x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Nebraska: Wide Horizons, Open Minds

This event occurred on
October 18, 2012
10:00am - 5:00pm CDT
(UTC -5hrs)
Lincoln, NE
United States

The theme of TEDxLincoln 2012 was Nebraska: Wide Horizons, Open Minds. In this expanded second annual event, we explored the concepts of learning, personal growth, and self-actualization. The program participants are listed below.

Live at NET Nebrfaska
1800 N 33rd
Lincoln, NE, 68501
United States
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Dr. Stephen Joel

Changing The World--One Person at a Time - Joel grew up the son of a New York City police officer, but took a different journey than much of his family—choosing teaching and learning over law enforcement. Joel talks about that unexpected journey, which led him to essential discoveries about how one becomes a dynamic leader. He shares stories from the past about the power of recognizing opportunities and taking risks, and offers mentoring advice about how to define who you are, define who you are for others and become a person of influence.

Dr. Mary Pipher

The Green Boat: Reviving Ourselves in Our Capsized Culture - Pipher will explore the deluge tidal of information, including a great deal of traumatic information about the fate of Mother Earth that we are confronted with daily. Yet our basic equipment—our bodies and brains—have not changed since the Neolithic Era. We simply are not built to respond well. The Green Boat posits a trauma to transcendence cycle that begins with awareness and leads first to resilient coping and then in many people to what I call a transcendent response.

Khara Plicanic

Anything is Possible--and That's the Problem. Or Is It? - Who would ever think that believing any and all things are possible—could be a bad thing? For someone struggling with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), it proves to be both a blessing—and a curse, as sharp focus combined with an ambitious imagination to forge a potent belief system that, no matter how far fetched or seemingly impossible, becomes what can sometimes be an all too authentic reality. Here, Khara shares an insider’s view of the unique challenges of living with OCD and, along with some humorous anecdotes, explores the value of a broadened perspective.

Doug Butler

Be True to Yourself - Butler will discuss his life in education which began with his childhood on a horse farm, then to formal degrees from some of the most recognized institutions in the United States, teaching in the higher education system and ultimately landed him on the high plains of Nebraska south of Chadron. Butler Professional Farrier School attracts students from across the United States and from several foreign countries. As he’s followed his dream of helping people help horses, Butler has learned that when you’re true to yourself, your involvement in education reflects you and your values.

Tiffany Verzal

Time, Intensity, and Patience - My 5 year-old daughter Alexis was the victim of abusive head trauma when she was 14 months-old, leaving her with a severe traumatic brain injury. Since her injury, she has undergone nearly 3,000 hours of specialized, intensive rehabilitation, helping her regain abilities and independence that medical professionals believed she would never have.

Andrew Miller

Art as Gift - Giving has become a huge part of our economy. Our world used to be ruled by production and advertising, but now we’re becoming a gift-based economy, where the artist rules the day, and “business as usual” gets left in the dust. Andrew will be speaking about his own personal giving challenge, and how giving has transformed business—and the world as we know it—for good.

Brian Ardinger

The Power of BIG Experiences, Experience Matters - We learn by doing, seeing, touching, feeling, being a part of something. We learn from the experiences we create and the experiences that create us. Einstein once said, “The only source of knowledge is experience.” But if experiences are so important to our growth and happiness, so vital to how we learn and live, why do we not do a better job at mapping out the experiences we want to create? How can we become more deliberate in creating experiences that matter to us? Ardinger will speak about the Power of Big Experiences and offer a motivational journey and a “how to guide” to help create experiences that matter.

Dr. Chris Augeri

Bitnificance--The Rise of Information Currency and Data as a Commodity - Technology and society trends suggest a marked shift towards the explicit pricing of information. Such trends include the ability to conduct transactions anywhere via mobile credit card readers through the bulk purchase of social network information. Augeri will examine how such changes are affecting individuals with respect to their personal information, and how these changes are affecting the behavior of commercial organizations.

Deidra Riggs

What if Being Safe is Overrated? - Often, when I start telling people about the day I jumped out of an airplane they ask me, “But why jump out of a perfectly good airplane?” Riggs wonders, “What are we all missing out on when we sit quietly with our seat belts securely fastened around our waists? And what if being safe is overrated?”

DeWayne Taylor

The Evolution of Beatbox - Taylor will be speaking about and demonstrating the evolution of beatboxing, how the art form is spreading like wildfire with just a few clicks of a mouse, and how he’s used beatboxing to build bridges between people.

Dr. Gregory Oakes

Originality Your Way - Originality is the new black…or at least this decade’s latest buzzword. But what is it, really? How do we achieve it? Even for people who swear by their lack of creativity, there are many gateways into living this kind of full, juicy, satisfying life. Follow your internal compass and go in the direction that’s the most authentic for yourself.

Helen Fagan

Diagnosed with PTSD and MDD, and Managing to Get a PhD - In 2007, diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and severe clinical depression, Helen’s health caused her life to take a major detour. Since then Fagan has learned how to effectively navigate the ups and downs while pursuing a PhD in Leadership with a 4.0 GPA. She will share the pain, lessons and insights in hopes of inspiring others to open their minds to new possibilities.

Mark Gudgel

Empowering Young People to Repair the World - This talk will stem around my experiences in Holocaust education and teaching Literature of the Holocaust in Lincoln, Nebraska, as well as the work I do with my global nonprofit in Rwanda. Through anecdotes and personal examples, I want to explain why the world is in good hands with this up-and-coming generation, so long as we do the right things to help prepare them.

Mark Zmarzly

How Saying Yes Can Change Your Life! - As a former writer and English major, I’m amazed at the ability a writer has to craft a compelling story that sucks a reader into the pages. Typically, this is accomplished by what the characters say “Yes” to: Yes to the relationship, yes to taking the journey, yes to answering the door. How do the words “Yes” and “No” shape our lives, open opportunities, and craft our life’s story? This talk is a discovery of the power of these two simple words.

Scott Winter

Bulgarian Punk Education - Many of us think we have a grasp on what diversity means in the world, and what it means to us from our spot on the gameboard of Earth. But a passport and the right attitude can change all that in meaningful ways, and will mean everything for Midwestern students.

Jennifer Ahn

AAhn of Omaha was named winner of the 2012 Max and Lillie Larsen Young Artist Award. The competition was hosted by the Nebraska Chamber Players. Seven students, representing grades 9-12 and three Nebraska communities, participated in the competition. The Larsens established the competition to recognize outstanding talent and performance on strings and to provide an opportunity for gifted string players to compete and demonstrate their ability to perform. Ahn will have the opportunity to perform with the Nebraska Chamber Players during the 2012-2013 season. At TEDxLincoln, she will share a few words about her musical interests and perform a number for the audience.

TEDxLincoln Program Outline

10:00 AM – Noon Greg Oakes, Khara Plicanic, TED Video The Danger of a Single Story, Mark Zmarzly, Tiffany Verzal, Pat Leach (book review), Mary Pipher LUNCH Noon – 1:00 PM 1:00 – 2:45 PM Scott Winter, Helen Fagan, Pat Leach (book review), Chris Augeri, Mark Gudgel, TED Video What Adults Can Learn from Kids, DeWayne Taylor, BREAK 2:45 – 3:15 3:15 – 5:00 PM Jennifer Ahn, Deidra Riggs, Brian Ardinger, TED Video Music as a Language, Doug Butler, Pat Leach (book review), Andrew Miller, Steve Joel.

Boots and Cats

Boots and Cats is the first and only female a cappella group at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Established in 2011, the group consists of sixteen undergraduate women from all areas of campus. The cats sing a variety of styles, ranging from jazz to top 40 music. They paid a surprise visit to the 2012 TEDxLincoln stage. We think you’ll enjoy their song.

Pat Leach

Pat Leach is Director of Libraries for the City of Lincoln, Nebraska. Each year she makes it a practice to read nearly all of the titles on the American Library Association Notable Books list. Her book reviews at TEDxLincoln are chosen from that list. The books reviewed include "Thinking Fast and Slow" by Daniel Kahneman, "The Emperor of All Maladies, A Biography of Cancer" by Siddharta Mukherjee, and "Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine, and the Murder of a President" by Candice Millard.

Organizing team


Lincoln, NE, United States
  • Jan Bretz
  • Jay Wilkinson
  • Chuck Norris
  • Derrick Eells
  • Ben Kiser
  • Char Henninger
    Event Facility
  • Rod Bates
  • Pat Leach
  • Emily Hatas
    Program Chair
  • Tom Nielsen
  • John Nellessen
  • Trena Reed
  • Susan Stibal
  • Chris Augeri
    Social Media
  • Wendy McCown
  • Emir Plicanic
    Web and Creative
  • Shaun Vanneman
    Committee and Creative
  • Christine Kiewra