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Introducing the 2019 TEDxBigSky lineup

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Third annual event slated for Jan. 26 as part of wider festival

By Bay Stephens EBS Staff Writer

BIG SKY – TEDxBigSky returns as part of the Big Ideas Festival which is currently being arranged and curated, slated for Jan. 23-27. An independently organized event, TEDxBigSky will take place Saturday Jan. 26, revolving around the concept of “flow.” The idea encompasses everything from water running downhill to the mental state of flow that athletes enter in the midst of extreme sports.

No matter how one interprets the theme, it provides a jumping-off point for speakers to share knowledge and insights from various backgrounds and areas of expertise with the Big Sky audience. Tickets go on sale Friday, Dec. 14. Below is a brief overview of this year’s TEDxBigSky presenters.


Daryl Davis: Musician and race-relations expert

The 2016 documentary film “Accidental Courtesy: Daryl Davis, Race and America,” follows the everyday life of Daryl Davis, a black musician living in Washington, D.C., who makes friends with racists, including Ku Klux Klan members, as he tries to answer the question: “How can you hate me, when you don’t even know me?”

As a young rock ‘n’ roll musician Davis let Klan members use his band’s bus for a Klan rally, he has trailblazed a path of unlikely friendships that have, on multiple occasions, led Klan leaders to forfeit membership and send Davis their robes.


Ulla Suokko: International Flute Soloist

Finnish flutist, performer and transformational coach Ulla Suokko has serenaded crowds in the most renowned concert halls across the globe, having her start with the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra. Coming from her current home in Cusco, Peru, she will share with the Big Sky’s audience about seeing the signs of the universe, and will also perform another night of the Big Ideas Festival.


Doug Smith: Yellowstone Wolf Restoration Project Lead

Wildlife biologist and project leader of the Wolf Restoration Project in Yellowstone National Park, Doug Smith has studied the species for more than 20 years. He’s been involved with the reintroduction program since its inception, working from an understanding that a natural ecosystem, which Yellowstone managers aim to maintain in the park, requires natural predators.



Twila Moon: Glaciologist

Big Sky’s own Dr. Twila Moon will offer insights from her extensive studies in the cryosphere, which is basically anything related to ice. She is a research scientist for the National Snow and Ice Data Center and cofounded the Wheelhouse Institute, an organization dedicated to equipping professional women with a supportive network and skills to fulfill their leadership potential. Moon’s passions include ice, science communication, art and the outdoors.



Jay Sanguinetti: Neuroscientist

Brain stimulation through ultrasound is called neuromodulation, and it could potentially be used to accelerate the benefits of meditation. It’s called “consciousness hacking,” and Jay Sanguinetti is at the cutting edge of what the human brain is capable of when aided by ultrasonic waves.



Lynne Dale: Mother of Team Summer founder

After being diagnosed with an aggressive form of sarcoma cancer, Summer Dale, Lynne’s daughter, discovered her ability to give gifts to other kids with cancer. The movement Team Summer began, as Summer built relationships with other kids with cancer, dreaming up personal gifts for each child. Lynne witnessed her daughter’s love and generosity and has helped to carry on the organization since its beginning.




Jamie McLean: Musical performer

Guitar and vocals flavored by the South will close out the night as the Jamie McLean takes the stage. Former lead guitarist for New Orleans’ Dirty Dozen Brass Band, McLean and his band have played at Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, Targhee Fest and Mountain Jam. The full band will perform on a different night as part of the Big Ideas Festival.



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