2018 Speakers

We seek to explore the questions of: How we cultivate the skills and mindsets necessary to see beyond the limits of our own egos and aspirations? How do we set aside the habits of mind and judgment long enough to see into the world beyond ourselves? How does the world beyond ourselves compel us to action for the common good?

We are excited to have a group of speakers who will share ideas on a variety of interesting topics. Our theme for 2018 is Beyond Ourselves, we will create a setting where ideas are re-examined and your current understanding may be challenged. TEDxSpokane has the same mission as TED and that is: “To spread ideas worth sharing.” We look forward to bringing people together from the Inland Empire to share ideas and generate new meaning and actions. Visit YouTube for a playlist.

L-R: Manning, Schluter, Power2Poetry (3), Oberest, Ho, Nzibarega, Davis, Sanders, Hippe, Swanson, Anthony

Kenzie Farmer


Kinzie Farmer is a curious soul with and gifted storyteller. Over the past two summers, she has “run away from home”, traveling abroad to live in three different countries (Mexico, Ireland and Spain). In her travels she has made it a habit to seek out cities and communities no one has ever heard of. Whether motivated by fear, or adventure, your borders are destroyed when you physically leave them behind because running away may be the best thing to bring you back to where you are meant to be.

Skyler Oberst


Skyler Oberst has a full-time job reminding people to love their neighbors, through his work with the Spokane Interfaith Council. Skyler seeks to do this by example all day and every day. Skyler’s work is to promote religious and cultural literacy using social and digital media. By using a series of “how to visit” videos and open houses, Skyler is breaking down ideological barriers and building community in a meaningful way.

Carrie Davis


Carrie Davis is Spokane native (born and raised) and a big fan of the Pacific Northwest. Carrie is a teacher, mom, daughter and partner, a surrogate mom for herfriends, and for the last nine years she has coordinated and built a nationwide peer support and mentorship program for amputees. Carrie currently works in Patient Experience and organizational transformation through empathy and servant-leadership. Leading a life of service and finding common ground with others allows us to see beyond the limits of our egos and make lasting impacts on each other and the world around us.

Jim Sheehan


Jim Sheehan has a deep thirst for justice, in all of its forms. Jim Sheehan spent his first 20-year career as a public defender where he witnessed society’s cast of “disposable characters” and understood how deeply the systems that are meant to protect people can fail them. He became frustrated by the way order was championed over justice, and this frustration re-oriented his approach to public service. Together with local citizens and community leaders, Jim has spent the last 20 years leveraging his community resources by creating flexible, affordable, and beautiful places that nurture creativity and authentic connection in the service of social justice. Through the mystical power of place that is rooted in the pursuit of justice, people can and will self-organize and innovate beyond anything a philanthropist, social-activist, developer, or city planner could have imagined.

Brook Swanson


Brook Swanson is a professor in Biology. He teaches a variety of courses in involving physiology, evolution, and marine biology. Through his research in evolutionary biology he explores the design of animals from an engineering and evolutionary perspectives. This work has brought Brook to an interest in collaboration and in communicating ideas in new ways and through interdisciplinary thinking. Brook will provide insights into the collaborative process and an idea he calls “radical collaboration”. Brook will provide examples of this radical collaboration with help from the dance program at Gonzaga University.

Kevin Sanders


Kevin Sanders has spent more than 25 years in marketing, including senior-level roles and consulting in financial services, hospitality, higher education, high tech, healthcare, and foodservice. He is currently the CMO for a technology startup. Kevin believes trust is the foundation of all great companies, organizations and institutions. However, he also believes that trust is at an all-time low in our culture, society and in our world. In this new world where skepticism is now the default, businesses need to prove trustworthiness if they want to attract clients and thrive in our current society.

Come Nzibarega


Come Nzibarega has a gift for languages; he speaks five—French, Swahili, Kirundi, Amharic and English. In 2005, languages helped him land a job as a translator for a United Nations peacekeeping force sent to Burundi, which for decades has been plagued by conflicts between the nation’s two largest ethnic groups. By assisting the peacekeeping force, Come became a target of a rebel group and was forced to flee, becoming a refugee in Ethiopia for 6 years – six years! Come believes refugee camps are the richest places in the world and wants to share that insight with the world in order to create more inclusive communities and societies.

Anna Ho


Anna Ho uncovers actionable insights for Fortune 500 companies. With a master’s in Technology, Innovation & Education from Harvard and a second master’s in Media Studies from Stanford, she has over a decade of experience in education (in the U.S. and South Korea). She believes in order to design meaningful experiences for people, we must first do two things: understand, then empathize. Behavioral Archetypes—an original concept from Smashing Ideas—are the best way to do this, helping you grasp the “who does what, when they do it, and why.”

Scott Hippe


Scott Hippe is a family physician completing residency training in Boise, Idaho. He is passionate about extending health services to rural and underserved areas. During medical training he has advocated for various health initiatives, most recently regarding improving accessibility of health insurance to citizens in Idaho. In the past he called Spokane home while attending Gonzaga University and as a medical student. Scott believes the notion that doctors “save lives” in hospitals is a misplaced glorification of a healthcare system that fails to prevent those lives from needing to be saved in the first place; both those in health-related and health-unrelated fields should redouble efforts at preventive health.

Power 2 Poetry


Bethany Montgomery is founder of a spoken word movement promoting freedom of expression and providing an advocacy platform to underrepresented demographics. Raising awareness to social, cultural, and political issues; she and her colleagues work by infiltrating consciousness and expressing truth. Bethany and her colleagues seek to shed light on experiences that expose social issues. Bethany is the spark that ignites the flame to stand up and be the change we want in our worlds. She believes in the power of words to motivate change through the use of poetry to express, expose, ignite and to instill culture, diversity, and inclusion in the community.

Robbi Anthony


Robbi Anthony is an entrepreneur, a transgender activist and a business owner. Robbi started her first business 10 years ago in Spokane while in high school and hasn’t looked back. Her focus is inclusivity; inclusivity requires discomfort, as that’s the heart of empathy. Through her insights about the nature of loss, pain, hope and empathy Robbi will present a call for deeper community and compassion in our world.

Adam Schluter


Adam Schluter, an award-winning, National Geographic published photographer, decided to put landscape and travel photography behind him and focus on trying to use a camera to connect with people all around him. In the last six months, he has been to over 16 countries and just walked up to strangers to ask them for their photograph. During the process, his life was changed from the spontaneous connections that happened by just interacting with the world around him. He will be sharing his encounters, and some of his most powerful moments from this project, during the speech.

Mandy Manning


Mandy Manning is the 2018 National Teacher of the Year. Mandy teaches in the Newcomer Center (English language development for brand new immigrant and refugee students) at Ferris High School in Spokane. She is a wife and mother. Mandy believes passionately in first understanding her students and their experiences. The first step to serving refugee and immigrant students and communities is to work to understand their experiences, their needs, hopes and dreams. By reaching across difference with understanding and compassion we can create stronger, safer, and more connected communities.

Tickets & Map

TEDxSpokane 2018 at the Bing Crosby Theater was on October 6, 2018.

stay tuned for TEDxSpokane 2019. Watch speaker talks on YouTube!

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

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

Come early. Doors open at 8:30am.


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

  • TEDxSpokane History


    In 2012, TEDxSpokane hosted a live event that featured 15 speakers. Our live audience and those who are viewing the videos online heard from professors, teachers, parents, students, administrators, artists and citizens as they shared their ideas under the banner theme “Creativity, Action and Service.” And, the audience continues to grow as people share links to the videos.

    We’re excited to be licensed by TED and in 2017 we will once again provide an opportunity for a growing number of people to share and discuss ideas that help them grow and seek to improve our world. 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. TEDxSpokane is organized by people from Spokane and across the great Pacific Northwest.

    Jamie Tender, Head of School at Saint George’s School, has always been a huge-fan of TED talks. In 2011, Jamie and the previous Head of School, Joe Kennedy, began making plans to bring a TEDx to Saint George’s School to share with the Spokane Community and thus his journey to start TEDxSpokane began. Before TEDxSpokane, Jamie licensed TEDxSaintGeorgesSchool as an educational opportunity for the students at Saint George’s. After attending TED Global 2012 in Scotland, Jamie was awarded a TEDx site license under the name of TEDxSpokane. Today, TEDxSpokane is an annual event held in Spokane and is organized by people from Saint George’s School, Spokane and across the great Pacific Northwest on a volunteer basis. For more information on our organizers, view their bios here.

    For the first 5 years of the conference, Saint George’s School, a college prep and IB World School in North Spokane served as host and major contributor to the conference.  In 2017 Jamie and the TEDxSpokane planning team felt it was necessary to grow the event, and started Northwest X Talks to become our own non-profit fiscal agent for the conferences.  Northwest X Talks was incorporated as a non-profit in May of 2017.  Our primary mission is to design, produce and support the annual TEDx Spokane conference.   Northwest X Talks also may serve as an agent for other talks, speaker-series and other venues for “ideas worth spreading” as the organization sees the need or opportunity. 

    TEDxSpokane events have included:

    2012 – TEDxSaintGeorgesSchool (pre-license): “Action, Ideas and Passion” hosted at Saint George’s School

    2013 – TEDxSpokane: “Creativity, Action and Service” hosted at Saint George’s School

    2014 – TEDxSpokane: “Connections and Intersections” hosted at Saint George’s School

    2015 – TEDxSpokane: “Knowing it Again” hosted at Saint George’s School

    2016 – TEDxSpokane: “Passion in Motion” hosted at Saint George’s School

    2017 – TEDxSpokane: Predictors and Prognosticator: The Future of the Future” hosted at The Bing.

  • Partnership Offerings

    TEDx partner offerings come in many forms and various levels. We offer three levels of offerings which will include premier recognition leading up to and during to TEDxSpokane 2017. These partnerships assist us with the speaker related travel, housing, and food expenses. The speakers are not paid to speak, but sometimes they incur travel and miscellaneous expenses for which we reimburse them. Additionally, partnerships assist with marketing, advertising, venue signage, and any additional electronic rentals associated with the production of TEDxSpokane. Our Visionary level is reserved for a collaborating partner with dedicated focus on the attendees, speakers and committed to develop the best TEDx conference for the Spokane community.

    Visionary Partner (1 offered = $8,000 FILLED)

    • Exclusive partner logo included before ALL TEDxSpokane online videos.
    • Premier logo placement in event program.
    • Exclusive tickets and access to Speakers Reception.
    • Premier logo on TEDxSpokane website, linked to company site.
    • Partner booth or space at event.
    • Product in gift bag (certain restrictions apply).
    • Eight complimentary tickets to TEDxSpokane.
    • Acknowledgement from stage during event.
    • Full-page ad in event program.
    • Right of first refusal for future partnership opportunities.
    • Personalized social media created for partner’s use.
    • Use of event photos from TEDxSpokane.
    • Individualized benefits to be discussed.

    Growth Partner (5 offered = $4,000 each)

    • Logo placement in event program.
    • Exclusive tickets and access to Speakers Reception.
    • Logo on TEDxSpokane website, linked to company site.
    • Partner booth or space at event.
    • Product in gift bag (certain restrictions apply).
    • Six complimentary tickets to TEDxSpokane.
    • Acknowledgement from stage during event.
    • Half-page ad in event program.
    • Social media assets for partner’s use.
    • Use of event photos from TEDxSpokane.

    Knowledge Partner (15 offered = $2,000 each)

    • Logo placement in event program.
    • Exclusive tickets to Speakers Reception.
    • Logo on TEDxSpokane website, linked to company site.
    • Partner booth or space at event.
    • Product in gift bag (certain restrictions apply).
    • Two complimentary tickets to TEDxSpokane.
    • Acknowledgement from stage during event.
    • Quarter-page ad in event program.
    • Social media assets for partner’s use.
    • Knowledge Partnership will be utilized for the express need of speakers


    Our Named Partners play a critical part of the excellence and operations of the TEDxSpokane event. Named Partners will enjoy similar benefits of the leveled partnerships with customized benefit packages based on the relative value of the contribution, recommended min $1,000. You will be recognized with premium branding tied to the particular area you choose to sponsor:

    Airline | Lodging | Transportation | Attendee Lunch | Speaker Reception | Production


    In addition to the above partnerships, there are numerous ways you can participate through in-kind donations. Below are some areas we have identified but the range of possibilities is wide-open. We will customize benefits packages based on the relative value of the in-kind gift:

    Catering (lunch and/or cocktail) | Beverages (alcoholic & non-alcoholic drinks) | Printing |

    Photography & Videography | Media Partners | Goody Bag Items | Staff Shirts


Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)


Your Message


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 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, 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

Follow TED on Twitter at, or on Facebook at

Back to Top