A Host of New Speakers!

As we get closer and closer to TEDxRedmond 2011 (only 17 more days to go!) we have more information to share with you!

TEDxRedmond will have five hosts this year. Adora Svitak will introduce the event and each section. Priya and Maya Ganesan will introduce individual speakers, and Hattie Yang and Adrianna Svitak will introduce performers.

We also have thirteen new speakers! We are so excited for TEDxRedmond 2011: The Spark in All of Us, and we can’t wait to see you there. This year’s event will be held on September 10, 2011, at the Microsoft Conference Center in Redmond, WA.

We are in need of sponsors/donors to help cover the costs of flying in out-of-state speakers and performers. If you or someone you know would be willing to help out with funding, please email us at info@tedxredmond.com.

See you on September 10th!

Stephanie Engle

Sixteen-year-old Stephanie Engle taught herself photography at age 11 by examining the methods of Ansel Adams and Patrick Demarchelier. She gained in skill to the point where adult photographers chased her out of the horse shows she photographed as the photos she sold compromised their business! From selling 8×10’s for $10 apiece and her contracts to photograph ad campaigns in national equestrian magazines, Stephanie raised $10,000, which she donated to For the Love of Patricia, a Guatemalan orphanage. After finally visiting the children she has supported over the years at the peril of her own life, Stephanie was inspired to create a coffee table book of her photographs of both the orphans and the kids who lived in the dump. The proceeds from this book will improve the children’s living conditions and education, and eventually, support politicians who believe in orphan rights. Today, she continues her advocacy through her non-profit organization RAISE.

Felix Finkbeiner (via Skype)

At the age of 9 Felix Finkbeiner (today, 13) founded the Plant-for-the-Planet Children Initiative. Inspired by 2004 Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai, he decided to plant one million trees in each country of the world. Since then, hundreds of thousands of children from 101 countries planted almost 4 million trees and they have been spreading the vision to tackle global problems together as global citizens. They organize planting activities and empower other children to become Climate Justice Ambassadors in one-day-events (Academies). So far,nearly 10,000 children have been motivated. At the opening of the International Year of Forests on February 2nd 2011, Felix and friends represented the views of the children and youth in the General Assembly Hall in New York. In March 2011 Felix was elected President of the first Global Board of Plant-for-the-Planet.

Yoni Kalin and Gawan Fiore

When is a crayon more than just a crayon? Yoni Kalin was eating at Outback Steakhouse when he saw a server throw away perfect, unused crayons. For most people, the story would have stopped there. Not so with Yoni. Challenged by this waste, he enlisted help from his friend, Gawan Fiore, and together they started the Color My World Project. The project is aimed at reusing resources (crayons) to give children an artistic outlet they might not otherwise have. Yoni and Gawan envision a more responsible world where people learn to both reduce their waste and provide equal opportunities for children, regardless of socioeconomic status. The duality of this mission means that they can have a greater impact in their community and across the nation in hopes of preparing a smarter, more societally and environmentally aware generation. Yoni and Gawan see the world as a place where positive and productive change can happen anywhere—there just needs to be a determined individual driving the process. The Color My World Project was a finalist for the 2011 All American High School Service Team, and it has expanded to five states across the country.

Cameron Manor

Twelve-year-old Cameron Manor is one of twelve Discovery Girls’ Top Role Models in North America. Her favorite hobby is hatching butterflies–she loves watching them change from translucent cocoons into living works of art. She was recently appointed Butterfly Caretaker at the Environmental Nature Center in Newport Beach. Through her charity, Cam’s Caring Cakes, she creates and delivers free cupcakes to the elderly. Cam also loves creating fun educational science videos, and is honored that her humorous stories about her adventurous escapades with her older sister were published in an international children’s magazine.

MaCall Manor

A nationally ranked dancer, writer, actress and former Junior Olympic gymnast, MaCall Manor is truly a Renaissance girl. She has guest starred on TV shows (acting the young Faith Hill at the MTV Country Music Awards and little Amanda in “Ugly Betty”) and in televised commercials. She has also been honored at Carnegie Hall twice for her writing, winning a Scholastic silver medal in 2009 and a gold medal in 2010 for her novels. After watching bookstores declare bankruptcy and noticing the demise of reading among her peers, MaCall founded Moonman Reviews, a book review website that re-ignites children’s love of reading.

Conor and Kendall Perrin

Conor Perrin is an award-winning writer, equestrian, and published photographer. In addition to founding PLANETLifeFORCE with his sister Kendall, he writes his own travel blogfor kids. A long time equestrian, Conor shares his love of horses with autistic kids to help them gain confidence and improve their health. He is also a novelist and movie stunt practitioner. Kendall Perrin was one of six finalists (out of 561 entries in the nation) to win a medal from major publisher Scholastic for her novel. Titled Miss Lavender Venumn, it is the witty tale of a spank-a-holic teacher who runs a “School for Happy Orphans.” For her win at Carnegie Hall, she was featured on the front page of the Orange County Register, and a movie producer even expressed interest in turning her story into an animated film. Kendall dabbles in stunts with her brother, and helps autistic kids gain confidence and health through equestrian sports.

Ethan B. Perrin

With an innate curiosity about how things work and an ingenuity to tinker and build, Ethan is a self-learner at heart who spends a lot of his free time at his dad’s electronics table, at a woodworking bench, or researching the possibilities in the world of science. Most recently, an interest in photography led him to explore the boundaries of what can be captured by a lens. First, he rigged his point and shoot camera with a lens to shoot macro images, and then, most recently, set his sights to the sky and became intrigued with capturing images from very high altitudes, and creating the vehicle to make it all happen. Ethan is an 8th grader at Redmond Junior High in Redmond, WA.

Alexander Prior

Conductor and composer Alexander Prior has left a trail of music that stretches around the world, conducting concerts from London to Hong Kong, Copenhagen to Dallas. He served as an Assistant Conductor for the Seattle Symphony Orchestra in the 2009/2010 season. Last year, he was awarded The James Levine Conducting Fellowship at the prestigious Tanglewood Music Centre in Massachusetts. Alexander’s commissions for original compositions began at the age of 12, when he was commissioned by the Moscow State Ballet to write Mowgli, which premiered at the Kremlin to great international acclaim. In 2009, at just 17–an age most students might begin college–Alexander graduated from the St. Petersburg Conservatory with Distinction and two Masters Degrees (Symphonic and Operatic Conducting, and Composition). In Russia he was awarded The Order of The Blue Cross for his contribution to the national and international arts scene, and for his charitable work—bringing music and the opportunities it offers to countless people, particularly children and teenagers in the poorest areas of the country.

Gabi Santana-Ufret

It’s all too easy for truants (students who continually miss school to the point of breaking the law) to start down a path of lost opportunities and missed chances in life. Thirteen-year-old Gabriela Santana-Ufret wants to change that. An 8th grader at Hamilton International Middle School in Seattle and a first generation Puerto Rican, Gabi is the youngest member of a youth organization called Youth Ambassadors, developing leaders through compassionate service to the community. YAs serve as powerful, “near peer” role models, helping vulnerable students annually get back on the path to fully engaging with learning. Gabi’s experience has taught her the power of listening and deeply connecting with her fellow peers, gaining a deeper understanding of the underlying issues behind truancy. With an exceptional passion and understanding of civic engagement, Gabi has inspired other youth to understand they are part of the solution. She’s particularly committed to curbing the drop out rate affecting the Hispanic community.

Rhiannon Tomtishen and Madison Vorva

As 6th graders, Madison and Rhiannon earned their Girl Scout Bronze Award by raising awareness about the endangered orangutan within their community. In 2007, they made a shocking discovery: the Girl Scout Cookies they had sold for so many years contained palm oil, an ingredient that results in rainforest destruction and loss of orangutan habitat. The two girls launched a variety of campaigns in order to convince the Girl Scout organization to remove palm oil from their cookies. Now juniors in high school, Madison and Rhiannon have worked with a number of environmental organizations on new campaigns and have shared their story through national media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal and the CBS Early Show. They are currently involved in a dialogue with the Girl Scout organization, and are working hard to ensure that Girl Scout Cookies are rainforest-safe in the near future.

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