We were absolutely thrilled to have such a powerhouse of passionate, diverse, and creative presenters for the 11th annual TEDxSaltLakeCity event on September 25, 2023! Subscribe to our YouTube channel for videos from these talented presenters.
Nubia Peña is a community organizer and policy advocate for underrepresented populations with 20+ years’ experience. In 2016, she earned a Juris Doctorate from the University of Utah, and her career has included assisting survivors of domestic abuse, sexual assault, and human trafficking, defending system-involved youth in court proceedings, public service and private consulting.
Ms. Peña has received numerous awards, including the Utah Minority Bar Association (UMBA) Jimi Mitsunaga Excellence in the Law Award in 2022, the YWCA’s 2023 Outstanding Achievement Award for Racial and Gender Equity as well as being selected as a 2023 Presidential Leaders Scholars.
Talk topic: Intentional disruption of traditional psychiatric treatments
Ben Lewis is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Huntsman Mental Health Institute (HMHI) where he practices adult inpatient psychiatry and is the medical director of the HMHI Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy Clinic
His research focuses on psychedelic-assisted therapies with an emphasis on psilocybin and ketamine-assisted psychotherapy. He is interested in the overlap of mindfulness and psychedelic interventions and is deeply invested in investigating these practices for the alleviation of human suffering.
Performer: Music & Dance
Bomba Marilé was established in 2017 to share Afro Puerto Rican traditions of bomba music and dance with the greater Utah community. A musical expression of resistance, bomba has been used for intentional disruptions such as providing cover for escapes and rebellions as well as to honor the struggles of ancestors. Bomba Marilè has hosted workshops and social gatherings and has screened documentaries highlighting issues related to Puerto Rico. They have performed at various cultural events throughout Utah including the Living Traditions Festival, West Side Dance Cinco de Mayo Festival, Mondays at the Park, and the Utah County Fair.
Talk topic: Intentional disruption of fertilizer effectiveness
Clark Bell is an accomplished serial entrepreneur, having successfully established more than five companies throughout his career. Hailing from Millcreek, Utah, he spent his weekends cultivating his family's land in Bluffdale, Utah. This upbringing has bestowed upon him a distinctive perspective, positioning him as a forward-thinking leader dedicated to forging a sustainable future through regenerative agriculture. Clark's personal life is equally fulfilling, as he is happily married to his beloved Jamilyn, and together they reside in South Jordan, where they are raising their four children and serving their community.
Talk topic: Intentional disruption of book publishing.
Elle Griffin is the author of The Elysian, a newsletter thinking through a better future and a utopian novel bringing it to life. Her newsletter has been featured by the BBC, Business Insider, Fast Company, Publisher’s Weekly, and Morning Brew; and in 2022, she was awarded one of 10 places in Substack’s coveted fellowship program.
Talk topic: Intentional disruption of scientific research.
Eric Lo is a serial entrepreneur driven by making things better. Having experience in molecular biology, biotechnology, software engineering, agriculture, and audio media production, Eric uses his experiences from each field to develop creative solutions in disrupting and pushing forward possibilities.
Talk topic: Intentional disruption of health care worker training
Dr. Erika Sullivan (she/her) is a family physician and medical educator in Salt Lake City, Utah. Her practice focuses on providing evidence-based, culturally competent whole-person care to members of the LGBTQIA+ population and in providing rapid access to contraceptive services in her community. When she’s not seeing patients, she can be found teaching Family Medicine Residents about LGBTQIA+ and contraceptive health. She is the Medical Co-Director of the University of Utah’s Transgender Health Program, a founding member of the Gender-Affirming Primary Care Residency & Research Collaborative and the Medical Director and Co-Founder of the annual Mountain West Transforming Care Conference.
Glenn Stucki is a retail worker and visual artist living in Utah. After sustaining an injury in a jet skiing accident when he was 11 years old, Glenn was in a coma for six weeks. When he awoke, a superhero painting on his hospital room wall inspired his recovery. In order to help others going through struggles, Glenn creates painting to intentionally & positively disrupt those difficulties and help put smiles on their faces. See Glenn’s paintings on his website
Talk topic: Intentional disruption of pigeon-holing employees
Like the many pieces that make up a mosaic, Jennifer sees seemingly independent pieces that contribute to a collective whole. This perspective has fueled her desire to meaningfully engage in adventures and cultures across the world. It comes to life in her work as she partners with organizations to solve complex challenges and improve the journey of organizations and the experiences of their people. After being a practitioner in organizations of all types and sizes, she now runs her own consulting and freelance practice where she brings her ‘mosaic’ perspective to help organizations maximize their potential and people.
Performer: Vocalist & Spoken Word
Marj Empire is the Founder and CEO of Blooming Biz and Mind, LLC and the agency HighRev by BBM. She is a seasonal Utah Jazz National Anthem Singer, award-winning executive leadership coach, and author of the book and album, "Be Still". Marj is a philanthropist who gives back to her community in Haiti.
She is passionate about personal and small business development.
Talk topic: Intentional disruption of assumptions about homelessness
Michelle Flynn has served as Executive Director of The Road Home since February 2020, having been with the agency for 25 years in various roles. Michelle is a fierce advocate for systemic changes to reduce and end homelessness. She is dedicated to the mission of The Road Home and her role of supporting the team members providing crisis shelter and housing programs. Her work focuses on program and system planning, using best practices and data to achieve key outcomes and lifting and embracing the voices of front-line workers and people experiencing homelessness into decision making roles.
A graphic designer and illustrator, Nicole LaRue is widely known for creating the Women's March on Washington logo. She earned her BFA from Brigham Young University, and she is the author, designer and illustrator of a number of books, including “Girl Almighty” and “Small & Mighty”, interactive activist journals for kids. She collaborated with human rights lawyer Kate Kelly on “Ordinary Equality”, a book about the women and queer people of the ERA. Her most recent work, “You Could Have Said Something Beautiful Instead”, intentionally disrupts words of hate by turning them into something beautiful.
Talk topic: Intentional disruption of theater productions
RJ Walker is an award winning spoken word poet and playwright from Salt Lake City, Utah. He placed 3rd at the World Poetry Slam and 4th at the National Poetry Slam with the Salt City Slam team. He is a writer in residence at the Utah Arts Alliance and the Executive Director of Lords of Misrule Theatre Company, a fringe theatre group with a focus on mutual aid and arts activism. His work sits at the intersection of Performance Art, Literary Art, and Games.
Talk topic: Intentional disruption of unpreparedness for teammate death
Sara Beaudry-Wiltse, Ph.D, ATC, has 20+ years of experience in collegiate athletics, including recruiting, team management, and sports medicine. With a Ph.D. in Mind-Body Medicine she has assisted thousands in coping with the impacts of teammate deaths, catastrophic injury, and the lingering challenges of loss. In athletics, business, and life, the impacts of wins and losses last beyond the events themselves; she believes our wellness practices should be just as enduring. Sara’s unique ability to combine the body's natural awareness with the mind's abilities to apply intellect and facilitated processes result in a profound methodology for lasting intentional change.
Talk topic: Intentional disruption of unsupportive workplace environments
Tanisha Shedden is a counselor, coach, and speaker guided by her passion to help people heal. Tanisha advocates and educates about trauma, healing, and mental health. As she fosters community through her work, Tanisha uses her voice to create meaningful understanding around the issues that affect us all.