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TEDxBigSky returns in 2021 with the theme of “Awakening”

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Bode Miller delivers his talk at TEDxBigSky in 2020. This year, the crowd in the WMPAC will be much smaller and the entire 2021 Big Sky Ideas Fest will be virtual. OUTLAW PARTNERS PHOTO

By Gabrielle Gasser EBS STAFF

BIG SKY – TEDx is returning to Big Sky for its fifth year on Jan. 30, 2021, and this year the theme is “Awakening.”

The focus will be on presence or consciousness without thought and will feature stories about people helping each other, businesses changing their focus to help the greater good and perspective shifts in the face of need.

What began in 1984 as a conference to share new ideas concerning technology, entertainment and design has become one of the most renowned speaking series in the world. TED Talks now cover a wide range of topics and occur around the globe in more than 100 different languages.

Past TED speakers include Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Al Gore, Bono, author Elizabeth Gilbert and Sir Richard Branson, among scores of others. 

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDx. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At our TEDxBigSky event, TEDTalks video and live speakers will combine to spark deep discussion and connection within the community. TEDxBigSky presenters will have up to 12 minutes to deliver their talk to the audience.

Outlaw Partners brought TEDx to Big Sky for the first time in 2017 with the theme “Big Ideas Under the Big Sky” which featured six speakers. 

This year, the 2021 Big Sky Ideas Festival will focus on the Awakening process that the country has gone through in 2020. As the world emerges from the lockdown, there are many stories of how people changed their lives, businesses pivoted their plans and focus, and incredible examples of humanity and community building. 

“Our world has endured extraordinary changes in the past 12 months,” Ennion Williams, VP of Events at Outlaw Partners said. “Emerging from these changes are profound examples of human awakenings to new thoughts, routines and social changes that will shape our world in the future. TEDx Big Sky 2021 will shed light on the awakening moments of our 2021 speakers and give perspective on our new world and how we might navigate it.”

In addition to TEDx, the Ideas Festival will feature four days of events including music and film premieres. For the safety of the community due to COVID-19, a small audience comprised of the families of speakers will be allowed in the Warren Miller Performing Arts theater but otherwise, the event will be entirely virtual.

Nine speakers will be presenting this year:

Cathy Whitlock, Regents Professor in Earth Sciences at Montana State University

David Leuschen, Co-Founder and Senior Managing Director of Riverstone Holdings LLC

Josh McCain, Founder and President of Big Sky Bravery

Lane Lamoreaux, photographer and videographer

Rob Balucas, owner of babaLucas Creative

Jim Salestrom, singer/songwriter

Max Lowe, photographer and director for National Geographic

Blu, mystic, medicine woman, musician, artist and storyteller

Louise Johns, documentary photographer, National Geographic Explorer, instructor

For more information on speakers, their topics, and updates, please visit the event website:

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01jun1:00 am31jul(jul 31)11:55 pmPAINT UNDER THE BIG SKY1:00 am - (july 31) 11:55 pm Event Type :ArtsEvent City:Big Sky,Bozeman,Livingston/Paradise Valley,West Yellowstone

01jun1:00 am28(jun 28)11:55 pmPLEIN AIR KIDS! A Paint Under the Big Sky Event1:00 am - 11:55 pm (28) Event Type :Arts,EducationEvent City:Big Sky,West Yellowstone

01jun7:00 am31aug(aug 31)7:00 amYoga on the Lawn7:00 am - (august 31) 7:00 am Montage Big SkyEvent Type :OtherEvent City:Big Sky

16jun6:00 pm8:00 pmFather's Day Whiskey & Cigars6:00 pm - 8:00 pm Montage Big SkyEvent Type :OtherEvent City:Big Sky