Bradley Nordell is a quantum physicist, specializing in condensed matter physics and nanoelectronics, as well as a science fiction writer and futurist. Whether the scientist or the writer came first, he does not know, but both play a crucial role in his word-building, writing, and research. Since childhood, Bradley has been driven by the great questions in life, as to the nature of reality, how to create artificial consciousness, quantum gravity and the universal laws of nature and, most importantly, figuring out effective science communication. Bradley currently works as the laboratory manager in the physics department at UNL and is the podcast host for “Science! With Friends,”, where he explores the science community, the scientists that make up that community, and shares new science and technology with the world through conversation. His TEDxLincoln talk will focus on the Science of Tomorrow.
Computer Technology and Design
Joe Toscano is an international award-winning designer and recently-published author who previously consulted for Google, but left due to ethical concerns. He has since written a book, called Automating Humanity, and started the Better Ethics and Consumer Outcomes Network (BEACON), both of which are focused on increasing technology literacy, discovering opportunities for purpose-driven innovation, and moving communities forward in the age of automation. He will talk about disrupting Big Tech.
Government, Policy, Diplomacy
Preeta Bansal has spent more than 30 years in senior roles in government, global business, and corporate law practice – as General Counsel and Senior Policy Advisor in the Executive Office of the U.S. President (White House), Solicitor General of the State of New York, partner and practice chair at Skadden Arps, global general counsel in London for one of the world’s largest banks, a US diplomat and Chair of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, and law clerk to US Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. She has advised on the drafting of the constitutions of Iraq and Afghanistan. After a long career scaling the heights of external and institutional power, she has spent the last 6 years more deeply plumbing depths of being for the source of – and ancient tools for accessing – internal power, as well as studying network science and the role of emerging technologies in amplifying small shifts in behavior and consciousness.
Wilderness Skills Instructor/Advocate
Sam Larson is a wilderness skills instructor, author, and speaker, with years of experience in a variety of wilderness environments. At 18, he chose to go to the wilderness, rather than inevitably flunking out of college. At 24 he became the youngest winner of the world’s most difficult and dangerous survival reality TV challenge, ALONE, on the HISTORY channel. He is the founder and lead instructor for Woodsong Wilderness Education, a company that specializes in teaching wilderness living skills through events, instructing, and consulting. Most importantly, he is a husband and father of two. Drawing from his experiences, Sam will talk on our need for wild places.
Sarah Sawin Thomas
Asst. Professor of Practice in Secondary Education
Dr. Sarah Sawin Thomas is an Assistant Professor of Practice in Secondary English Education at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where she teaches pre and in-service teachers. As a teacher educator, Dr. Thomas’s passions feature innovative curriculum design, mentoring new teachers in the field, and examining how democratic and international contexts inform 21st century education. This summer, she looks forward to honing her writing skills through a professional workshop in Prague, Czech Republic, then exploring South Africa with her daughter, son, and husband. Dr. Thomas and her daughter will remain there to study comparative education, language policy and practices with graduate students and colleagues.
The subject of liminality surfaced for Dr. Thomas while reading the book, Close to the Bone, years ago during a watershed moment. The concept impacted her life then and continues to teach and guide her now. Liminality will be the focus of her talk.