Dr. Hans-Peter Kiem 15:57

Can we cure HIV with an injection?

HIV was thought to be incurable, but after undergoing risky stem cell transplant surgeries, several patients no longer exhibit the […]

Andrea Driessen 13:54

Eulogies for the living

Why are eulogies only for the dying? In this funny, touching talk, Andrea Driessen argues that writing your loved ones […]

Ellen Forney 16:22

Finding balance in bipolar

Ellen Forney is a passionate storyteller and artist who turned her bipolar diagnosis into a platform of hope for anyone […]

Karen Okonkwo 14:42

Putting more diversity in stock photography

How do images in advertising – or the lack of them – influence our perceptions of diversity? In this revelatory […]

Sam Sharar 15:59

The Future of Pain Relief

Using virtual reality (VR) to treat pain has delivered exciting results, thanks to research conducted by Dr. Sam Sharar. A […]

Leah Garcés 15:02

Turning adversaries into allies

Leah Garcés wants to eliminate chicken factory farming. The problem is, to make progress, she’ll have to collaborate with her […]

Alexandra Morton 18:22

What Humans Can Learn from The Wisdom of Salmon

What can salmon teach us about sustainability in a complex environment? Marine biologist Alexandra Morton shares startling new research that […]

Gretchen Yanover 10:59

What I learned from playing the cello

Playing the cello taught Gretchen Yanover how to deal with anxiety. She believes that years of leaning the instrument against […]

James Miles 13:57

Why education needs hip hop

For educator James Miles, hip hop is more than a style of music – it’s a global youth culture. He […]

Traca Savadogo 13:16

Why You Should Talk Regularly with Strangers

Since 2006, Traca Savadogo has met an average of three new people every day and heard their stories, resulting in […]

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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.