Featured Speakers

TEDxChesterRiver is scheduled as a half-day event. Doors open at 12:30 and the program begins at 1:00 in the afternoon. Here are the speakers we currently have on our roster.

Note: This section will be updated, revised and expanded regularly. Please check back for changes.

Frank Bond

Producer/Host, Newseum

The Freedom Riders: Coming together to change the world.

Frank Bond of the Newseum talks about how the young Freedom Riders and tv journalism turned the tide in the South, and turned the Civil Rights Movement into an American movement.

Matthew Swanson and Robbi Behr

The Brains behind Idiots’ Books

The Odd Logic of Collaboration: When Yes Means No and No Means Yes

Author/illustrator, husband/wife duo Matthew Swanson and Robbi Behr of Idiots’ Books explore the virtues of collaboration while debunking the myth of the lone genius. Featuring a banana split, cameos by Julia Roberts and Betty White, and brief (yet uninspiring) nudity.

Tynesha McClain

Chemist, Patent Examiner and Baltimore Blast Pro Soccer Cheerleader

Science Cheerleaders and Why the World Needs Us.

The Science Cheerleaders, founded in 2006, are professional cheerleaders pursuing science careers who playfully challenge stereotypes, turning everyone onto science by encouraging participation in citizen science activities, and inspiring young women  including 3-4 million U.S. cheerleaders) to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and math. Tynesha fills us in on her personal involvement with the group that’s turning the tide for young women.

Meg Olmert

Director of Research, Warrior Canine Connection

Stay. Sit. Heal. New Rules for the Human-Animal Bond.

Meg Olmert’s recent research looks into the physiological changes that happen in both species when human beings share their lives with man’s best friend. for more than 10,000 years, we’ve benefitted from living with animals. Once again, we are living through another evolutionary shifting tide that is transforming the way we interact and help each other. What does the 21st century hold for the human-animal bond?

Robbie Blinkoff

Cultural Anthropologist, Context-Based Research 

“Is That an Anthropologist in My Pocket?”: Scholarship for the 21st Century

Robbie Blinkoff is an anthropologist and professor at Goucher College who’s been asking himself whether technology is the advancement that will propel us from “stone tools to axes” — in the evolution of anthropology, perhaps even transforming the humanities.  His quest has led him to develop a new app, the Pocket Anthropologist. Find out what Margaret Mead would have done with an iPhone in this engaging presentation.

Richard Thorp

CEO/Managing Partner, ILSbio

The End of Cancer as a Deadly Disease

Here in Chestertown, Richard Thorp’s company, ILSbio, is gathering the tissue and DNA that is transforming how cancer is being screened and detected. We could be just years away from stopping cancer cells before they become dangerous. Now, that’s “turning the tide.”

Kevin Martin

Performer & Lecturer, Rock Creek Steel Drums

Music from Trash

How did a guy with a degree in Policy Analysis from Cornell wind up building and playing steel drums for more than 20 years? Kevin Martin of Rock Creek Steel Drums tells us about his passion, and the surprising and liberating history of this musical instrument made from trash

Mike Arms

Author, Explorer, Environmentalist

Crossing the Milk Sea

Myron “Mike” Arms has sailed the oceans for decades. Through his journeys, he’s become more and more of an environmentalist—understanding that the ecological balance of the oceans become windows into the workings of the planet itself. In his TEDx talk, Mike talks about discovering dangerous imbalances, and how we can turn the tide for our waters that mean everything to our future.

Kaitlin Thomas

Lecturer of Spanish, Washington College Hispanic Liaison Maryland Migrant Education Program

The Shadow Journey: Crossing the Border

Every year, undocumented workers make the journey to our area, drawn by employment and to unite with their families. A surprising number are children, brought by their parents or even making the trip themselves. Kaitlin Thomas works closely with the migrant community, and presents to us the stories of three children—how they came here, and how they manage in the shadow world of the undocumented.

Mary Yerrick

Co-Chair Emeritus, Vital Voices Global Partnership

Paying It Forward: Mentoring Around the World

Mary Daley Yerrick is a co-founder of Vital Voices—its mission is to identify and invest in extraordinary women around the world by unleashing their leadership potential. Over the years, these leaders have mentored more than 500,000 others. Mary talks about three exceptional women who are turning the tide, and changing the world through mentoring.