TEDxRiNo reIMAGINE. A Recap.

It’s been two weeks since the inaugural TEDxRiNo event at Infinite Monkey Theorem in the River North Arts District, and after some time off, the success of the event is finally starting to sink in. We gathered, what we believe to be, a diverse and incredible cast of people to work with and present, and we were happy to meet many of you who joined us and made TEDxRiNo an unforgettable experience.

From city planning and enthomophagy to literacy and healthcare, our speakers delivered on the goods and provided us with a gateway into their innovative thinking that hopefully changed the way you look at the world around you. We were lucky to have a wonderful, talented emcee in Sam Pike, and eclectic performances by The Reminders and Stelth Ulvang.

We will be sharing videos of each speaker’s talk here soon. Until then, here is a recap of what we hope is the first of many TEDxRiNo events to come.

Mickey Zeppelin

Long-time neighborhood champion, Mickey Zeppelin, reimagined what RiNo could be. He is Denver’s original urban pioneer and provided our crowd with historical knowledge and context of RiNo. Where the neighborhood was originally written off as a wasteland, Zeppelin saw something special in it and set out to create a mixed-media neighborhood. His approach to projects is unconventional and he continually collaborates with the arts community. After all, he did have a cubicle burning ceremony for the opening of Taxi.

Mike Biselli

Mike Biselli, a former college athlete, touched upon community and how it first helped shape him in his athletic career, and now is the driving force behind his ideas in the Digital Healthcare industry. He believes in community collaboration is key to transforming our healthcare industry and that everyone has a seat at the table and a voice in the matter. He infuses his appreciation and understanding of his life experiences in to his goal of making Denver Top 5 in Digital health in the world by 2020.

Amanda Cavaleri

At such a young age, Cavaleri has dedicated her life to researching and fighting isolation among older adults. She believes older wisdom is the new big data. She wishes to help connect different age groups through storytelling; identify isolation as an epidemic and collectively honor, leverage, and value the wisdom of our elders; and change the perception on aging.

David Emrich

David Emrich spoke about reevaluation–the importance of taking a step back and looking at your life every few years. That having a cycle and making the decision to go all in is important and is the only way to stay relevant and competitive. Emrich professed that it takes commitment and willingness to alter your original plans, but he suggested that we accept that challenge to encourage ongoing growth.

Amy Friedman

“Hungry bellies equals hungry minds.” Those words resonated as Amy Friedman shared an array of moving statistics on literacy rates among under privileged students in the U.S.  She asked that we consider intellectual deserts the same way we try to fight food deserts. There may be one book for every 300 children in some areas, and we should build up the disadvantaged through literacy and access to learning materials as it is important for fueling the imaginations of children. The ultimate takeaway? Identify intellectual deserts and reimagine them into rich learning environments to promote literacy and learning.

Wendy Lu McGill

Wendy Lu McGill is concerned with the way we eat (as we all should be!). She challenged the audience to take a hard look at our food chain and its impact on our environment. But how? By eating insects. She addressed the fact that insects are certainly an acquired taste and a challenge to mental perception. But, when you take into account the negative environmental affects of traditional livestock (and some of her incredible stats), you might just re-think entomophagy. In first world countries, like the U.S. and Europe, where sustainability, climate change, and the environment are constantly coming up in conversation, there’s a clear lag in the acceptance of entomophagy and other alternative sources of protein.