The Ellie Caulkins Opera House's sleek stage will host eighteen-minute-or-less doses of inspiration this weekend at TEDxMileHigh: Point of Departure. An estimated audience of 2,400 will hear 22 speakers talk about their research, reflect on personal experience and share their art. Of the many fascinating people (predominantly Coloradans) presenting, here are seven to watch for, in alphabetical order:
David Baron. Boulder resident David Baron has covered science and the environment on public airwaves for thirty years, working for NPR, Boston's WBUR and PRI's The World. He's a self-proclaimed umbraphile (eclipse-lover), and his most recent book, American Eclipse, which details the hubbub surrounding the 1878 eclipse, serves as a sneak peek at the upcoming August 21 totality.
Chip Colwell. Visit the Denver Museum of Nature & Science and you're likely to see one of Colwell's carefully curated exhibits. Colwell, an anthropologist, specializes in Native American culture, and recently founded the online magazine Sapiens, which makes anthropological discoveries accessible to the public.
The Flobots. Does the phrase "I can ride my bike with no handlebars" take you back to 2007? Denver's Flobots are back with their first album in five years, NOENEMIES, which tackles such heavy subjects as immigration reform and climate change through tightly wound rhymes.
Phil Fernbach. The University of Colorado Boulder assistant professor's work is a deep dive into how people make decisions. For a preview of his talk, watch his lecture at TEDxGoldenGatePark below, which draws on his book The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone.
Cassie de Pecol. At 28, she's the fastest woman to have traveled solo to every country in the world. De Pecol's eighteen-month odyssey took her to 196 countries and broke two Guinness World Records.
Blake Scholl. Scholl's ambitions stretch to the sky. As CEO and founder of startup Boom Supersonic, he aims for nothing less than a supersonic aircraft that would fly passengers from Tokyo to San Francisco in a short six hours (or less).
Esther Sullivan. Everyone in Denver has, at one point or another, bemoaned the rising rents. Sullivan, an academic hotshot at the University of Colorado Denver, studies them. Her ethnographic work takes an in-depth look at poverty, housing inequality, and both forced and voluntary relocation.
(Westword has written previously about some of the other notable speakers and performers, including Columbine survivor and addiction-treatment expert Austin Eubanks and activist poet Theo E.J. Wilson.)
TEDxMileHigh will run from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, July 7, and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, July 8. While only $250 "Hero" tickets remain, you can view the talks after the event and learn about TEDxMileHigh's other programming, including its free-to-the-public "Adventures," at tedxmilehigh.com. Pre-sale tickets for Wonder, an event on November 11, are now available online.