What happens when we push past our comfort zones?  What treasures lay waiting to be discovered? As the largest municipality in North Alabama, what does the next chapter of Huntsville look like? Transformation forges a process of radical change and helps shape the community in a new direction and offers opportunities to expand to new frontiers, new ideas and reveals what we are truly made of.

We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty. – Maya Angelou

Join the diverse mix of attendees for a “brain spa” experience chock full of dynamic speakers, performers, interactive displays and a delicious selection of local cuisine. TEDxHuntsville 2017 returns to Thurber Arts Center on Sunday, September 17, 2017. Doors open at noon and program starts at 1 PM.


Dawn Dunkerly
Chief of the Cyber Division
Dr. Dawn Dunkerley is the Chief of the Cyber Division, Army Materiel Command G-3/4. Her team is responsible for AMC’s operationalization of cyberspace to achieve the AMC commander’s objectives, facilitate mission command, and maintain AMC’s ability to “develop, deliver and sustain” in support of current and future Army and Joint missions. Dr. Dunkerley received a Ph.D. in Information Systems from Nova Southeastern University in 2011 with a doctoral focus of information security success within organizations. Her research interests include cyberwarfare, cyber operations, cybersecurity, and the success and measurement of organizational cyber-focused initiatives.
Dr. Stephen Granade
Stephen Granade is a physicist and the director of the Science Track at Dragon Con, a science fiction media convention in Atlanta, GA. His current research involves sensors to detect and track small drones. He has worked on devices that can read your fingerprint from 10 feet away, systems that let unpiloted helicopters land automatically, and a video-based sensor that helped guide the Space Shuttle to the Hubble Space Telescope. If you're afraid of the robot revolution, Dr. Granade is probably someone to watch out for. In his spare time he's the host of NASA's "No Small Steps" video series on YouTube.
Dr. Adi Jaffe
Adi Jaffe is a nationally recognized expert on mental health, addiction, and stigma. He lectures in the Psychology department at UCLA. Dr. Jaffe's work and research focus on changing the way Americans think about and deal with mental health issues. He is passionate about the role of shame in destroying lives and aims to greatly reduce the stigma of mental health in this country. In this context, Dr. Jaffe has used his personal experience as an incredibly effective inspirational and motivational tool. Dr. Jaffe is still heavily involved in research through his academic appointments and connections. His current research focuses on evidence-based but non-traditional approaches to treating addiction and mental health.
Swapna Kakani
Founder, Alabama Rare
Swapna Kakani was born and raised in Huntsville, AL. She is a graduate of Randolph School, and received her Bachelors in Psychology at The University of Alabama at Birmingham. Born with a rare disease, her inspirational life story is one of triumph over chronic illness and of developing individual resilience and self-determination in the face of constant difficulties. Swapna also, this year created Alabama Rare, a grassroots coalition to unite the state around the rare disease population. She currently is working in Washington D.C. for the National Organization of Rare Disorders (NORD) researching federal and state health policies, and advocating on Capitol Hill to ultimately expand care for individuals with rare diseases.
Devyn Keith
Councilman - Huntsville
Devyn Sherard Keith was born and raised in Huntsville, Alabama and is a proud product of its large community network. Devyn has always had a passion for public service and a deep connection to the residents of his community. Devyn is certainly a believer in open-interface and diverse government and because of that continues to work on his ability to analytically review issues, objectively identify resources and create viable solutions. His outlook on increasing civic engagement, progressive policies and positive perspectives have been a mainstay throughout his career and will remain at the forefront of his run for the District 1 Representative of the Huntsville City Council.
Dr. Ron Martoia
Transformational Architect
Dr. Ron Martoia is a transformational architect. His passion is helping people, and the organisms they serve, design and experience revolutionary change. Over the last 15 years Ron has spoken to over 40,000 leaders in conference settings and his private coaching practice. His area of expertise is human development, mindfulness/awareness practice, and semiotics; understanding the new and shifting landscape of our 21st century world. Ron is using his cultural intonation to help organizations in both the profit and non-profit sectors shift paradigms from the old mechanical world to the highly relational, creative and interactive world of the 21st century. His doctorate is in the area of leadership and culture.
David Kyle
Director, UAH Ability Sport Network
David is the director of the UAH Ability Sport Network, which is a program that encourages participation among people with physical disabilities in adapted physical activity. In addition, he is a lecturer in the Department of Kinesiology of UAH’s College of Education. David holds a master’s degree in Health and Physical Education and will complete his doctoral degree in Kinesiology in 2019. He is also a Certified Exercise Physiologist and Disability Sport Specialist. David is a member of the USA Triathlon National Paratriathlon Committee, and competed internationally for 10 years with the USA Elite Paratriathlon Team in triathlon, duathlon, and XTERRA off-road events winning multiple world and national titles in each discipline.
Lauren Jones
TEDxHuntsville Emcee
By day, Lauren Jones is a high school Environmental Science teacher at Randolph School and the Marketing & Development Associate for the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra. After nearly a decade of broadcast meteorology, she now spends her time educating our future generation in sustainable living solutions and spreading the joy of music and music education throughout the Rocket City. By night, she is a contributor to Huntsville local nerd community, Geek Out Huntsville and is DIY remodeling her home.
Josh Couts Quartet
Modern Jazz Ensemble
The Josh Couts Quartet is a high energy modern jazz group that features Steve Motz on tenor saxophone, Josh Couts on guitar, Nick Walker on bass, and Tom Branch on drums. JCQ plays a mix of jazz from the 1950's to today focusing primarily on original compositions and tunes written by jazz musicians whether they be modern or from the bebop or post-bop eras. The Quartet's repertoire consists of tunes by great jazz musicians of the 50's and 60's such as Thelonious Monk, Wayne Shorter, Sonny Rollins, John Coltrane, and Wes Montgomery as well as tunes by some of todays top jazz musicians including Kurt Rosenwinkel, Jonathan Kreisberg, John Scofield, and Brad Mehldau.