Exchange is the antidote to isolation and to ignorance.

Exchange—whether of materials between organisms, or ideas between people—is key to the processes we recognize as essential to life.

Some exchanges are visible, predictable, calibrated in known currencies at agreed rates. Others are veiled but potent, with the capacity to create and to devastate in equal measure.

At TEDxJacksonville 2018, we discovered the power of exchange. We  challenged you to shift your perspective and abandon your assumptions. Together, we exchanged the seen for the unseen, the built for the unbuilt, and the status quo for lives that are full of challenge, meaning, and impact.

Exchange: Conversations for the Curious.



Got questions? We’ve got answers.


We are pleased to announce that, thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, we have been able to substantially lower the price of our general admission tickets this year.

Ticket types and prices:

Advance tickets (with discount), until Sept. 9 — $68 plus fees.
General admission tickets, after Sept. 9 — $78 plus fees.
Session Three tickets — $39 plus fees.
Student tickets — $38 plus fees.


REGISTRATION: 9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

SESSION 1: Exchange | Perspectives
11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Douglas Anderson School of the Arts Dancers | Performance • Ash Perrin | The Power of Play • Joy Wolfram | A Revolution at the Nanoscale • Anne Driscoll | Bearing Witness • Brian Wu | Searching for Humanity’s Second Home

SESSION 2: Exchange | Priorities 
1:45 p.m.  – 3:15 p.m.
Mark Woods | Preserving America’s Best Idea • Bold City Contemporary Ensemble | Performance • Iris Ivana Grant | Radical Philanthropy • Philip Robbie | Examining the Unbuilt • Jeffreen Hayes | Lifting Every Voice

BREAK: 3:15 p.m. – 4 p.m.

SESSION 3: Exchange | Places
4 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Mx. Anunnaki Ray Marquez | Reclaiming One’s Body • Kristin Keen | Trafficking in Lives • Claudia Wilner | Driving While Poor Benjamin Carlton | Seeing the Man, Not the Stigma • John Lumpkin & The Covenant | Performance

AFTERGLOW PARTY: 5:45 p.m. – 8 p.m. 


Attendees always ask, “Will there be food?” Yes! We’ll have pastries, coffee, juices, and water available during registration. Lunch will be provided at 12:30 p.m.  We’re excited to once again be partnering with local downtown restaurants. We’ll also have an afternoon break with fresh fruit, snacks, soda and coffee.  Finally, the Afterglow party features heavy hors d’ouevres and an open bar.

This year’s luncheon venues and dining options include:

20 West Cafe |  Bellwether | Burrito Gallery | Casa Dora Italian Cafe | D&G Deli & Grill | Indochine | Spliff’s Gastropub | Super Food & Brew | Biscottis | Holy Smokes BBQ


TEDxJacksonville will be held at The Florida Theatre for the third year in a row and will host interactive experiential activities with Forsyth Street closed in front of the historic venue. The magnificently restored Florida Theatre is recognized as one of the finest concert venues in the Southeast. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. From the Vaudeville acts and silent films of its earliest days to today’s blend of performances of all kinds, The Florida Theatre has served as Jacksonville’s premier entertainment center since 1927.


What are my transportation/parking options for getting to and from the event?

Conference participants are invited to park in the Yates Garage ($5 cash), which is located at 231 East Adams Street. There also is ample free street parking. The cost of parking is your responsiblity. We highly encourage carpooling and arriving early to ease congestion.

Anne Driscoll
We Are All Witnesses

For more than a decade, Anne Driscoll has been investigating wrongful convictions in two countries on two continents on both sides of the Atlantic. She knows firsthand how a wrongful conviction can happen to anyone, anytime, anywhere in any jurisdiction, most often due to bad eyewitness identification, police misconduct or prosecutorial misconduct. She has helped free an innocent man serving a life sentence without parole for murder who was misidentified by an eyewitness, and she also has been the victim of a crime where she nearly misidentified her own attacker. As both a social worker and a journalist, she learned that the power of bearing witness is both profound and impactful in the pursuit of justice. But we must also recognize that we are not the witnesses we believe ourselves to be.

Anne Driscoll is an award-winning journalist who has investigated wrongful convictions as senior reporter at the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University and as a 2013-2014 US Fulbright scholar, and project manager of the Irish Innocence Project at Griffith College Dublin. Awarded a second Fulbright scholarship in 2018, she is currently teaching law and journalism students at the National University of Ireland, Galway about wrongful convictions and investigative techniques, while also conducting research to establish a National Registry of Exonerations in Ireland. Originally trained as a social worker, she remains a licensed certified social worker and is the author of a self-help series of guidebooks for girls called Girl to Girl. As a journalist, she has devoted her career to covering issues of human rights, social justice, and human development and has sought to make a difference in the world, one story at a time. She was the 2016 recipient of the Salem Award for Human Rights and Social Justice, is a Moth storyteller and the author of  the mini-momoir about life in Ireland called Irish You Were Here.

Benjamin Carlton
I'm black, I'm a minister, and I'm gay. Who are you to judge?

Imagine a world where people aren’t defined by their deficits, but rather they are acknowledged for their aspirations. Where people are in control of their narratives and are celebrated for being their authentic selves. It takes courage to grow up and become who we really are, beyond all conditioned social norms, and to stand against the tide that seeks to diminish us. In 2016, Benjamin Carlton made the brave decision to come out as a gay minister in a article that generated national discussion. In this talk, he’ll take you on his journey of winning his narrative through Asset-Framing, an award-winning cognitive frame that engenders understanding, confidence, and inspired constructive action.

Benjamin Carlton is an author, activist, actor, and minister. He received his MBA from Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University before moving to Miami to pursue his career in accounting. While in Miami he co-founded the iconic BMe Community, a national movement of community builders that are led and inspired by Black men. BMe Community was founded on the principles of valuing all members of the human family, recognizing black males as assets, and building more caring and prosperous communities together. 

Under his leadership, BMe has influenced national policy, and committed millions of dollars to local community leaders around the nation. Benjamin has more than 10 years of experience in social innovation, public relations, social media and as an executive director. His pioneering work in community building earned him a Miami Fellows Fellowship with the Miami Foundation and AT&T Emerging Leaders Fellowship. He was a finalist for Forbes Magazine’s 30 under 30. 

Iris Ivana Grant
Subculture of Giving: It's a lifestyle

Traditionally, philanthropy has been thought of as something that the rich fund, the middle class volunteers for, and the poor and needy receive. But philanthropic giving is more than just money. It is a process of creatively giving to others, and in so doing, fulfilling our basic human need to connect with our own humanity. Regardless of socioeconomic status or age, every person can cultivate a philanthropic lifestyle, one that teaches them to live, reach, and stretch themselves in a way that fills them with purpose, love, empathy, and compassion.

Iris Ivana Grant, CEO and President of the Genési Group Inc., facilitates dialogue with for-profit and nonprofit entities in developing strategies that expose areas of benefit not readily identified through traditional models in philanthropy, corporate social responsibility, community engagement, fundraising, and brand awareness. Born in New York City and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, Iris’s love for the cultural arts led her to pursue her degree in classical music and audio engineering at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. Her career path started at University of Maryland Medical Systems in the Radiation Oncology/Physics Division, where she developed her ability to connect with people from all over the world in support of multi-disciplinary research development for cancer patients. Iris moved to Jacksonville in 2006, where she has become a respected and credible voice in philanthropy who develops strategic partnerships within the for-profit and nonprofit arenas. Currently she serves on several business and advisory boards in Jacksonville and abroad.

Jeffreen Hayes, Ph.D
Arts Activism In Simple Steps

Challenging and difficult issues such as race and class are not easy to discuss in words. But marginalized artists and creatives—those placed in the margins based on their racial, ethnic, or sexual identity—can have a profound sense of such issues, in part because they are so deeply affected by them.

The life of Harlem Renaissance artist Augusta Savage illustrates this principle. Savage was a working artist, arts educator, and organizer during a time—the Great Depression and World War II—when being an artist, Black, and a woman presented challenges to one’s survival. But her legacy, both as a public intellectual and a pioneering artist, continues into the 21st century. Jeffreen asserts that examining and re-examining the role of artists and creatives as public intellectuals adds a different perspective on our culture’s most polarizing topics.

Jeffreen M. Hayes, a trained art historian and curator, merges administrative, curatorial, and academic practices into her cultural practice of supporting artists and community development. As an advocate for racial inclusion, equity, and access, Jeffreen has developed a curatorial and leadership approach that invites community participation, particularly those in marginalized communities. Her curatorial projects include Intimate Interiors (2012), Etched in Collective History (2013), SILOS (2016), Augusta Savage: Renaissance Woman (2018), and Process (2019). Additionally, she is a guest curator for Artpace San Antonio’s International Artist-in-Residence program. Jeffreen is the Executive Director of Threewalls, a Chicago-based organization that brings segregated communities, people, and experiences together through art. Under her leadership, Threewalls intentionally develops artistic platforms that encourage connections beyond traditional engagements with art.

Jeffreen earned a Ph.D in American Studies from the College of William and Mary, a Masters in Art History from Howard University, and a BA from Florida International University in Humanities. She has worked at several museums and cultural institutions including Birmingham Museum of Art, Hampton University Museum, Library of Congress and the National Gallery of Art. Jeffreen held fellowships at Ithaca College in the Art History department and in the Cartoon and Caricature Division at Library of Congress as a Swann Foundation Fellow. Jeffreen is a Chief Executive Community and Culture Fellow alum, a program facilitated by National Arts Strategies.

Kristin Keen
Ending Human Trafficking

At its core, human trafficking is the exploitation of people’s emotional and physical vulnerabilities for profit—and it is highly profitable. Globally, human trafficking generates $150 billion a year for traffickers, with two-thirds of this income deriving from commercial sexual exploitation. The issue of human trafficking can be broken down to simple economics, supply and demand. People tend to think of human trafficking as a female issue, but 99.9% of the buyers of these forced and coerced sex acts are men and, surprisingly, many of them use the same words that sex workers use to describe their experience—shame, scared, lonely, trapped—to describe what drives them to buy sex. We must address this demand side of the equation with wisdom and compassion, and acknowledge that a man’s journey to buying sex is just as broken as women’s journey to being sold. In so doing, we can hold men accountable in an empowering way to stop a commercial sex trade industry that is exploiting the most vulnerable people in our city and world.

Kristin Keen has spent her career creating opportunities through business for women caught in human trafficking to have access to a new life. While living in Kolkata, India, Kristin witnessed the life-stealing effects of human trafficking on a daily basis. In 2005, she helped co-found Sari Bari, a thriving business that now employs more than 120 Kolkota residents who create handmade blankets and other products from traditional fabrics. 

Upon her return to Jacksonville, Kristin felt called to fight human trafficking on a local level. Rethreaded was created from the recognition that, for the victims of human trafficking, the biggest need was for a safe, supportive work environment where they could earn money while learning a skill and experiencing continued healing through community. Since its inception in 2012, Rethreaded has employed more than 35 women and provided more than 55,000 hours of work for survivors of human trafficking in Jacksonville. In 2015, Kristin was honored as a “40 Under 40” award winner by the Jacksonville Business Journal and was chosen as one of Girls Inc.’s “Women of Vision.” In 2016, she was recognized by the Florida Retailer Federation as Outstanding Retail Leader of the Year. Kristin was a member of the Leadership Jacksonville Class of 2016.  When she’s not at Rethreaded, Kristin is usually biking, doing yoga, or swimming in the ocean at sunrise.  

Anunnaki Ray Marquez
Born Intersex: We are human!

An estimated 1.7% of all babies are born with an intersex natural bodily variation—an occurrence as common worldwide as having red hair. These individuals—born with sex characteristics that do not fit typical binary notions of male or female bodies—have historically been stigmatized as different and standard medical practice has been to subject them to surgeries that “normalize” their genitals. Procedures that could be delayed until intersex children are old enough to decide whether they want them are instead performed on infants who then have to live with the consequences. In 2013, a United Nations report condemned these “corrective” sex-assignment surgeries.

Mx. Anunnaki Ray Marquez is the rare intersex individual whose genitals were not surgically altered at birth. This September, Anunnaki was granted the first Colorado Intersex Birth Certificate recognizing that his true biological sex is legally intersex and not a disorder. Now every intersex child born in the state of Colorado will have this option to exist as they were born and do not have to conform surgically as a non-consenting child. Anunnaki hopes to build bridges of understanding so that all people, no matter how they label their gender identity, may experience the wholeness that is a basic human right in a socially just world.

Mx. Anunnaki Ray Marquez is a musician, performer, and artist. He is also a person born with intersex natural bodily variations whose social activism and educational work focuses on an individual’s right to bodily autonomy, and the right to express their true gender identity. As a gender nonconforming intersex man, he has legally emancipated himself and medically and legally proven that his biological sex is intersex.

Anunnaki is an intersex advocate for Partnership for Child Health’s JAX Youth Equality coalition. Anunnaki and his spouse of 29 years are the parents of three children.  With his husband and close friends, they are creating The Anunnaki Foundation, whose mission is to celebrate intersex and gender variant children while promoting the self-determination of gender.

Ash Perrin
The Power of Play

Can play heal the wounds inflicted by displacement and social exclusion? The answer, according to Ash Perrin, is unequivocally yes. As the founder of a nonprofit that brings play and laughter to marginalized children, Perrin works with children in refugee camps who are living in acutely difficult circumstances. They show clear signs of trauma—withdrawal, anxiety, hostility, and suspicion—and their experiences lead them to seek self-preservation through aggression and to see other people as threats. But play has the power to change that. Play builds social bonds, teaches conflict resolution, develops resilience, promotes self-esteem, and fosters joy. In a world riven by conflict and increasingly invested in digital rather than personal connections, we must be proactive in preserving traditional forms of physical play because play and laughter are our one global language.

In 2007, Ash Perrin was on holiday in Cambodia and found himself performing some magic in an orphanage. The children were comfortable and happy, but it struck him that these were feelings they didn’t usually experience. He realized that as an entertainer and a clown who cares passionately about the health and happiness of children, he should do as much as possible to spread laughter to those who need it most. He launched The Flying Seagull Project three months later. Since then, the group has worked with more than 100,000 children in hospitals, orphanages, deaf/blind schools, refugee camps, and slums around the world.

Philip Robbie
Examining the Unbuilt

Looking back over his 30-year career as an architect, Philip Robbie reflects not on the projects he saw to completion, but on those that remained unbuilt. He accepts these unrealized opportunities, recognizing that, many times, he lacked the confidence to share them, fearing they would appear too extreme. It’s only through hindsight that he sees these projects were uniquely appropriate at the time. This condition is common well beyond the architecture field: we all have projects left unbuilt, songs left unsung, stories left unwritten, and ideas that were undefended and never realized. The gifts we have come with responsibilities. Those moments when we waffle? When we pull back? That’s when we must step forward. We must find that courage, to build the unbuilt, write the unwritten, sing the unsung and defend the undefended. We have an obligation to bring our gifts into the world as we see fit, but they must be brought. To not do so is to die before our time.

Philip Robbie is the National Design Director for RS&H, a national engineering, architecture, and consulting firm based in Jacksonville. Philip has 30 years of international experience in all areas of architectural practice. These services include master planning, programming, space planning, interior design, and architectural design. He has specialized in the collaborative process and is a graphics facilitator. These skills have become the basis of RS&H’s pre-design and design services. Developing internal studios, NXT GEN studios, mentoring staff, facilitating design charrettes, along with public presentations of major commissions are frequent responsibilities. His work has gained recognition in the profession through numerous American Institute of Architects design awards and as a visiting guest lecturer; he also has been featured in several professional publications. Philip has a diverse background in the demanding markets of higher education, aviation, healthcare, and corporate clients, and has provided these services in both the U.S. and Canada.

Claudia Wilner
Driving While Poor

For most of us, a simple traffic ticket is an expensive annoyance. But for millions of our fellow citizens—disproportionately low-income people of color—it’s a financial calamity that creates a spiral of bad consequences. They lose their driver’s licenses because they’re too poor to pay their traffic tickets, and then they lose their livelihoods, because the only way for them to pay their debts—to get in the car and go to work—means breaking the law. This leads to additional criminal prosecution, more fines and fees, and even jail. Claudia Wilner argues we must correct inequities in our policing practices and our license revocation laws that effectively criminalize poverty.

Claudia Wilner, a Senior Attorney at the National Center for Law and Economic Justice, leads NCLEJ’s work combating unlawful civil and criminal justice debt collection practices. Claudia is counsel to the class in Thomas v. Haslam and Robinson v. Purkey, which have led to the restoration of driving privileges to tens of thousands of low-income Tennesseeans. Prior to joining NCLEJ, Claudia worked at New Economy Project where she brought impact litigation against financial institutions, launched and supervised the NYC Financial Justice Hotline, and partnered with low-income New Yorkers and community groups to fight discriminatory economic practices and press for sound community development. Previously, she was a Skadden Fellow at the Mental Health Project of the Urban Justice Center and a law clerk for Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. She graduated from New York University School of Law in 2002, where she was a Root Tilden Kern Scholar. Claudia has received the Legal Services Award from the New York City Bar Association, the Rising Star Award from the Partners Council of the National Consumer Law Center, and the National Association of Consumer Advocates’ Consumer Advocate Award, and she was a finalist for Public Justice’s Trial Lawyer of the Year award.

Joy Wolfram, Ph.D
The Promise of Nanomedicine

Nanotechnology—the study and application of extremely small things—has tremendous potential to revolutionize medicine, especially the treatment of cancers and other complex diseases that don’t respond well to conventional medications. Dr. Joy Wolfram and her team at the Mayo Clinic are at the forefront of this research, working to develop multi-functional nanoparticle-based cancer therapies. Joy likens these nanoparticles to tiny cars that can be loaded with several different drugs, navigated through the body, and then delivered directly to diseased tissues, thereby increasing therapeutic efficacy and reducing side effects. Joy’s vision is to develop innovative nanomedicines that bring the next generation of cancer treatments directly to the clinic.

Dr. Joy Wolfram is an Assistant Professor at Mayo Clinic in Florida, where she leads the Nanomedicine and Extracellular Vesicles Laboratory. She also holds affiliate faculty positions in the Department of Nanomedicine at the Houston Methodist Hospital in Texas, the Department of Biology at the University of North Florida, and the Wenzhou Institute of Biomaterials and Engineering in China. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in biology from the University of Helsinki in Finland. In 2016, she completed her Ph.D. in nanoscience and technology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences. In the past five years, she has authored over 40 publications and received more than 25 scientific awards from seven different countries. She was included in the Amgen Scholars Ten to Watch List, which highlights the best and brightest up-and-comers in science and medicine across 42 countries. Native of Finland, she was also selected as one of 12 internationally accomplished Finns, alongside Nobel laureates. She is  a board member and scientific advisor of several companies around the world with a cumulative customer base of over 18 million. She has designed several preclinical nanoparticles for the treatment of various diseases, including cancer. Her goal is to develop innovative nanomedicines that bring the next generation of cancer treatments directly to the clinic. Her mission is also to inspire and support underrepresented minorities in science. She is actively involved in community outreach and scientific education, including serving as the co-chair of the Physical Sciences-Oncology Network Education and Outreach Working Group of the National Cancer Institute in the United States.

Mark Woods
Find Your Rock: Why we need our national parks

The author Wallace Stegner called America’s national parks “the best idea we ever had.” We assume that because these diverse places are so beautiful, so important, and so special, they will always be there for future generations to enjoy—but this is hardly true. Preserving “America’s best idea” is a constant battle—one that has become even more urgent in the years since the National Park System turned 100 in 2016. 

Woods took a year-long sabbatical from his job as a columnist at The Florida Times-Union and spent a year in America’s national parks, trying to figure out what the future holds for them. He visited 12 parks, one a month, each symbolizing a different issue for the future, and realized the depth of his connection—indeed, many Americans’ connections—to these places. One of his epiphanies during the year was that the biggest issue for the future isn’t whether we’re loving our parks to death. It’s whether we’re loving them enough to keep them alive.

Mark Woods has been a columnist for The Florida Times-Union since 2001. In 2011, he won the Eugene C. Pulliam Fellowship, an award given to one writer in America each year. The fellowship allowed him to take a sabbatical and spend one year working on a project about the future of the national parks. During that year, Mark’s mother died, turning the project and a subsequent book into something much more personal. Lassoing the Sun: A Year in America’s National Parks was published by Thomas Dunne Books in June 2016, a month before the centennial of the National Park Service, and it won the Florida Book Awards gold medal for nonfiction.

Brian Wu
Have You Ever Seen a Planet With Two Suns?

Brian Wu believes Earth is currently, steadily progressing to a point where it will one day be uninhabitable. He also believes that the search for a habitable world other than Earth is something that must be undertaken by all of humanity. He’s certainly doing his part—although only a sophomore in high school, Brian helped to discover a low-mass Circumbinary Planet—one of only 21 currently known to humans—using ground-based Radial Velocity spectrometers. (A circumbinary planet is a planet that orbits two stars rather than one.) Wu believes the discovery of this extremely rare system calls into question the origin of our solar system, and it hints at the fact that there could be many other interesting worlds out in the universe that are yet undiscovered—maybe even some in the fabled Goldilocks zone that could theoretically sustain human life.

Currently a junior at the Horace Mann School in New York City, Brian Wu has had an immense interest in anything related to aerospace engineering and astronomy since a very early age. Over the past year, he has been working on a graduate-level research project at the University of Florida, which led to the tentative discoveries of nine Giant Planets, two Brown Dwarfs, and the first low-mass Circumbinary Planet to be detected using Doppler spectroscopy. His passion for astronomy stems from a desire to sustain the human race should an apocalyptic event render the Earth uninhabitable. In 2017, he was honored as a semifinalist of the SIEMENS Competition in Math, Science, and Technology. In May 2018, he was named an Intel ISEF Finalist as well. In his spare time, Brian enjoys experimenting with homemade rocket engines, basketball, squash, and long-distance running. His most passionate athletic interests cover the NFL, NBA, and College Basketball. Brian will be continuing his research over the next several years, with the ultimate goal of discovering potentially habitable Earth-sized terrestrial planets. In college, Brian aspires to double major in aerospace engineering and business management. 

Douglas Anderson Dancers

The Dance Department of Douglas Anderson School of the Arts provides a secure setting for students to develop an understanding of dance as an art form. Several alumni have established careers dancing in and choreographing for professional ballet and modern dance companies such as the Joffrey Ballet, the Paul Taylor Dance Company, Susan Marshall and Urban Bush Women.

Bold City Contemporary Ensemble

Modular in design, the ensemble ranges in size from two to 13 players, accommodating instrumentation for a variety of newly composed works. Our flexibility is an asset as we travel locally within Jacksonville and nationally to serve communities and interests that are drastically under-exposed to the arts. Without the constant, strict formality of a concert hall, we interact with our listeners to create an immersive, all-sensory experience.

We are a group of classically trained musicians who believe passionately that our tradition can be successfully continued through the performance of very new music. For all those who say classical music is dying, we vehemently disagree and prove the opposite is true through a series of engaging, outside-the-box performances. Think you know classical music and how we play? Think again!

John Lumpkin and The Covenant

Throughout his career John has shared the stage with greats such as Rodney Whitaker, Delfeayo Marsalis, Wycliff Gordon, Marcus Roberts, Arturo Sandoval, Curtis Fuller, Marcus Printup, Houston Person, Rufus Reid, Ben Tucker, James Moody, Nathan Davis, and David Baker. In addition to serving on staff at UNF and Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, he is also the founder of the Jazz Discovery Series and Jonah Sofa Jazz Sessions in Jacksonville. His level of expectancy drives him to see many other things emerging from his gift of music to the world.

John Lumpkin II is a producer, arranger, and artist. He obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Jazz Studies from the University of North Florida under the direction of Danny Gottlieb and a Master’s Degree from Florida State University under the leadership of Leon Anderson. John grew up in the pentecostal church and still plans to exercise his gifts there as well as other national venues. However, he says “The church is the root of my zeal for music and forever shall be.”