News TED Talks

TED@NYC: TED’s talent search heads to Manhattan

Posted by:
Joshua Prager speaking at TED@NewYork in 2012. Prager later spoke on the main stage at TED2013. Photo: Ryan Lash.

Joshua Prager speaking at TED@NewYork in 2012. Prager later spoke on the main stage at TED2013. Photo: Ryan Lash.

Remember TED Talks by Joshua PragerJohn McWhorterSleepy Man Banjo Boys and Hannah Brencher? All fantastic finds from previous talent searches. Now, we’re running a similar event once again. Known as TED@NYC, the evening event will be held on October 8. It’s a chance to find fresh voices to ring out on the TED main stage and be heard on

28 speakers from all walks of life will share their risky, quirky, provocative and fascinating talks during 6 minutes on stage. Some of these talks will be posted on; other speakers will be invited to expand on their talks on TED’s main stage in Vancouver next spring.

Check out this dazzling lineup:

When Simon Doonan is not working as creative ambassador for Barney’s, he offers up pithy and whimsical thoughts on fashion and life.

CDZA is a New York City-based collective featuring more than 130 professional musicians, all recent graduates of the world’s most prestigious musical conservatories. Their YouTube videos are viral cultural commentaries, featuring hyper-medleys of hits, shot in exhaustive one-take executions. They have amassed over 20 million views and a subscriber base of over 200,000 fans in less than two years.

Formerly the New Jersey Attorney General, Anne Milgram is a senior fellow at NYU Law School’s Center for the Administration of Criminal Law. She wrote a powerful piece in The Atlantic last year calling for the use of smart statistics in the criminal justice system.

Drawing inspiration from Kanye West and Adele, singer-songwriter Elle Varner writes about girl power and fun in an eclectic mix of hip-hop and soul.

Shantell Martin‘s stream-of-consciousness sketches and light projection drawings transform her physical surroundings into a canvas onto which she projects her world.

A dancer and a soldier, Roman Baca expresses the experience of war through his choreography.

Seth Porges is a technology journalist, entrepreneur, gonzo historian, co-founder of Cloth, and most interestingly, a treasure-hunter.

Botanist Marielle Anzelone is an urban ecologist who explores the daily connection between people and nature. She directs NYC Wildflower Week and has written legislation to support native biodiversity in public landscapes.

Humorist Dawn J. Fraser tells hilarious stories of culture and identity.

Philosopher S. Matthew Liao directs the bioethics program at NYU and has kicked off the discussion about bio-engineering humans to help combat climate change.

Chad Orzel is a quantum physicist who teaches science to his dog, Emmy.

A doctor specializing in obesity prevention and treatment, Scott Kahan incorporates his personal struggles with weight management into his work.

Spice therapist Lior Lev Sercarz will turn your notion of flavor on its head. He provides some of the world’s best chefs with their spices.

Sleepy Man Banjo Boys rocked the house at TED@NewYork... and later at TED2013. Photo: Ryan Lash.

Sleepy Man Banjo Boys rocked the house at TED@NewYork… and later at TED2013. Photo: Ryan Lash.

Fereshteh Forough empowers Afghan girls to use technology to share their stories and ideas. She is a founding partner of the Afghan Citadel Software Company, a women-run company in Afghanistan that creates job opportunities for women in IT.

Computer scientist Amnon Shashua looks at the intersection between mind and machine. His latest project is OrCam, a sensor that harnesses the power of Artificial Vision to compensate for lost visual abilities.

Jeri Lynne Johnson wanted to see an orchestra that reflected the diversity of her neighborhood in Philadelphia, so she created the Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra, an interactive musical ensemble that encourages audience participation and community engagement.

Karen Levy is a Ph.D. student at Princeton who studies how law and technology regulate behavior. Her most recent project has been studying truckers and privacy.

Sociomedical scientist Mindy Thompson Fullilove studies the psychology of place — the link between mental health and environmental factors like violence, segregation, urban renewal and mismanaged toxins.

Diana Balmori is an internationally recognized  landscape designer and urban planner who is known for creating an interplay between landscape and architecture.  She has been recognized as the third most creative person working today by Fast Company; a visionary by Utne and one of the 2013 Innovators by Architectural Digest.

After 16 years as a grassroots community organizer, Sally Kohn made an unexpected move into the media and was hired to be a progressive talking head on Fox News. Sally regularly writes about politics and social change for outlets including the Daily Beast, Salon, New York Magazine and more.

Terry Plank, a geochemist and volcanologist, is interested in what literally lies beneath the surface — magma. She won a MacArthur Fellowship in 2010 for her research into how tectonic processes create the most destructive natural disasters.

Singer-songwriter Tiara Thomas is a musician whose R&B hip-hop career ignited when she was featured on rapper Wale’s mixtape “More About Nothing.”

Christopher Emdin uses the culture and ideas of hip-hop artists to transform the classroom. He co-created the #HipHopEd social media movement, an online arena to continue the discussion of hip-hop education. He is an Associate Professor at Teachers College, Columbia University and is a Caperton and Hip-Hop Archive Fellow at the W.E.B. DuBois Institute for African and African American Studies at Harvard University.

As a researcher at MIT and the founder and managing director at Choson Exchange, Geoffrey See has dedicated his work to teaching entrepreneurship to North Koreans.

Susan P. Crawford is worried about the growing inequality of the Internet. A professor at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, she served as President Barack Obama’s Special Assistant for Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy in 2009. She is also a columnist for Bloomberg View and was a visiting professor at Harvard Law in 2012.

Professor of Business Psychology at University College London and personality expert Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic is fascinated by the many facets of confidence — and he knows the tricks for harnessing it.

In 1990, Zak Ebrahim‘s father assassinated Rabbi Meir Kahane; he was later convicted of involvement in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Having not spoken to his father in 10 years, Zak will be at TED@NYC to share his story and promote nonviolence and peace.

For 20 years, Jacob Greenshpan has been using his cognitive science and psychology background to inform his user-experience projects. He co-founded UI, Israel’s largest business for defining and implementing UX design.