TEDxPhiladelphia returns after a two-year hiatus this month. The conference brings together the brightest local minds for a one-day conference at Temple Performing Arts Center, on Friday, Mar. 28, that promotes “ideas worth spreading.”
Over 500 people applied to speak at this year’s TEDxPhiladelphia conference, themed “The New Workshop of the World,” and the 19 selected entrepreneurs, artists, makers, educators, and scientists have been announced. Dom Streater, the most recent winner of Project Runway, and Sonia Sanchez, an award-winning Philadelphia poet, are just a few of the names that will grace the TED stage.
Here is the full list of this year’s speakers: (tickets and info can be found here)
Nikki Adeli is a junior at the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia and an active Philadelphia citizen and a passionate advocate for quality public education, serving as Youth Commissioner to Mayor Michael A. Nutter, and Vice President of the School District of Philadelphia’s Student Government. Nikki is a Duke of Edinburgh Award winner and enjoys mentoring other youth medalists in Philadelphia.
Chris Bartlett is the executive director of Philadelphia’s William Way Community Center and a gay activist, feminist, educator and researcher. He was formerly the director of the SafeGuards Gay Men’s Health Program, and created with Eric Rofes the Gay Men’s Health Leadership Academy, a national center for excellence for gay and bisexual men and their allies. Chris also founded the LGBT Leadership Initiative; a convening of thinkers addressing the strategic leadership needs of America’s LGBT communities. He hosted the 2010 and 2011 TEDxPhiladelphia conference.
Andrew Dahlgren is a lecturer of architecture at the University of Pennsylvania and faculty in Product Design, at Parsons The New School for Design in New York City. His work explores the social, cultural and economic impacts of manufacturing. He has created his own professional practice, focusing primarily on collaborations with fashion designers, industrial designers, and architects. Most recently (under the title Knit Lab), Andrew has been exploring the potentials of community supported manufacturing, mobile factories, and community skill development.
Geoff DiMasi is the founder of web and software design company P’unk Ave, co-founder of Indy Hall and co-founder and curator of Ignite Philly. Geoff serves on the advisory board of Weathervane Music and the Passyunk Square Civic Association, an organization he co-founded. He taught for many years at the University of the Arts and holds a bachelor’s degree from Rutgers and a master’s of fine arts from the University of the Arts.
Genevieve Dion is an Assistant Professor and director of the Shima Haute Technology Laboratory at Drexel University, a state-of-the-art laboratory that conducts multidisciplinary research on smart textiles and wearable technology. Her research focuses on the investigation of novel processes that allow the metamorphosis of planar materials into unique three-dimensional forms, including the exploration of new production methods, mass customization of wearable technology and the development of seamlessly integrated knitted electronic components into garments.
Terry Gillen is an economic development adviser with more than 20 years of executive experience in the private, nonprofit and public sectors. She most recently served as the Director of Federal Affairs for the City of Philadelphia. Terry was formerly the Executive Director of the Redevelopment Authority (RDA) of Philadelphia, where she established the award-winning Philadelphia Foreclosure Prevention Program, won and implemented a $64 million HUD stimulus grant program, and laid the groundwork for the city’s new land bank. From 1992 to 1998, she was Senior Vice President of the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC), where she directed the successful planning process for the former Philadelphia Navy Yard. Terry serves on numerous boards including the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation, and mentors local youth through Philadelphia Futures.
Helen Gym is a parent and community activist who advocates for quality public education for all Philadelphia schoolchildren. She is a co-founder of Parents United for Public Education, a citywide parent group, serves on the board of Asian Americans Unite, and is a co-founder of Folk Arts-Cultural Treasures Charter School. Helen is a former editor and frequent contributor to the Philadelphia Public School Notebook and is a national board member of Rethinking Schools, a social justice teaching journal.
Stephen K. Klasko is the President and CEO of Thomas Jefferson University and the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital System. He is a nationally recognized leader in transforming the art and science of medicine and healthcare information technology through entrepreneurial clinical practice and contemporary business and leadership training. As CEO of the University of South Florida Health and Dean of the Morsani College of Medicine, Stephen designed and built the Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Lehigh University, and earned his medical degree from Hahnemann University and his MBA at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He is a board certified and actively practicing OB-GYN.
Brian McTear is the owner of Miner Street Recordings in Philadelphia’s Fishtown, and a nationally recognized producer and musician. He is the founder of Weathervane Music, a nonprofit arts and culture organization with a mission is to advance independent music and the community that surrounds it. Though surprisingly healthy, Brian and his youngest sister have been treated all their lives for Cystic Fibrosis, a genetic disorder that effects the respiratory and digestive systems. He is a graduate of The Hill School in Pottstown Pennsylvania, and attended West Chester University.
Joshua H. Nims co-founded Franklin’s Paine Skatepark Fund in 2000 and is Operations Manager for Schuylkill River Development Corporation (SRDC), an organization with the mission to revitalize and redevelop the lower Schuylkill River and reconnect it to Philadelphia’s urban core. Joshua is a graduate of Temple University School of Law and Winthrop University. He is a lifelong skateboarder; student of urban planning, horticulture and politics; artist; and optimist.
Natalie Nixon is Director of the Strategic Design MBA program and Associate Professor in Fashion Merchandising & Management at Philadelphia University. A practitioner and researcher of design thinking, she is a bridge builder to the creative side of strategy. She has worked in the fashion industry as an entrepreneurial hat designer as well as in apparel sourcing for The Limited Brands. Natalie earned her bachelor’s degree from Vassar College; a master’s degree from Philadelphia University, Shenkar College (Israel) & Reutlingen University (Germany); and a Ph.D. from the University of Westminster, London.
Chris Rabb is a consultant, teacher and thought leader on the intersection of entrepreneurship, media, civic engagement and social identity. He is an adjunct professor at the Fox School of Business at Temple University where he teaches social entrepreneurship and organizational innovation and is an affiliated faculty member of Temple's Innovation and Entrepreneurship Institute. A graduate of Yale College, Chris worked in the U.S. Senate as a legislative aide and as a writer, researcher and trainer for the White House Conference on Small Business. He is the author of Invisible Capital: How Unseen Forces Shape Entrepreneurial Opportunity, which explores the landscape of modern U.S. business in the context of structural inequality.
Katherina M. Rosqueta is the founding executive director of The Center for High Impact Philanthropy and adjunct faculty of the School of Social Policy & Practice (SP2) at the University of Pennsylvania, and a former consultant with McKinsey & Company where she served clients in the areas of strategy development and post-merger management. She received her bachelor’s degree from Yale University and an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Sonia Sanchez is an award-winning poet, activist, scholar, and national and International lecturer on Black Culture and Literature, Women’s Liberation, and Peace and Racial Justice. She is the author of more than 16 celebrated books, including Like the Singing Coming off the Drums and Homegirls and Handgrenades, and a recipient of many awards, including the American Book Award and the Robert Frost Medal for distinguished lifetime service to American poetry. Sonia is the former Poet Laureate of Philadelphia, was the first Presidential Fellow at Temple University, where she was a professor of English and Women's Studies.
Austin Seraphin is an accessibility consultant. Austin became blind at birth. He started programming at age seven and developed a life-long passion for technology and a first-hand insight into how it affects the lives of the blind. He works with developers to make their apps accessible, helped design touch tours at the University of Pennsylvania, and made graffiti accessible to the blind with braille street art in a project with Sonia Petruse. Austin uses a cane for short-range vision and echolocation for long-range vision.
Simran Sidhu is executive director of YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School, a diploma-based program that provides young people who have dropped out of high school with an opportunity to reconnect with their education and to serve their communities in a meaningful way. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology at St. Xavier’s College at Bombay University, and a master’s in Journalism from Temple University.
Dominique Streater designs for her self-titled line, and appeared on the Emmy Award-winning television series, Project Runway, where she made her mark on the fashion industry by winning the competition in 2013 through her use of bold and daring color and prints. Dominique earned her bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design from Moore College of Art and Design.
Mathieu Turpault is Managing Partner and Director of Design at the product design firm Bresslergroup. He has been published in many leading design journals and speaks frequently about multisensory and immersive design, brand building, integrated design methods, and sustainability. Mathieu earned a master’s degree in Industrial Design from École Superieure de Design Industrielle (Paris).
Richard Vague is a managing partner of Gabriel Investments, an early stage investment fund; Chairman of The Governor's Woods Foundation, a nonprofit philanthropic organization; and managing director of The Miletos Group. Richard was co-founder and CEO of two credit card companies, First USA and Juniper Financial. He currently serves on numerous boards, is president of the FringeArts Board, and the Chairman of the University of Pennsylvania Press. Richard is also editor of the blog and email newsletter service Delanceyplace.com and of the website Debt-economics.org.