TEDxSchenectady 2016

September 10, 2016 12PM – 4PM
Schenectady County Public Library – McChesney Room
99 Clinton St
Schenectady, NY 12305

The Future is NOW

Come join us again for our 2016 TEDx event “The future is NOW!”  We have arrived at a particularly strange point in history, and our exciting group of speakers is here to tell us where we are, how we got here, where we’re going, and maybe (just maybe) how to improve things along the way.

Tickets are now sold out!

Speaker lineup:

Rosemary Armao, “Takeaways from 2016 for the Press, Politicians, and the Public”
While there may have been wilder elections in America’s past, the current campaign has crystallized unforeseen change in the press, in politics and in the voting public that we’ll be wrestling with for decades. Whoever wins has to deal with this: our system is rigged, the public is angry and facts don’t matter any more.

Rosemary Armao directs and teaches in the Journalism Program at UAlbany. She appears regularly on WAMC’s Roundtable and Media Project programs, and she edits for two anti-corruption reporting organizations in eastern Europe. She is president of the Board of Trustees of the town library in Colonie.

Jon Bowermaster, “How documentary films can influence political winds”
Do movies matter? I’ve made twenty documentary films, almost all with strong environmental messages. While it’s hard to pinpoint just what impact a doc has, in the past five years I’ve made three films about the cons of fracking, focused on laws and personal experiences in New York, California and across the United States. As the public and business moves towards a clean energy future, have these films influenced the public, or policy?

Jon Bowermaster is six-time grantee of the National Geographic Expeditions Council and award-winning writer and filmmaker. Bowermaster was recently named one of a dozen Ocean Heroes by the NGS. Author of twelve books, he is also the writer, director and producer of twenty documentary films, most recently “Antarctica 3D, On the Edge,” “Sink or Swim, Learning the Crawl in the Maldives,” “After the Spill, Louisiana Water Stories, Part II,” “The Hudson, River At Risk” and, with producing partner Mark Ruffalo, “Dear Governor Brown” and “Dear President Obama, The Clean Energy Revolution Is Now.” Bowermaster lives in New York’s Hudson Valley.

James Dillon, “Educating the future”
Most of our schools train children to live and function within the world as it is—a world handed to them. In this scenario, the future becomes a repetition of the past, merely an extension of the status quo. In order to survive and hopefully flourish into the future, we must educate and empower our children to envision and create more sustainable and peaceful ways of living on our earth.

Jim Dillon has been an educator for over 40 years, including 20 years as a school administrator. He is an educational consultant for Measurement Incorporated, who sponsor the Center for Leadership and Bullying Prevention. He is the author of “Peaceful School Bus” (Hazelden), “No Place for Bullying” (Corwin) and “Reframing Bullying Prevention to Build Stronger School Communities” (Corwin) and the picture book, “Okay Kevin” (Jessica Kingsley Publishing).

Harry Ringermacher, “The universe is ringing like a crystal glass”
We all know about the Big Bang and the expanding universe. In 1998 it was discovered that the expansion has been accelerating, resulting in a Nobel prize in 2011. In 2014 I discovered that the universe is not only accelerating but is also “wiggling” while expanding – in a sense “breathing”. This may help solve the great mysteries of Dark Matter and Dark Energy.

Dr. Ringermacher is a retired Physicist from the GE Global Research Center. He earned his Ph.D. in Physics from Washington University in St. Louis. He is now associated with the U. of Southern Mississippi as an Adj. Professor of Physics and Astronomy and is published in the fields of General Relativity and Cosmology.

Korisoron and Scott Collins, “Past Forward: A Performance”
Korisoron is an instrumental acoustic trio that combines rock and progressive influences with musical traditions from across the globe. Guitarists Scott Collins, Farzad Golpayegani and percussionist Dean Mirabito bring international touring and recording experience to the New York Capital region based project. (korisoron.com)

Scott Collins earned a Bachelors of Music degree in Music Composition from Berklee College of Music and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Multi-Focus Guitar Performance from California Institute of the Arts. He is the author of the pedagogical/reference guitar series, The GuitArchitect’s Guide To: and several ebook titles about the music business. His playing is inspired by a wide range of global influences and he specializes in real-time visual scoring. (guitarchitecture.org)

Ray Posner, “Moving forwards in Transgender politics”
Recent politics have shown huge controversy concerning transgender people. Ray Posner proposes that artistic activism can be a powerful tool to combat the discrimination that he and the rest of the transgender community face. But why is art an effective—and sometimes better—form of activism than other, more traditional methods?

Ray Posner is a young artist from Niskayuna. This past spring he graduated from high school, and has been accepted to New York University’s photography department in the Tisch School of the Arts. As a part of the LGBTQ+ community, Ray has focused on gender and sexuality in much of his artwork, and hopes that by displaying his art he can battle the discrimination that the LGBTQ+ community faces.

Andy Revkin, “RX for the Anthropocene? Anthropophilia!”
Humanity’s astounding growth spurt is changing the climate, disrupting biology from the poles to the Equator and, for now, has left a couple billion people behind. Welcome to what a growing array of scientists are calling the Anthropocene – a geological age of our own making.

Woe is me, shame on who? What’s a species to do?

Drawing on more than 30 years of experience covering global environmental challenges from the Amazon to the White House, The Hudson Valley to the North Pole, the journalist and author Andrew Revkin will argue that old top-down, finger-pointing approaches have mostly failed.

He will argue that the diversity of human temperaments and societal models and environmental circumstances and skills is kind of perfect for the task at hand – with work. To make progress, we need edge pushers and group huggers, faith and science, and — more than anything — dialogue even when there are substantial differences.

Andrew Revkin, the Senior Fellow for Environmental Understanding at Pace University, has been writing about environmental and social sustainability for more than three decades, from the Amazon to the White House to the North Pole, mainly for The New York Times. He has won the top awards in science journalism multiple times, along with a Guggenheim Fellowship. He has written acclaimed books on global warming, the changing Arctic and the assault on the Amazon rain forest, as well as three book chapters on science communication. At Pace, he teaches about online communication, environmental policy and documentary film. Drawing on his experience with his award-winning Times blog, Dot Earth, which Time Magazine named one of the top 25 blogs in 2013, Revkin speaks to audiences around the world about paths to progress on a turbulent planet. Revkin, who lives in the Hudson Highlands, is also a performing songwriter and was a longtime accompanist for Pete Seeger.

Danny Goodwin, “Future perfect: Picturing the Anthropocene”
Look beneath the chaos of our day-to-day lives and we can envision a fragile, complicated place where visual art helps us unravel and accept the reality of a world that we simultaneously create, inhabit, and destroy. If artists are informed by their culture (they are) and if art also shapes culture (it does), and if ours is a civilization in decline (it is), what does the art of today’s world tell us about ourselves? Goodwin will discuss the work of a select group of contemporary artists who are providing possible answers.

Danny Goodwin is an artist and educator living and working in Albany, NY. He is Associate Professor of Art and Director of Photography and Related Media in the Department of Art and Art History at the University at Albany, State University of New York. His work has been seen in over a hundred solo and group exhibitions, worldwide.


The conference will be held at the Schenectady County Public Library in Schenectady, NY on Saturday September 10th 2016, from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

*Important RSVP info:

  • Doors open at 11:30.
  • You do not need to print a ticket, we will have your names on a list so you can check in at the door.
  • Seating is not guaranteed for General Admissions, so come early!
  • If you have a Reserved Seating ticket we will hold your seat for you until 12:30, at which point we may give it away if someone else hasn’t gotten a seat yet. We can hold your seat longer if you email us to let us know you will be late.