x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Unity

This event occurred on
March 30, 2023
Fort Collins, Colorado
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).

Poudre High School Auditorium
201 South Impala Drive
Fort Collins, Colorado, 80521
United States
Event type:
Standard (What is this?)
See more ­T­E­Dx­Mountain­Ave events


Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Brooke Nicole, MPH

Bestselling Author & Health Educator
Brooke Nicole holds a Master of Public Health degree and is the bestselling author of The Power Lies in You: an epic guide to regenerative self care. While working with moms to live a regenerative life, Brooke also is a stay at home mom that has a secret obsession for triathlons, loves spending every moment with her family, and chooses every day to smile BIG while she still has teeth.

Dr. Dan Tomasulo

Academic Director & Core Faculty Spirituality Mind Body Institute Teachers College, Columbia University
Dr. Tomasulo is the Academic Director and core faculty at the Spirituality Mind Body Institute (SMBI), Teachers College, Columbia University, and is on the teaching staff at the University of Pennsylvania, where he works with Martin Seligman. He holds a Ph.D. in psychology, an MFA in writing, and a Master of Applied Positive Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania. He is a Review Editor for Frontiers in Psychology, special section on Positive Psychology, and has been honored by Teachers College, Columbia University, with their 2021 Teaching Award. His most recent book, “Learned Hopefulness, The Power of Positivity To Overcome Depression”, is hailed as: “…the perfect recipe for fulfillment, joy, peace, and expansion of awareness” by Deepak Chopra, MD. Sharecare honors Dr. Tomasulo as a top-ten online influencer on the issue of depression. His new book, “The Positivity Effect”, will be released in June 2023.

Hege Jacobsen

Hege Jacobsen is a career military officer of 20 years, a veteran, and has a master’s degree in social science from Nord University in Tromsø, Norway. Growing up in the countryside in Norway, she spent her childhood in a quiet village focusing on school, gymnastics, and dancing. After joining the army at age 19, her service has taken her to various conflict areas in the world throughout her career, and she has more than 10 deployments and 5 years in total working in high-risk areas. In 2019, she decided to leave the army and became a full-time traveler, writer, and travel blogger. Hege has always loved traveling, often solo, and when she decided to change her path, she made her passion her job. During the last 15 years of service, Hege worked extensively with communication across boundaries, as a mentor, liaison, teacher, and leader. As a result, she is passionate about sharing her idea about how our mindset determines how we communicate!

Isa Fontana

Co-emcee, student
Isa is currently a Computer & Electrical Engineer major with an aerospace concentration at Colorado State University. She was born in Guangxi, China, adopted and moved to the states in 2005. She was a competitive gymnast for 12 years and has since picked up dancing and making music. She has accumulated many skills including carpentry, coding, circuit logic, and more. Isa is a language enthusiast as well and speaks English, some Mandarin, and a little Spanish. Her goal is to inspire young women and minorities in STEM to diversify and take their skills worldwide. Ultimately, she strives to lead with gratitude and selflessness to leave a lasting impression on the world.

Mel Z

Mel Z is a first-generation student and will be the first in my family to attend a four-year college. She is of Mexican decent and attends Poudre High School in Fort Collins, CO. She plans to pursue a career in engineering after she graduates from high school this Spring. She is dedicated to bringing light to the Latina community.

Milana Schaal

Milana Schaal, a bestselling author at 11, is a multicultural kid (American, Ukrainian, and Armenian) who inspires the world to contribute their skills and talents and help one another go after their dreams. Her dream is to open "Smoothie Shop," an excellent place for families to gather and enjoy. And her passion is to help animals find their home by opening an animal shelter. Out of her unwavering love for animals, Milana's dream is to have a pug and hedgehog as a pet.

Starr Hill

Assistant Principal, Polaris Expeditionary Learning School
Starr Hill has been involved in education from an early age. She graduated from high school in Leadville, Colorado and trekked to Gunnison, earning her BA and teaching license there before moving to Fort Collins for a MA program in Rhetoric and Comp. While earning her MA, she taught full time. After spending six years at Cache la Poudre Middle School and Fossil Ridge High School, Starr moved to Denver so her husband could pursue a medical degree. It was while working at Cresthill Middle School she discovered her passion for instructional coaching and decided to work on her administrative license. In the years following, she served as an educational director and coach at both the school-site and district levels throughout central Colorado. Upon returning to Fort Collins, she discovered Polaris Expeditionary Learning School, a perfect fit for her passions and experiences. She was able to join the Polaris Crew, where she looks forward to going to work every single day.

Tim Seelig

Speaker, Author, Educator, Conductor
Tim Seelig is the Conductor Laureate of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus and Conductor Emeritus of the Turtle Creek Chorale in Dallas, Texas. Dr. Seelig holds four degrees, including a Diploma from the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria and Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of North Texas. He has seven books and DVDs on choral technique and his memoir, Tale of Two Tims, was published in 2020. He made is operatic debut in St. Gallen, Switzerland and had been conducting at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center for 30 years.He has conducted over 50 recordings which have been on Billboard Top Ten and iTunes Top Ten classical charts. His choruses have been the topic of three documentaries. The first PBS documentary was awarded the national Emmy for best documentary. The most recent had its world premiere at the Tribecca Film Festival, won the Audience Favorite and is streaming on Paramount +. He is the proud grandfather of the amazing Clara Skye, Eden Mae, Cora Rose, Ivy Hope.

Tishawn Payne

Co-emcee, student
Tishawn grew up in third world country where resources like education is so limited that it is hard for people to actually gain a proper education. He was surrounded by brilliant minds and was able to develop his own sense of what he wanted to do with my future. He moved to America to finish high school and is now in college studying business. Among his goals in is helping the community he is now a part to grow because iron sharpens iron; we all need each.

Organizing team


CO, United States


Fort Collins, CO, United States
  • Isa Fontana
  • Riley Bowling
  • Tishawn Payne