Campus & Community / Magazine Feature

TEDxDU to share what DU is “duing” in the world

TEDxDU logoThe University of Denver will host innovators, scientists, philosophers, activists, entrepreneurs and even a couple of rock stars who’ll share stories and passion for social change from 1–5:30 p.m. May 13 at DU’s Newman Center for the Performing Arts. The event will also be simulcast in Craig Hall and the Driscoll Student Center and streamed live on

Titled “TEDxDU: a Celebration of DUing,” the event is licensed by TED, an organization that arranges for leading thinkers to share “ideas worth spreading.” TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design — three areas TED officials believe shape the world’s future.

Organizers say the event will feature talks, musical performances, short films and demonstrations designed to connect attendees to the power of ideas and optimism and to celebrate action.

In all, 17 guests will present, about half of whom are DU alumni, students or professors. Among the presenters are Philip Howard, a legal reformer and founder of Common Good, a national bipartisan coalition to restore common sense to American public life; Eva Hakansson, an engineering graduate student and electric motorcycle racer; Karambu Ringera (PhD human communication studies ’07), founder of International Peace Initiatives; and Stephen Brackett and Jamie Laurie, two members of The Flobots, a Denver-based band that’s gained recent international popularity.

DU Chancellor Robert Coombe wrote in a message in March that TEDxDU will showcase the school’s commitment “to improve the human condition through the lives of our graduates and the work of our faculty and staff. It will demonstrate the ways in which the quality and focus of our intellectual enterprise are changing lives, here in Colorado and throughout the world.”

Laleh Mehran, a DU associate professor of electronic media arts design, says the event is important because it brings together several disciplines.

“Although the term interdisciplinary is the latest buzz, it’s seldom applied even in an academic environment,” Mehran says. “My hope is that these kinds of events will foster interdisciplinary collaborations.”

Mehran believes TEDxDU could lead to more people becoming “active participants in their local and global communities.”

The Newman Center venue is sold out. Free passes to the two simulcast “watch parties” are available at All TEDxDU presentations will be posted online following the event on the DU and TEDx websites.

Worldwide TED events have been occurring since 1984 and have included speakers such as Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Paul Simon, Sir Richard Branson and Bono. Past attendees have called the experience “the ultimate brain spa” and “a crazy collision of ideas.” TEDx, with x meaning an independently organized TED event, is a new program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. Although TED provides general guidance for TEDx programs, individual TEDx events — including DU’s — are self-organized.

Confirmed speakers include:

DU Faculty
Phil Tedeschi, clinical director for the DU’s Institute for Human-Animal Connection
Barry Hughes, director of the Pardee Center for International Futures
Art Bouton associate professor in DU’s Lamont School of Music
Daniel Linseman, scientist and researcher
Kim Gorgens, neuropsychologist

DU Alumni
Aaron Huey, documentarian and freelance photojournalist
Richard Lapchick, founder of the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport
Karambu Ringera, founder of International Peace Initiatives

DU Students
Regan Linton, actress
Eva Hakansson, green technologist and builder of the ElectroCat electric motorcycle

DU Special Guests
Philip K. Howard, legal reformer
Neal Foard, advertising executive
William Espey, executive with Chipotle Mexican Grill
Lukas Biewald, “netexplorateur ” and CEO of Dolores Labs
Stephen Brackett and Jamie Laurie, members of the musical group, The Flobots
Ron Denham, clean water activist
The Spirituals Choir

Hilary Blair, a faculty member at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts and National Theatre Conservatory, will emcee. To read bios of the speakers, visit the TEDxDU website.


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