TEDxBeaconStreet Speaker Topic Overview: August 15, 2016

  1. Mike Festa

Mike (of Wayfair) described virtual reality as ‘necessity technology’, and focused on ways in which VR promotes a shared environment. He characterized VR as “full recognition”, and “Personal 3D”, allowing people to examine objects and ideas in a virtual space. From office meetings to connecting to people in outer space, the technology is designed to enhance options and connections, near and far. Mike feels that VR has the capacity to revolutionize personal and work experiences.

2. Jeff Saviano

Jeff’s presentation is aimed at illustrating ways in which citizens can impact major issues (ranging from ballot initiative petitions, to tax related techniques to affect climate change by reducing carbon in a revenue neutral manner, along with attempts to address wealth disparity). Jeff uses 3 current examples to illustrate these points.

3. Sarah Beaulieu

Sarah takes on the topic of sexual violence and men, more specifically, how men can show up to support women. She points out that men and women are both victims of sexual violence and the power of engaging and starting a conversation can make a huge difference in peoples lives. Sarah speaks from a personal perspective and wants to avoid a blame game while moving forward to making progress through telling the truth, all the time.

4. Matt Carroll

Matt’s experience as a Spotlight reporter, and as a person portrayed in the movie Spotlight, illustrates by his personal experience the power of the courage of victims to speak their truth, despite the difficulty of doing so.

5. Guy Satat

Guy notes that evolution has made our eyes what they are. Through work in biomedical engineering, and through the impact of personal family experience, Guy characterizes the importance of optical contrast, and the potential for technology to make great leaps forward via biomedical imaging.

6. Laura Ingalls

Laura shares how her early career as an actress/performer was undermined by unrealistic and persistent concerns relative to her weight. Her constant yo-yo dieting led her to hate her body, yet after time passed, she realized how conflicted she felt about societal messages about weight. Since then, she’s asked key questions, such as what is healthy, what is self worth all about, and suggests how health and size need to be fully considered along with self-worth.

7. Arek Stopczynski

Arek has a passion for studying small populations, and drilling down to collect data that reveal how complex human systems operate. He describes the study as ‘living labs’ that reveal such personal data as psychological profiles, grades in school, and the like.

8. Hunter Henderson + 9. Grace Henderson

They are world-class young athletes in free style skiing, who compete in a rarified environment. Their devotion to their sport brings both blessings and burdens. Their journey to the top requires dedication and time. That being the case, they juggle the more normal parts of growing up (events, friends, etc.) with the unusual requirements of competing in a challenging skill based environment.

10. Cameron Mastoras

Cameron is a student at Newton North High School who has found school super boring, until he became involved with a school team in projects building robots. Cameron feels that different learning styles need to be addressed in the educational environment, that he feels has no creativity.

Cameron has learned leadership, money skills and life skills through the robotic projects, all of which enhanced his learning and acquisition of skills.

11. Lee Collins

Lee has become an infertility specialist by virtue of 2 years of undergoing treatment, resulting in the birth of her second daughter. Lee is a strong proponent of specialized help in creating a family and feels her background as an attorney is where she can make a big impact. Some key legislation has been drafted in various parts of the country in opposition to some forms of infertility treatment, mainly centered on the matter of embryos, and Lee seeks to change that approach.

12. Charles Victor Fracchia

Charles is a biologist/engineer who feels that current biomedical research is wasting significant sums of money and time by clinging to old practices. Charles makes the case that biology is being taught the wrong way, and that it’s time for ‘smart’ labs to be put in place.

13. Charles McKinney

Charles is a park planner in New York City. As an architect, he has learned from key experiences that social vitality cannot be pre-determined and that it’s critical to be receptive to the ideas of others. Through his work, 80 sites that have been adopted by supporters in various portions of park land, ranging from flower gardens, playground, tennis courts and skate parks.

14. Eric Schilling

Eric is a proponent of the internet as a community of people who can provide a supportive linkage to one another. He believes that specific communities (those with mental health concerns, those with gender issues, etc.) can find expression, identity and collaboration in these forums.

15. Viirj Kan

Viirj is a designer/systems person who is looking at the connections between humans, computers and native foods. She studies plant materials and looks at how the natural world can intersect with the human palate and how such variables as color,shape, smell intersect with flavor molecules, and the like.

16. Nicole Wickenhauser

Nicole is committed to solving issues of global water and sanitation. In particular, she is looking at affordable financing as a vehicle to allow poor people to access the necessities of clean water and proper sanitation.

17. Savannah Niles and Jiten Dajee were on the google hangout.

We had Speakers who spoke at last year’s event — Laurent Adamowitz, Kitty Pechet & Carol Fishman share advice to the Speakers in attendance.