x = independently organized TED event

Theme: It's about time

This event occurred on
January 18, 2020
Austin, Texas
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).

Dougherty Arts Center
1110 Barton Springs Rd
Austin, Texas, 78704
United States
Event type:
Standard (What is this?)
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Jennifer Richmond

Jennifer Richmond’s life changed when her family moved to Burma, now called Myanmar when she was 10. It was there that she received her first Russian bear hug at the height of the Cold War. Since her experiences living in Myanmar and later, Indonesia, Thailand and China she became determined to find ways to connect across cultures. She received her B.A. in Asian Cultures from Trinity University, her M.A. in International Relations from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and did her doctoral studies in International Relations at the University of Texas at Austin. She speaks Mandarin, Chinese and has taught Chinese Politics at Trinity University and was the China Director and Vice President at the geopolitical firm, Stratfor. Jennifer recently co-founded The House United Academy, an initiative to teach viewpoint diversity and critical thinking in high school, emphasizing mutual respect, tolerance and collaboration. She is the CEO and Co-Founder of American Culture Consultants, helping foreigners connect in the United States. Jennifer is also the founder of Truth In Between, a project to help bridge divisions in America, connecting people across distance and difference through letters. She is currently working on a book of letters with a prolific pen-pal. Jennifer lives in Austin with her husband, son and pug. She frequently daydreams of the day she can start her Pug & Pony Pub – where the price of a pint is a penned letter to another patron in the company of propitious pets.

Joy Lin

By day, Joy Lin is a math/science teacher, named "Innovator of the Year" in 2014 with an animated series “If Superpowers Were Real” on TEDed that received international media attention. By night, she is a stand-up comedian featured in various festivals, an author with 4 books published in 4 continents and 4 more books on the way, and a screenwriter/filmmaker with dozens of awards from domestic and international film festivals. She also hosts her own science/pop-culture comic con panels all over United States, including San Diego International Comic Con (twice), Wizard World Comic Con (5 times), Texas Comic Con, Geekfest and more.

Kurt Lockhart

Kurt Lockhart hopes to become a professional chatter one day, and has worked as a mascot, an a cappella singer, and a federal consultant. He is a proud “Double Hoo” (B.A. in Government and Master of Public Policy from The University of Virginia). During his time in school, he designed and taught a semester long undergraduate course "INST 1550: Practical Public Speaking". During 2018, he worked as a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant at the Universidade Federal do Pampa in Bagé, Brazil. Outside of learning Portuguese and facilitating English conversation clubs, he had the opportunity to travel to the Amazon, Patagonia, and the Atacama Desert. His first book, Chatting with America, was published in July 2019. It tells the story of a 3 month, 20 state road trip where he met remarkable characters such as The Homesick Glassblower in Asheville, North Carolina and The Accidental Skinnydipper in Pray, Montana. Outside of chatting with strangers, Kurt enjoys running, singing, and playing volleyball.

Lea Comte

With her Master degree in dance/movement therapy from Pratt Institute, this educator, writer and speaker, spreads her passion for early childhood mental health wherever she goes. Lea Comte currently works at Headwaters School in Austin Texas supporting teachers, parents, and students ranging in age from eighteen months to six years old. With more than ten years of experience working in early childhood settings, Lea serves her local community by consulting with local Montessori schools, parents, and educators on how to support children facing sensory, behavioral, and other developmental and mental health challenges through a body centric approach. Lea has been elected to multiple positions in the Texas Chapter of the American Dance Therapy Association (ADTA). In 2017, as the chapter President, Lea served as both the Local Chair of the ADTA’s 52nd annual conference and as a workshop presenter. In 2018, as the chapter’s Government Affairs Chair, Lea was invited by the ADTA to advocate for dance therapy during the National Arts Action Summit in Washington D.C. While there she fought for increased funding for the arts with Congressman Ted Cruz and other Texas representatives. In her spare time, Lea takes to the dance floor or hiking trail to recharge her batteries in the sun.

Mike Yates

Mike's mission is to transform the K-12 education experience. A former education programs coordinator, curriculum developer, and teacher, Mike has more than 10 years of experience working with students and the school system. From winning teaching and coaching awards to the creation of literacy programming, mentoring to teaching Mike has seen many sides of education as a professional. Even with that, he still found himself unable to help kids the way they should be. From what he saw, the school system was failing more students than it helped. He knew there had to be another way and he became determined to find it. Today, Mike works tirelessly to disrupt and innovate the school system as a team leader at Alpha, an innovative, independent school that uses adaptive learning software in place of direct instruction. Mike is also one of the founders of Guide, a life skills training platform for high school students. Guide makes learning blended, on demand and relevant! Mike and his team are changing the way students apply the things they’ve learned.

Robin Barrett

As the creator of and the Creativity RV YouTube channel, Robin Barrett encourages others to discover the possibility of a modern, nomadic life through which professional and personal passions can converge and flourish. After twenty years as a business owner and successful entrepreneur, Robin discovered what many of us do: that chasing the status quo doesn’t necessarily create happiness. But how does one find a balance between making a living and living a life of joy? For her, the solution was found in the most unlikely of places…a motorhome. Robin was not a camper or RV enthusiast – in fact, she had never been inside of one until the day she decided to give up a ‘sticks-and-bricks’ house in exchange for mobility and freedom. She escaped corporate America to live and write full-time while traveling. Now, she helps others navigate their way into the life of an American Digital Nomad, have happy travels and be free. As a creator, she shares her personal journey and gives others the tools they need to do the same, including through her book, Be a Nomad, Change Your Life: The Ultimate Guide to Living Full-time in a Van or RV which has been a bestseller since its release in January 2019 and through her YouTube videos which have been viewed more than 8 million times. Her latest book Work at Home While You Roam and upcoming book, 19 Nomads, both help others navigate the variety of options and styles available to all who want to travel and live now.

Organizing team