April 15th, 2017

William Peduto

Pittsburgh Mayor William “Bill” Peduto has been a witness to the many revolutions Pittsburgh has gone through. Serving as a catalyst for change for the Steel City, his “birds eye view” of these revolutions are unique to his position as mayor. For more information regarding Mayor Peduto, click here.

Audrey Russo

Crafting Meaningful Work in a Non-Linear Career: Many Skills, Many Paths.

When Audrey assumed the helm at the Pittsburgh Technology Council, the oldest and first tech council in the world, she had not built her career on the platform of a trade association. Instead, she built her life on doing work which stretched across technology, public corporations, start-ups, product innovation, finance, organizational development and business, paired with a short burst of time in human services working to dismantle broken systems. A career is not linear and is filled with pivots. Audrey will share a bit of her journey, her iterative approach to personal development and leave you with an understanding that complexity is the world we live in – hence the opportunities are endless to craft meaningful and fruitful work in technology and innovation. For more information, click here.

Sanjay Chopra

A Cognitive Journey: Application of AI to real world business problems

“Cognitive computing is technology’s  leading edge, beyond artificial intelligence and beyond data mining. This is where computers teach themselves — getting smarter with each bit of data.”

In his presentation, Mr. Chopra will discuss the application of Artificial Intelligence/Cognitive Computing to real world business problems. For example, what types of business problems are well suited for AI/cognitive computing? How can Cognitive Computing be implemented in businesses? Additionally, Mr. Chopra will share his own experience in real life application of AI. Some of the steps that he will cover include data ingestions, building models, fine tuning the models, measuring precision and recall, making predictions with models, and setting up the system to be self learning. In today’s world, we can use these revolutions in technology to learn from data and then use that learning to make predictions, improving business tactics and revolutionizing business efficiency worldwide.

Costa Nikou

Evolutions and Revolutions: A Career in Surgical Robotics

With robotics entering the medical world, Costa has first hand experience with this change in the industry. With a career centered around these changes, he will discuss his perspective on medicine and technology through the years he has been in the industry. His insight into computer-assisted surgery will come alive on the TEDxYouth stage as he showcases his research, advancements, and discoveries in his career. Combining innovation, entrepreneurship, medicine, and robotics, Costa embraces the term “revolutions.”

For more information on Costa and just a small part of his work, click here.

Harley Baldwin

Game Developer as Cultural Professional

Thirty years ago, video games were considered low entertainment. The industry was gated primarily by rare technical expertise, and nerds with skills in storytelling, parody, experience design, and guest transformation weren’t plentiful. Since that time  the industry & market have matured, game development tools have become widespread and easy to use, and the first generation of digital natives has joined the ranks of game developers.  Modern game developers find ourselves called to reflect and effect — and create — culture, and that means our mission must change. We must enrich our culture in positive ways, invite & incubate a diverse talent pool to join us in this fascinating work, and prepare them for the reality that someday, they will change it entirely. 

In her role as VP of Design at Schell Games, Harley draws on her 20+ years of game development experience to mentor, manage, cultivate design culture, and collaborate freely with clients and Schell Gamers to envision exciting, pioneering experiences for players or guests. For more information on her work at Schell Games click here

Corinne Clinch

Rewriting the Hero’s Journey for Your Revolution

The “hero’s journey” is the common pattern found in most of humanity’s storytelling, where a hero goes on an adventure, faces peril, prevails, and returns home transformed. It applies to our ancient stories of Moses and Odysseus, our popular culture in Star Wars and Harry Potter, and our own lives when we seek self-improvement or to survive an ordeal. But when you take on the world’s biggest societal, political, and economic problems, this powerful narrative can inspire us and help us to persevere—or quickly burn us out and leave us behind. Corinne Clinch will share from her journey founding her water purification startup, Rorus Inc., and explain how you can adapt the hero’s narrative to start your revolution and conquer the challenges you face to improve the world.

For more information about Rorus, click here.

Jenni Calihan

Take Back Your Plate—the Revolution Starts in Your Grocery Cart

Everybody has to eat. And whether we like it or not, the foods we eat affect our health. In spite of medical advances with drugs and techniques, our collective health is in decline. Rates of chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease are on the rise. More medicines won’t fix this; we need to address the root cause with a food revolution.

In her presentation, Jenni explains why real-food-more-fat eating is the best path to health and wellness. For more information on Jenni’s work at her non-profit, Eat the Butter, click here.

Chris Ivey

East of Liberty: The story of gentrification in Pittsburgh told from the inside

Award winning commercial/documentary director Chris Ivey will discuss his gentrification documentary series “East of Liberty”. The series focuses on the gentrification of the Pittsburgh neighborhood of East Liberty. Spanning over a decade, Ivey’s raw film series tackles the issues of race, class and gentrification in an area that has flipped from a black oriented business to a hip destination area. Told through stories from actual residents and business owners that have been effected, Ivey guarantees to bring an intense and lively conversations on how his films are making an impact on audiences across the globe. Click here to see a preview of his work.

Josh Lafazan

Community College to Harvard: How Community College Prepared me to Earn 2 Ivy League Degrees

“In 2012, I chose the unconventional route for most high school graduating seniors and enrolled in community college. What ensued was ridicule from family and friends that only “subpar” students enroll in community college. In fact, my best friends told me that I was “pursuing the worst life plan ever.” Flash forward to 2016, where I’m a current student at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education, with a Bachelor’s Degree from Cornell. The kicker? I did this all while saving $100,000 over my first two years of college. More importantly, community college allowed me to stay home, earn money, and clarify my life goals.” 

“Whenever we choose a courageous path – to take a road less traveled – we subject ourselves to what seems like unrelenting criticism and ridicule.  While facing the ever rising cost of college all high schoolers should have the courage to be different, and give community college a second look.”

December 5th, 2015

Watch 2015 talks on Youtube, or check out the event webpage for more information.

2015 Talks
Event webpage