August 2020

Planning is underway for the 6th Annual TEDxBismarck event! Get all the latest TEDxBismarck news and information here, or by following along on Facebook and Instagram.




10-11:30 AM .............. Adventures

Noon-1 PM ................ Registration

12:30 PM ................... Doors Open

1:00 PM ................. Speaker Session 1


2:30 PM ................ Speaker Session 2


3:50 PM ............ Speaker Session 3

5:30-7:30 PM ............ Social

*Schedule is subject to change without notice

Ticket Purchase Includes

  • Morning adventures (optional)

  • Admission to 3 speaker sessions (3 talks each session + entertainment)

  • Food and beverage provided during breaks

  • Social on First International Bank & Trust Rooftop with appetizers and drinks provided by Stonehome Brewing


North Dakota Heritage Center

Russell Reid Auditorium
612 E Boulevard Ave
Bismarck, ND 58505


2019 TEDxBismarck Speakers

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Troy Roness

Troy Roness teaches in the Teacher Education and Kinesiology Department, within the College of Education and Health Sciences, at Minot State University (MSU), and has been on staff since 2013. 

He graduated from Minot State University in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in Health and Physical Education, and completed his first master’s degree in Education and Cognitive Science from Minot State University in 2012. He completed his second graduate program in Counseling and Student Affairs in 2018, from Minnesota State University, Moorhead, and plans on beginning his Doctor of Education in Professional Practice and Leadership (Ed.D.), from the University of North Dakota (UND), in 2019. 

Troy’s professional career began 10 years ago, and has included involvement in physical and health education, curriculum development, mental health advocacy and non-profit organization, and governmental administrative programs. Troy teaches a multitude of courses in the Teacher Education and Kinesiology department at Minot State University and advises students within the Physical Education and Corporate Fitness and Wellness Management programs. In 2018, Troy was named the North Dakota Society of Health and Physical Educators (NDSHAPE) College/University Physical Education Professor of the Year Award. 

Outside of his responsibilities at MSU, Troy works extensively with the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA), the United Kingdom’s “Men Get Eating Disorders Too” (MGEDT) organization, the Multi-Service Eating Disorders Association (MEDA), and the Eating Disorders Coalition (EDC). He travels the country as a motivational speaker, writes for multiple national publications, and has authored a book, “Unbroken: Journaled Reflections of Recovery.”

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Bethlehem Gronneberg

Bethlehem Gronneberg is a seasoned Software Engineer, an inspirational speaker, an educator, and a social entrepreneur with a vision to exponentially expand the inclusion of diverse voices in the technology workforce. Referred to as the "unlikely STEMinist" by the Huffington Post article, Gronneberg is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of uCodeGirl, a non-profit designed to inspire, engage and equip teen girls so that they can confidently choose to forge a pathway to technology careers and engineer their world.  

A Bachelor of Science degree from Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia in Statistics and Computer Science launched Bethlehem’s technology career as the first webmaster for United Nations - Economic Commission for Africa (UN-ECA). After 20+ years in the software industry as a Software Engineer, Sr. Software Engineer, Software Engineering Manager and a master’s degree in software engineering from North Dakota State University, Bethlehem has focused her career to be a social entrepreneur - an advocate for women in technology. 

Ms. Gronneberg is the recipient of the prestigious Bush Foundation Leadership Fellowship. As a 2016 Bush Fellow, she is challenged to think big and to think different. Bethlehem is committed to bringing the real-world experience of software development to classrooms as a Computer Science instructor, most recently at Concordia College. Bethlehem has received numerous recognitions for her initiatives at uCodeGirl as the 2018 YWCA Woman of the Year in Science and Technology; The 2018 Exceptional Women Leaders by Women Economic Forum; Emerging Prairie’s Belief Award and as a finalist for the 2019 GlobalMindED Inclusive Leaders Award. 

Bethlehem is committed to a world where the people who create and build technology products and services mirror the people and societies for which they create and build. Ms. Gronneberg’s efforts in sparking curiosity and intellect with young women had been commended by the United States Senator John Hoeven of North Dakota who invited Bethlehem to be a guest of honor to attend the 2019 State of the Union address of the United States of America.

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Shawn Riley

Shawn Riley became North Dakota’s Chief Information Officer in April 2017 after serving in IT leadership roles in healthcare and private industry for two decades. Throughout his career he has overseen significant change management efforts and demonstrated the ability to transform processes and make a positive impact for customers and business partners through innovative technology approaches.

Shawn’s experience includes consulting at IBM and other Fortune 500 companies nationally and internationally on network, system security and compliance, training, e-health, and e-business projects. From 2004 to 2017, he served in various leadership positions at Mayo Clinic. During his tenure he helped bring together disparate IT arms into a unified organization, ultimately serving as a regional Chief Information and Chief Technology Officer. 

In his role as CIO, Shawn’s emphasis is on working as one across Team ND to help Empower People, Improve Lives and Inspire Success. This includes working with 17 executive branch Cabinet agencies to unify IT teams and provide a singular direction, strategy and cybersecurity approach on behalf of the citizens of North Dakota.

Shawn’s team is also working closely with organizations statewide to lead the nation in cybersecurity education and training. The “K-20W Initiative” involves 40 public and private sector entities helping empower North Dakota’s workforce, educators and students from kindergarten through PhD with a goal of “Every Student, Every Class, Cyber Educated.” Through partnership with industry leaders and a whole-of-government approach, the state is creating the foundation to train the next generation of cyber security professionals and provide valuable training for any career path in a 21st century economy being driven by rapid technological change.

A native of Lanesboro, Minn., Riley earned a bachelor’s degree in information technology administration from American InterContinental University and a master’s degree in business administration from Salt Lake City-based Western Governors University.

Shawn and his wife, Michelle, have three children. In his off hours, Shawn enjoys being a history interpreter and competitive marksman. You may find him out in full costume as a colonial soldier telling the stories of the American Revolution.

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Mallory Brown

Mallory Brown is an impact storyteller and global humanitarian. She travels the world to tell real-life stories of human connection. Mallory’s goal is to encourage others to embrace empathy and create powerful ways to give back. At the age of 33, she has traveled to over 50 countries. Combining travel, filmmaking, and crowdfunding, Mallory is recognized for pioneering a new, engaging form of philanthropy.   

Mallory's latest endeavor, "Walk A Mile," is a global marathon for women's empowerment. She's walking a marathon, one mile at a time, with 26 impoverished women around the world. 26 miles. 26 women. 26 countries. 26 stories of strength. As each “mile” benefits a local charity, the series aims to prove that the economic empowerment of women is the key to pulling families out of poverty. Mallory's marathon explores the power of empathy and how each of us can make a difference.  

Mallory's story inspires others to live a passionate, generous, and global life. Her efforts have been featured by the Today Show, The New York Times, Crain's Detroit Business, the Huffington Post, and Cosmopolitan Magazine. Mallory was born and raised in Michigan, graduated from Albion College, and currently lives on the edge of Detroit.

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Megan Laudenschlager

Megan Laudenschlager is the Founder & Executive Director of Strengthen ND. Laudenschlager is a graduate of Minot State University with a B.A. in Mathematics and has obtained a Certificate in Fundraising through the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at Indiana University.

Laudenschlager’s areas of expertise include board and staff development, fundraising planning, grant writing, strategic planning, organizational action planning, program design and evaluation, succession planning, and meeting facilitation. In addition to the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, Laudenschlager is a 2014 Bush Foundation Fellow and has participated in professional development activities through the Harvard-Kennedy School of Government, Midwest Academy for Social Justice, Independent Sector, and TED.

In addition to her position at Strengthen ND, Laudenschlager is active in the community and across North Dakota by serving in leadership positions with North Dakota Rural Development Council, North Dakota Economic Development Foundation, North Dakota Local Foods Development Alliance, Minot Young Professionals, Visit Minot, Minot Family YMCA, and Magic Day of Giving. Through her experiences, Laudenschlager has been able to refine her approaches to rural community fundraising, organizing, and advocacy. 

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Ryan Taylor

Ryan Taylor is a fourth-generation rancher, a published author, a former policy maker and an advocate for rural people and the land. 

Taylor was elected three times to the North Dakota State Senate, serving from 2002 to 2012, was the senate minority leader in 2011, and ran for governor of North Dakota in 2012. He was awarded a Bush Foundation Fellowship in leadership in 2013 which allowed him to travel to Norway to learn the public policies of their respected oil and gas development, and he furthered his leadership education at the Harvard Kennedy School through the fellowship. In 2015, he was appointed by President Obama to serve as state director for USDA Rural Development, leading a team of 44 employees and making $590 million worth of program investments and loans in rural North Dakota.

He currently works as a director of public policy for Ducks Unlimited. He focuses on policy related to wetlands and grassland habitat that benefits waterfowl, but also benefits people and agriculture in North and South Dakota, and Montana. 

Taylor is a graduate of North Dakota State University with degrees in Agricultural Economics and Mass Communications. Taylor wrote his ‘Cowboy Logic’ column in agricultural newspapers for 21 years across the western U.S. and Canada, most of which are now published in his three books. Ryan and his wife, Nikki, are currently raising their three children in Bismarck, and on the family’s homestead near Towner, N.D., a North Dakota Cowboy Hall of Fame inducted ranch. 

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Dr. Tara Feil

Dr. Tara Feil is a clinical psychologist passionate about helping people thrive. She began her career in 2005 working in collaboration with mentors at the Catholic University of America, the American Association of Suicidology, and the National Institute of Mental Health to examine the lives of suicidal individuals and their families. Her work with this population left her devoted to examining what makes life worth living and dedicated to researching and teaching about well-being.

Dr. Feil has taught multiple courses in psychology at the University of Kansas and has been an invited guest lecturer at the University of Mary. She has presented her research nationally and internationally, and her work on positive facial expression and the cardiovascular stress response has been widely cited in the media, including Sirius XM’s “Doctor Radio,” ABC News Radio, Fox News, Psychology Today, New York Daily News, and several popular magazines.

Dr. Feil currently works in clinical practice at CHI St. Alexius Health in Bismarck, ND providing psychotherapy for individuals with a range of mental health concerns. She offers consulting services to businesses and organizations and enjoys regularly speaking about science-based ways to increase well-being and maximize personal and professional success. 

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Dr. Michael Greger, MD

A founding member and Fellow of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, Michael Greger, MD, is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized speaker on nutrition, food safety, and public health issues. He has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, testified before Congress, and was invited as an expert witness in the defense of Oprah Winfrey in the infamous “meat defamation” trial. In 2017, Dr. Greger was honored with the ACLM Lifestyle Medicine Trailblazer Award. He is a graduate of Cornell University School of Agriculture and Tufts University School of Medicine. His latest book “How Not to Die” became an instant New York Times Best Seller. He has videos on more than 2,000 health topics freely available at, with new videos and articles uploaded every day. All proceeds he receives from his books, DVDs, and speaking engagements are all donated to charity.

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Ami McClure

Ami McClure is a model, entrepreneur, beauty enthusiast, and advocate for body positivity and female empowerment. As a multifaceted influencer and matriarch of the family, she strives to uplift their millions of viewers by promoting self-confidence and the importance of embracing individuality.

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Justin McClure

Justin McClure is an autodidactic photographer, videographer, keynote speaker, and former comedian with more than a decade of creative experience. His skill set helped catapult his family to fame in 2016 following their viral YouTube video, "Twins Realize They Look The Same." Since, Justin and his family have amassed over 5 million social media followers, partnered with major brands, and recognized as a Forbes Magazine Top Influencer.

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Emcee, Kayla Schmidt

Kayla Schmidt loves to hear a good story. Partly because she’s a snoop and mostly because she’s an avid reader and podcast addict. She encounters stories in her role as Program Coordinator for Humanities North Dakota and in her volunteer work with 1 Million Cups Bismarck & Mandan, where she’s a sometimes emcee and an always front-row audience member. She likes to tell stories too. In 2015 she earned her MA in Creative Nonfiction and Biography at the University of East Anglia in England.

When she’s not creating content for a variety of clients through her work at The Good Kids, she loves to craft a long-winded essay on the absurdities of Midwest life. Kayla is also an active member of the Bismarck Beacon, Bismarck Mandan Young Professionals, and the North Dakota Women’s Network. You may also know her as “Rhubarbarian” with the Bisman Bombshells roller derby team where she is exceptionally good at falling. Keep up with all her stories at

What is TEDx?

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDx. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. Our event is called TEDxBismarck, where x = independently organized TED event. At our TEDxBismarck event, TED Talks video and live speakers will combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events, including ours, are self-organized.