x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Frontiers 2

This event occurred on
September 28, 2019
Colorado Springs, Colorado
United States

#TEDxCOS is back for our second event of 2019. Come let our amazing performers, 8 poets, and 15 amazing speakers blow your mind for a day.

In May 2019 we hosted our first "reboot" event, growing our attendance 5x overnight, and hosting at the Ent Center. We dipped our toe in the water during that event, but now we're ready to make a splash. This September we'll be hosting our second flagship event of the year, where we explore a whole new side of our annual theme, Frontiers.

For a limited time you can get tickets for as low as $20. Don't hesitate.

While our event is hosted at the ENT center, our ticketing & greeting experience is run solely by TEDxColoradoSprings Volunteers. We can't wait to see you there!

Again, our event will include not just every single one of the breath-taking perspectives of the speakers below, plus several performances, but also 8 INCREDIBLE PERFORMANCE POEMS. We've never been so proud of Colorado Springs as we are this week. We can't wait to see you there!

Ent Center for the Arts
5225 N Nevada Ave
Colorado Springs, Colorado, 80918
United States
Event type:
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Akbar Sheikh

Akbar Sheikh is a multiple award-winning business coach and philanthropist. He has spoken around the world, and become a #1 international best selling author. His mission is to help others Make More, so they can Give More to their favorite charities, communities, and families. He has positively impacted tens of thousands of lives through clean water, sponsoring orphans and giving the gift of vision to the blind. He loves entrepreneurs because he believes they solve problems that make the world a better place.

Alex McElroy

Alex McElroy is an international speaker, leadership advisor, Apologist, author and blogger for Alex has been instrumental in implementing his message of leadership and purpose in the business world and has enjoyed tremendous success in the mortgage industry, insurance, and financial services, as well as in the arena of energy efficiency. He is also a dedicated husband to his supportive wife and a loving father to two beautiful daughters. Though living in his purpose now, Alex has experienced and overcome significant struggles and setbacks in life. He suffered the loss of his father at a young age, the loss of his mother recently, dealt with drug and alcohol abuse in his college years and found himself in an angry, depressed and lonely place as he endured the financial hell that resulted in bankruptcy and desperation. Thankfully, these arduous moments served to reveal Alex’s purpose. Now Alex travels the world coaching and training others to discover their unique purpose because he is a firm believer that everyone has been created on purpose with a purpose!

Anna Christensen

Since she was in middle school, Anna Christensen has been working on impacting the world in a positive way starting with our plates. Her extensive research and work with experts on the topic have provided Anna with a well-rounded view on the topics of veganism and agriculture. Instead of making food the ‘bad-guy,' Anna aims to help listeners learn that change starts small and that anyone can get involved in their own way. The impact of simply shifting your meals to eat more plants and less meat can be highly beneficial. This is a concept that has been proven by mainstream health organizations and continues to influence lives positively. Anna is now in high school, and her passion for the topic is a constant motivation to continue her work in the area of dietary veganism and agriculture. In the future, Anna hopes to work in animal welfare to sustain her pursuit of knowledge.

Ashley Cornelius

Ashley Cornelius is a professional poet and therapist. She is the 2019 gold winner of the Colorado Springs Independent Best Of artist category. She is the co-director of Poetry719 a local poetry organization that aims to connect communities through poetry with special attention to uplifting and celebrating voices of marginalized communities and people of color. She competed nationally as the Colorado Springs representative at the Women of the World Poetry Slam Competition. She has won four poetry slams and has been featured across Colorado including the Mercury cafe, Pikes Peak Community College, the Fannie Mae Duncan statue reception and many more. She works to empower and inspire her audience with her journey of decolonization, struggles, and radical self-love and acceptance.

Cesar Cervantes

Former college dean, comedian and founder of Stand-Up At Work, Cesar Cervantes believes everyone should try stand-up comedy. After years of teaching his course, Stand-Up Comedy Writing & Performance at Colorado College, he began to see relationship between comedy and leadership. He experienced the benefits of these insights both personally and professionally and now, he's on a mission to bring it to you.

Cindi Bright

Cindi Bright is a bi-racial woman, both black and white. In her middle age years, she has faced and dealt with rejection of this world and by this world, and yet she stands before a crowd with her heart in her hand, so that you can hear the reflection of her own heart. As she yields for others to join us on the journey of healing their hearts, her hope is that we see other as we are - the same.

David Prosper

David grew up with what he calls, graciously, “poor leadership” (relatable) - and he knows from experience as a kid and now as a parent that the language we use with each other can make the difference between inspiring each other to grow and do our best, or seeding fear. He is vulnerable in sharing his experiences and importantly he explains the blueprint of having healthy relationships.

Davide Di Giorgio

"Davide Di Giorgio is a longtime educator, speaker, author of Being UNapologetic, and a speaking and confidence consultant for students, teachers, parents, influencers, and celebrities. He has dedicated his life (and multiple careers) to raising the bar and being a positive role model for young people and has become known and celebrated for his uncommon approach and uncanny ability to create unmessable individuals and teams that achieve more and never quit. Davide is on a mission to empower everyday extraordinary individuals, especially young people, to compare less and celebrate more. His philanthropic endeavor, Project Being UNapologetic, dares to tackle bullying, build confidence, and help raise the self-esteem of our youth, while funding dream projects for high school performing arts students."

Dawud Salaam

Dawud Salaam, is transparent. He believes in the dignity of all humans. This warrior poet can be found in various venues around Colorado Springs telling it like he believes it is. Unafraid to stand out and stand alone. Born prematurely, Dawud has always been ahead of his time.

Dr. Erik J. Huffman

Dr. Erik J. Huffman is an award-winning cybersecurity professional, educator, and entrepreneur. Dr. Huffman is a founding researcher in the emerging field of Cyberpsychology with studies totaling over 10,000 participants. He has worked with hackers to study how they exploit human vulnerabilities to circumvent technological barriers. His research has been presented worldwide and now it has reached the Ted stage.

Elena Joy Thurston

Elena Joy is a motivational speaker, transformational retreat leader, and author. She has been interviewed on podcasts such as Wellness Lately, Exists Brightly, and Mormon Happy Hour. Elena Joy lives in Arizona with her family and attack-cat and enjoys fly fishing around the world. To learn more about her and join her next retreat, visit

Isaiah Acosta

Isaiah Acosta wants to change how people view one another. A songwriter, advocate for charities, foundations, hospitals, and other organizations, he brings awareness to bullying for young people and to those who feel like they don’t fit in. The proceeds of his hit song Oxygen to Fly go back to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals to help more patients. Isaiah has been featured on the Discovery Channel, CNN, BBC, USA Today, People, Story Corps for the Library of Congress, and on multiple stages around the world. His unwavering commitment to community has made him the recipient of many awards and he is on a mission to inspire those who have ever experienced bullying or have been marginalized to know that you can overcome any disability and take power back over your labels.

Jem Brock

Jem is a visual artist and poet currently based in Manitou Springs, Colorado. Jem works across disciplines; their work spanning from sculpture, painting and drawing, printmaking, installation, sound, performance, and the Word. Their poetry practice addresses themes of love, belonging, spirituality, and the nuanced problems found in the spaces between.

Jennifer K. Yancey (aka Rosegold Poet)

Rosegold refers to her work as “incendiary Redbone poetry,” highlighting the injustices tarnishing the American landscape; spirituality; love and/or sex; toxic relationships; struggles with mental illness and, only recently, sharing her experiences about life in the military. Her platform serves as a voice for those who don’t feel like they have a voice, those who feel their voices aren’t “strong enough,” likewise those who are afraid to speak up and speak out.

Jennifer Knowles

Dr. Jennifer Knowles is a change agent, speaker, and author who woke up at 4 am and ignited her internal switch to take action after her children's charitable lemonade stand was shut down by police. This resulted in the story going viral and receiving national media attention from The Wall Street Journal, CNN, The New York Times, CBS This Morning, and many others. She advocated for the social good in her community and got the laws changed in her city and state supporting kids' rights. Drawing upon her experiences as an international organizational development consultant and professor, she became the public persona "Lemonade Stand Mama" inspiring us all that one person can make a difference and create change through positive perseverance.

John F. Register, CSP

John Register is a four-time track and field All-American and graduate of the University of Arkansas, he is a Gulf War Army Veteran, an amputee, and Paralympic Silver Medalist. When he became an amputee he discovered some unconscious bias he had against people with disabilities. He tackled his bias head-on and has now become one of the most sought after disability and inclusion speakers in the world. His humorous, at ease style of communicating, earned him a position to advise two U.S. Secretaries of State on Disability Foreign Policy; be featured on PAX television's "It's A Miracle" and be the primary founder of the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committees Paralympic Military Sports Program. Register is now the CEO of Inspired Communications International, LLC which inspires people going through a critical life change to embrace their new normal.

Laurel A Wilson

Laurel Wilson, IBCLC, RLC, BSc, CLE, CCCE, CLD is an international speaker, pregnancy and breastfeeding specialist, consultant, educator, and author. Laurel is the co-author of two books, The Attachment Pregnancy and The Greatest Pregnancy Ever; original editor of The CAPPA Lactation Educator Manual; as well as a contributing author to Round the Circle: Doulas Talk About Themselves. Her passion is blending today’s recent scientific findings with the mind/body/spirit wisdom to help professionals and families realize the magnitude and importance of the perinatal period. Her 17 years as Executive Director for Lactation Programs with the Childbirth and Postpartum Professionals Association formed the foundation of her inquiry into the science of human milk. She acted as a board director for the United States Breastfeeding Committee from 2016-2019 and currently serves as an advisor for InJoy Health. Laurel has been joyfully married to her husband for nearly three decades and has two wonderful grown sons, whose difficult births led her on a path towards helping emerging families create positive experiences. She believes that the journey into parenthood is a life-changing rite of passage that should be deeply honored and celebrated.

Laurianne Fiorentino

Laurianne Fiorentino delivers a musical experience bordering on ritual and ceremony. Fiorentino has been nominated for Artist Of The Year by the Nat’l Acad. Of Songwriters (LA), Critics’Choice at NXNE (Toronto) and FolKrawl (Memphis), and festival hit at The First Southern Roots & Blues Festival (Tasmania, Australia) as well as winning these Southwestern awards: Song Of The Year and Best Jazz Song of 2017, and a Silver Medal Global Music Award. “The young lady is splendid! She gets you to sing along in call & response and when that happens, the music is healing you. So, she’s a healer too, just in case you didn’t notice!” - ODETTA "Being part of a Laurianne Fiorentino performance is to be gently guided from the everyday to a plane of beauty and understanding that presents to us the possibilities of the psycho-spiritual worlds we all seek with our beings." - SEAN LA ROCHE

Lindsay Maroney

I am many things. Some of these things I was born into and others I have collected along the way. What I have discovered about life is that we are in constant negotiation with ourselves and the world and the people around us. Holding these pieces and continually finding beautiful arrangements is my path as a poet.


Kayla Stephenson is a poet from Colorado Springs. She is nationally recognized from competing on the Hear Here adult slam team in 2017. She performs at local open mics in Colorado Springs and Bozeman Montana. Her poems shed light on injustice in female equality and government.

Roger G. Gilbertson

I like to make up stuff – stories, inventions, visual and auditory experiences. But when it comes to understanding the “real world” I want facts, and the scientific method provides our best way of finding them, and of making sure we are not misled by fantasies, fallacies, or frauds. Ever since I first learned about Stonehenge when I was very young, I’ve been fascinated by the mysteries of our ancient human past, and the many unanswered questions. Our scientific toolkit lets us push back the unknown to gain a clearer understanding of where we came from, who we are, and in turn - where we might be going. In my years as a writer, inventor, researcher, filmmaker, skeptic, story teller and explainer, I have always tried to keep an open mind about what we do not yet know. I seek the truth wherever it resides, and try to follow wherever it may lead, for the greatest mysteries are often the ones that we are the closest to solving next.

Russell Klimas

When Russell Klimas takes a liking to something he goes HARD. In the span of two years, he has been published on multiple online photography blogs such as Petapixel and DIYPhotography, as well as his work appearing in the Daily Mail UK, Fox, and the Japanese show Tokudane! Currently, he's sponsored by Lumecube and Ants On A Melon for his work with their tools to create light paintings. He's also developed techniques for using drones to light paint in ways that aren't widely used and is continually pushing light painting to its utmost limits. Since this talk was filmed he's already created the next idea that hasn't been done before.

Scott McFadden

Scott McFadden, a Licensed Addictions Counselor and Licensed Professional Counselor, has worked in the mental health treatment field for ten years, in roles as varied as therapist, clinical director, executive director, and member of the National Assn of Drug Court Professionals. He has both personal and professional experience with Medication Assisted Treatment and volunteers on the steering committee of the Coalition for the Prevention, Addiction Education and Recovery in Colorado Springs.

Susan M. Peiffer

Susan M. Peiffer is a queer poet, educator, and community activator who has worked since 2012 to elevate literary arts and spoken word poetry in Colorado Springs Encouraging others to listen, write, and share, she has been involved in leadership with Hear, Here! Poetry and recently served as Poet Laureate of the Pikes Peak region. Susan’s confessional and observational poetry covers social topics using colorful language and unique cadences to inspire urgency and conversation around intersectional issues affecting today’s society. She believes that irrational is not always unreasonable, that most inanimate objects come to life at night, and that cheese is milk's greatest leap towards immortality.

Organizing team


Colorado Springs, CO, United States
  • Braden Sherfy