x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Wonder

This event occurred on
January 23, 2016
Reno, Nevada
United States

Saturday, January 23, 2016. Doors open 8 am; event starts promptly at 8:45 am.

Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts
100 S. Virginia Street
Reno, Nevada, 89501
United States
Event type:
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Alex Ellison

Graduate student
After graduating from Northwestern University, Alex Ellison was frustrated with the lack of guidance and support students were receiving around college and career readiness. She founded Dunce Labs, a college and career exploration space for teens, in order to offer the needed support to students outside of school. She also works with area high schools to provide additional guidance and support to students. Alex is a masters student in public policy and administration with an emphasis on higher education policy. She recently returned from a 2-month research project in Switzerland, where she learned about their unique dual education model and possibilities for mirroring it in the US. She lives with her husband and daughter in Reno.

Amy Selinger

Physical Therapist
With 30 years of experience specializing in back, hip and pelvic pain, Amy Selinger appreciates that many treatment techniques thought to be standard approaches to back pain don't always work. Using the Movement System Balance approach she evaluates individuals with musculoskeletal pain syndromes to determine how they move their bodies in ways that contribute to their imbalance.

Anjala Krishen

Marketing Professor
Dr. Anjala Krishen has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Rice University, and an M.S. Marketing, MBA, and Ph.D. from Virginia Tech. She worked full-time for 13 years in companies including Oracle Corporation, American Electric Power, and Enerwise Global Technologies. Beginning in fall of 2007, she joined University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where she recently became an Associate Professor of Marketing & International Business in the Lee Business School. Her interdisciplinary research interests include areas within decision making in rich environments, including heuristics and choice set design, e-marketing and social networking, and database marketing. As of 2015, she has over 30 published peer reviewed journal papers, and a co-authored book titled, “The Dichotomy Heuristic in Choice: How Contrast Makes Decisions Easier.”

Anthony Slonim

HealthCare CEO
Dr. Anthony Slonim is the President and CEO of Renown Health in Reno Nevada and a Clinical Professor of Medicine and Pediatrics at the University of Nevada School of Medicine (UNSOM). He is a board certified physician in Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, and Critical Care, and a Doctor of Public Health. Dr. Slonim is a nationally recognized expert in patient safety, accountable care, healthcare quality, and innovative care delivery models focused on improving health in the community. He is an academic leader and tenured professor with more than 100 publications, 15 textbooks and more than $2 million in National Institutes of Health funding to his name. Dr. Slonim also serves on the boards of the American College of Physician Executives, the Stevens Institute of Technology, and is the Chairman of the Certified Medical Representatives (CMR) Institute Boards.

David Burkus

David Burkus is the author of the best-selling book The Myths of Creativity and the forthcoming Under New Management. David is a contributing writer for Forbes, 99U, PsychologyToday, and the Harvard Business Review blog. His work has also appeared in Fast Company, Inc, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, and the Financial Times. As a speaker, he has delivered keynotes and lectures to a diverse set of audiences, from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies to the U.S. Naval Academy.

Dusty Wunderlich

Dusty Wunderlich is founder and CEO of Bristlecone Holdings, a fintech startup financing under-served consumers in distinct markets. Dusty is a passionate economist determined to foster a healthier economy through innovation and civic engagement. He challenges the status quo through business, community activism and politics. Prior to Bristlecone Holdings, he founded Optimum Strategy Group, an institutional advisory firm and served as a Principal and Advisor at DCA Capital Partners,a leading strategic advisory firm. He recognizes frustration in a marketplace hungry for innovation and is devoted to making effective change. Dusty’s broad worldview, collaborative mindset and ability to overcome drives his political activism in his home state of Nevada. Dusty builds a better business environment everywhere he goes. Follow @DustyWunderlich on twitter.

Elissa Altman

Award-winning memoirist Elissa Altman first began to speak publicly about the moral imperative to “close the circle” — to bring senior citizens to the public table and discourse about food — in her 2011 Huffington Post column, Beyond The Schoolyard. Altman writes the monthly Washington Post column, Feeding My Mother, and is the author of the critically-acclaimed memoir, Poor Man’s Feast: A Love Story of Comfort, Desire, and the Art of Simple Cooking, based on her James Beard Award-winning blog of the same name. A five-time selectee for inclusion in the annual Best Food Writing, Altman focuses much of her writing on issues of moral, spiritual, gustatory, and creative sustenance; her next memoir, Treyf: A Story of Family, Food, and the Forbidden, will be published in 2016 by Berkley Books. Her work has appeared everywhere from the New York Times and Oprah Magazine to Tin House, Dame Magazine, and Saveur. She lives in Newtown, Connecticut with her family.

Emily Nagoski

Emily Nagoski is Wellness Education Director, Lecturer, and campus favorite at Smith College, where she teaches Women’s Sexuality. She has a PhD in Health Behavior with a doctoral concentration in human sexuality from Indiana University, and a master’s degree (also from IU) in counseling, with a clinical internship at the Kinsey Institute Sexual Health Clinic. She has taught graduate and undergraduate classes in human sexuality, relationships and communication, stress management, and sex education. She is the author of three guides for Ian Kerner’s, including the Guide to Female Orgasm, and she writes the popular sex blog,

Emily Reese

After Emily Fay Reese found out that her husband is gay, her journey was a long and difficult process toward healing. Nearly a decade later, she is thankful for her transparent life, which she uses to encourage straight spouses and those who come out to their husbands or wives. Her goal is to let others know that healing is possible. Find her blog at

Freedom Revival

Freedom Revival are Jaidyn (14) and Madelyn (15) on lead vocals, Matt (14) and Alec (14) on guitar, Matt (14) on keys, Emily (17) on bass, and the youngest, Ethan (13) on drums - their chemistry is undeniable! Each as talented as the other and all multi-instrumentalists, they list piano, saxophone, trumpet, oboe, and marimba among the many instruments they collectively play. While siblings Emily, Madelyn and Ethan have enjoyed a tight musical bond since early on, Freedom Revival was formed less than a year ago and has exploded onto the local music scene. Music is their passion and they are just getting started so expect some big things out of each of these amazing young musicians!

Gino Borges

Director of Impact
Gino’s path led him from a California dairy farm to earning a Ph. D. in Communications from Purdue University, from Nevada desert quests to family ranch stewardship. And now from old school real estate investing to impact investing. Gino is a Partner and Director of Impact at OpenPath Investments. He and the OpenPath team transform ordinary apartment complexes into thriving communities. Their residents create community gardens, teach cooking classes, and share childcare. OpenPath’s portfolio consists of over 2,500 units and has a value more than $285M. When he’s not impact investing, you can find Gino barefoot in his garden.

Hayley Quinn

Relationship Expert
Hayley Quinn is the UK’s leading Dating Expert and has helped 100,000’s of men and women re-think their love lives. A graduate in English and Psychoanalysis from UCL Hayley set up her own company as a reaction to encountering the ‘pick up artist’ culture and working as a ghost writer for characters from the New York Times bestseller ‘The Game’. An advocate of real life dating skills she’s used her websites ([]), and her online member’s clubs to show people that there’s more to life than meeting someone than Tinder. She’s been a featured expert for numerous international TV shows and has had a Channel 4 Cutting Edge documentary ‘BiCurious Me’ based around her explorations into sexuality and relationships. She has also written for Cosmopolitan, the Independent, the Telegraph and regular provides social experiment vlogs to news sites.

Jennifer Gurecki

Social Entrepreneur
Jennifer Gurecki specializes in designing creative approaches to building resilient communities and cultivating female leadership. She is the founder and CEO of Coalition Snow, the world’s first women’s ski and snowboard company. #sisterhoodofshred When she’s not playing in the Sierra Nevada, you can find her in Kenya working with Zawadisha, a non-profit social enterprise providing fair and transparent microloans to women through an innovative model of lending that is soundly pro-poor, pro-woman, and pro-environment. #investinwomen

Jill Tolles

Jill Tolles has taught Communication Studies for the past 10 years at the University of Nevada, Reno and is a member of the teaching faculty at the National Judicial College. She serves on the school board of Saint Albert the Great Catholic School, is the chair of the Washoe County School District’s Say Yes for Kids committee, a member of the Senate Task Force for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse, and an advocate for education and child protection issues in the state of Nevada. In the 2015 legislative session, Jill worked with legislators to pass a law establishing statewide curriculum standards to help prevent child abuse by teaching personal safety in grades K-12. As a survivor herself, a teacher and a mother, she is deeply passionate about expanding the conversation on this silent epidemic to bring awareness, healing and prevention.

Jon Foreman

Devout Disciple of Rock and Roll
It’s easy for a surfer to lose focus and fall into the steady pull of the crashing waves, and it’s easy for a musician to forget where they came from under the glaring lights, before a sea of adoring fans screaming their name. On a surfboard or on a stage, the ground is made of different matter, and truth defers to the engulfing chaos. Jon Foreman has treaded these waters for nearly 20 years, moored by the truth he carries in his bones. Back in 1996, he started his music career heading an unassuming San Diego-based band, now known all over the world as the multi-platinum Grammy-winning alt-rock group Switchfoot. A lifelong quest for divine answers translated effortlessly through Jon’s gritty vocals, which mediated between a lost self and an unseen higher power.

Lacey Sturm

Rock Princess
In 2002, Lacey Sturm co-founded Flyleaf and led the rock band to international success as its frontwoman. The band’s single “All Around Me” went platinum, soaring to the top 40 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and earning recognition as an award-winning song at the 2009 BMI Pop Awards. Her debut album as a solo artist is entitled "Life Screams". Her first book is entitled “The Reason: How I Discovered a Life Worth Living.”

Mark Kalin

Mark Kalin wanted to be a puppeteer until one day, at age 9, when he looked on a shelf at the library and found a book on magic. “I enjoyed the puppets, but the idea of magic really intrigued me. I tried to do a few tricks and found out it was something that I could master”. Ten years later, as a young man, he was recognized as one of the top magicians in the world. Kalin performed around the globe, bringing his innovative routines to theaters, casinos and clubs. That was when he met a performer named Jinger Leigh. Jinger had taken dance lessons when she was four, and by age fifteen she was working as a professional dancer. She worked for companies like Disney, Fuji Television and in Southern California dinner theaters. At a resort in Guam she met Mark Kalin, and was instantly impressed by his magic and his rapport with the audience.

Shane Wickes

As a former college football player and current high school football coach, Shane was faced with a choice -- leave the sport he loves so much or own up to an unpopular truth in the football community. Shane is a strong believer in the power of coaches to shape young people’s lives; but in order to do so, he believes that you must be willing to share your true self with those you are trying to impact. This was a particularly difficult task for Shane because he is gay. Shane decided that rather than leaving football, his experience could be used to shed light on a difficult topic. Shane’s ultimate goal is to spread awareness on the harmful effects that the modern football climate causes and to show other gay athletes and coaches that they are not alone.

Sherry McConkey

Skier, adventurer and everyday person with a passion for life.
An avid world traveler, Sherry McConkey was born in Ireland, raised in South Africa, and began her global journey in 1989. After traveling through Europe and Canada, she landed in Lake Tahoe, CA, which she still calls home. A passion for the outdoors connected Sherry to legendary free ski pioneer Shane McConkey. The two were married in Thailand in 2004 and their greatest creation, Ayla, came along in 2005. Shane passed away in 2009. Through both her life with Shane, and his death, Sherry has come to believe that with desire, passion, and a goal, anything is possible. Despite the grief after losing him, Sherry knew she wanted to carry on Shane’s legacy. She turned moments of sadness into inspiration and used the power of positivity to build The Shane McConkey Foundation, and Executive Produce the movie, McConkey.

Steven Hayes

Steven C. Hayes is Nevada Foundation Professor at the Department of Psychology at the University of Nevada. An author of 38 books and more than 540 scientific articles, he has shown in his research how language and thought leads to human suffering, and has developed “Acceptance and Commitment Therapy” a powerful therapy method that is useful in a wide variety of areas. His popular book “Get Out of Your Mind and Into Your Life” was featured in Time Magazine among several other major media outlets and for a time was the number one best selling self-help book in the United States. Dr. Hayes has been President of several scientific societies and has received several national awards, such as the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy.

Taylor Wilson

Nuclear Scientist
Taylor Wilson was born in Arkansas in 1994. In 2009 at age 14, Taylor became the youngest person in history to produce nuclear fusion, and went on to develop many novel nuclear technologies including security, medical, and energy innovations, afterwards founding companies to commercialize these inventions. In addition to running his commercial endeavors, Taylor directs several academic laboratories for fundamental and applied research in nuclear science. Along with his commercial and scientific interests, Taylor studies the history of science and technology and works to inspire a new generation of scientists and engineers to dream big and use technology to make the world a better place.

The Novelists

An elderly couple stands precariously on the railing of a 17-floor balcony… two teenagers unknowingly choose a murder scene for their parking date, and a young man throws off the shackles of a bullish culture. These are just a sample of the scenes in which you’ll find yourself immersed when you listen to The Novelists. Equally comfortable acoustic or electric, The Novelists showcase cliffhanger storytelling, multiple lead singers, and their signature four-part harmonies. In 2013, they debuted The Novelists Book Club, a music subscription giving fans two original releases each month. In March 2014, they released Book One, the first of two albums chosen from the Book Club material. In addition to a headlining gig at Dallas Cowboys Stadium, The Novelists have become a mainstay on the West Coast festival, college and house concert circuits. They’ve shared the stage with Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, John Prine, and Daryl Stuermer (Genesis).

The Warning

Rock Band
The three sisters knew they are far from being the musicians they wanted to be, and had this dream of attending Berklee College of Music “Five Week Summer Program”. The girls had started writing their own music and wanted to soar musically. That dream became a reality thanks to the support of their supportive fans (through a “Go Fund Me campaign”) and the Ellen De Generes show who contacted them and invited them to appear on the show because of the impact of the “Enter Sandman “ video. After the show, Ellen continued their interest in the girls and asked to follow them while they attended the summer program at Berklee. The sisters made a “video diary” for the EllenTube Channel. They have written more of their own music; they are very happy with it. While they practice every day for 2 hours individually and at least another hour together, they know they still have a lot to learn

William Smith

An architect and author, Bill Smith has built some of the world’s most iconic buildings. His most notable project, CityCenter in Las Vegas, is the largest privately funded development in U.S. History at $9 billion. CityCenter was developed in a record 60 months. His critically acclaimed book, “Creating CityCenter”, has been released internationally by W.W. Norton & Company. Bill is a Registered Architect and Member of the American Institute of Architects.

Zeb Hogan

National Geographic Fellow
Dr. Zeb Hogan has spent the last 20 years studying the world’s freshwater ecosystems, working to merge conservation science with education and action. He is currently a research assistant professor at the University of Nevada-Reno, a National Geographic Society Fellow, United Nations Convention on Migratory Species Scientific Councilor for Fish, and presenter for the National Geographic television series “Monster Fish.” Zeb’s research with the Mekong Fish Conservation Project and other National Geographic-sponsored projects have aided in understanding migratory patterns and population structures of imperiled giant freshwater fish. Zeb received his Ph.D. in ecology from the University of California, Davis in 2004. His research has been featured in scientific journals including Science, American Scientist, and Conservation Biology and popular publications such as Wired, Time, and National Geographic Magazine.

Organizing team


Reno, NV, United States