JAMES BARRAT - Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era
As an award-winning documentary filmmaker, James Barrat has made a career of introducing lay audiences to complex ideas in engaging and provocative ways. Barrat’s talk is about what’s wrong with the development and application of advanced artificial intelligence. It’s about short term problems – like unemployment and autonomous killer drones – and the long term specter of sharing our planet with machines a thousand or a million times more intelligent than we are. If we fail to learn how to control these machines before we create them, we’ll have to rely on their ‘kindness’ to survive. Will machines naturally love and protect us? Do we want to bet our existence on it?
DANIEL BELTRÁ - Documenting Man's Impact on the Planet
Documenting the forces and impacts of climate change can sometimes feel like an impossible task, but for over thirty years Daniel Beltrá has been traveling the world to shine a light on the dramatic changes afflicted on our fragile ecosystems. In his presentations, Beltrá views the climate crisis with hope and optimism for the opportunity it presents to us to make long overdue changes. He brings you along on his journeys while witnessing global shifts from Greenland and the Arctic Circle, to the world’s great tropical rainforests in the Amazon, Indonesia and the Congo, to Antarctica.
SHANE BITNEY CRONE - Bridegroom - A Love Story. Unequaled.
In 2011 a devastating accident which took Tom’s life and turned Shane’s world upside down. To cope with the pain of loss, Shane created a YouTube video about the experience to honor and mourn Tom, and highlight the impact of marriage inequality. Since its release on May 6, 2012, the video, titled “It Could Happen To You,” has earned over four million views from people around the world and been translated into over a dozen languages. The clip was also listed as one of GLAAD’s “Most Inspiring Videos that Helped Push Equality Forward in 2012.”
STEVE BURROWS - Bleed Out: One Man's Epic Battle with the American Health Care System
In 2009 when Steve’s Mom, Judie, an active retired Wisconsin schoolteacher, fell while riding her bike and broke her hip. Steve’s Mom went in for a routine partial hip replacement and came out in a coma with permanent brain damage. Steve’s deep dark dive into the medical industrial complex has now become the critically acclaimed new HBO documentary film Bleed Out, where Steve discovered that medical error is the third leading cause of death in America. 500 patients die each day due to medical mistakes. One in four patients are harmed. This is an epidemic that affects every single one of us, and our loved ones. And no one knows about it.
CHRISSY CHAMBERS - #MeToo: How One Woman Fought Back Against Revenge Porn, and Won
Chrissy Chambers is a YouTuber, activist, performer and victim of revenge porn. Chrissy found out from fans that she was a victim of revenge porn. Paralyzed by fear and overwhelmed by shame (during the first week of finding out about the videos) all Chrissy and Bria wanted was for the videos to disappear. Chrissy and Bria offer diverse angles that showcase a compelling story of survival, perseverance and love. Chrissy’s mission is to use her trauma to inspire others who are facing adversity and to empower them; to give hope to other victims of sexual violence or trauma and to raise that awareness.
NYLE FORT - Black In America: Race, Protest & Democracy
An activist committed to global transformative justice, Nyle brings his national experience and international lens to his local work. He recently travelled to Ferguson, Missouri to help build the Movement for Black Lives. Upon his return home, Nyle created 7 Last Words: Strange Fruit Speaks, a liturgy commemorating the last words of black people killed by police and vigilantes. In addition, he established Newark Books and Breakfast, a monthly program providing free books and breakfast to local youth and families. Most recently, Nyle travelled to Amsterdam as part of the International Fellowship of Reconciliation’s multinational effort to challenge racialized violence.
JACY GOOD - Hang Up and Drive
Their powerful talk “HANG UP AND DRIVE!” was created to facilitate face-to-face discussion about the reality of the irreparable damage caused by distracted driving. It is designed for groups of people of all ages, and shows us all, that as individuals, we wield the power to eliminate distracted driving and ultimately to save lives.
Rachel-Griffin-smlRACHEL GRIFFIN - A Passionate Voice for Advocacy
Dr. Rachel Alicia Griffin has been advocating against sexual violence for well over a decade. Having delivered more than 100 highly memorable workshops and keynotes on campuses, at conferences, and for events, Rachel is a sought-after national and international speaker.
KevinHinesSMLKEVIN HINES - Cracked, Not Broken
On September 24, 2000, the paranoid and hallucinating nineteen-year-old flung himself off the bridge in a suicide attempt. He fell 220 feet straight down into the San Francisco Bay, shattering his T12, L1, and L2 vertebrae. He lacerated most of his lower organs. A Coast Guard boat pulled Hines from the frigid waters. Today, Kevin Hines is an award-winning global speaker, Amazon best-selling author of “Cracked Not Broken,” and suicide prevention and mental health advocate who reaches audiences with his story of an unlikely survival and his strong will to live.
EVAN LUTZ - Fighting Waste - Feeding People
Billions of pounds of fresh produce are wasted in the United States every year, and wind up going to landfills – producing harmful greenhouse gases. Meanwhile, millions of Americans are food insecure, without access to healthy, affordable meals. Forbes 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneur, Evan Lutz, is committing his life’s work to ending food waste and hunger in America. Evan Lutz, is committing his life’s work to ending food waste and hunger in America. Evan is a 25-year-old social entrepreneur from Baltimore, Maryland who is passionate about food justice. He’s a frequent guest on NPR and The Washington Post. He was featured on ABC’s Shark Tank, where he made a deal with Robert Herjavec, and launched his present enterprise, Hungry Harvest.
ARNO MICHAELIS - My Life After Hate
In the late 1980s and early 90s, Arno Michaelis was a founding member of a notorious worldwide racist skinhead organization, a reverend of a self-declared racial holy war, and front man of the hate-metal band Centurion, which sold 20,000 CDs by the mid-nineties and is still popular with racists today. Single parenthood, love for his daughter, and the forgiveness shown by people he once hated all helped to turn Arno’s life around, bringing him to embrace diversity and practice gratitude for all life. Author of My Life After Hate, Arno travels extensively and is very fortunate to be able to share his ongoing process of character development, in an effort to counter the cycle of violence he once perpetuated.
RobMorrisMenu-smlROB MORRIS - THE MODERN DAY ABOLITIONIST - What it Takes for Everyday People to Fight Injustice
Human trafficking, modern day slavery, is estimated to impact over 20 million people around the world, including millions of children. But Rob Morris wants us to consider the plight of individual children, rather than statistics. Morris is the president and co-founder of Love146, an organization working to end child trafficking and exploitation through prevention education and survivor care. Morris has lectured and taught in over 30 countries on issues of justice, compassion, and human rights, and has been featured in the Huffington Post, Fox News, the CNN Freedom Project and more.
REVEREND SHARON RISHER - Tattered Pieces: A Charleston Daughter Explores Loss, Faith and Forgiveness
Reverend Sharon Washington Risher was catapulted into the limelight after the Charleston, South Carolina shooting at the Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on June 17, 2015. Her beloved mother — the church’s sexton — Ethel Lee Lance, was killed along with eight others, including two cousins and a childhood friend. Audiences nationwide are saying that Reverend Risher’s talks are incredibly powerful, emotional, riveting, raw and authentic, and each of her talks cover her personal experience losing loved ones to gun violence, race, racism and hate in America, as well as the path to forgiveness and an offering of hope for tomorrow.
ARJUN SINGH SETHI - Building a More Just & Equitable America
In the wake of the 2016 presidential election, Arjun traveled the country and met with a diversity of people and documented the hate they experienced during the campaign and after inauguration. In his book, American Hate: Survivors Speak Out, survivors tell their stories in their own words and describe the heightened bullying, discrimination, and violence they’ve experienced under the Trump administration.
STEVE THOMPSON - Bystanders and the Realities of Sexual Aggression
The author of No More Fear, and No Zebras! Engaging Bystanders in the Movement to End Sexual Aggression has been a national figure on the subject of sexual assault, harassment, workplace violence, and stalking for several years. In 1996, he formed the first university confidential peer-to-peer sexual aggression advocacy program in the country. From keynoting conferences, educating thousands of college students on campus throughout the country, presenting workshops to law enforcement on sexual aggression investigation, to traveling the world training through the Department of the Navy, the success and popularity of his programs are unparalleled. His unique approach is a result of over 40 years of research and street experience involving hundreds of interviews with survivors, offenders, law enforcement professionals, and other experts in the field
JOSEPH USCINSKI - Conspiracy Theories in America: Why do People Believe Conspiracy Theories and what can we do about it?
Conspiracy theories are everywhere. From theories questioning the moon landings to those warning of vaccine tracking devices, conspiracy theories seem to surround every event and circumstance in our society. Polls show that not only are conspiracy theories believed widely by the public, but they envelope both our politics and our personal lives. Joseph Uscinski is one of the foremost experts on conspiracy theories and the people who believe them. For more than a decade, he has been polling Americans about their beliefs in conspiracy theories and other dubious ideas. His research has helped to uncover why people believe in conspiracy theories, when, and to what effect.
ZACH WAHLS - "What makes a family?"
Zach Wahls tried to answer that very question when he testified before the Iowa House Judiciary Committee in January, 2011. Zach shares a story that has never before been told, and offers a fresh, bold perspective on a recently rekindled -- and always contentious-- issue: gay marriage.
david-cole-wheeler-smDAVID COLE WHEELER - A Father's Journey and His Efforts to Make Sense of a Tragedy that by All Measures Seems Senseless.
Every year tens of thousands of family members lose loved ones to gun violence. A number of them find the courage to speak very articulately about their loss but none are more eloquent than David Cole Wheeler. David’s son, Benjamin Andrew Wheeler, was one of twenty first-graders murdered on December 14, 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Along with the six dedicated educators this was the worst grade-school mass shooting in American history.
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