Mill Creek Beacon - Your Hometown News Source

By Jim Hills 

TEDx draws crowd in Edmonds – and elsewhere


Last updated 11/22/2016 at Noon

Jackson High School junior Harshu Musunuri received a standing ovation after her presentation.

TEDxSnoIsleLibraries has quickly become a locally focused event with a global reach.

While more than 800 people filled the Edmonds Center for the Art’s seats Nov. 18, the information from the second version of the event went well beyond those walls, as it was streamed live online. The event was free, but registration quickly sold out after tickets were made available.

“We had more than 1,400 connections to the live stream,” said Ken Harvey, Sno-Isle Libraries communications director and TEDxSnoIsleLIbraries licensee. “We hosted it in 13 of our libraries and four additional community sites, but others in 140 cities across 19 countries – Algeria to United Arab Emirates – also saw these inspiring, transformational messages online.”

Standing on the round red spot made famous by TED talks, 17 presenters and two special guests went on stage to share personal stories and insights under the theme of “Transformations.”

“As a library, we’re passionate about information, whether that information is in a book, or on a DVD, or online or even live on a stage,” said Jonalyn Woolf-Ivory, Sno-Isle Libraries executive director.

“Our purpose for TEDx has always been to share ideas that come from our communities, with our communities.”

Woolf-Ivory said those numbers support her feeling that “TEDxSnoIsleLibraries is truly a library without walls.”

The day got off to a rousing start, with a guest appearance by 2015 TEDxSnoIsleLibraries alumnus, rap musician Xola Malik. This year, Malik brought his son Mattius on stage to help get the audience on their feet and bouncing to his rhythms.

In the afternoon, special guest Bridget Foley, an author and actor, invited the audience on an emotional journey with the presentation of a story she wrote for Humanities Washington.

Between presentations and during breaks, attendees at ECA could go to the IdeaLab, an area that included interactive opportunities provided by the some of the 34 creative and innovative organizations that provided event support.

Among the 17 presenters were two high school students: Radhika Dalal, a senior at Kamiak High School in Mukilteo, and Harshu Musunuri, a junior at Jackson High School in Mill Creek.

Both of the young women are science-focused. Dalal is an intern at the Institute for Systems Biology in Seattle, while Musunuri interned at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and is a student researcher at a University of Washington chemical engineering lab.

Both presentations focused on the humanity of science and the hope of building a better world. Both received standing ovations.

A full house attended the TEDx talks at the Edmonds Center for the Arts for the second year in a row.

One attendee, a retired teacher from Everett, summed up the experience of many in the audience.

“What a wonderful day,” Linda Smith said. “I had to go before my heart exploded from joy. Thank you so much for providing me the opportunity to attend. Professional, expertly executed and more than anything, a beacon for all things good about humanity.”

To see more photos, go to

Jim Hills is public information manager for Sno-Isle Libraries.


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