TEDxFargo marks the spot: Idea-sharing event garnering big attention

A floor tile at Atomic Coffee on Broadway in downtown Fargo sports a TEDxFargo decal as advertising for next week’s event. Special to The Forum

FARGO - Publicity for next week’s TEDxFargo and TEDxYOUTH@Fargo received a boost Thursday when Fargo and the events were featured on the blog.
The blog featured an essay written by Greg Tehven, curator of TEDxFargo, titled “5 things you think about Fargo, North Dakota, that you shouldn’t.” The essay addressed misconceptions about Fargo’s weather and its people. It also talked about next week’s conference and the growth of the local movement since their first event in 2012.
Event organizer Dr. Susan Mathison, founder of Catalyst Medical Center, said being featured on is a huge honor.
“Over 10,000 global TEDx events have been held over the past five years and it’s pretty rare that they single out a local event for recognition,” Mathison said. “I think this is just one more positive thing that puts Fargo on that map of places where great things are happening.”
TED, which stands for technology, entertainment and design, began as a nonprofit conference in 1984. It has since grown into a worldwide movement that features live conferences and a website designed to allow people to share a wide variety of “ideas worth spreading.”
The TED organization provides general guidance, but local TEDx events are self-organized and volunteer-driven.
“Living on purpose” is the theme for next week’s Fargo conferences.
Speakers will describe how purpose is relevant to their lives and the paths they have taken.
Tehven said attendees will be challenged to reimagine intentionality and meaningful living.
“I think, hopefully, living a life on purpose means that you’re creating some sort of legacy that helps others and reaches beyond just your own personal world,” Mathison added.
TEDxFargo will feature 21 speakers including Rich Karlgaard, publisher of Forbes magazine; Kelby Krabbenhoft, Sanford Health CEO; Pam Slim, author of “Escape from Cubicle Nation”; and Andrina Brogden, former “American Idol” contestant. Brogden will join seven other speakers for TEDxYouth@Fargo event as well.
While they are both excited about the lineup of accomplished speakers, Tehven and Mathison said they are equally excited about the audience, expected to total 1,100 over the two days. TEDx events are just as much about the connections and relationships that are made.
“Our commitment is to getting folks to share ideas and hopefully encouraging our crowd to move the ideas to impact,” Tehven said.
Mathison said one of the ideas behind TEDxFargo is creating the community we want to live in. She said the events will be beneficial from a business perspective, an arts perspective and a healthy community perspective.
“I think that’s why I devote so much of my extra time and energy to this cause is because I think it does elevate the community on so many levels. An inspired active community is a healthy, vibrant one.”


What: TEDxFargo and TEDxYouth@Fargo
Where: Fargo Theatre
When: Thursday and July 25
Cost: $100 for TEDxFargo; $30 for students and $50 for the general public for TEDxYouth@Fargo
TEDxFargo speakers: Rich Karlgaard, Chris Linnares, Kevin Wallevand, Peter Schultz, Dana Mortenson, Marc Chesley, Dan MacCombie, Phil Soran, Jennifer Ford Reedy, Scott Meyer, Tom O’Neill, Dr. Romila Mushtaq, Cesar Gonzalez, Heather McDougall, Pam Slim, Andrina Brogden, Kelby Krabbenhoft, Claudia Alick, Ben Sung, Donald Warne and Greg Cant.
TEDxYouth@Fargo speakers: Andrina Brogden, Brooke Kupcho, Cam Adair, Irene Fernando, Joe Burgum, Kelci Bryant, Levi Bachmeier, Madison Barney and Stephanie Goetz.

Related Topics: TECHNOLOGY
Angie Wieck is the business editor for The Forum. Email her at
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