TEDxJacksonville 2015: "Into the Machine" Speakers

August 23, 2015 1 comment Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

TEDxJacksonville announces the on-stage lineup of speakers and performers for the annual TEDxJacksonville conference. The day-long conference, themed “Into The Machine,” will take place Saturday, October 24, at WJCT and will host an audience of more than 300 for live Talks and musical performances.

Al Letson, performance poet, playwright and public radio host of the award-winning “State of the Re:union,” and Hope McMath, director of The Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, will return as co-hosts. Letson has served as a host each of the past three years and McMath is returning for her second year. McMath has also served as a discussion facilitator during this summer’s TEDxTuesday series.

TEDxJacksonville will sell tickets for the live conference beginning in early September. For the first time, TEDxJacksonville is streaming the event live with free admission at two Jacksonville Public Library locations — University Park Branch Library and Webb Wesconnett Branch Library.

The conference theme, “Into the Machine,” recognizes the essential engines of our future progress, as advances in manufacturing, communications, computer technology and processing power dramatically accelerate our world, fundamentally transforming our lives. TEDxJacksonville’s “Into the Machine” invites attendees to explore machines and systems, and contemplate what role humanity will play in this new, second Machine Age.


Jennifer Adler of Gainesville — Biologist and underwater photographer working on connecting Floridians with the limited underwater supply

Jennifer Adler spent her childhood in a permanently salty state — from exploring tide pools and splashing in the waves, to sailing competitively throughout college, the ocean defined her. This love for the sea also led her to pursue a degree in marine biology, and when she got her first job offer to work as a biologist at USGS in Florida, she eagerly accepted. Two days later, with visions of sandy beaches and palm trees in my mind, she arrived 1,244 miles south… and 74 miles inland. She studied the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and dinosaur-like sturgeon fish in the Suwannee River — it was the sweltering summer field days of netting sturgeon in the foreign fresh waters of North Florida that first acquainted her with the springs. These incredible ecosystems immediately swept her off her feet, and she started exploring, researching and documenting them through photography. To see a little deeper, she eventually earned her cave diving certification and is endlessly fascinated by the winding tunnels of the aquifer. But with this fascination came concern for these fragile, compromised ecosystems. This ultimately led her to pursue a PhD at the University of Florida where she is currently working on a dissertation that blends science with photography and writing to effectively communicate about Florida’s threatened springs and water resources.

Jim Barbaresso of Detroit — Internationally renowned expert in intelligent transportation systems

Jim Barbaresso is an internationally renowned expert in intelligent transportation systems. He has more than 37 years of experience in both the public and private sectors, giving him a unique perspective on transportation challenges and how to overcome them. Throughout his career, Jim has demonstrated leadership in the development and application of emerging technologies to enhance mobility and transportation safety. In recognition of Jim’s career achievements and leadership in intelligent transportation systems, he was selected to chair the 2014 world congress on intelligent transport systems, held last September in Detroit.

Jim will talk about disruptive transportation technologies and their impacts on mobility, safety, and our lives.

Fatene Ben Hamza of Tunisia — French-Tunisian business strategist who manages a coworking community of change-makers and entrepreneurs helping them make things happen after the Arab Spring

A French-Tunisian business strategist who moved to Tunisia in 2009. She is passionate about building spaces for people to create, express and exchange ideas.

After 6 years in the advertising industry as a brand strategist working with many international and local clients, Fatène has joined the managing Cogite, a coworking community of change-makers and entrepreneurs in Tunisia.

She has also recently co-founded the Afkar conference, a think & action tank bridging spaces between government and civil society to provocate concrete solutions to concrete problems in Tunisia. Fatène is also the organizer and co-curator of TEDxCarthage since 2011 and TEDxCarthageWomen.

Peter Carney of Chicago — Professional saxophonist and composer who developed a groundbreaking method for interactive learning

Pete Carney was a music history teacher at Chicago City Colleges from 2007 to 2013, frustrated with the boring textbooks available for his students. Knowing his students would rather read their smartphones than textbooks, Carney worked for two years in his basement to design a new approach that reached and challenged his students. He and fellow adjunct music professor Brian Felix created a groundbreaking new iBook called Interactive Listening that was immediately named by Apple Inc. in 2014 as the #1 Editor’s Choice in all categories of iBooks. It was the first music education method ever to be featured on Apples iTunes website. Created for digital-savvy students, Interactive Listening is now taught in over 100 schools nationwide, featuring Hollywood-style graphics, an orchestra of 3-D instruments, and interactive games. Carney also enjoys a distinguished career as a professional saxophonist and composer who has worked with Grammy winners Kirk Franklin, Tito Puente, the Winans, and the Plain White T’s. His greatest musical experience—touring the Chitilin’ Blues Circuit with Little Milton and opening for B.B. King. He lives with his wife/editor, Caroline, in Chicago where he is currently finishing a doctorate in music at the University of Illinois.

Tessa Duvall of Jacksonville — Reporter for The Florida Times-Union who covers education, children and families

Tessa Duvall joined The Florida Times-Union as the education, children and families reporter in December 2014. She graduated with bachelor’s degrees in journalism and sociology from Western Kentucky University in December 2013 and spent a year reporting on education in the dusty oilfields of West Texas before moving to the Sunshine State. Her reporting focuses on the issues that affect children and families living in Northeast Florida.

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