x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Resolve

This event occurred on
February 23, 2019
Reno, Nevada
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).

Reno Convention Center
4590 S Virginia St
Reno, Nevada, 89502
United States
Event type:
University (What is this?)
See more ­T­E­Dx­Universityof­Nevada events


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

Anjelah Johnson

Anjelah Johnson was born and raised in San Jose, California and is of Mexican and Native American descent. She became an internet sensation with her viral video, “Nail Salon” which led to many stand up, television and film opportunities. That same year she joined the cast of, “MADtv” as a series regular, which spawned another internet sensation, “Bon Qui Qui.” This original character, a disgruntled fast food employee with no filter, has been enjoyed, viewed and replicated by over 65 million people worldwide. After recording and releasing 3 songs and 2 music videos as Bon Qui Qui, Anjelah signed a record deal with Warner Bros. Records to release a full album titled, “Gold Plated Dreams”. Anjelah resides in Los Angeles with her husband and continues to act and tour the country with her sold out comedy shows.

Chris Voss

Chris Voss is CEO of the Black Swan Group and author of the national best-seller “Never Split The Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It”. Chris’s book was named by as one of the seven best books on negotiation ever written. A 24-year veteran of the FBI, Chris retired as their lead international kidnapping negotiator. Drawing on his experience in high-stakes negotiations, his company specializes in “Accelerating business negotiation outcomes with Tactical Empathy”. Chris and his team help people and companies secure and close better deals faster, and improve their own internal communication. Chris has been featured in TIME, Business Insider, Entrepreneur, Inc., Fast Company, Fortune, The Washington Post, SUCCESS Magazine, Squawk Box, CNN, ABC News and more.

Cynthia Albright

Urban Planner
Cynthia Albright is an award-winning urban planner with a passion for creating meaningful change in communities through comprehensive investigation, problem solving, and connecting people. She is one of 47 American Planning Association Certified Urban Designers nationwide. As a Principal with Stantec, she achieves successful outcomes for municipalities, private companies, and non-profits using her planning and design skills as well as expertise in spatial technology and Big Data to create, analyze, and present information. Her work is featured in numerous publications and she is frequent speaker at conferences. Cynthia is a wife, mother, community volunteer, and Reno resident who enjoys the running, cycling, and gardening.

David Wise

Pretty Good Skier
Reno native David Wise is a professional skier, adventure seeker, a four-time X Games Champion, and a two-time Olympic Gold Medalist in halfpipe skiing. At 28 years young, David is also a father of two. He considers parenting his highest calling and credits his wife, his family and his faith for his success and his ability to live a multi-faceted, balanced lifestyle. In March 2018 David published his first children’s book, “Very Bear and the Butterfly.” Having grown up in the Reno Tahoe area, David is more comfortable outside than inside. He competes in archery, rides mountain bikes and dirt bikes, plays softball, hunts and fishes in what he calls his “giant Nevada backyard.”

Elizabeth Austin

Weather Detective
Dr. Elizabeth Austin is CEO and Founder of WeatherExtreme Ltd., a research and consulting firm. Dr. Austin founded the company in 1994. She has held professor/research positions at the Desert Research Institute, Inc. and Sierra Nevada College, a four-year, private college in Incline Village, Nevada. She currently holds a Professorship at the University of Nevada, Reno’s Atmospheric Sciences Department. Elizabeth has been an active member of the National Weather Association for many years, she is an active member of the American Meteorological Society (AMS), has served on many AMS Committees and was Chair of the Board of the Certified Consulting Meteorologists (CCM). She is currently a member of the AMS Executive Council and President of the Association of Certified Meteorologists.

Erica Greve

Erica Greve is the Founder and CEO of Unlikely Heroes, a non-profit organization dedicated to rescuing and restoring child victims of slavery worldwide. With restoration homes located in the Philippines, Thailand, Mexico and the United States, Unlikely Heroes is providing hope and freedom to some of the most vulnerable children in the world. Erica earned her MSW in Social Welfare from UC Berkeley. She has used her academic and real world experience to develop and implement effective prevention, rescue, and aftercare programs for the rehabilitation and restoration of sexually exploited children. In 2014, after the kidnapping of 276 girls in Chibok, Nigeria, Erica and her team were invited to provide emergency medical services, trauma counseling and direct support to some of the escaped schoolgirls and many of the mothers who were waiting to see the return of their daughters.

Graham Kent

Dr. Graham Kent is Director of the Nevada Seismological Laboratory at the University of Nevada, Reno. He attended San Diego State University, where he studied Geophysics and graduated Valedictorian of the Class of 1985. Thereafter, he entered graduate school at Scripps Institution of Oceanography receiving his PhD in 1992. After a 4-year-long appointment at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Graham returned to Scripps to continue his work in geophysics, with an emphasis toward seismic studies, ranging from magma chambers beneath mid-ocean ridges to fault hazards and tsunami at Lake Tahoe. In 2009, Graham moved to Nevada, where he helped the lab move toward the Internet of Things (IOT) approach to rebuilding the seismic network, and more recently, leading the design and build out of the ALERTWildfire camera network. He is also involved with the Great Nevada ShakeOut earthquake drill and earthquake early warning in California, while setting the stage for adoption in Nevada.

Jenna Weiner

Jenna Weiner is a graduate student in Communication Studies – Gender, Race and Identity at the University of Nevada, Reno, having received her undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley. Her research focuses on issues of gender and sports, particularly those affecting transgender, non-binary, and genderqueer athletes. Jenna is best known for her online articles detailing her experiences as a transgender ultimate frisbee player. She is also known on campus for her leadership with the More Than Just Project and Trans at Nevada. Jenna is passionate about education and the equitable inclusion of all people, driving her work as a teacher, advocate, and activist. She considers any bit of progress worthwhile, holding to the tenet that over time smaller, personal change adds up to larger, societal change.

John Petrocelli

Social Psychologist
John V. Petrocelli is currently the Scott Family Faculty Associate Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychology at Wake Forest University. He is an experimental social psychologist with a Ph.D. from Indiana University, Bloomington; he obtained his undergraduate degree from Westminster College in New Wilmington, PA. Petrocelli has taught social psychology, statistics, and judgment and decision making courses at Wake Forest University since 2007, where he also serves as Chairperson of the university’s Institutional Review Board. Petrocelli has authored or coauthored over 50 scholarly articles and book chapters in the areas of social cognition and judgment and decision making. His primary research interests and contributions are in the areas of bullshitting, counterfactual thinking, metacognition, attitude strength and persuasion. Petrocelli also serves as an Associate Editor for the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

Larkin Poe

Larkin Poe have found their voice. In a genre as storied as American roots and soul, the Georgia-bred, Nashville-based Rebecca and Megan Lovell sister duo are poised to make a mark all their own with the release of their fourth album Venom & Faith. Rather than concede to the history of the canon they hold dear or rest on their laurels, Larkin Poe persist and emerge rattling, stomping, and sliding into a modern-day depiction of what roots rock should sound like. Another chapter in an everlasting story.

Larry Olmsted

Larry Olmsted is the author of the New York Times bestseller, Real Food Fake Food: Why You Don’t Know What You’re Eating & What You Can Do About It and the restaurant columnist for USA Today. An award-winning journalist, he has published thousands of articles in prominent magazines, newspapers, and digital publications worldwide. A columnist for, Larry also teaches Nonfiction Creative Writing to graduate students at Dartmouth College, has spoken at SXSW, and is a frequent guest expert on food topics on national television shows.

Mark Anderson

Non-profit leader
As Director of Nevada Industry Excellence, Mark Anderson is continuing his career passions: strengthening the manufacturing industry and economy by advancing the skills and knowledge of employees. Anderson was the first U.S. employee for Panasonic Energy, a partner in the Tesla Gigafactory, the world’s largest factory located outside of Reno, Nevada. As General Manager of Human Resources and General Affairs for Panasonic, Anderson helped shape the Gigafactory’s innovative and collaborative culture. Born and raised in Carson City, Nev., Anderson holds a bachelor’s degree in Japanese from Brigham Young University and an MBA with emphasis in Human Resources and Organizational Behavior from Indiana University. His business experience and strong, spoken Japanese language and culture skills led him to management roles with several companies.

Mena Spodobalski

Fitness Trainer
Mena realized one day that she had a choice: continue the upwards weight climb she was experiencing after her second child, or become healthy and fit for herself and her family. Mena chose to get herself into shape, and as she continually put forth the effort, the acknowledgement from others and the results she was getting proved additionally motivating. It didn’t take long for her to become hooked on fitness, as her achievements in the field began to expand, first starting as a kick-boxing instructor then getting her Personal Trainer certification, and now owning her own training facility. To Mena, fitness is not just my job, it’s her passion.

Michelle Rebaleati

Content Producer
Michelle is a Multimedia Production Specialist in the @One Digital Media Services of the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center at the University of Nevada, Reno. In addition to her engineering roles for university-related media events, Michelle is a content producer in digital video, audio, and most recently, virtual reality. Her position allows her to gain an advanced knowledge of the technologies offered to students and faculty. This led Michelle to focus on virtual reality, specifically in a cultural preservation capacity. Her projects include documenting immersive experiences at Burning Man and archiving Reno’s public street art in an interactive VR application. Michelle is an advocate for the spread and advancement of VR in pragmatic use-cases. She believes in VR as an empathy machine, capable of sharing first-person experiences that allow us to virtually walk a mile in each other’s shoes. She shares this viewpoint in her award winning documentary “Walking With Reality.”

Mitch Prinstein

Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience
Mitch Prinstein, author of “Popular: Finding Happiness and Success in a World That Cares Too Much About the Wrong Kinds of Relationships,” is a board-certified clinical child and adolescent psychologist and the John Van Seters Distinguished Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has been the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, the President of the Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology, President of the Society for Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, and a member of the American Psychological Association Board of Directors. He and his research have been featured in over 200 international and national media outlets, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, CNN, Time magazine, New York magazine, The Atlantic, Scientific American, Forbes, Newsweek, Family Circle and elsewhere.

Nilofer Merchant

Nilofer merchant is a business strategist, innovation expert, and the author of 3 books on the future of work. A former executive from multiple tech companies including Apple, Merchant has personally launched more than 100 products, netting $18B in sales. She was awarded the Future Thinker designation in 2013 by the notable London-based organization, Thinkers 50, identifying the #1 person most likely to influence the future of management in both theory and practice. They ranked her #22 top thinker in the world (nestled between Clay Christensen and Jim Collins) in 2017.

Sarah Rogo

Sarah Rogo is the new up and coming songwriter and guitar player on the scene. Blending old blues and soul styles with a youthful twist, she captivates audiences of all ages. Weaving slide guitar work on her unique guitars, she paints vivid pictures through sound and song. Authentic and soulful, she has become the new troubadour of southern California. A young, unique, and gifted artist you wont want to miss. Learn more at

Tandy Aye

Pediatric Endocrinologist
Dr. Tandy Aye is a Pediatric Endocrinologist at Stanford Children’s Health and is the Medical Director of their Pediatric and Adolescent Gender Clinic. This multidisciplinary clinic provides pediatric endocrinology, urology, gynecology, psychiatry and psychology, general and plastic surgery and adolescent medicine services to affirm and support patients and their families. Dr. Aye’s research examines the impact of hormones on the developing brain, bone and body composition particularly in peri-adolescents who are receiving gender affirmation therapy.

Thomas Wright

Management Professor
Thomas A. Wright is currently the Felix E. Larkin Distinguished Professor in Management at Fordham University. He received his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. Wright enjoys conducting research and consulting on such topics as character-based leadership, optimizing employee performance, developing effective employee recruitment and retention strategies, and finding innovative ways to enhance employee health and well-being. In recognition of his career accomplishments, he has been awarded Fellow status in the Association for Psychological Science, the American Psychological Association and the Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. The highlight of his professional career has been publishing a number of articles with his father, Vincent P. Wright

Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic

Professor of Business Psychology
Dr. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic is an international authority in psychological profiling, talent management, leadership development, and people analytics. He is the Chief Talent Scientist at Manpower Group, co-founder and CEO of DeeperSignals and Metaprofiling, and Professor of Business Psychology at both University College London, and Columbia University. He has previously held academic positions at New York University and the London School of Economics, and lectured at Harvard Business School, Stanford Business School, London Business School, Johns Hopkins, IMD, and INSEAD, as well as being the CEO at Hogan Assessment Systems. Dr. Tomas has published 10 books and over 150 scientific papers, making him one of the most prolific social scientists of his generation. His work has received awards by the American Psychological Association and the Society for Industrial-Organizational Psychology, to which he is a Fellow.

Tony Slonim

Heathcare CEO
Tony Slonim, M.D., DrPH, FACHE, is the president and CEO of Renown Health— the region’s largest, not-for-profit health system serving Nevada, Lake Tahoe and the eastern Sierra. Dr. Slonim is a national expert in patient safety, accountable care, healthcare quality and innovative care delivery models focused on improving health outcomes across the community. He is the first physician in the U.S. to be quadruple board certified in Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Internal Medicine Critical Care and Pediatric Critical Care and has more than 100 publications and 15 textbooks to his name.

Organizing team


Reno, NV, United States