The Lavin Agency Speakers Bureau

A speakers bureau that represents the best original thinkers,
writers, and doers for speaking engagements.

Meet Lavin’s TED Fellows—A Group of Young Visionaries Working to Make the World a Better Place

The TED Fellows represent the brightest, boldest minds making headlines across all fields; they’re filmmakers, journalists, artists, scientists, entrepreneurs, musicians and designers, working together, and with TED’s support, to create positive change around the world. We represent over 40 TED Fellows. Get to know a few them below: 

“Healthy, productive women are the cornerstone of survival and progress in the developing world. My goal is to make womanhood and motherhood healthier and happier for the world’s most vulnerable women. Each of them has the right to access low-cost, high-quality health products, which can bring empowerment and a greater opportunity to rise out of poverty.” – Zubaida Bai, founder and CEO of ayzh—a social enterprise based in India that designs vital reproductive healthcare products for women around the world.  


A simple birth kit for mothers in the developing world | Zubaida Bai



“We can have the very best data, statistics, or models chronicling glacier change, but if that information is not grounded within the human stories of glaciers, or rivers, forests, and oceans, then that information is powerless. If people don’t see themselves in the story, then they are not a part of that story.” – M Jackson, National Geographic’s Arctic Expert and author of The Secret Lives of Glaciers—about people, glaciers, and climate change.  


Listening to the Stories People Tell About Their Backyards



“A child in Kenya typically walks 3 hours a day, while a kid in the west usually has access to safe, reliable and regular bus service to-and-from school. The key impediment to Africa’s transport system is the vehicles themselves—which is why I started Mobius: Africa’s first mass-market car brand.” – Joel Jackson, founder and CEO of Mobius Motors which builds highly durable, affordable vehicles for Africa’s mass-market. 


Joel Jackson on how Transportation can Improve Economic Productivity | WIRED 2014 | WIRED



“In order to tell the individual human stories, I felt I needed to remove the dramatic visuals that become so familiar and repetitive in the mainstream media. What I was witnessing was not only news, but history.” – Anastasia Taylor-Lind, photojournalist who documented the Ukrainian uprising in Kiev.  


Anastasia Taylor-Lind: Fighters and mourners of the Ukrainian revolution


 To book a TED Fellow for your next event, contact The Lavin Agency

Neighborland, a New Digital Tool by Candy Chang, Improves Public Spaces

There are undoubtedly things about your neighborhood that you wish you could change. As public space artist Candy Chang explains in a recent talk at a Creative Sante Fe event, there are people in your community who probably share your vision. The problem is that they don't have the means to team up with you to set the wheels in motion. That's why she co-founded Neighborland.com. The site allows people to share their suggestions about improving the public spaces in their cities with others who have similar goals. It brings people together to address important concerns and truly make the communities they live in their own.

It also provides residents with the resources needed to enact the changes they've suggested. The site has even partnered with Change.org (a petition site founded by Ben Rattray) on some of its projects to successfully bring these issues to the attention of policy makers. Chang is an advocate for the importance of using public space as a vehicle for making communities more inclusive. The TED Fellow creates simple, but effective, projects that redefine the way people share information with others around them to improve the places they live. Her Before I Die installation was so successful, in fact, that it's now being transformed into a book. In her moving keynotes, she shares these projects with her audiences and explores the potential that exists in simple projects to improve communities around the world—and make all of us feel more comfortable in the spaces we inhabit.

Before I Die by Candy Chang: A Spreading Phenomenon

Candy Chang's Before I Die started in a local New Orleans community—and now it's begun to spread across the country. The project by Chang, a Senior TED Fellow, used public space as a real-life message board where residents were encouraged to share what they wanted to accomplish before their time on Earth was over. Recently, an imitation project—which Chang encourages—popped up at a suburban mall. Chang's projects fuse art, design, and urban planning to bring communities together through shared experiences. Here are some photos of the suburban mall version of Chang's influential project:

Your Deepest Secrets, Made Public: Candy Chang’s New Project

Candy Chang's latest project, Confessions, is taking the mantra “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” to a whole new level. As the artist in residence at The Cosmopolitan hotel in Las Vegas this past summer, the TED Senior Fellow transformed the hotel's gallery space into a living, breathing confessional—inviting guests to write their deepest and darkest secrets on tags and hang them on display. A recent article on the project provided some great photos of people's heartfelt confessions. Inspired by “Shinto prayer walls and the Post Secret blog,” the project revealed a “breadth of subject matter [that] people felt compelled to get off their chests, from 'I eat too much cheese' to 'I don’t know what I am doing and I’m running out of time…'” Beautiful yet starkly honest, the project explores Chang's fascination with using public spaces to create meaningul connections between people, even through anonymous messages.

Candy Chang may be best known for her Before I Die project, which used similar methods to explore a similar theme. Called “one of the most creative community projects ever,” by The Atlantic, Before I Die invites members of a community to write down one thing they've always wanted to do. In her talks, Chang speaks about the intersection of art, design, and urban planning to help create moving projects that help bring people together, and explore the human condition.

Photo courtesy of Candy Chang

Lavin’s TED Fellows: “Radically Transforming the World Today” [VIDEO]

Lavin is pleased to represent some of the most fascinating TED fellows around—speakers who are, as David Lavin, president of The Lavin Agency, says “radically transforming the world today.”

“If you're looking for an inspirational speaker, rather than have someone that says 'Hey, you can do anything you want,' bring in three or four people who are actually doing anything they want,” David Lavin says. TED Fellows do just that. Their inspirational speeches are based on the groundbreaking and important work they are doing in the fields of science, medicine, and social justice—and their powerful messages shake up conventional ways of thinking. 

Robert Gupta, for example, has dedicated his time to helping the mentally ill find comfort through music. A member of the LA Philharmonic, Gupta has been dedicated to music ever since he made his solo debut at the young age of 11. After meeting Nathaniel Anthony Ayers, a homeless and mentally ill musician—who was the inspiration for a book and film, both called The Soloist—Gupta started the non-profit organization Street Symphony. In his talks, he discusses how the organization brings the therapeutic properties of live classical music to those who need it most. He uses his knowledge of music and neuroscience—he has a masters from Yale in Music, where he also studied Pre-Med—to help him craft the restorative and regenerative therapies he provides.  

Another on the list of impressive TED Fellows is French-Japanese entrepreneur Cesar Harada. When Harada heard about the disastrous effects of the BP Oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, he wasted no time taking action. He quit his day job and moved to New Orleans full-time to build the Protei—a breakthrough unmanned robot used to clean up oil spills. The revolutionary robot was designed to be cheap, environmentally friendly, and capable of working without human supervision. Protei also provides valuable data about events happening below the water. Harada's lectures have been heard around the world, and he speaks passionately about creating technologies that protect and improve our environment.

Passing on Wisdom, in Public Spaces: Candy Chang’s New TED Talk

Artist, designer, and Senior TED Fellow Candy Chang is an inspirational speaker who believes in the power of public spaces to connect and empower communities. “We don't bump into every neighbor,” she says in her latest TED talk, “so a lot of wisdom never gets passed on. But we do share the same public spaces, so over the past few years I've tried ways to share more with my neighbors in public space.”

One of those projects is her famous “Before I Die…” art installation. Chang transformed the wall of an abandoned building in her neighbourhood into a giant chalkboard where members of the community could share their thoughts, hopes, and dreams. In this moving talk—Chang herself was near tears when describing the project—she explains how the installation asserts the important role that death plays in our understanding of life. “I thought about death a lot [before doing this project],” she says, “and this made me feel deep gratitude for the time I've had and brought clarity to the things that are meaningful to my life now.”