x = independently organized TED event

Theme: }yes{.

This event occurred on
February 10, 2018
Vail, Colorado
United States

}yes{. In a world where all things are possible, TEDxVail shapes a healthier Vail Valley with unbridled optimism and incremental changemaking. We create a happier world by saying }yes{. Beyond the limited (knowledge, resources, time) we Xplore the limitless (imagination, creativity, curiosity). This year's event will focus on that productive tension between “what is” and “what if,” the inspiration that continues to drive us further into what's possible. Together, we are a hot mess of }yes{.

@1: Empower Your Empire
Charlie Wan, creative directing artist, fashion photographer/director
Speaker, Nasreen Sheikh, ‘Direct Action Through Social Enterprise’
Speaker, Ashish Toshniwal owner and creator of Y Media Labs, a mobile marketing company supporting 24 Fortune 500 brands
Speaker Mandy Benedict, ‘Have you Xperienced limitless mindfulness at work?’
Speaker, Salvador Acevedo, ‘Americanos: the Next Big Wave’

@2: Landscapes Lost and Found
Speaker, Dr. Joseph Kerski, ‘Whys of Where’: GIS guru geographer and current ESRI educator
Speaker, Randy Macan: Caving expert, Fort Collins resident, geo-mapping researcher has seen some of the most beautiful crystals
Speaker, Jill MacIntyre Witt, climate activist:“We need everyone everywhere doing everything all the time as quickly as possible."
Speaker, James Brundige, ‘Nature Needs Half’ environmental documentary maker, First Light Films founder and producer
Speaker, Tony Brown, ‘Slowing the Sixth extinction’: Ecosa Institute founder, permaecology expert and purveyor of our future

@3: Passions and Protons
Performer, Justin Bogardus, Living Plant & Nature RX
Performer, Magnus Nisson: Sounds the gong.
Speaker, Michael Boidy, This helicopter film documentary producer embarked on a journey, where he now follows his heart
Speaker, Kelsey Scharnhorst, ‘Artificial Neural Networks for Cognitive Computing’ current PhD candidate at UCLA in neural networks, Speaker, Dr. Johnny HuardVail’s famed local researching doctor producing cutting-edge stem cell research.
Speaker, Cinzia Angelini, ‘Create Socially Relevant Animated Features for a Better World’ Dreamworks animator and story artist veteran

@4: Together We Ride
Speaker, Sarah Byrden, ‘Good Sex Isn't About Knowing What You're Doing.’ sex educator and enthusiast,
Speaker, John Dickson, cybersecurity Xpert, drives us to contrast how we train ourselves for a protocol of safety on our computers Speaker, Rachel DeLong, ‘Generosity, it's bigger than me’: Local yogi, returning TEDxVail pre-event moving meditation guide
Speaker Doug Clayton-}yes{. sums it all up for you!

}yes{. is the why not to the why. }yes{. is the and to the but.

Again and again, you'll be invited to declare 'Yes And' to one another in Vail Valley and beyond, making your Xperience more memorable and meaningful than you imagined it could be, multiplying your }yes{.

Vail Mountain School
3000 Booth Falls Rd
Vail, Colorado, 81657
United States
Event type:
Standard (What is this?)
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Angelica Maria

Spoken Word poet
"Whatever you want is possible, however you must first believe you deserve it." - Angelica Maria Angelica Maria is a spoken word artist from Los Angeles currently enrolled in UMASS Boston's English program. She has performed at numerous venues including Tufts University in Boston, MA, The Bowery Poetry Club in New York, NY, BusBoys and Poets in Washington D.C and her chapbook "Dolorosa" was recently published in August 2016. Angelica works with immigrant rights programs in the Boston area and runs an etsy shop of handmade jewelry. She is a member of Boston's National Poetry Slam team competing in Denver, CO in August 2017. She is a left-handed vegan..

Ashish Toshniwal

Bootstrapping Entrepreneur
With vision and passion, Ashish has built YML ( from nothing to what it is today. Focusing on work culture and innovation, he has created a place where people cannot just do their work, but do their life's work. Under his leadership, YML has grown to nearly 300 strong, with 5 locations around the world, and over 30 Fortune 500 clients, including Apple, The Home Depot, Facebook and Disney. His vision has led to YML be recognized as “One of the top 50 most admired private companies” by Forbes and responsible for some of the most inspiring digital transformations of this generation. He has been featured on CNBC, ABC News, and Forbes, multiple times on how technology will shape the future. A relentless curiosity makes him an early adopter and an early investor in tech startups. Ashish loves to play (win) at poker — you have been warned. He enjoys consuming podcasts and books on biographies. And he lives in Los Altos, CA with his wife and two sons. #bootstrapped

Charlie Wan Charlie Wan

Composer +Filmmaker + Creative Life Coach
"Trust your heart and the world will follow" - Charlie "Dayburn" Wan Charlie is a commercial fashion filmmaker and composer. His work provokes strong emotions. In 2013, he unexpectedly discovered his introspective and cinematic sound composing capability at Burning Man. With his limited knowledge of 7 chords on the white keys on keyboard, he created his debut concert experience "One more step to Everest" and the sunrise ceremony "Dawn of the Burning Sun" at Burning Man. He is guiding others to uncover their yet untapped talents by becoming a life coach. #dayburn

Cinzia Angelini

Director of Socially Relevant & Crowdsourced Animated Film
"There may be a small child inside every adult, but there is also a small adult inside every child." - Cinzia Angelini Cinzia has worked as an animator and story artist in feature productions for over twenty years, currently at Dreamworks. Her work includes “Balto,” “Prince of Egypt,” “Eldorado,” “Spirit,” “Sinbad,” “Spider-man 2″ (Best Visual Effects Oscar Winner, 2005), “Open Season,” “Meet the Robinsons,” “Bolt,” “The Minions Movie” and “Despicable Me 3.” Cinzia has written and is currently directing “Mila,” a high-quality CG short film about a little girl whose life takes an unexpected turn in WWII. “Mila” is an online, world-wide collaboration, to be released in 2018, and is produced with the help of 350 artists from more than 35 countries around the world, who volunteer under one “virtual roof.” Cinzia is directing an animated film on the story of Malala Yousafzai and creating her feature “One Arrow at a Time.” #animation, #mila, #milafilm, #computergraphics, #film, #vfx

Dr. Johnny Huard Dr. Johnny Huard

Stem Cell Researcher & Professor
A native of Canada, Dr. Johnny Huard is a world-renowned scientist and is currently a Professor, Distinguished Chair for Orthopaedic Research, and Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston; McGovern Medical School. He studies cutting-edge science in the field of stem cell research with expertise in regenerative medicine.

Dream Rockwell

Lucent Dossier Founder
"I believe each one of us is born with a legend waiting to be birthed out of us, what will your legend be?" - Dream Rockwell Co-Founder of The Do LaB and Lightning in a Bottle Festival. Founder of Lucent Dossier Experience, Lucent Temple of Consciousness and Cuddle the World Foundation. Dream has been called a 'Visionary Social Engineer,' her work pioneering a new style of interactive event experiences and performances can be seen woven through threads of western culture. She is passionate about reforming the human experience with powerfully curated immersive events and the sharing of information. #yes&

James Brundige James Brundige

Conservation Filmmaker + Nature Needs Half Advocate
"If we want a functioning planet that sustains all life, we must learn to practice conservation at a planetary scale. Nature needs it's half." -James Brundige James specializes in producing science-based environmental films to leverage social change. From the Amazon jungle to Mount Everest, from American suburbs to the South Pole, James and his company FIRST LIGHT FILMS have told stories that help people understand the wonders of the Earth and how they can be preserved. FIRST LIGHT FILMS IS currently broadcasting Wild Ways: Corridors of Life, on PBS NOVA, which has garnered numerous awards, including the New York Television award for best environmental film of 2017, and the Impact Film award for documentaries that make a difference. James has worked on over a hundred films and tv shows for PBS, BBC, NBC, ABC, TNT, HBO, ESPN, CBS, Discovery, and National Geographic Television. #nature, #natureneedshalf, #wildlifedocumentary, #wildlife, #conservation, #protectourecosystems, #WILD

Jill MacIntyre Witt

Climate Justice Activist and Field Manual Author
"We need everyone everywhere doing everything all the time. Jill MacIntyre Witt has made it her lifelong passion to connect others’ behaviors to protecting our planet. Her master’s project is a Climate Justice Field Manual, a how-to guide for action, downloadable at Jill is a brave Climate Reality Mentor for Former Vice President Al Gore. She's traveled to Paris for COP21. She coordinates successfully many environmental actions in Washington State with her community and the Lummi Nation. The time to join the movement is now and how is up to you. Jill is a professor of Physical Education at Western Washington University and studied at University of Queensland and California Polytechnic State University. She lives in Bellingham, Washington with her husband. She is raising two young women who are equally as passionate about taking care of Earth. #climatechange #climatejustice #activism #climatejusticenow #ClimateRealityMentor

John Dickson

Digital Security Entrepreneur
"If we can become more resilient users, we just might change that equilibrium, and just might make it harder for hackers to steal our money and information" - John Dickson John is an internationally recognized security leader, entrepreneur and Principal at Denim Group, Ltd. He has nearly 20 years’ hands-on experience in intrusion detection, network security and application security in the commercial, public and military sector. As a Denim Group Principal, he helps executives and Chief Security Officers (CSO’s) of Fortune 500 companies, including major financial institutions, launch and expand their critical application security initiatives. #Cyber #InfoSec #Resiliency #SayYesToCyberSecurity

Joseph Kerski Joseph Kerski

GIS Expert & Mapping Wiz
"A good map helps you to ask a better question." - Joseph Kerski Joseph is a geographer who believes that mapping and geotechnologies can transform education and society through better decision-making using geography. He served for 22 years as geographer and cartographer at NOAA, the US Census Bureau, and the US Geological Survey. He serves as Education Manager for Esri, where he focuses on GIS-based curriculum development, research in the effectiveness of GIS in education, professional development for educators, communicating the need for geographic skills, tools, and perspectives. Joseph is active in creating and teaching online courses in spatial thinking and geotechnologies. He wrote Interpreting Our World, Spatial Mathematics, The Essentials of the Environment, Tribal GIS, and The GIS Guide to Public Domain Data. He writes for 3 blogs. He has created over 4,000 videos. #whysofwhere, #geography, #mapping, #GIS, #spatialthinking, #geotechnologies, #educationneedsmaps, #mapguru

Kelsey Scharnhorst

Chemical Microchip Innovator
Born across the water from Seattle Washington, Kelsey grew up appreciating the lush forests and crisp air of the Olympic Peninsula. She obtained a B.S. degree in chemistry from Western Washington University in 2013, a M.S. degree in chemistry at UCLA in 2014 and is currently a doctoral candidate at UCLA. She is researching neural networks and applying that organic growth to innovate microchips for Articifial Intelligence. #microchips4AI

Linda Cruse

international Aid Humanitarian, Author, Race4Good Creator
"The most dangerous place to be is in your comfort zone." - Linda Cruse A cross between Florence Nightingale & Indiana Jones, Linda Cruse is the ultimate humanitarian aid worker intent on changing the world forever. She is an expert in accelerated deep immersion leadership & facilitating 'business as a force for good.' She is a social entrepreneur with decades of assisting in some of the world’s most catastrophic natural disasters like the Asian tsunami, the Pakistani earthquake, two Philippine super-typhoons & the Nepal earthquake. Linda’s book “Marmalade & Machine Guns” follows her brokering powerful partnerships between the private sector & communities worldwide devastated by catastrophic disasters. Linda has worked with HH The Dalai Lama, HRH Prince Charles, Nestle, Cadburys, KPMG, Merrill Lynch, GSK, The Prince of Wales International Business Leaders Forum, UNHCR, Virgin Unite, The World Bank. “Linda makes the impossible, possible.” - Sir Richard Branson

Magnus Nilsson

Builder + Gong Musician
Magnus Nilsson has studied indigenous cultures for 20 years. He's learned about their music, plant medicine, and dance. Magnus is a dynamic and passionate team leader at ULFBUILT. He sees a project in a 3-dimensional manner. Magnus was a master trim carpenter, with an eye for detail and has a background in electrical. These skills coupled with his understanding of a client’s vision and 3D translation of drawings gives him a superior understanding of a project. Magnus is dedicated to executing the finest of details and highest quality of work. Magnus has lived in the Vail Valley for 16 years and currently lives in Edwards. Originally from Sweden, the snow-capped peaks of the Rockies brought Magnus to the valley. Mountain biking, enduro and dirt biking, hiking, camping, skiing and snowmobiling have anchored his heart and passions to the Vail Valley. In addition to speaking Swedish and English, Magnus is currently developing his fluency in Spanish.

Mandy Benedict

Mindful Entrepreneur
"When you train high emotional states within yourself you thrive professionally and enjoy the journey!" Mandy has a deep passion for supporting people with the tools provided by Joey Klein’s Conscious Transformation. She is a certified Conscious Transformation Energy practitioner and meditation trainer. In addition, she is the owner of Ruggs Benedict in Vail, Colorado, where she helps the business thrive by creating a strong network of relationships. While her ongoing successes fulfilled her in many ways, she intuitively felt there was more to life. In December of 2010, an opportunity to attend a weekend workshop with Joey Klein created new meaning in Mandy’s life. Within these teachings, she learned and embraced the true meaning of transformation, expansion and unconditional love. Her appreciation of this authentic joy and fulfillment inspires her to dedicate her life to sharing these teachings with others. #thriveatwork, #trainingyouremotions, #SayYesToMeditation,

Michael Boidy

Filmmaker + Aerial Documentarian
"Everything in life is vibration" - Albert Einstein. The uni-verse literally means one song. "The universe is a symphony and we are its instruments." - Michael Boidy Mike discovered a genuine love for film very early in his accomplished career. While graduating from San Diego State University’s film program, Mike shot everything he could train a lens on. Mike has worked alongside some of the top producers, directors, and cinematographers in TV and film. Mike’s specializes in shooting aerial footage, including National Geographic’s “Great Migrations” documentary, the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, plus the Ecuador, Israel, and Mexico episodes of “The Royal Tour” documentary series. Mike broke his back in a helicopter crash. He healed it using sound. Mike is shooting, directing, and producing a feature-length documentary about the healing power of sound entitled Heart Beat #soundhealing, #heartbeat, #sound, #community

Nasreen Sheikh

Arranged Marriage Escapee + Nepalese Handicraft Entrepreneur
Nasreen has escaped from child arranged marriage, the only girl in her Nepalese village of 2,000 to ever have avoided that fate. Then she was a child sewer of textiles for which she and her brother were never paid. In response, she founded and became the Executive Director of LOCAL WOMEN'S HANDICRAFTS/ L.O.C.W.O.M. A powerful international speaker for women empowerment, Nasreen now travels globally advocating for Fair Trade Fashion, speaking out about sweatshops. As a millennial commentator on power, fair trade, gender justice & environmental protection, her wisdom far exceeds her age. Funny, passionate, and bold, Nasreen demands we learn where and how our clothes are made. Recording Silence (The Undocumented Voice of Local Women's Handicrafts) #RECORDMYSILENCE

Rachel Delong

Yoga Instructor + Mom
"Even after all this time, the sun never says to the earth, 'You owe me'. Look what happens with a love like that. It lights up the whole sky." - Hafiz "Generosity is about receiving as much as giving."- Rachel Delong She facilitates Children's Global Alliance taking youth to teach and serve globally, go to for Family Seva Safari. She is their teacher, teaching them not just to study hard in school, work hard at their sport, but also teaching them what it means to give and receive, and what it means to be part of this human family we have! Our youth have so much to give us. She is married and mom to two sensitive young men. Revolution Power Yoga Leader · Avon, Colorado UB.U Yoga/Mindfulness Teacher · Eagle, Colorado Yoga Off Broadway Leader · Eagle, Colorado Rachel studied at Baptiste Power Vinyasa Yoga Institute and Yoga & Meditation in Park City, Utah She attended Frank W. Cox High School in Virginia Beach, Virginia #generosity

Randy Macan

Caver & Water Keeper
"Man has always been afraid of the dark. I'm a caver. I become one with the earth. I love the way it grounds me in my sancturary down there. But not everyone likes to go caving evidently." -Randy Macan Randy works in a GIS and CAD environment pertaining to water resources with decades of experience under his belt. Passionate about nature and preservation, Randy spends as much time in the remote outdoors as possible, and often of which is inside. Crawling through holes and digging paths to explore the various caves that lie beneath, Randy has experienced untouched, ancient natural beauty unlike any other. Currently a cult secret, cavers amplify cave preservation and so Randy steps out of the dark. #caving, #splunking, #environmentalprotection, #conservation, #geology, #secretadventures, #rockymountains, #orienterring, #rockclimbing, #socialresponsibility, #envireonmentalethics, #underground, #dig, #archaeology, #ailinganthroposphere

Salvador Acevedo

Mestizo Bicultural Strategic Designer
"Latinos are at the forefront of American cultural change." Salvador has over 20 years of experience helping organizations link their design and market strategies with the many cultures within the US. Being bilingual and bicultural gives him the ability to more easily recognize the common-ground bases for successful solutions. For the last few years Salvador has been working on understanding how the emergence of a new cultural identity is changing the marketplace, and influences the type of experiences people seek. He is a regular speaker at conferences on topics such as cultural participation and demographic trends, and is a recipient of the 2008 Latino Business Leadership Award. Kind and insightful, Salvador brings a multicultural wisdom that shifts board room conclusions to be inclusionary and forward thinking. #latinoentrepreneurs, #empoweringlatinos, #latinoexecutives, #latinos, #SayYesToLatinoExecutivesinAmerica, #americanlatinos, #latinocareers, #latinosinamerica,

Sarah Byrden

Sex Educator
"Good sex is about learning how to feel and be honest about what that is." -Sarah Byrden Sarah is a sacred sexuality teacher/sex educator who has worked with hundreds of students, ranging in age from 15-80. She works with college students offering them spaces to connect with their humanity and vulnerability around sex, helping bridge the gap between pleasure education and assault prevention on campus. #greatsex, #sex, #sexuality, #emotionalconnection, #communication, #letstalkaboutsex, #humaninteraction, #sexeducation, #SayYesToGreatSex

Tenth Mountain Division

Rock & Bluegrass Band
TMD is a rock’n’roll fusion band that embodies the wild spirit of mountain towns. Andrew Cooney - Bass/ Vocals Tyler Gwynn - Drums Winston Heuga - Mandolin/Vocals MJ Ouimette - Guitar/Vocals Campbell Thomas - Keyboard/Vocals "This bands ruminating respect for music of the past, and deep dedication towards the creative crafting of a new sound, sets Tenth Mountain Division apart in the Colorado music scene. Tenth Mountain Division speaks the language of Colorado, the language of the mountains.” (Noah Stein - CU Independent) TMD lives in Boulder, CO Influences: Black Sabbath, Railroad Earth, Tim O'Brien, Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Leftover Salmon, Widespread Panic, The Grateful Dead, The Allman Bros. Band, John Hartford, Little Feat, Eric Clapton, The Band and Sam Bush. The rhythmic interplay of Cooney's driving bass fused with Gwynn’s incendiary drumming round out the unique sounding band that is truly a style of its own; what the band refers to as "Ski Rock".

Tony Brown

Permaculturist + Educating Architect
"Nature is a symphony. We must learn to join the music." - Tony Brown Tony is an architect/educator who has dedicated the past 40 years to working to transform education, teaching how design can preserve the natural world. He spent 13 years at Paolo Soleri’s Arcosanti exploring urban design and systems thinking as well as developing Soleri’s designs into construction drawings and building many of the structures. At Arcosanti he also became a 50 ton crane and backhoe operator. His architectural work includes several historic building renovations at the Grand Canyon National Park as well as a visitor bookstore recognized as an exemplary building by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. He designed the first container house in Arizona which received a Coconino County sustainable building award. In 1998 he founded the Ecosa Institute in Prescott, AZ to connect design and ecology. He lectures at universities globally and pursues new ideas in architecture, education and ecology.

Organizing team


Vail, CO, United States


Vail, CO, United States
  • Sasha Marks