TEDxDurango will explore how speakers find the humor, even when life sucks

by Amanda Push

“My mission to control and predict had turned up the answer that the way to live is with vulnerability and to stop controlling and predicting.” With this realization, Brené Brown, a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, launched into her 2010 TEDxHouston presentation, “The Power of Vulnerability.” Brown’s musings have since accrued more than 42 million views on the TED Talk website, and she went on to present a second TED Talk and host her own one-hour Netflix special.

It’s stories like Brown’s that inspired local Kristi Dean to put on Durango’s own TED Talk event, TEDxDurango.

“The event is meant to build collaboration and community,” Dean said. “We want listeners to feel inspired and empowered and take these ideas and share them to the world.”

The event will take place Nov. 3 at the Roshong Recital Hall at Fort Lewis College. Per TEDx rules, the event is limited to 100 attendees for the live show, which is already sold out, Dean said. Those interested in participating can still buy watch party tickets. The watch party will take place the same day as the live event.

The theme of the event, “Finding the Humor,” came to Dean after reviewing several TED Talk events. If she was going to spend eight hours at a conference, she wanted to laugh.

“Not that we want a bunch of comedians on stage, but more so someone who can talk about ways to find humor amidst stress and hard times,” Dean said. “When a speaker can touch emotions in their listeners and one of those emotions is laughter and humor, the audience is going to remember that and be more drawn to what you’re saying.”

TEDxDurango is being put on by a team of 12 women, which Dean describes as a “powerhouse.”

The team has received speaker applications from all over the Four Corners, and from as far away as New Zealand.

If all goes well this year, Dean said, they’ll be able to put on bigger TED Talks in the future, like TEDxWomen or TEDxYouth. Her team is already looking at plans for 2020.

“Everyone really feels that it’s an opportunity to show the world the amazing people we have in Durango, and Durango the amazing people out in the world,” she said.

For more information, visit TEDxDurango.com.

Amanda Push


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