TEDxSomerville 2015

September 27th 2015


The TEDxSomerville 2015 talks are officially live! We had an incredible lineup of speakers with new ideas about movement, education, the environment, business and more.

Watch TEDxSomerville 2015 Talks


Drew BonfiglioDrew Bonfiglio is the co-founder of Emzingo, an organization that is focused on creating the next generation of responsible leaders through experiential learning, social impact projects, and cultural immersion – and also an Ashoka U Cordes Innovation award winner. Drew is passionate about unlocking potential in individuals, organizations, and communities. Drew holds an M.S. in Engineering from Cornell University and an MBA from IE Business School in Madrid.

Hannah ChungHannah 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.

Erica Dakin VoolichErica Dakin 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 DelmarDavid 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 DiGiovanniDillan DiGiovanni is an integrative health coach and consultant. He’s also transgender and brings that unique perspective of the world to his work. Dillan helps people and companies choose change for sustainable health and happiness with better work/life balance and communication. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Education from The College of New Jersey and his Master’s degree in Education with a specialization in Leadership, Wellness and Cultural Change from Lesley University. Dillan is originally from New Jersey but is currently living the dream in Somerville, MA. His favorite movie of all time is the Karate Kid and he enjoys coffee, bacon and green smoothies.

Blake EvittBlake 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.

Laur Hesse​ ​Fisher​Laur Hesse​ ​Fisher​ is the project manager of the Climate CoLab. Run out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology​ (MIT)​ Center for Collective Intelligence,​ t​he Climate CoLab​ is ​attempting to crowdsource solutions to the world’s biggest problems, starting with climate change. She was an elected civil society representative (alternate) for the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) – North America and leads a volunteer-run project called The Civic Series that holds informative events to help raise the public’s understanding of major global and domestic issues. She is a traveler, a Jumbo and is, above all things, excited for the future.

Chad JonesChad Jones is a socially conscious entrepreneur and venture investor who currently serves as Chief Strategy Officer for Deep Information Sciences. His unique vision takes big ideas from inception through execution resulting in highly profitable outcomes including six exits to companies such as Microsoft, VMware and Intel. As an investor, Jones has chosen companies that create better outcomes for the planet and has traveled the world discussing a vision for a better world through the non-intuitive use of technology.

Dr. Kristin J. LiebDr. 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 MartellKatie 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. Find her on twitter at @KatieMartell.

Hitendra PatelHitendra 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.

Emily L. Reichert, Ph.D.Emily L. Reichert, Ph.D., is the Chief Executive Officer, of Greentown Labs, the nation’s largest cleantech incubator. She is responsible for managing the space (33,000 SF of co-working and prototyping lab space), strategic direction, expansion, and focus on increasing the organization’s impact on clean and energy efficient technology commercialization through entrepreneurship. Prior to Greentown Labs, Emily was the Director of Business Operations at the Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry, growing from angel-funded start-up to a sustainable contract R&D business. She has over fifteen years of experience serving in R&D, business development and operations leadership roles. Emily holds a PhD in physical chemistry and earned an MBA from MIT.


Viktor GenelViktor Genel is an independent artist, inventor and creator of an interdisciplinary collaborative Art/Science/Business initiative called MeconoMorph, which is an infinitely growing re-configurable installation, made from business cards. Viktor enjoys writing (in Russian). His stories were published on- and offline. He is also working in the field of Conceptual Art developing a new trend called Deutilization. The trend is currently represented by several recently produced pieces, such as HedgeCone Rad, Scissaurus pentaptych, Sawurus and MoneyCubes. Viktor is a creator of a series of 3D printed pieces, sphericon based non-round rollers and an impossible pendant depicting Roger Penrose’s impossible tribar. Throughout his creative carrier Viktor has been inventing three-dimensional puzzles, well known in the puzzle world. Summarizing, he calls his creations “Amazing objects”, since they are made in attempts to instill a feel of impossibility into real tangible objects.

MeconoMorph in Dewey Square

WondertwinsBilly & Bobby McClain, also known as the Wondertwins, have created a distinctive style of their own, with the technical facility of hip hop, the sophistication of the glory days of the Cotton Club, the flash of Rat Pack era Las Vegas, and elements of vaudeville, robot, tap, and mime. The Wondertwins have many notable accomplishments: opening up for icons Run DMC, KRS One, LL Cool J and EPMD, dancing in Bobby Brown’s “Don’t Be Cruel” tour and “Purple Rain’s” Apollonia’s “Since I Fell for You” tour, winning “Showtime at the Apollo” six times, receiving OrigiNation’s “Pioneers of Dance Award,” and named Dance Expo’s first “Hip Hop Dance Ambassadors.” Recently, they performed alongside Maurice Hines Jr. in his sold-out show “Club Harlem” at the Apollo Theater and headlined at the two of the most prestigious dance festivals in the country, “Unreal Hip-Hop” at Jacob’s Pillow and “Tap the Yard” at the Yard on Martha’s Vineyard and have been successfully touring their new show “TO HIP HOP WITH LOVE” in theaters in Boston and New York.

WondertwinsSpirited Materials: A Journey Through Mixed Media and Studio Art is the brainchild of local fraternity brothers Owen Linders & Thom Crowley. Born out of the conviction that arts education can strengthen communities while doubling as court-mandated community service, SMAJTMMS serves as both demonstration and analysis the finer facets of printmaking, sculpture, weight training, and felony sentencing in the state of Massachusetts. Long story short: Bring a smock; art can get sweaty.



Devin Bramhall | TEDxSomervilleDevin Bramhall
Executive Director, 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.

patrick hellen | TEDxSomervillePatrick Hellen
Coordinating Producer & Co-Host

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.

 chris serwacki | TEDxSomervilleChris Serwacki
Events Director
Chris Serwacki is an events maven with a passion for innovation, creation, comics…oh yeah and events. He first got his feet wet at UMass Amherst where he dabbled with a variety of clubs, including the UMass Theater Guild, coordinating and producing events. After a stint at Disney World, Chris moved back to Boston many moons ago, and is now a recent Somerville resident. For the better part of the work week Chris can be found wandering around Emerson College as the Assistant Director of Alumni Engagement and Special Events, and the advisor of the undergraduate student LGTQIA+ group EAGLE. On the weekends he can be found taking part comic book reading, video game playing, pug walking, and playing on the offensive line as a member of Boston’s FLAG Flag Football league.

Alex Parks | TEDxSomervilleAlex Parks
PR Director

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 | TEDxSomervilleAmelia Suda
Marketing Director

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.

Chris Intae | TEDxSomervilleChris Intae
Creative Director

Chris Intae Fleming, or simply, Chris Intae is a UI/UX designer and front-end developer currently working as Lead Developer of athenahealth’s in-house creative agency. Past projects include The Greater Boston Food Bank, comedians Jim Jefferies and Eddie Ifft, J. B. Stanton Communications, NV Concepts, NAAAP Boston, GearBottle App, and numerous local companies.

Yanina Wolfe | TEDxSomervilleYanina Wolfe
Speaker Trainer & CO-curator

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.

Mike Giacometti | TEDxSomervilleSponsorships Director
Mike Giacometti is the Technical Team Lead at Imprivata in the Customer Advocacy department. He has a deep history in business development at companies like Brightcove and fundraising and sponsorship at several non-profits in the Boston area. In his spare time, Mike regularly competes in Spartan races and other athletic competitions in New England.


Jenn Leibig | TEDxSomervilleJenn Leibig
Website Designer

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.

Liz Cohen | TEDxSomervilleLiz Cohen
Volunteer Manager

Liz Cohen is a UX designer, runner, and coffee enthusiast. She moved to Somerville in 2010 and has been designing in the Boston tech scene ever since. She has worked with early stage startups, small businesses, and is now a UX designer at Session M. Being a high energy individual with a lot going on, Liz gets her energy out by training for half and full marathons. She’s been known to throw down a tweet or two about design and fitness @lizc577. This is Liz’s second year with TEDxSomerville, and she is stoked for another amazing event.

Camila Gascon | TEDxSomervilleCamila Gascon
Graphic Designer

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.


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About TEDxSomerville

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?

On September 27th, 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!

About TEDx

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.)

About TED

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.


Media Inquiries

All press requests should be sent to the official spokesperson for TEDxSomerville:

Alex Parks
Email: Alex

Please note that TEDx event organizers are not able to speak for the TED Conference. Any inquiry regarding TED should be sent to:

Melody Serafino
TEDx Media Liaison

Rules for Media and Bloggers

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.

TED vs. TEDx vs. TEDxSomerville

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


For general questions or comments, please drop us a line.

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