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Creating a Beneficial Epidemic at TEDxABQ

TED has a simple motto that says it all: Ideas worth spreading. Their entire model—and ours—is centered around the power of ideas to capture the minds of the audience, spread from person to person, and change the perspective, if not also the behavior, of those who have been exposed. Ideas spread through human contact, can explode exponentially to change our world forever, or can lay in wait for years—even decades—until the conditions are right. 

At TEDxABQ 2016, we will focus on the potential in every idea to spread and affect epidemics of change. Our goal is to inspire you to intentionally engage in being a contagious host, sharing the ideas you find worth spreading to impact your world. We invite you on September 17th to THINK VIRAL and become patient zero in the next beneficial epidemic to sweep New Mexico.

Ideas are contagious. Get infected.

Speaker Lineup

With great ideas comes great responsibility. Eighteen inspired individuals have accepted the responsibility to share their great idea on September 17th. You may be wondering, “But WHO are these people? What are their stories?” We’re glad you asked! Please welcome the TEDxABQ 2016 speakers!

  • Steven Kotler

    What does it take to be your best when it matters most?

    Author of 7 bestselling books, Pulitzer Prize nominee, and Director of Research at the Flow Genome Project, Steven Kotler studies ultimate human performance, what is actually possible for our species, and where – if anywhere – our limits lie.

  • Rulan Tangen 2016 Main Event Speaker
    Rulan Tangen

    Rulan Tangen’s life’s work is to turn dreams into embodied reality, most significantly through the founding of DANCING EARTH CREATIONS which gathers and nurtures Indigenous contemporary dancers along with related artists of music, costume, video, visual art and photography to  express their culture through vital experimental forms – both ancient and futuristic.

    These contemporary performances are functional rituals for transformation, guided by intertribal elders with themes dedicated to ecological healing of humanity in relationship with each other, earth, air, sky, and all forms of life.

  • Bruce McCormick

    With increased globalization comes increased opportunity for infectious disease to spread around the world. It also breeds innovation.

    Bruce McCormick is an engineer, mad scientist and visionary working on a seemingly simple problem: how do we overcome a lack of infrastructure that prevents the proper delivery of effective vaccines to over 20% of the world’s population?

  • Wes Naman

    Photographer Wes Naman became internationally recognized through his work on the Invisible Tape Series and his 505 Faces Project.

    His photographs are evocative and fascinating—and he invites you on an interactive exploration of his work, creative process, and the power of connecting people with photography.

  • Max Baptiste

    Adventure capitalist Max Baptiste founded We Are This City in 2015 to develop authentic local, national, and international infrastructure for creatives.

    Bringing together over 70 local artists and hundreds of community members, Baptiste and We Are This City will be featured as this year’s Artist in Residence.

  • Charles Ashley III

    One opportunity can make all the difference. Recently awarded Tech.Co’s Startup of the Year at SxSW, Cultivating Coders founder Charles Ashley III has a game changing plan to create opportunities for often overlooked communities.

  • Troy Bradley

    Troy Bradley is a prolifically accomplished balloonist with over 64 World Records in hot air, gas, and hybrid balloons.

    In 2015, his flight across the Pacific Ocean in a helium balloon smashed global records for distance and duration.

    Constantly pushing personal and technological boundaries, Bradley has learned how to leverage fear and risk to push the boundary of what is possible.

  • Lauren Poole 2016 Main Event Speaker
    Lauren Poole

    Lauren Poole is an actor/improviser/comedian and New Mexico Native.

    She came to local fame with the success of viral video “Shit Burqueños Say.” Lauren is an ensemble member of Blackout Theatre, a company specializing in original works, comedy, and film.

    She is also an ensemble member of Improv Troupe “the Show,” which performs every Friday and Saturday night in Downtown Albuquerque, and she can be spotted in several movies that were filmed in New Mexico. Lauren will provide an event wrap-up to close the event.

  • Dr. Bill Shuttleworth

    After decades of denial, massive waves of brain activation–called “brain tsunamis”—are finally recognized as phenomena that make injuries like stroke much worse.

    Dr. Bill Shuttleworth believes this discovery will not only change stroke treatment, but also lead to new discoveries about how the brain works, how to treat other disorders, and even how we feel during our daily lives.

  • Cindy Nava

    Dreamer and doer Cindy Nava is out to change the world – starting with New Mexico.

    Through her struggles as an undocumented low-income student, she managed to beat the odds and achieve success.

    Nava strives to help other young women achieve their own success and find power – regardless of race, class, gender or legal status.

  • Leon de la Vega

    What is the role of handwriting in our modern digital society?

    Artist and industrial designer Leon de la Vega believes that writing is not only relevant but is also essential for human connection, a cornerstone of brain development, and should be recognized as the basic human activity.

  • Sylvie Obledo

    After a 30-year career in the fashion industry, Sylvie Obledo transitioned from developing and selling products to creatively directing experiences.

    Now the Director of Ambiance Décor at the International Folk Art Market in Santa Fe, Obledo believes that awareness about the way we shop, our consumer mentality, and how to transition to a thoughtful approach of purchasing are key ingredients to understanding one’s self and developing a mindful way of life.

  • Aaron Kie

    Where does your food come from? Who is your farmer? Most importantly, what is your relationship to Mother Earth?

    As a young pueblo farmer, these are the questions Aaron Kie invites you to explore.

    Through traditional farming and gardening techniques, Kie’s mission is to spread Pueblo culture through the ceremony of farming.

  • Mary Lou Robinson

    How effective would you be without your electronics?

    The US Air Force currently has the technology to win many battles without harming a soul.

    Mary Lou Robinson, Chief of the High Power Electromagnetics Division of the Air Force Research Laboratory at Kirtland AFB, takes us into the world of high-tech electromagnetic warfare–and why we aren’t using it.

  • Stephanie Stewart

    Stephanie Stewart’s message is simple: What if society stopped obsessing over how we measure up to others?

    Stewart uses beauty and boudoir photography to remind her subjects that they are beautiful, strong, or striking.

    She believes that with this knowledge, there is no limit to how we could change the world we live in.

  • Debra Haaland

    Debra Haaland made history as the first Native American woman to run for Lieutenant Governor.

    She did not win that race but was later elected as the NM Democratic Party State Chair, becoming the first Native American State Party Chair in US history.

    Haaland sees a future where a community’s diversity is represented in their elected officials, and believes that you are the diversity that public service needs.

  • Dr. Jessica Goodkind

    Although refugees have survived violence, loss, and trauma, they also have great gifts of knowledge, experience, and wisdom to share with others.

    Sociologist Dr. Jessica Goodkind has spent her career thinking about how to help people form united communities.

    Over the last 16 years, she has applied that knowledge to create the Refugee Well-being Project to bridge cultural divides locally and beyond.

  • Ann Rhoades

    After 25 years in leadership roles with organizations such as Southwest Airlines, JetBlue Airways, Doubletree Hotels, and Juniper Networks, Ann Rhoades is a leading expert on building values based organizations.

    Rhoades has proven that when implemented correctly, this kind of corporate culture not only creates a great work environment for employees but also increases all other performance measures.

  • Zane Fischer

    What if smaller, smarter, structures began spreading in urban cores, filling unexpected spaces and alleviating housing issues?

    As a designer, art curator, writer and cultural reporter, Zane Fischer is excited about using digital fabrication to design tiny houses and small structures that can change the way we live in cities.

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