x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Point of Departure

This event occurred on
July 8, 2017
11:00am - 11:59pm 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
Event type:
Standard (What is this?)
See more ­T­E­Dx­Mile­High events


Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.


Artists + Activists
Armed with musicianship, intelligence, and an ingrained sense of rebellion, Denver’s Flobots are a hip-hop and rock band formed in 2000. Flobots has been an integral part of the city’s music scene ever since storming the airwaves at KTCL with their hit single “Handlebars.” Their new album, No Enemies, focuses on issues like climate change and immigration reform.

Alejandro Jimenez

Poet + Educator
Alejandro Jimenez is a poet, educator, and long-distance runner from Colima, Mexico. In 2011 he became the first Latino to win the Su Barrio Slam Poetry Competition. The following year he was a member of the SlamNUBA poetry team that placed 5th at the National Poetry Slam Competition in 2012. Alejandro works with youth in Denver and tries to laugh with them as much as possible.

Alexander McCoy

Military Activist
Alexander McCoy is a Marine Corps veteran, political strategist, and progressive grassroots organizer. In 2016, he helped craft the legislative strategy to successfully pass the Fairness for Veterans Act through a gridlocked Congress. He currently serves as the Communications Director for Common Defense, a PAC dedicated to mobilizing veterans and military families across the nation. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Foreign Policy, Reuters, and Huffington Post.

Arielle Hein

Creative Technologist
Arielle Hein is an artist, technologist, and educator who explores the imaginative use of emerging technologies, drawing from an interdisciplinary background and a research-based creative practice. Arielle is an instructor in the ATLAS Institute and the Technology, Arts, and Media program in the College of Engineering & Applied Sciences at the University of Colorado in Boulder.

Austin Eubanks

Addiction Treatment Expert
An injured survivor of the Columbine shooting, Austin Eubanks' traumatic experience as a teen was the catalyst to his painful journey through addiction. Now in long-term recovery, he is a nationally recognized speaker on addiction recovery and the Chief Operations Officer of The Foundry Treatment Center, a 30-bed treatment program in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

Blake Scholl

Supersonic Traveler
Blake Scholl is the Founder and CEO of Boom Supersonic, a Denver startup that is building supersonic passenger aircraft capable of flying from San Francisco to Tokyo in under six hours. Previously, Blake held leadership roles at and was the co-founder and CEO at Kima Labs (acquired by Groupon). Blake is an avid pilot who holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University.

Brandon W. Mathews

Criminal Justice Activist
Dr. Brandon Mathews is a passionate criminal justice professional with expertise in the development and implementation of innovative evidence-based correctional treatment and supervision programs. Brandon is an active researcher with the Alliance for Criminal Justice Innovation, publishing on topics like recidivism reduction, structured decision-making, risk assessment, and criminal justice education.

Brittni Darras

Enlightened Educator
Brittni Darras is an English teacher at Rampart High School in Colorado Springs. Following the attempted suicide of one of Rampart’s students, Brittni wrote each of her 130 students personalized cards, earning her worldwide attention, the AspenPointe Hero of Mental Health Award, and the Mayor’s Young Leader Award in the category of Innovation in Education. Brittni continues to advocate for suicide prevention and mental health awareness.

Caitlin Quattromani

Relationship Role Model
Caitlin Quattromani is a Colorado native and mom to two elementary school-age boys. She graduated from the University of Denver with an international business degree and has been fortunate to travel the world as a marketing and product leader, including living abroad in Luxembourg. She currently leads multicultural marketing for a Fortune 50 company in the Denver area.

Cassie De Pecol

Global Explorer
Cassie De Pecol is a world traveler, keynote speaker, brand ambassador, triathlete, activist, and entrepreneur. Born in 1989, she was raised and homeschooled in rural Connecticut. She enjoyed "out of the box" educational and multicultural experiences at various universities before deciding to begin her solo travels to 25 countries at the age of 21. In 2015, she started fresh, traveling alone to all 196 countries and securing two Guinness World Records.

Chip Colwell

Museum Ethicist
Chip Colwell is the Senior Curator of Anthropology at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. He’s published 10 books, most recently Plundered Skulls and Stolen Spirits: Inside the Fight to Reclaim Native America’s Culture. His work has been featured in publications like The New York Times, The Guardian, Salon, and Slate. Chip is the founding Editor-in-Chief of, an online magazine about anthropological discoveries.

David Baron

Eclipse Chaser
David Baron is a journalist, author, and broadcaster who has spent most of his thirty-year career in public radio, covering environment and science beats for various NPR outlets and programs. An avid umbraphile, he has witnessed five total solar eclipses across the globe. His latest book, American Eclipse: A Nation’s Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and Win the Glory of the World, tells the story of a total eclipse that crossed the Wild West in 1878.

Esther Sullivan

Equal Housing Maven
Esther Sullivan is an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Colorado, Denver. Her research focuses on poverty, spatial inequality, legal regulation, housing, and the built environment, with a special interest in both forced and voluntary residential mobility. Esther holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from The University of Texas at Austin and a B.A. in English from The University of Chicago.

Lauran Arledge

Relationship Role Model
Lauran Arledge started her career as high school social studies teacher in Wilmington, North Carolina. In the past 15 years Lauran has worked in public health violence prevention, community organizing, coaching, and organizational development. She currently holds a leadership position in talent development for a Denver-based technology company.

Madison A. Krall

Equal Rights Champion
Madison A. Krall is a twentysomething health and medicine student based in Denver. In addition to academic writing and teaching, she loves finding ways to incorporate wine and cheese into every meal, discovering the love languages of strangers, and playing cribbage with her super cool family. As a proud Christian feminist, Madison adamantly believes we live in a world where people are inherently good and equality is possible.

Meta Sarmiento

Performance Poet
A writer of Asian-American, Pacific-Islander descent, Meta Sarmiento won the Spoken Word for the World competition in 2015 and is a three-time TeamBackPack cypher audition semi-finalist. He recently earned a spot on SlamNUBA's National Poetry Team. A graduate of the University of Guam (a U.S. accredited university serving Guam and Micronesia), Meta often writes about cultural identity, love, loss, and healing.

Peter Kino Aquino + Collaborators

Spoken Word + Movement Artists
"Kino" is addicted to expression and helping others find new ways to see the meaning in small things that are often overlooked. He's been competing in poetry slams since he was in high school and has also created a name for himself in the dance community as a student and teacher. He is joined by poets Assetou Xango and Franklin Cruz, dancers Alex Montano and Alex "WhiteBoi" Milewski, and pianist Ben Nguyen.

Phil Mitchell

Healthcare Maverick
Since completing his residency training in 2001, Dr. Phil Mitchell has worked as an emergency physician in the Denver metro area. As the Medical Director of DispatchHealth, Phil created the parameters for the clinical capabilities of their mobile emergency and urgent care model. He is a husband and father of three teenagers.

Philip Fernbach

Cognitive Scientist
Philip Fernbach is a cognitive scientist and professor in the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Co-author of The Knowledge Ilusion: Why We Never Think Alone, Philip's research focuses on why we think we know more than we actually do and the implications this has on individuals and society. He lives in Boulder with his wife and two children. In his free time, he plays bluegrass music and ice hockey.

Rob Drabkin

Singer Songwriter
Rob Drabkin graduated from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas with the intention of becoming a doctor. His focus quickly changed after a family trip to New York where he reconnected with his dad’s old musician friends. His newly released single, “Someday,” has landed on major international Spotify playlists and has accumulated over one million plays from listeners around the world.

Theo E.J. Wilson

Social Justice Warrior
Slam poet Theo E.J. Wilson, a.k.a Lucifury, is a founding member of Denver’s SlamNUBA team, which won the National Poetry Slam in 2011. He began his speaking career with the NAACP at the age of 15 and has always been passionate about social justice. Theo is currently the Executive Director of Shop Talk Live, an organization that uses the barbershop as a staging ground for community dialogue and healing.

Woody Roseland

Woody Roseland is a natural-born entertainer constantly socializing and telling jokes, much to the chagrin of virtually every teacher he ever had. Woody is a professional filmmaker, photographer, and comedy writer. On any given day you’ll find him with his head in the clouds at Cheeseman Park. He enjoys living out of his backpack in random corners of the world and likes bikes very, very much.

Organizing team


Denver, CO, United States
  • Angela Bruns
  • Cate Croft
  • Eric Kean
  • Helena Bowen
  • Josh Tyson
  • Nicole Dill