TEDxSomerville is an independent TEDx event managed by a handful of passionate volunteers devoted to spreading ideas that are valuable. We are taking TED’s “Ideas Worth Spreading” to a local, Somerville-grassroots level under license from TED. We are not TED, but independent TEDx event organizers.
TEDxSomerville is a day-long event celebrating the exciting ideas, art, initiatives, inventions, and community that relate to and spring from Somerville. This year, the theme is “Reinvent.” Speakers, artists and musicians from around the community will share their passions, talents and ideas with a diverse group of attendees.
Somerville prides itself on being one of the most creative places on the planet. New York City is the only US city that can boast more artists per capita than Somerville. Our group of attendees and speakers will represent some of the brightest minds from the Somerville community.
Jay Acunzo is the vice president of platform at NextView Ventures, Boston’s leading seed-stage VC firm, where he leads the development of resources and support for the Boston and New York startup ecosystems. Beginning his career in digital marketing strategy at Google, he went on to lead content production and marketing teams at multiple tech startups including the now-public software giant HubSpot. Jay is also the co-founder of Boston Content, a community group of over 1,000 locals created to advance the careers of the newest and most in-demand individuals of digital marketing today: content marketers. He’s a frequent speaker at the world’s biggest marketing conferences and has written for publications like TechCrunch, The Huffington Post, and multiple print newspapers thanks to an early stint as a sports journalist. To learn more about Jay and read some of his writing, visit SorryForMarketing.com.
Hannah Chung is co-founder and Chief Creative Officer of Sproutel, the creator of Jerry the Bear: An interactive learning companion for kids with chronic illnesses. Before Sproutel, Hannah co-founded Design for America, an award winning national student organization that helps students solve local social problems through design thinking. She was named as one of the honored makers by the White House. In addition, she was named one of Inc Magazine’s “Top 15 Women to Watch in Tech” (2012) one of the “5 Female Founders to Watch” by Women 2.0 (2014), and inducted into Better World by Design’s Hall of Fame. In 2013, she won the Perfect Pitch competition at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women summit where Warren Buffett was one of the judges. She earned her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at Northwestern University.
Ericka Dalkin Voolich is the founder and current president of the Somerville Mathematics Fund, a grassroots all-volunteer charity celebrating and encouraging mathematics achievement in Somerville MA. As a former award-winning middle school mathematics teacher, Erica is now using her problem solving skills in the mathematics class to solving family history problems. She has also authored two books on high harness weaving along with two mathematics supplementary texts on solid geometry and mathematics history for middle school students, and four genealogical books.
David Delmar is an artist, designer and Founder/Executive Director of Resilient Coders, a volunteer-based program focused on making web technology more available to urban youth who might not otherwise be exposed to it. His mission is to spread code literacy to communities underrepresented in technology by targeting youth who are at-risk or have been caught up in the court system. He believes in the resilience of Boston’s youth and that technology provides an opportunity for true meritocracy. Before launching Resilient Coders, he led a team of designers and coders at PayPal.
Dillan DiGiovanni is a certified teacher and integrative health coach who designs innovative programs for healthier people and workplaces. His ideal clients strive for wellness, authenticity and they thrive on change. Dillan was born and raised in New Jersey but is currently living the dream in Somerville, MA. His favorite movie of all time is The Karate Kid and he prefers 80’s music if given the choice.
Blake Evitt is the director of Parkour Generations Americas and an ADAPT Level 3 qualified instructor. Inspired by his interest in the global potential of parkour he was awarded a research grant by Davidson College in 2009 to spend a month in Paris shadowing the founders of parkour, known as the Yamakasi. After graduating in 2010, Blake was awarded a prestigious Thomas J. Watson Fellowship to travel around the world studying parkour as an agent for positive social change. Blake returned to the United States in September 2012 to help lead the launch of Parkour Generations Americas and to develop parkour in his hometown of Somerville/Boston. Today Blake teaches parkour in the Boston area full-time and is a frequent guest instructor at events and workshops around North America and Europe. For more information on Blake and his travels, go to his blog: making-the-jump.blogspot.com.
Kiran Gandhi grew up in New York City playing drums. In 2011, she graduated from Georgetown University, and went on to establish Interscope Records’ in-house digital analytics department in Los Angeles. Utilizing her deep knowledge of mathematics and music, Kiran analyzed consumption patterns on Spotify and YouTube to predict sales trends and map the success of an artist online. In 2013, Kiran toured internationally with M.I.A as her drummer while working on her M.B.A at Harvard Business School. Now in her second and final year at H.B.S, Kiran’s goal is to combine her business acumen and musical skill to re-imagine the music industry structure, making it healthier for not only artists, but also for young female listeners around the world.
As the founder of locavore cooking and consulting company Cuisine en Locale, JJ is a personal chef, mother of two, and food activist. Her mission began by minding what she fed her children, and in turn, paying close attention to what is happening with the food industry at large. Instead of lamenting the broken system, JJ strives to find everyday solutions, boldly calling herself a locavore: meaning she considers eating food grown nearby to be crucial to the health and vitality of our families, community, and economy. Using only locally and regionally sourced ingredients to create farmtotable meals all year round, JJ and her small army of creative cooks run a delivered cooked food service called ONCE a Week, in addition to planning lavish yet locally sourced private parties and festive ticketed popup dinners around town and beyond. As a compliment to being delicious and lots of fun, her work serves to spread the good word of wholesome, fair and thoughtful food.
Nick Kranz is a social entrepreneur interested in cooperative and collaborative business that positively impacts society. In 2013, Nick co-founded Something GUD, a Somerville-based local food-delivery service that brings the farmers’ market to your doorstep. He is also founder of Mindful in the Midst in 2008, a consulting firm that provides leadership training through mindfulness meditation.
Dr. Kristin J. Lieb is an Associate Professor of Marketing Communication at Emerson College. Before arriving at Emerson, Lieb held numerous marketing and business development positions in the music industry, including posts with Atomic Pop and Newbury Comics Interactive. She also worked as a researcher for Harvard Business School and as a freelance writer for Billboard and Rolling Stone. Lieb published her first book, Gender, Branding, and The Modern Music Industry: The Social Construction of Female Popular Music Stars, with Routledge in 2013.
Katie Martell is the Co-Founder and CMO of Cintell, a cloud-based customer intelligence platform. She is a B2B marketer with experience creating buzz and driving market demand for companies including Aberdeen Group and as a media strategist for the high-tech PR firm, Version 2.0 Communications. She spent five years as Director of Buzz and Communications for NetProspex, growing the company from startup to award-winning organization serving Fortune 500 companies. She has been spoken at a variety of events including FutureM, MarketingProfs B2B Forum, and Young Women in Digital. She has contributed to publications such as CMO.com, MarketingProfs, Chief Marketer Magazine, The Huffington Post, CMO Essentials, and more. She is also a board member of the American Marketing Association Boston Chapter. Katie earned a B.S. in Marketing Communication, Advertising & PR from Emerson College. Find her on twitter at >@KatieMartell.
Hitendra Patel is the Managing Director of the Center for Innovation, a global innovation consulting company based in Cambridge, MA. He has helped drive innovation transformation initiatives at companies like Hewlett Packard, LG, Cadbury, Verizon, and P&G. Hitendra is also a co-founder of the Hult Prize, the world’s largest startup accelerator for budding young entrepreneurs that provides an annual prize of $1 Million and partners with President Clinton and sources globally for the best solutions/teams to end poverty in slums. He co-founded the Global Innovation Management Institute and has been the main driver for creating certification testing standards to make innovation a management discipline across the globe.
Creativity and innovation drive economies in the 21st century. On March 4th, 2012, some of Somerville’s most fascinating and engaging members of the community came together for one day to share their passions and discuss their visions for the world… and for our city.
On March 30, 2014, we assembled for the second time and discussed surrounding the theme of MOVEMENT. How do you move? What moves you? What moves our society?
This May 17, we continue the conversation, this time surrounding the theme of REINVENT. The City of Somerville is undergoing a Renaissance and in many cases what was once old is being made new again, literally transformed!
This independent TEDx event is operated under license from TED. TEDxSomerville is a quasi-organization devoted to spreading ideas that are valuable. We are taking TED’s “Ideas Worth Spreading” to a local, Somerville-grassroots level.
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 is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 25 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. The annual TED Conference invites the world’s leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes. Their talks are then made available, free, at TED.com. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Al Gore, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
The annual TED Conference takes place in Long Beach, California, with simulcast in Palm Springs; TEDGlobal is held each year in Oxford, UK. TED’s media initiatives include TED.com, where new TEDTalks are posted daily, and the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as the ability for any TEDTalk to be translated by volunteers worldwide.
TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world are given the opportunity to put their wishes into action; TEDx, which offers individuals or groups a way to organize local, independent TED-like events around the world; and the TEDFellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to become part of the TED community and, with its help, amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.
Producer, Speaker Curator, Host
Devin is a writer, live storyteller and creator/host of The Master Slam, Boston’s only story-slam style debate that turns a traditional panel discussion into an evening of live performance and competition. For the past 5 years, Devin has been telling stories live on stage throughout New England, as well as training speakers for TEDx talks and hosting events in the Boston area, including TEDxSomerville. A self-made performer who learned by doing, Devin has unique insights into the fears many have around public speaking and how to overcome them to become a strong, confident communicator to groups of any size, from a meeting to a TED talk.
Producer & Art Director
Jesa Damora is an arts marketer who helps creative types focus and realize their goals, get known, and thrive at what they do. She runs FunnelCake Marketing, an arts marketing and business development consulting firm, out of Somerville’s Artisan’s Asylum.
Jesa’s consulting clients include painters, conceptual artists, street artists, metal workers, ceramicists and jewelers. She also provides arts event development and execution (this is her second year as TEDxSomerville’s Arts Wrangler). She offers curation services, helps with crowd-sourced funding, develops publicity campaigns, and she gives arts marketing presentations and workshops in Boston and in Brooklyn.
Now in its fifth year, her talk series for Somerville Open Studios has featured some of these subjects as well as art collecting, merchandising and pricing. They have headlined art critics, experts on intellectual property, and accountants for artists/makers. She has just co-launched a weekly show on culture and the arts with Somerville Community Access Television.
Jesa is also an artist who once made enormous drawings and will shortly be TIG welding copper. A published writer and editor with long experience in architecture, she will also gladly carry on about short-track speedskating and how to make lemon curd.
Producer & Logistics Director
Jennifer Garrett is a freelance project manager and event producer specializing in partnership development. After a 15 year career in retail supply chain and product life cycle management, she decided to follow her passion for engaging audiences through creating unique and thoughtful educational events, joining the Lectures and Special Programs team at Boston’s Museum of Science as Associate Producer in 2010. During her time at the museum she had the opportunity to work with luminaries such as actress and playwright Anna Deavere Smith, theoretical physicist and string theorist Brian Greene, and food journalist Mark Bittman. With a focus on local food, her freelance clients have included the Nantucket Wine Festival, Let’s Talk About Food, and the City of Boston Office of Food Initiatives.
Stephen Moore is the Founder and Director of BlankSlate Design, a multi-disciplinary firm focused on sustainable architectural and planning services, as well as graphic design. Over a 20 year of career, Stephen has encompassed a diverse framework of award winning architectural and urban design-planning knowledge and experience, as a practitioner, an educator, and personal and professional community engager through public speaking, seminars, as well as city committees on climate change and energy-efficiency.
Camila Gascon is an architect and designer from Sao Paulo – Brazil, where she got her degree at the University of Sao Paulo. Currently living in the USA, she set up her design studio CAMI Wooden Things in Somerville, MA. She enjoys making prototypes at the wood shop, and she strives to create objects that are both practical and beautiful to make everyday life more enjoyable.
Patrick Hellen is large collection of adjectives, in the shape of a lanky, bearded, and bespectacled fellow. He’s been a lumberjack, a restaurant writer, a published author, a sales guy, a book seller, a church janitor, a tour guide, and most recently, a community manager and a Dad. He reads nearly constantly, tells loud boisterous stories for as many people as will listen, eats food like it’s his last day on earth, and still collects comic books and video games. Until he decides to sit down and write another book, you’ll have to find his inane ramblings on Twitter at @PatrickCH.
Jenn Leibig is a community organizer with a passion for technology and human-centered design. By day, Jenn is assistant director at an NGO dedicated to civil rights advocacy. She is a proud Smith College alum and New Hampshire native, though she thinks Somerville is pretty fluffing awesome. When not at work, Jenn loves exploring programming languages and bike trails.
Alex Parks has created and implemented highly successful media relations, social media, and content creation programs for a variety of tech companies – ranging from Fortune 500 organizations to venture-backed startups. Alex has been instrumental in working with his clients to tell stories that attract media attention from reporters at top-tier business and tech outlets, and has received numerous awards for his media relations and content strategy work. In 2013, Alex won the Publicity Club of New England Striker Award, which recognizes New England’s best young PR professional of the year.
Amelia Suda is digital marketer who has a passion for sustainability and traveling. At her alma mater, Bentley University, she helped to run Give N’ Go which allowed students to donate or swap old items instead of throwing them away at the end of the semester. After graduating from college a year ago, she began her career as a digital marketing specialist in the travel industry. This past year she has traveled the Bahamas, Germany, Jamaica and Italy. In her free time she enjoys rock climbing, making her famous buttermilk pancakes, and dancing with little to no coordination.
Speaker Coordination & Training
Russian-born, Brooklyn-made, Boston-redesigned. Yanina Wolfe is fired up for international development, social enterprise, and startup communities. Yanina has been serving as acting Chair of Acumen+Boston since 2012. When not promoting entrepreneurial approaches to address global poverty, she’s optimizing operations and project managing at two startups. She was also the founding Chapter Director of One Brick Boston and one of the co-founders of City Awake. She excels in building movements that galvanize people. Yanina graduated magna cum laude from Hobart and William Smith Colleges with a double major in Political Science and Critical Social Studies. After graduating, she bought a one-way ticket to Bangkok for a solo five-month trip to Southeast Asia. At home in Cambridge, Yanina is a foodie who enjoys live music and yoga.
All press requests should be sent to the official spokesperson for TEDxSomerville:
Please note that TEDx event organizers are not able to speak for the TED Conference. Any inquiry regarding TED should be sent to:
TEDx Media Liaison
Photos of TEDx events must be released under a Creative Commons license (“Attribution – NonCommercial – NonDerivative”), so they can be freely shared and reposted.
Members of the press are not allowed to videotape or photograph the event for official use, though personal use photography is permitted. We respectfully ask that you rely on imagery from our official event photographer, which will be made available online. Email Alex Parks to arrange matters further.
While we appreciate any coverage, we kindly ask that all journalists and/or bloggers be respectful of the difference between the TED and TEDx brands.
The ‘x’ in ‘TEDx’ stands for “independently organized events.” Any headline or text which implies “TED” is coming to Somerville is misleading.
For more information on TEDx, visit http://www.ted.com/tedx
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