SPEAKERS ANNOUNCEDTickets Are Now Available



TEDxSpokane 2020 Seeds of Community


The fastest demographic for video game use is middle-aged women, not middle schoolers!

This lifelong teacher from Cheney, Washington, loves spending time with her children and grandchildren. She has a traditional approach to having cream and sugar with her coffee and states pizza is one of her favorite foods.

Through her 30+ years of teaching and education experience, Tammie saw first-hand the power of games in the classroom. Yes, video games! Admittingly never having played a single hour of Call of Duty, Tammie will present the idea of educators leveraging games as a medium to connect with every child.


Dan will take us back in time to hear the passages passed down from generations before. Stories of a land before that provided for its people and how the native people nurtured it.

Dan is an Indigenous Educator from Nespelem, Washington, on the Colville Indian Reservation. He takes pride in hearing more of the Indigenous Native American perspectives like Ted Talks with Mark Charles. When he’s not traveling and Pow Wow dancing, he is a public speaker and educator. Through his work, Dan hopes to encourage schools to offer “more accurate Native American culture into their curriculum.” Dan’s deep connection to his stories and performance will move us all to think about the native land we now call home.


Have you heard of the cult next door?

Tracy is a Journalism Lecturer and Religion Reporter from Pullman, WA. She favors “Ted Radio Hour: NPR” because listening to other’s views opens her mind to new ideas. When she is not nurturing her houseplants, she is riding her road bike. In her time on the TEDx Spokane stage, Tracy wants to normalize the cult experience. She hopes to “shed the shame that comes from it (cults)”. Tracy shares her experience growing up in a cult, how her and her mother ended up there, and the shape of their relationship now.


Never look at a plastic water bottle the same way again.

Working as a consultant for a greener world, Mark is influenced by relevant and valuable topics that open his mind to new ideas. Seeing himself as an extreme introvert with social reservations, Marks favorite past times are spending time outdoors and sharing a beer from a local brewery. This first time TED speaker will inspire us all to stop buying reusable plastics and give us three ways we can all live a greener life, today!


Want to know the secret to financial success?

Rebecca is a registered Investment Advisor in Spokane, WA. Her favorite Ted Talk is Tim Urban’s “Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator.” She has a black belt in Taekwondo and loves a trip to local Long Lake with her family. She hopes to one day tour Europe with a caramel macchiato or London fog in hand. Rebecca will tell us the secrets she learned in over 20 years as a small business owner and certified public account. In her talk, Rebecca will encourage us all to accept responsibility for our own financial health. She might even give us some tools to make that first step toward change.


Can we actually find peace before we die?

Julie is an Estate Planning Attorney from Honolulu, HI. She is a certified death doula, and hypnotherapist to conduct past-life regression/ future-life progression. In her spare time, she enjoys meditating and spending time with nature. Her favorite Ted Talk is Sir Ken Richardson’s “Do Schools kill Creativity?” Julie leans more towards Ted Talks with surprises and a build-up to an unexpected lesson. She hopes her presentation empowers the inevitable stage of life that is death.

2019 Speakers


My name is Mark Anderson. I’m a poet, and Spokane’s most recent poet laureate. I’ve been performing poetry and organizing poetry events in Spokane for over a decade. I’m one of the co-founders of the cult classic Broken Mic readings series, as well as several other events. I’ve traveled all across the country performing in coffee shops, schools, poetry slams, bars, parks, and basements.


Kiantha is an avid writer, artist and philanthropist. In her profession she serves as a Program Officer at Empire Health Foundation. For over 20 years Kiantha has been recognized nationally as a community advocate, mobilizer and leader. As a former foster child having experienced traumatic Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Kiantha’s lived experience, passion and long standing commitment to leadership serve as drivers for both her personal and professional life. As a speaker, columnist, author and radio personality Kiantha enjoys helping others actualize their potential in the aftermath of having experienced trauma. YouTube Video Here


Linda Lawrence Hunt is co-founder of the Krista Foundation for Global Citizenship, an award-winning author, and former professor and director of the Writing Program at Whitworth University. A graduate of the University of Washington, she earned her Ph.D. from Gonzaga University. As the mother of a 25-year-old daughter who was killed while volunteering in Bolivia, plus a two-time cancer survivor, she has a strong interest in exploring the inner resources that give people resilience, strength and purpose. YouTube Video Here


Karli Ingersoll is a Spokane native, a designer, artist and arts organizer. She co-owns The Bartlett and Lucky You Lounge and is a songwriter/musician in several local bands including Super Sparkle, Cathedral Pearls and her solo project Windoe. She’s worked the past six years as a Spokane Arts Commissioner and runs the blog Collect to encourage and bolster the local arts scene. YouTube Video Here


I am a National Board-certified teacher at Moses Lake High school, and my students keep telling me I need to write a book or give a TED talk. I don’t think this is because of who I am, but because of who they are. This year, their argumentative research projects answer the question: What is it like to be a member of the class of 2020? Topics range from the lack of mental health counseling to the emerging mercantile nature of teen sexuality. Their stories reach down inside your core, draw the contents of your chest up through your sinus cavity, and lodge the debris somewhere behind your prefrontal cortex. They are beautiful and powerful and broken and patched together in ways that allow the best light of humanity to shine through them. YouTube Video Here


Erin is an investor, strategist, keynote speaker and coach. Much of her working life was spent in Chicago, first as a fundraising executive and then as a private banker at JPMorgan. She received her undergraduate degree in English Literature and French from Bates College and her MBA in Finance from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. More recently, she served as an independent corporate director for a technology company based in Denver, and for a privately-held brain health company in Chicago.

Erin speaks to corporate and non-profit audiences on business topics including “Equal Pay for Equal Work: Trends, Legislation and Best Practices,” “Confidence: Tales and Techniques to Disrupt Your Status Quo,” “Disrupt the Pay Gap: Groupthink Hurts Equal Pay,” and “10 Things Your MBA Won’t Teach You.” She teaches Global Strategic Management in Whitworth University’s MBA program and helped establish Whitworth’s Leadership360 Speaker Series.

For the past six years, Erin has coached North Idaho XC, a Jr. Olympic team comprised of 30 elite youth runners including 13 All-Americans. Erin grew up in Maine. She currently lives near Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. YouTube Video Here


Benjamin is a Spokane native living in Los Angeles. He is a board-certified behavior analyst providing behavioral and organizational consulting. He currently serves as the Director of Programs at Exceptional Minds, a vocational program training adults with autism to work in visual effects and animation. The program has afforded these artists the opportunity to work on projects such as Black PantherAvengers: End GameStar Wars, and Game of Thrones to name a few. He has nearly finished his PhD (ABD) in applied behavior analysis but has been working in the field of autism for 15 years. Benjamin has seen first-hand the struggles that individuals with autism and their families have faced exiting the educational system and transitioning into the workforce. He is committed to making a difference for this population by trying to create opportunities for meaningful participation in the workforce and society more broadly. YouTube Video Here


Abby Miller is a consultant specializing in developing effective, nutritious school meal programs for rural communities throughout Eastern Washington. As a registered dietitian, she focuses her work on educating faculties and students alike on everything from scratch cooking skills to the nutritional importance of fresh produce. As a mother of two young girls, she is passionate about child nutrition education and the important role that food has in the social, emotional, mental, and physical development of children. YouTube Video Here


I am a freelance author whose work has appeared in the New Yorker, Atlantic, NY Times and elsewhere, on topics ranging from computer chess programming to the evolution of whales to the international conspiracy of olive oil fraudsters.  My new book explores the social, legal, and psychological history of whistleblowing. The rise of the whistleblower is a reaction to growing corruption in the US over the last 50 years, driven by the normalization of fraud; the unhealthy melding of public and private spheres; the 2008 financial crisis; and post-9/11 wars. The whistleblower’s newfound legal and moral authority shows that America’s moral compass has wavered – can we only trust this handful of freelance truth-tellers? – but also points the way to a healthier nation.YouTube Video Here


My name is Nicolette Ocheltree and I’m a philosopher from Spokane, Washington. I went to college at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas and graduate school at Columbia University in New York. When I am not working on my new book, I am probably talking someone’s ear off about current affairs or spending time with my bearded dragon and chickens. YouTube Video Here


Ryan Oelrich is an artist, advocate, and community builder. He serves as the Executive Director of Priority Spokane, a nationally recognized collective impact organization, and he’s a Culture of Health Fellow with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. He was awarded the Peirone Prize for service in 2016, and he’s received congressional recognition for his work on poverty and homelessness issues. Oelrich built a Hobbit house which serves as the office for his consulting business, and he’s founded 3 nonprofits focused on youth development. He’s an advocate for healthy communities and increased collaboration. This is Ryan’s 2nd TEDx talk, and he’s proudly married to Robert Thompson who’s also presenting at this year’s TEDx Spokane event.” YouTube Video Here


Carla Shayman was born and raised in southwest Florida where she was active in gymnastics and other sports growing up. She obtained a Bachelor’s of Science in Health with a minor in Exercise Science from the University of North Florida and then received a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Northeastern University in Boston. Carla now works as a physical therapist with a board certification in orthopedics. She has had a lifelong passion for staying physically active and loves spreading that passion to others. She is committed to showing others how to use movement as medicine and incorporate physical activity and stretching into their daily lives. YouTube Video Here


Robert Thompson is an artist, actor, athlete, and entertainer who lives at the intersection of a multitude of socially constructed spaces. He’s performed in shows at Lake City Play House, the Modern Theater, and Stage Left. Robert works in development for the City of Spokane, is a graduate of Arizona State University, and is a co-founder of the Spokane Sidewalk Games project. Robert is proudly married to Ryan Oelrich, and together they are the fathers of one puppy, two goats, and five chickens. They are both presenting at this year’s TEDx Spokane event.
“Cordelia is a scholar, artist and entertainer from Spokane WA. Cordelia began performing locally in 2011 and though she continues to make occasional appearances, she has taken time away from the stage to gain her degree in political science and criminal justice. She is particularly interested in post modern theories of personality and the creation of identity.”  YouTube Video Here


Tickets & Map

Due to Covid-19, TEDxSpokane will virtually stream on Oct. 10, 2020

The Bing Crosby Theater,  901 W Sprague Ave, Spokane, WA 99201


Welcome to TEDxSpokane. We invite you to collaborate with us in creating a community of idea sharing and inspiration. This is how we change the world— one idea at a time. This high-energy daylong event will feature shared ideas and entertaining presentations citizens of the Inland Empire and beyond.

This October marks our sixth live event and it will originate from the historic Bing Crosby Theater in downtown Spokane. Our 2016 event was sold out, attended by 400 people and videos have been viewed by over a quarter of a million people online.

We believe that sharing ideas can change attitudes, lives and ultimately our world. TEDxSpokane is part of a growing phenomenon known as TED. TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to sharing ideas. It started in 1984 as a conference of people seeking to share their knowledge in the worlds of technology, entertainment and design. TED now conducts live conferences featuring some of the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers. Videos from those conferences are available online and more than a billion people have viewed and grown intellectually as a result.

Those of us in the Pacific Northwest and Spokane have great ideas as well. That’s why we created TEDxSpokane and all of the activities involved with the nonprofit organization. Each year our volunteer organizers seek to find and give a stage to people in our community and others with great ideas. And each year, we connect with the international TED community and host viewing events to give national and international ideas a chance to be seen and heard on our local stage. We invite you to be part of TEDxSpokane.

TEDxSpokane, Founder and Licensee


Be Our Partner


We’re reaching out to a select group of organizations that are committed to the power of ideas and asking them to partner to help make TEDxSpokane activities possible.

We aren’t interested in selling ad space, our goal is to create lasting partnerships with organizations that want to be part of and add depth to the TEDxSpokane experience. Our presenters address some of humanity’s toughest challenges offering answers through innovation, enterprise and optimism. We seek to highlight local and regional ideas that inspire people to change their lives, their communities, and their world. Your partnership will help make this great event possible.

Join our community of thinkers, and benefit from an individually tailored partnership.

Patrick Ream
TEDxSpokane, Business Development


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Jamie Tender


Jamie Tender is the Head of School for Saint George’s, in charge of school advancement, teaching and learning, faculty and administration. As the Founder of TEDxSpokane, Jamie oversees all operations for the annual event, which began in 2011. He also serves as a speaker coach for several speakers each year. Each independently organized TEDxSpokane is Saint George’s gift to the community, bringing together thought leaders from throughout the country, while highlighting Inland Northwest’s connection to TED. Jamie has been with Saint Georges School since 2003, elevating the non-sectarian, independent school to a K-12 leader in providing International Baccalaureate education to students from the Inland Northwest, Asia and Europe. He holds a BA in Economics from Denison University and an MA in Sports Administration from Georgia State University. Jamie and his wife Elizabeth have a son playing hoops for the University of Redlands, a daughter modeling for IMG and another daughter gracing the halls of Saint George’s.

Grace Leaf


Grace Leaf’s affiliation with TEDxSpokane began in 2012, when she served as its Emcee and a speaker coach. This is her second and last year serving as Curator, responsible for selecting the speakers and producing the live program. Grace also licensed TEDxCCS in 2013, serving as Curator at the Community Colleges of Spokane (CCS), only the second community college in the country to do a TEDx event. Grace holds a BA in Communication from Washington State University and an MA in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University. As the Director of Human Resources for CCS, she holds two globally recognized HR certifications–the SPHR and SHRM-SCP. Grace is the parent of a Saint Georges alum and a former Parent Association officer.

Mike Poutiatine


Mike Poutiatine is a university professor and educational consultant in Spokane. Mike has worked on every TEDx Spokane since we started doing them – Mike is a founding Board member of Northwest x Talks, the non-profit founded to support TEDx Spokane. In the photo – I am the one on the left.

Charlie Wolff


Charlie Wolff works in business development for the City of Spokane, and a Saint George’s alum, organizes community engagement projects for TEDxSpokane. Charlie is committed to mobilizing the residents of Spokane and the region around ideas shared at TEDxSpokane events.

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Starting as a four-day conference in California 26 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. At TED, the world’s leading thinkers and doers are asked to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. Talks are then made available, free, at TED.com. TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Benoit Mandelbrot, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Two major TED events are held each year: The TED Conference takes place every spring in Long Beach, California (along with a parallel conference, TEDActive, in Palm Springs), and TEDGlobal is held each summer in Edinburgh, Scotland.

TED’s media initiatives include TED.com, where new TEDTalks are posted daily; the new TED Conversations, enabling broad conversations among TED fans; and the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as the ability for any TEDTalk to be translated by volunteers worldwide.

TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world are given the opportunity to put their wishes into action. TEDx, which offers individuals or groups a way to host local, self-organized events around the world; and the TED Fellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to become part of the TED community and, with its help, amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.

For information about TED’s upcoming conferences, visit http://www.ted.com/registration

Follow TED on Twitter at http://twitter.com/TEDTalks, or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TED

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