x = independently organized TED event


August 12, 2022
6:00pm - 9:00pm CDT
(UTC -5hrs)
Kansas City, Missouri
United States
This event is open to the public.
Tickets are available.

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).

Kauffman Center For The Performing Arts
1601 Broadway Street
Kansas City, Missouri, 64108
United States
Event type:
Standard (What is this?)
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Alex Lockwood

Project Scientist, James Webb Space Telescope
Dr. Alex Lockwood is a Project Scientist for NASA’s Webb Space Telescope at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, MD. She received her bachelor’s degrees in Physics and Astronomy from the University of Maryland and master’s and Ph.D. in Planetary Sciences from The California Institute of Technology. Her research focused on understanding planetary systems and characterizing exoplanets. She discovered water on a planet, funnily named “Tau Boo b.” Before joining the Webb team, she worked on the NOAA/NASA Joint Polar Satellite System mission and at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia. Alex believes in maximizing both personal happiness and service to others. Outside of work, she loves running, yoga and laughing with her kids.

Arthur Brooks

Happiness expert
Arthur C. Brooks is the William Henry Bloomberg Professor of the Practice of Public Leadership at the Harvard Kennedy School and Professor of Management Practice at the Harvard Business School. Before joining the Harvard faculty in 2019, he served for 10 years as president of the Washington, D.C.-based American Enterprise Institute (AEI), one of the world’s leading think tanks. Under his leadership, the Institute more than doubled its annual revenues, deepened its outreach to leaders across the ideological spectrum and expanded its research portfolio to include work on poverty, happiness and human potential. Brooks is the author of 12 books, including the #1 New York Times bestseller “From Strength to Strength.” He is also a columnist for The Atlantic and host of the podcast “How to Build a Happy Life with Arthur Brooks.” Brooks gives more than 100 speeches per year around the U.S., Europe and Asia.

Bettymaya Foott

Dark skies advocate
Bettymaya Foott works for the International Dark-Sky Association as director of engagement. Preserving dark skies is her life goal, and she finds that astro-landscape photography is the most poignant way to express a love for the night and to educate about the impacts of light pollution.

Carolyn Buck Luce

Design thinker and life strategist
Carolyn Buck Luce is one of America’s most respected and accomplished voices on women’s leadership and their relationship with power. Carolyn has long been an advocate for healthcare innovations, cultural inclusivity and women’s empowerment through her work with companies like Ernst & Young, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, UnitedHealth Group and GE. A gifted strategist and executive coach, Carolyn has spent the last four decades of her career building highly effective cultures, businesses, teams and leaders in both the public and private sectors. Today, as an executive coach and keynote speaker, Carolyn uses her proprietary Decade Game® to coach some of the world’s most remarkable women in business, civic society and philanthropy to live their purpose and discover their destiny.

Jonathan Friedman

Journalist and free speech advocate
Jonathan Friedman, Ph.D., is the director of free expression and education programs at the literary and human rights nonprofit PEN America. An interdisciplinary scholar, he oversees research, advocacy and public education related to the freedom to read, learn and teach in schools, colleges and universities.

Karen Faith

Ethnographic researcher
Karen Faith is an ethnographer and strategist whose work has guided teams and initiatives at Google, Amazon, Indeed, The NBA, The ACLU, Blue Cross Blue Shield, The Federal Reserve Bank, and The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, among many others. An alumnus of the Hyper Island Business Transformation course in Stockholm, Sweden, she has taught her approach to students at Penn State, Juilliard, KU, Chapman University, and the National University of Singapore. She lives in New York, where she is the CEO and Founder of Others Unlimited, an empathy training company.

Katie Randall

Forensic investigator and medical detective
Dr. Katherine Randall has a Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Writing from Virginia Tech, with a research focus on the rhetoric of medicine. Her exploration into the origins of what public health agencies consider “airborne” helped advance scientific understanding of the COVID-19 virus by showing how ideas about disease transmission have been shaped over time. She and her coauthors published a cross-disciplinary paper including this research in Interface Focus. Dr. Randall is also the co-editor of Viral Networks: Connecting Digital Humanities and Medical History and a founding member of the Virginia Tech Center for Refugee, Migrant, and Displacement Studies.

Lyla June

Indigenous scholar, activist and musician
Lyla June is an Indigenous musician, scholar and community organizer of Diné (Navajo), Tsétsêhéstâhese (Cheyenne) and European lineages. Her dynamic, multi-genre presentation style has engaged audiences across the globe towards personal, collective and ecological healing. She blends studies in Human Ecology at Stanford, graduate work in Indigenous Pedagogy, and the traditional worldview she grew up with to inform her music, perspectives and solutions. Her current doctoral research focuses on Indigenous food systems revitalization.

Majora Carter

Social justice warrior, MacArthur Genius
Majora Carter’s TED Talk was among the first six videos to launch TED.com. She is a MacArthur Fellow, Peabody Award winning broadcaster, has 7 honorary Ph.D.s, and has been recognized by News Corp, Center for American Progress, Goldman Sachs, and the Eleanor Roosevelt Society, among many others. Majora is a real estate developer and economic revitalization strategy consultant, and the owner of The Boogie Down Grind cafe. Her clients include US Depts of Homeland Security, State and the EPA; Nike, Whole Foods, FreshDirect; and universities and municipalities across the US and abroad.

Taylor Sullivan

Permafrost researcher and climate scientist
Taylor observes patterns of freeze and thaw within ecosystems characterized by permafrost—ground that has been frozen for more than two consecutive years. As a research geophysicist, he employs electromagnetic techniques to constrain the boundary conditions for local and global-scale models of permafrost extent and future permafrost projections. While earning his doctorate from the University of Wyoming, Taylor relocated to a cabin without running water in the boreal forest of the Alaskan interior. Before this, he discovered his drive to expand the envelope of human understanding of earth processes while serving as an interpretive ranger in the Rocky Mountain region of America’s National Parks.

Organizing team


Telluride, CO, United States


Overland Park, KS, United States