From space to AI: TEDxJacksonville focuses on innovation

TEDxJacksonville will bring a list of thought-provoking talks to town next month, ranging from space industrialization to maritime archeology, artificial intelligence, civic leadership, business innovation, and the DNA of addiction.

The talk, named FRICTION, will take place from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on October 22 at the Terry Theater at the Jacksonville Center for Performing Arts. The program includes 12 speakers, three musical and artistic performances, interactive experiences and an afterparty at the Jessie Ball duPont Center.

“The conference theme for 2022 represents our team’s belief that FRICTION is the necessary ingredient for positive change and the place where true innovation begins,” organizer and executive producer Jeanmarie Grimsley said in a statement. hurry.

Grimsley is in her first year as an executive producer for TEDxJacksonville — taking on the role of former executive producer Sabeen Perwaiz, who remains licensee and continues to be part of the volunteer management team.

TEDx is a program of self-organized local events that combine TED Talks videos and live speakers to spark discussion and connection.

Organizers say the conference will “present new approaches to lingering problems and challenge our conceptions of what is possible.”

Tickets for TEDxJacksonville can be purchased here.

This year’s speakers are:

Basma Alawee of Jacksonville, humanitarian and refugee advocate. Alawee believes that when we provide opportunities for refugees to safely share their stories and realize their potential as leaders, it fosters a sense of belonging and agency in their lives. Alawee sees the opportunity to help refugees as one that builds a more vibrant society, as well as a stronger and better America.

Matt Berseth of Jacksonville, artificial intelligence expert — Many of the most dazzling innovations in the modern world, such as self-driving cars, digital assistants like Siri and Alexa, and facial recognition on our phones, are powered by artificial intelligence. Berseth will share the ways in which AI solves real problems today and how it is essential to recognize the limits of AI to use it responsibly.

Ashton Body of Jacksonville, science student – As a sophomore in high school, Body conducted biomedical research at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville. After five years, her dream of creating a new drug delivery system to treat aggressive breast cancer has come true. The aspiring physician is passionate about improving health equity and delivering better personal care to patients guided by medical innovation.

Dr. Evelyn Higgins of Jupiter, addiction researcher — New research shows that biomarkers of addiction can now be identified, isolated and measured in our DNA. Higgins, an international expert on the epidemiology of drug addiction, argues that genetic testing is a vital treatment resource that can change the lens through which society views addiction.

Lainie Ishibia of Bradenton, Disability Advocate and Entrepreneur — As an entrepreneur and disability advocate, Lainie Ishbia believes that expanding our understanding of disability is not just a moral and ethical imperative, it’s also good business.

Tanaine Jenkins of Jacksonville, recidivism strategist and reintegration expert “Why do we keep releasing individuals into society from prison without any plan?” Jenkins believes that creating viable reintegration strategies for our returning citizens is an investment in safer neighborhoods, fewer broken homes, and the power of second chances.

Neil Moore of Sacramento, California, international music educator – Moore explains that humanity needs to think more creatively than ever before. By providing the brain with essential neurological nutrition for musicality, he says we can discover and reconnect with our innate creative capacity and prepare for the complex and challenging future we face.

Duval County Judge-Elect Audrey Moran of Jacksonville, civic leader – Moran is a lawyer and mediator who was elected a county court judge and will take up his post in January. Moran will discuss her very public loss in her bid for mayor and how that loss inspired her to achieve meaningful change in other ways. His talk will also cover strategies that other advocates can look at to bring about meaningful change in their own communities.

Tara Roberts of Atlanta, National Geographic Explorer – Tara Roberts has spent the past four years following Diving with a Purpose, a team of black divers, in search of the wreckage of slave ships that carried captive Africans during the Middle Passage. Roberts will explore the transformative power of telling historical stories from a new and personal perspective.

Andrew Rush of Jacksonville, space industrialist – Rush, president and COO of Redwire, led the company to become the first to manufacture parts in space, sell a product built in space to a customer on Earth, and build the whole thing first satellite that will manufacture and assemble parts of itself in orbit. He will share how space exploration – and manufacturing products in space – can improve life on earth.

Hamzah Shanbari, Jacksonville, construction technologist — Chief Innovation Officer for Haskell Co., a global leader in architecture, engineering and construction solutions, Shanbari believes the discourse on innovation needs to be much broader, with a much higher tolerance for failure.

Nicole Thomas of Jacksonville, health care leader – Thomas, President of Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville, will share her perspective on how to work outside hospital walls to build a healthier and more equitable Jacksonville. She is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

The conference interpreters are:

Nan Nkama Pan-African Drumming and Dance Ensemble — Nan Nkama Pan-African Drum and Dance Ensemble is Jacksonville’s premier source of Afro-Diaspora performing arts. The dance and music troupe focuses on West African (Mandé) music, dance and culture.

Spoken word artist Reece the Poet — Reece the Poet is also an artist, musician and broadcaster specializing in storytelling. It seeks to educate, equip and empower students to make healthy life choices through verbal engagement and critical thinking exercises.

Says who — From diverse backgrounds but united by their love of music, SaysWho is a group from Jacksonville, formed with the vision of creating feel-good music.

Hope McMath – a Northeast Florida cultural leader, educator, artist and founder of Yellow House – returns as conference host for the eighth consecutive year.

For more details on FRICTION speakers and performers, visit

Robert M. Larson