top of page

  2018 Event I TEDxNatick

TEDxNatick 2018 Speakers 

This eclectic group of change makers brought spirit, curiosity, energy, creativity, joy, and wonder to the TEDxNatick stage. With their Stories That Inspire, they explored a wide range of provocative topics ranging from education, engineering, music, history, health, conquering challenges, science, and more.

BTW, each speaker has a surprising story that is not evident in the bios below. Watch their talks by clicking the links below. You will be amazed.

Deborah Henson Conant Bio



Your donation will be used to cover the costs of producing TEDxNatick - every little bit helps. Tax deductible. Managed by Natick Education Foundation (NEF).

Juan Enriquez Bio
180120_TEDxNatick_2018_0375_DHC_sq crop.
Deborah Henson Conant

Deborah is a Grammy-Nominated composer/ performer who has toured internationally as a solo artist, debuted her original works for electric harp, voice and orchestra with symphonies from Boston Pops to the National Symphony Orchestra, and toured with legendary rock guitarist Steve Vai. Her Academy and mentorship programs support creative harpists worldwide and her educational residencies combine performance of her original music and theater works with faculty and student collaborations. She is the inventor of the “DHC” electric harp in collaboration with French harp-builder, CAMAC. Deborah enjoys performing at TCAN.

Juan Enriquez

Juan is an author, venture investor, and business leader who speaks widely about the impact of life sciences on the future of humanity.  He co-founded Synthetic Genomics with J. Craig Venter and serves on many corporate boards. He has written books including Evolving Ourselves: Redesigning the Future of Humanity – One Gene at a Time, which describes how humans increasingly shape their environment, themselves, and other species. He is a TED All-Star with millions of views of his TED talks.

180120_TEDxNatick_2018_0105_Juan Enrique
Christine Helie Bio
Christine Helie

Ever since she was a young girl, Christine has loved insects, especially caterpillars. As an entomologist, she enjoys educating people of all ages about unique insects that live around us and the habitats and host plants they need to thrive.  Working with her husband of 26 years, she has developed an Integrated Pest Management program to preserve mature and young elm trees in the Boston Parks. She also finds time each day to walk with her dog in the woods, searching for tracks and signs of animals or insects.

Caitrin Lynch, PhD Bio
Caitrin Lynch, PhD
Cultural Anthropologist, Olin College

As a Professor, Caitrin teaches in the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences program. She authored two books: “Retirement on the Line: Age, Work, and Value in An American Factory” and “Juki Girls, Good Girls: Gender and Cultural Politics in Sri Lanka's Global Garment Industry.” She is working on a third book about a 150-year-old textile mill in the United States. Caitrin also produced the documentary film "My Name is Julius.” Her career passions encompass the dynamics of work and cultural values, particularly aging and manufacturing in the United States and abroad. She is devoted to encouraging students to think critically about the world around them.​

180120_TEDxNatick_2018_0192_Caitrin Lync
Jane Parven Bio
180120_TEDxNatick_2018_0179_Jane Parven_
Jane Parven

Jane is currently a senior at Natick High School. In addition to her role as class treasurer, she is an active member of the speech team, and communications coordinator of her acapella group. Jane also enjoys cooking, yoga, and spending time with her family and friends. 

Seth Rothberg Bio
Seth Rotberg
Health Advocate

Seth grew up in Natick and graduated from Natick High School. He is currently pursuing a Master’s in Nonprofit Management at DePaul University. Seth is passionate about bringing his personal experience to working for non-profit organizations. He has more than six years of experience working and volunteering with a variety of youth development nonprofits. Though he lives in Chicago, Seth remains an ardent Boston sports fan and enjoys playing soccer and basketball. He sits on the Board of Trustees for the Huntington's Disease Youth Organization and was honored for his work by the Boston Celtics.

Abel Sanchez Bio
180120_TEDxNatick_2018_0308_Abel Sanchez
Abel Sanchez
Big Data Scientist, MIT

Abel, an MIT Professor, is the Executive Director of MIT's Geospatial Data Center, architect of "The Internet of Things" global network, and architect of data analytics platforms for many Fortune 500 companies. In cybersecurity, Abel architected systems for the Department of Defense and the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity agency. Abel has a passion for education working globally with corporations such as Microsoft and the Accenture Technology Academy.

Dawn Smith Bio
Dawn Smith
Freelance Writer & Producer

Dawn grew up in California and moved to Chicago to work in media producing political candidate and issue ads. Now living in Brookline, Dawn was recently field producer for Bernie Sanders' campaign commercials. Her screenplay, "The Light Fantastic," was a second rounder finalist at the 2016 Austin Film Festival. She is in post-production on a comedy web series, PAID FOR BY, about political commercial production and how money influences messaging.

180120_TEDxNatick_2018_0345_Dawn Smith_s
Julia Sprunace Bio
180120_TEDxNatick_2018_0296_Julia Spruan
Julia Spruance
Adventurer & Volunteer Guide

Julia is a Program Coordinator at the non-profit Waypoint Adventure where she leads rock climbing, kayaking, backpacking, and team building programs for youth and adults with disabilities around the Boston area. She also volunteers for Kupenda, a non-profit based in Kenya advocating for the rights of children with disabilities to health, education, and inclusion. A documentary feature film chronicling one of her adventures will debut in 2018!

Maria Milagros Vazquez Bio
Maria Milagros Vazquez
Author, Storyteller, Coach

Maria is founder of a company dedicated to helping others find freedom from any hindrances that are preventing them from living a life that they love. Whether sharing her life experiences and knowledge through empowering talks, workshops, leadership training, life coaching, videos, dance, or storytelling, she uses encouragement, education and love to empower others to live amazing lives and to leave a positive impact on the world. Maria also hosts a monthly community StoryTelling event in Fitchburg and teaches a weekly dance class.

180120_TEDxNatick_2018_0097_Maria_sq cro

TEDxNatick 2018 Live Performances

We’d like to thank the following performers for sharing their talents with the TEDxNatick community:



Instagram: @scalestorm

Scalestorm is an a cappella group from Natick High, founded in 2016 by Elizabeth Sparicio and Caroline Hinrichs. We love making music together and performing around the community!

Members: Andy Carlson, Maddie Gaudet, Bailey Gerson, Alex Grace, Ashna Hille, Scotia Hille, Caroline Hinrichs, Sam Hinrichs, Ben Kaplan, Brooke Lallensack, Nicole Massa, Brooke McGregor, Alexeya O'Brian, Daniel Parizher, Liz Reichman, Julia Reinach, Rori Rigueiro, Elizabeth Sparicio

> View video

180120_TEDxNatick_2018_0230_Grain Thief_

Grain Thief

Grain Thief is a 5-piece Northern Country Barn Grass band from Boston, MA. The group is comprised of Patrick Mulroy (guitar, vocals), Zach Meyer (mandolin, vocals), Michael Harmon (bass, vocals), Tom Farrell (lead guitar), and Alex Barstow (fiddle). Their debut EP Animal was released in November of 2015, which showcases the band's roots in folk, bluegrass, and old-time music. Since their first release, Grain Thief has performed throughout the northeast at various music venues and festivals, and currently holds a weekly residency at The Burren in Somerville, MA.

> View video

180120_TEDxNatick_2018_0265_Flying Irish

The Flying Irish Dance Troupe

The Flying Irish Dance Troupe was founded in 2000 by Artistic Director Mary-Sarah O'Hanlon to provide exceptional performance experience for dedicated students. Today’s accomplished group of dancers competed at the All Ireland Championships in 2016 where their 4 Hand Ceili placed third. Their 3 Hand Figure Dance placed first at Nationals in 2017. Liam Toomey is the Flying Irish's youngest champion at age 10; Tatiana O'Hanlon, age 18, is a World Champion medal holder; and Stephanie DeLaRosa, age 14, is a rising star at the Prizewinner with her eyes on the Champion level.

> View video

bottom of page