x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Ideas Unbridled

This event occurred on
June 13, 2015
11:00am - 6:00pm MDT
(UTC -6hrs)
Denver, Colorado
United States

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized (subject to certain rules and regulations).

Ellie Caulkins Opera House
1101 13th Street
Denver, Colorado, 80204
United States
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Catharyn Baird

Catharyn is the founder and CEO of EthicsGame, and professor of business, emeritus, at Regis University in Denver. Catharyn’s research on meta-ethics resulted in the development in 2009 with co-author Jeannine Niacaris of the foundation for a suite of web-based ethics learning tools. Since the launch of EthicsGame in fall of 2005, its learning tools have been used by more than 200 universities and currently reaches more than 3,000 learners a month. The EthicsGame products are based on Catharyn’s pioneering work in business ethics during her 23 years on the faculty at Regis University. Committed to developing a web-based ethics program that was pedagogically sound and followed a developmental approach to ethics education, she developed a unique method of teaching ethics. Catharyn was the first woman to receive the title of full professor in the Division of Business at Regis. In 2000 she was named Regis University Faculty Lecturer of the Year.

Chris Hansen

Chris specializes in energy sector economics and data analytics as a strategist and product developer for Janys Analytics. Before, Chris led a global portfolio of energy events and partnerships for IHS, and directed a social media analytics development team. Chris also has managed a comprehensive review of the UAE’s energy sector. He is a co-creator of a unique tool for applying portfolio investment techniques to power generation; he also was a research fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, where he focused on electricity and gas sector reform in India. He also serves on the boards of many Denver-area non-profits. In 2012, he was selected as a Marshall Memorial Fellow by the German Marshall Fund.

Emmy Betz

Emmy is an emergency physician at the University of Colorado Hospital and an injury prevention researcher. She attended Yale University for her undergraduate training and Johns Hopkins her medical and public health training. She then completed her residency training at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Harvard Affiliated Emergency Medicine Residency program, where she served as chief resident. A Denver native, she was thrilled to return home to serve her state by working to promote health and prevent suicide, car crashes, and other forms of injury. Her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and the Emergency Medicine Foundation, and she has published numerous research articles. She has also worked as an expert consultant with national organizations in suicide prevention.

Eric Kornacki

Driven by the belief that building a sustainable world begins by creating viable models that are place-based and empower people to own the solutions within their community, Eric Kornacki co-founded Re:Vision in 2007 and today serves as its executive director. Under his leadership, Re:Vision has grown to a staff of more than 25 people with an annual operating budget of more than $2 million. Re:Vision’s work to build a community-owned food system that increases access and affordability to healthy food while creating economic opportunity in one of Denver’s most vulnerable neighborhoods has created the largest community-led urban agriculture program in the country, with more than 400 families now growing their own food.

Esmé Patterson

Esmé Patterson is songwriter, gambler, singer, lover, thinker and explorer. She began as a member of the Denver folk pop septet, Paper Bird, and has written two records as a solo act including “All Princes, I” and her second and most recent release, “Woman to Woman,” a concept album of responses from female characters in a broad range of well-known love songs. Esmé is a magnetic performer in multiple incarnations. She adds members to raise the volume and cadence of her tunes but remains powerful alone. Her recent co-writing with Shakey Graves led to sold out shows nationwide and millions of downloads of their collaborations.

Heidi Ganahl

Heidi is the founder and CEO of Camp Bow Wow, the largest pet care franchise in North America. Through her personal and professional tragedies, Heidi has faced extraordinary adversity. She responded by turning her life-long passion for dogs into Camp Bow Wow and created the Bow Wow Buddies Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives and health of dogs. Outside of leading Camp Bow Wow, Heidi is passionate about giving back. She was recently appointed as a director on the foundation board for the University of Colorado; she is on the advisory board of the Leadership Program of the Rockies and Colorado Succeeds; and she leads Moms Fight Back.

Jen Lewin

Over the last 15 years Jen has honed her highly technical medium, fabricating large-scale interactive sculptures that combine light, sound and motion to encourage community interaction. Jen’s use of technology as a medium challenges popular conceptions of new media works and their limitations; she thinks beyond the traditional art exhibition to create an experience that brings vibrancy to neighborhoods, parks and public spaces. Jen’s design and multimedia work has been featured in publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian, Wired, The New York Times, BBC News and The Straits Times. She also served as creative director for the Ceren Project and Ivee Project at The Sundance Laboratory for Advanced Computing in Design, as well as a lead designer for ITN in Palo Alto, Calif.

Jesse Zhang

Jesse's work has led to two first-author publications in leading scientific journals, “Journal of Geophysical Research” and “Space Weather,” and success at prestigious national science fairs, such as the Intel Science Talent Search. He just graduated from high school in Boulder, Colo., and will be studying computer science at Harvard University in the fall.

Joel Comm

Joel is an author, entrepreneur and speaker who went from having only 87 cents in his bank account to creating multiple successful businesses – often using the various forms of new media as avenues towards the greater goal of success. He is the New York Times best-selling author of 12 books, including “The AdSense Code,” “Click Here to Order: Stories from the World’s Most Successful Entrepreneurs,” “KaChing: How to Run an Online Business that Pays and Pays” and “Twitter Power 2.0.” Joel hosted and produced the world’s first competitive Internet reality show, “The Next Internet Millionaire.” He also created a #1 best-selling iPhone application which became one of the most talked about novelty iPhone apps of all time.

Kris Boesch

Kris transforms company cultures as the CEO and founder of Choose People, and has conducted more than 1000 hours of research with a team of doctoral students of industrial organizational psychology at Colorado State University. Prior to Choose People, Kris was the CEO of Exodus Moving & Storage. Under her leadership Exodus became the largest mover in northern Colorado with a turnover rate nearly 40-percent less than the industry average and a bottom-line twice that same average.

Mandy Straight

Mandy has been referred to as “the colorful sheep” in the family; an onion-peeler; a purpose-seeker; a super-nerd with an insatiable curiosity for life who truly believes that Einstein teaches us as much about ourselves as Chanel. And that Oprah is just as valid for insight and inspiration as DaVinci. As a naked ontologist, Mandy speaks, writes and conducts workshops that spark a journey inside what it means to BE, independent of the labels that get in the way of a more complete perspective. With a background in French, math, theater and a childhood full of books, her explorations include everything from Plato to pop culture from Rumi to zombie in addition to Harry Potter and fashion trends. Her 11 years of interior design work focuses not on the “stuff” in each room but on the life that it facilitates and the future it inspires for each individual client. She agrees with Churchill that, “We shape our spaces, thereafter they shape us.”

Mike Vaughan

Mike has taken a lifelong passion for learning and thinking processes and used it to create industry-leading research around the analysis of how high-value leaders think, how their thinking is different from their colleagues’, and how it ultimately makes them more successful. He is the author of “The End of Training: How Simulations Are Reshaping Business,” and the recently published book, “The Thinking Effect: Rethinking Thinking to Create Great Leaders and the New Value Worker.” Mike is a managing director and CEO of The Regis Company, a privately held company that applies neuroscience principles to custom leadership programs and business simulations. Since he co-founded the company in 2003, The Regis Company has become a globally recognized leader in simulation design, winning virtually every top award and honor in the industry.

Peter Lynch

Peter Lynch is a serial cul-de-sac entrepreneur. Most recently he is the founder and CEO of Digital Fridge, a five-star-rated app for the iPhone with downloads in more than 70 countries. It has been a finalist twice for Denver’s Hottest Showcasing Startup at Denver Startup week, having won the competition once. It has also been covered on multiple top technology sites as well as showcased on one of the country’s largest FOX channels. Peter is also a global operations executive with a Fortune 500 company based in Denver, CO where he leads global training, communications and change management.

Teju Ravilochan

Teju is co-founder and CEO of Unreasonable Institute, which runs mentor-driven boot camps for entrepreneurs tackling social and environmental challenges. Ranging from the chairman of Whole Foods to the founder of three startups with IPOs over $1 billion, mentors advise entrepreneurs for at least six months. Entrepreneurs also connect with 100+ funders and have raised over $72 million in total. Some 93 companies from 45 countries have participated, and have collectively affected the lives of more than 7 million people

Theo Wilson

Theo Wilson combines love of poetry and passion for social justice. After graduating from Florida A&M University, he was introduced to slam poetry while interning at the St. Louis Black Repertory Company. In 2004, he returned to Denver, winning many local slams against Denver’s top competitors. He won the 2007 Erotic Poetry Slam in Austin, Texas, and in 2009, he had the honor of placing 5th in the world at the International World Poetry Slam. He also teaches and lectures with Art-From-Ashes; is the deputy executive director of Shop Talk Live, inc., which stages community dialogues in a barber shop; and speaks with “Rachel’s Challenge,” on ending school violence through compassion. Theo placed 4th in the National Poetry Slam last year.

Organizing team


Denver, CO, United States
  • Jason Dilg
  • Nicole Dill
    Operations Director
  • Tracy Kollker
    Experience Director
  • Brooke Bendewish
    Marketing Director
  • Cate Croft
    Adventures Director
  • Angela Bruns
    Program + Operations
  • Lacey Hoff
    Stage Set Designer