2017 Speakers

The eight impressive speakers at TEDxWakeForestU 2017 will give presentations on curiosity as it relates to each of their unique fields of expertise. 


Otto Bell

Otto Bell is the director of over 15 documentary films, which have taken him all over the world. Most recently, he directed “The Eagle Huntress”, a documentary about a 13-year-old Mongolian girl who challenges the male-dominated Kazakh tradition of male eagle hunters. This film, which won eight awards and eighteen nominations, is being remade as an animated feature at 20th Century Fox, and was recently named to the Oscar documentary feature shortlist. Bell holds and maintains a Green Card for "Outstanding Contribution to American Arts and Media." He is also the founder of "Courageous", CNN's new innovative brand studio, which enjoyed over 300% growth in 2016, launching an average of one project every eight days from a purpose built production facility for clients including Amazon, Netflix, and Marriott. He graduated from Oxford University, where he studied English literature and solidified his fascination with storytelling. Prior to his work with documentary films, he worked as an advertising creative director at Ogilvy & Mather, where he set up their entertainment division.



Jeremy Cage

Jeremy Cage is an optimistic and energetic leader with a 30 year track record of delivering profitable business growth. He spent the first 16 years of his career at Procter & Gamble.  He spent the next 10 years at PepsiCo – as Chief Marketing Officer of the International Foods business and Senior Vice President of the Global Snacks business.  He was subsequently appointed CEO of a leading Lighting Technology company called the Lighting Science Group. Cage is now President of the Cage Group – a Strategy, Marketing and Innovation firm designed to help businesses and organizations unleash their full potential.  He is a founding partner in three business startups: a snacks business called Farmer’s Pantry, a better for you ingredients business called Galapagos, and a Brand Potential Assessment service for Private Equity and Venture Capital called The Brand Charge. He has just published his first book “All Dreams on Deck – Charting the Course for Your Life and Work”. Cage brings a unique global perspective to his work, as he is tri-lingual, and has lived and worked in Germany, France, Belgium, Sweden, the UK, Venezuela, Brazil, Mexico and the US.



Joseph Callahan is a Philadelphia native who has made a name for himself in technology leadership. As the current CEO of Ciright Companies, TriState HVAC and a number of other technology firms, Callahan continues to grow his expertise and reputation. Callahan has worked for Johnson & Johnson and General Motors as an industrial engineer, Viewpoint Software as a pen based system developer and York International as an executive sales engineer. A wealth of diverse experience has allowed Callahan to become an expert in information technology. He prides himself on thinking differently, asking difficult questions to get to the root of an issue and finding an innovative solution. He has successfully helped organizations align their processes and goals with employee needs and incentives by revitalizing their supervisory IT platforms. In addition, Callahan works to help companies and organizations familiarize themselves with the technology that can revolutionize their business. As a thought leader, he provides assistance, education and examples to follow. Callahan currently holds two patents for content distribution platforms. 



Anna cianci

Anna Cianci is an associate accounting professor at Wake Forest University. She is the former president of the Accounting Behavior and Organizations section of the American Accounting Association and has a diverse academic background and research portfolio. She has a PhD in accounting from Duke University, an MA in psychology from Wake Forest University, an MA in pastoral theology from Saint Joseph’s College, and a CPA license in Pennsylvania. Her research focuses on the impact of goals, corporate governance, and various pressure-inducing stimuli (e.g., regulations, incentives) on ethical judgment and decision making, risk taking, and performance. She has published her research in a variety of journals, including the Journal of Business Ethics and Accounting, Organizations, and Society.  Her passion for learning and intellectual curiosity are reflected in her enthusiastic teaching style and teaching philosophy: Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire(William Butler Yeats).   



Amelia Dunlop is a principal at Doblin, Monitor Deloitte’s design-led innovation practice. For fifteen years,  she has helped design organizations for growth and build their innovation capabilities. She is a leader in the firm’s Leadership and Organization practice and has broad experience advising both private and public sector organizations. Dunlop is the head of the Deloitte Strategy practice for the Insurance sector and the global leader of the Innovation Capability building platform. Her recent speaking and writing has focused on leadership, culture, the organizational capabilities required for serial innovation, and the sources of disruption facing the insurance sector. Dunlop holds a Master’s degree in business from Cambridge University, a Master’s in theological studies from the Weston Jesuit School of Theology, and a BA in sociology from Harvard University. Her work has taken her across Europe, the Middle East, China, and Africa.


Ever Lee Hairston

Ever Lee Hairston is the President of the National Federation of the Blind.  Born to sharecropping parents on the Cooleemee plantation in Mocksville, North Carolina, Hairston grew up in the segregated South and was active in the civil rights movements of the 1960s. She was born with Retinitis Pigmentosa, which causes slow but progressive vision loss. After her failing eyesight kept her from realizing her dream of becoming a nurse, she began working as a teacher. At the age of twenty-nine, facing total blindness, with a failed marriage, a child to raise alone, and uncertainty about future employment, Hairston changed her attitude and changed her life.Through two turbulent marriages, a host of setbacks, and a life that was getting harder and harder to manage, Ever encountered defeats, but was determined not to be defeated. Now, decades after she lost her eyesight, she devotes tireless hours to helping others realize their lives have purpose as they reach their full potential in spite of any obstacles in their paths.


Story Musgrave

Story Musgrave was a NASA astronaut for over 30 years and flew on six spaceflights. He performed the first shuttle spacewalk on Challenger's first flight, was a pilot on an astronomy mission, conducted two classified DOD missions, was the lead spacewalker on the Hubble Telescope repair mission and on his last flight, he operated an electronic chip manufacturing satellite on Columbia. Before becoming an astronaut, he worked as an electrician, a mathematician, a computer programmer, a mechanic, a pilot, and a surgeon. Musgrave served in Korea with the U.S. Marines, where he was an aircraft electrician and engine mechanic. He started flying with the Marines, and over the next 55 years accumulated 18,000 hours in over 160 aircraft. He is a parachutist with over 800 freefalls. Additionally, he has 7 graduate degrees in math, computers, chemistry, medicine, physiology, literature and psychology,  and he has been awarded 20 honorary doctorates. He was also a part-time trauma surgeon during his 30 year astronaut career. He was also a part-time trauma surgeon during his astronaut career. Today he operates a palm farm in Orlando, FL, a production company in Sydney and a sculpture company in Burbank, CA. He is also a landscape architect, a concept artist with Walt Disney Imagineering, an innovator with Applied Minds Inc. and a professor of design at Art Center College of Design.



Dmitry Sitkovetsky

Dmitry Sitkovetsky is a Russian violinist and conductor who has made a considerable impact on every aspect of musical life. His enviable career as a violin soloist is documented in several dozen recordings of all major concertos and a wide selection of chamber repertoire.  Mr. Sitkovetsky’s name is inextricably linked to the iconic Goldberg Variations, which he has transcribed for string trio and string orchestra. Driven by a desire to share the fascination of music and musicians with the widest possible audience, Mr. Sitkovetsky created a compelling series of 11 episodes for Russian national TV (Kultura) profiling the world’s most extraordinary musicians.  As a conductor, Mr. Sitkovetsky has held artistic leadership positions with the Ulster Orchestra, the Russian State Orchestra, and Orquesta Sinfonica de Castilla y Leon.  As a guest conductor, Mr. Sitkovetsky recently collaborated with Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal, Moscow Philharmonic, Tokyo Metropolitan Orchestra, China Philharmonic, among others. He has been the Music Director of the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra in North Carolina since 2003.



Know someone who should speak at TEDxWakeForestU 2018? 

Contact tedx@wfu.edu with information on why he or she has "ideas worth spreading."