At TEDxGrandForks: Roots & Wings, remarkable people will share extraordinary ideas that are driving two of our community’s most recognizable industries – agriculture and aerospace – as well as the ideas that are emerging at their intersection.
Roots & Wings also signifies a belief in growing and cultivating local ideas, allowing them to successfully fly on their own. TEDxGrandForks is proud to showcase our inspiring, local presenters on multiple platforms to reach a diverse and global audience, including live streaming our annual conference and uploading professionally produced videos for international access.
With talks from educators, advocates, trainers, entrepreneurs, leaders, and artists, TEDxGrandForks: Roots & Wings will bring together both local and national thought leaders to educate our community, ignite our curiosity, activate our sense of possibility, and, ultimately, instill a desire for meaningful change.
Brian James Schill, President of the Grand Forks Public Library Board of Directors and an instructor in the Honors Program at the University of North Dakota, was selected by the community via an Open Mic Night event on January 14 in which 23 individuals shared a 2-minute preview of their “idea worth spreading.” Other Grand Forks locals that will be presenting at TEDxGrandForks are Kim and Dave Adams, speaking on their experiences with adoption.
TEDxGrandForks tickets are $80 for general admission or $25 for University of North Dakota (UND) student admission (available to the first 100 UND student purchasers). The ticket purchase price includes access to all talks and experiences, including a post-event party. Tickets are limited and are sold on a first come basis.
TEDxGrandForks: Roots & Wings is generously supported by UND Student Government, the Bush Foundation, Black Gold Farms, the Greater Grand Forks Convention & Visitors Bureau, Sanford Health, AdMonkeys, the Greater Grand Forks Young Professionals, Hope Church, Alerus Financial, All Seasons Garden Center, BeeGee Designs, The Ember Coffee House and Creative Venue, JLG Architects, J.R. Simplot Company, Thrivent Financial, and Universe.
The speakers for the February 20th event are as follows. For more details, please visit the TEDxGrandForks website at tedxgrandforks.com:
Brian Mackenzie (Orange County, CA) is a strength and conditioning and movement expert, and the innovator of the endurance, strength and conditioning paradigm. He co-authored the book Power Speed Endurance: A Skill Based approachto Endurance Training and recently co-authored the New York Times Best Seller, UnBreakable Runner. MacKenzie createdCrossFit Endurance in 2007, which specializes in movement skill with an emphasis in running mechanics and programming. MacKenzie’s program teaches over 70 seminars per year worldwide and provides free programming via crossfitendurance.com.
From his firm belief that nutrition is the foundation of all athletes, Mackenzie developed his own performance and recovery supplement, 3FU3L, and now owns the nutritional supplement company Sports Fuel, Inc. He is also the creator of the Unscared Inc. brand that is comprised of health and wellness companies to help athletes of all levels and sports push past their fears and realize their true genetic potential.
Mitzi Bolanos (Anchorage, AK) is an animal rights attorney and advocate, currently serving as the Executive Director of StubbyDog. Growing up in Miami-Dade County where pit bull type dogs have been banned since the 1980s, Mitzi initially knew very little about these dogs. After graduating from law school at Florida International University, she moved to New Orleans. While volunteering at the Louisiana SPCA, Mitzi met Bubba, a pit bull type dog who wanted nothing more than affection (and maybe a treat or two). She knew right away that he was meant to be in her life.
Bubba started Mitzi on a path working for breed equality, and eventually led her to Portland, Oregon to pursue an advanced degree in Animal Law at Lewis & Clark Law School. Now, they take on breed discrimination together and help spread the message that pit bull type dogs are loving family companions. Mitzi and Bubba currently live in Anchorage, Alaska where he is the proud big brother to two other rescued pups, Clyde and Grace, and he’s been asking for a baby sister.
Mark Watne (Jamestown, ND) was elected as the ninth president of North Dakota Farmers Union in November 2013. In his capacity, he serves as president of Farmers Union Mutual Insurance Company and Farmers Union Service Association, all headquartered in Jamestown, North Dakota.
Mark has a long history of Farmers Union involvement, first as a youth and young producer farming at Velva. In 1990, he was elected to the NDFU State Board of Directors. He served for six years, and was also state treasurer. In 1996, he began a 15-year career in Jamestown at the Farmers Union headquarters as a development specialist, agricultural strategist, and staff executive director. He has led the development of the organization’s farmer-owned restaurants and other innovative ideas.
Gabe Brown (Bismarck, ND) is one of the pioneers of the current soil health movement that focuses on regenerating our resources. Gabe, along with his wife, Shelly, and son, Paul, own and operate a diversified 5,000-acre farm and ranch near Bismarck, N.D. Their operation focuses on farming and ranching in nature’s image. The Browns holistically integrate their grazing and no-till cropping system, which includes a wide variety of cash crops along with multi-species cover crops and all-natural, grass-fed beef, poultry and sheep. This diversity and integration has regenerated the natural resources on the ranch without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides or fungicides. Over 2,000 people visit the Brown’s ranch annually to see this unique operation for themselves. They have had visitors from all 50 states and 16 foreign countries.
Katie Wallace (Fort Collins, CO), a Master in Applied Positive Psychology, is the Assistant Director of Sustainability and “Purveyor of the Good Life” at 100% employee-owned New Belgium Brewing in Colorado. Passionate about business’s opportunity to be a force for good in the world, she looks to both sustainable technologies and a spirited culture of sustainability to help materialize this vision.
Heidi Mihelich Demars (Bismarck, ND) is a multi-passionate community builder, a 2013 Bush Fellow, Co-op Developer, Certified Non-Profit Professional, and Children’s Yoga and Mindfulness Teacher. She thrives on creating connections and working with others to improve the quality of life in the Bismarck-Mandan community. Heidi has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Interdisciplinary Science from the University of North Dakota. She cares deeply about North Dakota and advancing sustainable agriculture in our state.
Heidi is a founder of the BisMan Community Food Co-op, a consumer-owned cooperative with over 1,500 member-owners. The co-op is opening its doors in April 2016 and will offer a wide variety of fresh, healthy, and local foods.
John Nowatzki (Fargo, ND) is an agricultural machine systems specialist in the Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering at North Dakota State University. His research uses UAS in crop and livestock applications to improve crop health and increase crop yields.
John is currently conducting applied research and University Extension programming in four areas: UAS applications to crop and livestock management, active optical sensor applications to field crop health, the impacts of soil compaction from wheel tracks on field crop yields, and the impacts of tree windbreaks on field crop yields. Each of these focus areas relate to precision agriculture.
Mic Jordan (Fargo, ND) is Anishinaabe from the Turtle Mountain Reservation, where music heavily influenced his childhood. As a Hip Hop artist, he speaks about his passion for life and where he came from. In addition to his musical endeavors, Mic also travels to communities and universities speaking directly to youth by using his voice to address issues of alcoholism, suicide, and the negative effects of Native mascots. He also shares his life story and how he overcame adversity. Mic spreads a positive message in hopes of a better understanding of the hip hop genre by continuing to change the minds of those who believe hip hop is only a form of verbal violence
Married for almost 14 years, Dave and Kim Adams (Grand Forks, ND) are the parents to five children - twin daughters, Jensen and Kylie, age 8; sons Caleb, age 5, Jonas (13), and Natnael (9). The couple always knew they wanted a family; however, they never imagined it would be this big! Dave is a graduate of Williston High School and the University of North Dakota. He currently is serving as interim lay pastor at St. Mark's Lutheran Church and coordinator of youth ministry at Calvary Lutheran Church, both in Grand Forks. Dave is also a student at Luther Seminary, completing a Master's of Divinity. Kim is a graduate of Dakota High School and North Dakota State University. Currently, she serves as the coordinator of young adult and family ministry at Calvary Lutheran Church.
As an international rafting company owner, social entrepreneur, acclaimed author, and community growth innovator, Ken Streater (Bend, OR) has studied cultures in over forty countries, amid the deltas of Botswana, in small villages of Siberia, on the streets of China, and through deep conversations with luminaries and community gatekeepers.
Ken’s work as a worldwide river guide immersed him in societies rich in tradition, poor in material wealth, and politically varied, in places wrought by fear or flourishing in trust. Through these experiences on five continents, Ken created his own heart-driven business culture by providing employees and clients with opportunities to make their dreams come true in the peace of wild places.
Brian James Schill (Grand Forks, ND) has been teaching interdisciplinary courses for the University of North Dakota Honors Program since 2005. Putting into practice his background in punk rock, Media Studies, Literary Theory and Criticism, and Comparative Religious Studies, Schill has published several articles in the academic and trade press on popular music, prairie subculture, and something called “postanarchism.” His forthcoming book is entitled Lusty Scrips: A Literary History of Punk and Postpunk (Indiana University Press, 2016). A North Dakota native, Schill has been President of the Grand Forks Public Library Board of Directors since 2011.
TEDxGrandForks is licensed by TED but is locally organized by a volunteer team: Brandon Baumbach, Becca Grandstrand, Paige Blanchard, Maura Ferguson, Tim Knight, Jared Lennon, Emily Montgomery, and Courtney Olson.
All interview and other media/press requests should be sent to: Becca Grandstrand, organizer of TEDxGrandForks. Becca is the official spokesperson for TEDxGrandForks. She can be contacted at email@example.com or 218-230-0525.
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About TEDx, x = independently organized event
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)
TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California almost 30 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. The two annual TED Conferences invite the world's leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes on a diverse mix of topics. Many of these talks are then made available, free, at TED.com. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
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