event image

Upgrade Our World

Sat Mar 10 2012

TEDx is making its debut in Gramercy, New York City. Six speakers present their take on how “old ways” can move seamlessly into the realm of our digital new world. You’ll ponder:

  • How can momentum help us realize new ideas?
  • How do freedom of expression, security and privacy translate in our information age?
  • Can old-fashioned game mechanics serve the needs of big business?
  • Can we collaborate, innovate and create in the Meta-verse?
  • What does classic literature have to do with your latest Powerpoint deck?
  • What is the Hipster Effect?

venue image

Engelman Hall, Baruch College

Baruch is one of CUNY's flagship colleges, and traces its roots back to the founding of the Free Academy, the first institution of free public higher education in the US. Today Baruch is one of most competitive and diverse colleges in the nation. TEDxGramercy, Upgrade Our World, will be held at the Engelman Recital Hall in Baruch's Performing Arts Center.


We ask that you enter Baruch College on the south side of 25th street between Lexington and 3rd Avenues. You will see sinage for TEDxGramercy upon entry.

Google Maps - Baruch College

The Speakers

speaker profile photo

Andrew Sispoidis

A technologist and entrepreneur, Andrew is championing a vision for secure global communication.

Global Communication Security

An earthquake can shut down mobile communications in a matter of minutes. A dictator can shut off the internet with the flick of a switch. Is that right? Do people have a right to communicate? And, do we have the technology to uphold that right?

speaker profile photo

Stavros Michailidis

An expert in creativity and innovation, Stavros empowers organizational innovation.

Building Momentum for Great Ideas

Is there an invisible element at play that's determining the fate of our projects and initiatives? What if we could become aware of that element, understand it, measure it, and affect it? Would we ever look at creativity, innovation, and leadership the same again?

speaker profile photo

Andy Burnett

Creativity consultant with a passion for technology

Frictionless Creativity

If you could build your ideal creative space, what would it look like? Most of us don't have the chance to build a truly personalised 'ideas lab', but the growth of computing power, coupled with the internet, means that this is about to change.

speaker profile photo

Jean Tang

In 2007, Jean Tang saw the need for a 2.6-second website: bite-sized, seductive, and jargon-free. The lawyer-turned-journalist brought on other talented writers to help-and created MarketSmiths, which offers business "copywriting for humans" in every subject, every voice, and every format.

Declaring War on Bland: Copywriting as Fresh Literature

Classic literature had it right from the start. For centuries, it told stories in voices captivating enough to get read, studied, quoted...and revered. Today, great writing still has the power to move. But it's become rare, and-ironically-devalued. How do we raise its worth, and give it the potential to impact and enhance each of our lives, every single day?

speaker profile photo

Khaled Dajani and Kelley Donovan & Dancers

Khaled's music is the definition of East meets West. The singer/guitarist fuses different musical genres from the Middle East, the Mediterranean and the Americas into soulful arrangements and intricate rhythms. Kelley Donovan splits her time between Boston and New York City, teaching in both cities and has performed work by Ann Carlson and Liz Lerman. She received her training in choreography from Mark Morris and Bessie Schonberg, and has shown work in Boston and at the Cunningham Studio, Joyce SoHo, Movement Research, The Rover and the 92nd St. Y.

Motion of the Dancers

Kelley Donovan and Dancers dance to Khaled's Motion of the Dancers, an instrumental piece written to describe an intense sensual relationship which is about to take place. The music describes the chase or dance that occurs between two lovers upon their first connection and the journey that connection endures. The ups and downs detail the struggles and victories of the chase resulting in a climax leaving the lovers breathless.

speaker profile photo

Marshall Bergmann

Marshall uses simulations and games to accelerate corporate strategy and change behavior.

The Hidden Power of Games

Organizations are beginning to recognize that games can be an effective tool to drive sales, and increase customer loyalty and satisfaction. As corporations become more comfortable with the concept of using games as a sales and marketing vehicle the next logical step is to turn the focus inward and begin to use games to change employee behavior to build alignment and engagement. This talk will provide insights into how leading global organizations are using games to change employee behavior and achieve results.

speaker profile photo

Sophy Bot

Sophy Bot has a knack for seamlessly transitioning from artist to consultant and back again, blending elements of the two to foster greater innovation. With one foot firmly in each the business and creative worlds, Bot uses her uniquely dual vantage point to introduce new ways of thinking about common issues.

The Hipster Effect

Who am I? A question for the ages, but one that has fundamentally altered since the advent of the internet and the rise of social networks. Bot will discuss how the internet has changed the way we form our personal and group identities, and what’s going to happen as those changes begin to follow us offline and into the office.

Our Partners


Studio 137 is a full-service, inter-disciplinary creative studio. It delivers all things design and aims to blur the boundaries between architecture, interior design, branding and art to create cohesive design solutions for its clients. Studio 137's approach is built on a foundation of collaboration, fostering the unique language of each design discipline to articulate solutions that are inspirational, authentic and culturally relevant, working with its clients to discover what the solution could be, rather than dictate to clients what the solution should be.

Jim's Organic Coffee

Jim's Organic Coffee is an all-organic coffee roaster dedicated to providing the finest organic coffee to our customers. In addition to being all-organic, our coffee is shade grown and fairly traded. Our artisanal coffee roasting plant runs on renewable energy, including wind generated electricity. Most of all though, our coffee is complex, deeply rich, and satisfying.


Founded in 1984 and based in New York City, IPM is an award winning IT consulting firm recognized as the go-to partner for the assessment, design and implementation of leading edge technologies. The firm’s in-house, results-driven professionals, have proven expertise in Windows 7 deployments, virtual desktop implementations, infrastructure solutions and on/off premise cloud design and migrations across both mid-market and enterprise organizations. IPM is the longest standing Citrix Platinum Partner in the Northeast and also maintains Microsoft Gold, EMC Velocity, and VMware Premier Partnerships. IPM is also a founding member of the M7 Global Partners, a purpose-built organization comprised of the industry’s seven leading IT services firms providing unmatched resources for desktop solutions and cloud services. M7 Global Partners was named Microsoft Virtualization Partner of the Year 2011. To learn more about IPM, please visit IPM online or call 212.645.5070.


MKR Lab provides its clients with design prototyping and fabrication solution services. Through an informed and collaborative process, it combines imagination, technology and craftsmanship in order to enhance any designer's vision, be it architectural, artistic and anything in-between, into fully realized custom products.