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).
Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.
Founder, Refugee SoccerAdam Miles is a creator of social impact, a champion of the hustling underdog, and a shiner of light. As the founder of Refugee Soccer, he dedicates his energy, experience, and network to bridge the divide between refugee and mainstream communities around the world through soccer. He has been to Africa more than a dozen times and has played soccer with thousands of kids across the USA as part of the mission he leads to touch the lives of millions of displaced humans globally. For nearly 20 years Adam worked on Wall Street helping VC funds and high net worth individuals manage their assets. And thanks to living numerous years in Japan, Adam has near-native fluency in spoken and written Japanese. He is a published author and loves to write as a way of grasping and hacking the lessons of life. About Refugee Soccer, Adam always says, “It takes so little to do so much.” It is this view that provides him and his team the most fulfilling return on investment of time, capital, and heart.
Software / Game DesignerBret Wardle is an advocate for the convergence of design psychology in games and software. This includes things like understanding similarities between professional e-sport players and software power users, or better understanding the social response invoked by using “hi-scores” in e-commerce platforms. He finds joy in implementing these findings to make products and experiences people love to use!
Attorney & Immigration AdvocateAs a dual-citizen of Colombia and the United States, Carla Swensen-Haslam has always been passionate in her advocacy of immigration reform and education. In 2021, she received her Juris Doctorate degree from BYU, where she was a member of the school’s first majority female graduating class. It was there she began working with asylum seekers on the US/Mexican border and within her home community of Salt Lake City. Prior to law school, Carla received her bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University in Television Journalism, and went on to work as a TV sports broadcaster in the Utah market. In 2013, Carla became the first woman in Utah to call a men’s professional sport as either the play-by-play or color-commentator. The experience greatly opened her eyes on the importance and value of female representation within the community. It was her advocacy for women in sports that led to her receipt of the 2019 Utah Business Magazine’s 20 in their 20’s Award.
Law ProfessorErika George is the Samuel D. Thurman Professor of Law and directs the Tanner Humanities Center at the University of Utah. Her research explores the responsibility of corporations to respect internationally recognized human rights and ways to better align business policies and practices with reducing risks to human rights and the environment. A graduate of the University of Chicago and Harvard Law School, Erika is passionate about promoting justice and serves on the Board of Trustees of Earthjustice, the Advisory Board of the American Bar Association Center for Human Rights, and the Fair Labor Association Board. Erika started her career practicing commercial litigation and later worked for Human Rights Watch. The BBC, The Economist, NBC News, and CNN, among other media outlets reported on her human rights investigations. She has been recognized by the Society of American Law Teachers and the Salt Lake City Human Rights Commission for her academic and advocacy work.
Director of ITGeorge McEwan is a multi-disciplined technologist with 30 years of work experience in engineering and management. He holds several patents as sole inventor in the field of high-speed satellite communications and has been a contributor to patent applications involving 3D visualization, digital encryption, and digital forensics. With demonstrated aptitude in electrical, mechanical, and software engineering, he has built up a successful and significant portfolio of technology wins throughout his career. Currently serving as the Utah Department of Health’s IT Director, George has spent the last eight years of his career working for the Department of Technology Services specifically catering to the needs of the Department of Health (DOH). During his time with DOH, he has managed to innovate operations in multiple situations creating significant savings for the state by bringing in new technologies and using a commercial mindset of Total Quality Management and accountability with his staff.
ProducerJoseph Sim is an Award Winning Filmmaker from the United Kingdom. With his work spanning across a wide spectrum of formats; from documentaries, to international events, to interviewing strangers on the street; he considers himself a “professional storyteller”. For the last ten years he has built an internationally recognized videography brand in Alexander Documentarian. A filmmaking team and organization that has serviced multiple B Corp Certified businesses and individuals around the world. Joseph has a passion for strangers. The vast majority of his personal projects have all been focused on seeking advice and information from anyone and everyone around him. A common practice will find him, camera in hand, connecting with total strangers on the street and documenting their mannerisms, character and insights.
Poet & JournalistMelissa Bond is a poet and journalist and was the Associate Editor and Poetry Editor of the Wasatch Journal, a long-form magazine serving the Intermountain West. She’s written several chapbooks of poetry and has performed at the National Poetry Slam in Austin, Texas and Portland, Oregon. Melissa has performed in both traditional and non-traditional venues, including Kingsbury Hall, the Rose Wagner, the State Room and, (during her guerilla poet years), OC Tanner's jewelry store and numerous street corners, among others. Melissa’s memoir Blood Orange Night was picked up by Simon & Schuster and is without a doubt the most vulnerable thing she has ever written. Melissa currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with her family.
Education AdvocateMichelle Love-Day has been an educator for 20 years. She received her Bachelors in Education (K-8, Minor in Spanish), and Masters in Reading (K-12) from Bowling Green State University, and a Masters in Education, Leadership, and Policy from the University of Utah. Her second language is Spanish and she studied abroad in Alcala, Spain. She taught in North Carolina for 3 years until relocating to Utah in 2005. Michelle has been a 2nd grade teacher, Literacy Coach, Principal, and Associate Director of Educational Equity. In March 2020, she began as Consultant for Jordan School District in the Language & Cultures Services, Teaching and Learning Department. Michelle is passionate about schools being student focused, equitable, and a place where all students feel they are welcome and have an adult they can believe in and who believes in them. In 2019, she ran as a candidate for Bluffdale City Council and is the proud mother to 5 children and wife to a supportive husband.
PhysicistOry Zik is a physicist and entrepreneur focusing on energy and climate. Ory is the CEO of Qnergy. The Utah-based company that transforms distributed methane waste into clean, reliable, low-cost electricity, using it’s Stirling engine technology. Past roles include Founder and CEO of Energy Points. The company developed data and analytics for managing natural resources (acquired by Lux research). Co-founder and CEO of solar energy company HelioFocus Inc., a developer of solar energy solutions for conventional power plants. Founding CEO of Quantomix Inc. The company developed an imaging modality that allows electron microscopes to image live cells (acquired by El-Mul Technologies). Ory Holds B.Sc. in Physics and Mathematics from Tel Aviv University and Ph.D. in Physics from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. As an environmentalist Ory is known for founding the Israeli branch of Greenpeace.
Monarch ConservationistRachel Taylor owns and operates Global Recruiters of Salt Lake City along with her husband, Pete Taylor. Global Recruiters Network is a worldwide Executive Search firm based in Chicago, IL. Outside of work, Rachel’s love of all things flora and fauna is deep, and started in the wide open farmland of 1960s Lehi, Utah. She is actively and passionately involved in conservation efforts for the monarch butterfly. Having grown up in rural Utah, where monarchs were plentiful, she realized how rarely she saw them after 40 years in Salt Lake City, and dug in to learn why. It turns out the monarch butterfly population has plummeted in the past four decades – the population west of the Rockies declining 99% during that time. The larger eastern population is nearly as bleak. After ordering her first seeds in 2015, Rachel recently founded Utah Friends of Monarchs, an official 501(c)(3).
Singer & SongwriterA blue-eyed soul singer and songwriter hailing from Arizona, Ryan has been in Utah for 16 years. He initially came to study Media Music at Brigham Young University and sing with the nationally acclaimed acapella group Vocal Point. He’s been here ever since making Utah his home while playing shows all over the world. You may have heard of Ryan from being a 4-chair turn artist on NBC’s The Voice or from landing a #1 iTunes song called “Long Way Home” on NBC’s Songland. You can hear Ryan’s songs on shows like Netflix’s “The Punisher” or on the massively popular YouTube channel "Dude Perfect”. Ryan is excited to continue releasing and recording music for himself and writing for licensing and sync opportunities having just landed the 2021-22 marketing campaign for Simple Mills. Ryan has opened for numerous artists including: Boyz II Men, Andy Grammer, Brandi Carlisle, Brett Young, Allen Stone, Orianthi, and Gavin DeGraw.
Shaadie of Mac Life
Artist & PerformerRashaad "Shaadie" Nunnally is a true renaissance man from the Crestside streets of North Vallejo. After moving from Vallejo to Sacramento in 2002, and graduating from high school in 2004, he would be the first in over 40 years to be offered a full Track & Field scholarship to UC Berkeley. With many years of independent grind, Shaadie has learned all facets of being an independent artist, a performer, and true entrepreneur. In 2014 Shaadie and his brother Brandon "KB" Henry co-founded their community outreach and entertainment company called Mac Life which is an acronym for Mind's Achieving Change Living In Forgotten Environments. In September 2021, Shaadie landed his own segment on ABC 4 Utah during Good Things Utah called “A Shot with Shaadie” where he showcases local talent, entrepreneurs and business from the minority communities of Utah. Shaadie is passionate about connecting people with the resources to fulfill their needs and dreams.
Founder, EncircleStephenie Larsen is the Chief Executive Officer & Founder of Encircle; an LGBTQ+ resource center bringing life-affirming therapy, programming, and services to LGBTQ+ youth, families and communities. Encircle currently has locations in Provo, Salt Lake City, and St. George, with plans for continued expansion. Stephenie has been recognized at the 2017 Human Rights Campaign Awards, the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, and was awarded the Silicon Slopes Community Hero Award in 2018. She was named one of eleven UpStanders by Starbucks Coffee, recognizing her as an example of what it means to have courage in today’s America. Stephenie is a Brigham Young University graduate, with degrees in Family Sciences & Law. While practicing in Washington D.C., she represented abused and neglected children on Capitol Hill. Stephenie and her husband Mitch have six children and live in Orem, Utah. Stephenie prefers the pronouns she/her.
Manjhunath (MJ) AyyampudurProduction