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UM News
August 28, 2013

The University of Montana will host TEDxUMontana at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19, in the Masquer Theatre of the Performing Arts and Radio/TV Center. The program will feature nine speakers, two TED Talks videos and two performances with a 30-minute intermission for interaction and discussion.

TEDxUMontana is limited to 100 participants. People interested in attending the event can enter a ticket drawing at The drawing will take place Wednesday, Sept. 4. Tickets are $40 for the public and $20 for UM students.

The event will be webcast live. Visit the day of the event to connect.

TEDxUMontana speakers

Art historian H. Rafael Chacón will talk about how an academic exercise turned into a personal journey when he had his DNA sequenced by the National Geographic Geno 2.0 Project.

Chris Comer, a neuroscientist and dean of UM’s College of Arts & Sciences, will share what new research reveals about our brain and literary imagination.

Exercise scientist Steven Gaskill has ideas about how to design a school day that includes a lot more movement and a lot more learning.

Neva Hassanein, an environmental studies professor, and Mark S. LoParco, director of UM Dining, will talk about food democracy and lessons learned from the UM Farm to College Program, one of the leading local food-purchasing programs in the nation.

Anthropologist Kimber McKay will challenge our culture’s definition of marriage by sharing stories from her fieldwork in Nepal’s northwestern Himalayan district of Humla.

Composer and sound designer Dale Sherrard will provide unique perspectives on the art of listening.

Entomologist Diana Six will tell the story of how a little beetle has ecologically and economically altered North America’s forests.

Josh Slotnick, co-founder of Garden City Harvest and the PEAS farm, will describe the transformative power of doing humble work with others.

About TEDx, x = independently organized event

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

About TED

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a conference in California 26 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with many initiatives.

At a TED conference, the world's leading thinkers and doers are asked to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes or less. TED speakers have included Roger Ebert, Sheryl Sandberg, Bill Gates, Elizabeth Gilbert, Benoit Mandelbrot, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Brian Greene, Isabel Allende and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Three major TED events are held each year: The TED Conference takes place every spring in Vancouver, Canada, simultaneous with TEDActive, in Whistler, B.C.; and the TEDGlobal Conference takes place each summer in Edinburgh, Scotland.

On, talks from TED conferences are shared with the world for free as TED Talks videos. A new TED Talk is posted every weekday. Through the Open Translation Project, TED Talks are subtitled by volunteers worldwide into more than 90 languages. Through our distribution networks, TED Talks are shared on TV, radio, Netflix and many websites.

The TEDx initiative grants free licenses to people around the world to organize TED-style events in their communities with TED Talks and live speakers. More than 5,000 TEDx events have been held, and selected talks from these events are also turned into TED Talks videos.

The annual TED Prize grants $1 million to an exceptional individual with a wish to change the world. The TED Fellows program helps 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. TED-Ed creates short video lessons by pairing master teachers with animators, for use in classroom instruction or independent learning.

Contact: Jace Laakso, University of Montana Information Technology, 406-243-2858,