TEDxBoulderSalons are small, intimate events to keep the Boulder community engaged between our regular events.

We will be discussing niche topics, showcasing special speakers, engaging in roundtable discussions, and hosting educational “adventures”.

“Salons, with their casual, intimate and malleable structure, harness the hands-on, community-focused spirit, anchoring a TEDx program. Because they happen more frequently, peppered between larger events, they create a special social cohesion.” — Becky Chung

If you have a specific topic or speaker you would like to see explored at a Salon, please fill out this form. We are always open to new ideas!

Upcoming Salons

Previous Salons

Jun 26

Discount Ghost Stories

Join TEDxBoulderSalon to hear the untold stories of Colorado’s past. We’re talking radical pioneers, colorful outlaws and the love-sick miners that shaped our state. Discount Ghost Stories is an exciting musical experience that blends Rocky Mountain folk with Colorado folklore for a foot-stomping party in the backyard of Boulder’s legendary Trident Booksellers & Cafe.

Founding Artistic Director and TEDxBoulder Speaker, Pesha Rudnick, and Boulder’s own Local Theater Company have gathered some of the greatest musicians and storytellers in the Front Range for this unique event in which performers embody the “ghosts” of our state’s past and tell their unique stories, all to a rocking score.

We’re excited for a night of folklore and song on the transformed back patio of Trident on Wednesday, June 26th. Get ready for a night of boot stompin’ and ghostly tales. Not for the easily spooked…

Grab Tickets Here – Enter Promo Code ‘tedxboulder’ to select the June 26th date.

Trident Booksellers and Cafe
940 Pearl St
Boulder, CO 80302

Wednesday, June 26, 2019 at 8:00pm

Nov 8

Paper Cut: A Play and Conversation

Local Theater Company presents:

Paper Cut – A world premiere play by Andrew Rosendorf, directed by Pesha Rudnick.

All seats reserved.
Thursday, November 8, 2018 at 7:30pm
$20 ticket with code TEDx
To register go to this link and go for the November 8th show:

About the show
Is courage confined to combat? Kyle has just returned from war a very different man, forced to confront an emotional minefield back at home. Brimming with heart and love, Paper Cut is a raw exploration of the physical and emotional toll of our military, and a reminder that heroes don’t always wear uniforms.

Join us after the show for free food & discounted drinks at the Embassy Suites Bar at 9pm for a LocalGATHERS Chat and Chew with Local Theater Company artists and Artistic Director, Pesha Rudnick.

The Dairy Arts Center
The Grace Gamm Theater
2590 Walnut Street
Boulder, CO 80302

Oct 10

Theme: The Melting Arctic

Date/time: Oct. 10, 2018, 5:30-7pm (Followed by informal discussion somewhere on the Hill!)

Location: CU Museum of Natural History

Hosts: TEDx Boulder, CIRES, CU Boulder, NOAA, CU Museum of Natural History

Cost: $10 – Purchase tickets here.
Students or Community Members who need a discount code can use “Student” for a free ticket; please RSVP, as seating is limited.

Why You Should Come:

The Arctic is one of the most rapidly changing ecosystems on the planet. Rising greenhouse gases have profoundly disrupted weather and environmental patterns that, while extreme, have shown stability over several thousand years. No more. The Arctic is melting before our eyes.

Understanding how the Arctic is changing—and how it will change as greenhouse gases continue to rise —is critical for commerce, national defense, and for rich oceanic and terrestrial ecosystems and environments that have supported indigenous peoples for 10,000 years. The observed dramatic changes in the Arctic climate system, including fast retreat of Arctic sea, can be simulated and understood using numerical models run on supercomputers.

This TEDxBoulderSalon will highlight the rich scientific expertise located here in Boulder to open a window on this imperiled region and its people.


5:30-6:00: Arctic Change Posters and Experts

Some of the nation’s experts in Arctic change will staff posters scattered around the museum’s Paleontology Hall. What captures your interest? Head to one or more posters and talk with researchers about their findings and interests. Posters topics and expertise may include:

  • MOSAiC: A year trapped in Arctic ice
  • Arctic sea ice history and trends
  • As the world warms: Two decades of studying Arctic change
  • Sensing Attention: When are students really engaged in climate change lessons? (Ariel Morrison)
  • Example Resources for Educators: Arctic Climate Connections – Curriculum that integrates scientific field data into the classroom
  • Arctic history and culture
  • Indigenous knowledge of the Arctic
  • How unusual is the modern warming? Radiocarbon ages on ice-entombed plants in Arctic Canada tell this has been the warmest century in more than 40,000 years
  • The strange behavior of an Arctic ice cap

6:00-7:00: Panel and Audience Discussion / Q&A

  1. Jen Kay, CU Boulder: Jen is a CIRES Fellow and assistant professor of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at CU Boulder and co-chair of the Community Earth System Model Polar Climate Working Group. She leads CIRES’ Polar Bear Project and has spent many weeks observing polar bears near Churchill, Manitoba.
  2. Mark Serreze, NSIDC, CU Boulder: Mark leads the National Snow and Ice Data Center, the world’s leading source of information on ice and snow, and part of CIRES at the University of Colorado Boulder. He’s the author of a new, popular book, Brave New Arctic: The Untold Story of the Melting North.
  3. Matthew Shupe, CIRES and NOAA: Matthew is a CIRES research scientist and co-lead of Polar Observations and Processes team in NOAA’s Physical Sciences Division in Boulder. He is also the U.S. scientific lead of MOSAiC, a year-long expedition into the central Arctic aboard a research vessel drifting in sea ice, beginning in 2019.
  4. Sandra Starkweather, CIRES and NOAA: Sandy is a physical scientist with a deep interest in improving Arctic research—especially observation-based research—through social innovation. She is Executive Director of the U.S. Arctic Observing Network, which is primarily funded by NOAA.

Mar 29

Theme: A World Avoided

How scientists helped prevent catastrophic destruction of the ozone layer

Thursday March 29, 4:45 – 6:30 pm at NOAA

4:45-5:15 – Security and Check-in
5:15-5:45 – Exhibits 
5:45-6:30 – Discussion / Q&A / Conversation with Panelists  

Cost: Free
Registration is now CLOSED

Thirty years ago, in an effort to avoid damaging the Earth’s fraying ozone layer, 197 countries adopted the Montreal Protocol. The release of gases from spray cans, refrigerators, fire retardants, and many other industrial applications were reaching high into the stratosphere, where they began to eat away at the ozone layer. That layer protects our planet from cancer-causing ultraviolet radiation—so when it frays or holes form, incoming UV radiation can harm plants and people alike. 

In the 1970s and 80s, scientists in Boulder helped identify the chemical and physical processes that maintain the ozone layer. And since then, they have remained critical in efforts to understand the atmospheric impacts of the Montreal Protocol. What has happened to those chemicals that were wearing away at ozone: Have they dropped out of the atmosphere? What’s used in their place, and do those substitute chemicals pose problems? And what about the ozone layer itself—is it still depleted? Is it coming back? 

Join us at NOAA for a series of hands-on mini-exhibits and engage in a panel discussion about stratospheric ozone science and history, including policy. 

What You’ll Learn:

  • Take a look at the kinds of instruments and techniques that helped scientists and decision makers around the world understand just how much trouble our ozone layer was in—and progress that has been made in reducing that threat. 
  • Learn how high balloons can carry tiny ozone instruments high into the atmosphere—and how they drop back to Earth. 
  • Talk with scientists involved in modeling Earth’s ozone layer and its dynamics, to better understand not only its past, but its future. 
  • Hear how the Montreal Protocol—designed to protect our ozone layer—has also protected Earth’s climate.

Sean Davis, a CU Boulder/NOAA atmospheric scientist, will be our EMCEE for the evening. He studies the relationship between climate change and the composition of Earth’s stratosphere, and presented the 2017 TEDxBoulder talk “Lessons from the World Avoided.”


  • David Fahey directs NOAA’s Chemical Sciences Division and serves as a Co-Chair of the Montreal Protocol Scientific Assessment Panel. 
  • Paul Newman is chief scientist for Earth sciences at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and is also a Co-Chair of the Montreal Protocol Scientific Assessment Panel. 
  • Michelle Santee is a Research Scientist and Co-Investigator of the Aura satellite mission at the NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and is a member of the Scientific Steering Committee of the Montreal Protocol Scientific Assessment Panel.
  • Steve Montzka is an atmospheric chemist with expertise in the chemicals that deplete the ozone layer and contribute to greenhouse warming. He is an elected member of the international Ozone Commission.

Location: NOAA, 325 Broadway – David Skaggs Research Center (DSRC), Boulder, CO 80302
Parking: Parking is limited. Please consider taking the SKIP or DASH buses (RTD) or carpool
Requirements: Must register by Monday, March 26, at 5pm. Please arrive at the Visitor Center with proper identification by 4:45pm for check-in.

Due to security at the NOAA facility, you must register for this event by 5pm March 26. You will need to walk through a metal detector, and if you arrive by car, your car will be searched. Please bring a valid driver’s license, and foreign nationals must present a valid passport or a permanent resident ID (“green card”). More information.

Registration is now CLOSED

Mar 8

Theme: Wisdom From Everything

Local Theater Company presents:

Wisdom From Everything 
a world premiere play by Mia McCullough
directed by Seema Sueko

March 8 at 7:30pm

All seats reserved
$20 ticket with code TEDX

About the show:

“People are uncomfortable when women are powerful.” Nineteen-year-old Syrian refugee Farzana is stuck. Once the top student in her school, she’s now educating girls in Zaatari, the largest refugee camp in the world. But when an older Jordanian doctor offers Farzana an education in exchange for marriage, she takes the chance—and finds herself embroiled in her new husband’s bizarre plot to redeem himself. Wisdom From Everything is one woman’s stirring story of sacrifice, hope, and resilience.

After the performance, participate in an Audience Conversation around the topics of the play—and what it means for Boulder—with artist Mare Trevathan. 



The Dairy Arts Center
The Grace Gamm Theater
2590 Walnut Street
Boulder, CO 80302

$20 ticket with code TEDX

Jan 23

Theme: Identifying & Acting on Your Passion

Join us Tuesday, January 23 @ 6:00 – 7:30pm for a discussion about Identifying & Acting on Your Passion.

Trident Booksellers & Cafe, 940 Pearl Street (Bookseller Side)

Register to Attend

Someone once said, “There are three types of people in this world: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wonder what happened.”

Being the person who makes things happens becomes much easier when you’re passionate about what you’re doing.

Join us and hear the inspiring stories of how people in our community found their passions, connected, and inspired others to do the same. This fun and energizing event may inspire you to solve hard problems and challenge yourself to take action or a new direction in your life.

Kendra Prospero will moderate the conversation among panelists:

Nicole Haas, PT, DPT, OCS: Doctor of Physical Therapy

Greg Greenwood: Executive Director, Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network

Greg Roche: HR Guy by Day, Entrepreneur by Night

Heather Stenner: Owner, Educator, Composer at Enthusic Music Company, LLC

Ms. Prospero: Founder & CEO of Turning the Corner

Register to Attend

Dec 13

Theme: Future Transportation on the Front Range

The Boring Company* is working on projects in LA and Baltimore. What would happen to the Boulder Denver commute if it only took 12 minutes? How would this impact urban planning goals for Boulder and the cities between here and Denver?

Would this help resolve the issue of 60k in-commuters a day? 

Come hear and discuss these and other topics. Only 90 seats, so get your tickets soon.

In partnership with TEDxCU and BoulderTalks

Register to attend



6-8pm: TEDxBoulderSalon event
8:30-11pm: Reception/Concert @ Post Brewing with musical guest: Sun Jr

TEDxBoulderSalon Speaker Lineup:

Local Government Perspective
– Suzanne Jones: Boulder Mayor

FastTracks/RTD History: where is the train
– John Tayer: CEO of Boulder Chamber of Commerce

CDOT’s HPTE Division
– Nick Farber: HPTE Operations Manager of Colorado Department of Transportation

Tunneling and Tunnel Boring Machines
– Brenden Tippets & Chris Lamb: Michels Corporation
– Greg Fischer: Shannon & Wilson
– Gary Brierley

Electric Vehicles / Climate Change / Renewable Energy as a power source for tunnel operations
– Erin Decker: Renewable Choice Energy
– Will Toor: Director of Transportation Program at Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP)
– Dave Kang: CU Vice Chancellor of Infrastructure & Safety

*This event has no affiliation with The Boring Company, nor was this event endorsed by The Boring Company. No employees from The Boring Company were in attendance.

Nov 16

Theme: Local Theater Company: The Rape of the Sabine Women by Grace B. Matthais

We are going to watch the Local Theater Company: The Rape of the Sabine Women by Grace B. Matthais.

Discussion to follow the play.

$20, use discount code TEDx…

Oct 12

Open Vision Planning

Our first salon will be a post-event discussion of TEDxBoulder, and an open vision planning session to begin strategizing our next big events as well as additional monthly TEDxBoulderSalons.

The Salon will be held on October 12th at 5:30pm at Trident on the back patio.

Sign up here. Registration is free!