Imagination is a tricky concept to put into words, probably because it is the exact opposite of words. It is the unexplainable, impossible place our minds wander to when we have a quiet moment. It is that magical place kids relish in for hours on end pretending to be anything their minds can come up with. Need the inspiration to spark imagination in your everyday life? Here are a few inspiring quotes from the speakers of TEDXMileHigh Imagine (bonus: download your favorite Imagine speaker quote!).

11 Inspiring Speaker Quotes From Imagine

The speakers of TEDxMileHigh Imagine have dedicated their lives to imaginative endeavors. They have sought to turn their dreams into reality and worked hard to turn talk into action. Their passions range from creating a world without mass gun violence to landing the first humans on Mars. Remind yourself throughout the day that imagination is within reach: download your favorite Imagine speaker quote to your iPhone from the carousel below and set it as your screensaver.

Allison Anderson

Dr. Allison Anderson has dreamt of space since she learned about astronauts in third grade. She was fortunate enough to be in Florida on the same day as a space shuttle launch. Since then, she has dedicated herself to advancing our concepts of space exploration. 

It’s time to imagine a new design for our iconic spacesuit.” – Allison Anderson

Most recently, she has studied human physiology in order to understand how the body reacts to harsh, isolated conditions. She dreams of successfully landing the first humans on Mars.

César García Hernández

César García Hernández, an aspiring librarian turned immigration lawyer, is captivated by the power of words. Hernández advocates for the moral and proper treatment of immigrants in the U.S. and seeks to abolish detention and detainment centers across the country.

Immigration prisons don’t get us out of a problem. They are the problem.” – César García Hernández

While staying on top of current immigration law and policy can be nearly impossible with its constant changes, Hernández dreams of a world where we can change the way we think about immigrant policy.

Danny Rankin

After successfully surviving the Y2K glitch with his parents in the mountains of Colorado, Danny Rankin unexpectedly dedicated his life to education. He is a professor at the University of Colorado in Boulder helping students to unleash their creativity and ask “why” questions in their quest for inspiration. 

Counterfeit design isn’t about creating chaos and anarchy. It’s about selectively choosing a powerful target, and punching up.” – Danny Rankin

His interests go beyond graphic design and include game design, hardware hacking, and large-scale installation art. 

Jennifer Reich

Jennifer Reich used to take attendance among her stuffed animals in her room in second grade. She always imagined she would become a teacher, but becoming a professor was far beyond what she pictured. Now, as a sociology professor at the University of Colorado in Denver, Reich spends her time studying families and their interpretation of healthcare.

So many problems could be solved if parents just stood up for each other, and said, ‘not my kid, and not your kid either.’” – Jennifer Reich

She encourages families to understand that decisions they make regarding healthcare, specifically those involving vaccinations, impact more than just themselves: they affect the entire ecosystem of families.

Marah Hardt

Ever since her bold move to leave high school at 17 to study sharks in the Bahamas, Marah Hardt has been changing the way people think about their relationship with the ocean. She understands that oceans are not just a simple part of our lives.  In fact, we depend on them for every breath we take. 

Right now, beneath a shimmering blue sea, millions of fish are having sex—and the way they do it looks nothing like what we see on land.” – Marah Hardt

After spending her life dedicated to ocean conservation, climate change, and the coral reef crisis, Hardt encourages others to passionately reconsider their relationship with the ocean.

Marcus Doe

Marcus Doe lived and learned from his worst nightmare. As a refugee in Ghana, Doe received news that altered the course of the rest of his life. His father had been murdered by rebels of the Liberian civil war. Revenge was all he could think about until he realized that he had become consumed by it. 

“Forgiveness is not the opposite of justice. Justice has to take its course. But forgiveness, human to human, is good for us.” – Marcus Doe

He realized he needed to forgive the men who destroyed his family in order to move on with his life. Since courageously making this impossible decision, he has been working to bring literacy to his hometown in West Africa by publishing an autobiographical series of children’s books.

Nita Mosby Tyler

Nita Mosby Tyler’s 34-year human resources career culminated in the C-Suite of the Children’s Hospital of Colorado. When the results of the 2016 election were confirmed, she left it all behind. Her new dream formed into The Equity Project

We need unlikely allies to stand up if we’re going to make real change, and those of us experiencing inequality first hand must be willing to accept their help.” – Nita Mosby Tyler

Her new goal is to provide companies and organizations across the country with the resources they need to have a productive and successful conversation about race, diversity, and equity. 

Paula Stone Williams

As Lost, Paula Stone Williams’ favorite TV show of all time, came to an end, Williams realized her true calling in life was to be nothing more than her authentic self. Although coming out meant losing every job she had, Williams felt complete joy as she began living life truly and authentically. 

We’ll never achieve gender equity by giving women more power. We will achieve gender equity when you give women your power.” – Paula Stone Williams

Since that fateful finale, Williams has advocated on behalf of the LBGTQ+ community and for gender equity in several talks totaling 3.5 million views at TEDWomen and TEDxMileHigh. 

Ruth Soukup

Ruth Soukup learned from her own struggles that courage is simply a sequence of small steps as long as you’re willing to take the first one. 

When you shine a light on your fear, it’s not so scary anymore.” – Ruth Soukup

After discovering the courage she had in herself, Soukup has spent her time helping people find their greatest potential and achieve their goals. She has an incredibly popular podcast, Do it Scared, and is a New York Times best-selling author of six books.

Tom Teves

July 20, 2012, was a defining day for many families including the Teves family when their son, Alex, was killed in the Aurora theater shooting. Alex made the heroic, split-second decision to give up his own life to protect his girlfriend, a decision Tom Teves believes no 24-year-old should ever have to make. 

Almost every single mass shooter has one thing in common: they want to be famous.” – Tom Teves

Following their son’s death, the Teves family started the NoNotoriety movement. He is committed to ensuring no mass shooter receives the media attention they so violently seek. 

Veronica Barassi

With her two daughters in mind, anthropologist and author Veronica Barassi campaigns for citizen’s data rights. 

“For the first time in history, we’re tracking individual children starting long before they’re born, often before they’re even conceived, and throughout the rest of their lives.” – Veronica Barassi

She warns that we are constantly agreeing to the terms and conditions set forth by companies without understanding what it is, exactly, that we agree to. We have no idea how the profiles created by these companies affect our rights.

A Constant Reminder to Imagine More

If you were moved or inspired by any of the speaker quotes, download them directly to your iPhone. Let these quotes serve as a constant reminder to think differently and always imagine more. And, if you missed the TEDxMileHigh Imagine talks, or want to watch them again, please stay tuned for the digital talks.