KINGSTON, R.I. – Jan. 22, 2018 — The University of Rhode Island, the state’s flagship university, is devoted to big ideas, while TED, a nonprofit organization, is devoted to ideas worth spreading. Thus, it makes perfect sense that on Feb. 10, URI will host its own TEDx event, where 14 speakers will present their own big ideas worth sharing.
Tickets for the event go on sale at noon on Tuesday, Jan. 23. Visit http://www.uri.edu/tedx for more details.
Robert Ballard, URI professor of oceanography, director of the Center for Ocean Exploration and the man who discovered the wreckage of the Titanic as well as the first hydrothermal vents and their exotic chemosynthetic animal communities in the Galapagos Rift, will deliver the keynote address. Other speakers will include chief executives, professors, URI students and even a Rhode Island middle school student.
A limited number of tickets are available for the event, which will be held from 1 to 4:30 p.m. in URI’s Richard E. Beaupre Center for Chemical and Forensic Sciences at 95 Upper College Road, on the University’s Kingston Campus. Tickets will cost $15 for students and $50 for the general public.
In addition, those interested may watch a screening of the event’s livestream in the Beaupre Center for $10. URI Alumni Relations will sponsor refreshments and a networking session during intermission and Walgreens will sponsor a closing reception.
The event will also be streamed live on the internet for free.
TEDxURI is being organized by Maling Ebrahimpour, dean of URI’s College of Business Administration, who is a devoted follower of TED talks.
“This is going to be a dynamic, compelling and fun program because it will feature speakers who have great stories to share about climate change, artificial intelligence, telemedicine, and the importance of art in today’s economy, ” Ebrahimpour said. “The University invites you to hear talks from URI professors, students, business leaders and even an inspiring 8th grader who will discuss sexual assault. I wish to thank the speakers, everyone who auditioned for this event and those URI community members who are making this signature event a reality.”
In addition to Ballard, featured speakers at TEDxURI are:
Patrick Condon, URI class of 2019, doctor of pharmacy major
Condon, of Dartmouth, Mass., and the oldest of three siblings, is a member of the American Pharmacists Association – Academy of Student Pharmacists, where he served as the immediate past Region 1 Regional Member-at-large. He is a co-leader in the University’s Service Corps Alternative Spring Break Program. He will speak about the lessons he learned after receiving a diagnosis that came with a very real, but unclear, chance of death and how they can be applied to living a better life.
Elizabeth Gruebel, lecturer of Human Development and Family Studies and a marriage and family therapist
A therapist, instructor, mother, and lover of stories, Gruebel works to help others find their voice, inspiration, and work toward their own personal growth. She will discuss the transformative power of family stories and how they connect us to our past, anchor us in the present, and shape our future.
Aria Mia Loberti, URI class of 2020, triple major in Communication Studies, Political Science, and Philosophy
Loberti, of Johnston, is a strong advocate for the blind and visually impaired. Her activism, which began locally, led her to the United Nations where she is an Outstanding Youth and a part of the U.N. Women’s Task Force. An aspiring academic, Loberti is a URI research fellow, teaching/research assistant, yoga teacher, and president of URI’s Rhetoric Society and U.N. Association. She will discuss her experiences growing up with a disability and the lessons she has learned as an advocate for equity, particularly how can we use our voices to inspire and enact positive change in our world.
Daniel Faggella, alumnus (’10), CEO of TechEmergence
Faggella is founder and chief executive officer at TechEmergence, the only market research and company discovery platform focused exclusively on artificial intelligence and machine learning. TechEmergence offers objective, jargon-free research and industry overviews designed to give executives and decision-makers exactly what they need for competitive insight, informed AI technology procurement and strategic planning around AI. Dan sold his last business for more than $1 million to fund TechEmergence. Faggella will discuss how the job market is changing with the advent of AI tools and he’ll cover factors that contribute to job security in the future job market. He will also discuss the outlook of social risks.
Nancy Forster-Holt, professor in URI College of Business Administration, Spachman Professor of Entrepreneurship, business owner
Forster-Holt joined URI in fall 2016 and developed the Guppy Tank pitch coaching series, new courses, and an interdisciplinary minor in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. She is the former chief financial officer of Maine’s second largest credit union and a tech startup. She is also co-owner of the 158-year old manufacturing company, Shaw & Tenney. Forster-Holt will speak about entrepreneurship and the future of small business. Large numbers of small business owners are heading into retirement, though most don’t know how. She will tell the story of the former owner of Shaw & Tenney, and how she and her husband acquired the company.
Silvia Dorado, professor in the URI College of Business Administration
An associate editor of Business and Society, Dorado serves on the board of DePaul Industries, a social enterprise devoted to generate employment for individuals with barriers to employment. Dorado conducts research on topics connected with social innovation and social enterprises. Originally from Spain, Dorado has a master of arts from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. from McGill University. Dorado will discuss relationship-based lending, a term that describes lending with heavy involvement of loan officers. It explains why and how microfinance can act as a tool to alleviate poverty.
Anna LaCroix, 8th-grade student at Chariho Middle School
Besides studying equal rights, LaCroix loves science, math, and competitive swimming with Crimson RI Aquatics, running on the school track team, and traveling with her family.
She will be talking about eliminating sexual assault through education beginning in middle school.
Candice Genine Simmons, instructor in the Harrington School of Communications and Media, writer
Since 2000, Simmons’ intellectual work is motivated largely out of her teaching experiences. Her doctoral research connects her interests in language and culture with a commitment to a positive human environment, discovering and inventing ways in which people connect and communicate within varied discourse communities. Analyzing the rhetorical questions inherent in all media, she invites us to contribute positively to the cultural climate, in which we find ourselves. Simmons will discuss the transformative nature of new technologies and communication across intellectual, cultural, and social landscapes, locally and globally.
Kunal Mankodiya, assistant professor of Biomedical Engineering
Kunal Mankodiya founded the Wearable Biosensing Lab at the University of Rhode Island. He intertwines textiles with sensors, computing, and the Internet, so that individuals can use unobtrusive wearable tech for improved quality of life, health and wellness. He and his team recently received a series of accolades nationally and internationally for their design of “smart gloves and socks,” which are aimed at providing telemedicine care to people with Parkinson’s Disease. Mankodiya will share his story of experiential learning. As a child, he helped sell textiles at his family-owned shop in India. Now, he demonstrates his design of a “smart glove” that is a marriage between textile and technology.
Akeem Lloyd, Founder/CEO of A Leadership Journey and AkeemSpeaks
A Leadership Journey is a youth-centered travel program that provides opportunities for teens ages 13-18 to participate in cultural education abroad and domestically. AkeemSpeaks, LLC allows Lloyd to serve as a consultant in education, both as a professional speaker and workshop facilitator. Raised by his grandparents in Atlantic City, Lloyd struggled with many personal challenges, identity, love and suicide. After a first-semester 1.4 grade-point average in college, Lloyd turned his academic challenges into inspiration, improving his grade point average to 3.4 and becoming the first person in his family to graduate with a college degree.
Lloyd will discuss the role of social responsibility as a vehicle to creating a stronger community, and how more people should invest in the opportunity to become involved.
Erik Schlicht, URI class of 2020, double major in Theatre and Political Science
Schlicht, of Cumberland, has been acting since freshman year of high school, and has been cast in four of the URI Department of Theatre’s productions. He will speak about the disconnect in our culture between what we think we know about artistic majors and careers and the actual outcomes of people who pursue them. He’ll challenge the conventional wisdom that majors in the arts are impractical.
Elizabeth Mendenhall, assistant professor in URI’s Department of Political Science
A first-year professor with a Ph.D. in international relations, Mendenhall teaches International Ocean Governance in Marine Affairs, and has joint appointment with Political Science. She won a national college policy debate championship in 2011 and is on the board of directors for the non-profit Women’s Debate Institute. As a native of Kansas, she chose the ocean as an area of interest and study. Mendenhall will discuss the rising global sea level and how it will cause significant practical challenges, but also create novel legal issues. She’ll discuss the practical and legal choices we are faced with, how they relate to each other, and what we should do.
Andrea Mason, URI Class of 2018, double major in Philosophy and Textiles, Fashion Merchandising, and Design
Mason, of Smithfield, has been a textiles, fashion merchandising, and design major since a freshman, and added philosophy as a second major after realizing her desire to explore the nature of clothing. In her eyes, that which we put on our bodies deserves deep consideration as reflections of our own natures. She will explore the intersection of fashion and philosophy while talking about a personal moment when she criticized someone for what they were wearing. She was able to use philosophical ideas to gain tolerance in her own perspective.
TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x signifies 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.)
TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 30 years ago, TED has grown to support its mission with multiple initiatives. The two annual TED Conferences invite the world’s leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes or less. Many of these talks are then made available, free, at TED.com. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Sal Khan and Daniel Kahneman.
The annual TED Conference takes place each spring in Vancouver, British Columbia. TED’s media initiatives include TED.com, where new TED Talks are posted daily; the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as translations from volunteers worldwide; the educational initiative TED-Ed. TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world get help translating their wishes into action; TEDx, which supports individuals or groups in hosting local, self- organized TED-style events around the world, and the TED Fellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.