How does one escape the tendency to temper curiosity in our increasingly busy lives? There’s a risk that we may end up getting used to how things are and eventually forget to question everything. Enter TEDxMileHigh: Wonder. If there was an answer to that question, the past week proved that there is nothing stronger than the power of human curiosity. The 19th season of TEDxMileHigh invited us to re-engage our senses, let our minds run wild, and make space for creativity at the biggest conversation in town. We invite you to reminisce with us in our fondest memories of the entire experience.


ADVENTURES

You can count on us to build a crescendo of excitement leading up to the conference. In the spirit of “ideas worth exploring”, the momentum began with a bold series of Adventures, from traversing the Rocky Mountains with geology experts to daring to learn about and eat insects for protein. In case you missed it, here’s a recap. On Thursday, we celebrated Women In Art at ATC DEN though an evening of creative interaction and conversation. The night was essentially a curated art exhibit filled with a celebration of women in the art community, spanning various mediums. From soulful poetry to the illustrations of quotes, interactive spirographs drawings, and the documentation of humans with vitiligo, each art form focused on femininity and womanhood.

Check out the full list of the artists here.

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VIP KICKOFF PARTY

The VIP Party officially kicked off the week, formally acclimating attendees to TEDxMileHigh: Wonder. With DJ Simone Says playing euphonies in the background, you could meander through the crowd, overhearing people mingling with new speakers, past speakers, excited speakers, and, of course, nervous speakers. There was even a surprise performance by a special guest and past speaker, Theo E. J. Wilson. He recited two poems: one poem titled “Wonder” and another refreshed poem from his first performance on the TEDxMileHigh stage titled “Ode to Woman”. Peter Lynch, the cul-de-sac entrepreneur, recounts his memory on the “red dot” and mentioned at the end of the night that TEDxMileHigh is about crafting connections. Indeed, that was part one of the deluge of connections to come during the week.


FRIDAY NIGHT SOCIAL

The Friday Night Social served as the casual corollary to the VIP Kickoff Party. The RiNo Yacht Club welcomed the entire audience, providing opportunities for conversations and amiable networking between fellow TEDx’ers over amusing TEDx themed drinks.


SPEAKERS & PERFORMERS

If you attended Wonder, you probably discovered a new idea you are ready to support, or a favorite speaker or two. You were probably moved by a big idea that you heard, or by the powerful words spoken by the poets or melodies created by the musicians.

The 17 speakers who presented their world-shifting ideas at Wonder captured the audience and asked us to question what it means to be an architect or a futurist. We were asked to consider a working solution that would help fix the energy crisis and the lack of space on our planet by importing resources from outer-space. A Vietnam War veteran, full of stories, reminded us of the power of photography who is out there fighting for us. Another speaker questioned whether we think millennials are capable of leading companies? A millennial herself, she encouraged and reminded that her generation is the current and future CEOs, founders, and leaders. Our perception of the cannabis industry was shattered by hearing the data that isn’t reported on the news. We were “reminded” that “if I can’t do it, it can’t be done.” The question of asking “why,” was questioned – and we were, instead, encouraged to ask “what.” A city-planner shared the simple notion that since children play in parks, they should design them!

We rounded up what was being shared on social media to capture some of the most profound quotes and moments that happened on stage at TEDxMileHigh: Wonder.


EXHIBITS & EXPERIENCES

One of the thrills of TEDxMileHigh, in addition to the incredible Talks on-stage, are the hands-on experiences available off-stage. The curated exhibits showcase what’s most-advanced in the world of tech, science, design, and education and our Wonder exhibits were no exception!

Chances are you saw an inflatable dinosaur, waving comically at you from The Denver Museum of Nature & Science’s exhibit, which involved a preview into an experiment in tasting and flavor with their Genetics Taste Lab. If you missed it, bring the family over to the GTL at the DMNS which opens November 20, 2017.

HealthONE challenged everyone with a life-size game of Operation. Though if it wasn’t challenging, the bold and curious could try their hand in surgery with the incredible DaVinci Surgery Robot, which aids in cancer-removing surgery procedures in real life.

Right outside the doors to the theater was the always-popular Great West GIF Photo Booth, which encouraged attendees to jot down and share their thoughts and dreams while snapping fun GIF sequences!

Tech firm, RevGen was up to some pretty cool live-keyword research – if you visited their booth and had been sharing your thoughts about Wonder on social media that day, the most-used words were populated in a word-cloud! 

The Optera Group was perhaps one of the busiest exhibits since they were giving attendees the chance to experience virtual reality (VR)! Even though VR is emerging as a popular form of technology, it’s still rather elusive. Whether you were directly engaging the VR or just a bystander, it proved to be a fascinating experience to witness the interaction with a simulated chess game, virtual surgery, and more.

Small Planet E-Bikes showed of some of the newest developments in E-Bike technology and design, and the TEDxMileHigh Bookstore offered attendees the chance to pick up books from their favorite speakers and have them signed live and in-person!

For those wanting to connect with others in the TEDxMileHigh community during breaks, the Speaker Q&As were the perfect way to continue the conversations started on stage, and the Speed Networking provided a fun and easy opportunity to meet a new friend or two.

TEDxMileHigh Wonder Speaker Q&As
Photography by Josh Barrett

AFTER PARTY