rgo 2018



July 21, 2016
Fargo Civic Center
2,000 Attendees

TEDxFargo 2016 accelerated our community, moving Fargo forward faster. Through a day of speakers, ideas, experiences, and connections, TEDxFargo activated our city in new ways.

The Fargo Civic Center and downtown Fargo was our playground for the day. We started the day with morning adventures in the Moorhead Center Mall and throughout downtown Fargo. Inside the Fargo Civic Center, attendees found a world-class event with opportunities to experience locally roasted coffee, an infusion of arts, and speakers sharing ideas worth spreading. For lunch, local growers and chefs delighted attendees with a fresh, hand-crafted meal to be shared with friends old and new. After a full day of ideas and experiences, we invited attendees to continue exploring our community and thinking about how to move those ideas to action.


The Minimalists

The Art of Letting Go

Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus, known to their four million readers as “The Minimalists,” have written four books, including the bestselling memoir, Everything That Remains. They write about living a meaningful life with less stuff at TheMinimalists.com. Their new film, Minimalism, is currently the #1 documentary of 2016.

Bec Heinrich

Redefining Rest - Slowing Down to Speed Up!

Bec has spent the past 18 years focused on developing leaders of all ages. Bec launched her first business at the age of 16, and her second, a social enterprise which consulted to the education sector in Australia to design and facilitate leadership and character development programs, at the age of 21. She spent 10 years scaling this organization. Bec moved to the United States and is a manager at Deloitte’s Washington DC Greenhouse, an innovation and collaboration space where she helps executive-level commercial, government and non-profit clients focus on strategic conversations. Bec has degrees in politics and law from Macquarie University in Sydney, has studied social entrepreneurship and innovation at Stanford University and recently completed a master’s in leadership at Georgetown University. Her thesis was on the impact of rest on the performance of leaders, inspired after she took a year-long sabbatical to learn how to slow down in order to speed up.

Kellam Barta

No Such Thing as Correct English

Kellam has an MA in Sociolinguistics from North Carolina State University, where he led the Diversity Ambassadors, an outreach program aimed at spreading awareness of language variation and promoting celebration, instead of subordination, of different ways of speaking English. Kellam is currently a Lecturer in the NDSU English Department and the founder of the NDSU Language Diversity Ambassadors, a fledgling group cast in the mold of NC State’s program. Kellam’s goal is to carry the message of the Ambassadors well beyond the boundaries of college campuses, so that those in positions of relative power may recognize the privilege that comes with speaking prestige varieties of English and so that we all may take care to respect mere differences – and not deficits – in English pronunciations, grammar, and word choice.

Ian Abston

Millennials...you've got us all wrong

Ian Abston is an expert in Millennial talent attraction and retention. He founded NEWaukee, the largest Millennial group in the Midwest helping to connect and engage the next generation with today’s cities.
Abston studied marketing and advertising at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh, and began his career at Junior Achievement of Wisconsin as a corporate fundraising event planner.  After a year in the non-profit sector, Abston took a position at GMR marketing, running campaigns with national brands such as Power Bar, MLB, Gatorade, and NEW Balance.
Abston is a proud Eagle Scout and member of the Greater Milwaukee Committee. He sits on the board for the Salvation Army of Greater Milwaukee and, in 2014, was appointed to the Governor’s Talent Development Workforce Committee.

Marlo Anderson

Celebrate Every Day

As host of the talk show, the Tech Ranch, the “Guru Of Geek” Marlo Anderson has the privilege of interviewing many people who lead the world in innovation. This first-hand knowledge gives Marlo a unique perspective in emerging technology trends and hardware. His love of technology is also reflected in the companies he currently owns. He might be best known for National Day Calendar: an aggregate of interesting holidays.
Marlo, a Mandan, ND resident, is also heavily involved in his town and state. He is an advocate of the start-up culture in North Dakota, working on projects such as 1 Million Cups, TEDx, and StartUp Weekends, which take place all over the state. He has also chaired the North Dakota Scenic Byway committee, the Mandan Independence Day Parade and many other community committees.

Jim Hodge

Philanthropy: A Whole Lot of Shift Needs to Happen

Bringing decades of fundraising experience, Jim has been with CU Anschutz since October 2014. Previously, Jim was with Mayo Clinic, where he was a Vice Chair and senior development officer responsible for building relationships with Mayo’s philanthropic partners. Jim was the most prolific fundraiser in the history of Mayo Clinic and was the co-founder of a multimillion-dollar business called Mayo Clinic Preferred Response, a 24/7 service that provides nursing and medical advice worldwide.
Jim teaches graduate-level classes in philanthropy and is an instructor in the Fund Raising School at Lilly Family Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis. He authored the chapter “Gifts of Significance” in a publication entitled “Achieving Excellence in Fundraising.”
An Ohioan by birth, Jim earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. He completed additional Graduate work at Stanford in Social Enterprise.

Kaitlin Hopkins

#TeachMentalHealthNow: An Artist's Approach

Kaitlin Hopkins is an award-winning actress, director, and educator. She currently heads the musical theater program at Texas State University. Hopkins has worked on and off Broadway, in film, television and radio for over 35 years. In 2009 she created the BFA musical theater degree at Texas State University, recently named one of the Top 10 Musical Theatre Programs in nation. In 2016 she received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching from Texas State University, and was recognized by Broadway Dreams Foundation as an innovative voice in education, participating on a panel as one of the 6 top women educators in the country in the performing arts. In 2012 Hopkins launched the first musical theater training program in Chile in collaboration with the ProJazz Institute. Kaitlin is also the proud creator and President of Fontus Dry Throat Lozenges.

Chris Hawley

Crafting Legacies

Chris believes that great process has the potential to result in quality design, timeless in its ability to both shape neighborhoods and transform communities. With this belief in mind, he began Chris Hawley Architects (CHA). Chris has refined his skills over the years, emerging as a successful young architect with a discerning eye for quality, creativity, and design. Chris’s capacity to tell a story through architecture has enabled him to translate a sense of visual craft and integrity into vision. The ability to invoke a one‐of‐a‐kind design through storytelling is rooted in attention to details, sourcing local materials, and repurposing historic resources.

CHA is a North Dakota based team characterized by design that exhibits a passion for place, an understanding of heritage, and a flare for the creative. Chris and his team are building a legacy while maintaining the legacy of the places they build, including the new North Dakota Governor’s Mansion.

Ben Hecht

We Can Do This, America! Addressing Inequality in the Land of Opportunity

Ben is President and CEO of Living Cities. Living Cities works with partner organizations to benefit low income people and the cities where they live. It deploys a unique blend of more than $140 million in grants, loans and influence to re-engineer obsolete public systems and connect low-income people and underinvested places to opportunity.

Prior to joining Living Cities, Ben co-founded One Economy Corporation, a non-profit organization focused on connecting low-income people to the economic mainstream through innovative, online content and increased broadband access.

Ben has long been active in expanding access to childcare, housing, and opportunities through roles at Enterprise Foundation, Georgetown University Law Center and as an author. In 2013, Ben was selected as one of the Top 100 City Innovators Worldwide in the area of Urban Policy. He is currently Chairman of EveryoneOn, a national initiative founded by the FCC to connect low-income Americans to digital opportunities.

Julia Huffman

The Wolf in the Living Room: A Healing Story

Filmmaker Julia Huffman won the Animal Content in Entertainment Award from the Humane Society of the United States as well as various other awards for her documentary Medicine of the Wolf. The film was predominantly funded through a successful Kickstarter campaign, with people from all over the world donating to see the film happen. In this beautiful and important documentary, filmmaker Julia Huffman travels to Minnesota into wolf country to pursue the deep intrinsic value of the species. Medicine of the Wolf centers on the remarkable, world-renowned environmentalist and National Geographic photographer Jim Brandenburg, who has photographed, studied and been on the ground with wolves for 45 years. The film also has a crucial message: the gray wolf, a top predator of the ecosystem must be preserved on the endangered species list.

Cheryl Heller

Our Future Depends on the Words We Use to Describe It

Cheryl Heller is the Founding Chair of the first MFA program in Design for Social Innovation at SVA, founder of the design lab CommonWise, and winner of the prestigious AIGA Medal for her contribution to the field of design. She is a business strategist and communication designer who has taught creativity to leaders and organizations around the world, helped grow businesses from small regional enterprises to multi-billion global market leaders, launched category-redefining divisions and products, reinvigorated moribund cultures, and designed strategies for hundreds of successful entrepreneurs.

Cheryl created the Ideas that Matter program for Sappi in 1999, which has since given over $12 million to designers working for the public good. Since then, she has written for many publications on the subject of social innovation design and creativity.

Richard Weise

Kick the Bucket List

Richard Wiese is the Executive Producer and Host of ABC’s Born to Explore. Since he climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro at age 11, Wiese has journeyed to all seven continents, capturing powerful images and living one adventure after another. The premise of Born to Explore is as much about discovery of the natural world as it is about encouraging a positive understanding of the many distinctive cultures that inhabit our planet. Wiese is dedicated to working with local communities around the world to help their voices be heard in their own words. He believes the most memorable aspect of any journey is not about reaching “the summit,” but rather the people you meet along the way. Wiese also achieved the first ascent of an unclimbed mountain in Alaska and discovered 29 new life forms on Africa’s Mt. Kilimanjaro.
He is the author of Born to Explore: How To Be A Backyard Adventurer.

Peter Rieke

Bespoke Mobility Devices for the Outdoors

Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, Dr. Rieke backpacked in the Cascades and Olympics, kayaking, and summiting a number of Cascade volcanoes. After dropping out of the University of Montana, he lived for four years in the brush in a home-built trailer before returning to study chemistry and going on to earn a Ph.D. from the University of Arizona.
Dr. Rieke worked at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory developing programs in bio-mimetic materials, 3D printing of fuel cells, and mechanistic modeling of the dissolution of glass nuclear waste forms. During that time, he built up the climbing program for the Intermountain Alpine Club, teaching basic rock climbing, rescue and more. In 1994, he broke both his neck and back while climbing.
Since then Dr. Rieke has developed new mobility devices to enhance access for disabled folks to the outdoors. Best known is the snow-pod, a human, arm powered, machine with rubber tracks. He used it to summit Mt. Hood, Mt. Rainier and Mt. Shasta.

Anna Frissell

It Happens Here: We Are All Responsible to Stop Child Sexual Abuse

Anna is the Executive Director of the Red River Children’s Advocacy Center (RRCAC). The RRCAC is part of the healing journey for children and youth who are the victims of child sexual abuse. Through the collaborative efforts of law enforcement, social services, and medical mental health and advocacy professionals, the RRCAC’s mission comes to life: providing a child-friendly, neutral setting to disclose accounts of abuse and receive services. The child must be embraced and supported. The perpetrator held accountable. There are human behaviors so revolting and incomprehensible like eating human flesh, that they are taboo. Anna believes we should have the same reaction to child sexual abuse – revolt. The RRCAC and its partners are fighting to stop child sexual abuse. Shifting from a focus on just intervention, these professionals and organizations are increasing efforts to prevent child sexual abuse from ever happening by enlisting the help of every adult!

Doug Burgum

The Future Belongs to the Courageously Curious

North Dakota entrepreneur and philanthropist Doug Burgum challenges us to stay curious and begin transforming the world one courageously curious question at a time.

Recognized globally for his visionary business and entrepreneurial leadership Doug Burgum attributes his success to the values and ethics instilled by his family and community. A native of Arthur, ND, Doug, as chairman and CEO, is credited for leading Great Plains Software, a small North Dakota computer software startup company, through a successful IPO in 1997 followed by a strategic acquisition by Microsoft Corporation in 2001 for $1.1 billion, where he continued his leadership as senior vice president through 2007.
Doug reaffirmed his passion for North Dakota in 2006 when he founded Kilbourne Group, a company committed to reinvigorating the economic viability of downtown Fargo. In 2008 Doug co-founded Arthur Ventures, a regional B2B software venture capital firm.
In 2009, Doug received the Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider Award, North Dakota’s highest honor. The award recognizes North Dakotans who have been influenced by North Dakota in achieving national recognition in their fields.

David Pearce

Saving Children's Lives and Getting Children Interested in Saving Lives

David Pearce is President of Research for Sanford Health. He completed his undergraduate Bachelor of Science Degree with honors in biological sciences at Wolverhampton Polytechnic in 1986. He gained his PhD in 1990 at the University of Bath, UK, and did postdoctoral training at the University of Rochester, U.S., and Oxford University, UK.

Dr. Pearce heads the leading lab in Juvenile Batten disease research. He has been researching Juvenile Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis (Batten disease) since 1997. He is responsible for the establishment of the Batten Disease Diagnostic and Clinical Research Center at the University of Rochester School of Medicine. His research has led to the first clinical trial for Juvenile Batten disease. He has published over 100 research papers on Batten disease. He also oversees a national registry for rare diseases known as the Coordination of Rare Diseases at Sanford (CoRDS).

Jessica Thomasson

Embrace Your Right to Feel Offended

Jessica Thomasson serves as the President and CEO of Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota, and Lutheran Social Services Housing Inc. – two non-profit corporations that, together with their partners, help people and communities across the state of North Dakota thrive. Their efforts focus on affordable housing, child care, disaster response, senior services, and support for young families. Before becoming CEO, Jessica was responsible for creating the organization’s affordable housing subsidiary, which develops, owns and manages affordable rental housing in rural North Dakota communities. LSS currently has more than 20 projects either operating or under development in communities all across the state.

Tom Byers with Deanna Badizadegan

Entrepreneurship Education In Action

At Stanford University since 1995, Professor Tom Byers focuses on education regarding high-growth entrepreneurship and technology innovation. He has been a faculty director since the inception of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program, which serves as the entrepreneurship center for the engineering school. He is a principal investigator and the director of the Epicenter, which is funded by the National Science Foundation to stimulate entrepreneurship education at all USA engineering and science colleges. He is the co-author of a textbook called Technology Ventures: From Idea to Enterprise, published by McGraw-Hill.
Byers is a past recipient of the prestigious Gordon Prize by the National Academy of Engineering in the USA and Stanford University’s Gores Award, which is its highest honor for excellence in teaching. Tom holds a BS in industrial engineering and operations research and an MBA from UC Berkeley. He also earned a PhD in business administration at UC Berkeley.

Sona Mehring

#SayItForward Kindness, Compassion, Hope, Love and Healing with SocialTech

Sona Mehring is the founder of CaringBridge, the first and most widely used nonprofit social network dedicated to helping family and friends communicate with and support loved ones during a health journey through the use of free personal websites. CaringBridge first started as an act of kindness for her friends, but it soon became Sona’s passion and eventually her new career. People around the world are now able to share news, receive strength, and coordinate care by creating free personal websites through CaringBridge. Since its creation, more than half a million CaringBridge websites have been visited two billion times.

As an author, speaker and community builder, Sona elevates the awareness and use of CaringBridge on a national scale by speaking about improving health outcomes through the power of social support. Sona is the author of Hope Conquers All: Inspiring Stories of Love and Healing from CaringBridge.

Lissa Rankin

The #1 Public Health Issue Doctors Aren't Talking About

Lissa Rankin, MD, New York Times bestselling author of Mind Over Medicine, The Fear Cure, and The Anatomy of a Calling, is a physician, speaker, founder of the Whole Health Medicine Institute, and mystic. Passionate about what makes people optimally healthy and what predisposes them to illness, she hopes to merge science and spirituality in a way that not only facilitates the health of the individual, but also uplifts the collective. Bridging between seemingly disparate worlds, Lissa broadcasts not only her unique visionary ideas, but also those of cutting edge visionaries she discerns and trusts, especially in the field of her latest research into “Sacred Medicine.” Lissa has starred in two National Public Television specials and also leads workshops, both online and at retreat centers. She lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her daughter. She blogs at LissaRankin.com and posts regularly on Facebook.

Jakub Tolar

The worst disease you never heard of . . . and why it matters to you

Jakub Tolar is a distinguished McKnight Professor from the University of Minnesota, where he is currently a practicing physician in Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation and the Director of the Stem Cell Institute. As a physician-scientist, Dr. Tolar’s research focuses on creating new and more effective treatments for fatal genetic disorders such as Hurler syndrome (MPS-1), dyskeratosis congenita, Fanconi anemia, and adrenoleukodystrophy. He is known for his ground-breaking use of bone marrow transplant to treat the severe forms of epidermolysis bullosa. His laboratory is currently working with state-of- the-art genome-editing technologies to create a platform for gene and cell therapies for patients with these kinds of life-threatening and currently incurable diseases. Dr. Tolar is co-chair of Regenerative Medicine Minnesota, a state-funded program that supports research, education, and patient care improvement in this rapidly advancing field.

Jack Wood

Growing Together: Each person can make a difference in this world

Jack Wood is one of the founders of Growing Together, a decade-long community gardening project. Started in 2006 with eight families and a small garden on church property, the organization has now grown into six gardens supporting over 150 families. Many of the families are New Americans and new to our community. In 2015, the Growing Together gardens produced over 45,000 pounds of fresh produce for the families and gardeners.
Growing Together has utilized their toolkit to help over a dozen organizations begin their own community gardens. They also help area elementary schools develop gardens and will offer a JR Master Gardener program to youth this summer.

Nina Grollman

Musical Performance

Nina Grollman is a comedian, actor, and musician living in New York City. She does a wide range of performances including standup comedy, music, and plays. Nina uses her theatricality as an avenue for connection in her shows, which often involve looping her voice with a loop pedal to create vocal symphonies influenced by Erykah Badu and Robyn. She also does comedy variety shows regularly which involve songs, sketches, and improv. Nina is currently pursuing a BFA in acting at The Juilliard School. She has performed in venues such as the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, The Peoples’ Improv Theater in New York City, iO West in Los Angeles, The New World Center in Miami, and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland.

Deanna Badizadegan

Musical Performance

Deanna Badizadegan is a violist and a consultant to several organizations in instructional design and product management. Her work centers around the intersection of arts and innovation, both from the perspective of infusing the arts into typical entrepreneurship and innovation practices and by bringing entrepreneurship ideals into the arts. She holds degrees from Stanford University and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Octavio Gomez

Comedic Performance

Octavio makes really great tacos and also tells stories.