x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Make + Believe

This event occurred on
June 25, 2016
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
1000 14th Street
Denver, Colorado, 80204
United States
Event type:
Standard (What is this?)
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Amy Adele Hasinoff

New Media Researcher
Amy Adele studies media and culture to investigate how we interact with the onslaught of new media and how it affects the way we develop, use, and regulate communication technologies. She’s the author of Sexting Panic, a look at the well-intentioned but problematic responses to sexting in mass media, law, and education. Her research appears in journals like New Media & Society, Critical Studies in Media Communication, and Feminist Media Studies. Amy is also an assistant professor in the Communication department at the University of Colorado Denver.

Angel Abbud-Madrid

Space Miner
Angel Abbud-Madrid first came into contact with Earth’s resources fresh out of college, as project engineer in a gold and silver mine in the Sierra Madre mountains of northern Mexico. Following his interest in space exploration, he moved to the U.S., where he got a Ph.D. and took part in a variety of projects conducted in NASA’s low-gravity laboratories. Now, he’s the Director of the Center for Space Resources at the Colorado School of Mines, where he leads research into space exploration and the utilization of its resources.

Anna Sher Simon

Empowerment Scientist
Dr. Anna Sher Simon is a biology professor, author, activist, wife, and mother whose research on restoration of damaged ecosystems is widely referenced. Her recent books are An Introduction to Conservation Biology, and Tamarix: A Case Study of Ecological Change in the American West. Dr. Sher served as the Director of Research at Denver Botanic Gardens for seven years and is now a professor at DU. She and her wife, Fran, were the first couple in the state to receive a civil union.

Damon McLeese

Community Artist
Damon McLeese loves challenging the assumptions people have about those with disabilities. In fact, he thinks the word “disability” is inaccurate, contending that we all have challenges to overcome in life. As the Executive Director of VSA Colorado/Access Gallery, he assists artists with disabilities as they create their own works and take part in the commissioned works the gallery makes for businesses. Damon has worked tirelessly to tell the story of people with disabilities through the arts and received the 2014 Mayor's Award for Innovation in the arts.

Eleanor Allen

Global Water Expert
Eleanor Allen is fiercely compassionate about improving global water and sanitation services. She believes societal change can be accelerated through social entrepreneurship and organizations like Water For People, a global nonprofit working with four million people in nine countries in Africa, Latin America, and India. As the CEO of Water For People, she keeps her organization transparent and cooperative, providing leadership in development work in water, sanitation, and hygiene She has lived and worked all over the world and speaks four languages.

Eleanor Perry-Smith

Poet + Writer
Eleanor Perry-Smith has been writing poetry since she was 10 years old, spurred on by her father’s love of verse. A longtime member of Denver’s creative community, she’s contributed her voice through poetry, prose, and arts journalism. Eleanor served as editor of Modern In Denver magazine and Zephyr Press short fiction and poetry journal. Her current book, Revelry & Rhyme, illustrates her poetic range, while her videos and live recitations showcase her resolute melodic style.

Jeremy Make

Choice Advocate
Jeremy Make wears many hats: healthcare communication coach, public speaker, creative writing instructor to undergrads and incarcerated learners, public health consultant, and award-winning filmmaker and artist. He once drove a golf cart across the United States and has performed Shakespeare with prisoners. He has over a decade of experience coaching medical practitioners and recently completed an MA in Health Communication from the University of Colorado Denver. He created to more clearly outline a person's options in end-of-life care.

Jovan Mays

Poet Laureate
Jovan Mays is the Poet Laureate of Aurora, Colorado and a National Poetry Slam Champion. A member of the Denver SlamNUBA national slam poetry team, he won two Denver city slam championships and qualified for three international finals stages. Jovan’s work has appeared in The Pilgrimage, Button Poetry, and Write About Now. The former slam master for the highly decorated poetry organization SlamNUBA, he is also the community engagement coordinator for Lighthouse Writers Workshop, and the author of four books.

Patrick M. Krueger

Demographics Visionary
Patrick M. Krueger is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health & Behavioral Sciences at the University of Colorado Denver. He spends his mornings thinking about populations and how health and disease are distributed throughout them. He spends his afternoons thinking about how things like education, poverty, and race can shape your health in ways that your doctor may not be able to fix. On the weekends, Patrick spends his time trying to embarrass his 12-year-old daughter, and trying not to embarrass his wife.

Richard Cooke

Music Maverick
Richard is a Grammy award-winning musician who has created a family of instruments that give everyone a way to play beautiful music simply. These instruments have become permanent fixtures in parks all over the world. Richard spent several years sailing the ocean and doing coral reef research with the Biosphere Foundation. A former member of the city council of Moab, Utah, he now makes his home in Durango.

Rosemarie Allen

Education Activist
Dr. Rosemarie Allen works passionately to ensure that children have access to high-quality early childhood programs that are developmentally and culturally appropriate. She teaches classes at Metro State University focused on raising teachers’ awareness of the impact equity, privilege, and power can have in the classroom. Dr. Allen serves as an intern on the Early Childhood Task Force with President Obama’s “My Brother’s Keeper” initiative and is a respected keynote speaker on culturally responsive practices and cultural competence.

Scott Fulbright

Sustainable Scientist
Scott has spent the last decade in the algae bioproducts industry, leading research and developing projects with the goal of optimizing algae growth for biofuels. In 2008, he did product development at an algae biotechnology company that raised $17 million during the development phase. In 2013, he co-founded Living Ink, a company that develops sustainable ink technologies from algae. Living Ink has won several awards including the Department of Energy Cleantech Competition.

Scott Strode

Community Champion
Scott Strode is a triathlete, mountaineer, and recovering alcoholic. He’s the Founder and National Executive Director of Phoenix Multisport, offering free programs such as climbing, boxing, CrossFit, yoga, and biking to individuals in recovery from substance use disorder and introducing them to a new supportive network of sober friends. Phoenix is based on Scott's own discovery that a healthy, active lifestyle has a transformative effect on long-term sobriety. Scott has been recognized worldwide for his work with Phoenix.

Taylor Romero

Practical Futurist
Taylor Romero landed his first web gig at the age of 14 and worked several high-profile positions in the tech industry before going in a totally new direction, diving into retail and men’s fashion. He and his wife, Becca, opened Spruce, a menswear boutique and barbershop, in 2015 and haven’t looked back since. Taylor is passionate about the ways technology can impact our world, and hopes to play a part in helping put Denver on the map as a tech mecca.

Tom Hagerman + Friends

Tom Hagerman is a multi-instrumentalist who has recorded with everyone from M Ward to Crooked Fingers to Sage Francis. He’s also collaborated on pop performances with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra and—along with his bandmates in Denver’s DeVotchKa—created new orchestral arrangements for Sweeney Todd. Tom is a Colorado native who attributes his artistic development to music education in public schools.

Organizing team


Denver, CO, United States
  • Angela Bruns
    Team member
  • Cate Croft
    Team member
  • Helena Bowen
    Team member
  • Josh Tyson
    Team member
  • Lacey Hoff
    Team member
  • Nicole Dill
    Team member
  • Tracy Kollker
    Team member