TEDxCornell will host its annual conference next weekend, an afternoon event celebrating knowledge and innovation, bringing together diverse speakers from across the country and within the Cornell community.
Dubbed “the most ambitious conference to date” by its organizers, the 2019 conference’s theme will be “Reframe.”
A student-run campus organization, TEDxCornell currently operates under an official license from TED, a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas that converge at the fields of technology, entertainment and design.
This year, the lineup will feature seven speakers from a wide range of disciplines and backgrounds.
Maryanna Saenko, a venture capitalist with interests spanning robotics, blockchain and aerospace, will be one of the seven speakers at the event. A co-founder and partner at Future Ventures, Saenko also heads a firm focusing on different technologies, ranging from quantum computing to synthetic biology and clean meat.
New York State Commissioner of Health Howard Zucker will present a talk titled “From Einstein to ‘Baby Sharks’: Relativity in the age of Virality.” Zucker is trained in pediatrics and anesthesiology, board-certified in six medical specialties and has developed a public health literacy project geared towards improving the lives of Afghan women.
In addition to his achievements in the healthcare field, Zucker has also designed experiments for the Space Shuttle and is a member of the U.S. Supreme Court Bar. He holds M.D., J.D. and LL.M. degrees from George Washington University, Fordham Law School and Columbia Law School, respectively.
Presenting a talk called “Consciousness and the Social Brain” is Princeton University Prof. Michael Graziano, neuroscience. In addition to being a scientist, Graziano is also an author and ventriloquist.
Also featured with be Aida Mollenkamp ’02, founder of Salt & Wind Travel, a boutique travel company that creates travel experiences focused on food. Mollenkamp has also hosted various food television shows such as “AskAida” on the Food Network, “FoodCrafters” on the Cooking Channel, and the Tastemade series, “Off Menu.” Her talk is titled “Why You Should Speak Storytelling.”
Prof. Mason Peck, aerospace engineering, who formerly served as NASA’s chief technologist in Washington, D.C., will also speak at the conference. Peck currently serves the director of Cornell’s Space Systems Design Studio, and will speak on “How to Build Your Own Spacecraft.”
Chandler Pfaff ’20, a junior in the School of Hotel Administration, will discuss his humanitarian efforts in a talk called “Lessons from a Syrian Refugee Camp.” Before enrolling at Cornell, Pfaff took two gap years to volunteer as a missionary.
Andrew Rosenblatt ’20, who is currently studying Biological Sciences and Public Policy, will speak on “Going Viral: Life, War, and Engineered Zombie Armies.” Rosenblatt has previously researched early cancer detection methods, and, since coming to Cornell, has studied “new ways to overcome antibiotic resistance in cholera.”
The conference will be hosted by Lou Diamond, an international speaker and CEO of Thrive, a company that connects people, businesses and brands. He has conducted “pre-talk” interviews with all seven speakers, which are available on the TEDxCornell website.
The TEDxCornell 2019 conference will be held in Statler Auditorium on April 28 from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Tickets will be sold until the day of the event and can be purchased online for $12.