x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Balance

This event occurred on
August 15, 2019
1:00pm - 7:00pm CDT
(UTC -5hrs)
Bismarck, North Dakota
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).

ND Heritage Center, Russell Reid Auditorium
612 E Boulevard Avenue
Bismarck, North Dakota, 58501
United States
Event type:
Standard (What is this?)
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Ami & Justin McClure

Ami McClure is a model, entrepreneur, beauty enthusiast, and advocate for body and female empowerment. As a multifaceted influencer and matriarch of the family, she strives to uplift their millions of viewers by promoting self-confidence and the importance of embracing individuality. Justin is an autodidactic photographer, videographer, keynote speaker, and former comedian with more than a decade of creative experience. His skill set helped catapult his family to fame in 2016 following their viral YouTube video, "Twins Realize They Look The Same." Since, Justin and his family have amassed over 5 million social media followers, partnered with major brands, and recognized as a Forbes Magazine Top Influencer.

Bethlehem Gronneberg

Social Entrepreneur
Bethlehem is a Software Engineer, inspirational speaker, educator & a social entrepreneur with a vision to exponentially expand the inclusion of diverse voices in the technology workforce. Referred to as the "unlikely STEMinist" by the Huffington Post article, Gronneberg is the Founder and CEO of uCodeGirl, a non-profit designed to inspire, engage and equip teen girls so that they can confidently choose to forge a pathway to technology careers and engineer their world. A BS degree from Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia in Statistics and Computer Science launched her technology career as the first webmaster for United Nations - Economic Commission for Africa. After 20+ years in the software industry, Bethlehem has focused her career to be a social entrepreneur - an advocate for women in technology. Bethlehem is committed to a world where the people who create and build technology products and services mirror the people and societies for which they create and build.

Dr. Tara Feil

Clinical Psychologist
Dr. Feil is a clinical psychologist passionate about helping people thrive. She began her career in 2005 working in collaboration with mentors at the Catholic University of America, the American Association of Suicidology, and the National Institute of Mental Health to examine the lives of suicidal individuals and their families. Her work with this population left her devoted to examining what makes life worth living and dedicated to researching & teaching about well-being. Her work on positive facial expression & the cardiovascular stress response has been widely cited in the media, including Sirius XM’s “Doctor Radio,” ABC News Radio, Fox News, Psychology Today, New York Daily News & several popular magazines. She currently works in clinical practice providing psychotherapy for individuals with a range of mental health concerns. She offers consulting services & enjoys regularly speaking about science-based ways to increase well-being and maximize personal & professional success.

Mallory Brown

Global Humanitarian
Mallory is an impact storyteller and global humanitarian. She travels the world to tell real-life stories of human connection. Mallory’s goal is to encourage others to embrace empathy and create powerful ways to give back. She has traveled to over 50 countries. Combining travel, filmmaking, and crowdfunding, Mallory is recognized for pioneering a new, engaging form of philanthropy. Mallory's latest endeavor, "Walk A Mile," is a global marathon for women's empowerment. She's walking a marathon, one mile at a time, with 26 impoverished women around the world. 26 miles. 26 women. 26 countries. 26 stories of strength. As each “mile” benefits a local charity, the series aims to prove that the economic empowerment of women is the key to pulling families out of poverty. Mallory's marathon explores the power of empathy and how each of us can make a difference. She has been featured by the Today Show, The New York Times, Crain's Detroit Business, the Huffington Post & Cosmopolitan.

Megan Laudenschlager

Rural Advocate
Megan is the Founder & ED of Strengthen ND. A graduate of Minot State University with a B.A. in Mathematics and has obtained a Certificate in Fundraising through the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Her areas of expertise include board and staff development, fundraising planning, grant writing, strategic planning, organizational action planning, program design and evaluation, succession planning, and meeting facilitation. Megan is a 2014 Bush Foundation Fellow and has participated in professional development activities through the Harvard-Kennedy School of Government, Midwest Academy for Social Justice, Independent Sector & TED. Megan is active in the community and across ND by serving in leadership positions with ND Rural Development Council, ND EDC, ND Local Foods Development Alliance, Minot YP, Visit Minot, Minot Family YMCA, and Magic Day of Giving. Through her experiences, she has been able to refine her approaches to rural community fundraising, organizing, and advocacy.

Michael Greger, MD,

A founding member and Fellow of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, Michael Greger, MD, is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized speaker on nutrition, food safety, and public health issues. He has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, testified before Congress, and was invited as an expert witness in the defense of Oprah Winfrey in the infamous “meat defamation” trial. In 2017, Dr. Greger was honored with the ACLM Lifestyle Medicine Trailblazer Award. He is a graduate of Cornell University School of Agriculture and Tufts University School of Medicine. His latest book “How Not to Die” became an instant New York Times Best Seller. He has videos on more than 2,000 health topics freely available at, with new videos and articles uploaded every day. All proceeds he receives from his books, DVDs, and speaking engagements are all donated to charity.

Ryan Taylor

Rancher & Policy Maker
Ryan is a 4th generation rancher, published author, former policy maker and an advocate for rural people & the land. He was elected three times to the ND State Senate & served as the senate minority leader. Awarded a Bush Foundation Fellowship which allowed him to travel to Norway to learn the public policies of their respected oil and gas development, and he furthered his leadership education at the Harvard Kennedy School. He was appointed by President Obama to serve as state director for USDA Rural Development, leading a team of 44 employees and making $590 million worth of program investments and loans in rural North Dakota. He is currently director of public policy for Ducks Unlimited. He focuses on policy related to wetlands and grassland habitat that benefits waterfowl, the people & agriculture in ND, SD & Montana. He wrote his ‘Cowboy Logic’ column in agricultural newspapers for 21 years across the western US & Canada, most of which are now published in his three books.

Shawn Riley

Shawn became ND's CIO in April 2017 after serving in IT leadership roles in healthcare & private industry for two decades. Throughout his career he has overseen significant change management efforts, demonstrated the ability to transform processes, make a positive impact for customers & business partners through innovative technology approaches. Shawn’s experience includes consulting Fortune 500 companies nationally and internationally on network, system security and compliance, training, e-health, and e-business projects. Shawn’s team is also working closely with organizations to lead the nation in cybersecurity education and training. The “K-20W Initiative” involves 40 public and private sector entities helping empower workforce, educators & students from K-PHD. Through partnership with industry leaders, the State is creating the foundation to train the next generation of cyber security professionals for any career path being driven by rapid technological change.

Troy Roness, Ed.M. (C/S)

Troy Roness graduated from MSU with a bachelor’s degree in Health and Physical Education & master’s degrees in Education and Cognitive Science. Troy’s career includes involvement in physical and health education, curriculum development, mental health advocacy, a non-profit organization & governmental administrative programs. Troy teaches courses in the Teacher Education and Kinesiology department & advises students within the Physical Education and Corporate Fitness and Wellness Management programs. In 2018, Troy was named the ND Society of Health and Physical Educators College/University Physical Education Professor of the Year Award. Troy works with the National Eating Disorders Association, the United Kingdom’s “Men Get Eating Disorders Too” organization, the Multi-Service Eating Disorders Association, and the Eating Disorders Coalition. He travels the country writes for multiple national publications, and has authored “Unbroken: Journaled Reflections of Recovery.”

Organizing team


Bismarck, ND, United States


Bismarck, ND, United States
  • Deidre Hillman
    Team member
  • Kate Herzog
    Team member
  • Levi Andrist
  • Lindsey Hochhalter
  • Molly Herrington
    Team member
  • Nathan Schneider
    Team member