x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Defy Impossible

This event occurred on
August 20, 2013
5:00pm - 10:00pm CDT
(UTC -5hrs)
Kansas City, MO
United States

Our theme this year is inspired by DARPA Director Regina Duggan's 2011 TED talk where she posed the question "What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?"

Regina followed that provocative thought with an equally provocative charge "we can change the world if we defy the impossible."

Kauffman Center For The Performing Arts
1601 Broadway Street
Kansas City, MO, 64108
United States
Event type:
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Wayne White

It's About Humor, Beauty and Courage. Wayne White is an American artist, art director, illustrator, puppeteer, and much, much more. Wayne has used his memories of the South to create inspired works for film, television, and the fine art world. In 1986, Wayne became a designer for the hit television show Pee-wee’s Playhouse, and his work was awarded with three Emmys. Wayne has also designed sets and characters for shows such as Shining Time Station, Beakman’s World, Riders In The Sky, and Bill & Willis. He has also won Billboard and MTV Music Video Awards as an art director for seminal music videos including The Smashing Pumpkins' 'Tonight, Tonight' and Peter Gabriel's 'Big Time.'

Phil Hansen

Creative Extremist Phil Hansen is a multimedia artist who works at the intersection of traditional visual art, pointillism, and offbeat techniques. He is most widely known for his meta-art, videos that document the creation process, showing millions that art is action, not just result. As a commercial artist, he has worked on a variety of TV and internet campaigns with clients that include the Grammy's, Skype, Diesel and Arby's. Hansen is the author of Tattoo A Banana, an innovative approach to everyday creativity.

Kimberly Bryant

Activist, Technologist, Coder Kimberly Bryant founded Black Girls Code to introduce programming and technology to a new generation of coders; coders who will become builders of technological innovation and of their own futures.

Steve Ilardi

Clinician, Neuroscientist, Writer Steve Ilardi is a clinical researcher with a passionate interest in improving treatment for mental illness. Together with his research team, he has developed a novel program for clinical depression based on the premise that humans were not designed for modern life. This treatment program - Therapeutic Lifestyle Change - has proven to be highly promising in preliminary trials, and has already been adopted by clinicians in over a dozen countries. Steve also does statistical analysis for the NBA (most recently with the Phoenix Suns).

Anne Mahlum

Entrepreneur, Innovator, Advocate Anne M. Mahlum is a social entrepreneur who loves to create and build with purpose. The majority of her focus over the past four years has been on Back on My Feet, a non-profit organization she started in Philadelphia in 2007 that uses the power of running to change the way those experiencing homelessness see themselves so they can make real change in their lives. Anne regularly speaks at corporate events, academic institutions and conferences. She has presented on leadership, inspiration, the business behind starting a nonprofit, fundraising, social change and of course, the issue of homelessness

Chris Pureka

Singer, Songwriter, Poet -- Chris is the founder of her own label, Sad Rabbit Records and she has independently sold over 8000 copies of her latest album, How I Learned to See in the Dark. Meanwhile she has been touring the US for the last 10 years, and Europe the last four, performing unadorned, country-inflected folk music at cozy clubs and grand theaters, grassroots festivals and urban block parties. Chris has crisscrossed the globe sharing the stage with such artists as the Lumineers, Dar Williams, Peter Mulvey, The Cave Singers, Martin Sexton and Ani DiFranco.

Jared Ficklin

Inventor, Maker, Designer. Jared is a frog fellow. He believes experience is key to design and has spent more than a decade finding value for the user in innovative technology and bringing solutions to large organizations. He favors effective over expensive and form following emotion. Outside of frog as an activist for public skate parks he has seen users push cities to build the impossible and succeed in creating innovative infrastructure that engages culture and builds community.

Alastair Macartney

Base Jumping Philanthropist. World Champion and World Record Holder Alastair Macartney is a global adventurer that leads a team of human flight specialists that defy conventional wisdom and achieve the unachievable while raising awareness for charity. From setting a World Record leaping from the KL Tower in Malaysia to leading a 3-man wingsuit human flight formation from the infamous north face of the Eiger in Switzerland his team create the catalyst to inspire and motivate others to push their boundaries while bridging the intersection to support others less fortunate than themselves.

Peter Mulvey

Singer, Songwriter, Provocateur Peter Mulvey has been a touring singer/songwriter for twenty years, releasing well over a dozen records during that span. In addition to playing shows from Anchorage to the Hague, from Santa Monica to Belfast, he has kept a hand in various far-flung imaginative pursuits, playing each year in a cave underneath West Virginia for the National Youth Science Camp, and arranging tours every Autumn traveling by bicycle instead of by car. His most recent record of original material, "Letters from a Flying Machine", weaves song and spoken word together to address mortality, Bach sonatas, the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence, baseball, and the thoughts of children on what DNA might mean.

Minddrive Social Fuel Tour

Youth. Maker. Culture. MINDDRIVE’S mission is to inspire students to learn, expand their vision of the future, and to have a positive impact on urban workforce development. MINDDRIVE serves 36 students from the urban core of Kansas City, currently working with over 5 area schools; there are 24 students participating in Automotive Design Studio and 12 in Contemporary Communications. The students choose their course and also are given the freedom to align with the particular aspect of the project that gets them the most jazzed. Mentors play a huge role in finding what that spark is for each student, then figuring out a way to inspire them in that direction. The program is funded through the national sponsorships of Bridgestone, Hertz Corporation, SONIC®, America's Drive-In®, KCP&L, American Society of Mechanical Engineers Foundation (ASME), Automobile Dealers Association of Greater Kansas City, and VML, as well as through local foundations and individual contributors.

Organizing team


Kansas City, MO, United States


Kansas City, MO, United States
  • John Mulvihill
    Communications Director
  • Kathryn Orlowski
  • Deb Sull
    Volunteer Coordinator