Augustana President, Alumna to Speak at TEDxSiouxFalls

On the 150th anniversary of the demise of the first Sioux Falls, five South Dakotans will share their visions for the future of our region at the second annual TEDxSiouxFalls, an event designed to share ideas, rouse creativity and inspire good things. The event will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 25, at the Sioux Falls Design Center in downtown Sioux Falls. Themed, “Modern Pioneers," TEDxSiouxFalls will feature a series of speakers with South Dakota ties, each presenting their perspectives on the future of the community.

Tickets are available at

On August 25, 1862, Sioux Falls was a six-year-old, successful small community in a growing western territory. When two local settlers were killed that day as part of the Dakota War of 1862, the community of Sioux Falls was quickly evacuated and the abandoned townsite was razed. The community would remain uninhabited by settlers for seven years.

“As we thought about this event and the anniversary for our community, we had to wonder what those early pioneers were thinking when they returned. What parts of the old city were rebuilt and what was left in the past? How did they set a vision for the new Sioux Falls? Most importantly, what kind of community would we build if we faced the same choices? What would our hopes for the future be?” said Hugh Weber, curator and host of TEDxSiouxFalls and owner of OTA and Storyline. “Our goal for the event was to offer a group of big thinkers with individual and important perspectives on the future of our community and our people. We believe that these speakers will offer us inspiration and a glimpse of the possibility that lies ahead.”

TEDxSiouxFalls speakers include:

  • Rob Oliver: After a distinguished career in finance, Oliver became President of Augustana College in 2006. An active civic and social volunteer, Oliver will serve as Chairman of the Board for the Sioux Falls Area Chamber of Commerce in 2012-2013.
  • Hannah Miller: A native of Mankato, Minn., and an elementary education major at Augustana, Miller was named the recipient of the 2012 Covenant Award for Service. In 2010, she was named one of two Augustana Peace Prize Forum Scholars and spent two months at Norway’s University of Oslo deepening her understanding of issues related to peace, justice, democracy, and human rights. For her final project as a Peace Prize Forum scholar, she examined the growing issue of human trafficking in South Dakota. This fall, she will start her first year as a teacher at Hawthorne Elementary in Sioux Falls.
  • Cate Sommervold, EdD: Sommervold is a creativity and innovation expert. She writes, speaks and coaches leaders to increase creativity, critical thinking and communication: primarily in education and industry.
  • Bill Anderson, PhD: Anderson is the Vice President for Quality, Innovation, and Change Engineering at the Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society in Sioux Falls, where his teams are working to lead the way in providing well-being for America’s seniors and their families.
  • Joe Bartmann: Joe Bartmann has spent the past decade working to help resilient communities co-create something better. Joe currently co-runs a community innovation company called Weaver, where they believe in building a bright future for rural communities through practicing radical conversations and leading from the future as it emerges.

About TEDx, x = independently organized event

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, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. 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. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

About TED

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 26 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. At TED, the world’s leading thinkers and doers are asked to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. Talks are then made available, free, at TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Benoit Mandelbrot, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Two major TED events are held each year: The TED Conference takes place every spring in Long Beach, California (along with a parallel conference, TEDActive, in Palm Springs), and TEDGlobal is held each summer in Edinburgh, Scotland.

TED’s media initiatives include, where new TEDTalks are posted daily; the new TED Conversations, enabling broad conversations among TED fans; and the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as the ability for any TEDTalk to be translated by volunteers worldwide.

TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world are given the opportunity to put their wishes into action; TEDx, which offers individuals or groups a way to host local, self-organized events around the world; and the TED Fellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to become part of the TED community and, with its help, amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.

Learn more about TED’s upcoming conferences.