Point of Departure


July 7th-8th @ Ellie Caulkins Opera House

We invite you to join us for our summer event, Point of Departure. Get ready to be engaged and inspired by ideas and experiences with the power to alter the course of your life. One ticket gets you access to both days of the event. Take advantage of discounted tickets, while supplies last!

General Admission Discounted $70

Your ticket gets you general admission to the event plus:

  • Entrance to the event on July 7th and 8th
  • Access to the exhibit areas
  • Invite to cocktail reception
  • Invitation to our Thursday and Friday night social events (limited space, first-come, first-serve basis)

VIP Discounted $95

Your VIP ticket gets you access to the event and exhibit areas plus:

  • Entrance to the event on July 7th and 8th
  • Preferred seating on the first level of the theater. (Orchestra and Parterre Sections)
  • Invite to the cocktail reception
  • Invite to the VIP Event on Wednesday July 5th
  • Invite to our Thursday and Friday night social events (limited space, first-come, first-serve basis)
  • Streamlined Registration at the main event

All Access Discounted $120

Your All Access ticket gets you access to the  event and exhibit areas plus:

  • Entrance to the event on July 7th and 8th
  • Preferred seating on the first level of the theater. (Orchestra and Parterre Sections)
  • Invite to the cocktail reception
  • Invite to the VIP Event on Wednesday July 5th
  • Streamlined Registration at the main event
  • Exclusive invitations to the Speaker Lunch and Speaker Rehearsals**
  • Priority Registration for Adventures and Thursday and Friday night social events (limited space, first-come, first-serve basis)
  • Priority benefits for the TEDxMileHigh AfterParty, including your first drink on us!

Hero Package $250:

TEDxMileHigh is a non-profit organization, and Hero ticket sales provide funding for our youth initiatives. Your Hero ticket grants you one All-Access ticket, plus:

  • Recognition of your support during the main event
  • You’ll cover costs for 10 students to participate in our year-round youth programming


SuperHero Package $500:

TEDxMileHigh is a non-profit organization, and Superhero ticket sales provide funding for our youth initiatives. Your Supehero ticket grants you two All-Access tickets, plus:

  • Recognition of your support during the main event
  • A behind-the-scenes tour of the event led by members of our staff
  • You’ll cover costs for 20 students to participate in our year-round youth programming


Speakers and Performers

Alejandro Jimenez is a poet, educator, and long-distance runner from Colima, Mexico. In 2011 he became the first Latino to win the Su Barrio Slam Poetry Competition. The following year he was a member of the SlamNUBA poetry team that placed 5th at the National Poetry Slam Competition in 2012. Alejandro works with youth in Denver and tries to laugh with them as much as possible. Read Alejandro’s Q&A.

Alexander McCoy is a Marine Corps veteran, political strategist, and progressive grassroots organizer. In 2016, he helped craft the legislative strategy to successfully pass the Fairness for Veterans Act through a gridlocked Congress. He currently serves as the Communications Director for Common Defense, a PAC dedicated to mobilizing veterans and military families across the nation. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Foreign Policy, Reuters, and Huffington Post.

Arielle Hein is an artist, technologist, and educator who explores the imaginative use of emerging technologies, drawing from an interdisciplinary background and a research-based creative practice. Arielle is an instructor in the ATLAS Institute and the Technology, Arts, and Media program in the College of Engineering & Applied Sciences at the University of Colorado in Boulder. Read Arielle’s Q&A.

An injured survivor of the Columbine shooting, Austin Eubanks’ traumatic experience as a teen was the catalyst to his painful journey through addiction. Now in long-term recovery, he is a nationally recognized speaker on addiction recovery and the Chief Operations Officer of The Foundry Treatment Center, a 30-bed treatment program in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

Blake Scholl is the Founder and CEO of Boom Supersonic, a Denver startup that is building supersonic passenger aircraft capable of flying from San Francisco to Tokyo in under six hours. Previously, Blake held leadership roles at Amazon.com and was the co-founder and CEO at Kima Labs (acquired by Groupon). Blake is an avid pilot who holds a B.S. in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University.

Dr. Brandon Mathews is a passionate criminal justice professional with expertise in the development and implementation of innovative evidence-based correctional treatment and supervision programs. Brandon is an active researcher with the Alliance for Criminal Justice Innovation, publishing on topics like recidivism reduction, structured decision-making, risk assessment, and criminal justice education.

Brittni Darras is an English teacher at Rampart High School in Colorado Springs. Following the attempted suicide of one of Rampart’s students, Brittni wrote each of her 130 students personalized cards, earning her worldwide attention, the AspenPointe Hero of Mental Health Award, and the Mayor’s Young Leader Award in the category of Innovation in Education. Brittni continues to advocate for suicide prevention and mental health awareness.

Caitlin Quattromani is a Colorado native and mom to two elementary school-age boys. She graduated from the University of Denver with an international business degree and has been fortunate to travel the world as a marketing and product leader, including living abroad in Luxembourg. She currently leads multicultural marketing for a Fortune 50 company in the Denver area. Read Caitlin’s Q&A.

Cassie De Pecol is a world traveler, keynote speaker, brand ambassador, triathlete, activist, and entrepreneur. Born in 1989, she was raised and homeschooled in rural Connecticut. She enjoyed “out of the box” educational and multicultural experiences at various universities before deciding to begin her solo travels to 25 countries at the age of 21. In 2015, she started fresh, traveling alone to all 196 countries and securing two Guinness World Records.

Chip Colwell is the Senior Curator of Anthropology at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. He’s published 10 books, most recently Plundered Skulls and Stolen Spirits: Inside the Fight to Reclaim Native America’s Culture. His work has been featured in publications like The New York Times, The Guardian, Salon, and Slate. Chip is the founding Editor-in-Chief of sapiens.org, an online magazine about anthropological discoveries.

David Baron is a journalist, author, and broadcaster who has spent most of his thirty-year career in public radio, covering environment and science beats for various NPR outlets and programs. David’s work has been awarded on three occasions with the annual journalism prize from the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His 2003 book, The Beast in the Garden, received the Colorado Book Award. Read David’s Q&A.

Esther Sullivan is an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Colorado, Denver. Her research focuses on poverty, spatial inequality, legal regulation, housing, and the built environment, with a special interest in both forced and voluntary residential mobility. Esther holds a Ph.D. in Sociology from The University of Texas at Austin and a B.A. in English from The University of Chicago.

Armed with musicianship, intelligence, and an ingrained sense of rebellion, Denver’s Flobots are a hip-hop and rock band formed in 2000. Flobots has been an integral part of the city’s music scene ever since storming the airwaves at KTCL with their hit single “Handlebars.” Their new album, No Enemies, focuses on issues like climate change and immigration reform.

Lauran Arledge started her career as high school social studies teacher in Wilmington, North Carolina. In the past 15 years Lauran has worked in public health violence prevention, community organizing, coaching, and organizational development. She currently holds a leadership position in talent development for a Denver-based technology company. Read Lauran’s Q&A.

Madison A. Krall is a twentysomething health and medicine student based in Denver. In addition to academic writing and teaching, she loves finding ways to incorporate wine and cheese into every meal, discovering the love languages of strangers, and playing cribbage with her super cool family. As a proud Christian feminist, Madison adamantly believes we live in a world where people are inherently good and equality is possible. Read Madison’s Q&A.

A writer of Asian-American, Pacific-Islander descent, Meta Sarmiento won the Spoken Word for the World competition in 2015 and is a three-time TeamBackPack cypher audition semi-finalist. He recently earned a spot on SlamNUBA’s National Poetry Team. A graduate of the University of Guam (a U.S. accredited university serving Guam and Micronesia), Meta often writes about cultural identity, love, loss, and healing.

Since completing his residency training in 2001, Dr. Phil Mitchell has worked as an emergency physician in the Denver metro area. As the Medical Director of DispatchHealth, Phil created the parameters for the clinical capabilities of their mobile emergency and urgent care model. He is a husband and father of three teenagers.

Philip Fernbach is a cognitive scientist and professor in the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Co-author of The Knowledge Ilusion: Why We Never Think Alone, Philip’s research focuses on why we think we know more than we actually do and the implications this has on individuals and society. He lives in Boulder with his wife and two children. In his free time, he plays bluegrass music and ice hockey.

Rob Drabkin graduated from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas with the intention of becoming a doctor. His focus quickly changed after a family trip to New York where he reconnected with his dad’s old musician friends. His newly released single, “Someday,” has landed on major international Spotify playlists and has accumulated half a million plays from listeners around the world.

Slam poet Theo E.J. Wilson, a.k.a Lucifury, is a founding member of Denver’s SlamNUBA team, which won the National Poetry Slam in 2011. He began his speaking career with the NAACP at the age of 15 and has always been passionate about social justice. Theo is currently the Executive Director of Shop Talk Live, an organization that uses the barbershop as a staging ground for community dialogue and healing.

Woody Roseland is a natural-born entertainer constantly socializing and telling jokes, much to the chagrin of virtually every teacher he ever had. Woody is a professional filmmaker, photographer, and comedy writer. On any given day you’ll find him with his head in the clouds at Cheeseman Park. He enjoys living out of his backpack in random corners of the world and likes bikes very, very much.

What Are TEDxMileHigh Events Like?

Good question. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at our 2015 event, Ideas Unbridled:











*Fees not included

**These events are only available for All Access ticket holders! Saturday, before the main event starts, you will have the opportunity to have brunch with a current or past TEDxMileHigh speaker to discuss their big ideas in greater detail. In addition, you’ll have the opportunity to sit in on a Speaker Rehearsal the day before the event and participate in an All-Access Adventure to see some big ideas come to life. (Registration required for these additional events.)