TEDxDenisonU - 2014

Lectures & Discussions
Saturday, March 1, 2014
Room Information
Herrick Hall

TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience, where x = an independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for TEDx programs, but individual TEDx events, including ours, are self-organized. At our event, titled TEDxDenisonU, TEDTalks video and live speakers combined to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group.

TEDxDenisonU, hosted by Dr. Adam Weinberg, consisted of 13 presentations related to Denison’s 2014 campus-wide theme, “Real Utopias: From Dreams to Practice.”

Speakers and Presentations:

Denison Faculty

Olivia Aguilar

Assistant Professor

Environmental Studies

Sustainability and Human Fulfillment

In an introductory environmental studies course, students engage on a real-life journey that encourages a critical look at our unsustainable lifestyles. While attempting to live with as little environmental impact as possible, we examine the connections between sustainability and human fulfillment. Happiness might just be a reusable cup away.

Robin Bartlett

Associate Professor

Economics Department

A World in Balance

Reflections on finding balance within the economic, political and personal value systems, a move toward the center rather than out to margins.

Laura Russell

Assistant Professor

Communication Department


This talk explores possibilities for envisioning life through a lens of gratitude. The philosophy condoned situates gratitude as a pivotal means for cultivating emotional wealth, relational empowerment, and utopic possibilities for everyday living.

Denison Students

Archit Agarwal ’17

Interpretations of Sustainability

A talk about how individuals in New Delhi India are working at paper recycling factory as a way to understand what it takes to make paper and garner ideas of sustainable development. He further goes on to talk about a paper credit system he started in his high school and how integration of this system can take place in any location provided individuals are motivated to work towards it.

Grace Bachmann ’17

Braving Bridges

Bridges are structures that connect two separate entities and make it possible to cross rivers, obstacles, and cultures. Grace Bachmann shares how braving bridges helped write her story of a global citizenship while attending formal education only on State Route 161.

Mollie Evans ’16

Boys Will Boys

My speech is about unnecessary gendering in language. I unpack the phrase “boys will be boys” and how its implications have negative consequences.

Peter Hurford ’14

Giving with Your Heart and Your Head

Giving to charity is a good thing, but can we make our donations go further? Peter Hurford explores the research behind comparing charities and shows how to get more bang for our buck with our donations by combining our heart and our head.

Luke Romick ’16

Quenton Richards ’16

A New Look at Cultural Capital

In an ever increasing world of entitlement and narcissism, it is important to take a step back and evaluate yourself. We explore the past work of Pierre Bourdieu and fill in the blanks he left in his Culture Capital theory. Hoping to push people towards self-awareness and self-improvement, thus creating a better future for the world. A real utopia.

Mac Sellars ’16

Technology and the Lifeboat

As social media, smartphones, and texting become more and more pervasive, it is important to look closely at our usage of these new technologies and forms of communication. In a generation that struggles with insecurity and fears of intimacy, yet also fears being alone, we must be cognizant of how our social technology preys on these insecurities. In particular, our social technology allows us to stifle our fears of being alone by keeping us in constant connection, but it promotes shallow relationships in which hiding from others is easy. If we are not careful, we will mistake the connectivity that social technology allows us for substantial relationships with others.

Community Members

Anna Davis, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Mathematics

Department Chair

Department of Mathematics and Computer Science

Ohio Dominican University

One-Room Schoolhouse - An Anachronism or Utopia?

Small colleges and universities often struggle to offer a variety of upper-level courses due to low enrollment. The One-Room Schoolhouse setting allows schools to offer low-enrollment courses every semester at no additional cost to the institution. Students benefit from the variety of courses offered on a regular basis and from personal attention they receive from faculty.

Dirk Knemeyer


We Hold the Future: dare to radical change

As miraculous as the changes to the world over the last 20 years seem, since the Internet became mainstream, most of those changes are conveniences and not truly meaningful difference in our world. Dirk proposes that, thanks to the proliferation of the smartphone, we can start to think about radical changes that will fundamentally shift the way we live for the better.

Chris Ramsey

Social Entrepreneur

The Heroes Journey

Real Utopias are about our willingness to engage in the heroes journey - and the path we take towards awakening we seek as individuals is the same paradigm found for the awakening of our communities - found through our willingness to move from self pity & aversion to compassion & courage, from Selfishness & Grasping to efficiency/sustainability & magnanimous giving, and from dishonesty & delusion towards humility/A new identity & the kind of leadership which is transformative.

Jean Schelhorn, Ph.D

Inventor, Intrapreneur, Entrepreneur, Coach

From Dreams to Practice

Helping teams move their “dreams to practice” is at the heart of Jean’s professional practice spanning academic, commercial, start-up and non-profit sectors. From actual examples key factors are highlighted that raise the probability innovations will be successfully translated and adopted to impact lives and societies. The personal and team quest toward solutions to important needs provides utopian experiences for the teams involved; she encourages our starting such quests to create and re-create the utopia you will likely experience.

TEDxDenisonU Organizers:

  • Stephanie Hunt-Theophilus

    Program Coordinator, Project Startup

    Denison University Entrepreneurship Program

  • Marlaine Browning

    Director, The Spectrum Series

  • Rohin Daswani ’15
  • Dylan Parson ’16
  • Isabel Randolph ’16
  • Alexander Tybl ’16
Posted Date 
Saturday, March 1, 2014

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