How 3 TEDx Boise Speakers Want To “Reframe Radical”

Apr 1, 2016

The TED organization has a large and loyal following for its live speaking events and millions of people watch the talks online. In recent years, locally organized TEDx events have been produced around the country.  Saturday TEDx Boise returns for its second year. All afternoon and into the evening notable Idaho residents will give talks on stage at the Egyptian Theater.

This year’s theme is “reframing radical.” We asked three of this year’s speakers how they want to do that.

The body image activist/viral media sensation

Amy Pence-Brown outside the Boise State Public Radio studios last fall.
Credit Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Boise writer, artist and activist Amy Pence-Brown will speak about the experience that brought her internet fame. She filmed herself in the middle of a Boise farmer’s market in a bikini and let passersby write on her with markers. (You can listen to her interview with KBSX about that here.)

“My ideas about all bodies being good bodies, and that there is in fact no wrong way to have a body, that the way we think about fat and weight and numbers that we assign to ourselves and how we think about other people’s bodies is something that I have some really radical ideas about and I’m not the only one,” Pence-Brown says. “I’m proud to be amongst a powerful group of people working for change and critical thinking in all aspects of our culture and all the way into ourselves.”

The nonprofit founder/shoe re-inventor

Kenton Lee founded the nonprofit Because International and invented “The Shoe That Grows.” The shoe adjusts to keep up with children’s growing feet. Because International has given pairs to poor children in 20 countries so far. The organization is currently working on creating a bed net that can keep mosquitoes away from more people than current models.

Lee says his radical idea is about thinking small. He’ll tell the TEDx Boise audience about what he calls   “practical compassion.”

Kenton Lee's Shoe That Grows
Credit screengrab becauseinternational.org

“They don’t have to be Bill Gates or Mother Teresa, they don’t have to have a doctorate or have all the answers, but even small things can make a big difference for people right around them and for people around the world,” Lee says. “I want people to know they can live with practical compassion.”   

The software developer/woman with a plan

Marianna Budnikova is a software developer for Microsoft. Budnikova says she’s passionate about getting more women into computer science fields. She’s identified what she thinks is one big reason women and girls are steered away from computers and she says she has a plan to correct it. Budnikova doesn’t want to give it away before her TEDx Boise talk, but she says it’s all about keeping control of the keyboard.

“My reframing radical is actually more of a norm that I see in my head but right now it’s seen as radical in the real world,” Bunikova says. “I want to see 50 percent of software developers to be women.” 

Find Adam Cotterell on Twitter @cotterelladam

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