top of page

The Speakers of 2023 TEDxSiouxFalls

Natasha Berg.png
AI and the Changing Landscape of Education

The emergence of ChatGPT in November of 2022 took the world by storm: particularly the world of education. With this technology able to generate complex pieces of writing, solve advanced math equations, generate code, and more with the push of a button, educators across the country have entered a state of panic. How are educators supposed to teach students when they have this technology at their literal fingertips? 


For too long, the field of education has been teetering at the precipice of serious change, and the widespread accessibility of generative AI may just be the catalyst education needs in order to progress in tandem with the rest of the world. But first, educators need to reevaluate their answer to the tough question: why do we teach?

You’re Never Too Young to Choose How to Age

What is more important than the act of choosing? It’s been said that the worst choice to make is none at all. In this talk, Becky hopes to inspire her listeners to make a choice regarding how they would like to age. This by no means has to be a painful process but rather one to be approached with curiosity, joy, and serendipity. No more panicking when those milestone birthdays that end in zero come around — regardless of whether it’s 30 or 60 that’s making you anxious. Rather, let’s embrace what might be lying ahead. Becky invites the audience to see themselves as whole beings composed of three parts — body, mind, and spirit. Through personal stories and scientific research, we will explore the opportunities that a long view of life can hold. By the end of our time together, the audience should have a new appreciation of the vibrancy provided by those living in the post-60 space, as well as a personal realization that there is no expiration date on living a life of impact and wonder.

Becky Blue.png
Copy of TEDx Speaker1.jpg
Designing Your City Like Disney

Disney theme parks are some of the most visited destinations in the world – and for good reason. They are masterfully designed to transport guests into a whole new world through immersive storytelling and theming. From the stunning architecture and landscaping to the variety of live entertainment and one-of-a-kind experiences, every element of a Disney theme park is carefully crafted to create an atmosphere of magic and wonder.


But what if those things didn’t have to stay on vacation? What if we could bring some of that magic back home to our own communities?


During his talk, Zach will share examples of placemaking, economic development, and community-building techniques through the lens of Disney theme parks and how you can use them to transform your community into the happiest place on earth.

Living & Leading Life from a Love Script

How can relational trauma influence how leaders connect with and lead their followers? How does their attachment style influence their leadership style? These can influence how a leader impacts the work environment, whether positive or negative, and determines if they can create healthy, safe, and thriving spaces for their followers.

In this talk, Joshua will share examples from his early adoption and experiences of how the four attachment styles affect adult leadership style development. Joshua will discuss how a leader can gain self-awareness of their attachment and leadership style and become a legacy-building leader.

Joshua Duncan.png
Kristina Jackson.png
The Fish Paradox

Here’s a paradox: There is strong evidence that eating a fish during pregnancy can reduce the risk of preterm birth and provide key nutrients for the fetus’s cognitive development. Yet fish are one of the most avoided foods during pregnancy due to mercury and food safety concerns. Have we miscalculated the risks and benefits of eating fish in pregnancy over the last 20 years? Could the omega-3 fatty acids found only in fish and seafood be key for reducing risk for one of the most common, dangerous, and expensive complications in pregnancy? Can we identify women at risk for preterm birth based on a blood marker of omega-3 status?

Growing a Regenerative Perspective

While regenerative agriculture has become a popular topic in recent years, there is still much debate on what the term really means. In this talk, the framework of linear vs circular systems is discussed, pointing out the countless ways that agriculture has the capacity to be regenerative.  Specific examples of regenerative agriculture practices are outlined in the talk, showing how improved agriculture management practices can be more regenerative, productive, and profitable- all at the same time.  

Sara Lum.png
Out of Bounds: Embracing Discomfort as a Referee and Leader

Most athletic competitions have three teams on the court, but one team, the team of referees, has no fans. Referees play an important role in maintaining fairness and integrity in athletic competitions. Officiating is a challenging, rewarding, and fun profession that offers learning opportunities that extend far beyond the field of play.


In this Ted Talk, Sara shares her journey of becoming a basketball referee, highlighting how embracing discomfort as an official has shaped her into a better leader and professional. Making tough calls and facing criticism as a referee can be uncomfortable but ultimately builds resilience and confidence. She discusses how the best leadership lessons are often found in unexpected places and she encourages the audience to step outside of their comfort zone and take on new challenges.

Radical Accessibility: Including Everyone, No Exceptions

What if we reimagined a world built for everyone? People with disabilities represent the largest minority, with over 1 billion people living with disabilities worldwide. Inspired by her father who navigated the world with disabilities, designer Molly O’Connor advocates for radical accessibility, creating digital and physical spaces where access is not a burden or an afterthought — it’s a human right. Radical accessibility requires us to reflect on our biases and create everything we make with accessibility first. Together, we can remake the world into one that is accessible and equitable for all. But first, we must answer the call for radical accessibility.

Marcella Prokop.png
Mentorship Can Save a Life

Entering college is an overwhelming process at any age, and for first-generation college students – those who are the first in their family to attend— this process is even harder without guidance. First-gen students are about 30% less likely to enter or graduate from college than peers whose parents have a degree. For English Learners and other underserved students, the gaps are even larger.


Who’s responsible for helping youth see themselves on the path to college? Parents? High school counselors? You? Sharing stories of mentors in her life, Marcella Prokop shows how any of us can mentor a young person and impact their life.

The Power of Authenticity: Embracing Vulnerability in Eating Disorder Recovery

Eating disorders are complex mental health issues, and are among the deadliest of mental illnesses. However, a lot of stigma and harmful misinformation about eating disorders prevent people from getting the help they need. Like other mental health concerns, eating disorders are isolating, so building a community and creating space is imperative in recovery. In this TEDx, Kendra will use her journey living in recovery from an eating disorder to decrease stigma and misinformation surrounding eating disorders and highlight the concepts of radical acceptance and vulnerability in recovery.

Kendra Rooney.png

Photography by: Wes Eisenhauer Photography

Screenshot 2023-03-28 112704.png
bottom of page