Gustavus to Host TEDx Event on April 12

Posted on March 28th, 2014 by

TedxGustavusThe Center for Servant Leadership at Gustavus Adolphus College will host the College’s first ever TEDxGustavusAdolphusCollege event from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 12 in Wallenberg Auditorium. The conference is titled “Creative Innovations to Address Complex Problems” and will feature seven live speakers and two TED Talks via video.

Tickets for the independently organized event, licensed by TED, are free, but limited as only 100 tickets are available. Gustavus faculty, staff, and students can reserve tickets on a first come, first serve basis by stopping by the Center for Servant Leadership. Alumni and community members can reserve tickets by contacting conference organizer Dave Newell at 507-933-6069 or

Each speaker will have 18 minutes to present their talk, followed by a brief opportunity for audience members to discuss and share new learning and insights with each other. Scheduled presenters for the TEDx event at Gustavus include:

  • Anna McDevitt HeadshotAnna McDevitt ’14 – Currently a Gustavus senior studying political science, McDevitt spent a semester abroad studying Social Justice, Peace, and Development in India, where she developed a deep passion for environmental justice and fossil fuel resistance. She is a member of the Gustavus track and field team, interns for MN350, and helps lead the campaign to divest Gustavus’ endowment from fossil fuels.
  • Dan CurrellDan Currell ’94 – After receiving his law degree from the University of Chicago, Currell practiced commercial litigation before joining The Corporate Executive Board Company (CEB) in 1999. Currell’s focus is on developing and presenting research related to risk management, governance, enterprise risk management, compliance, and legal department management. Over the last decade, he has presented research to more than 500 executive and board audiences in North and South America, Europe, Africa, and Australia.
  • Dean HyersDean Hyers ’88 – Hyers is co-founder of SagePresence, a learning and development company dedicated to elevating communication competencies inside organizations. Since 2001, Hyers has cultivated a unique expertise in business storytelling, drawing from his background in film. Emphasizing authenticity, emotional transparency, and successful body language, Hyers has spoken internationally, and guided thousands of professionals to achieve presentation results.
  • Ellen Ruiters HeadshotEllen Ruiters ’97 – Ruiters is the founder of Africa Jam, a non-profit in both South Africa and the United States which seeks to provide hope, unity, and community in the lives of youth regardless of race, culture or socio-economic status. As the director of Africa Jam, Ruiters trained local leaders, developed fundraising initiatives, and built local and international partnerships. She continues to support the work of Africa Jam while she lives in Richfield, Minn., serving as an advancement officer at Minnehaha Academy.
  • Katie BooneKatie Boone – Boone is a native of Mankato, global citizen, mother, partner and works as a host practitioner or “process artist” who comes from an extensive background in non-profit, community organizing, and academic worlds. Her current focus is in exploring what collective impact looks like within communities, organizations, and systems that want to authentically create meaningful change. She has worked extensively within immigrant and refugee communities, early childhood, youth, veterans, and health and well-being initiatives.
  • Neil HagbergNeal Hagberg ’81 – Neal is a singer/songwriter with a 25-year career as a national touring artist. He is the recipient of two McKnight Artist Fellowships, including a performing fellowship as part of the duo Neal & Leandra, and a composer fellowship for his recording “It’s Not As Simple As It Seems”. Hagberg now directs the Tennis & Life Camps at Gustavus, a nationally recognized leader in promoting character-driven sports.
  • Reggie EdwardsReggie Edwards – Edwards is the co-founder of Sovereign Systems where he combines his business, government, and educational training to bring sovereignty in the lives of low to moderate income people through business development. Edwards is a current doctorate student at St. Cloud State University where he is focused on organization and system dynamics.

About TEDx

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, TED Talks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. 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.

About TED

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California almost 30 years ago, TED has grown to support its mission with multiple initiatives. The two annual TED Conferences invite the world’s leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes on a diverse mix of topics. Many of these talks are then made available, free, at TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The TED2014 Conference takes place in Vancouver, British Columbia, along with the TEDActive simulcast in neighboring Whistler. TEDGlobal 2014 will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

TED’s media initiatives include, where new TED Talks are posted daily; the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as translations from volunteers worldwide; the educational initiative TED-Ed; and TEDBooks, short e-books on powerful ideas. TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world get help translating their wishes into action; TEDx, which supports individuals or groups in hosting local, self-organized TED-style events around the world; and the TED Fellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.

Follow TED on Twitter at, or on Facebook at

For information about TED’s upcoming conferences, visit

Information for Media

Members of the media can attend the TEDx event at Gustavus, however video and audio recording of the speakers will not be permitted. To inquire about attending the TEDx event at Gustavus, contact Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication Matt Thomas at 507-933-7510 or


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin


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