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Imagining the Future

June 9, 2013

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 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, 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 host local, self-organized 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.

What is TEDx

TEDx was created in the spirit of TED's mission, "ideas worth spreading." The program is designed to give communities, organizations and individuals the opportunity to stimulate dialogue through TED-like experiences at the local level.

At TEDx events, a screening of TEDTalks videos -- or a combination of live presenters and TEDTalks videos -- sparks deep conversation and connections. TEDx events are fully planned and coordinated independently, on a community-by-community basis.



The introduction of TEDxRosslyn to the city heralds an ambitious vision that embraces action, ideas, and people to develop the Rosslyn story for the 21st century. This is an explicit effort to align our hometown with the mission of “ideas worth spreading”. TEDxRosslyn is a gathering of thought leaders and heads of industry that are using bold ideas and innovating methods to reshape our city and the rest of the world. Following the TED template, TEDxRosslyn fulfills its mission by creating dialogue and lasting connections. TEDxRosslyn will be a cumulation of in-person talks from amazing speakers, recorded videos from the official TED conference, and time and activities for the attendees to connect to each and hopefully create lasting relationships.


TEDx Rosslyn: Imagining the Future

Today, innovation and technology are reshaping our city and our world. New leaders and thinkers are using emerging technologies and radical ideas to transform humanity and earth to a very different future than we could ever imagine. To encourage an active role in designing our collective futures, our speakers will include visionaries who are designing the future of science, technology, health, education – and are excited to share their ideas with our community. The goal of TEDxRosslyn is to imagine the future possibilities of our city and of the world and what we can do to shape a bright and hopeful future.


Jenn Gustetic

Challenges and Prizes Program Executive, NASA

Ms. Gustetic’s experience has focused on the public sector with concentrations on prizes and challenges, open government, innovation, public private partnerships, grants management, and technology policy. Currently, Ms. Gustetic is the Prizes and Challenges Program Executive in the Office of the Chief Technologist at NASA Headquarters in Washington DC. In this leadership and strategy role, Ms. Gustetic coordinates the use of prize competitions at NASA. This role involves internal and external advocacy for open innovation methods, close coordination with the White House OSTP, NASA policy development and oversight, and agency-level strategy for open innovation.

Prior to this position, Ms. Gustetic was the Associate Director for Strategic Engagement and Communications at Phase One Consulting Group. In that role, Ms. Gustetic advised the development of several USG Open Government and open innovation strategies and the subsequent implementation of US DOT’s Open Government Plan and employee ideation program (IdeaHub).

She holds a bachelors degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Florida and a master’s degree in technology policy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Alan Holden

Senior Consultant, Deloitte

Alan’s work focuses primarily on strategic planning, with an emphasis on helping clients envision how emerging tools and approaches can transform their operations and infuse innovation into their culture. An experienced facilitator, public speaker, and entrepreneur, Alan is a core team member supporting Deloitte’s federal innovation offering. He has published papers on topics ranging from Augmented Reality to re-imagining the US prison system, and has presented at a number of high-profile events around the country.

Before joining Deloitte, Alan worked as a federal lobbyist on behalf of national non-profit organizations in the field of education. A San Antonio, Texas native, Alan graduated from Duke University with a B.A. in Psychology in 2005, and a Master’s of Science in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Melon in 2007. He is an alumnus of Deloitte’s GovLab Fellows Program, the Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs, the Education Policy Fellowship Program, and the Funded Founders Institute for Entrepreneurship.
Aneri Patel

Senior Associate, Energy Access at UN Foundation

Aneri Patel is Senior Associate, Energy Access at the United Nations Foundation in Washington, DC. She helps manage the Energy Access Practitioner Network, a 1200+ member network of off-grid energy professionals around the globe and leads the Network's Africa work. She has extensive on-the-ground experience in Bangladesh, India, and Uganda providing clean energy solutions for the low-income market. In South India, she started a business that created the first supply chain for solar lanterns, water filters, and improved cookstoves to a market of 90,000 rural households. She has recently founded a non-profit social enterprise called ENVenture and serves as its Executive Director; ENVenture is an international fellowship program for young social entrepreneurs to work on energy access. She also has experience working with carbon finance for cookstove projects in Africa. She has a Masters in Environment and Development from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a BA in International Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Ashraf Khalil

Correspondent, The Times

A Cairo-based journalist and the author of the book Liberation Square: Inside the Egyptian Revolution and the Rebirth of a Nation. His work has taken him from war-ravaged Baghdad and Gaza under siege to Mecca in the midst of the Hajj and revolutionary Tahrir Square. An Egyptian-American, born and raised in the United States to Egyptian immigrant parents, Ashraf Khalil first moved to Egypt to pursue a journalism career in 1997. He is a former editor in chief of the legendary Cairo Times weekly newsmagazine and former Los Angeles Times correspondent in Baghdad and Jerusalem. His writing has appeared in Time Magazine, The Economist, Los Angles Times, Chicago Tribune, Wall Street Journal and the Middle East edition of Rolling Stone.
Carmen Medina

Specialist Leader at Deloitte

Carmen Medina speaks and writes on being a rebel at work, innovation and making change happen within government, and open source and social media. Carmen joined Deloitte Consulting in January 2011 as a Specialist Leader after retiring from an almost 32 year-career at the Central Intelligence Agency. Carmen and her colleague Lois Kelly set up the website about 18 months ago where they seek to capture best practices and create a community of like-minded change agents. Her areas of interest include rigor in analytics, navigating the emergence of new global norms in the 21st century, developing the transparent and collaborative future culture of work, and diversity. Her record as a visionary analytic thinker and a dedicated, caring leader made her known--inside CIA and beyond--as an articulate, passionate voice for excellence in intelligence.

From 2005 through 2007 she was the Deputy Director for Intelligence, a member of the executive team that led the CIA’s analytic directorate. In her CIA career, Carmen held positions of increasing responsibility to include Chief of the Strategic Assessments Group in the Office of Transnational Issues, Directorate of Intelligence. She has led analysts working on Southern Africa and Central America, and helped to design the Global Coverage Program and to innovate new production methods to support policymakers. In the early 1990s, she served overseas in Western Europe.

Carmen graduated a long time ago from Catholic University, Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa, with a BA in Comparative Government. She also pursued graduate studies at Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service, but her coursework was interrupted by the offer of full-time employment at the Agency. She is President of the Board of Directors of the IN Series, a DC-based non-profit theater group.
Dan Brown

National Board Certified Teacher

Dan Brown is a National Board Certified Teacher and the author of The Great Expectations School: A Rookie Year in the New Blackboard Jungle. During the 2012-2013 school year, Dan is serving as a full-time Teaching Ambassador Fellow in the Office of the Secretary at the U.S. Department of Education.

Since 2003, Dan has taught in New York City and Washington, D.C. He holds a master's degree in English Education from Columbia University's Teachers College and a bachelor’s degree in Film & Television from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Dan's writing has appeared in many publications, including the Boston Globe,, the New York Daily News, the New York Post, Educational Leadership, and Education Week. He has been a regular blogger for The Huffington Post and the Teacher Leaders Network. His essays have also been included in The American Public School Teacher: Past, Present, and Future (Harvard Education Press, 2011) and Teaching 2030 (Teachers College Press, 2011).

Dan Brown did not write The Da Vinci Code, and he is okay with that.
Eneida Alcalde

Executive Director Edu-Futuro

Ms. Alcalde, an immigrant from Chile with family roots in Puerto Rico, is the Executive Director of Edu-Futuro a nonprofit dedicated to empowering immigrant families through education and leadership development. In this role, Ms. Alcalde leads a staff of more than 25 full and part-time employees and dozens of volunteers to achieve the organization’s mission through its family focused programs that reach more than 600 children, youth, and parents each year. Ms. Alcalde is also a fundraising consultant with Elevate, a newly established firm dedicated to developing smart grant programs for small- and medium-sized nonprofits to fulfill the promise of real social change. An advocate of civil rights and an equal access to education, Ms. Alcalde has dedicated herself to ensuring that Latinos excel in school; develop English skills while maintaining their Spanish fluency; are prepared to be community leaders; and are fully supported in their pursuit of a higher education. Ms. Alcalde contributes to the success of a number of other organizations: as a board member of the Dream Project and Communities in Schools of Northern Virginia and as a member of the Women’s Information Network, the Chilean-American Foundation, and the Leadership Arlington Class of 2013. Eneida received her undergraduate degrees in International Politics and Spanish at Penn State University and is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer who served in Santa Cruz and Cochabamba, Bolivia from 2002 to 2005. During her free time, Ms. Alcalde enjoys traveling, jogging, and attending shows at the Kennedy Center with her husband.
Jacob Marshal

Senior Connector at More Partnerships

Jacob Marshall is a musical artist, lecturer, writer, artist manager, social entrepreneur, and pioneer of humanitarian art campaigns. He created a degree program in Interdisciplinary Studies graduating Magna Cum Laude from the Honors College at Old Dominion University with a Bachelor of Science in Aesthetic Theory. Jacob went on to create the band MAE (Multisensory Aesthetic Experience) inspired by his funded research. He has sold over 500,000 records worldwide and performed over 1500 concerts on 5 continents.

He now serves as a Senior Connector at More Partnerships, working with some of the world's largest and most innovative public and private companies to coordinate their cause partnerships with some of the world's best artists. He worked as a senior advisor and liaison for the Global Citizen Festival which brought 60,000 music fans to New York's Central Park on September 29th, 2012. The festival leveraged $1.3 billion in new commitments to the world's poor and became the largest charity concert broadcast in history with a confirmed number of impressions surpassing 2 billion. Jacob serves as the Cultural Curator for the Wedgwood Circle Institute. Jacob also manages Universal Republic recording artists The Last Bison.
Joshua Haynes

Senior Development Technologist, USAID

Joshua, a Senior Development Technologist + Media Adviser at USAID, focuses on the nexus of technology, media, civil society, Internet freedom, information security and democracy, rights and governance. Previously, he was involved in the private sector, working in analytics and technology consulting across Europe, as well as on international development-focused ICT projects in Sub-Saharan and North Africa, Central America, the Caribbean and South Asia, in the areas of media, new media, civil society, stability, democracy, apps, the mobile gender gap and financial inclusion.

Joshua received his Bachelors of Business Administration from Boston University and a Master's of International Business from The Fletcher School, Tufts University. There, he focused on the business of technology in international development, primarily on the role of telecoms and mobile phones in poverty alleviation. Joshua speaks a number of languages including Arabic (Modern Standard and Maghrebi), French, German and Spanish.
Kara Shuler

Strategy & Innovation Senior Consultant, Deloitte

Kara is a senior consultant with Deloitte Consulting LLP, and her work focuses on the intersection of strategy and innovation. She is an alumna of Deloitte's public sector innovation and development program called GovLab. During her GovLab fellowship, Kara completed research projects about a new model of incarceration and a problem-solving strategy called positive deviance.

She has been with the firm since 2009, primarily serving civilian clients at the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) and the Department of Justice (DOJ). She led the United States Marshals Service inaugural Innovation Quest, a crowdsourcing initiative to improve mission operations for deputies in the field. She is now supporting innovation, strategy, and sustainability initiatives at the USPS. Originally from Colorado, Kara attended Bates College where she attained her B.A. in Sociology in 2006.
Liz Norton

Director, Stone Soup Films

Liz was a freelance national broadcast television producer for over ten years, with a focus on public policy issues. Those programs included several Fred Friendly Seminars for PBS, which explore thorny political and ethical issues in depth and she has also produced for MTV News, educating teens on crime-related issues such as gun control.

During the Clinton Administration, Liz was a research director in the White House Office of Communications. In that role, she served as a link between the president, the press and the public, primarily on the issues involving crime and drug policy. Before then she was a researcher on political campaign finances for Common Cause, a non-partisan lobbying organization.

Liz has been a director of the Diane and Norman Bernstein Foundation in Washington DC for nearly twenty-five years. She founded Stone Soup Films in early 2008.
Margot MacDonald

Song Writer and Vocalist

Margot MacDonald is a songwriter, vocalist and live-looper, who embodies a one-woman band.

A long time guitarist and pianist, Margot's instrumentation has expanded to include unconventional vocal accompaniments created live through the use of a loop pedal. Haunting and powerful, Margot's performances almost make you forget the technology she hones, as you lose yourself in layers of lush vocals and strikingly beautiful melodies.

Margot began her music career with the Washington National Opera at age 10, and by 12 was releasing her first album of original material. Since then, she has put out a second and third album, and played such venues as the Kennedy Center, 9:30 Club, SXSW, and The Bitter End and Rockwood Music Hall in NYC. Margot is the current Washington Area Music Association ""Artist of the Year"", her 11th WAMA win, and is an Artist-in-Residence alumna at the Music Center at Strathmore. Now 22, Margot is in the midst of finishing her fourth studio album.
Michelle Zelsman

Director of Marketing and Communications of the National Breast Cancer Coalition

Michelle Zelsman is the Director of Marketing and Communications of the National Breast Cancer Coalition (NBCC) with responsibility for leading the messaging, marketing and media relations efforts for NBCC. She has more than 20 years experience as a communications professional working as an award-winning journalist, communications consultant and senior management with non-profit organizations. Zelsman has developed and led communications strategy designed to raise brand profile in traditional and new media, increase global awareness and influence political change for worldwide organizations including the World Bank, Save the Children and America Online. She earned her BA in journalism from the University of Maryland.
Patrick Tucker

Deputy Editor at THE FUTURIST Magazine

Patrick is the deputy editor of THE FUTURIST magazine and content director for He writes on information technology, AI, big data, predictive analytics, cybernetics, nanotechnology, genetics and genetic ethics, invention, climate change and climate change mitigation, demography, literacy, public policy and neuroscience. In addition to THE FUTURIST magazine, his writing has appeared in MIT Technology Review, The Wilson Quarterly, The Johns Hopkins Magazine, the Utne Reader, Encyclopedia Britannica online, and as part of Discovery channel broadcasts and special features. His first book, The Naked Future: How the Science of Prediction Changes Everything, will be out in March 2014 from Current, a Penguin imprint.
P.D. Klein

Head of FabLab DC

Phyllis Klein is co-founder and director of Fab Lab DC, a fledgling independent, non-profit, community digital fabrication lab in the heart of DC, offering workshops, exhibitions, events, and a speaker series. Phyllis served on the steering committee to establish the International Fab Lab Association and as a member of the support team for Fab Academy. She collaborates with the Fab Foundation to advance Fab Lab DC and the global Fab Network. In addition to Fab activities, she works as an independent consultant in both for-profit and non-profit sectors, aiding businesses and organizations with start-up, management, communications, research & development, and creative problem-solving. Her projects span various fields, including small business development, inter-professional planning and design, urban renewal, education, public health, and art and culture. Also an artist and designer, her banner design was recently selected for the DC Urban Forestry Project.
Robert Engelman

President, Worldwatch Institute

Robert Engelman is President of the Worldwatch Institute, a globally focused environmental research organization based in Washington, D.C. Bob originally joined Worldwatch as Vice President for Programs and was named President in 2011. Prior to joining Worldwatch, Bob was Vice President for Research at Population Action International, a policy research and advocacy group in Washington, and directed its program on population and the environment. He has written extensively on population's connections to environmental change, economic growth, and civil conflict.

A former newspaper reporter specializing in science and the environment, Bob has served on the faculty of Yale University as a visiting lecturer and was founding secretary of the Society of Environmental Journalists. He is the author of the 2008 book More: Population, Nature, and What Women Want, and his writing has appeared in scholarly and news media including Nature, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal.

Bob serves on the boards of the Center for a New American Dream, the Population Resource Center, and the Nova Institute. He holds a master's of science degree from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism and a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Chicago.
Sharon Terry

President and CEO of Genetic Alliance

Sharon F. Terry is President and CEO of Genetic Alliance, a network of more than 10,000 organizations, of which 1,200 are disease advocacy organizations. Genetic Alliance enables individuals, families and communities to reclaim their health and become full participants in translational research and services.
She is the founding CEO of PXE International, a research advocacy organization for the genetic condition pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE). As co-discoverer of the gene associated with PXE, she holds the patent for ABCC6 to act as its steward and has assigned her rights to the foundation. She developed a diagnostic test and conducts clinical trials.

Terry is also a co-founder of the Genetic Alliance Registry and Biobank. In her focus at the forefront of consumer participation in genetics research, services and policy, she serves in a leadership role on many of the major international and national organizations, including the Institute of Medicine Science and Policy Board, the IOM Roundtable on Translating Genomic-Based Research for Health, the National Coalition for Health Professional Education in Genetics Board, the International Rare Disease Research Consortium Interim Executive Committee and as a member of the Board of Instigators for InvokeHealth! She was instrumental in the passage of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. In 2012, she became an honorary professor of Hebei United University in China, and also received the Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered (FORCE) Spirit of Empowerment Award. She is an Ashoka Fellow.
Steve Davis

Space X Director of Advanced Projects

Dr. Steve Davis is the Director of Advanced Projects at Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX). He has worked at SpaceX since 2003 and was one of the first employees in a company which has grown to 1500 employees. At SpaceX, Steve has also worked as Chief Engineer on the Falcon-1 Guidance, Navigation, and Control system and as Lead Systems Engineer on the Dragon Spacecraft Program. The latter culminated in SpaceX’s “Dragon Demo C1 Mission,” the first time in history that a private entity launched, orbited, reentered, and recovered a space capsule.

Steve has founded and still owns several retail food businesses, his favorite concept being the Mr. Yogato frozen yogurt stores, where customers can earn discounts in goofy ways, such as doing the Thriller dance, getting a stamp on their forehead, or reciting the Braveheart speech.

Steve has a B.S. in Finance and a B.A.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, an M.S. in Particle Physics from the University of Durham, an M.S. in Aerospace Engineering from Stanford University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from George Mason University.
Tim Cannon

Co-Founder, Grindhouse

I'm Tim, I helped found Grindhouse, I got into grinding in May of 2011 after getting my first magnet implant. I'm mostly responsible for design, prototyping, programming, business analysis, infrastructure support, as well as operational support. People who inspire me most are Gandhi and Carl Sagan and Old Dirty Bastard.... WU TANG!!


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.

Awesome. I have it.

Your couch. It is mine.

Im a cool paragraph that lives inside of an even cooler modal. Wins