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 community outreach, Castle is thrilled to give back through performances at schools from kindergarten to college. When playing for schools, Castle loves inspiring kids— first to pick up a stringed instrument, and then to learn to “play outside the box”.


Blue jeans or blue water? Fashion powering conservation around the world

Most people don't link high fashion with the conservation movement but Ava Holmes founded Fashion for Conservation (FFC) to do exactly that.

Ava and her team of industry-leading fashion professionals and her colleagues in the conservation movement have been raising awareness as well as funds by producing wildlife-inspired fashion campaigns and hosting events at Fashion Weeks around the world such as Elephantasia, a campaign to help protect African elephants, And now Elephantasia can be seen as part of TEDxSeattle in the first fashion show included in a TEDx talk. Inspired by her film producer mother and by her father, an instructor in outdoor survival skills, Ava grew up with a deep love of nature as well as beautiful art. A noted producer, Holmes’ career in fashion has always been influenced by her connection to nature, so combining her interests in fashion and conservation became an obvious choice. Eschewing traditional fashion production because of its excessive waste, Holmes decided fashion should be the solution to its own problem and created Fashion for Conservation. It’s working. Her nature-inspired approach to fashion is featured on the catwalk in fashion weeks worldwide as well as in mainstream media, reaching non-traditional audiences with a message of conservation. Fashion for Conservation now funds a variety of innovative conservation projects in threatened ecosystems around the world.


Setting scientific research free

The results from taxpayer-funded, scientific research are often locked behind a paywall.

Jennifer Hansen, a senior officer in Knowledge and Research at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, says the cost of accessing that data is too high. Limiting access to the research results in social inequity and puts human lives at risk. She argues that the current model of research distribution is overdue for disruption. Hansen says it’s time to foster a scientific revolution through open access to data. Jennifer Hansen is an equity advocate with a fierce dedication to ensuring information and scientific knowledge is free and available to all. Her professional career has revolved around closing the digital divide and inspiring others to believe in the power of knowledge to shape their world. Ms. Hansen currently works at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as the Senior Officer for Knowledge & Research. She drives the strategy development and management of the foundation’s research outputs and is an influencer in shaping the future of scholarly communication. She championed and led the implementation of the Foundation’s groundbreaking Open Access Policy – a policy requiring that all its funded published research be immediately available to everyone, everywhere without barrier or restriction. Nature called the bold action to open up scholarly research the”world’s strongest policy on open access research.” And, The Economist described it as “something that may help to change the practice of science.”


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 experience "the other," to virtually "walk in someone else’s shoes."

Artists as using immersive media, to create new narratives that would allow you to put on a high-tech headset and feel what it’s like to float down the Amazon river, experience life as a different gender, or scatter in the wake of destruction on a Syrian street. With examples of some of the most exciting work going on in this new media, Sandy argues that VR can provide a seismically new way to understand ourselves and, in the end, give us a greater understanding of what it is to be human. Sandy Cioffi was the Director of SIFFX, the Seattle film festival's celebration of virtual reality and immersive filmmaking and is currently director of the New Media and Virtual Reality X Fair coming in 2018. As a filmmaker, Sandy has worked with human rights organizations in global hot zones and has worked extensively with Hate Free Zone (now One America) producing films about treatment of immigrants post-September 11th. In 2005-2008, Sandy traveled to the volatile Niger Delta in Nigeria to film "Sweet Crude," documenting conditions and interviewing the region’s key stakeholders, including leadership of the armed resistance movement. She has been active in political advocacy for the Delta’s people, appealing to media, U.S. legislators, international diplomats, and NGOs. Sandy has worked as an artist-in-residence at many middle and high schools in Washington State and through the mentor/apprentice film program at the Langston Hughes Cultural Arts Center. She was the founder and Director/Chair of Film + Media at Cornish College of the Arts. Currently, Sandy is directing a non-fiction media project with CREA, a feminist human rights organization. She is the co-founder and Creative Director of the start-up fearless360º creating immersive media and education events around the world. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.


Nikkita Oliver

Through spoken word and images, Nikkita Oliver urges a reexamination of both history and the stories we tell.

From the 1968 Summer Olympics to Colin Kaeperhttps://tedxseattle.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/stage-image-1-1.jpg, from Timothy McVeigh to the Blank Panther movement, she reveals fragments of truth often hidden within the bigger story. Holding a light to these distinctions, Oliver urges us to see the invisible frames that shape our assumptions and worldview, and challenges us to look beyond the image.


Why the world needs your story

A filmmaker by accident, Eliaichi came to her story while exploring her Tanzanian roots. Her journey as a first-generation Asian-African American led her to ask questions never asked before. The answers shocked her and helped her see how sharing our stories can reshape lives.

Eliaichi Kimaro uses art and video to bring stories of struggle, resistance, and survival to a broader audience. She brings a lifetime of personal and professional experience exploring issues of culture, identity, race, class, gender and trauma to her Award-winning directorial debut, A Lot Like You. She is currently on the campus/conference lecture circuit, engaging with communities around the world about gender-based violence, global mixed race/multicultural issues, cultural identity and the power of personal storytelling.
Through her production company, 9elephants productions, she has produced over 80 videos for local and national non-profits working within underserved communities to address social and economic justice issues. Following her 5 year term as President of the Board at the NW Network of Bisexual, Trans, Lesbian and Gay Survivors of Abuse, Kimaro joined the Board of the Seattle Globalist, a daily online publication dedicated to elevating diverse voices through media.


The life-changing power of live theater

For thousands of years, live theater has captivated the human mind. In this funny and revealing talk, Andrew shows why we respond so strongly to the stage and why recognizing its superpower is more important now than ever.


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

In this lively talk, sound designer Akash Thakkar invites the audience into the epicenter of a new musical revolution engaging millions - video games.