May 5, 2014

TEDxColumbia SIPA returns to campus this week with a focus on smaller-scaled ideas and success stories that impact local communities, including our neighbors in Harlem. All told, 12 speakers and performers will  “Think Smaller” in making presentations at the University’s Miller Theatre on May 8.

TEDxColumbiaSIPA is a locally organized, student-led offshoot of the TED conference series that invites the world’s leading thinkers and doers to speak about “ideas worth spreading.” The inaugural conference at SIPA, held in February 2013, examined the theme of “A Better World.”

This year’s event considers the idea that bigger may not always be better, and aims to celebrate the power of individual actions and incremental changes that may not be visible to the naked eye but impact our everyday lives.

Local entrepreneur Aurora Anaya-Cerda, who opened a Latin American bookstore in East Harlem through a crowdfunding campaign, will speak about the project’s micro-level impact on lives. Dr. Ozgur Sahin, a Columbia biology professor, will speak about harvesting renewable energy from bacterial spores.

The lineup of speakers also includes Grammy-nominated musician Matisyahu, the New York Times best-selling author Sapphire, and Tao Porchon-Lynch, who may be the oldest yoga teacher in the world.

Lindsay Litowitz MIA ’14, the conference curator, and Annie Horricks MPA-DP’14, the managing director, lead a team of more than a dozen students organizing and running the event. Professor Sarah Holloway is serving as faculty advisor.

For tickets or more information, including the complete lineup of speakers, visit