x = independently organized TED event

Theme: "What if..."

This event occurred on
March 25, 2018
Fort Collins, 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).

Lory Student Center Theatre
Colorado State Uniersity
Lory Student Center Theatre
Fort Collins, Colorado, 80523
United States
Event type:
University (What is this?)
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Alexis Kanda-Olmstead

Managing Director, Talent Management, Training & Support at Colorado State University / Founder, AKO Collective and {Re}Finishing School for Brave Women
1. Alexis Kanda-Olmstead leads talent and diversity initiatives at Colorado State University for the Division of University Advancement. Throughout her twenty-year career in higher education, Alexis has worked to help students, faculty, and staff actualize their potential as leaders through self-knowledge, personal empowerment, and service. As a student and practitioner of women’s development, social justice, and organizational psychology, Alexis believes that with grace and humor we can create positive change that benefits everyone. Alexis is a blogger on women’s issues and the founder of AKO Collective, a women’s leadership development company based in Northern Colorado.

Amy Hoeven

Executive Producer
Amy Hoeven is from a small rural town on the eastern plains and is a fourth generation Coloradoan. After she graduated from CSU in 1995 with a degree in Liberal Arts, she used her Communications and Technical Journalism training to pursue a career in communications and community outreach in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors. In 2010, Amy was named Young Professional of the Year by the Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce. Amy understands the importance of storytelling and believes everyone’s story adds value to their communities. In 2017, she was the Executive Producer of Who I Am, a Virtual Reality documentary film showcasing the work of first-generation CSU students mentoring immigrant and refugee high school students in Fort Morgan. Her ability to observe the environment around her, interact with people and recognize human connections allows her to be a compassionate and active member of society.

Anca Selariu

Integrative biomedical scientist, project manager, emergent brain consortium co-founder
I am an integrative biomedical sciences doctor and aspiring cultural universalist. I believe in in the limitlessness of human potential. I imagine humanity as one, beautiful, inter-galactic nation within the next 1000 years, and view each human brain existing today as a precious resource to realize this potential. I hope to: 1. Educate the world on mental flexibility, blend knowledge into a universal language to enhance people’s natural curiosity and ability to think big. Why: to overcome imagined limits so that prejudice, fear and discrimination become obsolete 2. Create human enhancements using ALL interdisciplinary knowledge and tools available. Why: to allow humanity to keep up and co-evolve with its own brain products. 3. Help design an ergonomic habitat for the far-future humanity, both on and above Terra. Why: because our collective mind will always seek to conquer the impossible, and we owe the future humans the best of what we can do today.

Charlie Vollmer

Data Science Technologist
A Minnesota boy at home in the mountains, when Charlie is not teaching his nine and two year olds how to ski powder he is using mathematics to tell computers how to discover patterns in data. He believes that by sharing information on computer science, we are all better off. He also thinks that if you only give him the chance he can teach you any statistical concept and that you’ll walk away actually thinking positively about math. Charlie has co-founded two software product companies based on artificial intelligence while a PhD student at CSU, in the Real Estate FinTech and Healthcare spaces, while failing a handful of others.

Joe Akmakjian

Joe graduated from CSU in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and technical communication. At 15 months old, he was diagnosed with a muscle-debilitating disease: spinal muscular atrophy. SMA is a progressive, potentially life threatening disease affecting the nervous system, causing muscle weakness in different parts of the body. Joe has spent his life educating people on the realities of living with a physical disability. For the last two years, he held the title of the first adult National Ambassador in the history of the Muscular Dystrophy Association. As MDA’s most visible spokesman, Joe worked to deepen the organization’s reach among millennials while championing services for individuals living with neuromuscular disease. Joe is a successful speaker focusing on breaking down barriers, diversity, inclusion and tolerance of all people, accepting change, and learning to adapt. A resident of Fort Collins, he spends time frequenting local breweries and listening to live music.

Kodi Phelps

Graduate Student
Kodi is a 2nd year graduate student in the Student Affairs in Higher Education (SAHE) master’s program at Colorado State University (CSU) and will be graduating in May. She currently works as the Student Services Graduate Assistant for INTO CSU, working with international students, and also serves as the Chapter Graduate Advisor for Alpha Sigma Kappa, a sorority for women in STEM. Kodi’s thesis work is about creating a fat identity development theory and her research is grounded in decolonized methodologies. She is passionate about social justice, equity, and inclusion work, and is excited to graduate and begin the next phase of her life. In her free time, she loves reading books and spending time with her beloved fiancée and pet cat.

Laura Pritchett

Laura Pritchett is a mere mortal who will someday die—and has made peace with that. Her most recent book is Making Friends with Death: A Field Guide to Your Impending Last Breath, a guided journal meant for everyone (even the young and healthy!) who’d like to face the inevitable with grace and spunky steadiness. She’s also the author of eight other books, including Hell’s Bottom, Colorado, Sky Bridge, Stars Go Blue, Red Lightning, and The Blue Hour. Her novels have received starred reviews from Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, and School Library Journal, and The Blue Hour was listed as one of the “Top 5 books that will make you think about what it is to be human” by PBS and made the Booklist Editor’s Choice for 2017. She is now at work on her first play, Dirt: A Terra Nova Expedition, premiering at Bas Bleu Theatre in Fort Collins in April. Pritchett received two degrees from CSU and holds a PhD from Purdue University. Find out more about her newest book at www.makingfriendswithdeath.com

Patrice Palmer

Academic Advisor | Instructor | Coordinator for Business Diversity Leadership Alliance
Patrice M Palmer currently serves as an academic advisor for the College of Business at Colorado State University as well as an instructor under the Management Department. tHEy are also the faculty advisor for Business Diversity Leadership Alliance (BDLA) a student organization within the College of Business. Both their Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Science with emphasis in Sociology and there Master of Arts degree in Social Justice with emphasis in Educational Equity were earned at Marygrove College in Detroit, MI. Patrice has written and presented on the topic of intersectionality as well as facilitated dialogues and discussions around inclusion, diversity and leadership. As a black, queer, Transmasculine individual, Patrice believes that visibility matters. Living authentically, unapologetically and wholly are just a few of the ways that tHEy prefer to engage within systems that have historically oppressed and suppressed individuals like them with similar identities.

Ryan Pearson

Ph.D. Candidate
Ryan Pearson is a Ph.D. candidate in Materials Chemistry at Colorado State University. He grew up in a suburb of Philadelphia and received his undergraduate degree in chemistry at Pennsylvania State University. In 2014, he moved to Colorado to start his graduate career. Ryan has received the American Chemical Society’s CIBA award in green chemistry, and the American Chemical Society’s Division of Polymer Chemistry Excellence in Graduate Polymer Research Symposia Award. His drive to bring a do-it-yourself heat reflective window coating to market is rooted in his interest in polymer science, green chemistry, and development of sustainable technology.

Ryann England

first year undergrad student
Ryann England is a first-year undergrad student majoring in both political science and economics as well as minoring in history.

Organizing team


Gunnison, CO, United States


Fort Collins, CO, United States