TEDxMileHigh ASCEND Attendee Guide

Page 1

APR 30







1:00 PM

Registration & Exhibits 2:00 PM

Speaker Session I Cecilia Orphan Austin Okibgo Anamika Barman Adhikari

Rob Drabkin Lindsey Schneider

3:30 PM

Exhibits & Intermission 4:30 PM

Speaker Session II DJ Cavem Bonnie Clark

Hakeem Furious Francis Sanzaro

6:00-9:00 PM

After Party

Asbury Provisions 2043 S. University Blvd.


ASCEND Throughout human history, we have faced tremendous challenges. Today is no different. We can continue to move new ideas forward that will spark greater equity, drive technological innovation, and inspire new paradigms. New ideas united with a courageous community can elevate curiosity, connection, justice, and a new world. Join a community of dreamers + doers as we connect to explore new ideas ascending in community, science, activism, the arts, and beyond.



Check out Exhibits


Meet the Speakers Questions?

Visit our FAQ page

VISIT FEMA’S VIRTUAL EXHIBIT to find out more about how they bring a diverse team together to respond to disasters and learn what you can do to prepare and protect your family.


Check out our Animal Health & Wellness Research Series IN COLLABORATION WITH MORRIS ANIMAL FOUNDATION CHECK IT OUT

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Experience a flood disaster through Virtual Reality and learn how you can become more prepared and resilient. #floodshappen #fema



2 Colorado Public Radio

Learn about CPR's podcasts with games and interactive content. Explore your emotions with "Music Blocks", a music appreciation podcast about the building blocks that make up your favorite sounds or dive into the complex world of Colorado transportation with "Ghost Train", and many more podcasts in between. ColoradoPublicRadio newscpr COPublicRadio #CPRPodcasts

3 Book signing with Bonnie Clark

and Hakeem Furious after Session II

4 Morris Animal Foundation

Learn about the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study - the largest, most comprehensive prospective canine health studies in the United States. morrisanimal @Morris_Animal morrisanimalfoundation

5 What's on your bucket list? 6 Action Hub

What's an idea or concept you've been exploring recently? Share what you can offer the community.

7 Emotions ASCENDING

Share how our speakers moved you.


Help Desk


Nursing Parent's Room


Experience big ideas!


RECONNECT Despite the many forces that challenge and divide us, there is power in connection. Join us for our next event TEDxMileHigh: RECONNECT. Come reconnect with like minded Coloradans, hear from ten inspiring speakers and performers and experience dozens of interactive exhibits. Join us to reconnect to where we have been and reimagine where we could go together.

AUGUST 6, 2022

1:00-6:00 PM

Ellie Caulkins Opera House

1385 Curtis Street Denver, CO 80204


Anamika Barman -Adhikari SHE / HER

Social Work Scholar We make data-driven decisions at work, and we use machine learning, automation, even AI - why not use these innovations to improve social services? Better data can solve many problems related to housing, addiction/recovery, and more. Dr. Anamika Barman-Adhikari is an associate professor of Social Work at the University of Denver. Her research focuses on preventing HIV and substance use among high-risk youth and other vulnerable populations. She studies how young people's social relationships, both in-person and on social media, shape their behavior. Her programs use innovative technology to improve social connections and prevent harmful behaviors. When she isn't geeking out about data and technology, she enjoys traveling, cooking, and watching movies with her husband and two daughters. Anamika Barman-Adhikari


Ietef "DJ Cavem" Vita HE/HIM

Father of Eco-HIPHOP Ietef "DJ Cavem" Vita the O.G. (Organic Gardener) is a Grammynominated eco-hip hop rapper, D.J., producer, and vegan chef from Denver with roots in the Bay. His songs are about climate action and food justice and his work was featured in the documentaries "From gangs to gardens," "They're Trying to Kill Us," and HBO's "Ice on Fire," produced by Leonardo DiCaprio. His latest album, BIOMIMCZ, was released as a seed pack to spur listeners into action in urban farming. It was featured on Sway in the morning, NPR, People, Oprah Magazine, and The Rachael Ray Show. veganchefietef


Bonnie J. Clark SHE / HER

Archaeologist U.S. government forcibly imprisoned 7,000+ Japanese Americans in Southern Colorado. Now, archaeologists are revisiting the site to understand how they lived, survived, and preserved their culture inside the internment camps. Dr. Bonnie J. Clark co-leads the DU Amache Project, a community collaboration researching, preserving, and interpreting Amache, Colorado's World War II-era Japanese American incarceration camp. She is a professor of Anthropology at the University of Denver and the Curator of Archaeology at the DU Museum of Anthropology. She earned a Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley. Bonnie believes that tangible history, objects, sites, and landscapes help us better understand our humanity. In her free time, she enjoys hiking and skiing across the west. WEBSITE



Rob Drabkin HE/HIM

Singer-Songwriter Rob Drabkin studied biochemistry, intending to become a doctor. But after a trip to New York City, he dropped science and dedicated himself to becoming a singer. Rob’s song “It’s a Beautiful Day” was recently featured in ads across Europe, propelling it to the #1 song in Greece. On tour in Rwanda and Uganda, he played to crowds of 26,000 people as part of the iKnow Concert Series and Tour Du Rwanda. Rob believes that love is ever-present. We can create it in the smallest, most unassuming moments of our lives, and share it through laughter, smiles, and sympathy. All we can do is keep being kind and have the courage to choose love in every decision we make. RobDrabkinMusic robdrabkin.com

TOGETHER WE HELP ANIMALS AROUND THE WORLD LIVE HEALTHY, HAPPY LIVES. Find out how we’re making a difference and how you can too.

Learn more at morrisanimalfoundation.org/TEDxMileHigh



Hakeem Furious HE/HIM

Poet + Comedian Wordsmith Hakeem Furious grew up in Jacksonville, Florida. He developed a knack for slam poetry at Florida A&M University, an HBCU that cultivated his understanding, appreciation, and preservation of black culture and resilience. In 2014, he released his debut project, “Leaky Nostrils, Monogamous Swans,” a blend of Hip Hop and Poetry, and in 2017, he released his first book, “Dinner with The Ego and i.” At the 2019 Individual World Poetry Slam, he ranked #6 in the world. Currently, he travels the country performing poetry, curating shows, writing curriculum, and grants as CEO of the #UltraTerrestrialTour. HakeemFurious

Angel FlorencioZuniga HE/HIM

Musician Angel Florencio is an artist, musician, Boulder’s Best Zombie, and a soon-to-be graduate of the University of Colorado Boulder with a Bachelor’s in Mathematics and a minor in Music. He was born in Denver, Colorado, but his family is from Mexico and Peru. He’s toured the U.S. with the Denver School of the Arts (DSA) and Europe with the Colorado Honor Band Association (CBHA). At CU, he runs Humans versus Zombies (HvZ), a giant, campus-wide zombie tag game with 500+ participants. He’s an avid hiker and skateboarder, and he spent several years working for the Boys & Girls Club. angel.florencio.779


HELP DRIVE IMPACT TEDxMileHigh is a cultural organization that showcases Colorado’s leading thinkers and doers to accelerate big ideas and the community impact that follows. We accomplish this mission each year through large-scale events, immersive adventures, and our digital media content. Since 2011, 100,000 people have attended our events, and our talks have been viewed more than 140 million times online. As a fast-growing cultural and educational organization, we are committed to expanding our impact by forming high-impact partnerships with those who believe in creating stronger communities through the power of big ideas and education.” Your corporate sponsorship is critical to our future. Together, we can make an incredible difference through our immersive conferences, expansive digital content, and year-round community programs.

To learn more about how your company can sponsor TEDxMileHigh, please contact Gina Gardner at gina@tedxmilehigh.com.

Speaker Book Signing Join Bonnie Clark and Hakeem Furious in the lobby for a boo ksigning right after Session II!

Erick Miranda HE/HIM

Musician Erick Miranda is a teaching assistant at the University of Colorado Boulder. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Music from West Chester University and a master’s degree in Music from the College Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. He serves as the alto saxophone chair in The Cincinnati Saxophone Quartet. The group premiered Michael Seltenreich’s saxophone quartet “Onot” in 2020 & recorded it in 2021 on Caleb Burkhardt’s debut album, “Bouquet.” The group recently co-commissioned “Ornamentation I” by Michael Seltenreich, which is scheduled to premiere in Fall 2022.

Austin C. Okigbo HE/HIM

Ethnomusicologist COVID-19 isn't the first pandemic in musical history. How do musicians create music in response to pandemics? How do musicians impact public health and healing from pandemics? History reveals what we could do now. Dr. Austin Okigbo is the Chair of Musicology and an associate professor at the University of Colorado Boulder, College of Music. He has a Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology and African Studies from Indiana University, a Masters in Sacred Music and Music Education from Westminster Choir College, and degrees in philosophy and theology from the Pontifical Urban University, Rome. His research focuses on religious music, musical diasporas, inter-religious, and inter-cultural dialogues. Before joining CU Boulder, he taught at Williams College, Harvard, and the University of Notre Dame. acokigbo




Confidence Omenai SHE / HER

Emcee Confidence Omenai is a Nigerian-American poet, playwright, voice actor, mother of five, and breaker of chains. She is a healing arts coordinator and activist facilitating writing workshops, performing, and encouraging radical self-interrogation. She is a TEDxMileHigh Poet, Le Maison de Baldwin Fellow, Pink Door Fellow, and Oklahoma State University Alum. Her work appears in A La Palabra: The Word is a Woman: Mothers & Daughters. She currently resides in Denver, creating transformative work across genres, dancing on her dining room table, singing loud, off key and clearing the way for her rebellious great granddaughters, who will rule the earth in her name.

Cecilia M. Orphan SHE / HER

Educational Equity Advocate ​​ ur culture is obsessed with elite universities like Harvard and O Princeton, which pride themselves in low admission. Instead, we should support regional colleges (MSU, UNC, CSU-Pueblo) because of their crucial role in our local communities and economies. Dr. Cecilia Orphan is an associate professor of Higher Education at the University of Denver and Director of Partnerships for the Alliance for Research on Regional Colleges. As a first-generation, working-class student at Portland State University, she realized that regional public universities (RPUs) do vital work to serve their local communities and support marginalized communities. Now, they're the focus of her work. From 2006-2011, she directed the American Democracy Project, a national civic engagement initiative involving 240 RPUs. She lives in Denver with her husband, Jacob, and her mischievous cat, Oso. WEBSITE

FEMA doesn’t just respond to disasters.

FEMA is here to help you prepare for the future - whether that is putting together your emergency kit, knowing how to prepare for a flood, or having a plan for your pets during a natural disaster. Visit their exhibit space to experience a flood through the world of Virtual Reality. Explore more about what we do to better prepare for the future and how you can be ready for the next disaster.


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290 Talks

Let’s Make a Big Impact Together! We know that it is absolutely critical to spread big ideas that are available 24/7, free to all around the globe, and based on the most pressing and critical issues facing our planet. We are a community of thinkers, creators, and activists with a core belief that ideas can change the world, and the TEDxMileHigh stage is a catalyst for that change. As a small nonprofit organization, we rely on your generous support to make our programming possible and available to millions of citizens around the world. Every $250 underwrites 25,000 of our views, helps provide free conference access to community members, and supports our transformational live and digital conferences. We are small but mighty. As a grassroots community-driven non-profit organization, we rely on your generous support to continue to make our programming possible and to be readily accessible around the world. Every $250 gift underwrites 25,000 views of our talks, provides access to thousands across the world, funds a portion of our speaker leadership program, and supports our transformative live events and digital communities. We invite you to support ideas worth spreading with a gift to TEDxMileHigh. However small or large, your donation will make an immediate difference. We also invite you to consider joining our Insider program for a donation of $250 or more. Members experience TEDxMileHigh like no other with access to a wide range of benefits. TEDxMileHigh Insider

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Front Row Access $500-$999



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Early Access to Speaker Announcements 50% Discount for Additional Tickets Early Registration for In-Person Adventures VIP Ticket(s) per year Free Parking for One Event One Front-Row Seat Reserved Complimentary Beverage at After Party Signed Speaker Book Donor Recognition on Stage/Screen Community Access Program Partner

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End-of-year Donor Impact Call with Curators and Special Guests Invitation to Exclusive Speaker Dinner Two Tickets to Gala with Special Access & Benefits

Join us in the power of big ideas.


Francis Sanzaro


Writer & Rock Climber Rock climbing is a risky sport. In the face of injury and death, should we make our mountains safer, like extensions of our urban environment? Or should mountains be wild and dangerous? Dr. Francis Sanzaro is an author and essayist with an extensive background in rock climbing. He grew up in Baltimore, trained as a gymnast, and studied Mathematics at Colorado State University, only to pursue journalism and poetry – go figure. His first book, "The Boulder: A Philosophy for Bouldering," is a rich, textured philosophy of sport. He's the former Editor-in-Chief of Rock and Ice, Ascent, and Gym Climber magazines and is an advisor for Gear Lab. He's currently writing, "Zen of the Wild," a book exploring the intersections of neuroscience and nature. He lives in the mountains of Carbondale, Colorado, with his wife and two children. Francis Sanzaro

Francis Sanzaro

Francis Sanzaro


Lindsey Schneider SHE/THEY

Indigenous Feminist Scholar Many people think the Land Back movement is about returning what was stolen. But beyond reparations, it's also about conservation and regeneration. Indigenous communities know how to steward the land because they've lived here for thousands of years. Dr. Lindsey Schneider is a Turtle Mountain Chippewa descendant who grew up in the Pacific Northwest, surrounded by rivers, big trees, and salmon. After getting a Ph.D. in Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Riverside, she worked at the University of Idaho, supporting Native American students and building relationships with tribal leaders. Today, she is Assistant Professor of Native American Studies at Colorado State University. Her research focuses on settler colonialism, the environment, and how Indigenous peoples navigate legal and political barriers to sustain their relationships with the land.

CHECK OUT OUR SERIES ON GROUND BREAKING HEALH AND WELLNESS New ideas are needed more than ever. Through a series of twelve presentations, researchers conducting groundbreaking studies in animal health and wellness will be introduced to the global community.



podcasts from cpr.org

Paul Wolf HE/HIM

Musician Tenor Paul Wolf is an emerging artist in the Denver area working on his Doctor of Musical Arts at CU Boulder. He’s performed at the Eklund Opera as Nero in Agrippina, Opera Birmingham as Spoletta in Tosca, and Birmingham Music Club as Ralph Rackstraw in HMS Pinafore. He is a former Seagle Festival Fall Artist, a Young Artist Apprentice with Charlottesville Opera, a member of Opera Roanoke’s Young Artist Apprentice Program, and the 2019 NFMC Young Artist Man’s Voice Winner. He also placed second in the 2016 MTNA National Young Artist Vocal Competition.

We believe in the promise of Colorado and the potential of Coloradans. For the last 85 years, we have championed excellence across our state by investing in our most talented citizens and high-potential organizations.

Build your summer reading list! Check out titles from TEDxMileHigh ASCEND and past speakers!



Finding Solace in the Soil:

An Archaeology of Gardens and Gardeners at Amache


Music, Culture, and the Politics of Health: Ethnography of a South African AIDS Choir


The Boulder: A Philosophy for Bouldering


On the Edge of Purgatory: An Archaeology of Place in Hispanic Colorado


Unlocking Opportunity through Broadly Accessible Institutions



Inside the Evangelical Movement That Shamed a Generation of Young Women and How I Broke Free


Help us spread big ideas.

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RECONNECT Despite the many forces that challenge and divide us, there is power in connection. Join us for our next event TEDxMileHigh: RECONNECT. Come reconnect with like minded Coloradans, hear from ten inspiring speakers and performers and experience dozens of interactive exhibits. Join us to reconnect to where we have been and reimagine where we could go together.

AUGUST 6, 2022

1:00-6:00 PM

Ellie Caulkins Opera House

1385 Curtis Street Denver, CO 80204


TEAM + ADVISORS Apryl Alexander, Advisor Maytham Alshadood, Advisor Mo Amin, Advertising Manager Chris Anthony, Video and Technical Director Noah Atencio, Board Member Lindsey Barela, Advisor Nina Bernadin, Advisor Anushka Bose, Contributing Blog Writer Helena Bowen, Director of Speaker Research & Coaching Justin Brown, Advisor Sarah Bullock, Chief of Staff Lily Capstick, Blog Correspondent Cate Croft, Creative Director Sally Croker, Partnerships Helen Drexler, Advisor Jeremy Duhon, Board Member Theo E.J. Wilson, Advisor Bruce Erley, Partnerships David Fain, Social Media Coordinator Andrea Felder, Social Media Manager Gina Fernandez Gardner, Executive Director Adrian Gonzalez, Advisor Umadevi Gopaldass, Advisor Monta Greenfield, Advisor Pasha Hanover, Advertising Manager Melissa Hansen, Board Member Kayla Haugen, Production Manager Chris Hemming, Advisor Alex Insana, Director of Operations Londell Jackson, Advisor Brandon Johnson, Advisor Bobby LeFebre, Advisor Carter Long, Advisor Aimee Lonneman, Blog Correspondent Gerardo Lopez, Advisor Kayla Mallery, Advisor Sophia Menick, Advisor

Eric Milburn, Advisor Jessica Morganfield, Advisor Jenna Nishimura, Advisor Michael Oh, Advisor Jeff Olson, Advisor Shawn Peterka, Partnerships Rachna, Advertising Manager Kevin Reese, Advisor Rich Resendez, Advisor Allyn Robinson, Advisor Barry Seidenstat, Stage Manager Morgan Smith, Exhibits Director Trystin Sova, Advisor George Sparks, Advisor Kwame Spearman, Advisor Paula Stone Williams, Advisor Jordan Watkins, Advisor Lucille Wenegieme, Advisor Kate Wilkonson, Advisor Haley Witt, Marketing Consultant Tirza Yoga Nugroho, Social Media Manager

TEDxMileHigh is licensed by TED and is an independent 501c3 nonprofit organization.