You likely know Dee Wallace as Mary -- aka, the mom from Steven Spielberg’s ET: The Extra-Terrestrial. (Ahem, the woman who knocked America’s favorite alien with a refrigerator door.) But this Kansas-teacher-turned-prolific-actor is also an internationally acclaimed speaker who knows a thing or two about perseverance -- when she booked her first of more than 200 commercials, she had only $4 in her bank account. “I left for New York, and my mom thought I’d be a goner in a week,” she said on the talk-show circuit following the release of ET. Instead, she went on to make 130 films, author five books and, now, grace the stage of TEDx Cape May.
A satellite capable of harnessing solar power from outer space and beaming it back to Earth may be the tense sci-fi plot of the James Bond film “Die Another Day,” but if spacecraft engineer Paul Jaffe has his way, this uber-tech could become reality. Paul, who has held major roles in dozens of space missions, has a plan for implementing a space-based solar program that could result in the world’s only clean, constant and global energy supply -- rainy days bedamned. In other words: Houston, we have power. And Cape May? We have a seriously engaging talk.
The #metoo campaign launched a social media movement. So… now what? Enter Debjani Biswas, an Amazon #1 bestselling author and executive coach who regularly appears on CBS, ESPN and iHeart Radio. Her latest book, #Ustoo, centers on ways all of us -- yes, ALL of us -- can recognize gender biases and smash them with the contempt they deserve. Her frameworks for increasing inclusivity have been implemented in more than 20 countries, her insights are fresh, and her TEDx Cape May talk promises to be -- hashtag -- brilliant.
While it’s impossible to know the exact number of birdwatchers in America (estimates range from 45 million to upwards of 60 million), it’s safe to say the hobby has… taken flight. And Richard Crossley, internationally acclaimed birder, has key insights into why. The award-winning author and photographer knows just how minimal our differences with other animals are -- despite what society believes -- and he advocates connecting with nature in order to rediscover our common ground. His lessons from the birding frontlines promise to engage not just those enamored by all things avian, but those who can’t tell the difference between a warbler and a wren. The fact that the talk is happening in Cape May, major migratory route and internationally renowned birding destination? That’s enough to put anyone in fine feather.
Jenn Graham has a clear passion for raising awareness, understanding, and collective action around important issues from racial equity to transportation to early childhood education. This civic focus is on display throughout Civic Dinners and Aha! Strategy, the two companies she serves as founder and CEO. Her latest endeavor, Civic Dinners is an award-winning civic engagement platform that brings diverse voices together for conversations that matter. More than 500 dinners have taken place worldwide, from Atlanta to Auckland, and have sparked real and lasting change, including the launch of several nonprofits, new companies and newly elected civic leaders. Jenn has received numerous accolades for her innovative approach to business and civic matters.
Professor Mark Rahdert is a member of the Beasley School of Law faculty where he specializes in the areas of constitutional law, torts, and comparative constitutional law. He is an award-winning author of scholarly books and is often called on by local and national media to comment on a variety of topics including issues surrounding recent Supreme Court nominations and decisions. He is a graduate (J.D.) of Yale Law School, where he was Note Editor for the Yale Law Journal, and a summa cum laude graduate (A.B.) of Harvard University. In addition to Constitutional Law, Comparative Constitutional Law and Torts, Mark’s teaching s include Political and Civil Rights, Federal Jurisdiction, Freedom of Religion, and the Supreme Court.
Michael Eagle is a new voice in the revolution in education. Having taught for nearly 20 years in US public schools and academia including the University of Texas, New York University, and Stony Brook University, Michael left what he describes as the "exhausted" traditional system to design and develop innovative educational products that combine accessible technology with personal interaction.
"To innovate inside the classroom, we must realize how we learn outside of the classroom."
Michael believes that it is up to each of us to change our educational systems by demonstrating our natural ability to learn and grow through experience and creation. Discovering our passion-driven purpose gives us meaning and becomes our identity. We are the system, and this realization will lead to the greatest impact on the institutions of education.
Michael is also a World Champion drummer and percussionist who teaches and performs all over the world focusing on cultural reflections in music. He is also the Co-Founder & CEO of Rhythm Monster, an online education company quoted as "The Khan Academy of Drumming and Percussion."
Jame’s Mtume’s name means “messenger” in Swahili, which is a bit on-the-nose for this Grammy Award-winning musician. A former percussionist for Miles Davis, the prolific songwriter also headed the band Mtume, a group that helped define R&B’s jazz-funk roots. (Parts of their song “Juicy Fruit,” which you may recognize from the Grand Theft Auto soundtrack, have been incorporated into recordings by Snoop Dogg, Alicia Keys, Faith Evans, Jennifer Lopez and many more.) While the Philadelphia native’s pedigree also includes composing for motion pictures and producing for the likes of Mary J Blige and R Kelly, he’s equally well known for his activism. Formerly the host of the number one black talk radio show in New York, Mtume uses his platform to promote the role of music in defining a generation and advancing social progression, one song a time.