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Watch the 2011 speeches: TEDxTU2011

Louis Barron– Louis Barron grew up in Kaufman, Texas. Over the last 40 years, he’s been a son, a partner, a chef, a friend, and inmate, homeless, a worker, and a mentor. He is an avid volunteer at the New Orleans Mission. He’s excited to share his story and life lessons with anyone willing to listen.

Candy Chang– Candy is an artist, designer, urban planner, and TED Senior Fellow who makes cities more comfortable for people. She’s passionate about redefining the ways we can share information in public space to improve our neighborhoods and our personal well-being. Her experience in design, street art, and urban planning informs many of her projects, which use public space to spark dialogue and engage citizens with their cities and with one another. Recent projects include a blighted house in New Orleans transformed into an interactive wall for aspirations, an abandoned high-rise in Fairbanks turned into an emotional beacon for memories and hopes, stickers that help residents voice what businesses they want in vacant storefronts, and an online tool that helps people influence the development of their neighborhoods. The Atlantic called her Before I Die public art project “merely one of the most creative community projects ever.” She is a Tulane University Urban Innovation Fellow and co-founder of Civic Center, a civic design studio in New Orleans.

Matthew Deitch – is a B.S.M. in Finance 2012 candidate at Tulane University’s A. B. Freeman School of Business. Mr. Deitch brings a diverse knowledge base in start-up finance, business development and marketing. He is currently the Business Development and Strategy Specialist at Rebirth Financial, an online platform whose purpose is to act as a financial engine to facilitate growth and development in Louisiana. In this roll he helped develop a reasonable fee structure for all borrowers. In doing so, Rebirth will be able to provide borrowers with the lowest possible interest rates over the time of their loans. Additionally, he was responsible for connecting with institutions in order to provide borrowers with more the most competitive interest rates available.

Kevin Morgan-Rothschild– co-founded Aquaponic Modular Production Systems (AMPS), a new company focused on the development of sustainable food production systems for community organizations, restaurants, supermarkets and other urban agricultural initiatives. AMPS received initial help through Tulane’s Social Entrepreneurship initiatives and will participate in the Idea Village’s IDEAxcelerator program this winter as a finalist in the Water Challenge 2012. AMPS won Tulane’s New Day Challenge and was the audience favorite at this year’s pitchNOLA competition. To date, the company has worked with Hollygrove Market & Farm, and has plans to install a hydroponic system with the Mary Queen of Vietnam CDC and at a local Rousse’s as well. After graduating from Tulane University in 2011 with a degree in Sociology and Social Policy & Practice, Kevin helped establish Ye’NO! – Young Entrepreneurs of New Orleans – an organization dedicated to nurturing the city’s youngest entrepreneurs.   He currently interns with Solar Alternatives, works part time at Dat Dog, and volunteers at the Neutral Ground Coffeehouse.

Naomi Natale– founding artist behind One Million Bones.  Both an installation artist and photographer, Naomi was the founder and director of The Cradle Project, a large scale installation calling attention and raising funds for the 48 million children orphaned in sub-SaharanAfrica.  Naomi has served as an artist-in-residence at Columbia College of Chicago in 2008, 2010 and 2011.  She speaks internationally on the topic of art and activism as well as her installation works and is currently both a TED Senior and Carl Wilkens Fellow, respectively.

Derek Rankins is a native of New Orleans, LA. He is an anti-racist organizer for the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond.   At Tulane he is majors are sociology and African diaspora. He is a co-convener of Students Organizing Against Racism at Tulane (S.O.A.R.) Working in line with the principles of S.O.A.R. he has been apart of the leadership team for Outreach Tulane 2011. Currently working in the Greater New Orleans Community with several organization: Greater New Orleans Organizers Roundtable, Umoja, 4th World Movement, and Black Men and Boys Fellowship to shift power throughout the city.

Elizabeth Shephard – Elizabeth is trained as an energy rater, water policy analyst, LEED Green Associate, and sustainability coordinator. After graduating with honors and distinction at Carleton College, Elizabeth was hired by her university to become the school’s Sustainability Coordinator, where she also built connections to the city of New Orleans. Originally from the Gulf Coast, Elizabeth moved to Louisiana to teach Earth Science and has been working in the environmental non-profit field for nearly 3 years. Daughter of two independent business owners and as a previous steering committee member of Social Entrepreneurs for New Orleans, Elizabeth is passionate about making business sustainable. Recently, Elizabeth was invited to the White House to a convening on building a national strategy for an Impact Economy, an economy that prioritizes social impact in addition to economic growth.  Currently, Elizabeth is working with over 50 companies in Louisiana to help them leverage social and environmental responsibility in their business practices and connect them to other businesses and consumers in the local green economy.  She serves on the Green Collaborative Steering Committee, the Keep New Orleans Beautiful Committee, and is a Lay Leader and Chair of the Caring for Creation Committee at Rayne Memorial Methodist Church.

Ekundayo Shittu conducts research in the arena of the economics of global climate change by focusing on the interplay between public policy, energy technology investments, and climate change. Specifically, he is using the tools of microeconomics and operations research paradigms to address how deep, long-term uncertainties about future climate change and resources, technology costs, energy demand and supply, and the stringency of policies are likely to impact social R&D investments in a range of energy technologies. These uncertainties and their inherent risks are critical to shaping today’s investment decisions. Addressing this problem is crucial because decision makers are faced with competing energy R&D portfolios in the face of dwindling financial resources. Professor Shittu earned his PhD in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He has an MS in Industrial Engineering from the American University in Cairo, Egypt, and a B.Eng. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Ilorin, Nigeria.

Tippy Tippensthe Founder and Director of Matter L3C and the BirdProject. She is a social entrepreneur, designer, gandhiwarmer, and she is passionate about helping to build sustainable growth, making the objects that we live with us work for us instead of against us and ultimately wishing to contribute to greater happiness.

Her professional experiences have included: designing faucets for Kohler, freelancing for lighting, furniture, graphic, architectural, and wayfinding firms as well as designing and making home furnishings for over ten years. She has also guest lectured, participated in exhibitions, competitions, and collaborations in design, public projects, and photography. She earned her masters degree in industrial design from Pratt Institute and her B.F.A. from Virginia Commonwealth University.

In September of 2010, she moved from Brooklyn to New Orleans after the BP Oil Spill in order to create BirdProject. Currently she is a SENO Fellow in the New Ventures Accelerator program and has recently founded BirdProject and MATTER L3C, Design for Social Change. The company was founded after developing BirdProject and discovering the need for socially based products which are sustainably made.

Kathryn Hall Trujillo lived much of her adult life walking between two worlds: The L.A housing project and Arkansas fields of her youth, and the windowed office of her work in public health. Long a translator between worlds, she has a created a program that allows black women all over America to take on similar roles. Kathryn was born to teenage parents and felt the strong pull of community in both L.A and Arkansas, where she was raised. By the age of fifteen, she was fully immersed in the civil rights movement, which had come right to her door; literally. Her uncle was the state coordinator for the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee and the Arkansas movement was directed from her grandmother’s kitchen. Kathryn spent the tenth grade on picket lines, in court, and in jail.

Soon after, Kathryn married and began having children. While still a teenager, she escaped from an abusive relationship and found herself living in a bus station with her two children. With time she pulled herself up, got a job, and eventually completed a Masters in Public Health at UCLA. This gave her a new world view, one that integrated economic, social, and political factors into health care. She began her professional life working for the California State Department of Health but quickly recognized its inefficiency and inability to bridge the gap between policy and reality: State programs are mandated to set policy, fund programs and collect data, but were not able to work directly with pregnant women to understand the barriers to care and prevent deaths and illnesses of black babies. She started the Birthing Project as a test initiative for the government to eventually fund. But the funding never came, and one day Kathryn found herself so involved in the Center for Community Health and Wellbeing, of which the Birthing Project was a part, that she never returned to her state job. The center grew into a robust one-stop location for clinic and social services under a single roof, and a Sacramento-wide public health program.

The Birthing Project was only one element of Kathryn’s successful work reforming the health care infrastructure of Sacramento, but it was an element that spread through word of moth and attention from the likes of Essence Magazine. For eighteen years, Kathryn has provided structure to the ad hoc expansion of the Birthing Project at 82 sites in response to requests that poured in from all over the country. Now, having established the needed health care structures for Sacramento and reached a new stage in her own life, Kathryn is preparing for the next stage in her work. In 2007, Kathryn left the operation of her Sacramento clinic and program to devote herself full-time to a strategic expansion of Birthing Project across the U.S including bringing the service to New Orleans.

Laura White–  a political economy and teacher certification student at Tulane University. Over her time at Tulane, Laura has led and participated in a number of projects related to social innovation and public service. These include a swimming program for at-risk youth, a social venture incubator, popular education study circles on social innovation topics, and helping develop a new major for social innovation and social entrepreneurship. Now a senior, Laura is preparing to go into a career in education.

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