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2017

At TEDxJacksonville 2017, we explored the power of We, The People.

  • Cynthia Barnett
    Cynthia Barnett
    Rain: A History for Stormy Times
  • Brenda T. Bradley, Ph.D.
    Brenda T. Bradley, Ph.D.
    No Prescription Necessary: How to Make Food Your Medicine
  • Amy Donofrio
    Amy Donofrio
    At-Risk or At-Hope? How We Label Youth Matters
  • Shari Duval
    Shari Duval
    A New Leash on Life for American Veterans
  • Manal Fakhoury, Pharm.D.
    Manal Fakhoury, Pharm.D.
    Defining and Defeating the Opioid Crisis
  • Melanie Flores
    Melanie Flores
    Can You Learn Engineering in Kindergarten?
  • Ellen Freidin
    Ellen Freidin
    Florida Citizens Win Redistricting Wars!
  • Jeff Galloway
    Jeff Galloway
    Move Your Body—Turn On Your Brain!
  • Chris Hand
    Chris Hand
    Citizen: The Most Important Title in American Democracy
  • Chad Houser
    Chad Houser
    Taking Kids Out of Jail, Teaching Them To Play With Knives and Fire
  • Marc Hudson
    Marc Hudson
    Value and Invest in Nature
  • Dr. Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa
    Dr. Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa
    Healing, Opportunity, Patients, Empowerment
  • Jaimison Sloboden
    Jaimison Sloboden
    Creating People-Safe Roads
Cynthia Barnett
Rain: A History for Stormy Times

After thousands of years spent praying for rain or worshiping it—burning witches at the stake to stop rain or sacrificing small children to bring it; even trying to blast rain out of the sky with mortars meant for war—humanity has finally managed to change the rain. Only not in ways we intended. Changing rainfall patterns are some of the earliest tremors of our warming globe, with wet places getting more deluges, dry ones seared in worsening droughts. Armed with computer models looking forward, Barnett believes there is also much to learn from looking back. Too much and not enough, rain is an experience we share. Barnett argues rain’s history has much to tell us about coming together to live more ethically with water—and adapt to the stormy times ahead. 

Cynthia Barnett is an award-winning journalist who has reported on water and climate worldwide, from the Suwannee River to Singapore. Barnett has written for multiple national publications and is the author of three books on water, including the latest, Rain: A Natural and Cultural History, a finalist for the National Book Award and PEN/E.O. Wilson Award for Literary Science Writing, and named a best book of 2015 by NPR’s Science Friday, the Boston Globe, the Miami Herald and others. Her first book, Mirage: Florida and the Vanishing Water of the Eastern U.S., won the gold medal for best nonfiction in the Florida Book Awards and was named one of the top 10 books that every Floridian should read. Her second, Blue Revolution, which calls for a new water ethic, was named by The Boston Globe as one of the top 10 U.S. science books of 2011. Barnett holds a B.A. in journalism and an M.A. in environmental history, both from the University of Florida, and spent a year studying freshwater as a Knight-Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan. She lives with her husband and two teenagers in Gainesville, where she is also Environmental Journalist in Residence at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications.

Brenda T. Bradley, Ph.D.
No Prescription Necessary: How to Make Food Your Medicine

Excessive weight and preventable illnesses are crippling our society. Our food supply is unsafe. Every day, people are sick and dying from preventable diseases. More than 80 million people are classified as obese and nearly 90 percent of our children can’t pass a fitness test. After struggling with her own health issues and learning about the body and what it needs to perform optimally, Bradley made the switch to a plant-based diet, a lifestyle she credits with giving her back her life, free from poor health and disease.

Brenda T. Bradley, Ph.D., became a certified health coach because of her passion for healthy eating and living. Determined to break free from the Standard American Diet (SAD), which is known to do more harm than good, she set out on her journey to research food, diseases, health, and fitness. After struggling with her own health goals and learning about what the body needs to perform optimally, she made the switch to a plant-based diet. She credits this diet for helping her not only to lose weight, but also to improve her overall quality of life. In 2016, she developed the 21-Day Vegan Challenge, a vegan-only food program that stresses the healing power of food and how its proper use can restore the body to a natural healthy state. Dr. Bradley’s goal is to inspire others to lead the charge for healthy eating and exercise.

Amy Donofrio
At-Risk or At-Hope? How We Label Youth Matters

As an educator and advocate, Amy Donofrio often gets the same question: How do we reach our at-risk youth? Her answer: We must start by instead viewing youth as at-HOPE. Authentic hope means believing wildly, unconditionally and (at-times) irrationally in an individual’s value and potential. As adults, we can demonstrate this belief in youth through three key actions: building relationships, investing lavishly, and empowering youth to reimagine even their missteps as platform qualifiers rather than permanent disqualifiers of their significance. 

Amy Donofrio is 10-year educator and founder of the EVAC Movement, a crusade of hope co-led by young men she met as students in her leadership class at Robert E. Lee High School in Jacksonville, FL. In 2016, realizing their shared experiences with violence, the justice system and loss, they invited officials to class to collaborate for change. In just over one year and with no formal curriculum, training or funding, they testified at Capitol Hill and the White House, were featured on the front-page of The New York Times, contributed to President Obama’s 2016 Youth Justice Proclamation and won the national Harvard KIND Schools Challenge. Donofrio has a B.A. in English education and an M.A. in literacy education. She began her career as an English teacher in rural Appalachia, urban Cleveland and Trujillo, Peru before moving to Jacksonville in 2012.  She’s unshakeable in her belief that public schools are ground zero for bringing equity, justice, and empowerment to our most at-hope youth. Her hobbies are running, baking and avoiding thinking about being an empty nester when EVAC graduates in 2018.

Shari Duval
A New Leash on Life for American Veterans

Up to one-fifth of veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from post-traumatic stress, and, tragically, because of PTSD, nearly 22 veterans commit suicide every day. When Shari Duval saw the symptoms of PTSD in her son, Brett, a civilian K9 police bomb dog handler who served in Iraq, she found a new mission in life. She put all her time and resources into helping restore the life of her son and the lives of returning combat veterans who had sacrificed so much for our freedom. She founded K9s For Warriors, a unique program providing highly trained service dogs for disabled veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disability and traumatic brain injury. To date, hundreds of veterans have received dogs and a new lease on life. Duval’s story is one of love and commitment: a mother’s love for her son, and a citizen’s commitment to the mission of respecting, honoring and saving the lives of combat veterans.

A mother and grandmother, Shari Duval has held many positions in her life, including owning her own businesses and fundraising for numerous nonprofits and various veteran causes. In 2010, Duval founded K9s For Warriors as a way to help her son Brett, who had served two tours in Iraq as a civilian dog bomb handler, cope with the scars of war. Today, K9s For Warriors is the largest and most successful service dog agency in the United States for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury. In 2017, Duval’s accomplishments were recognized when she received the Pearls of Leadership EVE Award. Her husband is a professional golfer retired from the Champions Tour, and his son David is a member of the PGA Tour, and currently a broadcaster for the Golf Channel. They have four children between them and 11 grandchildren.

Manal Fakhoury, Pharm.D.
Defining and Defeating the Opioid Crisis

The opioid epidemic has been called the worst drug crisis in American history. How did we get here and what is the solution? From research, we understand addiction is a disease. It is also, for some individuals and companies, a business. Did we in the pharmaceutical industry manufacture this epidemic by misleading the public that opiates are safe and effective? As a pharmacist and mentor for prisoners, Fakhoury will offer her unique perspective on the opioid epidemic.

Manal Fakhoury, Pharm.D., is a clinical and consultant pharmacist, award-winning inspirational speaker, coach, trainer, mentor, and philanthropist.  She obtained her undergraduate and doctorate degrees from the University of Southern California, and her M.B.A. from Webster University. Fakhoury proudly serves on many local and national boards, and has been recognized with multiple professional and community awards, including Person of the Year, Pharmacist of the Year, Most Inspirational, Women of Influence, and Florida Public Relations Association’s Communicator of the Year. She is the President and CEO of Fakhoury Leadership International, a multi-generational personal development company, and has more than 30 years of nonprofit leadership experience. She is passionate about her work in the prison system, where her interactions with inmates have given her insights into solutions to the opioid epidemic that we have overlooked. Fakhoury was honored to participate in the Climb of Hope and summit Mt. Kilimanjaro in January 2014. Most importantly she takes pride in her husband and five children.

Melanie Flores
Can You Learn Engineering in Kindergarten?

When was the last time you saw a 5-year-old give a formal presentation — PowerPoint-style — about prototypes, design criteria, and learning from failure? Fueled by an improbable mixture of late night dorm memories, manufacturing startup experience, and parenthood, Melanie Flores hatched a child-friendly version of a world-famous MIT class that has received national media coverage. Her work challenges our perceptions of what is possible from children and encourages us to think differently about how we educate them. Her talk will be a dive into the mind of a kindergarten engineer; discover what happens when storytelling, imagination, and design thinking converge.

Melanie Flores enjoys creating learning experiences for people of all ages. A Jacksonville native, she graduated from MIT, worked in industry for 10 years, and was on the startup team for Corning’s optical fiber manufacturing facility in the Charlotte, NC area. She loved training new engineers and watching them grow into strong problem solvers. Seeing her own children beam with pride over their homemade contraptions, Flores set forth on a new path to blend her technical background with her ability to connect with kids, founding a kindergarten engineering design workshop that has been recognized by the National Association of Independent Schools, the American Montessori Society, MIT, the Tufts University Center for Engineering Education and Outreach, and the Boston Museum of Science. She was honored to work with the Engineering is Elementary team to pilot their Kindergarten Engineering curriculum. She is excited by opportunities to break new ground, especially when they involve children, education, and innovative partnerships. She lives in Atlanta with her husband Trinidad and their two sons, TJ and Sebastian.

Ellen Freidin
Florida Citizens Win Redistricting Wars!

Appalled by the notion that her state’s legislature had gerrymandered voting districts to favor themselves and their party, Ellen Freidin led a citizen’s initiative to amend the Florida Constitution to establish strict rules for the drawing of legislative and Congressional district lines. After four years of gathering signatures and campaigning for passage, what followed was six years of fierce litigation to enforce the amendments and to fight off four separate federal court challenges to the amendments. Gerrymandering isn’t unique to Florida. Across the country, Republicans and Democrats alike have used the practice to establish political advantage and help incumbents get re-elected. Freidin’s cautionary tale is an important example of how a determined group of citizens can thwart badly intentioned public officials and ensure that state laws are fairly drawn and fully enforced.

Ellen Freidin was born and raised in South Florida, went to public schools, and, but for four years away at college, has lived there her whole life. In the sixth grade, she won her school essay contest on “What Democracy Means to Me.” Before entering law school, she worked for four years as a political campaign manager and legislative aide. Since graduating from Law School in 1978, she has always been involved in politics—especially in developing policy to improve our state. She served on the 1998 Florida Constitution Revision Commission and was responsible for the amendment establishing equality of rights for women and men. She led the Florida Bar Gender Equality committee from 1991 to 1995. In 2006, she took up the cause of ending gerrymandering in Florida and led that effort until its successful conclusion in 2016. Freidin has been married for 50 years to Miami lawyer Philip Freidin and their two children, Allison and Jonathan, are both lawyers in Miami.

Jeff Galloway
Move Your Body—Turn On Your Brain!

Jeff Galloway wasn’t always a runner. He was once an overweight, lazy 13-year-old who hated to perform strenuous activity. But when he discovered running, its positive benefits changed his life, eventually earning him a spot at the Munich Olympics and a career teaching others his unique run/walk/run method. Galloway will share his plan and explain how walking with short jog segments turns on the brain for better memory, better learning, and new growth of brain cells, and gives each exerciser control over attitude with more energy and empowerment to face the challenges of life.

Before Jeff Galloway became “America’s Coach” and a monthly columnist for the world’s leading running publication, he was a world-class runner, Olympian, and the first winner of the Peachtree Road Race. He ran with Steve Prefontaine, Bill Rodgers, Frank Shorter, and Amby Burfoot when the U.S. was a leading power in distance running. More than a million runners and walkers have used his training programs successfully and he’s authored 30 books. His innovative and successful training methods for runners have reduced aches, pains, and injury risk. The Galloway Method is used worldwide, allowing average people to enjoy the unique brain and body-enhancing benefits of exercise, while carrying on life activities. Galloway has consulted with key leaders at NASA, West Point, the White House Health Club, Homeland Security, the U.S. Marines, U.S. Air Force, DOD, and numerous corporations in the United States and Canada. He has appeared on ESPN, CNN, MSNBC, and hundreds of other TV and radio stations, and is in front of a fitness audience more than 200 times a year.

Chris Hand
Citizen: The Most Important Title in American Democracy

Each of us holds the most important title in American democracy: citizen. Yet most Americans believe we are powerless to make government respond or hold public officials accountable. A 2015 Pew Charitable Trusts survey found that 74% of Americans believe that most elected officials don’t care what people like us think.  But we can make them listen—if we fully embrace our rights and responsibilities as citizens in a democracy, and use the skills of effective citizenship to make government work for us. This is not just a theory. Americans frequently prove that we can make government respond. We, the people, are the beginning and the end of our democracy—and today, more than ever, we must build and flex our citizenship muscles to fulfill that exalted status.

Chris Hand is a Jacksonville native with a long record of public, civic, and legal service in Florida. He served as speechwriter, campaign press secretary, and Senate press secretary for former U.S. Senator Bob Graham. With Senator Graham, Hand is the co-author of the recently published America, the Owner’s Manual: You Can Fight City Hall—and Win. Hand also served as Chief of Staff at the City of Jacksonville during the administration of Mayor Alvin Brown. Hand has practiced law at several Jacksonville firms. In his current practice, he helps clients anticipate challenges and opportunities with government. Hand graduated with honors from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. He also graduated with honors from the Fredric G. Levin College of Law at the University of Florida. Hand is a member of the Leadership Jacksonville Class of 2014 and was recently selected for membership in Leadership Florida Class XXXVI. An enthusiastic hiker, he loves to explore Florida off the beaten path. His most passionate rooting interests are the Florida Gators, Jacksonville Jaguars and anything related to Ireland. The latter affection may explain Hand’s family demographics. Chris is lucky to live with three redheads — his wife Heather and their two children.

Chad Houser
Taking Kids Out of Jail, Teaching Them To Play With Knives and Fire

The juvenile justice industry term to describe the population they oversee is throwaway. That term becomes a scarlet letter that these kids wear on their chest. What happens when you give a throwaway opportunity, tools, resources, and hope? They begin to rise to the newfound level of expectation that is set for them. Chad Houser’s Dallas-based Cafe Momentum provides a transformative experience, through a 12-month paid post-release internship program, for young men and women coming out of juvenile detention. Building them up and helping them to succeed can rebuild communities and change generations to come. Houser’s vision is to open more Cafe Momentums across the country than Starbucks—is Jacksonville ready?

After 17 years as an award-winning chef, Chad Houser sold his partnership in Parigi Restaurant to devote his full attention to the role of Executive Director of Café Momentum, a Dallas-based restaurant and culinary training facility he describes as “taking kids out of jail and teaching them to play with knives and fire.” The nonprofit restaurant has been featured on numerous media outlets and was named Eater Dallas’s 2015 “Restaurant of the Year.” Houser’s passion to teach life, social, and employment skills to Dallas’s most at-risk youth has earned him national recognition, including being named one of Good Magazine’s “Good 100,” individuals at the cutting edge of creative impact across the globe. In the community, Houser has previously served as president of the board of directors for Dallas Farmers Market Friends and as vice chair of the El Centro Exes Association (Houser received his culinary training at El Centro) where he is also a member of the El Centro College Food and Hospitality Institute “Hall of Fame.”

Marc Hudson
Value and Invest in Nature

Nature’s incredible ability to provide plentiful water, filter pollutants, and protect us from floods and other weather-related events is declining. In the next 30 years Florida is expected to grow by more than 12 million people; we will max out our aquifer, and sea-level rise will flood many of our coastal and inland waterways. Meanwhile the caretakers of our environment, rural people, are suffering, with rural poverty 6% greater than urban areas, and a 5% decline in rural jobs since 2008. One answer to our ecological and economic decline is to create an eco-utility: a utility service provider, conservation agency, and economic development program. Hudson argues that an eco-utility would preserve our outdoor environment, put rural people to work restoring and improving our green infrastructure, and be financed by customers paying directly for clean water and storm water protection, often at rates cheaper than a traditional “gray infrastructure” utility.

Marc Hudson is a conservationist with a passion for issues of rural economic justice. He has preserved tens of thousands of acres of farms and natural areas from development in New York, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida, all the while working in depressed rural economic areas with scores of foresters, farmers, and ranchers. In the course of his regular conservation work he utilized dozens of incentive and market-based conservation programs to save wild places and family farms. He is a Kinship Conservation Fellow for market-based conservation strategies. He was a co-founder of Groundwork Jacksonville, an environmental justice nonprofit focused on Jacksonville’s urban core. He is currently the Land Protection Director at the North Florida Land Trust, a conservation nonprofit in Jacksonville, and in that role he directs their land preservation programs and strategies.

Dr. Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa
Healing, Opportunity, Patients, Empowerment

In 1987, at the age of 19, Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa literally jumped the border fence between Mexico and Baja California in order to find work as a migrant worker. Today, he is a world-renowned neurosurgeon who works to change the world by building bridges within institutions and countries through education, patient care and research. The values he learned as a boy in Mexicali—those of hard work, resilience, and perseverance in the face of long odds—are the same principles that inform his work as a brain surgeon, scientist, professor, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. In his talk, “Dr. Q” shares his personal story, as well as his conviction that anything you can imagine can be achieved as long as you believe in yourself and your ability to make a difference.

Alfredo Quiñones-Hinojosa, MD, is chair of the Department of Neurologic Surgery at Mayo Clinic in Florida, where he holds the William J. and Charles H. Mayo Professorship. Dr. Quiñones-Hinojosa earned his B.A. in psychology at the University of California–Berkeley and his MD at Harvard Medical School. He completed a residency in neurosurgery and a postdoctoral fellowship in developmental and stem cell biology at the University of California, San Francisco. His clinical interests are surgical treatment of primary and metastatic brain tumors; he also leads NIH-funded research to cure brain cancer. He has written numerous peer-reviewed papers and book chapters, edited neurosurgical texts and published his memoir, “Becoming Dr. Q.” Recently, Disney announced that this inspirational life story about his journey from migrant farm worker to neurosurgeon is going to be featured in a movie. Dr. Quiñones-Hinojosa has received countless awards, honors, and honorary degrees. In 2015, Forbes Magazine recognized him as one of Mexico’s most brilliant minds. In addition to his research and clinical practice, Dr. Quiñones-Hinojosa is co-founder and president of the non-profit foundation, Mission: BRAIN, Bridging Resources and Advancing International Neurosurgery.

Jaimison Sloboden
Creating People-Safe Roads

It’s no accident that Jacksonville and the State of Florida are at the top of every list of the worst places in America for pedestrian and bicycle fatalities. There are three main reasons for this: the design of our public spaces has been completely focused on the automobile; our laws for pedestrian crossings “criminalize” walking; and, culturally, walking and bicycling are looked down upon. As a traffic engineer that grew up and moved here from Minnesota, Jaimison Sloboden has lived and experienced what a walkable environment can and should be, and the contrasts to Florida are remarkable. 

Jaimison Sloboden is a transportation practice leader for Michael Baker International in Jacksonville charged with providing transportation services locally and in the State of Florida. His 24 years of experience in a wide range of transportation projects give him a unique perspective on how a system should be built to balance mobility, sustainability, and livability objectives while meeting the needs of stakeholders. Starting with the early Smart Growth initiatives, Sloboden was involved in pilot projects to transform areas and corridors into more “complete streets.” As a traffic engineer, Sloboden has had a strong affinity with multi-disciplinary planning environments, working closely with urban designers, architects, energy consultants and market research firms. Sloboden has been a resident of Northeast Florida for 10 years. Originally from Minnesota, he attended Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI, and has a B.S. in civil engineering. He and his wife Lori have two young children, Grace and Rhys.

TEDxJacksonville 2016

Under the theme Fear Less, our 2016 speakers explored the fear of failure, of being treated differently, of falling behind or not doing enough to get ahead, and brought fresh perspectives to debates about how our social media habits, healthcare system, political discourse and even our cities are impacting our basic humanity.

  • Tracy Alloway
    Tracy Alloway
    Facebook Fearless: How social media can be good for you
  • Rick Baker
    Rick Baker
    Building Seamless Cities
  • Gary Chartrand
    Gary Chartrand
    It's Okay To Be Unreasonable
  • Gay Culverhouse
    Gay Culverhouse
    Helmets Don't Work and Never Will
  • Cornelia Dinca
    Cornelia Dinca
    Is Your City for People or Cars?
  • Jeanine Hoff
    Jeanine Hoff
    Where is the Sunshine? My Journey as a Mental Health Survivor
  • Sheena Koshy
    Sheena Koshy
    The Myth of Legal Immigration
  • Donna Orender
    Donna Orender
    Fear NOT the Ask
  • Mark Tumeo
    Mark Tumeo
    The Politics of Fear
  • JeffriAnne Wilder
    JeffriAnne Wilder
    Race Talk: Activating the Power of Self-Definition
  • Amber Yang
    Amber Yang
    The Space Debris Apocalypse: Finding Unexpected Solutions Through STEM Education
Tracy Alloway
Facebook Fearless: How social media can be good for you

The ubiquitous use of social media has caused many to fear that these personalized  technology platforms are creating a generation that is narcissistic and self-obsessed. But before we dismiss personalized technology as the perpetrator of our current societal ills, Professor Alloway argues that we must take a closer look at how social media can improve not only our memory of events, but also the way in which we observe our own lives and relate to those around us.

Tracy Packiam Alloway is a Psychology professor and Graduate Program Director at the University of North Florida. She was awarded an Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award (2015), as well as the Outstanding International Leadership Award (2014). She was also the recipient of the prestigious Joseph Lister Award (for outstanding skills in communicating to a non-specialist audience) from the British Science Association. Tracy’s research has contributed to the scientific understanding of working memory, and specifically in relation to education and learning needs. She has presented her research to national organizations such as the National Center for Learning Disabilities, and as well as internationally to organizations such as the Japanese Society for Developmental Psychology and the Center on Research on Individual Development and Adaptive Education of Children at Risk in Germany, among others. She also provided advice to the World Bank on the impact of memory and learning in deprived populations. In addition to over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, seven books, and two standardized test batteries on the topic of working memory, her work also has been featured on Good Morning America, the Today Show, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Washington PostNewsweek, and many others. She blogs for Psychology Today and The Huffington Post. Two of her books, Working Memory Advantage and Training Your Brain For Dummies, are available on Amazon.

Rick Baker
Building Seamless Cities

America has entered an era of re-urbanization. As cities gain renewed growth and prominence, it is important that they be governed with a strategic approach that focuses on safety, quality of life and financial stability. Rick Baker, the former mayor of St. Petersburg, argues that a primary governing principal should be to make each city “seamless,” with no section underserved or overlooked.

Rick Baker has been a business acquisition lawyer, a law firm President, a university Vice President, and now is President of a St. Petersburg-based company involved in development, hotels, real estate, sports, entertainment and hospitality. From 2001 to 2010, he served as mayor of St. Petersburg, Florida’s fourth largest city. Under Mayor Baker’s leadership, St. Petersburg experienced a renaissance unmatched in city history. In 2008, Mayor Baker was named America’s Mayor/Public Official of the Year by Governing Magazine. In 2011, Daily Beast Editor-in-Chief John Avlon named Baker”America’s greatest mayor of the decade.” Baker chaired the Century Commission for a Sustainable Florida, chaired the Florida Statewide Water Congress, chaired the Florida Governor’s Municipal Mentoring Initiative, vice chaired the Florida Governor’s Energy ActionTeam, chaired the Florida Governor’s Transportation, Environmental Protection, Community Affairs and Fish and Wildlife Transition Teams, and co-chaired the Florida Attorney General’s Transition Team. Baker holds a B.S., an M.B.A., and a Juris Doctor (with honors) from FSU where he was Senior Class President. He studied comparative law at Oxford University. He served as legal intern to Florida Supreme Court Justice Ben Overton, and law clerk to Governor Bob Graham’s special counsel. Baker is an adjunct fellow of the Manhattan Institute’s Center for State and Local Leadership based in New York City. He has authored two books: Mangroves to Major League in 2000, a history of St. Petersburg; and The Seamless City in 2011, about city leadership and urban revitalization. Baker has been married to his wife, Joyce, for thirty years and they have raised two college-age children.

Gary Chartrand
It's Okay To Be Unreasonable

George Bernard Shaw famously observed that “all progress comes from unreasonable people.” It’s a philosophy philanthropist Gary Chartrand has embraced over the course of his decades-long fight to ensure that Florida children have access to a strong public educational system that embraces 21st-century skills in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Only by reforming America’s public school system, argues Chartrand, will we develop the next generation of problem solvers.

Gary Chartrand is the Executive Chairman of Acosta Sales and Marketing. Acosta is a leading full-service sales and marketing agency, providing outsourced sales, merchandising, marketing and promotional services to manufacturers in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry. The company employs over 40,000 associates and operates 100 offices in the U.S. and Canada. Chartrand was the pivotal force behind quadrupling the company’s geographic coverage, transforming Acosta into the first national full-service sales and marketing company in the U.S. and Canada. Gary received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the State of Florida in May 2001, and has been an extraordinary leader in his industry and his community. From 2003 to 2009 Mr. Chartrand was recognized as one of the 50 most powerful leaders in the grocery industry by Supermarket News. Mr. Chartrand also has a passion for educating the children of Duval County and the State of Florida. In April 2007, he led a community effort to bring Teach for America to Jacksonville. In June of 2009 Gary and his wife Nancy made a pledge gift of $1Million dollars to KIPP schools of Jacksonville. The first KIPP School in Florida opened in August of 2010. Because of his passion for education coupled with his business experience and leadership, Governor Rick Scott appointed Mr. Chartrand to the State Board of Education in 2011. He served as Chair of the State Board in 2014 and 2015. Gary currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation, The Jacksonville Public Education Fund, City Year, and is currently Chair of the board of the KIPP schools of Jacksonville, FL. He is also Chair of the Northeast Florida STEM HUB. Gary is involved in Guardian of Dreams, Catholic schools and the Diocese of St. Augustine. Gary is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire. Gary and Nancy reside in Ponte Vedra Beach and have two children, Jeffrey and Meredith.

Gay Culverhouse
Helmets Don't Work and Never Will

Dr. Gay Culverhouse was the highest ranking woman in the National Football League for 10 years. As the president of the Tampa Bay Buccanners, she had an insider’s view of the NFL and the devasting effect of sports-related head injuries on the countless players the League claimed to care about. In 2009, Culverhouse testified before the House Judiciary Committee on the Legal Issues Relating to Football Head Injuries, and offered a blistering assessment of the NFL’s treatment of its former players. With a passion to save brains no matter whom she angered, she subsequently formed the Gay Culverhouse Players’ Outreach Program, Inc., whose mission is to help retired NFL players access the benefits to which they are entitled.


Gay Culverhouse is a sought-out expert in the field of concussion and head injury prevention. She has a master’s degree in mental retardation, and a doctorate in special education from Columbia University, and was on the faculty of the medical school at the University of South Florida. She served as President of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, President of Notre Dame College of Ohio, and Executive Director of The Cooke Center for Learning and Development. Culverhouse is also the author of Throwaway Players: The concussion crisis from Pee Wee football to the NFL. An advocate for many non-profits, Culverhouse has served on twenty-four nonprofit boards in and around Tampa Bay, as well as on the boards of The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, All Childrens’s Hospital, Women’s Hospital, and the Moffitt Cancer and Research Center.

Cornelia Dinca
Is Your City for People or Cars?

In the 21st century, we are witnessing the erosion of the “human” habitat. Too many American cities are designed in ways that instigate fear, isolation and insecurity. As an engineer and urban planner, Cornelia Dinca will draw on her own experiences in Amsterdam to detail how it’s possible to transform urban environments into places of discovery and joy that foster feelings of community and empowerment.

Cornelia Dinca is an urbanist with a passion for livable cities. She is the founder of Sustainable Amsterdam, a platform devoted to sharing Amsterdam-based approaches for sustainable urban development. She is also the Delegations Lead for CycleSpace, an Amsterdam-based not-for-profit that helps international delegations bring people and bicycle-friendly development to their cities. Cornelia holds a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Calgary and a master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Amsterdam. Previously Cornelia worked on energy, climate change, waste management, and cycling projects in Canada, Germany, and the Netherlands.

Jeanine Hoff
Where is the Sunshine? My Journey as a Mental Health Survivor

The stigma surrounding mental health disorders leads to discrimination and fear. With one in four adults having experienced a mental health disorder, that means a quarter of our population has most likely suffered in silence. But what if we looked at mental illness in our city differently? What if we connected the dots to build an incredible foundation to help survivors, their families and friends? What if we educated corporate America on what mental illness really looks like? Jeanine Hoff will share her own story of how mental illness ravaged her life, and how she found the strength to survive by helping others with mental health problems find positive support and community connections.

Jeanine Hoff is the Founder and President of Where is the Sunshine?, a Northeast Florida-based 501(c)3 non-profit organization and social media resource dedicated to positive mental health advocacy through education, community collaboration, and inspiration. Jeanine is a certified presenter for the National Alliance on Mental Illness’ (NAMI) Ending the Silence and Peer-to-Peer programs, and is certified in Mental Health First Aid (YOUTH) and Suicide Prevention. She is a featured contributor for The Mighty and Jacksonville Moms Blog, and has also been featured in Stigma Fighters and the Florida-Times Union. She is currently working on a feature piece for an upcoming published anthology of motivational mental health stories. Jeanine is a classically trained singer, actor, composer and pianist, and holds a Bachelor’s of Music degree in Music Theatre Performance from Arizona State University. She also holds a Master’s degree from Arizona State in American Media and Culture, focusing on film and social media. Jeanine spent several years as an associate of International Creative Management in NYC, working with some of the biggest names in entertainment. Upon moving from NYC to Jacksonville, Jeanine taught K-8 music, drama, and improv comedy at the Martin J. Gottlieb Day School. During that time, she and her student choir performed live in concert with Barry Manilow at Veterans Memorial Arena. Jeanine’s passion for community service and leadership eventually turned into a professional role as a fundraiser and event planner. Now she dedicates herself to bringing our community together to support those who struggle with mental health disorders. She and her husband Mathew are the proud parents of three young boys.

Sheena Koshy
The Myth of Legal Immigration

Sheena Koshy immigrated legally to this country in 2001, but obtaining her U.S. citizenship was a journey that took 15 years and four visas to complete. Despite her absolute and rigid observance of the rules, Sheena’s path to citizenship was incredibly expensive, tediously long, and bloated with bureaucracy. As a result, she is passionately committed to dispelling the myth that our nation’s immigration problems would be solved if only everybody would immigrate legally. The legalization process, argues Sheena, is mired in complications and desperately needs a compassionate overhaul.

Sheena Koshy has never voted. That’s because she’s only ever spent 8 years of her life in the country of her citizenship. Born in India, she left at the age of 2 for Bahrain, a small island in the Middle East, where she had her first DQ ice-cream, learned to love alphabets thanks to Sesame Street and ate a lot of shawarmas. She spent her middle school in Abu Dhabi, high school Dubai, her undergraduate in India and moved to the United States for university in 2001. She recently became a citizen in May of this year and is excited to vote in her very first elections.

Sheena will be talking about the ‘Myth of the Legal Immigrant’, a narrative she is very familiar with, having spent the past 15 years trying to become a US citizen. She hopes her talk will help shed light on the difficult process of legal immigration and how imperative it is that it be compassionately rehauled.

Her day job involves helping organizations find their niche, seek their community and connect the two by telling their stories. Her career has centered on leveraging the unique ways in which brands can engage digitally in this connected world we live in today. Her volunteer efforts include being on the board of directors for Access Health Africa, a non-profit improving access to quality health services, education & resources in Malawi. She can be found on twitter @sheenakoshyc.

Donna Orender
Fear NOT the Ask

Leadership, power, empowermentthey never meant a lot to Donna Orender growing up. Being a strong young woman was about opportunity. She just wanted a level playing field. But she discovered that the path to enlightenment, to a passion focused on girls excelling and women rising, began with not being afraid to ask a simple question: WHY NOT? Orender will discuss the power of asking Why Not as something we must embrace in the interest of personal growth, transformation, and broader social opportunities.

Donna Orender, CEO of Orender Unlimited, a Jacksonville-based consulting and advisory firm, is a recognized business leader, trailblazer, game changer and executive. Prior to Orender Unlimited, Donna served six years as the President of the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA). During her term the league solidified its base and grew double digits in all key business metrics. With her focus on revitalizing the brand, its value and relevance, the league experienced five years of consecutive attendance growth, after eight years of decline. Prior to the WNBA, Donna spent 17 years at the PGA TOUR, the men’s professional golf tour. She led the negotiating team that changed the paradigm for how PGA TOUR golf was both packaged and sold for television, resulting in billions of dollars in growth for the TOUR. Her last position was in the Office of the Commissioner, as the Senior Vice President of Strategic Development. Donna’s business career began after playing three years in the Women’s Professional Basketball League, the WBL, where she earned All-Star status. This experience enabled her to work in network television sports at ABC and later in cable television at SportsChannel before forming her own production company. As the CEO of Orender Unlimited, her current work has included the development of a strategic plan for the golf industry focused on the development of new consumer markets and the accompanying transformational changes necessary to realize success. Donna authored “Connecting with Her,” a guidebook on the impact of the women’s market, and how to understand and access it. In 2011, Orender launched GENERATION W and GENERATION WOW, which have become vibrant communities for enhancing and motivating people’s lives and creating change and impact in their worlds. The signature event is an annual gathering of nearly 50 national level speakers that provides the spark for year-round activity, conversation and action.

Mark Tumeo
The Politics of Fear

Fear has been one of the strongest motivators in political discourse for almost the entire history of mankind and government. One of the most important aspects of fear as a political motivator is that it is not spoken about in terms of why the fear exists. Rather, political opponents either exaggerate or discount the causes of the fear driving the discussion, which only serves to increase the anger generated by fear. In such an environment, governance becomes difficult if not impossible, and the stage is set for violence, upheaval and revolution. Through his TEDxJacksonville talk, Dr. Mark Tumeo hopes to start a civil discourse about the fears our society faces, explore how that fear is being used to direct political consequences, and discuss how we might move beyond the politics of fear in the development of sound public policies.

Dr. Mark A. Tumeo is the Dean of the College of Computing, Engineering and Construction and a Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of North Florida. He holds a Ph.D. in environmental engineering from the University of California Davis, a J.D. from Cleveland State University, and B.S. degrees in civil engineering and biology from the University of Notre Dame. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the States of Florida and Alaska. He is also a member of the Ohio Bar. Dr. Tumeo came to UNF in 2011 from Cleveland State University, and was previously a faculty member at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Dr. Tumeo has over thirty years of experience in environmental consulting and research, and has extensive experience and publications in environmental risk assessment, policy and regulation. He was a participant in the young Scientists Summer Program in Laxenburg, Austria and spent four months teaching Environmental Engineering and conducting environmental policy seminars in Peru as a Fulbright Scholar. In 1993, Dr. Tumeo was the recipient of a Congressional Fellowship from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), which involved serving for one year as a Legislative Aide to Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) on environmental issues. In 1997, Dr. Tumeo was selected by AAAS as one of three individuals nationally to work under the Clinton Administration with the newly formed USDA Office of Risk Assessment and Cost Benefit Analysis and helped develop guidelines for risk assessments required under law. In 2001, Dr. Tumeo was elected to the rank of “Fellow” in the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). In 2014, he was elected to the rank of Fellow in the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Most recently, he was a member of the Leadership Jacksonville Class of 2016. He has served on local, state, national and international panels in the area of environmental management and law. In 2005, he was elected to the Cleveland Heights City Council, and was re-elected to a second term in 2009. While on Council he served two years as the Chair of the Public Health and Safety Committee, and another two years as Chair of the Finance and Budget Committee. Dr. Tumeo has published over 40 peer-reviewed articles, reports and book chapters and numerous conference proceedings in the area of waste treatment, management and risk analysis. He is actively involved in several professional organizations. He has served as an Associate Editor of the American Association of Civil Engineers’ Journal of Environmental Engineering, and currently serves as an Associate Editor for ASCE’s Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice.

JeffriAnne Wilder
Race Talk: Activating the Power of Self-Definition

Racism, sexism, and other interlocking oppressions can create an “outsider-within” status for many black women in higher education, particularly those who are working as professors. But an informal rule in academia is that one must never speak openly about this divide, nor fight back against the persistent devaluation of black female intellectualism. Dr. Wilder will offer a personal narrative of her own experiences at mostly white educational institutions, and address the challenges, risks and rewards she encountered when she finally decided to break her silence.

Dr. JeffriAnne Wilder is a sociologist and scholar specializing in diversity, race relations and gender issues. She is currently a tenured Associate Professor of Sociology and the Founding Director of the Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnic Relations at the University of North Florida. She holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Florida. In addition to her studies in sociology, JeffriAnne also completed a concentration in Women’s Studies and Gender Research. Dr. Wilder completed her M.A. in Sociology from Cleveland State University, and a B.A. from Allegheny College. Her areas of research interest include race and ethnic relations, minorities in higher education, women of color in the U.S., qualitative methodology, and the sociology of teaching and learning. A key area of JeffriAnne’s work focuses on examining the impact of this persistent issue of colorism within the black community, specifically among black women and girls in the era of “post-racialism.” Her book on this issue, Color Stories: Black Women and Colorism in the 21st Century, was published in October 2015. Dr. Wilder is the recipient of many research and teaching awards, and was named as one of Jacksonville’s Top 30 Women of Influence in 2015 and 2016. Dr. Wilder’s work has been published in an array of academic journals and publications, and she regularly speaks on race, gender, and diversity issues. As a public scholar, Dr. Wilder has been featured in a host of local, national, and international media outlets including First Coast News, the Florida Times-Union, Black Enterprise, The Grio, National Public Radio, HuffPost Live, The Takeaway, Nightline, 20/20, and the New York Times.

Amber Yang
The Space Debris Apocalypse: Finding Unexpected Solutions Through STEM Education

The world is a better place when we support each other and lean in together. When we fall into the trap of believing preconceived notions and stereotypes such as “girls can’t be scientists or mathematicians,” we are tearing down ourselves and preventing humanity from accelerating forward. As a teenager and passionate advocate of STEM education, Amber Yang will share the story of how she learned to be fearless about pursing her goals and making a difference. The encouragement of the next generation of potential scientists, argues Yang, should never be undermined by preconceptions about gender.

Amber Yang is a 17-year-old innovator and scientist who attends Trinity Preparatory School in Winter Park, FL. For the past two years, Yang has been studying novel and effective techniques for the tracking of space debris. When Yang was 16 years old, she developed a novel Artificial Neural Network system capable of tracking the orbits of space debris to an accuracy that is ten times more effective than current systems. Later that year, her research was accepted and is pending review for publication in Harvard University’s Journal for Emerging Investigators. In March, Yang was awarded the Grand Prize (Best-in-fair) award at the Florida State Science and Engineering Fair and was named an International Grand Prize Ying Scholar for her work. In May, Yang received second place and an all-expenses-paid trip to the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), the world’s largest pre-college science competition. Yang has presented her research at scientific conferences and has been recognized by both the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lincoln Laboratory and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Additionally, this summer, she was a keynote speaker at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland. Yang is a competitive extemporaneous speaker, has her own science blog in Nature Publishing Group’s Scitable publication, and is Editor-in-Chief of her school newspaper. In Yang’s spare time, she enjoys playing the piano and running.

  • Roderick “Odd?Rod” Borisade
    Roderick “Odd?Rod” Borisade
  • The Chris Thomas Band
    The Chris Thomas Band
  • Tomboi
    Tomboi
Roderick “Odd?Rod” Borisade

Born to a drug-addicted mother and an absent father, Roderick “Odd?Rod” Borisade struggled hard during his preteen years. After losing his brother to cancer, he pushed himself through high school and then earned a full college scholarship. In starting an open mic night at his college, Odd?Rod developed leadership and speaking skills that brought in 200 students a month to express themselves. He learned that sharing his story of perseverance was helping others to cope with what they were going through. The notion that he could be an example to others catapulted him into every school, rehab, and jail he could find so that he could let people know that they can make it, too. Since 2011, he’s toured over 300 cities and earned many awards. Most importantly, he’s inspired a nation of students to push through every obstacle placed before them and to live their life as leaders.  Named the 2014 APCA Spoken Word Artist of the Year and Entertainer of the Year, Rod’s dedication to giving an uplifting message over his poems/stories are aligned with his passion to involve and entertain his audience.

The Chris Thomas Band

A native of Chicago and long-time resident of Jacksonville, Florida, vocalist Chris Thomas has performed with various bands within Florida for the past 15 years. On June 1, 2014, he formed The Chris Thomas Band in order to bring the highest level of quality and showmanship to his fans and audiences. A professionally trained and competitive dancer, he combines dance, vocals, and the best musicians in north Florida to deliver an unforgettable performance. Whether it’s with his small combo or 19-piece big band, Chris Thomas has the style and swagger of Sinatra and the performance excitement of James Brown and Bruno Mars.

Tomboi

Tomboi is a queer indie electronic band from Jacksonville, Florida, whose music incorporates psychedelic pop vocals, driving guitar leads, and a combination of live and electronic beats. The trio consists of Alex E (vocals/beats), Paige McMullen (guitar), and Summer Wood (drums). Recently featured as TOM TOM Magazine’s Video of the Week, their latest self-titled EP, TOMBOi, is now available on iTUNES. Lobos + Remixes, is available on cassette now from Wiener Records. Their first single off their upcoming Remix Tape: Runaround (Remix by ∆LEX E.)

2015

At TEDxJacksonville 2015, we went Into the Machine. Acknowledging that machines are the essential engines of our future progress, we explored the roles humanity plays in this new age.

  • Jennifer Adler
    Jennifer Adler
    Illusions: A Lens into Our Fragile Freshwater
  • Fatène Ben-Hamza
    Fatène Ben-Hamza
    Collaboration: Venturing Further With Safe Spaces
  • Jim Barbaresso
    Jim Barbaresso
    Driverless Cars and Connected Infrastructure: The future?
  • Peter Carney
    Peter Carney
    Designing Curiosity
  • Tessa Duvall
    Tessa Duvall
    Learning the Truth About Bad Schools
  • Jordan Edelheit
    Jordan Edelheit
    Breaking Stereotypes, Building Empathy
  • Kevin Gover
    Kevin Gover
    (Re)Making History: The Real Story Is Bigger and Better
  • Tim Harris
    Tim Harris
    What Is Important Is Love
  • Kevin Hyde
    Kevin Hyde
    Ban the Box
  • Mark McCombs
    Mark McCombs
    Why Every Kid Should Build a Robot
  • John Phillips
    John Phillips
    America's Greatest Enemy: The Unevolving Virus of Prejudice
  • Peter Rummell
    Peter Rummell
    Placemaking Meets Healthmaking
Jennifer Adler
Illusions: A Lens into Our Fragile Freshwater

In Florida, we spend our lives walking on water. This precious resource is threatened, yet it is out of the public eye. Hidden in the aquifer below, water winds its way through limestone tunnels that few will ever experience, and where this water makes its way to the surface, it forms the highest density of freshwater springs in the world. But instead of seeing that the springs are fragile and degrading, we see a watery peninsula filled with lakes, wetlands and river–an illusion of abundance.

Underwater photography can help change this illusion and mend the disconnect between our lives aboveground and the aquifer below. Photographs speak without words or political bias, allowing people to make their own conclusions and empowering people to make informed decisions about this threatened resource. By giving people a novel view of our drinking water, both deep in the aquifer and in the sunlit springs, photos can help us fundamentally change our perspectives on water.

About Jennifer: Jennifer Adler spent her childhood in a permanently salty state–from exploring tide pools and splashing in the waves, to sailing competitively throughout college, the ocean defined her. This love for the sea also led her to pursue a degree in marine biology, and when she got her first job offer to work as a biologist at USGS in Florida, she eagerly accepted. Two days later, with visions of sandy beaches and palm trees in her mind, she arrived 1,244 miles south . . . and 74 miles inland. She studied the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and dinosaur-like sturgeon fish in the Suwannee River, and it was the sweltering summer field days of netting sturgeon in the foreign fresh waters of north Florida that first acquainted her with the springs. These incredible ecosystems immediately swept her off her feet, and she started exploring, researching, and documenting them through photography. To see a little deeper, she eventually earned her cave diving certification and is endlessly fascinated by the winding tunnels of the aquifer. But with this fascination came concern for these fragile, compromised ecosystems. This ultimately led her to pursue her PhD at the University of Florida where she is currently working on a dissertation that blends science with photography and writing to effectively communicate about Florida’s threatened springs and water resources.

 

Fatène Ben-Hamza
Collaboration: Venturing Further With Safe Spaces

You’ve probably heard about Tunisia in the headlines at least once in the last five years. A North African country whose culture dates to antiquity, Tunisia’s recent history has been both tumultuous and inspiring as its citizens pursue democratic reforms following their 2011 Jasmine Revolution that famously sparked the Arab Spring.  Fatène witnessed what happened as the “old machine” disappeared, and will discuss the critical importance safe spaces have played in creating a better machine in her country.

About Fatène: Fatène Ben-Hamza is a French-Tunisian business strategist who moved to Tunisia in 2009. She is passionate about building spaces for people to create, express and exchange ideas. After six years in the advertising industry as a brand strategist working with many international and local clients, Ben-Hamza has joined Cogite, a coworking community of change-makers and entrepreneurs in Tunisia. She has also recently co-founded the Afkar conference, a think & action tank bridging spaces between government and civil society to promote concrete solutions to concrete problems in Tunisia. Fatène is also the organizer and co-curator of TEDxCarthage since 2011, and TEDxCarthageWomen.

 

Jim Barbaresso
Driverless Cars and Connected Infrastructure: The future?

According to the Association for Safe International Road Travel, more than 37,000 people die in road crashes each year in the United States. Barbaresso will discuss disruptive transportation technologies and highlight how the Intelligent Transportation Systems industry is working toward developing technology that may eliminate this risk and save lives.

About Jim: Jim Barbaresso is an internationally renowned expert in intelligent transportation systems. He has more than 37 years of experience in both the public and private sectors, giving him a unique perspective on transportation challenges and how to overcome them. Throughout his career, Barbaresso has demonstrated leadership in the development and application of emerging technologies to enhance mobility and transportation safety. In recognition of Barbaresso’s career achievements and leadership in Intelligent Transportation Systems, he was selected to chair the 2014 World Congress on Intelligent Transport Systems, held last September in Detroit.

 

Peter Carney
Designing Curiosity

Search engines have created the largest spike in information resources in human history, and the classroom learning experience should be fundamentally retooled. Today, students have immediate access to an ocean of digital information, but the classroom experience is still modeled in the traditional approach where the teacher delivers information to those without access to information.  Pete will discuss his method of interactive listening, and explore how the modern classroom can be remade into a creative space for teachers and students to respond to the growing digital forest.

About Peter: Pete Carney was a music history teacher at City Colleges of Chicago from 2007 to 2013, and was frustrated with the boring textbooks available for his students. Knowing his students would rather read their smartphones than textbooks, Carney worked for two years in his basement to design a new approach that reached and challenged his students. He and fellow adjunct music professor Brian Felix created a groundbreaking new iBook called Interactive Listening that was immediately named by Apple Inc. in 2014 as the #1 Editor’s Choice in all categories of iBooks. It was the first music education method ever to be featured on Apple’s iTunes website. Created for digital-savvy students, Interactive Listening is now taught in over 100 schools nationwide, featuring Hollywood-style graphics, an orchestra of 3-D instruments, and interactive games.

Carney also enjoys a distinguished career as a professional saxophonist and composer who has worked with Grammy winners Kirk Franklin, Tito Puente, the Winans, and the Plain White T’s. His greatest musical experience was touring the Chitilin’ Blues Circuit with Little Milton and opening for B.B. King. He lives with his wife/editor, Caroline, in Chicago where he is currently finishing a doctorate in music at the University of Illinois.

Tessa Duvall
Learning the Truth About Bad Schools

For years, the former Butler Middle School struggled with low academic achievement, discipline problems, declining enrollment, a tough reputation and little parent involvement. But for the 2014-15 school year, Duval County Public Schools decided to overhaul the troubled school and create two single-gender schools. Though preliminary, the results so far are encouraging. Tessa will discuss the inequalities that so many students face: poverty, hunger, family struggles,  and more. It’s easy to write off a school’s problems as simply bad kids, lazy teachers and absentee parents. But it’s never that simple.

About Tessa: Tessa Duvall joined The Florida Times-Union as the education, children and families reporter in December 2014. She graduated with Bachelor’s degrees in journalism and sociology from Western Kentucky University in December 2013 and spent a year reporting on education from the dusty oil fields of West Texas before moving to the Sunshine State. Her reporting focuses on the issues that affect children and families living in Northeast Florida.

Jordan Edelheit
Breaking Stereotypes, Building Empathy

The U.S. holds only five percent of the global population but 25% of the incarcerated population. Jordan believes we can transform our society and better understand the mass incarceration problem that exists here by putting a face to these statistics. Some of the most positive disruptors are those working at Marion Correctional Institution (MCI), a 2,700-men prison in Marion, Ohio. Officials there use Skype to facilitate conversations between audiences and incarcerated men; the resulting conversations on incarceration, justice, and humanity have the unique power to build empathy, understanding, and awareness of our shared humanity.

About Jordan: While an undergrad at Ohio State, Jordan Edelheit fell in love with TED’s mission of “ideas worth spreading” and began organizing TEDx events. In addition to TEDxOhioStateUniversity, Jordan was on the founding team of the first TEDx to take place in an adult prison, TEDxMarionCorrectional. She has since spent the past three years striving to learn and share stories within the justice system, and now works with The Mayerson Foundation in Cincinnati, Ohio leading their young professional and social change programs. She is inspired by countless incarcerated men who lead by example that spoken word poetry can be a tool of expression, possibly even the answer to sharing our most random beautiful thoughts. Jordan believes in building empathy by listening to one story at a time. She finds herself smiling most after experiencing shared humanity in unexpected spaces . . . like prison.

Kevin Gover
(Re)Making History: The Real Story Is Bigger and Better

Americans have been taught a shallow and simple narrative of the history of Native Americans and the history of our country. Shallow narratives are satisfying and allow us to feel good about our history as a nation, but they can cause our approach to contemporary issues to be uninformed and even misinformed. Kevin will discuss fearlessly embracing the larger, messier, more complex truths of our history.

About Kevin: Kevin Gover is the director of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian and a citizen of the Pawnee Tribe of Oklahoma. Gover began as director in December 2007. He received his bachelor’s degree in public and international affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, and his Juris Doctor degree in 1981 from the University of New Mexico College of Law.

Gover returned to New Mexico in 1986, where he established Gover, Stetson, Williams & West, P.C., which grew into the largest Indian-owned law firm in the country and represented tribes and tribal agencies in a dozen states. His advocacy brought him to the attention of the Clinton White House, and in 1997, Gover was nominated by President Clinton to serve as the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs in the United States Department of the Interior. His tenure as Assistant Secretary is perhaps best-known for his apology to Native American people for the historical conduct of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Upon leaving office, Gover resumed the practice of law and served on the faculty of Arizona State University’s Indian Legal Program. Throughout his professional career, Gover has given freely of his time, serving on several committees of the Federal Bar Association and the American Bar Association, as well as on a number of non-profit boards.

Tim Harris
What Is Important Is Love

Tim Harris has become a beautiful example of what is possible when you dream big and live a life based on love and acceptance. During his talk, Tim will be discussing his many achievements and his belief that the most important quality humans have is love.

About Tim: Born in 1986 with Down Syndrome, Tim Harris’s life has been defined by exceeding expectations and inspiring those around him. His lifelong dream of owning his own restaurant came true in October 2010 when “Tim’s Place” opened its doors in Albuquerque, serving breakfast, lunch . . . and hugs. To date Tim has given out more than 70,000 hugs, reaching everyone from music legend Stevie Wonder to the President of the United States. Tim’s successful determination to own a restaurant, live a happy life and inspire others has captured the attention of people all over the world. His goal is to help other individuals with intellectual disabilities lead meaningful and fulfilling lives via entrepreneurship and inclusion in their communities.

Kevin Hyde
Ban the Box

Ex-offenders cannot get jobs. Yet employment is one of the most powerful tools against recidivism. How can a community–even a conservative city like Jacksonville–come to grips with helping ex-offenders obtain employment? Kevin will discuss the practical community benefits of providing job opportunities for ex-offenders, dispel some of the myths of why and how ex-offenders should not be hired, and demonstrate why job training is more “cost-effective” societally and financially than incarceration.

About Kevin: Kevin E. Hyde is a partner and employment lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP. Hyde represents employers in a variety of human resources matters, and is managing partner of the firm’s Jacksonville office. Hyde speaks regularly at various programs and seminars, focusing on employment issues. He has served as keynote speaker at more than 30 state, regional, and national business and civic organization conventions. Hyde also serves as a thought leader in the firm’s Legal Innovation Hub® for NextGen Manufacturers.

Hyde has been active in Jacksonville community affairs.  He is a former President of the Jacksonville City Council, served as the Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Jacksonville, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Jacksonville Public Education Fund, WJCT Public Broadcasting, Jacksonville Community Council, Inc. and The Jacksonville Public Library Foundation.  Additionally, he and his wife Kathi created and operate a fund to provide scholarships to send kids to summer camp.  Hyde graduated from the University of Florida College of Law and has lived in Jacksonville since 1988.

Mark McCombs
Why Every Kid Should Build a Robot

All 21st-century students deserve a role in engineering the future. McCombs will give a first-person account of what happens when children are given an opportunity to see what they are capable of in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). He believes that hands-on, mentor-driven robotics education contributes to a sense of self-efficacy, which may be the one of the greatest advances we can see this generation make.

About Mark: Over the past twelve years, Mark McCombs has been a part of FIRST Robotics as a student on a high school team, as a college mentor, a head coach, volunteer, tournament director, and now Affiliate Partner for FIRST Lego League in the North Florida Region. As a student in the program, Mark was profoundly impacted by mentors and engineering idols who turned his curiosities towards the field of Mechanical Engineering. Now the founder of a machine design, engineering, and fabrication company, McCombs spends most of his time working on Renaissance Jax, a nonprofit he founded with the mission of expanding access to the very program that shaped his experiences as a young engineer.

John Phillips
America's Greatest Enemy: The Unevolving Virus of Prejudice

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal . . ..” But do we really believe that? Phillips submits that the hypocrisy uttered in this line has not changed much since 1776. Not when slavery was abolished in 1865. Not when women were allowed to vote in 1920. Not when the black vote became protected in 1965. Still not when some 30 states passed laws giving their citizens the inalienable right to kill based on subjective fear, a law known as Stand Your Ground. The scales of justice remain unbalanced because government cannot legislate a path to something that must come from the heart. Equality can’t be reprogrammed. It can’t be rebooted. It must be nurtured. It must be fostered.

About John: John Phillips attended the University of Alabama for college and law school, and shortly after moved to Jacksonville in 2001, which has become home to not only his own law firm, but also his wife Angela and two children – Bennett (age 3) and Weston (age 1). Phillips is licensed to practice law in Florida, Georgia and Alabama and is the youngest in northeast Florida to be both Board Certified in Civil Trial law and have obtained the highest rating available of AV Preeminent by Martindale, which has been rating lawyers since the 1800s. John also has been recognized as one of the best lawyers in Jacksonville by readers of Folio Weekly, Void Magazine, and as the “Face of Justice” by Jacksonville Magazine, and has received many national awards and recognitions. He is most known for his association with the Michael Dunn/Jordan Davis case, where he represented the family of Jordan Davis who was shot and killed in November 2012, but Phillips has represented victims in several high-profile cases and has been featured on CNN, HLN and most other national networks.

 

Peter Rummell
Placemaking Meets Healthmaking

The opportunity to combine useful and friendly technology with a fun physical environment is begging to be done. Rummell will talk about the marriage of development, healthy living and technology. We must start creating cutting-edge living environments that are willing to adapt and change; we must be open to placemaking where you can live life to its fullest potential.

About Peter: Peter Rummell has been active in the real estate development industry for over 40 years, creating some of the most recognized and interesting projects in the world. His career began in real estate in 1971 with the Sea Pines Company, developers of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, and Amelia Island, Florida. In 1977, he became general manager of Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida for the Arvida Corporation. He joined the Rockefeller Center Management Corporation in New York as vice chairman in 1983, leaving in 1985 to become president of Disney Development Company. Disney Development Company and Walt Disney Imagineering, the company’s design and creative division responsible for theme park development, were later merged and Rummell became chairman of the combined group, Walt Disney Imagineering. From 1997 to 2008, Rummell was chairman and chief executive officer of The St. Joe Company. He is also the founding board chair and chief patron of One Spark, the World’s Largest Crowdfunding Festival.

  • TEDxJacksonville 2015
    TEDxJacksonville 2015
    Into the Machine
  • Canary in the Coalmine
    Canary in the Coalmine
  • Complicated Animals
    Complicated Animals
  • The Ritz Chamber Players
    The Ritz Chamber Players
  • Wise River
    Wise River
  • Closing Jam
    Closing Jam
    Freebird Rendition
TEDxJacksonville 2015
Into the Machine

Our 2015 theme video, directed and produced by Keegan Anfuso. http://keagananfuso.com

Canary in the Coalmine

Canary in the Coalmine is an Americana Folk band based out of Jacksonville, Florida. A haunting quality underscores striking vocal harmonies that provide a focal point for the band’s signature sound. The band released their first full-length album “Who Fears the Devil?” in March of 2015. Because of the vast collection of musical influences the writers share, Canary’s sound is a melding together of different genres of American roots music, including Country, Bluegrass, Old Spirituals, and Appalachian Folk, tinged with the flavors of blues, soul, and a little bit of rock and roll.

Canary in the Coalmine has been garnering local and regional attention within the Jacksonville area and beyond, performing at Suwanee Springfest and Magnolia Festival and recently completing a mini tour to support their album release. Canary has performed for and worked in collaboration with many noteworthy Jacksonville establishments, including the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, MOCA, Springfield Porchfest, and Riverside Avondale Preservation, and has plans of continuing to grow and spread their music throughout the Southeast.

Complicated Animals

Complicated Animals is the Brazilian & American duo of Monica da Silva and Chad Alger. Mixing breezy Indie Pop and Vintage Brazilian Bossa Nova, they’ve created their own unique genre, Indie Nova. Complicated Animals’ music has been featured on ESPN during the World Cup 2014, and licensed by Putumayo World Music for their compilation “Brazilian Beat.” They just released a new EP, “In This Game,” which premiered on PopMatters and NPR.

The Ritz Chamber Players

The Ritz Chamber Players is hailed by The Baltimore Sun as “one of the most interesting and dynamic ensembles to emerge in recent years.” Boasting some of the world’s preeminent musicians spanning the African diaspora, it brings a fresh, new energy to the classical music genre. Its members perform with prestigious organizations such as the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra and the London Symphony. The following three members of the Players will perform at TEDxJacksonville 2015:

Kelly Hall-Tompkins – Violin: One of New York City’s most in-demand violinists, Kelly Hall-Tompkins’ dynamic career spans solo, chamber, and orchestral performance. She earned a Master’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music under the mentorship of Glenn Dicterow, concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic.

Orlando Wells – Violin/Viola: A native of Orange, NJ, Orlando Wells began studying the violin at the age of 9. Mr. Wells attended S.U.N.Y. Purchase and Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers. He has performed frequently on Broadway, and currently is the violist on the new Broadway show Crybaby. He has collaborated with musicians of many different genres and styles, including John Legend, Mariah Carey, Rihanna, Kanye West, Marvin Hamlish, the Akua Dixon Swing Quartet and Sojourner Strings.

Tahirah Whittington – Cello: Tahirah Whittington, originally from Houston, TX, has performed for audiences all over the world. Solo engagements include a performance with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, DC, as a result of winning 1st prize at the 1999 Sphinx Competition. Ms. Whittington received her Master’s Degree in Cello Performance from The Juilliard School under the tutelage of Joel Krosnick, and received her Bachelor’s Degree at the New England Conservatory as a student of Laurence Lesser. She is currently pursuing her Doctoral Degree at the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, with Hans Jensen.

Wise River

Wise River is a 3 piece dream-pop/synth-pop band fronted by brother and sister duo John and Laura Shannon from Jacksonville, FL. All three members also perform together in the indie-folk band Fort Stories. Wise River focuses on combining digital and analog instruments, effects, noise, and samples to create a sound that is all at once dreamy, experimental, and catchy.

Closing Jam
Freebird Rendition

The performers of TEDxJacksonville 2015 take the stage to do a rendition of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Free Bird.

Collaboration by Canary in the Coalmine, Peter Carney, Ritz Chamber Players & Wise River.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx

2014

At TEDxJacksonville 2014, we explored the tension between the known and the unknown, between the use and the misuse of knowledge,and considered the virtues and perils of (un)knowing.

  • TEDxJacksonville 2014
    TEDxJacksonville 2014
    (un)knowing
  • Aman Mojadidi
    Aman Mojadidi
    Swimmin’ with existential gators
  • Herb Donaldson
    Herb Donaldson
    How to survive an execution
  • Spring Behrouz
    Spring Behrouz
    The dynamic future of neuroscience
  • Judi Herring
    Judi Herring
    Gender bound
  • Ed McMahon
    Ed McMahon
    Where am I? The power of uniqueness
  • Ali Butcher
    Ali Butcher
    Re-imagining urban space
  • Ted Powell
    Ted Powell
    When your mind works against you
  • Warren Anderson
    Warren Anderson
    Belonging to the Universe
  • Sara Gaver
    Sara Gaver
    Beyond face value
  • Cullen Hoback
    Cullen Hoback
    We don’t have a privacy problem
  • Chip Southworth
    Chip Southworth
    Art, a powerful conduit for change
  • Closing performance
    Closing performance
    JJ Grey, Joseph Shuck, Mama Blue, and The John Carver Band
  • Joseph Shuck
    Joseph Shuck
    Bringing it home
  • JJ Grey
    JJ Grey
    Front porch soul
  • Mama Blue
    Mama Blue
    Sultry sister of soul
  • The John Carver Band
    The John Carver Band
    Intricate melodies & precision harmonies
TEDxJacksonville 2014
(un)knowing

(un)knowing is not ignorance, but rather a conscious decoupling from what have been held as immutable truths. What knowledge–if unlearned–would open minds? What must we (un)know in order to forge more robust connections between ourselves and our world? And if we were to acknowledge the many things we will never know, refusing to make up myths or ascribe meaning to the unknown, would we finally be free . . . or utterly adrift? (Video created by Dalton Agency for TEDxJacksonville http://www.daltonagency.com/)

Aman Mojadidi
Swimmin’ with existential gators

This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. Exploring the themes of identity politics, conflict, and the push to and resistance against modernization, Mojadidi’s TEDxJacksonville talk documents how his own “Geography of Self” began to take new shape, and how Jacksonville became a much more complex place within it. “I’ve realized,” said Mojadid, “that perhaps I had stereotyped Jacksonville in the same way I had accused Jacksonville of stereotyping me.”

The Afghan artist and TED Fellow Aman Mojadidi’s talk is based on his personal experience of growing up as an American citizen in a world that is simultaneously globalized and fractured. “[It’s] because of this,” he observes, “this negotiating myself through a life lived in the in-between, always having to respond to that question ‘Where are you from?’ and never really knowing how to answer, that I have had to rethink a lot about what it even means to be ‘from’ somewhere.”

About TEDx, x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

Herb Donaldson
How to survive an execution

This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. In this disquieting TEDxJacksonville talk, Donaldson documents what happens to the execution’s hidden victims–the family members left behind after their loved one is put to death.

Among the lessons he’s learned: “KNOW THAT YOU WILL BE IGNORED. You will not have a right to call ‘premeditated murder’–or, execution–an injustice. Nobody wants to hear your story, and they will say so to your face.”

Playwright Herb Donaldson insists that, “In pursuing justice, we must not become murderers in the process.”

His first book, Southern SHOCK Americana: The Life and Execution of John Mills, Jr., is the true life account of his uncle’s life on Florida’s Death Row. Yuhanna Abdullah Muhommad (a.k.a. John Mills, Jr.), was executed by the State of Florida on December 6, 1996 for a murder that many believe he was not guilty of.

About TEDx, x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

Spring Behrouz
The dynamic future of neuroscience

This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. In her TEDxJacksonville talk, she vividly depicts the incalculable value of memory and movement, and the devastating biological effects of these diseases on the brain. She also details recent advances in computing technology that may help elucidate treatment targets for Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. “We are now building revolutionary computer simulations of neurons,” she explains, “so we can have better insight into the molecular behaviors of neural cells so we can see a play-by-play of the interworking of neurons rather than static pictures frozen in time.”

Dr. Spring Behrouz is a self-confessed neuroscience nerd who is passionate about finding meaningful solutions for neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.

About TEDx, x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

Judi Herring
Gender bound

This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences.
Rejecting the present conception of gender as a value reduced to a single variable – the presence or absence of a penis – Herring calls us to move beyond gender labels that too often serve as the primary reference point for how we relate to one another. Rather than enforce conformity to an either/or standard, we must embrace the reality of gender diversity. In reality, notes Herring, “There are as many genders as there are people on the planet.”

Ed McMahon
Where am I? The power of uniqueness

This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. In this talk, McMahon sets forth a compelling argument for the economic, psychological and social value of uniqueness. He explains that, in a global marketplace, well-educated workers, world-class infrastructure and the ability to turn ideas into commercial realities are all critically important to economic success–but the other critical, but often forgotten, element is “community distinctiveness.” “Communities that can’t differentiate themselves,” McMahon observes, “have no competitute advantage.”

Ed McMahon
ED MCMAHON
Where Am I? The Power of Uniqueness

Ed McMahon, who holds the Charles E. Fraser Chair on Sustainable Development at the Urban Land Institute in Washington, DC, believes that Place is more than just a location on a map. Place is the unique collection of qualities and characteristics–visual, cultural, social, environmental–that provide meaning to a location. Sense of place is what makes one city or town different from another, but it is also what makes our physical surroundings worth caring about.

About TEDx, x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

Ali Butcher
Re-imagining urban space

This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. Butcher challenges us to pursue a new urban fabric for Jacksonville: one where public art is enshrined in our development policies; where transportation planners reevaluate the primacy of the car; where innovative, sustainable design and a sense of connection are prized; and where we reconnect our minds and bodies into the landscapes that inspire and sustain us.

Ali Butcher knows the built forms of our cities expose something about our values and priorities. In his talk, Redefining Space: Creativity and Sustainability in the City, Butcher first examines the shared historical narratives of Jacksonville and Vancouver, BC, and then charts where the cities’ values and growth patterns have diverged.

About TEDx, x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

Ted Powell
When your mind works against you

This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. In his talk, Powell explains how to recognize when your brain is working for you and when it might be working against you. “Realizing that we can control our way of thinking in response to a seemingly chaotic world,” he argues, “is one of the most liberating and transformative human experiences we can have.”

Our minds are programmed to make the unknown “known” as part of our basic survival mechanism. But in a seemingingly chaotic world, Ted Powell argues that our brains are too often hijacked by what he calls the “Drunken Monkey,” which compulsively seeks absolute and certain truths in order to maintain a false sense of security in our rapidly changing world. Rather than learning to be comfortable with unanswered questions, our minds work against us when we prematurely reject a new or different idea out of the fear of the unknown.

About TEDx, x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

Warren Anderson
Belonging to the Universe

This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. In his TEDxJacksonville talk, Anderson implores us to restore our link to nature, to turn off our television sets and smart phones, and go explore the magnificent resources in our own backyards. “To love everything, everywhere,” says Anderson, “you’ve got to love something, somewhere . . . our somewhere can be HERE.”

Warren Anderson invites you to go back to your childhood, to think about those special places in the great outdoors that first introduced you to the awesome majesty of the natural world. When did that sense of communion fade? What has happened to those places? Have those natural cathedrals been paved over for parking lots, or are they just waiting for you to rediscover them?

About TEDx, x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

Sara Gaver
Beyond face value

This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. In her TEDxJacksonville talk, Beyond Face Value, Sara Gaver discusses the burden of being defined by people’s perceptions–rather than by her own achievements–and looks toward the day when, “people conquer their fear of the unknown, especially my unknowns.”

Quoting a favorite writer, Sara observed, “Prejudice is a far greater problem than any impairment; discrimination is a bigger obstacle to overcome than any disability.” In her moving talk, she rejects limiting labels: “. . . Even though my arms don’t work, I can still reach out. And sometimes my legs may not work, but I can most definitely take a stand.”

About TEDx, x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

Cullen Hoback
We don’t have a privacy problem

This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. Every search we make, everywhere we walk with a cell phone in our pockets, every photo we take gets added to our “digital self”–a person who is fragmented across different servers around the world, and shared by different companies. But, as Hoback reminds us, this digital analogue of you is not owned by you–and any effort to regain digital privacy must begin with restoring your property right to your digital self.

Cullen Hoback is an American filmmaker and digital rights advocate who has been touring the world with his most recent documentary TERMS AND CONDITIONS MAY APPLY. But after making an entire film about digital privacy, Hoback realized we’ve been getting the digital privacy debate all wrong. “When we talk about privacy online,” he argues, “we’re not talking about the right thing. You cannot have privacy unless you have ownership–not shared ownership, real ownership.”

About TEDx, x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

Chip Southworth
Art, a powerful conduit for change

This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. In his TEDxJacksonville talk, Southworth discusses his experience, as well as the groundswell of community support it evoked, and argues for a re-evaluation of the significance of street art in establishing a city’s identity. Don’t censor street art, he insists: “Let the art go. Let it be cutting edge, thought-provoking, emotional and make statements that will better our lives.”

In 2011, Chip Southworth was at the top of Jacksonville’s local art scene. But the city was experiencing heightened racial tensions because its City Council had once again failed to pass a Human Rights Ordinance. Taking to the streets at night as “Keith Haring’s Ghost,” Chip anonymously painted Keith Haring-inspired pieces on public utility boxes over a seven-month period. The street art sparked conversation and controversy, culminating with a raid on his home and police taking the artist into custody.

About TEDx, x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

Closing performance
JJ Grey, Joseph Shuck, Mama Blue, and The John Carver Band

This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. The performers come together to close out the day with their beautiful collaboration

The John Carver Band, Joseph Shuck, Mama Blue and JJ Grey represent North Florida’s finest.

About TEDx, x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

Joseph Shuck
Bringing it home

This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. Over the past three years he has toured nationally with his band Antique Animals, getting hearts pumping and feet stomping at festivals and nightclubs alike. In the last six months, Shuck has been writing and recording his first solo album, scheduled to be released winter 2014. In the coming months, Joe will be performing in a number of solo appearances locally, as well as national and international engagements.

Joseph Shuck is a singer/songwriter based out of Jacksonville, FL. With lyrics shot straight from the hip, this crooner aims for your heart.

About TEDx, x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

JJ Grey
Front porch soul

This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. JJ’s latest album, This River released in 2013, is named for the St. John’s River — a centering point for his childhood—and many of Grey’s songs reflect his love for the North Florida wilderness in which he grew up. “I guess I’ve never really believed that there is an environment that’s separate from me. I reckon that my connection to the environment, which I could call my home, is part of the connection to myself. I believe that whatever I do to my home and everything in it, I do, in turn, to myself.”

Over the course of six albums and a decade of touring, JJ Grey’s grimy blend of front-porch soul and down-home storytelling has taken him around the world and back again. Beating the streets on nearly every continent, he and his band Mofro have sewn a continuous thread of laying-it-on•the-line shows that move folks to dance and at times to tears.

About TEDx, x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

Mama Blue
Sultry sister of soul

This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. Mama Blue is captivating, grounded and genuine. Her insightful lyrics and renditions, coupled with old school sophistication will take you back…to the future. Her signature sound is reminiscent of legends such as Nina Simone, Sarah Vaughn and Etta James.

Hailing from Jacksonville, a graduate of Douglas Anderson, with a scholarship to Jacksonville University in vocal performance, Mama Blue’s singing is rooted in blues and jazz, with hints of Motown, classical, Latin and even a bit of country. With over 20 years of experience in a variety of genres, her multi-cultured band fits like a glove.

About TEDx, x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

The John Carver Band
Intricate melodies & precision harmonies

This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. The John Carver Band has since been cultivating and further evolving their sound, releasing a second album in September 2013, titled “Everywhere is Home”. They currently perform as both a duo and full band.

In 2006, Jacksonville, Florida musicians Dan McLintock and Eric Denton formed The John Carver Band. After performing for a few years as a duo, the two bandmates joined forces with friends and local musicians, Casey Teate and Tim Grisnik, and commenced work on a self-titled album that debuted in 2009.

About TEDx, x = independently organized event In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

TEDxJacksonville 2013

Under the theme Connecting Currents, our speakers gave voice to a diverse set of imperatives–from climate change, food insecurity, and the inequalities of the justice system, to the rights of nature, the value of improvisation, and the blurring of mental and physical landscapes.

  • Bruce Ganger
    Bruce Ganger
    Moving Toward a Hunger Solution
  • TEDxJacksonville 2013
    TEDxJacksonville 2013
  • Bob Inglis
    Bob Inglis
    Changing the Dialogue on Energy and Climate
  • Patricia Siemen
    Patricia Siemen
    The Rights of Nature
  • Ben Warner
    Ben Warner
    New Models for Civic Engagement
  • Lawanda Ravoira
    Lawanda Ravoira
    Giving Voice to the Invisible
  • Chevara Orrin
    Chevara Orrin
    The Art of Soul Collecting
  • Matt Rutherford
    Matt Rutherford
    Tales from the ocean's garbage patch
  • Nancy Soderberg
    Nancy Soderberg
    A New Global Compact
  • Hank Coxe
    Hank Coxe
    When Will Your Child Be Eligible for Parole?
  • Bruce Ganger
    Bruce Ganger
    Moving Toward a Hunger Solution
  • Barbara Colaciello
    Barbara Colaciello
    Improvisation to the Rescue
  • JU Honors Spring Quartet
    JU Honors Spring Quartet
    Beethoven's String Quartet Op. 59 No. 1 in F major
  • 5 & Dime, A Theater Company
    5 & Dime, A Theater Company
    Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens
  • Bob-n-Me
    Bob-n-Me
Bruce Ganger
Moving Toward a Hunger Solution

One out of six adults is actively hungry. One out of four children is food insecure. But what does hunger look like? What does hunger feel like? Join speaker Bruce Ganger as he lays out a simple solution to one of humanity’s most fundamental problems.

Bruce the former Executive Director of Second Harvest North Florida. Second Harvest rescues and distributes almost 24 million pounds of food throughout a 17-county service area of north Florida, serving the one in six Floridians who struggle to feed themselves and their families. Prior to joining Second Harvest Bruce served as the Managing Director of ISF Group, a business he founded with his wife Peg in 2006 to assist area nonprofits with development, messaging and fundraising. Prior to starting ISF Group, Bruce spent 25 years in the corporate world, holding many different senior and executive sales and marketing positions with Xerox, Eastman Kodak and Océ Technologies BV. He has a BA in Sociology from Indiana University and a MBA in Business Management from Almeda University. As a Kellogg National Fellow (1987-1990), Bruce traveled in the United States and abroad studying leadership and innovation from a global perspective.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

TEDxJacksonville 2013

Currents come in many forms—direct and alternating, magnetic and repulsive, visible and invisible, open and closed. Like our societies—and ourselves—they are in constant flux, like the social currents that pulse through our city, producing energy, culture and action, but also chaos and dislocation. How can we channel these forces to create change that is both positive and productive? Together we can generate our own current… one that bends toward a broader movement of cooperation, innovation and opportunity creation in our city, and in our world. (Video created by Drips Black for TEDxJacksonville http://www.dripsblack.com/)

Bob Inglis
Changing the Dialogue on Energy and Climate

Although he hales from the reddest district of the reddest state in the United States of America, Bob Inglis tells a story of how he came to appreciate the threat of climate change and how he believes the solution lies in the bedrock principals of conservatism.

Bob Inglis is the Executive Director of the Energy and Enterprise Initiative based at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. Inglis founded and launched the national, grassroots organization in July 2012. E&EI is guided by the conservative principles of free enterprise and economic growth, limited government, liberty, accountability and reasonable risk avoidance to solve our nation’s energy and climate challenges. Inglis represented South Carolina’s Fourth Congressional District (Greenville, Spartanburg, Union counties) for 12 years in the U.S. House of Representatives (1993-98 and 2005-10). He was first elected to Congress in 1992 after having never run for public office. He spent six years in the U.S. House and unsuccessfully challenged Democratic U.S. Senator Fritz Hollings in 1998. In the fall of 2004, he was re-elected to the open House seat he had previously held and went on to serve another six-year stint in Congress. In the midst of the financial crisis in 2010, he lost his bid for re-election.Inglis grew up in Bluffton, SC, graduated from Duke University with a degree in political science and earned his law degree from the University of Virginia.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

Patricia Siemen
The Rights of Nature

Just as the ideals of human rights are protected by legal systems, the rights of the rest of creation must be protected by Earth Jurisprudence. Hear Pat Siemen’s appeal to our innate sense of justice in her proposal of basic rights for all Earth’s systems and creatures.


Pat is a Dominican Sister from Adrian, Michigan and a civil attorney licensed in the States of Florida and Michigan. Her passion is for the long-term ecological health and well-being of current and future members of the Earth community — and how this gets expressed in law and governance structures. She strives to bring forth transformational changes in law, society, and consciousness that integrate the interdependent role of humanity with inherent reverence for all beings. Since 2006, Pat has served as the Director of the Center for Earth Jurisprudence (CEJ), an initiative of the Barry University School of Law, www.EarthJuris.org. The Center draws upon science, ethics, philosophy, culture, humanities and law to protect the inherent rights of the natural world to thrive and be healthy. CEJ envisions transformative change which recognizes the need for legal and economic systems that protect peoples’ and ecosystems’ rights to be healthy. She has a B.A. from Siena Heights University, Adrian, Michigan, a Master’s degree in Public Affairs from the University of Texas in Austin, and a Master’s degree in Culture and Spirituality from Holy Names University in Oakland. Her Juris Doctorate is from Northeastern University.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

Ben Warner
New Models for Civic Engagement

Each one of us has been given a superpower that can end the cascade of violence and injustice that engulfs us. That superpower is our voice. Lawanda Ravoira asks us to be brave, so that our girls may live in the land of the free.


Dr. Lawanda Ravoira is a national expert, author, researcher and trainer on issues specific to justice-involved girls and young women. She is the President and CEO of the Delores Barr Weaver Policy Center in Jacksonville, Florida. The newly established Policy Center provides cutting-edge advocacy, research, training/technical assistance and direct services to bring about unprecedented systemic reform for girls and young women in or at risk of entering the juvenile justice and child welfare systems in Northeast Florida. The Center’s Justice for Girls Campaign, in partnership with Children’s Campaign, Inc., is devoted to improving public policy and making children a top priority in the State of Florida and nationally.Dr. Ravoira was appointed by Governor Charlie Crist to serve as the Co-Chair and special advisory to the State of Florida Blueprint Commission. She also has served as a member of the State’s Ad Hoc Committee on Domestic Minor Sex Trafficking, and is co-chair of the State’s Girls Advisory Committee. She holds a Doctorate in Public Administration, Master’s degree in Allied Health, and a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

Chevara Orrin
The Art of Soul Collecting

Matt Rutherford wishes that there was an island of garbage in the middle of Atlantic ocean. If there was, he could simply go out to the island and clean it up. The issue is far more insidious. Tiny fragments of plastic, the size of your fingernail or smaller, scattered over thousands of miles of ocean. Matt’s talk focuses on the one and only solution to a growing problem.


Matt Rutherford is the first person in history to complete a non-stop, singlehanded voyage around North and South America. Rutherford left Annapolis, MD on June 2011 and traversed some of the most dangerous seas on earth. During the first leg of his trek, Rutherford broke a record by singlehandedly sailing the smallest boat in history through the Northwest Passage. Once through this northern passage, Rutherford sailed around the entire state of Alaska, then south through the Pacific Ocean from North to South America to make his left-hand turn at storm-tossed Cape Horn. He completed his record-breaking journey in 309 days after sailing 27,077 miles at sea. www.solotheamericas.org. Once Matt returned from his circumnavigation, he immediately started work on building a non-profit organization that would help scientists better understand the problems facing our oceans. Matt believes that no one person can do everything but everyone can do something. By creating Ocean Research Project, Matt plans to educate people about marine issues and give back to our earth’s oceans.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

Nancy Soderberg
A New Global Compact

We cannot stay safe and prosperous without the help of the developing world. Join Nancy Soderberg as she explores the imperative of forming a new global compact.

Ambassador Soderberg is a foreign policy expert, author, professor, and international business consultant. With over twenty-five years of experience in foreign policy, she has served in the White House, at the United Nations, in the United States Senate, and on four presidential campaigns. Ms. Soderberg has a deep understanding of policy-making and negotiations at the highest levels of government and the United Nations. She has promoted democracy and conflict resolution worldwide. Ms. Soderberg advised the president on policies toward China, Japan, Russia, Angola, the Balkans, Haiti, as well as on a variety of conflicts in Africa. She achieved international recognition for her efforts to promote peace in Northern Ireland.
Ms. Soderberg is a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the University of N. Florida in Jacksonville, FL and President and CEO of Soderberg Global Solutions, an international consulting firm. She is a regular commentator on national and international television and radio. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, serves on the advisory board of the Jacksonville World Affairs Council, and as a Non-Resident Senior Fellows at the Enough Project.


In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

Hank Coxe
When Will Your Child Be Eligible for Parole?

One out of six adults is actively hungry. One out of four children is food insecure. But what does hunger look like? What does hunger feel like? Join speaker Bruce Ganger as he lays out a simple solution to one of humanity’s most fundamental problems.

Bruce the former Executive Director of Second Harvest North Florida. Second Harvest rescues and distributes almost 24 million pounds of food throughout a 17-county service area of north Florida, serving the one in six Floridians who struggle to feed themselves and their families. Prior to joining Second Harvest Bruce served as the Managing Director of ISF Group, a business he founded with his wife Peg in 2006 to assist area nonprofits with development, messaging and fundraising. Prior to starting ISF Group, Bruce spent 25 years in the corporate world, holding many different senior and executive sales and marketing positions with Xerox, Eastman Kodak and Océ Technologies BV. He has a BA in Sociology from Indiana University and a MBA in Business Management from Almeda University. As a Kellogg National Fellow (1987-1990), Bruce traveled in the United States and abroad studying leadership and innovation from a global perspective.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

Barbara Colaciello
Improvisation to the Rescue

We use our imagination, our bodies, and our senses to makes the invisible visible. In her TEDxJacksonville talk, Barbara Colaciello explains that improvisation is an integral part of everyone’s education and satisfies our hunger for authenticity.

For the past 16 years, Barbara has produced/directed numerous children’s plays and collaborative theater pieces, initially as the founder/artistic director of Inter-Act, an acting school specializing in improvisation and currently as the Education Director at Players by the Sea Theater based in Jacksonville Beach, FL. As part of PBTS’s outreach initiative, she has developed programming for children with learning disabilities partnering with The Noble School, and The DePaul School.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

JU Honors Spring Quartet
Beethoven's String Quartet Op. 59 No. 1 in F major

A group of artists and friends came together with a common goal: to make a change in the Jacksonville cultural arts community. From this, The 5 & Dime, A Theatre Company, was born. It started with a simple question, “Why not us?” And so we offer this: why not YOU? At TEDxJacksonville 2013 The 5 & Dime performed an excerpt from ELEGIES FOR ANGELS, PUNKS AND RAGING QUEENS. Elegies For Angels, Punks and Raging Queens features songs and monologues inspired by the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt and Edgar Lee Masters’s Spoon River Anthology. Each of the monologues is written from the perspective of characters who’ve died from AIDS and the songs represent the feelings of friends and family members dealing with the loss.


The performers are Kevin Roberts, Josh Waller, Olivia Chernyshev and Drew Brown. The show is directed by Lee Hamby with Musical direction by Laura Peden. Laura Peden will be on piano and Micah Davis on guitar.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

Bob-n-Me

Charlotte Mabrey and Robert Arleigh White have been long time performance partners whose work has embraced movement, spoken word and poetry, music with an emphasis in percussion, film and video.

Mabrey is Professor of Music at the University of North Florida and former principal percussionist with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra. White is no less accomplished as a director of plays — he directed over 50 productions and worked to produce dozens more at Theatre Jacksonville and other venues — and as an actor. Their themes are personal, exploring issues as diverse as dreams and aspirations, social masking, spiritual identity, and sometimes just the simplicity of goofiness that can be joyfully shared inside a relationship of real trust. The partnership has existed for over 25 years, and the performances are typically offered as sell-outs throughout the region.


In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

TEDxRiversideAvondale 2012

The inaugural TEDx event in Jacksonville, TEDxRiversideAvondale was the precursor to TEDxJacksonville. Its theme was Collective Genius. Collective genius is rooted in collaboration, and sparked when thoughtul individuals from diverse disciplines come together to discuss and proomote ideas worth sharing. 

  • Al Letson
    Al Letson
    State of the Re:Union--How I Learned to Fly
  • Parvez Ahmed
    Parvez Ahmed
    Making Sustainability Mainstream
  • Bert Herring, MD
    Bert Herring, MD
    The Mystery of Fast-5 and D.I.E.T.
  • Jon N. Cowart
    Jon N. Cowart
    A Retrospective on the Future of Space Exploration
  • Roger Nierenberg
    Roger Nierenberg
    The Music Paradigm
  • Kevin Songer
    Kevin Songer
    Volumetric Green in the Urban Core
  • Morton Perry
    Morton Perry
    with Zack Wing
  • Louise Mosrie
    Louise Mosrie
    with Anna Uptain
  • Lauren Fincham
    Lauren Fincham
    with Mike Pearson
  • Aurica Duca and Sofia Zappi
    Aurica Duca and Sofia Zappi
    Violin and Cello
  • Wayne Wood
    Wayne Wood
    Historical Preservation- A Radical Conservative Liberal Concept
Al Letson
State of the Re:Union--How I Learned to Fly

An acclaimed poet and performer, Al enjoys national recognition and devoted fans. His NPR radio show State of the Re:Union (SOTRU) was in its third season the year he gave this talk, and was available on over 200 stations across the country. With his unique and engaging style, Al will share “How I Learned to Fly,” a mix of multi-media, performance and storytelling, that highlights his journey from nerdy comic book aficionado to renowned poet and radio host.


In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

Parvez Ahmed
Making Sustainability Mainstream

The concept of sustainability has become a key driver of innovation and competitiveness. As the Director of the Center for Sustainable Business Practices at UNF, nobody appreciates this more than Parvez Ahmed. In his presentation, we will learn about the roots of sustainability, what it means in terms of both education and business best practices, and what we can expect in the future.


In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

Bert Herring, MD
The Mystery of Fast-5 and D.I.E.T.

Originally destined for the surgical suite, Bert’s experiences in the Marine Corps changed his outlook on medicine and the realities of global problems. After working at the National Institute of Health with a focus on cancer treatments, Bert found time to study global obesity. The outcome of this research sparked the Fast-5 weight-loss tool, which has helped thousands of people overcome obesity. It’s a way of eating that is consistent with a lifestyle emphasizing simplicity and value—two virtues that are conspicuously absent in America’s booming weight-loss industry.


In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

Jon N. Cowart
A Retrospective on the Future of Space Exploration

After a distinguished career at the helm of two American orchestras, Roger Nierenberg emerged as a creative force for innovation in the presentation of symphonic music. He is the creator of “The Music Paradigm,” a one-of-a-kind meeting “event” that has helped hundreds of major companies embrace useful lessons about leadership. Roger will take our audience inside a symphony orchestra, showing us where to look and how to listen, while revealing much more than music.


In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

Kevin Songer
Volumetric Green in the Urban Core

Development of the urban environment has led to the removal of volumetric green, triggering significant stormwater and pollution issues, prompting the disappearance of wildlife communities and eliminating the lifestyle benefits commonly associated with agriculture. Kevin Songer shares his vision and advances with sustainable, nature-irrigated green roof systems, explaining their critical importance to the future of our communities.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

Morton Perry
with Zack Wing

Saxophonist Morton Perry and guitarist Zack Wing are members of the Morton Perry Band, Northeast Florida’s dynamic instrumental quartet. They have appeared regularly at a surprising assortment of venues throughout Jacksonville, performing a wide variety of musical genres including smooth jazz, blues, pop, holiday and gospel favorites, children classics, holiday and gospel favorites, and children’s classics. According to Perry, his saxophone keeps opening doors. His life has taken on the feel of “a Disney movie. It’s like I’m living an American dream.”


In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

Louise Mosrie
with Anna Uptain

Nashville artist Louise Mosrie has opened for an impressive list of musical talents including Steve Earle and Joe Ely. In her work, she creates a world of lush detail and wide-open emotion drawing on the sensual imagery of the Deep South. Her originals songs combine Americana, bluegrass and folk melodies, and stories in ways that are fresh and charming.


In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

Lauren Fincham
with Mike Pearson

Lauren Fincham A unique North Florida performer, Lauren Fincham has been featured on independent and internet radio stations across the US and abroad. She has shared the stage with Toad the Wet Sprocket, John & Mary (formerly of 10,000 Maniacs) and John Mayer. She has also participated in regional compilations, benefit concerts, studio sessions, and commercial spots.


In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

Aurica Duca and Sofia Zappi
Violin and Cello

Aurica Duca has won numerous awards including First Prize in the Cornelia Bronzetti violin competition, the International Violin Competition of Brasov and was the Grand Prize winner at the Paul Constantinescu International Competition in Romania. She has performed in solo engagements with the Moscow Chamber Orchestra, the National Philharmonic of Chisinau and the National Youth Orchestra in Holland.


Sofia Zappi has performed at the Tanglewood Music Center, the New York String Orchestra Seminar, and Marlboro Music Festival. She was a recipient of the Presser Foundation Award, as well as a finalist at Young Concert Artists, and a participant of the Tchaikovsky and Naumburg competitions. She has been a member of the New World Symphony and the Iris Orchestra. Both Duca and Zappi are current members of the Jacksonville Symphony.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)

Wayne Wood
Historical Preservation- A Radical Conservative Liberal Concept

Widely regarded as one of the foremost chroniclers of Duval County’s history and architecture, Wayne is called “the undisputed godfather of preservation in Jacksonville.” He raises concerns about the ownership of history, restoration versus renovation, when modern becomes historic, and landmarks of the future. In his presentation, Wayne will explore the dynamics of historic preservation from both a national and local perspective.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)