rgo 2014


On Purpose

July 24, 2014

Fargo Theatre

800 Attendees

TEDxFargo pulls together speakers, performers and experiences with the hope that the event will move ideas to impact. Intentionality is critical to moving ideas into action and moving our community forward.


Cesar Gonzales

Why happy is closer than you think

Cesar believes that for the first time in history we have the opportunity, the tools and the human will to end our world’s most pressing problems. As CEO of StartingBloc, he lives out this belief by supporting today’s generation of change-makers.

Romila "Dr. Romie" Mushtaq

The Powerful Secret of Your Breath

Romila “Dr. Romie” Mushtaq, MD is a traditionally trained neurologist and an expert in the field of mind-body medicine. As a national mindful living expert, Dr. Romie translates complicated neuroscience and medical data into easy-to-comprehend knowledge. She helps clients cope with stress by teaching the medicine behind mindfulness.

Tom O'Neill

Willful Ignorance: Never Tell Me The Odds

Tom O’Neill became a Nerdery developer and cultural leader in 2004, launched The Nerdery in Chicago as VP of Development, returned to Minneapolis as COO, then became President in 2013. Tom is The Nerdery’s first President since founding-President Luke Bucklin passed away. In shared belief in distributed leadership, Tom shares the title of Co-President with all of his fellow Nerds. Tom is a perennial volunteer for The Nerdery Overnight Website Challenge, a 24-hour event where developers donate their time and talent to help nonprofit organizations build better websites.

Phil Soran

Think, Live, Be Positive Aggressive

Phil Soran is a serial entrepreneur in the technology field, founding companies that have generated thousands of jobs. Most recently, Phil was the founder, President and CEO of Compellent Technologies which started in 2002.

Cris Linnares

#stopSELFswearing: Join the movement

Cris Linnares is a passionate advocate for girl’s and women’s health and empowerment. Cris is the founder of Women’s Impact Foundation, international author and a clinical psychotherapist. She is also the creator of the acclaimed Diva Dance that has been empowering women to lead a fun, fit and fearless life!

Jennifer Ford Reedy

Ecosystem Philanthropy

Jennifer Ford Reedy is President of the Bush Foundation. Prior to joining the Bush Foundation she was a McKinsey consultant, ran a CEO civic initiative in the Twin Cities, and launched innovative philanthropic ventures such as GiveMN.org and the Minnesota Idea Open.

Dana Mortenson

Will our kids be ready for the world in 2050?

Dana Mortenson is the co-Founder and Executive Director of World Savvy. She has dedicated her professional life to educating and engaging youth in community and world affairs, to close the Global Competency gap in American education.

Dan MacCombie

Tea, trees, and me -- life lessons I learned from Kichwa Shamans

Dan MacCombie developed Runa, a company whose commitment to the indigenous farmer and their forests aligns with Dan’s devotion to sustainability and cultural conservation. For his work, Dan was named a Forbes “30 under 30” in the January 2013 issue.

Ben Sung

Listen this way -- music, mystery, and meditation

Assistant Professor of Violin at Florida State University, violinist Benjamin Sung is also concertmaster of the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Orchestra, a faculty member of the Brevard Music Center, and a roster artist for Florida Arts on Tour. Ben is an enthusiastic advocate of contemporary music and has worked with many of the greatest composers of this generation.

Peter Schultz

Introducing the Longspur Prairie fund

Concordia College Professor and Art Department Chair, Peter Schultz is passionate about preserving the prairie and has a bold vision of what could happen in our region.

Heather McDougall

To evolve, let's embrace our struggles

Heather McDougall is an honors law school graduate turned social entrepreneur who founded start-up, Bogobrush, and think tank, ShareProject, with her brother, John. Currently, she is CEO for Bogobrush, but her prior work includes lobbying and fundraising campaigns for non-profit organizations in ND and MN.

Kevin Wallevand

People of Purpose

Kevin Wallevand has been a reporter at WDAY-TV since 1983. He is a native of Vining, Minnesota in Otter Tail County. His series and documentary work have brought him to Africa, Vietnam, Haiti, Kosovo, South America, Mongolia and the Middle East. He is an Emmy and Edward R. Murrow award recipient.

Greg Cant

The Purpose of the Road Less Traveled

Greg Cant is the Dean of the Offut School of Business and Robert J. Johnson Chair in Economics and Business Administration and Concordia College. His research interests include cross cultural management particularly in China, business ethics, leadership and pedagogy issues. He has held several academic and administrative positions in Australian universities.

Pamela Slim

Finding Purpose in the New World of Work

Pamela Slim is an award-winning Author, Business Coach and Speaker. She spent the first 10 years of her business as a consultant to large companies such as Hewlett-Packard, Charles Schwab and Cisco Systems, where she worked with thousands of executives, managers, and employees.

Scott D. Meyer

Stay Home, Save Your Community

Scott Meyer is the brofounder of 9 Clouds (brother + cofounder), a digital marketing and education firm that improves the digital literacy of businesses. He writes and hosts the Digital Homesteading blog and podcast focusing on growing rural business and community at 9clouds.com/blog and is the author of Navigating Social Media: A Field Guide and Travel Hacking Norway. In his home rural community of Brookings, SD, Meyer is a TEDx organizer, a co-working space founder, a 1 Million Cups leader and a mentor for entrepreneurs. Learn more and connect online @MrScottMeyer.

Marc Chesley

The Power of Discomfort

Marc Chesley (@guitarlawyer) is a problem solver. His goal is to build leaders through a coaching and mentorship technique of getting people comfortable with being uncomfortable. He is an attorney and Chief Technology Officer at Infusionsoft where he oversees all product development and technology.

Claudia Alick

Claudia Alick. Art Maker. Change Maker.

Claudia Alick is the Associate Producer of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. She was named by the American Theater Magazine as one of 25 theater artists who will shape American Theater in the next 25 years and has served as the Artistic Director of Smokin’ Word Productions.

Dr. Donald Warne

All my relations -- a traditional Lakota approach to health equity

Donald Warne, MD, MPH is the Director of the Master of Public Health Program at North Dakota State University, and he serves as the Senior Policy Advisor to the Great Plains Tribal Chairmen’s Health Board.

Rich Karlgaard

Endurance and Success

Rich Karlgaard is a North Dakota native and the Publisher of Forbes magazine. He writes a featured column, Innovation Rules, known for its keen assessment of technology, business and leadership issues. Karlgaard’s books, articles, and speeches often focus on the fundamentals of business, the need for constant innovation, and the importance of building the right corporate culture.

Andrina Brogden

Failure -- My Jouney to Success

Andrina Brogden is an aspiring musical performer who has been singing since she was a little girl. Andrina’s big moment of 2013-2014 was singing her way into the Top 15 female contestants on Fox’s American Idol XIII where she received national attention and exposure.

Cam Adair

The Suprising Truth about Rejection

Cam’s mission is helping others live life with intention. Feeling trapped in a career he wasn’t passionate about at the age of 20, Cam founded Kingpin Social, a company with a mission to empower young men to live life on their own terms by understanding the social side of their lives. Cam believes in the power of creating your own path, contributing to your community and the magic of youth. Currently you can find Cam travelling full-time speaking around the US & Canada on topics of Building Stronger Relationships, Bullying and Gaming Addiction.

Irene Fernando

People We Will Never Meet

Irene Fernando is a changemaker, learner, and idea refurbisher. She is a proud Filipino-American who moved from Carson, California to attend the University of Minnesota. Irene has a BS in Business from the Carlson School, and is working to complete her M.Ed in Youth Development Leadership. At age 17, Irene co-founded STLF – Students Today Leaders Forever, and currently serves as one of three co-executive directors for the organization. STLF’s mission to reveal leadership through service, relationships, and action. Irene spends her time volunteering and traveling. In 2013, she was recognized by Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal for 40 Under 40, and by Minnesota Business Magazine for The (Real) Power 50.

Kelby Krabbenhoft

Living On Purpose -- What Purpose?

Kelby is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Sanford Health and leads dynamic growth and development throughout the health system. He also serves in leadership roles with community development and education organizations and in national professional and industry member associations.

Amber Kraft

Blind With A Vision

Amber Kraft is a recent graduate of Bismarck High School. Her intention is to attend Bismarck State College for two years and then transfer to the University of North Dakota. Amber hopes to receive a four year degree in computer science and then attend graduate school to become a vision teacher. In school, she was involved in multiple activities, including being a senior class officer and a member of SADD, FBLA, Bismarck High Demon Drama, Bismarck High Speech team, TSA, and the National Honor Society. Currently Amber serves on the board for the National Federation of the Blind for North Dakota and is in the process of starting a chapter for the Bismarck area. She also volunteers for the ND State Talking Library providing technology expertise for employees to assist patrons on the BARD app for Apple devices

Levi Bachmeier


Levi Bachmeier, West Fargo, ND, currently serves as the department chair of the social studies department at Crazy Horse High School in Wanblee, South Dakota. Working on the Pine Ridge Reservation as a member of Teach for America, Levi and fellow corps members are striving to close the academic achievement gap between affluent and low-income students. Graduating in May 2014 summa cum laude with a degree in social studies education from Concordia College (Moorhead, MN), Levi served as Student Body President and captain of the men’s track and field team. He was a co-advisor of the Fill the Dome food drive in 2011 and 2012.

Madison Barney

Step Out Of Line

Madison recently completed her sophomore year at the Saint Louis University Madrid campus where she will study for the next two years and complete her degrees in International Relations and Communications. Her greatest joys are being an older sister five times over, traveling, and sitting down with a good book. Madison spent her freshman year of college in Thessaloniki, Greece, where her ideas, perspectives and outlook changed. After graduation from University, Madison plans to teach in South Korea, Ghana, and Chile and then be employed by National Geographic. This is a big change from her 5 year old self’s dream of working as the Schwan’s Man.


Stephanie Goetz

The Beauty of Struggle

She’s a familiar face that enters tens-of-thousands of people’s living rooms every week night at 5:00, 6:00 & 10:00 p.m. Stephanie Goetz is the evening news anchor for Valley News Live TV in Fargo and storytelling has been a part of this Emmy-nominated journalist’s life for more than a decade. She’s a native of Red Wing, Minnesota and a University of Minnesota grad. Although she pours her heart & energy into producing & anchoring newscasts everyday, she has another true passion: creating real solutions to mental health issues, focusing on early intervention and prevention & bringing hope and healing to those who are struggling. Her passion for the world of mental health began after seeing the toll it took on her older brother Cam. He was a vibrant, beloved, talented college tennis player who had everything going for him. But he was fighting an inner battle with depression. After struggling for a year, he took is life in 2002 – one day before his 20th birthday. Since then, Stephanie has made it her personal mission to make sure no one suffers to this point. In November of 2012, she started the Stephanie Goetz Mental Wellness Initiative. In just one short year, Stephanie, her advisory board, her executive director Abby Tow & countless volunteers have helped integrate Student Support Strategists into the Fargo Schools – which are licensed clinical social workers who identify a child struggling with mental health issues in the school, assess them and get them to appropriate care then need at a mental health care facility outside of the school. It’s something practically no school districts in this country have and school officials say it’s vitally needed now to help so many struggling kids!

Joe Burgum

Ask Better Questions

Joe isn’t your average 21 year-old. At age 19, he started a t-shirt company that supported local artists and organizations (TAG). A few months later he and a few friends decided that the Alleys of Fargo, ND would be perfect places to host the city’s most creative people for day-long festivals; so they started Alley Fair. At 20, he caught wind of a new type of higher education program looking for its founding class. Even though he didn’t meet the age requirements, he sent his application and was accepted. Joe and his classmates have been pioneering a new type of school rooted in real world experiences. Throughout the past year, he has established three different apprenticeships with incredible people around the country: Redmoon, a spectacle theatre company in Chicago, SapientNitro, a leading digital agency in LA, and top-ten architecture firm, NBBJ in Seattle. Joe is focused on bringing people together to solve problems and is doing whatever it takes to learn how to do that with the best and brightest, all while sharing the journey along the way.