In Motion

Define: In Motion

This year's theme of "In Motion" hopes to showcase the ever-changing nature of human activity in the Seattle community. To be in motion means to constantly evolve, and what we, TEDxUofW, strive to show is our devotion to the progress that is so evident within our local and global sphere in a University setting.

Event Details

Kane Hall, Room 130
4069 Spokane Lane
Seattle WA, 98105

Sunday, May 15th 2016
11:00 am to 4:00 pm

View more images from our 2016 conference

Lynette Johnson: Photography that Gives Expression to Love, Legacy, and Loss


Portrait of Lynette Johnson
Lynette is a Seattle based photographer, wife, mother of two and the founder of the non-profit Soulumination. A Northwest native, Lynette has taken a passion for photographing people and followed it through a successful career and into the world of legacy photography. Through Soulumination and with the talent of 60 local photographers, families facing devastating loss have the opportunity to receive photo services free of charge. Lynette's diagnosis of lymphoma and its minefield of treatments and emotional issues has added a depth of compassion and understanding leading to new resolve and bolder leadership skills.

James Long: Fighting Corruption in the Developing World


Portrait of James Long
James D. Long is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Washington and an Academy Scholar at the Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies. He is a faculty affiliate at the University of Washington's Center for Statistics and the Social Sciences (CSSS), Technology and Social Change Group (TASCHA), Near and Middle East Studies Program, and UC-Berkeley's Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA). He is the founding co-convenor of UW's Forum on Political Economy and Economics. James's research in sub-Saharan Africa and Afghanistan focuses on elections in developing countries, including the determinants of voting behavior, the dynamics of electoral fraud, the impact of ICT on corruption monitoring, and the effects of civil war and insurgency on state-building. In 2010, James served as Democracy International's Research Director for their Election Observation mission for Afghanistan, and has observed elections in South Africa (2014), Kenya (2013, 2007), Egypt (2011), Uganda (2011), Afghanistan (2014, 2010, 2009), and Ghana (2008).

Derek Sutherland: The Energy Crisis is Over!


Portrait of Derek Sutherland
Derek Sutherland is a graduate research associate at the University of Washington (UW), and is also the CEO of CTFusion, a spin-off company dedicated to the development of economical, compact toroidal fusion reactors. Derek, a native of Orlando, Florida, performed his undergraduate work at MIT, and graduated 2012 with a double major in Nuclear Engineering and in Physics, with a strong focus on plasma physics and fusion. Professor Jarboe (PI), Derek, and the rest of the HIT-SI team at the UW issued a press release in 2014 concerning the Dynomak, a full-scale reactor concept that is estimated to cost less than a coal-fired power plant at the same power output. Derek was recognized as one of Forbes' 30 under 30 in Energy in 2015 for his work on the dynomak reactor concept. CoMotion at the UW awarded the CTFusion team a $50k Innovation Fund to help the company get off the ground, and Derek was a CoMotion Graduate Innovator Award recipient in 2015 as well. He has had considerable experience working with multiple public and private fusion ventures, from the mainline tokamak devices at MIT and General Atomics to the alternative concepts of spheromaks and field-reversed configurations at the University of Washington, General Fusion Inc., and Los Alamos National Laboratories. Derek seeks to demonstrate the method of fusion CTFusion is pursuing scales to an economical fusion reactor that will be able to compete with, and outperform conventional energy sources.

Elizabeth Nance: Specializing in Not Specializing


Portrait of Elizabeth Nance
Elizabeth Nance is the Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Washington, with an adjunct appointment in Radiology. Elizabeth was named as a Forbes 30 under 30 in Science and Medicine in 2015, as one of the “most disruptive, game-changing and innovating young personalities in science.” Her passion is to find ways to more efficiently connect resources and information across multiple scientific and engineering disciplines. Thus far, Elizabeth's career has been built on the guiding principle that these connections can be accomplished by establishing more effective communication, and asking questions in a less field-specific manner. Elizabeth's research focuses on using nanotechnology platforms to understand the movement of molecules in the brain. She is particularly interested in characterizing how common disease hallmarks, such as inflammation, impaired fluid flow, and cell death, impact our ability to treat brain diseases like autism, stroke, traumatic brain injury, and epilepsy. Her long term goal is to utilize nanotechnology in patients to give real-time information about the brain, and take advantage of those disease hallmarks to improve diagnosis and direct therapy.

Pedro Domingos: The Quest for the Master Algorithm


Portrait of Pedro Domingos
Pedro Domingos is a professor of computer science at the University of Washington and the author of "The Master Algorithm". He is a winner of the SIGKDD Innovation Award, the highest honor in data science. He is a Fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, and has received a Fulbright Scholarship, a Sloan Fellowship, the National Science Foundation's CAREER Award, and numerous best paper awards. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Irvine and is the author or co-author of over 200 technical publications. He has held visiting positions at Stanford, Carnegie Mellon, and MIT. He co-founded the International Machine Learning Society in 2001. His research spans a wide variety of topics in machine learning, artificial intelligence, and data science, including scaling learning algorithms to big data, maximizing word of mouth in social networks, unifying logic and probability, and deep learning.

John Eklof: Calling Out Elephants


Portrait of John Eklof
Meet John Eklof. John is a poet, educator and community organizer from Lakewood, Washington. He is currently a graduate student at the University of Washington studying Multicultural Education. He has dedicated his life to personal improvement and uplifting his community both economically and politically. On February 21, 2016, John released his first full length spoken word album entitled The End of the Beginning. The album is a cultural revolution in sonic form. It's a journey from start to finish that runs like a 23 minute short film. It's part spoken word poetry, part hip-hop album, part oratory, part science-fiction, and fully political. Additionally, John has been a professional public speaker for the past 8 years. He's traveled all throughout the country speaking on subjects such as social justice, building personal success, and unifying the millennial generation into changing our world. He's guest lectured on many college campuses such as the University of Washington all the way to South Seattle College. His lectures range from understanding the dynamics of privilege and marginalization, creating action oriented social justice, and leadership and empowerment. John is also a part of the political group the Organization of Revolutionary Ideas Operating in the Now which has the aim of demonstrating unity through collaborative action and self-education. His goal is to run for national political office and ultimately help transform the world for the better.

Lara Zarowsky: Igniting Change: Lessons from the Innocence Movement


Portrait of Lara Zarowsky
Lara serves as the Policy Director for Innocence Project Northwest (IPNW), a clinical law program at the University of Washington School of Law committed to freeing innocent prisoners in Washington State using DNA and other new evidence. Her work promotes systemic reforms to prevent wrongful convictions in Washington State, and to support the wrongly convicted following release. Lara is a member of the faculty at the University of Washington School of Law, where she founded IPNW's Legislative Advocacy Clinic in 2011. Her Clinic students championed a 2013 law to compensate Washington's wrongly convicted and a 2015 law to preserve biological evidence. A graduate of the Evergreen State College in Olympia and University of Washington School of Law, Lara has worked on issues related to the criminal justice system since 2001 with previous positions as a policy attorney for the Integrity of Justice Project, and as non-partisan staff to the Judiciary and Public Safety committees of the Washington State House of Representatives. Lara lectures nationally on innocence-related public policy reform and testifies on such topics before state legislative workgroups and committees. Lara leads IPNW efforts to collaborate with criminal justice leaders to improve statewide practices; she is a founding member of the working group whose efforts resulted in the 2015 adoption of an Eyewitness Identification Model Policy by the Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys and the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs.

Angela Popplewell: The Life Altering Power of Perspective


Portrait of Angela Popplewell
Angela Francine Popplewell is a founder and the Chief Storyteller for 100cameras, a non-profit organization that teaches kids around the world that their stories matter and helps them explore their narratives in the larger context of a global world. By building a model that teaches students how to share their perspectives through photography and then sells their images, kids are empowered to become the change makers and provide much needed educational, lifeline, and medical supplies for themselves and other community members. Popplewell has lived and worked abroad with multiple educational and community development programs located in places such as Romania and India. These experiences along with others redirected her passion early on in her twenties from working towards a broadcast journalism career to instead working with kids, the power of storytelling, and local community development initiatives worldwide. Prior to 100cameras, she was one of charity:water's first interns and was Director of Development at New Life of NYC, an inner-city community center located on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Popplewell currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband, Ty, and their adorable newborn son, Theodore Brooks.



Like the universe, our capacity for discovery is limitless. And like stars in the sky, the ideas we produce are just a spark &endash; flickers of brilliance that weave together to create constellations of light. This is what inspires us at TEDxUofW. At this year's conference, we hope to explore the plexus of ideas, revelations, and observations that reveal through our collective pursuit of critical thought and creative inquiry. We invite you to join us in discovering the possibilities hidden in our past, present, and future that can take the ordinary rhythm of our world and illuminate what makes it extraordinary.

Event Details

Kane Hall, Room 130
4069 Spokane Lane
Seattle WA, 98105

Sunday, May 3rd 2015
11:00 am to 5:00 pm

Alex Diaz – Emcee

Portrait of Alex Diaz – Emcee
Alumnus and UW COMM Department Board Member, Alexander Diaz, isn’t new to the TEDx scene or making an impact within the community — having organized three TEDx events, Alex was the M.C. of the first ever TEDxUofW, and has even organized/facilitated several Startup Weekend events within the Seattle community. Alex was also one of 150 Graduating Seniors at the University of Washington who was selected by the Purple and Gold Forever Fund committee as an individual who represents the diversity & excellence of the Class of 2012 at the UW. By day, Alex is an account representative with Twitter Inc – leveraging Promoted Products toward advertising campaigns for tech industry giants. By night, Alex works as the Co-Founder for HR tech startup, MyUnfold – a passion project focused on eliminating the search and apply process for candidates while providing measured skilled talent for employers, on-demand.

Rita Zawaideh: Humanitarian Aid for Refugees in the Middle East and North Africa

Portrait of Rita Zawaideh
Rita Zawaideh is an Arab-American who has lived in Seattle since emigrating here at an early age with her family. She graduated from the University of Washington and has lived and worked in Syria, Europe, and several other Middle Eastern/North African countries. She founded Travel Express, Inc. in 1984 as a full service travel agency after having been in travel agency outside sales for several years. Rita built her clientele Middle East, and North Africa, establishing Travel Express as experts in these regions. 80% of the business is to overseas destinations. Rita participates in activities that educate the public about the Middle East and North Africa, particularly their cultures. She founded Arab Film Distribution and Salaam Cultural Museum and is a member of the Arab-American Institute, which works to educate the Arab communities about politics and candidates. Rita founded medical missions through the Salaam Cultural Museum and worked in Iraq, Libya, Egypt, Lebanon and Syria. Recently, Rita has taken doctors and other volunteers to lead medical missions in Jordan and Syria. She brings medical supplies and tries to meet the basic needs of Syrian refugees.

Nathan White

Portrait of Nathan White
Nathan White is a UW faculty member and an emergency physician at Harborview Medical Center. Stopping bleeding has been his passion since he first set foot in the trauma bay and had blood spilled on his fancy new shoes during his first day of medical rotations in a busy Emergency Department in inner city Detroit. Borrowing from the strategies set forth the in the "Art of War" by Sun Tzu: know yourself, know your enemy, exploit weaknesses, keep humble, and victory without fighting, Dr. White has developed his own strategy for the battle against bleeding. As a result, he is creating a new portable microfluidic monitor to quickly identify clotting defects after injury, and an injectable synthetic polymer that bolsters clot formation to stop bleeding in its tracks. Dr. White will highlight his experiences in the battle against bleeding to convey to the TEDx audience that no problem is insurmountable if you take the time to understand it, remain humble, and yet be bold when the opportunity arises.

Mayank Goel

Portrait of Mayank Goel
Mayank Goel is a Ph.D. candidate in the Ubiquitous Computing (Ubicomp) Lab at the University of Washington. His research involves using mobile phone sensors for ubiquitous computing applications. In particular, he focuses on leveraging new sensing solutions for health and creating novel human-computer interaction techniques.He was awarded the Microsoft Research PhD Fellowship in 2014. He received his M.S. degree in computer science from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 2009, where he specialized in ubiquitous computing and human-computer interaction. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington in Seattle and is advised by Dr. Shwetak Patel and Dr. Gaetano Borriello. More info at

Candace Faber

Portrait of Candace Faber
Candace Faber is a civic entrepreneur based at Impact Hub Seattle. She is the organizer of Hack to End Homelessness, Hack the Commute, and other projects that leverage cross-sector collaboration to advance solutions to seemingly intractable problems. Before moving back to Seattle and starting her venture in 2013, Candace was a diplomat in the U.S. Foreign Service and served at U.S. embassies in Russia, Poland, Belarus, and Afghanistan. Candace holds master's in international affairs from Georgetown University and two bachelor's degrees from the University of Washington. She serves on the boards of Realize Impact and Women's Funding Alliance Young Professionals. She was recently named one of the city's 51 most influential people by Seattle magazine. // @candacefaber

Ben Wiggins: Saving the Planet &emdash Science education through practice and coaching


Portrait of Ben Wiggins
A lecturer in the biology department, Ben Wiggins leads large undergraduate courses in molecular and cellular biology. He also works as the Coordinator of Instruction, tying together the largest teaching department on campus by hiring, evaluating, and mentoring instructors and teaching assistants. His research in biology and education focuses on active learning in STEM classrooms. While the innerworkings of the cell have been a longtime passion for Ben, it is teaching that gets him up in the morning and keeps him up at night.

Megan Roake: Moving Forward As A Victim and Community


Portrait of Megan Roake
Born and raised in Chicagoland (Glen Ellyn), Megan Roake is a second-year undergraduate at the University of Washington, double majoring in psychology and law, and justice. She is a triplet with two brothers. Megan is not afraid to confront the difficult, controversial, and “awkward” topic of sexual assault and relationship violence. In fact, she concentrates extensively on crisis, trauma, and recovery in regards to sexual assault and mental illness; she even plans to focus her academic degrees in these matters, merging her personal experiences and professional interests. In response to her own rape, she partakes in and challenges informal and formal legal processes, prevention and advocacy organizations, and personal recovery. Her activism is grounded in her firm belief in the importance of challenging society’s ideas about consent and sexual assault itself as well as the extreme importance of creating strong and sustainable communities of survivors and allies. These ideas on trauma and healing were recently emphasized in her opinion piece featured in the University of Washington school newspaper: "To my supporters, I couldn’t do it without you" (UW Daily 02/27/2015).

Hollis Wong-Wear: A Family Tradition


Portrait of Hollis Wong-Wear
Hollis Wong-Wear is a writer, performer and creative producer in Seattle. She is the lead vocalist of the The Flavr Blue and worked with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis on their album "The Heist," which was a Grammy nominee for Album of the Year. She has produced an array of live events from concerts to fundraisers to all-ages open mics, and has produced thirteen music videos including "Thrift Shop" by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. With her roots in spoken word and slam poetry through the nationally-recognized Youth Speaks program, Hollis has facilitated youth creative writing workshops and mentored teenage spoken word poets, while continuing to write and perform poetry in her community and beyond. She serves on the Seattle Music Commission as well as the Seattle Center Advisory Commission and on the board of directors of 4Culture.

James Sun: Diversity Within: Authenticity Beyond Color or Looks


Portrait of James Sun
James Sun is a proven technology entrepreneur with international media experience – hosting his own television show, frequent Tedx speaker, radio show analyst in over 100 cities, and magazine publisher. He had his own hit program called "Sun Tzu War on Business" and was also a finalist on Donald Trump’s "The Apprentice" aired on NBC with 12 million viewers. He is the founder & CEO of Pirq, a loyalty application for small and medium sized businesses which was successfully acquired by one of the largest companies in the payment space. He was also the co-publisher of Koream and Audrey magazine - the longest running ethnic magazine for Asian-Americans. His newest project is as the co-founder and creator of Anomo, the newest social networking experience for college students where physical looks are hidden to encourage more authentic social interactions without prejudging a photo. James graduated Cum Laude from the University of Washington, and he was recently selected in the "Wonderous 100 Alumni Award" (top 100 alumni), which included prominent individuals like Bill Gates Sr. and Kenny G.

Nikkita Oliver: Show to Tell & Tell to Show


Portrait of Nikkita Oliver
Nikkita Oliver is poet, teaching artist, community organizer, and activist working toward a Juris Doctorate (June 2015) and a Masters of Education (March 2016). She has competed in multiple National Poetry Slam Competitions and recently coached the Seattle Poetry Slam team to 7th of 72 teams at the 2015 National Poetry Slam in Oakland, CA. She has performed in venues in New York City, Seattle, Boston, Oakland, Olympia and Everett where she opened for Dr. Cornell West. Nikkita's idea worth spreading brings to light the power of art to make change. It has been said, "In any war the first thing you do is kill off the poets and the philosophers..." Why?, she asks. Because these are the inspirers, the preservers of culture and record, the communal conscious, the deep thinkers and movement starters, the light bearers, and whistleblowers. When we investigate the history of social change movements, we often find artists, poets and philosophers at the forefront. Art has the power to open hearts and minds in unsuspecting and powerful ways to create the necessary internal and external climate needed for individual and systemic social change.

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Transcend with TED

Transcend (v): be or go beyond the range or limits of.

Our theme this year is Transcend with TED. We're centering it around the idea of how TED talks can drive change in all facets of your life. Particularly, taking the way you think, feel, and act to the next level. How can TED talks inspire change in your perspective, emotions, and actions? How can you take what you've learned and apply it to your everyday life?

TEDxUofW 2014: Transcend with TED.

Event Details

UW Tower
4333 Brooklyn Ave NE
Seattle WA

Saturday, May 3rd 2014
11:00 am to 5:00 pm

View more images from our 2014 conference

Ben Gilbert: Event Emcee

Portrait of Ben Gilbert
We could not be more excited to have Ben Gilbert as our Emcee for TEDxUofW! Ben runs The Garage, Microsoft’s Grassroots Innovation Program to facilitate hackathons and support side projects. He was previously the UX Program Manager on Microsoft Office for Mac, and has started multiple technology companies, with over a million app downloads on the App Store. Ben is an international facilitator for Startup Weekend, an organization running entrepreneurial events in over 100 cities around the world. He's been a long-time admirer of TED, attending four previous TEDx events, and a part of the organizing team for TEDxSeattle. More information can be found at or on Twitter at

Che Sehyun: Change Yourself to Change the System – because the system lives inside you


Portrait of Che Sehyun
Che graduated from the University of Washington in 2011 with degrees in English, Physiology and Comparative History of Ideas. Mired in poverty and violence as a child, homeless in the womb with no cultural roots – he has come a long way and founded a life-coaching and educational consulting organization, Experience Ease. Education transformed his life and his life’s work. During his 6 years at the UW, he continued to notice a jarring reality – people who devoted their lives to dismantling or reforming systems (racism, capitalism, imperialism, sexism, etc.) were the very ones perpetuating and reproducing them by always moving relative to them. After unsuccessful attempts at broader social change, he focused on self-development and has completely transformed his life through good thoughts, practices and ways of living based in ancient traditions such as meditation, yoga, Tai Chi, Qi Gong, Shaolin Kung Fu and Capoeira Angola Palmares. Experience Ease helps students and families use the school experience to develop more fundamental life skills. Their motto: "we live the life we teach" – so you know it's real.

Julia Robinson: Transcending Technology in Global Health


Portrait of Julia Robinson
Julia Robinson is the Deputy Director of Côte d'Ivoire Programs and Director of Advocacy Programs at Health Alliance International, a center of the University of Washington’s Department of Global Health. After graduating from Rice University, she joined the US Peace Corps and served over two years in Benin, at which point she likes to joke that Africa got into her blood – literally and figuratively. Since then, she obtained a Master of Social Work and Master of Public Health from the University of Washington and currently serves as a faculty member at both schools. Her work at HAI focuses on strengthening public sector health systems and scaling up accessible, integrated HIV services in the northern regions of Côte d'Ivoire. Julia's TEDx talk will explore how it’s time for us to transcend the idea that technology alone is the answer in global health and discuss some innovative ways to support the human health workers that are so critical to ensuring health for all.

Simon Tam: A New Slant on Racism


Portrait of Simon Tam
Simon Tam is an award-winning musician, best-selling author, entrepreneur, and social justice activist. He is best known as the founder and bassist of The Slants, the world’s first and only all-Asian American dance rock band. His inspiring and unique approach to activism through the arts has been highlighted in thousands of media features across 82 countries, including: BBC World News, NPR, TIME Magazine, MTV, CBS, and the Wall Street Journal. Since 2000, he has been a performer, presenter, and keynote at events and organizations such as SXSW, Comic-Con, The Department of Defense, Stanford University, Rotary International, and over 1,200 others across North America, Europe, and Asia. You can find Simon's appearance schedule, writing, and current projects at:

Anthony Back: Communication, Empathy, & Serious Illness


Portrait of Anthony Back
Tony is Professor of Medicine at the University of Washington, where he is a practicing oncologist and researcher. His research focuses on how doctors communicate with patients about serious illness—and it’s uncovered some crucial gaps in what doctors say and what patients retain. With funding from the National Cancer Institute, Livestrong, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare, Arthur Vining Davis Foundation, and others, he is working on a new paradigm of communication. In addition, he created and launched the first iOS app, VitalTalk, designed to help doctors, available in the iTunes store. To disseminate this work, he launched the nonprofit VitalTalk, to take a social entrepreneurship approach to transforming the way doctors communicate.

Ann Grabler: Imagination = Innovation: The role of Adventure Playgrounds


Portrait of Ann Grabler
Ann attended Central Washington University, where she received her Bachelor’s of Science in Recreation and Tourism Management, and it was through her studies that she was first introduced to the marvels of Adventure Playgrounds. Her amazing feat was opening Washington State’s first Adventure Playground and only the fourth Adventure Playground in the United States. In fact, her work and the Adventure Playground garnered national attention, leading to a fantastic award: KaBOOM’s Playmaker of the Month (check out KaBOOM for more information). In the fall of 2009, while employed with the City of Mercer Island Parks and Recreation Department, Ann set out to open the best playground on Mercer Island. Countless hours of research leading up to the implementation and opening of the playground painted a very scary reality of modern play - it is declining and the long term effects are huge. Ann’s TEDx talk will explore the wonders of Adventure Playgrounds and the important role they have on inspiring future innovators who could create anything from inventions that curb climate change to the stories we love to get lost in. Ann promises to make you: laugh, pause to think about the role we all have in an innovative future, and instill that our imagination gives us wings even beyond childhood.

Troy Osaki: Transformative Storytelling: Poetry as a Tool for Liberation


Portrait of Troy Osaki
Troy Osaki is a writer, performer and spoken word artist from Seattle, WA. Inspired by creative storytelling, his heritage, and movements for equality, Troy approaches his art in hopes of supporting and building his community. He commits to cultivating safe space for honesty and understanding, liberation of self, and having as much fun as possible while writing and sharing poems. After discovering spoken word poetry during his time at Garfield High School, Troy began centering his focus on creative writing. He attended open mics, writing circles, and poetry slams eventually becoming the 2012 Youth Speaks Seattle and University of Washington Grand Slam Champion representing Seattle at Brave New Voices in Berkeley, CA and the College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational in New York City. In 2013 he represented Seattle as a poet and performer in Pasadena, CA for Kollaboration Star, the largest Asian American talent show in the nation. Since graduating from the University of Washington, Troy now works as a teaching artist facilitating poetry workshops at Cleveland High School and a transitional housing unit for youth known as Spruce Street Crisis Residential Center. Troy writes poetry to honor his family’s legacy, and to work in solidarity with all groups of marginalized people. He recognizes poetry as a tool for healing, empowerment, and revolution.

Eric Klavins: Programming Biology


Portrait of Eric Klavins
Eric Klavins is an associate professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Washington in Seattle and is the Director for the University of Washington Center for Synthetic Biology. Until approximately 2008, his research was primarily in computer science and robotics. At about that time, he learned the basics of genetic engineering completely switched fields to synthetic biology and now runs an interdisciplinary group of engineers, biologists, experimentalists, and theorists -- all focused on engineering life. In particular, Eric's research concerns developing programming languages and abstractions that can be used to design, fabricate, test, and refine new organisms. Example applications include synthetic multicellular consortia that digest plant matter and produce biofuels, diagnose disease, or assemble into complex patterns and shapes. Eric is one of a new generation of new synthetic biologists eager to scale up the production of designer living organisms and put them to good use addressing pressing problems of the 21st century.

Sarah Olson: Sharing a Vision: Scientists and Animal Rights Activists Working Together


Portrait of Sarah Olson
Sarah Olson is a sophomore at the University of Washington and a Comparative History of Ideas major with a tri-focus in critical human-animal, gender and environmental studies. A lifelong interest in animal ethics has led her to explore the systems of oppression through which humans and animals interact. Sarah is especially passionate about and interested in biotechnology strategies that are superior to animal testing in predicting efficacy or toxicity of drugs or cosmetics. She believes it is crucial to develop and fund effective and affordable alternatives to animal testing in order for system-wide progress to be made. Rather than pointing blame or working against one another, researchers and animal rights activists can work together to make alternatives to animal research possible, creating a win-win solution in which more effective models can be used and fewer animals harmed.

Dean Chahim: The False Hope of Technology


Portrait of Dean Chahim
Dean Chahim is an environmental engineer, educator, and community organizer from Seattle. Growing out of a disenchantment with the way engineering is taught and practiced, he recently jointly designed and taught (with Daniel Ullom) a popular seminar for engineering students at the UW on "Engineering for Social Justice". He has also taught an innovative course and published articles in academic and popular media on international development and global justice issues. As an engineer focusing on cleaning up after toxic spills, he has donned rubber boots to collect samples and help assess contaminated sites across the Puget Sound, from the Duwamish shoreline to Gas Works Park. He is also one of the volunteer organizers of the Seattle Solidarity Network, a grassroots worker-tenant organizing project that builds community power through struggles against unjust housing and working conditions. Dean graduated from the University of Washington with a B.S.C.E. in Civil & Environmental Engineering and a B.A. with Honors in International Development. Following graduation, he traveled across ten countries in the global South with the support of a Bonderman Fellowship, learning with everyday people and activists struggling for social change. This fall, he will begin doctoral studies in Anthropology at Stanford University, where he intends to study the relationship between foreign-funded engineering projects, globalization, and rising economic inequality in his parents' home country of Afghanistan. More about Dean is available at his website,

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  • Jeff Lewis


The Elements of Transition

Discover Me: My Unique Piece of the Puzzle

The individual is the sole determiner of the person they wish to be. This segment focuses on transformation, development, and the creation of that person. We will capitalize on individual strengths, weaknesses, experiences, and unique personalities that shape our identity and who we become.

"How Do I Fit?": Finding My Puzzle Set

When we begin to develop who we are, we find that there are individuals, organizations, and communities who encourage and help inspire that development. This segment highlights how an individual finds their perfect fit and creates positive change and movements in the area that they grow in.

"Coming Full Circle": Creating the Puzzle Image

After learning about who we are and the organizations we fit into, we have to consider how this development creates global positivity. Our end goal is to look at how we and our organizations can create a beautiful picture that makes difference and constructive impacts in our world.

Event Details

Alter Commons
Alder Hall, University of Washington
Seattle, WA, 98105

April, 20th, 2013
1:00 pm to 6:00 pm

David Coven: The Cycle of Compassion


Portrait of David Coven
David received the Costco Diversity Scholarship and a full ride to the University of Washington. After seeing just how hard it was to apply to scholarships, he created FeedMyCollegeFund, an organization whose goal is to help students find access to financial and academic resources. He strives to impart on others the notion of holding compassion close to help change the communities we live in.

Judd Walson: Live Without Unresolved Ambition


Portrait of Judd Walson
Dr. Walson is a researcher evaluating HIV-1 disease progression and is working to improve standard care for the management of HIV in Kenya. In addition to working closely with the Kenyan Research Institute as a Principal Researcher, Judd has spent significant time living and working in Thailand and Nepal. Judd is also Co-Director of the Global Health Strategic Analysis and Research Training Program (START), an innovative collaboration between the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and UW Department of Global Health.

Tai Terry: I'm Going to Have a Good Day Today


Portrait of Tai Terry
Tai Terry is a graphic designer at Make-A-Wish Alaska and Washington. Tai founded Tai Terry Design in 2009, focusing on providing graphic and web design services for local businesses. She joined the Make-A-Wish staff in 2010 and is also a former wish recipient. She currently resides in Seattle and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Digital Arts in 2006 from Henry Cogswell College.

Luis Ortega: Inspire a Movement of Possibility


Portrait of Luis Ortega
Luis Ortega is a leadership trainer, social entrepreneur, and passionate advocate for educational equity. Over the last eight years, Luis has worked with various school districts, higher education institutions, and organizations to develop student leadership programs, lead community engagement projects, and provide professional development training for educators. Luis is currently working with the Seattle World School and La Cima Bilingual Leadership.

Philip Thurtle: Careers: From a Path to a Landscape


Portrait of Philip Thurtle
Phillip Thurtle is an associate professor in History and adjunct in Anthropology at the University of Washington. He has authored and co-authored multiple works, with his research focusing on the material culture of information processing, the affective-phenomenological domains of media, the role of information processing technologies in biomedical research, and theories of novelty in the life sciences.

Dorothy Bullitt: Learning To Surf


Portrait of Dorothy Bullitt
Dorothy Bullitt is a Senior Lecturer and Distinguished Practitioner who teaches courses on Leaders. Previously in her career, Bullitt served as the CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Seattle/South King County, as the COO of Harbor Properties, Inc., as an assistant state attorney general, and as a civil arbitrator, in addition to running a management consulting business and writing two bestselling books. Bullitt has long been involved in the community and has received many awards for her years of leadership as a volunteer.

Dawn Tuason: Through Voice Comes Victory


Portrait of Dawn Tuason
Since stepping onto the UW campus, Dawn has been very involved with the UW and Seattle community. Through her work as an Early Childhood Studies and Global Health major, she has gone on to be a teacher's assistant through the EUU at the Haring Center, started her own tutoring business, and has served as a class facilitator for the UW Dream Project. She will be attending graduate school for education next year.


The Next Generation

Today, we gather to discuss The Next Generation.

To us, The Next Generation isn't just about people. It's also about ideas, ways of thinking, and perspectives.

We don't know what lies ahead, but we know it's going to be revolutionary. Together at TEDxUofW, we're hoping to get one step closer to it. Our sessions on Business, Culture, and Technology aim to empower you and the community around you to build and become The Next Generation.

By talking about tomorrow today, we create agents of change.

Event Details

UW Tower
4333 Brooklyn Ave NE
Seattle WA

April 21th, 2012
1:00 pm to 6:00 pm

Daniela Witten: Cancer by Numbers


Portrait of Daniela Witten
Daniela is an Assistant Professor of Biostatistics and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Statistics at the University of Washington, and is an Affiliate Investigator at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. She earned a BS in Math and Biology and a PhD in Statistics from Stanford University. She develops machine learning algorithms that can be used in order to better understand massive data sets coming out of genomics and other fields. She is the winner of a NIH Director's Early Independence Award, and earlier this year was featured in Forbes Magazine's "30 under 30".

Hans Zeiger: Local Community in the Next Generation


Portrait of Hans Zeiger
Hans is serving in his first term as State Representative for the 25th District (Puyallup, South Hill, Summit, Midland, Fife, Edgewood, and Milton). Outside of the legislature, Hans is a professional writer and he has authored two books about young Americans. His articles have appeared in publications like the Seattle Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Philadelphia Inquirer, Baltimore Sun, and American Legion magazine.

Andrew Mak: Philosophy of a Wanderer


Portrait of Andrew Mak
Andrew takes an interdisciplinary approach to learning, working, and life. While studying Comparative History of Ideas at the University of Washington, he has worked for Blue Box Group, the web host for and, WePay, an online payments startup in Silicon Valley, and UW’s International Genetic Engineered Machines team, winner of the iGEM World Championship for bioengineering.

Eugene Cho: The Story of One Day's Wages


Portrait of Eugene Cho
Eugene is the co-founder and executive director of One Day’s Wages &emdash; “a movement of People, Stories, and Actions to alleviate extreme global poverty.” He is also the founding & lead pastor of Quest Church and the founder & executive director of Q Cafe &emdash; a non-profit community cafe and music venue in Seattle. Eugene blogs regularly on Faith, Leadership, Justice, Ministry, and utilizing social media for good.