x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Fill in the Blank

This event occurred on
February 4, 2012
1:00pm - 5:00pm PST
(UTC -8hrs)
Redding, CA
United States

In the spirit of "ideas worth spreading," TED has created TEDx. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. Our event is called TEDxRedding, where x = independently organized TED event.

At TEDxRedding 2012 on February 4, TEDTalks video and live speakers combined to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events, including ours, was self-organized.

Our 2012 theme was TEDxRedding: Fill in the Blank.

Why Fill in the Blank?: We’ve all taken a test that has featured fill-in-the-blank moments. They ask more of us than multiple choice questions do, and they require us to distill our response to its essence, often only a word or phrase.

How will the theme work?: Sharing ideas worth spreading about the creative and constructive exercise of filling in the blank. Spaces that speakers explored included:

-Lessons Learned: How I filled in the ____ when faced with a turning point, and what I learned from that
-Giving of Our Strengths: I see a ______ out in the world that our community can help complete
-Identifying Gaps: Here is a _____ that needs to be filled, and the seeds of a proposal for doing just that
-Imagining Blanks: _____ doesn’t exist yet, but it might yield abundance if it did

Old City Hall
1313 Market Street
Redding, CA, 96001
United States
See more ­T­E­Dx­Redding events


Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

James Theimer

James Theimer is architect and founder of Trilogy Architecture | Urban Design | Research. He has over 30 years of experience in a broad range of architecture and urban design projects with no emphasis on any single building type. James promotes and enjoys the challenges of generalist architecture employing sustainable technology, including the recently completed Redding School of the Arts pending LEED certification. His recent lectures include “The 2nd Most Important Tool We Have for Teaching Green,” Shasta College 2011 Sustainability Conference; “Designing the Net-Zero School: 2011,” Green California Schools Summit; and “An Outdoor School for an Indoor World: A Different Approach to Net Zero Energy Design,” 2012 School and College Building Expo. His career is characterized by a strong interest in and history of collaboration with other architects and artists, cooperation with organizations promoting accessibility for individuals with disabilities, and a belief that architects have many different ways in which we can contribute to better communities. For coverage of Trilogy Architecture in Inhabitat, see:

Toni Cancilla

Toni Cancilla has been immersed in the field of education for well over 40 years and in the field of American Sign Language (ASL) equally as long. She currently teaches ASL both traditionally at Shasta College in Redding, California and online at Flathead Valley Community College in Kalispell, Montana. Toni has taught every level of student: pre-school through adult. She has designed, created, and implemented curricula in all fields of general studies and in ASL. She is currently writing curriculum in the area of Deaf literacy. Toni has been a presenter and lecturer in many venues including community awareness and education regarding Deaf Culture and language needs, learning styles and how to optimized learning through them, female identity and value. Currently, Toni resides in Redding, California for purposes of furthering her personal education and enhancing her leadership qualities. Toni’s two grown sons live in Kalispell, Montana.

Patience Abbe

Patience Abbe, along with her two younger brothers, Richard and John Abbe, were bestselling child authors in 1936. Their first book, Around the World in Eleven Years, was an account of their European childhood, and their move to America when Patience was 10 years old. After high school, she went to work as an assistant to her father, then a radio commentator on the West Coast. She covered the opening sessions of the United Nations in 1945, worked for a San Francisco newspaper, and later for an ad agency. During her marriage to writer Francois Leydet, Patience served as his personal editor for two books written for the Sierra Club, Time and the River Flowing and The Last Redwoods. They were dedicated conservationists, working to preserve critical open space in Marin County. She later served immigrant populations in Marin County, and began working on a memoir. Patience has two daughters, Catherine and Shelley. In October 2010, after over 50 years in the San Francisco Bay Area, she moved to Redding, California, where her younger brother Richard had served as a Superior Court Judge, and where one of his daughters, Jenny, and her family reside. At 87, Patience is most interested in hearing and telling stories, in an effort to illuminate our common humanity. At TEDxRedding, we viewed a short film about Patience’s life made in collaboration with her niece, Jenny Abbe Moyer, who will then interview Patience. Jenny was co-producer of the video compilation for TED2, the second ever TED conference, held in February of 1990. Patience Abbe passed away on March 17, 2012. The TEDxRedding community mourns her loss and extends our sympathies to her family. Upon her passing, many tributes have been written about her life. For one, see:,0,5971907.story#tugs_story_display

Caleen Sisk

Caleen Sisk is the Spiritual Leader and Tribal Chief of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe, who practice their traditional culture and ceremonies in their territory along the McCloud River watershed in Northern California. Since assuming leadership responsibilities in 2000, Caleen has focused on maintaining the cultural and religious traditions of the Tribe as well as advocating for California salmon restoration, the Human Right to Water, and the protection of indigenous sacred sites. She is also currently leading her Tribe’s efforts to work with Maori and federal fish biologists to return Chinook salmon to the McCloud River. Caleen is also a leading voice in raising awareness of the poor human rights conditions suffered by federally unrecognized tribes and unrepresented indigenous peoples around the world. She is a regular speaker at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York where she has campaigned for the U.N. to study the plight of federally unrecognized tribes in the United States. She is also the Spiritual and Environmental Commissioner for ENLACE Continental, an international network of indigenous women. Strongly rooted in her spirituality and her family, Caleen cares deeply for her Winnemem people and for oppressed people around the world. At TEDxReddding, Caleen was interviewed by Marc Dadigan, a freelance writer and photographer who has worked the last 15 months as an immersion journalist at the Winnemem Wintu’s village of Tuiimyali. He’s also currently working on a book project about the Winnemem Wintu’s spiritually guided struggle to survive for Foundry Media in New York.

James Rickert

James Rickert is a fifth generation Shasta County agriculturalist. James is a partner in his family’s business, Western Agricultural Services, specializing in agricultural management, consulting and appraisal. Western Ag services operates Prather Ranch, a vertically integrated beef operation. Prather Ranch runs its own USDA-inspected processing facility located on the ranch and also supplies bovine tissues to the medical industry. Prather Ranch Meat Company is the retail arm of Prather Ranch and markets beef primarily in the Bay Area (for example, at the SF Ferry Building). In 2005, James developed the first commercial organic strawberry nursery plant in the United States. In 2010, he was selected by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation with the IPM Innovator Award for his work in applying unique organic production practices to the strawberry nursery industry to eliminate the use of the fumigant methyl bromide. For more on the impact this work with strawberries has made, check out this coverage on NPR and the New York Times. James is married to Laura Redwine Rickert and they have three children, Kristian, Ashton, and Katherine.

Dwayne Corbin

Dwayne Corbin is the conductor of The Shasta Symphony Orchestra and Associate Professor of Instrumental Music at Simpson University, responsible for the Percussion Ensemble, Applied Percussion, Chamber Wind Ensemble, conducting courses, and world music. He is principal percussion in the North State Symphony, and regularly presents jazz and classical recitals. Dr. Corbin performed a suite of 1920s xylophone rags with the Juneau Symphony in June 2011. Dr. Corbin’s composition Cage for One won first place in the 2009 Percussive Arts Society composition contest and is published by C. F. Peters. With his wife, Caryn, he leads the Shasta Percussion Workshop, a weeklong summer percussion festival for high school and college students. In all of his work, Dr. Corbin emphasizes how a broad understanding of and experience in music can help all performers. Too often musicians become pigeonholed into one genre or approach to music; however, it is clear that all styles have value; for instance, the improvisational element of jazz can help classical musicians play with more freedom and the structure and expressive qualities of classical music can push pop musicians to play at a higher level. With significant experience in classical, jazz, pop/rock, and global folk music, Dr. Corbin encourages his students and colleagues to use musical ideas and collaborations to break down cultural and educational barriers.

Amy Kaherl

Amy Kaherl, of Detroit SOUP comes from a community that has seen its share of challenging times. In response, the “Motor City” has generated thousands of innovations which point to the power of resilience and creativity, even in a tight economy. Detroit is a monthly dinner funding micro-grants for creative projects in Detroit. Amy has seen first hand how a $700 micro-grant has the capacity to motivate, challenge, and change. Sometimes we think so big–we assume that only a $25,000 grant is worth pursuing. But if we think small, we can see opportunities to fail and learn from failure, to problem-solve and streamline our ideas. Amy will be sharing lessons in resilience, from one community to another. For more about Detroit SOUP, look for coverage in Fast Company, MakeZine, Huffington Post, and the New York Times.

Kyle Wiley Pickett

Kyle Wiley Pickett is recognized as one of America’s most exciting and charismatic young conductors as well as an acclaimed orchestra builder. After receiving a bachelors degree in music in 1993 from Stanford, Kyle attended California State University at Chico where he studied choral conducting with William Ramsey and received an accelerated masters degree in music. He was accepted for graduate study at Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore and studied with renowned conducting teacher Frederick Prausnitz. Today, Kyle is the music director of the North State Symphony in Northern California. He was appointed to both the Redding and Chico symphony orchestras in 1999 and 2000. Within a year of those two appointments, he spearheaded the merger of the two ensembles into the North State Symphony, creating a single professional orchestra that bridges communities and ensures the future of symphonic music in Northern California. He’s also the music director of the Juneau Symphony in Alaska. Kyle lives in Lake California, CA with his wife Alice, his two sons, Ned and Grant, and their Dachshund Max.

Organizing team


Redding, CA, United States


Palo Cedro, CA, United States
  • Aaron Hatch
  • Emily Applekamp
    Experience Design
  • Justin Babb
    Chief Techie
  • Chris Haedrich
    Chief Amplifier
  • Annie Jensen
    Event Orchestrator
  • Jessica Tegerstrand
    Momentum Creator
  • Ashley Wagar
    TEDx Community Organizer