YOUNG VISIONARIES

Syfys Young Visionaries are an ambitious, creative, change-oriented lot that are literally changing our world for the better as you read this. From technology to sustainability to powerful media messaging, these young minds are creating a better tomorrow for us all.

ted_logoTechnology. Entertainment. Design. TEDs mission is simply to spread ideas. Believing passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world, the TED community welcomes people from every discipline and culture who have just two things in common: they seek a deeper understanding of the world, and they hope to turn that understanding into a better future for us all. The annual conferences bring together the worlds most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes). We are incredibly excited about being part of TED@PalmSprings in February. Why? Apart from the opportunity to interact with and hear some of the worlds most creative minds, we feel that TED and our Visions For Tomorrow campaign share a lot of the same goals. We think the combination of Syfy, the brand that asks its viewers to imagine greater; Visions for Tomorrow, a pro-social campaign that begs the worlds citizens to envision a more positive tomorrow; and a diverse panel of people who are are imaginative, innovative and solutions-oriented is an a perfect fit for the TED community.

Below are the Young Visionaries that will be representing the Syfy Channel at TED@PalmSprings in February. From technology to sustainability to powerful media messaging, these young minds are creating a better tomorrow for us all. Take a few minutes to get to know these folks and draw inspiration from what they are doing for our world.

  • Bristol Baughan
    The Rhett Butlers of the world are NOT her intended audiences. When Bristol Baughan co-founded Reason Pictures along with the organization GOOD four years ago, she wanted to create content and a platform for people who give a damn. Of course, Bristol isn’t quick to write off the Rhett Butlers of the world — her vision is to engage them and encourage them to give a damn. And film is her main medium.
    Bristol continues to make her mark from behind the camera as a producer of documentaries. The Power of the Game, directed by Michael Apted explores the global community and its conflicts through the lens of soccer – a sport that more people give a damn about than any other! Currently she is working with Marshall Curry, Oscar-nominated director of Street Fight, on the film Racing Dreams, as well as with Edward Norton on an untitled documentary about President Barack Obama — a natural for Bristol, since his campaign got people giving a damn unlike any other in our history.
  • Majora Carter
    This isn’t her first time on stage at TED. In fact, after seeing Majora Carter’s TED presentation, former Apple evangelist and Steve Jobs protégé, Guy Kawasaki described her as “every bit as good as Steve Jobs” as a presenter. The similarities don’t end there — Majora’s transformative visions impact lives daily.
    As an urban planner focused on sustainability (particularly for neglected urban areas with depressed economies), she is one of our country’s best-known advocates for environmental justice. Inspired and compelled by her upbringing in the South Bronx, Majora has been a trailblazer in developing “green collar” jobs — sustainability built on financial, physical, and social health for today and tomorrow. Green for everybody.
    http://www.ssbx.org/
  • Emily Cummins
    It started with the gift of a hammer. And a grandfather who inspired her by making toys constructed from scraps of materials. From age 4 to her current ripe old age of 21, Emily Cummins has been driven by design — guided by her visions of innovative consumer products that make a difference in people’s lives and make a difference in how we impact the environment.
    Emily’s design solutions include a solar evaporation refrigerator — a way to harness the sun’s energy for cool storage and transportation of medicine in the developing world and beyond. Currently a student at Leeds University in England, Emily is working on the 2nd generation of the refrigerator that promises to be even more energy efficient and keep a cool constant temperature of 43 degrees Fahrenheit. Very cool.
    http://www.emilycummins.co.uk/
  • Scott Harrison
    To wear charity. What do you think that means? Even though he’s not exactly sure what it means, Scott Harrison loves the expression — he envisions a world where we all wear charity. He wears it every day. And now because he does, hundreds of thousands of people enjoy clean water every day.
    Scott is the Founder of charity: water — an organization that raises money to build wells in impoverished communities in 8 African countries. In fact, in just two years, charity: water has raised over $7 million and funded over 800 water projects, and this year Scott and his organization have set their sites on delivering clean, safe drinking water to 100 schools in developing countries. Doubt that even reaching that goal will satisfy his thirst for a world where we wear charity.
    http://www.charitywater.org/
  • Jensine Larsen
    The organization C.A.R.E. calls women our most vital yet neglected and underused resource in the world. As a freelance journalist seeing firsthand the plight of women in South America and Southeast Asia, Jensine Larsen had a vision of listening to and broadcasting the unheard voices and innovative solutions of women worldwide. And at age 28, Jensine (Yen-See-Nah) founded WorldPulse Magazine — a way to get the pulse on women’s and youth voices around the world.
    Jensine and WorldPulse have expanded beyond the printed publication to create PulseWire, an interactive community where women can speak for themselves and connect with one another to solve global problems by solving local issues. Jensine is increasingly sought after to share her vision as an inspirational keynote speaker, a current affairs lecturer, and radio guest, demonstrating the power of women. The power of one person and the power of connected communities of women.
    http://www.worldpulse.com/magazine
  • Kellee Santiago
    What’s your vision of a video game experience? How about a video game version of a poem — one that exploits the tension between urban bustle and natural serenity by entering the dreams of flowers to transform the world? The video game Flower is the brainchild (one of the, uh, brainchildren) of Kellee Santiago, president of thatgamecompany (TGC).
    Kellee and TGC are trying to transform our world by changing the way that we think about and interact with video games. Using psychological theory, experimental design, and technological advances in engineering, Kellee and her team at TGC are working to create video games that communicate different emotional experiences — taking gamers to radically different places. Sony subscribed to Kellee’s vision, signing TGC to a 3-game deal for downloadable games for its Playstation Network. The transformation has commenced.
    http://www.thatgamecompany.com/
  • Desney Tan
    At the intersection of Human-Computer Interaction and Physiological Computing, you’ll find Desney Tan working diligently to create technologies that sit on or in the human body and that augment existing capabilities. A researcher in the Visualization and Interaction Area at Microsoft Research, where he manages the Computational User Experiences group, his passion is in the creation of socially impactful technologies.
    Well-rounded, he went through quite a few majors, starting as an aerospace engineer, moving to mechanical, civil, then electrical engineering, spending some time as a mathematician, English major, dabbling in drama, and even exploring philosophy/theology. He finally settled on Computer Engineering as it was the major that best allowed him to combine his passions for technology and the human condition. He still finds the time to keep fit chasing his kids around, as well as playing tennis, which he played competitively at the international level until he was 14. In 2007, Desney was honored as one of MIT Technology Review’s Young Innovators Under 35 for his work on brain-computer interfaces.