x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Astound

This event occurred on
January 27, 2012
9:00am - 4:30pm CST
(UTC -6hrs)
Norman, OK
United States

The University of Oklahoma is hosting the ultimate gathering for the cool and the brilliant, the intensely curious, the givers and the wise, the compassionate and the visionaries, the doers and the creatives, the innovators, and the future leaders.

University of Oklahoma - Meacham Auditorium
900 Asp Avenue
Norman, OK, 73069
United States
Event type:
University (What is this?)
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Ken Parker

A lifelong learner and optimist, Parker developed software for Martin Marietta Aerospace and JPMorgan. Co-founding his own financial risk technology company, RiskMetrics Group, Parker is unique among Wall Street with the mantra: Change the World, Have Fun and Make Money – In That Order. He is now the CEO of NextThought.

Ghislain d’Humieres

Fulfilling the roles of military officer in France, International Decorative Art Specialist in New York and Los Angeles, Director of Jewelry for Christie’s in Los Angeles, South America and Geneva, humanitarian in Guatemala and Director of the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, d’Humieres has fostered positive change through the founding of the Alix Donation Fund for underprivileged children in Guatemala.

Reed Timmer

Reed TimmerDriven towards discovery in the “wild west” of meteorology, Timmer is determined to solve the mysteries of tornadoes and hurricanes with the ultimate goal of collecting data that saves lives. Timmer established TornadoVideos.net which has become the premier source of weather footage for news and production companies worldwide.

Kyle Harper

An Edmond-native, Kyle Harper graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Letters from OU in 2001. After pursuing his Master’s and Ph.D. In History at Harvard University, Kyle returned to his home state in 2009 to become the Director of the Institute for the American Constitutional Heritage and Assistant Professor of Classics and Letters at the University of Oklahoma. He is a specialist on Roman History, with particular interests in long-term economic and social history and the possibility for integrating biological approaches to human behavior and human sociality into the study of the deep human past.

Julia Ehrhardt

Raised in Springfield, New Jersey and a graduate of Duke and Yale, Ehrhardt teaches courses on American Literature, Women’s and Gender Studies, Food Studies and coordinates the Education Abroad program in Arezzo, Italy for the University of Oklahoma Honors College. She is an avid bicyclist, cook and food activist.

Bobby Gruenewald

Listed by Fast Company as one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business in 2011, Bobby is one of the leading voices in the Church as it relates to innovation and the use of technology. He frequently writes and speaks on the topic, and has been featured in the Washington Post, TechCrunch, CNN, CBS, NPR, and more. A pastor, innovation leader at LifeChurch.tv, and co-founder of the YouVersion Bible App, installed on over 35 million devices globally.

Jeremy Short

Named Researcher of the Year in 2010 for the College of Business at Texas Tech University prior to joining the faculty at OU, Short has taken his love of writing graphic novels and has developed it into a teaching tool through graphic textbooks. “I’ve yet to encounter a single soul who can recite a line from a textbook.” Short is looking to mix things up by escaping the “snooze-fest” associated with most textbooks.

Clint and Buck Vrazel

Twin brothers Buck and Clint Vrazel have been a driving force in the Oklahoma improvisational comedy and theater scene for over a decade. They are co-founders and co-Artistic Directors of OKC Improv, the state’s first professional improv showcase and learning institution, where they currently teach classes to children and adults across the metro and perform with several troupes including their nationally acclaimed duo act Twinprov.

Austin Hartel

Currently a faculty member of the University of Oklahoma School of Dance, Austin Hartel is known for choreographing passionate and athletic dances that create perceptual and intuitive environments, naturally engaging to audiences. Hailing from the east coast, Hartel has spent much of his time in numerous prestigious dance festivals and venues across the globe including serving as a cultural ambassador for the US Dept. of State for 11 years.

Jason Roberts

Jason Roberts is always on the go. His role as a community activist means he is always looking for ways to improve his Oak Cliff neighborhood, and the larger city of Dallas. In 2010 he founded the "Better Block" project, a demonstration tool that temporarily revisions an area to show the potential to create a great walkable, vibrant neighborhood center. Better Blocks are now being performed throughout the country, and have helped cities rapidly implement infrastructure and policy changes.

Beatrice Williamson

Born in Kisumu, the third largest city in Kenya, Ms. Williamson has received recognition from numerous cities and provinces in Africa, including being youth of the year for volunteering in Rwanda during the genocide 1994. Beatrice is a distinguished leader known for her warmth, humor and commitment to learning. Concerned with the dire situation of African youth she founded Maisha International Orphanage in Kenya to reach out to orphaned and destitute children and provide them with the same opportunity she was once given.

Jeff Swearingen

Jeff Swearingen is currently the Senior Vice-President of Customer Strategy and Marketing for Frito-Lay North America. His team is responsible for Retail Analytics, strategy and marketing, as well as the Marketing Center of Excellence and Design. He is a 17-year veteran of PepsiCo, having joined the Company in 1994. Jeff has a Finance degree from the University of Oklahoma and an MBA from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Jeff, his wife Lynn, and their two sons, Connor (9) and Tyler (7) live in McKinney, Texas.

Courtney Griffin

Organizing team

Ken Morgan

Oklahoma City, OK, United States
  • Adam Croom
    Director of Making Things Happen
  • Madison Blocker
    Ad Hoc Acquisitions Chair
  • Justin Devero
    Web Spinner Maestro
  • Blair Humphreys
    Okie Wan Kenokie
  • Rachel Hill
    TEDxOU Homecoming Queen