CODY, WYO. — A diverse roster of speakers will explore topics ranging from Wyoming’s big game migrations to leadership secrets of the Wild West next month as part of Cody’s first TEDx conference.
TEDx Cody is a local, self-organized event licensed under the nonprofit TED organization that holds globally heralded conferences featuring short talks aimed at communicating powerful “ideas worth spreading.” Cody’s conference will feature eight speakers discussing the event’s theme: “Depicting the West.”
Conference organizer John Wells said the April 17 event will “reflect a cultural shift under way at the heart of the Western experience.”
Wells organized last year’s Yellowstone Skate Jam, which supported Cody’s skateboard bowl at Mentock Park and benefited young skateboarders in Afghanistan.
Presenters for the April 17 TEDx Cody conference will be:
Journalist and entrepreneur Tim White, discussing leadership secrets of the Wild West.
Wildlife researcher Matthew Kauffman, discussing Wyoming’s big game migrations.
Multidisciplinary artist Bently Spang, discussing the tensions between indigeneity and Western ideals reflected in his art.
Northwest College Development Coordinator Andrea Shipley, discussing women in the Equality State.
Heart Mountain Interpretive Center Executive Director Brian Liesinger discussing the value of mining our miseries for richer stories.
Writer Bill Hoagland reading original poems of Park County.
Sportsman Rob Breeding discussing the cultural tradition of hunting.
Community development specialist Tara Kuipers on community collaboration as the barn-raising of our modern times.
“It’s a great line-up of speakers that reflects a broad range of compelling topics,” said organizing committee member Jenny DeSarro, one of about a dozen people volunteering to help launch TEDxCody.
“Picking our final roster was difficult because of the many great applicants, and we want to thank everyone who applied to speak,” DeSarro said.
Kauffman, who works from the University of Wyoming in Laramie on a number of wildlife research projects, said he has spoken to many groups about his work, but never as part of a TED event.
“I’m intrigued by the TED style of presentation, which is a very compelling way to tell important stories,” Kauffman said. “I’m excited to shape some of the things I’ve talked about before into the TED format, and bring it to a Cody audience.”
“The long-distance migrations I’ll be talking about are a part of the West we’ve lost in many places, but we still retain in Wyoming,” he said. “It’s part of Wyoming’s cultural heritage, and there’s a connection to the broader theme of Western issues that migration can speak to.”
DISCLOSURE: Ruffin Prevost, the author of this story, is also a member of the TEDx Cody organizing committee.
If you go…
TEDx Cody is scheduled for 5:30 – 9:30 p.m. April 17 at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, with seating for the event capped under TED rules to no more than 100. Tickets are $35 (seniors and students $15), and available online and at The Thistle in Cody and the Powell Tribune. Visit www.tedxcody.com for more information.