Biophilia, the future of architecture

In this 2020 TEDxSeattle talk, learn about new scientific discoveries in biophilia and why architect Matthias Olt believes that designing spaces where humans connect with nature promotes healing for people and the environment. 

Olt describes the concept of biophilia and provides scientific evidence that incorporating nature-inspired, sinuous forms and natural materials into our built environments positively affect human physiology and psychology. Explaining the principles of biophilic design and how he applies them, Olt makes the case that inspiring architecture improves our performance, well-being, and connectedness.

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What photographing death taught me about life

In this 2020 TEDxSeattle talk, see how Caroline Catlin’s own experience with illness inspired her to connect to others facing similar challenges.

After a diagnosis of a rare form of brain cancer, Caroline Catlin was forced to confront her own mortality and come face to face with the complex emotions surrounding death and dying. Through photography and writing, she has learned to see the beauty in the end of life, and reframed her perspective on her own cancer in the process.

More to explore:

  • Learn about Caroline Catlin’s work at
  • Soulumination provides photography packages for those in need. Learn more here:
  • View “What Really Matters at the End of Life?”, a TED talk by BJ Miller and Hospice and palliative care Physician:
  • Learn about lessons learned when almost dying from at TED Talk by Suleika Jaouad:
  • During his TED Talk, Jason B. Rosenthal give a humorous view of loss and grief:

Democratizing Science: Of the people, For the people, By the people

In this 2020 TEDxSeattle talk, Dr. Jane Roskams, a neuroscientist, talks about how a people-powered revolution is Making Science Great Again - giving birth to a new scientific democracy where the Open Science and Citizen Science movements converge. Jane believes expert silos and scientific elitism have left the public prey to misinformation - placing lives in danger - and powerless to contribute to changing our future. She explains how the Open Science movement has driven inclusive global online collaboration to combat threats like COVID 19 and climate change. She urges people without scientific training -from Uber drivers to hairdressers - to follow their passions, believe in their insight, re-envision scientific discovery, and help sculpt the Artificial Intelligence of the future. 

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Making music with your mind

What’s the importance of music in your life? In this 2020 TEDxSeattle talk, Dr. Thomas Deuel argues music is much more than a cultural cornerstone--it’s a critical function.

As a lifelong musician and practicing neurologist, Dr. Deuel found an innovative--and life-changing--way to combine his two passions. See how his project empowers individuals to live richer lives as they use brain signals to play music.

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The path to building an anti-racist workplace

Susan Long-Walsh knows we all have a role in changing how we think and subsequently act, concerning how we care for, treat, and include one another in life, especially in the workplace. She's built her career accessing and improving organizations' cultures, and she continues to tackle race in the workplace head-on.

In this 2020 TEDxSeattle talk, Long-Walsh passionately advocates for less corporate lip service, and she presents an action-based tool to take people from nice words to real measured changes that hold them accountable.

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Transforming communities through architecture

Rico Quirindongo knows one thing: you feel differently based on the space you’re in. 

Born in the heart of Seattle’s central district, Quirindongo has felt the impact of his surroundings his entire life. In this 2020 TEDxSeattle talk, he fosters connection by creating intentional spaces through his work as an architect. Quirindongo shares several examples of successful local projects that were designed with people in mind--and the negative consequences of ignoring the needs of the community.

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Hammer, chisel, stone: simple tools for hard moments

Would you start a project that you knew you could not complete in your lifetime? In this 2020 TEDxSeattle talk, Richard Rhodes challenges you to do just that, and shares lessons he’s learned from decades of sculpting stone by hand. 

Rhodes describes technology as a barrier between humans and the material world. He shows that tackling difficult, lengthy projects by hand allows time for reflection and problem-solving, and ultimately inspires creativity--a quality that’s particularly necessary in hard times.

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Why you should not bring your authentic self to work

In this 2020 TEDxSeattle talk, Jodi-Ann Burey explores the nuances of what professionals of color and other underrepresented groups face when they are told to “bring your authentic self to work.” Many who do so may face backlash when navigating company cultures designed around white privilege, exposing themselves to penalties for not conforming to the dominant culture. Burey calls for people of color and other underrepresented people to focus their energies on realizing their own imaginations for racial justice on their terms. Separately, Burey outlines steps toward achieving more equitable and just workplaces, and implores company leadership and people with privilege to accept accountability for changing their cultures.
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Exploring the octopus mind

In this 2020 TEDxSeattle talk, learn how Dominic Sivitilli relates octopus intelligence with the biological realities of the human mind. 

Through his work at the University of Washington, Sivitilli has had the opportunity to think deeply about the distributed nature of the octopus’s nervous system. Centered on how the octopus’s arms can behave independently, he takes us on an exploration of differing, almost alien-like intelligence, and challenges how we think about the function of our own minds.

More to explore:

  • Learn about Dominic Sivitilli’s role at the University of Washington’s Astrobiology department at
  • View “The Discoveries Awaiting us in the Ocean’s Twilight” presented by Heiti Sosik at TED’s Audatious Project:
  • Watch Roger Hanlon talk about “The Amazing Brains and Morphing Skin of Octopus and other Cephalopods” at TED 2019 here:
  • Laura Robinson discusses the secrets of the mysterious ocean floor at TedxBrussels:

What white people can do to move race conversations forward

In this 2020 TEDxSeattle talk, Dr. Caprice Hollins explains why we often fail to have productive conversations about race, race relations, and racism in this country. Her talk sheds light on why People of Color and white people take different approaches to these conversations and what white people can do to move race conversations forward.

With over twenty years of experience leading and facilitating conversations on race, Dr. Hollins uses current events and daily moments as teaching opportunities about race relations in America today. 

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The key to the future of food

In this 2020 TEDxSeattle talk, Audra Mulkern shares her journey to put female farmers back in the picture. She wants to help them mow down the “grass ceiling” and drive the agricultural industry forward.

Audra explains how female farmers have fed the nation in times of crisis - despite having harder times accessing loans and credit. Foregoing pie charts and graphs for photographs and personal stories, her talk demonstrates why the “grass ceiling” should be a concern for all of us.

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Jane Roskams

Could you participate in major scientific discoveries from your own living room? Dr. Jane Roskams says: “yes!” As a neuroscientist who is at the forefront of national and global efforts to democratize science, Dr. Roskams is aiming to improve the way scientific discoveries can happen—and she believes the key missing ingredient is you.

Through two key movements, “Citizen Science” and “Open Science,” Dr. Roskams shares how scientists can increase the rate of international data sharing and unlock faster scientific breakthroughs. She also emphasizes how everyday people can use their passions and untapped talent to team up to drive this scientific revolution – and maybe help us learn a thing or two about improving our mental health.

Dr. Roskams is one of the first scientists to lead an international, federally funded and citizen crowd-sourced neuroscience project that is all online. She is a dynamic leader at the forefront of the “Open Data” movement. Dr. Roskams—who is also a professor at University of British Columbia and the University of Washington—spends much of her time building bridges and alliances across sectors so that we can all help to transform our understanding of climate change, human health and the universe beyond and within our brains- and be empowered to change all of our futures.