TEDxJacksonville Conference 2023: Human/Nature

Sat Oct 14 2023 at 10:30 am to 05:15 pm

WJCT Studios | Jacksonville

TEDxJacksonville Conference 2023: Human\/Nature
TEDxJacksonville 2023 Conference "Human/Nature" Features Talented Speakers & Musical Performers at WJCT Studios on October 14.
About this Event

Join us Saturday, October 14 at WJCT Studios for TEDxJacksonville 2023 "Human/Nature."

The conference will feature talks on ideas worth spreading from 10 speakers and three musical performances, as well as an array of engagement activities. The conference will be from 11:00 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. followed by the Afterglow party — all at WJCT. Check-in begins at 10:30 a.m.


This year’s conference theme, Human/Nature, is a meditation on not only the incredible richness of being human, but also the intimate relationship between humanity and the natural world. Humanity and nature are not separate — we are interconnected and interdependent. The impact that human actions have on nature is as self-evident as the impact nature has on us.

This year’s conference speakers:

• Caryn Antonini (Greenwich, Connecticut) Around the globe, we share our customs and unique cultures through our cuisine. When thoughtfully prepared, food has the power to transcend borders and unite disparate peoples in a shared experience that breaks down some of the barriers that isolate us from one other. Caryn Antonini believes we owe it to our global neighbors and ourselves to both honor the language of food and preserve the critical cultural stories it conveys.

Iva Ballou (Jacksonville) — A facial difference affects more than the way one speaks. It can also affect learning, behavior, social abilities, self-confidence, and everyday interactions with others. But as Iva Ballou knows from personal experience, in the United States whether a child with a cleft palete or craniofacial anomalies receives the medical attention and surgeries they desperately need depends entirely on which state they happen to live in—and that needs to change.

• Matthew Chang (Jacksonville Beach) — Robots used to be the stuff of science fiction. Soon, they’ll be your coworkers. As a champion of the adoption of cobotics, Matthew Chang has personally led the engineering teams that have developed the largest cobotic systems in the world, across industries as diverse as manufacturing, transportation, and healthcare. But he acknowledges the adjustment to this new way of working will not be painless. Will the pain of adoption be offset by the increase in workforce satisfaction?

• Anne Coglianese (Jacksonville) — In an age of climate crisis, what does it mean to be a resilient city? Part of "future-proofing" Jacksonville requires modifying our city government to embrace change. Data and science are tools that city governments can use to anticipate future conditions and improve regulatory and financial systems to accommodate change. Anne Coglianese, Jacksonville's first Chief Resilience Officer, will talk about how our city's data-informed, science-based resilience planning will advance the notion of what it means to be a resilient city.

• Christi Gendron, PhD (Ann Arbor, Michigan) — Dr. Christi Gendron's lab at the University of Michigan has long been interested in how the brain controls aging, and how sensory experiences with the external world (including food, light, pheromone, and even death cues) produce physiological changes that affect lifespan. Understanding how neural circuits regulate aging in common fruit flies could eventually lead to targeted drug therapies in humans that slow the aging process — while also providing insights into how psychology potentially impacts health and lifespan.

• Diana Greene, PhD (Jacksonville) — Black women educators bring a diverse set of experiences and viewpoints to their work, which is critical to encouraging different perspectives, broadening students' world views, and fostering innovation. Dr. Diana Green, the former Superintendent of Duval County Public Schools, believes that one way to improve our educational system is to empower more women of color to hold leadership roles that impact and influence public policy centered on education.

• Alexa Hagerty, PhD (Toulouse, France) — We're entering an era of ubiquitous AI, but do we truly understand the threats it presents to our basic freedoms? As an anthropologist whose field work has included exhuming mass graves of citizens "disappeared" by their governments, Dr. Alexa Hagerty well knows how archives of data can be weaponized. She argues it's urgent that we implement concrete, actionable approaches to ensuring that AI systems uphold democratic values and human rights.

• Neil Moore (Los Angeles) — With so many technologies emerging on so many fronts, can the human brain keep up? Neil Moore believes that humanity must think more creatively than ever before. By providing the brain with the critical neurological nutrition of musicianship, he believes we can discover and reconnect to our innate creative capability, and prepare ourselves for the complex and challenging future we face.

Nadine Salem (Jacksonville) — Growing up, many of us heard the phrases "Stranger Danger" and "Don't talk to strangers." While these cautionary phrases may be useful for children, Nadine Salem believes in the power that unfolds when we stay open to chance interactions with strangers. A former CIA analyst and global strategy advisor, Nadine has found that engaging with strangers develops empathy, courage, and new perspectives — if we remain open to the lessons they bring.

• Colah B. Tawkin (Atlanta) — Through her popular podcast, Black in the Garden, Colah B. Tawkin inspires and encourages Black individuals to embrace the transformative power of gardening as a tool for personal growth, empowerment, and cultural preservation. By honoring and celebrating these cultural connections to the land, we strengthen our collective identity, promote intergenerational bonds, and contribute to a stronger, more empowered, and culturally rich community.

And three live performances:

• 95 South  Jacksonville's own multi-platinum recording duo 95 South will take the stage at TEDxJacksonville as hip-hop celebrates its 50th anniversary. 95 South first hit the scene in 1993 with the monster hit "Whoot There It Is" from their debut album Quad City Knock, with the song reaching number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100. They followed their debut album with more hits, including "Rodeo" and "Tight Work," and have remixed songs for artists including Jordan Knight, Dru Hill and LFO. Today, 95 South's Carlos (Daddy Black) Spencer and Michael (Mike Mike) Phillips continue to light up crowds with their energetic music.

• Jesabel — Originally from Georgia, singer-songwriter Jesabel found music in the depths of losing herself as a new mom. She found her way to music at the ripe age of 27, going from not singing in front of another soul, not even her own husband, to now as a full-time musician, songwriter and recording artist. She released her sixth single, and first holiday tune, "Christmas Mood" in November 2022. She blends folk and pop with a dash of country roots and the sprinkle of soulful patina only a life well-lived provides.

• LoveReigns — Spoken word artist LoveReigns is not just a poet — she is a mentor, advocate, educator, entrepreneur and so much more. She is currently teaching poetry enrichment at a local Jacksonville public school and facilitating writing workshops. She is the co-founder of The Cypher Open Mic Poetry & Soul; founder of Artis(Tree) Live and The Artis(Tree) Youth Project; and owner/CEO of LoveReigns Customized Poetry.


Will food be available?

Yes. The lunch options are here — and you choose one at the time of your order.

• African Love Kitchen — For this food truck, choose one of these options: 1) Mango chicken with spinach over rice; 2) Vegan Vegetable Curry

• Luvin' O-Van — Hot reuben sandwich with pickled cucumbers and chips

Twisted Okie — For this food truck, choose one of these options: 1) Pulled pork sandwich with seasoned fries; 2) smoked veggie tacos with a side of collards

Saffron Grilled — Chicken Schwarma pita with rice

Mama's Chicken — Chicken quesadilla with fries

Are there ID or minimum age requirements to enter the event?


Some talks may deal with sensitive subject matters that may not be suitable for all ages. Discretion is advised.

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

Free parking is available in the WJCT parking lot. We highly encourage carpooling and arriving early to ease congestion.

What can I bring into the event?

Handbags are allowed, but are subject to security screening.

No food or drink is permitted in the theatre.

Videos cameras and flash photography are not permitted.

How can I contact the organizer with any questions?

Email us at [email protected]!

What's the refund policy?

All sales are final.

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?

Please do, but we can use a photo ID to verify.

Is my registration fee or ticket transferable?

You can transfer your registration to another person prior to 10/1/23.  Email us at [email protected] with your receipt and the contact information that is receiving the ticket. 

Is it OK if the name on my ticket or registration doesn't match the person who attends?

Only if they don't mind wearing a name tag with your name on it.



Event Venue & Nearby Stays

WJCT Studios, 100 Festival Park Avenue, Jacksonville, United States


USD 0.00 to USD 135.00

Sharing is Caring: