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DU announces speakers for TEDxDU

Organizers of TEDxDU — an independently organized event licensed by TED, which stands for “Technology, Entertainment and Design” with the theme of “radical collaboration” — have released the full slate of speakers for the May 13 event.

“Using a bold mix of humor, science, technology, music and more, the TEDxDU event will feature a combination of DU students, alumni and faculty, along with other innovators who are taking action to improve the world,” DU Chancellor Robert Coombe says. “We envision TEDxDU as a gigantic collaboration engine to share our commitment of improving the human condition.”

TEDxDU speakers and performers include:

Morehshin Allahyari (MA ’09) is an artist, art activist and the co-founder/organizer of IRUS art — an intercultural collaborative art project between artists in Iran and the United States.

Jeff Bi (MA ’90) is co-founder and CEO of the one of the largest aseptic packaging companies in China and is a proponent of green business technology.

Todd Blankenship is a DU biologist studying how cells communicate with each other.

Amanda Boxtel is co-founder of Challenge Aspen, a recreational program for people with disabilities.

Eythor Bender is CEO of Berkeley Bionics, which augments humans with “wearable robots.” Together, Boxtel and Bender demonstrate a bionic device that lets people with paralysis regain mobility.

John Common is a musician who highlights the people who design his record covers, photograph beautiful images, make movies and a whole lot more. He’s a collaborator’s collaborator.

Mick Ebeling and a team of collaborators created a device to give those trapped by paralysis freedom to express themselves.

Rabbi Ted Falcon, Pastor Don Mackenzie and Imam Jamal Rahman are collectively known as The Interfaith Amigos.

Temple Grandin is an autism advocate and the subject of an Emmy Award-winning HBO movie.

Jose Guerrero is a DU student by day, award-winning slam poet by night.

Christopher Hill is the current dean of DU’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies and former U.S. ambassador to Iraq.

The Lamont Percussion Ensemble is an energetic group from DU’s Lamont School of Music directed by John Kinzie.

Tor Myhren, chief creative officer at Grey Advertising, has an uncanny ability to keep pace with our culture.

Ramona Pierson is a neuroscientist, educator and self-described data geek who is committed to providing the best educational resources to students and teachers.

Andrew Steward is a DU student taking a bold stance in support of those with mental health issues.

Martha Symko-Davies (PhD ’98) is head of the photovoltaic incubator program at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Richard Voyles is a DU professor, roboticist, search & rescue expert and “Terminator” fan, with a radical vision for the future of robots.

John Winsor is founder and CEO of Victors & Spoils, the world’s first creative agency built on crowd sourcing principles.

In addition to the TEDxDU speakers, Hilary Blair will be back for the second year in a row as the TEDxDU emcee. Comedian Rob Gleeson (BSBA ’10), will host the TEDxDUActive simulcast event in DU’s Driscoll Ballroom.

TED is a nonprofit devoted to “ideas worth spreading.” At TED conferences, leading scientists, philosophers, entrepreneurs and artists present their ideas in 18 minutes or less. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience.

The event is full but will be streamed live online at from 1–6 p.m. on May 13. For more information, visit

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