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 cannot be changed through individuals’ actions. Applying the approach of “you get the behavior you measure,” she founded Gender Equity Now and developed a set of tools that are unparalleled in the United States. This framework identifies the gaps, applies small changes and certifies business to close the gender parity. She looks forward to the day when companies which are not gender equity-focused will be at a competitive disadvantage to those which are. Sara Sanford founded Gender Equity Now (GEN) to bring gender balance to the U.S. workplace. She is the architect behind the GEN Certification, the first gold standard for gender parity in U.S. businesses. Guided by the maxim, “You get the behavior you measure,” Sara believes we now have the data-driven tools for all businesses to be equity-centered if they choose to be. Before starting GEN, Sara worked in the financial services industry, where she identified opportunities to address gender disparities as a force multiplier for growth. As a Masters graduate of the University of Washington Evans School of Public Policy, Sara focused on private-public partnerships and impact evaluation in the international development sector. She has since used her experience and skills to collaborate with Local and International Foundations in the areas of education, cultural competence, sustainability, and global health.


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 and more effective outcomes.


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 power to change not just our buying behaviors, but our beliefs. Grogan argues that we’ve passed a point of no return and the same technologies used to guide us to buy our favorite sneakers can and are being used to mold and recruit extremists. Kirk Grogan is a marketing and sales strategist in Seattle. He had considered a career in international intelligence after growing up with a father who worked on spy satellites for the Defense Department. At Texas Tech, he added a minor in Arabic to his international business major to boost his appeal to intelligence agencies, even studied at the American University in Dubai. But a year spent abroad changed his perspective. When he saw how people in different countries receive drastically different news and information, he began to see parallels in his world of data marketing. He now consults with Fortune 100 companies. He coaches and leads marketing teams to develop conversion testing methods and teaches them how to engage with potential customers in an organic environment. He has developed multiple unique strategies currently implemented across the business world to help brands connect and build loyalty with consumers.


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 us hear decades of Arctic sea ice loss in just minutes. In the beautiful and sometimes discordant piano piece, played by Kristina Lee, numerical scientific data becomes an emotional experience intended to reconnect us to the rhythm of the planet. Judy Twedt is a fifth-generation Washingtonian who pursued a PhD in atmospheric sciences at the UW to better understand the physics of global climate change. Three years into her research after the reversal of US participation in the Paris Climate Accord, she designed a new PhD program to develop novel ways to increase comprehension of our changing climate — by listening to the vital signs of the planet. She uses climate data to create climate soundtracks with three-dimensional, spatialized sound fields. These soundtracks explore tensions between the time-scales of human experience and that of climate change. She mixes art and science to promote public reckoning with our changing climate and its associated risks. She has received an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship; the University of Washington's Husky 100 and Husky Green Awards for her work in sustainability and science communication. She enjoys swimming in the Puget Sound, making pies and addressing big multi-disciplinary problems


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 the lives of murdered transgender and gender non-conforming people. Jono and her team develop beautiful, complex and meaningful handmade garments that are then worn by a collaborator who performs acts—from the mundane to the momentous—that the memorialized victim will never again experience for themselves. Jono shares the vision and purpose for her work and allows us to see one of her garments come to life. Featuring a performance by Randy Ford memorializing the 2011 murder victim Tyra Trent. Jono Vaughan is an artist, teacher, and transgender activist. In 2011 Vaughan began to openly make work as a trans woman and began a number of ongoing bodies of work including Project 42, The Ornamental Self, and Safety in Numbers. She holds a BFA from the School of Visual Arts in New York and an MFA from the University of South Florida. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including the exhibitions MOTHA and Chris E. Vargas Present: Trans Hirstory in 99 Objects at the Henry Art Gallery and We the People at the Minnesota Museum of American Art. She received Seattle Art Museum's 2017 Betty Bowen Award and exhibited Jono Vaughan: Project 42 at the museum. Her work has been featured in The Advocate, Surface Design Journal, City Arts Journal, Tampa Bay Times, and New American Paintings. Vaughan is currently an Assistant Professor of Art at Bellevue College in WA.


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 melodies - to create powerful layers of music. A witty storyteller, Joe’s performances weave his immigrant narrative through his show. "We are all artists, every single one of you," says Joe. "If you breathe, if you smile, if you speak or if you frown. These are all inputs to build a world around you. The more we can choose to tell our stories and to listen to stories and act with humanity, then we can build and create a world that is more inclusive to all of us." Born in Korea and raised in Seattle, violinist-looper & vocalist Joe Kye has drawn rave reviews and “discharging world[s] of emotion” and delivering ‘divine messages’ with his lush string loops, sweet vocals, and eclectic style.” Drawing upon his immigrant upbringing, he blends indie-rock, jazz, classical, pop, and Korean folk to create a unique sound. With his innovative use of digital effects and looping, Kye's songs weave together diverse textures, catchy melodies, and rich, sweet vocals to groove and uplift listeners. He studied at Yale and left his high school educator careerto pursue music full-time. He has performed across the US, opening for Yo-Yo Ma, comedian Hari Kondabalu, rapper Warren G, and Senator Bernie Sanders. Kye is currently touring his new album, Migrants. Featured on NPR, BBC World News, PRI’s The World, and LA’s Music Friday Live, the new record has been praised as “lovely and nimble” and “delightfully unique.”


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 "Spanish music with an edge" weaves in themes of social issues and women’s rights. Deseo Carmin plays a sultry fusion of Latin, Jazz-Funk with the spice of flamenco. Stella Rossi leads the Seattle-based band whose members pull influences from their native countries of Paraguay, Russia, Chile and the United States in their interpretations of Latin American favorites, and original compositions. Their music has already transcended borders as far as Latin America, where they currently enjoy radio and television play in Paraguay and Chile. Stella was a nominated artist for "Composer of the Year" at this year’s Univision Latin Music Awards. They had also been nominated for an award in the 2011 New Music Seminar, Artists on the Verge (AOV) project. It’s a great achievement for DESEO CARMIN to have been nominated to this exclusive list from millions of artists throughout the U.S.


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 for adults as it is for kids and asks that we consider designing for play in the often-overlooked parts of our cities. In this entertaining and playful talk, he demonstrates how simple tweaks can make something as ubiquitous as a wheelchair access ramp become an opportunity to explore play, have fun and stay fit as we engage with our cityscapes. Colin MacDonald sees a playground sprouting from the handrails and staircases of the urban landscape. Colin works as a parkour park designer for Parkour Visions, with completed indoor and outdoor projects across the US and Canada. A decade of practicing and teaching parkour has left him with a unique perspective on the importance of challenge and play, as well as a passion for the design and shape of the cityscape. He believes we can design spaces that enable and encourage climbing, jumping, and balancing – without losing functionality or getting ourselves sued. Making a space play-able is all about creating adjacency and connections between objects, while using graphics and visuals to invite people to try something new. “I want moments of play, of physical exploration, to leap out at you and grab five minutes of your day, like a partner pulling you onto the dance floor.”


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 of yourself. As a teenager inspired by superheroes, johnson embraced a new persona to help him confront a family tragedy. Today, he continues to embody new versions of himself to take on challenges and make drastic career shifts -– and encourages us to do the same. barry johnson is multidisciplinary artist whose work, which ranges from painting to filmmaking to installations, has appeared in more than 70 shows around the world. He is also a children’s book author and illustrator and in his free time he volunteers teaching art to all ages. He is known for constantly shifting the nature of his work. A self-taught artist, he grew up in Kansas and, after graduating with a Business Marketing degree, relocated to Seattle. He moved into the tech and consulting industries but became disillusioned with the lack of imagination in tech design requests. Johnson left the tech world to become a full time artist and has been making art for six years. Currently, he is working on opening a new show featuring a few temporary murals and has just finished writing a film that will begin shooting the summer of 2019. He is the recipient of an Edwin T. Pratt Scholarship for 2018-2019. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.


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 they live and work every day. Anirudh Koul believes that any disability is merely a gap between what we want to do and what we can do, and it’s technology’s role to fill those gaps. Koul points out that we all experience gaps as we age, and his invention gives all hope for a more empowered future. Growing up in India, Anirudh Kuhl was programming computers at a young age and by high school he was captivated by patterns in data—a key component of artificial intelligence. He moved to the United States to study at Carnegie Mellon and after stints at Yahoo and Microsoft, is now an AI researcher with multiple patents. Driven by his desire to help a dear family member, he took on a hackathon challenge at Microsoft and led development of an app that is now helping hundreds of millions of people with disabilities. It literally puts the gift of sight in their hands. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.


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 change.” In this powerful reading, Seattle Civic Poet Anastacia-Reneé invites us into her version of “the talk” that people of color feel bound to share with their sons as they walk out in the world — a world where being young, and brown can too easily get you shot. Her second poem, brings us back to the everyday world of raising children who often ask the toughest questions, including, “do I https://tedxseattle.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/thumb-01-1.jpger?” Anastacia-Reneé is a writer, performance artist, and workshop facilitator who has been described as a queer super-shero of color. She is the 2018-2019 Seattle Civic Poet, the 2015-2017 Poet-in-Residence at Hugo House and the recipient of the 2017 Artist of the Year Award. She is the author of five books and her cross-genre writing has appeared in: Women of Resistance; Poems for a New Feminism. Sinister Wisdom; Black Lesbians—We Are the Revolution and many more. She has received writing fellowships from Cave Canem, Hedgebrook, VONA, Artist Trust and Jack Straw, as well as a writing residency from Ragdale and Mineral School. She grabs time to write whenever possible which as the mother of two children and a teacher of three programs, is usually between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. “When poetry takes center stage, tension-filled spaces become safe literary hubs where community members can gather to share and celebrate the plethora of local, historical, and contemporary voices” says Anastacia-Reneé. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.


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 materials and putting us on a path to a cleaner, more sustainable world, says hemp advocate Amy Ansel. Noting the promise of hemp bioplastics that safely degrade, Ansel explains how hemp can also provide a cleaner, safer more sustainable substitute for paper, textiles, building materials, and even automobiles. From a 1500-year-old bridge in France made of hemp concrete to hi-tech autos that are lighter, stronger, and more fuel efficient, Ansel shows us how substituting hemp industrially can dramatically reduce pollution and conserve water resources while creating safer, stronger products. Amy Ansel had over two decades of IT program management experience at Microsoft before becoming an entreprener working to create a fresh and new program with purpose. She moved her attention to the industrial hemp industry, where her could employ her passion for sustainability. She has mapped her skills and systems over the budding agricultural industry with her partner, Tanya Hart, creating various pillars serving a global agenda in sustainable economies. Amy enjoys trying new things, disruptive technologies/bio innovation, playing cards and solving puzzles. A native of the West Coast, Amy resides outside of Seattle and enjoys spending time with 3 kids, 1 husband and 4 pets. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.