Initial Speakers Announced for TEDxMileHigh 2015: Ideas Unbridled

By Brooke Bendewish / Categories: / May 24, 2015

We couldn’t be more excited to announce the preliminary speaker line-up for Ideas Unbridled, taking place at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House on June 13th! Thanks to everyone who provided speaker suggestions – we were thrilled at the abundance of brilliant nominations from the TEDxMileHigh community. More than ever, Coloradans are doing incredible work to ignite change in the arts, sciences, technology and business. Our goal with Ideas Unbridled is to capture that pioneering spirit, and showcase how it contributes to our society’s future. We think you’ll agree that the following speakers really fit the bill!

This remarkable group of speakers is only the beginning – we’ll be announcing the rest of the program in the coming weeks. If you haven’t purchased a ticket yet – hurry, while there’s still time, as we are expecting to sell-out: tedxmilehigh2015.eventbrite.com. See you there!


Emmy BetzEMMY BETZ,
injury prevention researcher

Emmy Betz is an emergency physician at the University of Colorado Hospital and an injury prevention researcher. She attended Yale University for her undergraduate training and Johns Hopkins her medical and public health training. She then completed her residency training at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Harvard Affiliated Emergency Medicine Residency program, where she served as chief resident. A Denver native, she was thrilled to return home to serve her state by working to promote health and prevent suicide, car crashes, and other forms of injury. Her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and the Emergency Medicine Foundation, and she has published numerous research articles. She has also worked as an expert consultant with national organizations in suicide prevention.

JESSE ZHANGatmospheric scientistJess Zhang 

Jesse Zhang conducts research focusing on atmospheric science, culminating most recently in a project studying polar vortex weakening. His work has led to two first-author publications in leading scientific journals, “Journal of Geophysical Research” and “Space Weather,” and success at prestigious national science fairs, such as the Intel Science Talent Search. He just graduated from high school in Boulder, and will be studying computer science at Harvard University in the fall.

JOEL COMM, social media maven

Joel Comm is an author, entrepreneur and speaker who went from having only 87 cents in his bank account to creating multiple successful businesses – often using the various forms of new media as avenues towards the greater goal of success. He is the New York Times best-selling author of 12 books, including “The AdSense Code,” “Click Here to Order: Stories from the World’s Most Successful Entrepreneurs,” “KaChing: How to Run an Online Business that Pays and Pays” and “Twitter Power 2.0.” Joel hosted and produced the world’s first competitive Internet reality show, “The Next Internet Millionaire.” He also created a #1 best-selling iPhone application which became one of the most talked about novelty iPhone apps of all time.

KRIS BOESCHworkplace culture expert

Kris Boesch transforms company cultures as the CEO and Founder of Choose People, and has conducted more than 1000 hours of research with a team of doctoral students of industrial organizational psychology at Colorado State University. Prior to Choose People, Kris was the CEO of Exodus Moving & Storage. Under her leadership Exodus became the largest mover in Northern Colorado with a turnover rate nearly 40-percent less than the industry average and a bottom-line twice that same average.

MIKE VAUGHANthinking rethinker

Mike Vaughan has taken a lifelong passion for learning and thinking processes and used it to create industry-leading research around the analysis of how high-value leaders think, how their thinking is different from their colleagues’, and how it ultimately makes them more successful. He is the author of “The End of Training: How Simulations Are Reshaping Business,” and the recently published book, “The Thinking Effect: Rethinking Thinking to Create Great Leaders and the New Value Worker.” Mike is a managing director and CEO of The Regis Company, a privately held company that applies neuroscience principles to custom leadership programs and business simulations. Since he co-founded the company in 2003, The Regis Company has become a globally recognized leader in simulation design, winning virtually every top award and honor in the industry.

PETER LYNCHcul-de-sac entrepreneur

Peter Lynch is a serial cul-de-sac entrepreneur. Most recently he is the founder and CEO of Digital Fridge, a five-star-rated app for the iPhone with downloads in more than 70 countries. It has been a finalist twice for Denver’s Hottest Showcasing Startup at Denver Startup week, having won the competition once. It has also been covered on multiple top technology sites as well as showcased on one of the country’s largest FOX channels. Peter is also a global operations executive with a Fortune 500 company based in Denver, CO where he leads global training, communications and change management.

TEJU RAVILOCHANunreasonable leader

Teju is co-founder and CEO of Unreasonable Institute, which runs mentor-driven bootcamps for entrepreneurs tackling social and environmental challenges. At five-week programs, vetted cohorts of entrepreneurs live in one house while learning from 50 visiting mentors. Ranging from the chairman of Whole Foods to the founder of three startups with IPOs over $1 billion, mentors advise entrepreneurs for at least six months. Entrepreneurs also connect with 100+ funders and have raised over $72 million in total. Some 93 companies from 45 countries have participated, and have collectively affected the lives of more than 7 million people. Unreasonable Institute is also now running five-week institutes in Mexico and Uganda, and running five-day miniature institutes called “labs” in eight countries.