By Jacob Solis
For 30 years, the TED organization has spread ideas through TED talks. These talks have become ubiquitous across classrooms and living rooms alike. Now, for the third year in a row, its independent offshoot TEDx is coming to the University of Nevada, Reno on Jan. 23.
The TEDx program is an initiative started in 2009 that allows local communities to create their own unique TED-style conferences to share and spread ideas in the same manner as the flagship TED conferences.
UNR held its first TEDx event in 2013. During the event, 18 business leaders, community members, students and educators came and shared their ideas with students and the community.
The annual event hosted 23 speakers last January. Friday’s event will involve 20 speakers ranging from lawyers to entrepreneurs and musicians.
“We hope that this will be our best event ever,” said TEDx UNR organizer Bret Simmons. “We have eight local speakers from Reno, including an MBA student, several administrators and a faculty member, and 12 speakers from across the nation.”
The speakers, excluding Juan Lopez, who won the Nevada Student Speaker Competition, were chosen based on their own video proposals submitted to the TEDx UNR organizers, who selected the final 20 based on “big ideas” and speaking prowess.
This year’s speakers include:
Juan López: University of Nevada, Reno MBA candidate and winner of the Nevada Student Speaking Competition
Michelle Killebrew: Go-to-market strategist for IBM
Jo Harvey: Program Specialist for UNR
Misha Raffiee: Research fellow at Caltech
Sharyl Attkisson: Investigative journalist
Lucy Flores: Attorney and Nevada State assemblywoman
Nicole Hockley: Spokeswoman for Sandy Hook Promise
Hugh Hempel: COO and co-founder of Hopelink
Heidi Parker: Executive director of Immunize Nevada
Erica Greve: Founder and CEO of Unlikely Heroes
Shila Morris: President and co-owner of Squeeze In restaurants
Tim Snider: World-folk-rock hybrid musician
Owen Roberts: General manager for Microsoft’s Americas Operations Center
Mignon “Grammar Girl” Fogarty: Author and Chair in Media Entrepreneurship at UNR’s Reynolds School of Journalism
Vincent Cianni: Documentary photographer
Reginald Chhen Stewart: Chief Diversity Officer for UNR
Barry Posner: Businessman, author, and professor at Santa Clara University
Michael J. Russer: Author and public speaker
Liz Wiseman: Author and president of the Wiseman Group
Jennifer Knapp: Folk rock musician, LGBT activist
Tickets are sold out, but the event will be livestreamed for free at tedxuniversityofnevada.org.
Jacob Solis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @TheSagebrush.