TEDWomen 2015 Conference, "Momentum," Gets Underway in Monterey, California

40+ TED Talks and performances to be simulcast to hundreds of TEDxWomen gatherings around the world

May 27, 2015, 15:00 ET from TED

MONTEREY, Calif., May 27, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- TED, the nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, opens its TEDWomen 2015 conference today at the Monterey Convention Center in California. Themed "Momentum," the event will feature a live program of more than 40 speakers and performers over three days. TED will broadcast the TED Talks in real time to nearly 250 simultaneous TEDxWomen events held in 68 countries around the world.

TEDWomen 2015 will feature speakers sharing ideas and inventions in six sessions of TED Talks on Thursday, May 28 and Friday, May 29. The conference also includes interactive 'Learning Tracks' designed to demonstrate how good ideas can lead to transformational change.  The event is produced by TED in association with Pat Mitchell, the co-curator and host of TEDWomen since its launch in 2010.

"Our theme this year, 'Momentum,' focuses on the ideas that move us forward," Mitchell said. "We'll look at the bold and innovative thinking that can spark movement, as well as the insightful work that surfaces challenges. We'll look at ideas that seduce us to think again, and the ones that sustain us through big changes. We'll examine the shifts that can transform the way we live and work, and of course, we'll share stories that connect and inspire us."

This year's speaker program includes two former Presidents whose leadership continues to make global impact, as well as a former Islamic extremist, a pioneer in virtual reality-based journalism, a young Libyan doctor who's fought the use of religious texts to suppress women, an Egyptian scientist bringing emotion to our digital lives, an American actor re-thinking the roles she plays off-screen, a pioneer in wearable technology, a pair of dueling banjo players, and speakers from more than 10 countries, from Afghanistan to  Zimbabwe.

The TEDWomen 2015 speaker and performer list includes:

Mary Robinson, Former President of Ireland, Global leader
Jimmy Carter, Former US President, Peace activist
Jane Fonda, Actor and activist
Maria Bello, Actor
Billie Jean King, Tennis legend and activist
Lily Tomlin, Comedian and actor
Elizabeth Nyamayaro, Political scientist, founder He for She
Abigail Washburn and Béla Fleck, Dueling banjo players
Robin Morgan, Poet and iconic advocate for women
Aspen Baker, Listener
Memory Banda, Activist and advocate for girls
Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, Reporter
Rich Benjamin, Journalist and social observer
Christina Mercando, CEO, Ringly 
Achenyo Idachaba, Green entrepreneur
Kakani Katija, Bioengineer
Michael Kimmel, Sociologist
Kaki King, Guitarist
Gina Loring, Poet and vocalist
Nancy Lublin, Activist
Mia Birdsong, Family activist
Linda Briceño, Singer, pianist, trumpet player, thinker
Jenni Chang and Lisa Dazols, Documentary filmmakers
Linda Cliatt-Wayman, High school principal
Nonny de la Peña, Virtual reality pioneer
Rana el Kaliouby, Emotion technologist
Negin Farsad, Comedian and filmmaker
Roxane Gay, Writer
Alix Generous, Advocate
Margaret Heffernan, Serial CEO and management thinker
Lerato Mokobe, Poet
Alaa Murabit, Peace expert
Robin Murphy, Roboticist
Sunni Patterson, Poet
Erin Pettit, Glacier explorer
Pardis Sabeti, Computational geneticist
Somi, Vocalist, composer and culturist
Sara Stevens, Singer
Sakena Yacoobi, Education activist
Marlene Zuk, Evolutionary biologist

The full speaker list can be found here: https://conferences.ted.com/TEDWomen2015/program/speakers.php.

The TEDWomen 2015 experience will extend well beyond the audience in Monterey through the TEDx program, which allows communities worldwide to produce independently organized TED events. Talks delivered in Monterey will be streamed live to several thousand people watching around the globe at close to 250 independently organized TEDxWomen events in 68 countries, including Kuwait, Uganda, Mongolia, Haiti, Algeria, Israel, Mexico, Brazil, Switzerland, India, Sweden, France and China. In addition to the simulcast, these events will also host local speakers sharing ideas and stories from and about women in their own communities.

"This isn't simply a conference in Monterey—it's a global event that amplifies women's ideas and shows people everywhere what can happen when leading thinkers – women and men – come together to share their collective experience and expertise," said Executive Director of the TEDx program Jay Herratti.  "Thanks to the roughly 250 simultaneous TEDx events broadcasting our TEDWomen program around the world, the women on our stage are setting a real-time example in places where women may have little or no voice."

This year's event marks the third year TED has hosted a TEDWomen conference since 2010, and the first time it has done so at the Monterey Convention Center—home of the first TED conferences more than 30 years ago.

A number of brands and organizations have partnered with TEDWomen 2015 to share ideas and foster an atmosphere of innovation.  This year's partners include: The Boston Consulting Group, Citi, Clinique, Goldhirsh Foundation, Greylock Partners, Gucci, Harnisch Foundation, IBM, Jawbone, Merck for Mothers, State Street, Steelcase, Surf Air, UBS, UPS, Verizon, UCLA Anderson School of Management, TOMS, Tone It Up, and Pandora.

Live blog coverage of the conference will be updated throughout each day at blog.ted.com. TED Live passes to view the full conference online, either live or on-demand, are available for purchase here. The detailed TEDWomen 2015 program and more information can be found online here: https://conferences.ted.com/TEDWomen2015/.

About TED
TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or fewer) delivered by today's leading thinkers and doers. Many of these talks are given at TED's annual conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, its TEDWomen conference and its TEDGlobal conferences—then made available, free, on TED.com. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Sal Khan and Daniel Kahneman.

TED's open and free initiatives for spreading ideas include TED.com, where new TED Talk videos are posted daily; the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as translations from thousands of volunteers worldwide; the educational initiative TED-Ed; the annual million-dollar TED Prize, which funds exceptional individuals with a "wish," or idea, to create change in the world; TEDx, which provides licenses to thousands of individuals and groups who host local, self-organized TED-style events around the world; and the TED Fellows program, which selects innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.

Follow TED on Twitter at http://twitter.com/TEDTalks, on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TED or Instagram at https://instagram.com/ted.

About Pat Mitchell
Pat Mitchell has had an award-winning, groundbreaking career as a producer, journalist and media executive committed to optimizing the power of media to further empower women. Mitchell's work has garnered 37 Emmy Awards, five Peabodys, and two Academy Award nominations. In 2000, she became the first woman President and CEO of PBS. She most recently headed the Paley Center for Media in New York and Los Angeles. Mitchell was the co-host and co-curator of the first TEDWomen events, in 2010 and 2013, and curated and hosted two TEDxWomen events, in 2011 and 2012.

Contact: Margaret Sullivan, TED@groupsjr.com, +1 (646) 519-1350