x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Risk & Reward

This event occurred on
June 1, 2012
Denver, Colorado
United States

TEDxMileHigh showcases innovative Coloradoans who each give the ‘talk of their life’ around the power of ideas. Presenters include maverick thinkers and doers, big-time athletes, entrepreneurs and innovators, humanitarians, creative performers and many more extraordinary people. This diverse group of thought leaders and innovators educate, inspire and stimulate change with the ultimate goal being inspired action across our communities. To us, action includes the promotion and creation of ventures that will help shape the future.

Our inaugural TEDxYouth@MileHigh event takes place on June 1, 2012, 2:30-5:30pm and is FREE for students aged 12-22. For further information or comment, please go to, contact us at, friend us on Facebook at and follow us on Twitter at TEDxMileHigh.

Ellie Caulkins Opera House
1000 14th Street
Denver, Colorado, 80204
United States
Event type:
Youth (What is this?)
See more ­T­E­Dx­Youth@­Mile­High events


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

Natalie Baumgartner

Dr. Natalie Baumgartner is a Co-Founder and the Chief Psychologist at RoundPegg. RoundPegg is an online culture intelligence platform that quantifies the unique culture of organizations and then provides tools to align employee hiring, development, and engagement. Natalie has been the human form of RoundPegg for over a decade, consulting on culture fit with investors, senior executives and boards of directors. She holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology and serves on the board of the Consulting Psychology Division of the American Psychological Association. Natalie is passionate about helping people find “fit” in the workplace – and about the power that culture fit has to revolutionize how we work.

Kayvon Coffey

Kayvon Coffey is a junior at Kent Denver School and a member of Denver Young Artists Orchestra (DYAO). He studies violin with Claude Sim, Associate Concertmaster of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra. Born in Aspen, Kayvon saw his first 1/16th size violin at age 4 at the Snowmass Suzuki Institute and promptly declared, "I want a tiny violin!" After moving to Boulder at age 6 he got his wish and began studying with Boulder Suzuki Strings, then with Jennifer John, Faculty Emeritus of the Aspen Music Festival and School (AMFS) and Violin Professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Kayvon studied at AMFS for four summers, the first at age 10, and most recently in 2011 with Cornelia Heard of Vanderbilt University, and as a member of the AMFS Concert Orchestra. He will return to Aspen for the summer of 2012. Kayvon earned his first AMFS Spotlight Recital in 2007 at the age of 12, won Third Prize in the Boulder Stars of Tomorrow Classical Competition the same year, and won the Concerto Competition of the DYAO Conservatory the next year at age 13. Kayvon joined DYAO in 2009, was a member of the Western States Honors Orchestra in 2011, and the Colorado All-State Orchestra in 2011 and 2012. He performed as a soloist most recently with the Littleton Symphony Orchestra in December of 2011, and will do so again in May of 2012 as the winner of Colorado's Symphony in the Valley Concerto Competition. At Kent Denver School Kayvon is on the Head Of School's List of students with GPAs of 4.0 or higher. He won Kent Denver's Nick Huston Prize for English Literature in 2010, the History of Music Award in 2011, and the Pre-Calculus and AP French Language Awards in 2012.

Ken Arkind

Ken Arkind is a National Poetry Slam Champion, Nuyorican Poets Cafe Grand Slam Champion and published author who has performed his work in 49 States, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and the UK. He is the current Executive Director of Minor Disturbance, an independent literary arts organization dedicated to helping Denver youth find voice through the mediums of poetry of performance.

Bobby LeFebre

Bobby LeFebre is an award-winning spoken word artist, actor, and social worker. He is a two time Grand Slam Champion, a National Poetry Slam Finalist, an Individual World Poetry Slam Finalist, and has been a member of three National Poetry Slam Teams. LeFebre is managed by Layman Lyric Productions for performance poetry booking. As an actor, LeFebre is a company member with Denver’s only Latino Theater, El Centro Su Teatro, and is represented by Radical Artists Agency, who manages Colorado’s top actors for work in film, television, commercials, industrials, voice-overs, theater, and commercial print. Combining his passion for education and performance, LeFebre is founder of Cafe Cultura, Denver’s largest monthly open mic and artistic expression event serving the Mile High inner-city community. The event was voted “best open mic” in 2007, and has showcased both local and national talent. As a performer, LeFebre has taught and performed poetry across the United States. He has shared stages with the top performance poets in the world, Grammy-nominated musicians Les Nubian, Amy Goodman of Democracy Now, Dead Prez, UNIVERSES, Saul Williams, Bahamadia, The Chicano Messengers of Spoken Word, D.J. Kool Herc, Talib Kweli, Gil Scott-Heron, Sandra Maria Esteves, and The Last Poets. LeFebre was recently featured in the first-year report from the National Museum of the American Latino Commission to President Obama and Congress. LeFebre lives in Denver with his wife, Claudia Hernandez-Ponce.

Woody Roseland

Woody is a natural born entertainer constantly socializing and telling jokes much to the chagrin of virtually every teacher he ever had. Once Woody reached high school he started playing football and quickly moved up the ranks seeing varsity playing time in just his sophomore year. As Woody trained for his senior year of High school football a nagging pain in his left leg left his Doctors, trainers and coaches puzzled. Eventually a biopsy showed that the pain that had sidelined Woody was a rare form of Bone Cancer. Woody immediately started an intense regiment of chemotherapy along with a complete knee replacement that ended his football career. The cancer returned four separate times, each with it’s own unique set of challenges. In June of 2011, a four inch tumor was discovered in Woody’sleft calf requiring immediate amputation. During his time in the hospital is when Woody first realized that his affinity for comedy could be combined with his experiences enduring the hardships of chemotherapy. He initially honed his skills by talking and joking with his doctors, nurses, and fellow patients. He now shares his message of hope, perseverance, and positivity everywhere from charity fundraisers, corporate events, to school assemblies and hospital rooms.

Theo Wilson

A relative unknown, Lucifury shook up the Slam Poetry world by taking 5th in the International World Poetry Slam, 2009. He is a founding member of Denver Slam Nuba. Their first year out, they saw finals stage at the National Poetry Slam in 2007, and have been a fearsome force in Slam ever since. They have gone on to win countless regional titles since their inception in 2007. A native of Denver, Colorado, his introduction to spoken-word occurred at the N.A.A.C.P. ACT-SO Competitions. He spent his teenage years as a community activist with the Denver N.A.A.C.P. Youth Council, and got his introduction to public speaking in various rallies and protests. His knack for public speaking has grown into a full time passion. He can still be found in the community, teaching poetry workshops at elementary schools, high schools, universities and correctional facilities all across this nation. Lucifury is an accomplished stage and film actor, and received his BA in performing arts from Florida A&M University in 2003. He has been in several main-stage productions at Denver’s prestigious Shadow Theatre Company, Cleo Parker Robinson’s stage, and in the traveling company of the St. Louis Black Repertory Theatre. This stage training and theatrical foundation is apparent in the power of his live performance. His passion for the art form makes his live performance uniquely impactful among spoken-word artists. He has shared the stage and opened for various groups, such as Dead Prez, The Flobots, Bahamadia, Saul Williams, Taylor Mali, and Universes to name a few.

Kelly Brough

Kelly Brough is a fan of the substantive conversation, and has left a mark as one of the most influential people in the Mile High region over the last 20 years. Currently leading the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, she also served as chief of staff for the City and County of Denver, overseeing a general fund of $857 million. In previous roles with the city, Kelly moved the human resource department from an authoritarian culture to one based on service delivery and focused on outcomes. Kelly also directed an internationally-recognized leadership program at the University of Colorado at Denver - the Rocky Mountain Program. She served as a consultant to local governments managing large public processes and planning efforts, mediating disputes and providing strategies to build strong public/private partnerships. She currently serves on teh boards of the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation, VISIT DENVER, Goodwill Industries of Denver, the Denver Public Schools Foundation, and as a member of the Women's Forum and The Chamber 100 with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. She was recently named as one of Colorado's 10 most influential women by The Denver Post, and one of Denver's most influential people by 5280 Magazine. In 2012, Brough received the University of Colorado Denver Campus Alumni Recognition Award.

Kimbal Musk

Kimbal Musk is an entrepreneur who has founded and advised several companies and organizations that have become household names including: PayPal, Tesla Motors, and OneRiot. In 1999, Kimbal decided to pursue his passion for food and cooking and attended the renowned French Culinary Institute in New York City. Following graduation, he moved to Boulder, CO to start The Kitchen, Boulder's Community Bistro, with partners Hugo Matheson and Jen Lewin. In 2011, Kimbal and Hugo worked with Denver Public Schools to create a more permanent solution to school gardens. The result was the 'Learning Garden,' a fun, experiential learning environment built as an extension of the playground. The first Learning Garden was installed at Schmitt Elementary in Dener, CO, in September 2011.

Bianca Griffith

Bianca Griffith is the Executive Director of Sante Natural, a charity which she found in 2008, that addresses sustainability and health issues in West Africa. She is also the Communication Director of the Clean Technology Challenge and Project Manager for the UCL Enterprise Society in London. She is passionate about innovation and international sustainable development and has spent time studying related issues in the US, Brazil, Senegal, France, and the UK. She currently lives in London where she is perusing a degree in Urban Planning at University College London and working on learning her eighth language in the evenings. When she is not in London or in her home town of Boulder, Colorado, she spends her time working in Africa. She has recently concluded Green Africa, an international conference which she founded in the Gambia. Green Africa is an initiative that brings together senior government, industry, NGOs, and community leaders for collaboration, workshops, and presentations aimed at invoking action to Africa’s most pertinent sustainability issues.

Jennifer Chipman

Jennifer Chipman is a Water Resource Engineering graduate student at the University of Colorado at Denver. She’s also a certified professional engineer in the State of Colorado and works at AECOM, a large multidisciplinary engineering firm in Denver, where she works directly with the State and other municipalities to develop water resource feasibility and planning studies. She is a Colorado native and has personal interests in skiing, hiking, travel and green living. Her graduate research topic, ‘The Value of International Collaboration in Understanding How Climate Change Affects Water Supplies from Snow Dominated Catchments,’ is reflective of her educational, personal, and professional experiences.

Organizing team


Denver, CO, United States
  • Chris Anthony
    Video + Photo + Animations
  • Jason Dilg
  • Marty Foy
  • Nikki Martin
  • Lydia McCoy
  • Nancy Schoemann
  • Chuck Sullivan
    Exhibits Lounge