The Power of Stories

Humans interpret the world through stories. Designers invent stories to help understand how people will use the things they create. Stories are at the heart of entertainment. Journalists compose stories that help us understand our world. And stories are often the key element of ideas that spread: we tell each other “great stories” about people, events, places and ideas.

TEDxMidAtlantic 2009 explored how stories shape and infuse our lives with meaning, and how a good story can very often be the differentiator between an idea that spreads and those that do not.

Watch Aneesh’s talk here »

Aneesh Chopra

Aneesh Chopra is the Federal Chief Technology Officer of the United States (CTO). He previously served as Virginia’s fourth Secretary of Technology. Prior to his government service, Chopra was Managing Director for the Advisory Board Company, a health care think tank for hospitals and heath systems. While there, he led the firm’s Financial Leadership Council and the Working Council for Health Plan Executives.

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Watch Scott’s talk here »

Scott Simon

From Ground Zero in New York to ground zero in Kabul, to police stations, subway platforms, and darkened theaters, NPR’s Peabody-Award-winning correspondent Scott Simon brings a well-traveled perspective to his role as host of Weekend Edition Saturday. Since Simon joined NPR in 1977, he has reported from all 50 states, 6 continents, covered presidential campaigns and eight wars.

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Watch Dr. Agre’s talk here »

Peter Agre

Dr. Peter Agre is a molecular biologist who currently leads the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute, and serves as president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). He was awarded the 2003 Nobel Prize for discovering aquaporins, the plumbing system for cells, which could potentially help solve medical problems such as fluid retention in heart disease and brain edema after stroke.

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Watch Sonja’s talk here »

Sonja Sohn

Sonja Sohn was inspired to start reWIRED for Change by her own life’s journey which began as a child growing up in an underserved community in Newport News, VA and eventually led to her role as a principal cast member in The Wire. Sonja has demonstrated her ability to fuse together her entertainment expertise with a passion for redirecting the lives of our nation’s most endangered youth.

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Watch John’s talk here »

John Forté

John Forté is a Grammy-nominated singer, songwriter and producer from Brooklyn, New York best known for his work with the multi-platinum group “The Fugees.” On November 24, 2008, Forté was granted a commutation by President George W. Bush after having served more than seven years of a fourteen-year federal prison sentence for a first-time non-violent drug offense.

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Watch Tyler’s talk here »

Tyler Cowen

Tyler Cowen occupies the Holbert C. Harris Chair of economics as a professor at George Mason University and is co-author of the popular economics blog Marginal Revolution. He currently writes the “Economic Scene” column for the New York Times and writes for such magazines as The New Republic and The Wilson Quarterly. Cowen is also general director of the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.

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Watch Joel’s talk here »

Joel Salatin

Joel Salatin is an American farmer, lecturer, and author whose books include You Can Farm and Salad Bar Beef. Salatin raises livestock using holistic methods of animal husbandry, free of potentially harmful chemicals, on his Polyface Farm in Swoope, Virginia. Salatin’s 550-acre farm is featured prominently in Michael Pollan’s book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma and the documentary film, Food, Inc.

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Watch Karen’s talk here »

Karen Kasmauski

Since 1984, Karen Kasmauski has photographed more than two dozen major stories for National Geographic magazine. Her work examines issues of science, public health, and global change. Her book, Impact: From the Frontlines of Global Health, was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Karen also works closely with Nikon and is a member of their prestigious “Legends Behind the Lens” group.

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Watch Naomi’s talk here »


Naomi Natale

TED Fellow Naomi Natale is an installation artist, photographer, and social activist who uses art to bring about and inspire social change. She accomplishes this by creating large-scale art installations that engage hundreds and thousands of artists, activists and children to act on behalf of a social cause. Naomi believes that by inspiring action through art, you can change the world one person at a time.

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Watch Will’s talk here »

Will Noel

Dr. William Noel is Curator of Manuscripts and Rare Books at The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore, a position he took up in 1997. Since January 1999, Dr. Noel has directed an international program to conserve, image and study the Archimedes Palimpsest, the unique source for three treatises by the ancient Greek mathematician. An author of multiple books, Dr. Noel has taught and lectured widely.

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Watch Tony’s talk here »

Tony Geraci

As director of food and nutrition for the Baltimore City Public Schools, Tony Geraci is passionate about fresh food and its potential to change lives – and he is harnessing the power of nature to transform a 33-acre farm into an incubator for young entrepreneurs. “Feeding children decent food is the single most cost-effective way to increase test scores and reduce behavior problems,” Geraci says.

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Sandy Wiggins

Sandy Wiggins is Chairman of e3bank, a triple bottom line bank with a mission to facilitate the transition to a green economy. Sandy is Past Chair of the U.S. Green Building Council, Founding Chair of the Green Building Certification Institute, was a co-author of LEED for Neighborhood Development and served on the LEED 2009 Executive Committee.

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Watch Rebecca’s talk here »

Rebecca Hoffberger

Rebecca Alban Hoffberger is both Founder and Director of the American Visionary Art Museum, America’s official national museum for self-taught, intuitive artistry located on a 1.1-acre wonderland campus in Baltimore, MD. The museum seeks to promote the recognition of intuitive, self-reliant, creative contribution as both an important historic and essential living piece of treasured human legacy.

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Watch Roland’s talk here »

Dr. Roland Griffiths

Roland Griffiths, Ph.D., is Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Neurosciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. His principal research focus in both clinical and preclinical laboratories has been on the behavioral and subjective effects of mood-altering drugs. He is also currently a member of the Expert Advisory Panel on Drug Dependence for the World Health Organization.

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Watch Aris’s talk here »

Aris Melissaratos

Aris Melissaratos currently serves as Senior Advisor to the President of Johns Hopkins University with responsibilities for technology transfer, corporate partnerships, and enterprise development. From 2003 to 2007, he served as Secretary of Business and Economic Development for the State of Maryland, driving the state’s unemployment figures to an impressive 3.6%.

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Watch Bob’s talk here »

Bob Duggan

Robert Duggan, President and Co-Founder of Tai Sophia Institute, is a unique combination of professor, clinical practitioner, management executive, and inspirational leader. He has practiced traditional acupuncture since 1972, acted as a White House advisor, and is the leading voice for the integration of traditional and complementary medicine. Bob is the author of Common Sense for the Healing Arts.

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Watch Marcus’s talk here »

Marcus Ranum

Marcus J. Ranum is a computer and network security researcher and industry leader. He is credited with a number of innovations in firewalls, including building the first Internet email server for the domain, and intrusion detection systems. He has held leadership positions with a number of computer security companies. Ranum’s work has been cited in at least 15 published U.S. patents.

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Watch Ico’s talk here »

Ico Bukvic

The art of composer and multimedia sculptor Ico Bukvic is defined by ubiquitous interactivity. His work is a balancing act between scientific research of new multimedia technologies for the purpose of betterment of the overall quality of life and a pursuit of new forms of artistic expression using newfound tools. His opus encompasses aural and visual, acoustic and electronic, performances and installations.

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Watch Mark’s talk here »

Mark Walsh

Mark Walsh is an entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and political activist. In the 90s he was a corporate officer at AOL and founded VerticalNet, a company that had a $13 billion market cap at its peak. In 2002 Mark got into politics, becoming the head of internet operations for the John Kerry for President Campaign, then founding CEO of Air America Radio, the liberal talk-radio network that brought you Al Franken.

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Watch Ana’s talk here »

Ana Vidović

Ana Vidović is one of the youngest virtuoso guitarists in the world. Ana started playing guitar at the age of 5, and by 7 had given her first public performance. At the age of 11 she was performing internationally, and at 13 became the youngest student to attend the prestigious National Musical Academy in Zagreb, Croatia. Ana has won an impressive number of prizes and international competitions all over the world.

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Jeff Salkin

Jeff Salkin joined Maryland Public Television (MPT) in 1991 and has become one of the most respected and recognizable journalists on the local public affairs scene. During his tenure with MPT he has served as moderator for political debates, hosted live coverage of the annual ‘State of the State’ address, inaugurals, and numerous broadcast town hall meetings, and anchors MPT’s weekly State Circle.

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