How often do you get the chance to talk one-on-one with a former Olympian, a renowned social activist, creator of the pay-what-you-can restaurant concept, or the Erin Brockovich of the American food system? Well, you’ll soon get your chance.

You, our fans, asked for the chance to get up close and personal with past speakers and TEDxMileHigh is making it happen. In a few weeks, we will launch a series of Coffee & Cocktail Chats (TEDxMHChats) where you and a few dozen people can catch up with and pose questions to your favorite speakers from TEDxMileHigh 2011 and TEDxMileHighSalon. Attendance is limited at each venue so admission will be on a first-come-first-served basis. The tradeoff? These events are free! The schedule is as follows: Wednesday, April 25th from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. D’Vine Wine, 1660 Champa Street (accommodates 35 people) Guest speaker: Shannon Galpin, Founder of Mountain2Mountain Last appearance: TEDxMileHighSalon Topic: Shannon will talk with you about how “The Power of Voice” can incite positive change. She has spent years in Afghanistan, providing a voice to women and children who are oppressed and found that using an individual’s story to highlight a greater problem gets people to listen and to understand. “Voice” changes lives, communities and countries from within, she says, and Shannon would like to hear your thoughts on the subject and take your questions. Friday, May 4th from Noon to 1 p.m. Tattered Cover, 1628 16th Street (accommodates 75 people) Guest speaker: Robyn O’Brien, Author of “The Unhealthy Truth: How Our Food is Making Us Sick and What We Can Do About It” Last appearance: TEDxMileHigh 2011 Topic: Dubbed as the Erin Brockovich of the American food system, Robyn asks, “Do you know what you are eating” in her talk: “Patriotism on a Plate”. Robyn will talk about her latest research on the health of our food system and take your questions on the topic. She is also founder of AllergyKids Foundation and asks that you bring gently used kids’ clothes, blankets or sheets to her event, which her Foundation will in turn donate to a women and children’s shelter. Wednesday, May 9th from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Mile High Spirits, 2920 Larimer Street (accommodates 75 people) Guest speaker: Jeff Olson, former Olympian and Founder of Well Nourished Worldwide Last appearance: TEDxMileHigh 2011 Topic: What could a successful 2022 Olympics bid mean for the health and well being of our community and the world? Jeff will expand upon his last talk “An Olympic Why”, explain why you should get involved in bringing the Games to Denver and how you can do just that. The timing of this chat is just right given that Denver’s 2022 Exploratory Committee will deliver its report to Mayor Michael Hancock and Governor John Hickenlooper for consideration this spring. Wednesday, May 16th from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. S.A.M.E. Café, 2023 East Colfax Avenue (accommodates 40 people) Guest speaker: Libby Birky, Founder of S.A.M.E. Café Last appearance: TEDxMileHigh 2011 and TEDxMileHighSalon Topic: Creator of the pay-what-you-can restaurant concept, Libby creates community in an unusual way. She offers healthy, organic meals and “Dignity, Community and a Side of Veggies” to all who walk through the S.A.M.E. Café door, regardless of their ability to pay. According to Libby, positive change in the community begins with you and me, so she would like to talk with you about how just one person can create ripples that affect hundreds or even thousands of people. Did we mention that you get free admission to these chats? It doesn’t get much better than that! And why wait to start the conversation when we can do so now. Post any questions that you have for the speakers on our Facebook page, on Twitter using the hashtag #TEDxMHChats, or in the comments section of this blog. We’ll make sure that the speakers address each and every one during their chats and online. So even if you are unable to attend the chats, you can still be a part of the conversation. We look forward to your questions and to seeing you over the coming weeks. Image courtesy of Flickr user tonx.