TEDxSMU 2011 Speakers

Jaewon Ahn
Jaewon spent the first twelve years of her life in Korea where she won several competitions, among them the prestigious Strad competition and was a member of the Cheon-An Youth Symphony Orchestra. In 2004, she moved to Calgary and began studies with John Kadz at the Mount Royal Conservatory. A graduate of the Senior Academy program, Jaewon spent four years as a member of the Calgary Youth Orchestra and was featured twice as a soloist. In Canada she has had success in many competitions including first prize in the national round of the Canadian Music Competition last year (Strings 18 and under) and first prize four consecutive years in the provincial round of the Kiwanis Music Festival. Jaewon currently studies under the tutelage of renowned cellist Andres Diaz in the Artist Diploma program at Southern Methodist University.

Maya Ajmera
Maya is one of the world’s most eloquent voices for children’s rights globally as a social entrepreneur and celebrated children’s book author. She is the founder of The Global Fund for Children, a nonprofit organization that invests in innovative community-based organizations serving the most vulnerable children and youth of the world.

GFC has awarded over $23 million in capital to nearly 500 grassroots organizations in 80 countries touching the lives of over one million children. Maya is an award winning children’s book author including Children from Australia to Zimbabwe, Faith, and To Be a Kid with over two million readers worldwide.

Maya received a master’s degree in public policy from the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University and a bachelor’s degree in biology from Bryn Mawr College.

Belinda Baldwin
Belinda is a Dallas based audience development director for a diversified media group including television, web and mobile. She teaches a graduate level advertising course at SMU and writes on the topic of media, popular culture and social change for a variety of magazines and journals including the Harvard Book Review, The Advocate, Documentary and MovieMaker. She holds a PhD from USC in Cinema-TV.

Elise Ballard
Elise is an actress, independent filmmaker, author and the creator of EpiphanyChannel.com. She started her career in entertainment working as an actress before moving into production work. Her critically acclaimed directorial debut, Lord of the Wiens: A Dachumentary, a movie about the annual Wiener Dog Races in Buda, TX, became a cult hit and still sells to lovely dachshund fans worldwide. Her first book, Epiphany, a collection of fascinating stories of people’s greatest epiphanies in life, was released by Random House/Crown Publishing’s Harmony Books in January 2011. She is currently in development on several projects, including film and television versions of Epiphany and future books for the Epiphany series.

José Bowen
José, Dean of the Meadows School at SMU, has taught at Stanford and Georgetown, written over 100 scholarly articles, edited the Cambridge Companion to Conducting, and appeared as a musician in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the US with Stan Getz, Bobby McFerrin and others. He has written a symphony (nominated for the Pulitzer Prize), music for Hubert Laws and Jerry Garcia, and his latest CD, Uncrowded Night. He is an editor for Jazz: The Smithsonian Anthology and is currently on the boards of the Journal for the Society for American Music, Jazz Research Journal and the Library of Congress, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in England.

Jasmin Brand
Jasmin is the Chief Marketing Officer for Brandpointe, a company she launched in 2007 that specializes in connecting individuals and medium sized firms with e-learning and social media solutions. With an extensive background in marketing, sales and consumer engagement, Jasmin is passionate about creating and growing online communities and serves as a social media consultant, collaborating with for profit and nonprofit companies.

A love of education and southern Dallas drew Jasmin to UNT Dallas, the city’s first and only public university. In February of 2011, she joined the Office of University Advancement and currently serves as Director of Campus and Community Engagement.

Jasmin graduated with a B.A. in Political Science and International Studies from Southern Methodist University. She recently completed her Masters in Education specializing in Adult Learning. She is a recent graduate of the Dallas Regional Chamber’s program, Leadership Dallas, Class of 2011.

Brent Brown
Brent Brown, AIA, LEED AP is a Dallas architect who works daily to balance social, economic, and environmental issues by deploying design to enhance livability for all Dallas’ residents. Through his efforts Dallas is re-visioning how it lives, works and plays. In 2005, Mr. Brown founded the buildingcommunity WORKSHOP (bcWORKSHOP), a local nonprofit community design resource seeking to improve the livability and viability of communities through the practice of thoughtful design and making. He is also the Founding Director of the City of Dallas’ CityDesign Studio stewarding the urban design vision for the city. By engaging residents, landowners, business owners, investors and community stakeholders, Brent deploys a community-led planning method building shared vision for the city’s future. Winner of numerous local and national design awards, Brent resides with his family in downtown Dallas.

Peter Brown
Architect Peter Brown works on big ideas for large and small projects.

He is principal of Peter Brown Architects, a design and strategy firm that collaborates with clients to transform the way people work, live, learn, create, and enjoy.

At any given time you might find Peter in Florida, creating a middle school that moves as fast students think. Or in Germany, designing a chair that moves with your body. In Dallas, he may be on his way to meet with a fashion retailer to discuss innovation and collaboration in the creative workplace.

If you live in Oak Cliff, your child could attend Hector Garcia Middle School where every classroom overlooks the entire city of Dallas. If you are an expat in Beijing, your kids likely attend a school that Peter has had a hand in creating. And if you happen to live in a residence designed by Peter, you’ll enjoy waking up from a Sunday nap with soft sunlight dancing across the room.

Kate Canales
Kate is a Creative Director at frog, a global design and innovation firm. Her work at frog focuses on design research and creative infrastructure. Kate leads initiatives for clients looking to refine creative strategy or increase innovation capabilities. Prior to frog, Kate spent many years as a content leader at IDEO, frog’s most worthy rival.

Previous clients include the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), Procter & Gamble, UNICEF, PepsiCo, Mattel, T-mobile, AT&T, MTV and the World Economic Forum.

Kate is also a Senior Fellow in Design for Social Innovation at The University of Texas and the Dell Social Innovation Competition where she is driving curriculum development for design as a component of social entrepreneurship. Kate is a regular contributor to The Atlantic Online and frog’s designmind blog and has written for GOOD Magazine online and The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science.

Homaro Cantu
Chef Homaro Cantu is an internationally recognized chef and leader in the field of postmodern cuisine and an inventor of futuristic food delivery systems.

Chef Cantu graduated from Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute in Portland, Oregon. After developing his culinary skills at several establishments along the West Coast he traveled to Chicago to work at Charlie Trotter’s restaurant where he rose to the position of Sous Chef. After he left Charlie Trotter’s he concentrated on the development of his concept of an experiential design based restaurant with a molecular gastronomy approach. Moto Restaurant, one of Chicago’s most notable restaurants, puts Cantu’s concepts and creations into practice by melding food with science, technology and art to create an unmatched dining experience. The New York Times described him as “a chef in the Buck Rogers tradition, blazing a trail to a space-age culinary frontier” and included one of his inventions among one of their best ideas of 2005.

Will Clarke
Will is the author of Lord Vishnu’s Love Handles and The Worthy from Simon & Schuster. Both novels were selected as The New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice and garnered Clarke the title “Hot Pop Prophet” by Rolling Stone Magazine. Will is also the Executive Creative Director at The Integer Group. He lives in Dallas with his wife and family.

Scott Douglas
Scott is an SMU professor, researcher, educator and entrepreneur who has had a lifelong passion and interest in sound and music. He developed one of the first successful procedures for the active cancellation of sound in a room over 15 years ago. More recently, he developed mathematical techniques for picking out and recording individual voices in a crowd using several microphones in tandem. Educated at Stanford University as an electrical engineer, Scott co-authored the first engineering textbook for high school students for The Infinity Project, a national award winning middle school, high school and early college engineering curricula, and he led the initial development of training materials for the curricula. He has given lectures on digital music and sound engineering to audiences young and old across the US, and has been featured in live and recorded radio and television shows including NPR and WFAA-TV. An avid singer and musician, Scott’s preferred instrument is the saxophone, and while he loves all forms of music, his favorite is jazz.

Juan Enriquez
Juan is an experienced business leader, author, and academic who is recognized as one of the world’s leading authorities on the economic and political impacts of life sciences. He is a Managing Director in Excel Venture Management, a venture capital firm that invests in companies that apply transformative life science technologies to solve problems in healthcare and beyond.

He was the founding director of Harvard Business School’s Life Sciences Project. He then founded Biotechonomy LLC, a life sciences research and investment firm, where he remains as Chairman and CEO. In July of 2005, he co-founded Synthetic Genomics, Inc., a synthetic biology company focused on developing and commercializing genomic-driven solutions to address global energy, medicine, clean water, and food challenges. He has been an active investor in early-stage private companies in the biotechnology and information sciences sectors.

He earned a BA and MBA from Harvard, with Honors.

Jeff Fulgham
Jeff recently joined Banyan Water as the CSO (Chief Sales, Service, Strategy and Sustainability Officer). Banyan Water is a private equity-backed firm transforming the water management landscape. Banyan is building an enterprise water management platform—addressing water scarcity and infrastructure damage—for private customers at the end points of the water grid. Banyan is accelerating its go-to-market efforts by aggregating an existing pipeline of acquisition targets, predominantly technology-enabled water service businesses.

Prior to this role, Jeff was the Chief Sustainability Officer and ecomagination Leader for GE Power & Water. Jeff has spent the last 30 years working to help solve the world’s energy and water crises’ and create a more sustainable future. Through his extensive background in addressing water challenges, he helps global customers build and execute thoughtful plans to reduce consumption, upcycle low quality water sources, aggressively improve overall water stewardship and re-think waste streams as valuable assets. Jeff is a salesman, marketer, strategic planner, technologist, thought leader & entrepreneur with a passion for proving that “Green is Green” – that doing what’s right for the environment is also economically smart.

Lisa Loeb
Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Lisa Loeb started her career with the platinum-selling No. 1 hit “Stay (I Missed You)” from the film Reality Bites and has parlayed that early success into a multi-dimensional career encompassing music, film, television, voice-over work and children’s recordings. Her acclaimed studio releases include the Gold-selling Tails and its follow-up, the Grammy-nominated and Gold-selling Firecracker.

A strong believer in the importance of helping others, Lisa created the Camp Lisa Foundation, which raises money to send children to experience summer camp who otherwise would not have the opportunity.

This fall, Lisa brought her celebrated sense of style to the world of designer eyewear with the introduction of the Lisa Loeb eyewear line. Lisa also released her first book with Sterling Publishing, Lisa Loeb’s Silly Sing-Along: The Disappointing Pancake and Other Zany Songs, in October 2011.

Jaume Plensa
Jaume, born in Barcelona in 1955, has been working internationally as an artist since 1980.

A winner of both national and international awards, Plensa’s prolific work encapsulates themes of globalization and human presence. He has experimented with a number of different mediums such as steel, bronze, synthetic resins, light, alabaster, marble, sound, plastics and the use of animated features and LED lights lending a vital visual element to his works.

Jaume Plensa’s solo exhibitions at major international museums and prestigious public art projects have confirmed his status as one of the foremost contemporary sculptors. A large body of his work can be seen until January 2012 in the stunning location of the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in the United Kingdom.

He is currently working on several new projects including “Wishing Well for the Bow” in Calgary, Canada and “Mirror” for Rice University in Houston.

Peter Thum
Peter is the founder of Fonderie 47, a company transforming perspectives and saving lives in Africa by disarming conflict zones and remaking AK47s it destroys into jewelry, watches and accessories. To date, Fonderie 47 has destroyed over 3,000 guns in DR Congo.

As the founder and president of Ethos™ Water, Peter turned his idea of getting clean water to children into a successful social venture that changed an industry, generated millions of dollars, and improved hundreds of thousands of lives around the world.  Ethos™ Water was acquired by Starbucks in 2005. Peter led Ethos as an executive at Starbucks and a Director of the Starbucks Foundation.

Peter serves as a board member at USA for UNHCR, the Fund For Global Human Rights, the Wagner School of Public Service at NYU, and Impossible to Possible Ultra Athletic Adventures.

Bruce Wood
Bruce makes dances. A nationally acclaimed artistic director, performer, teacher; he has created more than 75 contemporary works over the past 15 years. His choreography is known for its poignant insights into present-day life charged with emotional undercurrents, rich imagery, wide range of subject matter, and audience appeal. At age 16, Wood left his native Fort Worth on a full scholarship to the School of American Ballet under the tutelage of the legendary George Balanchine. Among his performance credentials are New York City Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Les Ballet Jazz des Montreal, and the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company. Returning to Fort Worth in 1996, Wood founded and was sole choreographer of the Bruce Wood Dance Company until 2007. In 2010, Wood became Artistic Director of the Dallas-based Bruce Wood Dance Project. BWDP is dedicated to cultivating original work and advancing professional dance in Texas.

Our Hosts

Flat pages can’t contain Rives’ storytelling, even when paper is his medium. The pop-up books he creates for children unfold with surprise. On stage, his poems burst in many directions, too, exposing multiple layers and unexpected treats: childhood memories, grown-up humor, notions of love, of what is lost forever, and of what’s still out there waiting to unfold. On his Bravo special, Ironic Iconic America, he and co-star Bar Rafaeli toured the United States looking for wonderfulness, on “A Roller Coaster Ride Through the Eye-Popping Panorama of American Pop Culture.”

Kelly Stoetzel
As the TED Content Director, Kelly spends most of the year assembling TED’s speaker program and finds that working with 60 of the most interesting and relevant people in the world is at least as much fun as it sounds. She got to do it one extra time this year when she launched TED’s inaugural youth event in NYC last month. She is also the Director and co‑host of TEDActive (with Rives), the intimate, relaxed and very, very fun event in Palm Springs featuring special workshops, immersive, multi‑sensory experiences, and a live simulcast of the live speaker program in Long Beach.

Before TED, Kelly was the Director of Mixed Greens, a contemporary art gallery with the goal of making contemporary art a little more accessible. Most of her career before that was spent in the art world in one way or another, but the job that had the most influence was camp counselor, and she did that for much longer than she should probably admit. A fan of Adair’s burgers and the State Fair of Texas, Kelly is a native Dallasite and SMU grad.