Speakers announced for TedX South Lake Tahoe
After a sold-out inaugural event last year, TedX South Lake Tahoe is coming back this September with a bigger venue and an impressive lineup of locally-known and world-renowned speakers.
“We are more than doubling the size of the venue due to the demand of last year,” said event organizer Robin DeSota.
After quickly selling out of 100 tickets for its venue at The Loft in Heavenly Village last year, this year’s event is moving to Lake Tahoe Community College and will accommodate around 250.
“The theme for this year is called hidden in plain sight. It alludes to the idea that very often the answers to many of the questions that we seek are right there in front of us,” said DeSota.
The 10 speakers chosen by the South Shore-based TedX board include five from the Tahoe Basin.
Nick Exline is the chairman of the South Tahoe 100% Renewable Committee, founder of the Lake Tahoe Climate Change Network, and a land use planning consultant.
“We had been working on climate change action locally and regionally for some time. With the adoption of the 100 percent renewable resolution [by the city of South Lake Tahoe] and Vail Resorts made a 100 percent renewable commitment shortly thereafter, I thought it was important to have a conversation about where we are now and how we move forward,” said Exline.
Joining Exline on the TedX stage is photographer, director and Zephyr Cove resident Dewitt Jones. Dewitt has photographed stories around the world for 20 years with National Geographic, published nine books, and directed two Academy Award-nominated documentaries.
“I’ve wanted to do a TedX talk for a long time … then I found that they had one in South Lake Tahoe and it completely blew me away. In my opinion TedX South Lake Tahoe should be one of the major TedX events in the country. We have the location. It has the potential to be a real draw for South Lake Tahoe — and one that is intellectual, not just sports-conscience,” said Dewitt.
Dewitt said his talk will explore a mindset that he learned while working for National Geographic.
“Their vision was to celebrate what’s right with the world. Not everyone sees that. Most of the time we wander around looking at what’s wrong with life, the world, our family, our community,” said Dewitt. “What’s hidden in plain sight is what’s right with it.”
Dewitt’s brother, Incline Village resident and Travelocity founder Terry Jones will take the stage to discuss innovation and disruption.
“What are the technologies and the business models that are likely to disrupt you and what can you do about it?” said Terry, who now is the chairman of WayBlazer, a company that uses artificial intelligence-driven software to aid online travel planning.
“From connectivity to the cloud to the internet of things to AI to drones — all this stuff is happening, and they are engendering new business models, so for example Uber and AirBnB. These models use less capital and more speed, and they capture the consumer on the edge, leaving other people with assets that they don’t know what to do with. So if you look at that and those models, what are the things you need to be the disruptor and not disrupted yourself?”
South Shore resident and TedX speaker Dr. Stewart Bittman is a chiropractor, author, and spiritual leader at Unity At the Lake. Bittman has traveled the world as a speaker and seeks to “facilitate each person’s healing of themselves by rediscovering their own true nature and the doctor within.”
Olympic Valley’s Adrian Ballinger, founder and head guide for Alpenglow Expeditions, rounds out the local TedX speakers. In 10 years Ballinger’s company has helped more than 100 clients successfully summit Everest, Lhotse (fourth tallest mountain in the world), Manaslu (eighth), and Cho Oy (sixth). He is the only American who has skied two 8,000 meter peaks, was the first to ski Manaslu, and in 2011 became the first person to summit three 8,000-meter peaks in three weeks — Everest twice and Lhotse once.
The remaining TedX South Lake Tahoe speakers come from around the country and have equally impressive resumes.
Amy Wilkinson is the CEO and founder of Ingenuity, a company that creates tools for entrepreneurs; a lecturer at Stanford Graduate School of Business; and the author of “The Creator’s Code: The Six Essential Skills of Extraordinary Entrepreneurs.”
Barbara Annis is the founding partner of Gender Intelligence Group and an expert on inclusive leaderships. Fellow speaker Golbie Kamarei is founder of BlackRock Meditation Program, which offers education, training and support to nearly 1,500 employees in 17 countries.
Paul Shapiro is the vice president of policy for The Humane Society of the United States and the author of dozens of articles on animal welfare. Lastly, James Cross is a former high school teacher who is now the director of strategy at Workday, an on-demand financial and human capital management software vendor.
TedX South Lake Tahoe is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 29, at Lake Tahoe Community College. Doors open at 3:30 p.m. and the talks begin at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased at tedxsouthlaketahoe.com/attend for $55.