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Recap of TEDxUniversityofNevada’s Session III Talks: Integral

The third and final session at TEDxUniversityofNevada 2018—appropriately entitled “integral”— brought together a variety of essential and fundamental ideas to close out the day. This session’s speakers left the audience with new ways to think about topics from networking to storytelling; the role of women in sports to the importance of ugly fruits and vegetables; even new ways of thinking about the ego, one’s concept of self, as well as where we all fit into the landscape of networked social devices known as the Internet of Things.

DAVID BURKUS – How To Hack Networking

In the first talk of the session, David Burkus opened with an enlightening monologue about “How To Hack Networking.” Building on his successful 2016 TEDxUniversityofNevada talk “Why Do We Keep Our Salaries Secret,” he suggested a new way of thinking about networking:

“We need to re-define networking. Networking is not really something you do, a network is not something you have, it’s not about meeting strangers. The best definition is probably that it’s about understanding the network that’s already around you, and acting accordingly. It’s about knowing who is a friend, and who is a friend of a friend.”

David Burkus is a best-selling author, a sought after speaker, and business school professor. In 2015, he was named one of the emerging thought leaders most likely to shape the future of business by Thinkers50, the world’s premier ranking of management thinkers. His forthcoming book, “Friend of a Friend,” offers readers a new perspective on how to grow their networks and build key connections—one based on the science of human behavior, not rote networking advice. He is also the author of “Under New Management” and “The Myths of Creativity.” David is a regular contributor to Harvard Business Review and his work has been featured in Fast Company, the Financial Times, Inc magazine, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, and CBS This Morning. Watch his full talk here:

DANIEL PRICE – How Do We Build Trust Into IOT

Daniel Price is the CEO of Breadware, a Reno, Nevada-based electronics design and sourcing company that partners with organizations to help them launch new IoT (Internet of Things) product. In his talk “How Do We Build Trust Into The Internet Of Things (IOT)?” he discusses the future of IOT technology, the network of social devices, what should we be excited about, and what should we watch out for.

“IoT is the start of a whole new landscape that includes humans and machines … in this IoT world, you’ll be known wherever you go,” he said. “We already know if we browse the web, we’re tracked. But we’re not used to be tracked in physical space.”

Daniel has spoken at multiple national IoT conferences, including IoT World in Santa Clara and IoT Evolution in Las Vegas, on the industrial shifts that are being brought about by the Internet of Things. Daniel is particularly interested in the IoT-related changes that he is seeing in corporate business models, product development philosophies, and university curricula. Daniel is a Rhodes scholar and holds an MBA and Masters in Biomedical Engineering from Oxford University. Daniel graduated summa cum laude from University of California at Berkeley with BS degrees in Bioengineering, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Watch his talk here:

TONY LILLIOS – Integral Theory And The Path To Growth Beyond Goals

Tony Lillios opened his talk by sharing a life-changing personal experience. After years of following a wildly successful linear career path, he found himself at a crossroads once someone asked: “do you believe your best days lay ahead of you, or behind you?” When he paused to answer that question, he knew that an emotion deep within himself had been triggered.

In his talk “Integral Theory And The Path to Growth Beyond Goals” he shared the steps he took to answering that question for himself, what he learned about himself in the process, and how Integral Theory provides a framework for transformational growth. He said:

“Achieving goals had this hollow victory feel to them, and I noticed I had this resume culture mindset to my life, where I was a bulleted list of achievements, and somehow I was a summation of all of that together. But clearly, we are so much more than that. Who we are is how we develop on the path toward those goals, that’s what shapes us, that’s who we become.”

Tony Lillios is an Integral Coach in personal development who is passionate about bringing transformational tools to larger audiences. Tony brings a breadth of experiences and education into this growing field of integral practice that supports whole person evolution to create sustainable personal shifts. As a serial entrepreneur, Tony founded and grew several companies, most notably the mobile case and accessory company, Speck Products. As an 8-time Ironman and a seasoned open water swimmer, he became the first swimmer to complete a round-trip swim across the deep cold waters of Crater Lake. No wetsuit or any outside assistance was utilized. Tony has also led an expedition across the country of Bhutan, seeking a deeper first-hand account of the country’s policy of Gross National Happiness. The journey is now the subject of a forthcoming documentary, Crossing Bhutan. Watch his talk here:


According to Frankie Curreri Forza in his talk “Why a Big Ego Gets a Bad Rap,” ego hugely shapes our personality and life experience. Possessing a grand sense of self — fancying that you’re the best at something and proudly advertising your enormous Self Love to the world — is commonly considered dangerous, taboo, and even toxic. But demonizing and vilifying this fascinating mental faculty tells only half the story.

In this TEDx talk Forza invites us to rethink and re-engage with the human ego, a widely misunderstood and misused superpower that packs the massive potential to rise and ruin us. Referencing a conversation he had with a legendary trainer of world champion fighters, Forza learned that the one thing that all the world champions had in common according to this trainer was “a big ego.” Said Forza:

“I wanted to leap out of my chair, in the UFC offices by myself, because it confirmed a conviction that I had for years. I had trained in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu nine years, 3,000 plus hours to get a black belt. I interviewed 20,000 plus people as a journalist, as a writer … could it be that a big ego gets a bad rap?”

Frankie (Curreri) Forza is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt, journalist and writer. The Las Vegan has competed in 300-plus combat sports matches, won three IBJJF Masters World Championships and professionally interviewed north of 20,000 people from all walks of life. For more than three decades he has toiled in the trenches studying the seeds of the human psyche and mindsets of high performers — picking the brains of everyone from billionaires to elite cage fighters to prison inmates. The former newspaper reporter and Ultimate Fighting Championship correspondent has been to the White House on assignment, covered the Olympic Games and conducted seminars in Beijing. Forza’s writings and commentary have appeared in,, Associated Press, FOX News, MSNBC, YAHOO! Sports, the Las Vegas Review-Journal, The Salt Lake Tribune and many other publications. Watch his talk here:

JOHN BRENKUS – Why Girls And Boys Should Compete With Each Other

According to ESPN’s John Brenkus in his talk “Why Girls And Boys Should Compete With Each Other In Sports,” he believes that boys and girls should be playing the same sports, with the same rules, on the same field from the word go. In this persuasive and humorous talk, John Brenkus asserts that the only way to know the real limits of female athletic performance is to let girls and boys compete together on the same team from day one. He said:

“I’m here to tell you, the idea that we have woven into our fabric, into our especially our American DNA, that ‘bigger, stronger, faster’ means that you’re better, is wrong. And that same idea, that ‘bigger, stronger, faster’ means you’re better, has been projected on a wide swath of the population and has held them down unnecessarily. And that group, is women. Let me prove it to you.”

John Brenkus has been a pioneer in the fields of television, sport and science for over 20 years. As Creator/Executive Producer and Host of Sport Science, he has appeared in and produced over 1,500 segments that have been featured on ESPN’s entire sports platform including: SportsCenter, Monday Night Football, the NBA Finals, Sunday Night Baseball, and The Masters just to name a few. John has won 6 Emmys and has written a NYT/USA Today bestseller called “The Perfection Point” that explores the absolute limit of human performance. Watch his talk here:

MIKE MEINHARDT – Let’s Talk About Ugly Vegetables And Fruits

Did you know that billions of pounds of produce is thrown away every year for cosmetic imperfections? In “Let’s Talk About Ugly Vegetables and Fruit,” Mike Meinhardt provides key insight into an issue happening within the food system that most consumers are conveniently unaware of. It’s an enormous problem, but it’s also a problem that’s easy to fix.

The first step is bringing awareness to the issue. Did you know that if all of the ugly cucumbers each year were stacked end to end, they would reach from the Earth to the moon and back, eight times?

“When was the last time you saw anything other than perfect looking produce at your local grocery store? Farmers are great at what they do, but just like veggies in your backyard garden, mother nature does have a say in how produce grows. And just like any of us, they’re not always perfect. In a recent, independent blind taste test, 10 out of 10 people could not taste the difference between a supermodel carrot, and one with three legs.”

From marketing consumer packaged beverages with Coca-Cola and Molson to promoting professional sports with the National Football League, Mike Meinhardt has spent his 20-year career developing inventive programs that drive increased consumer traffic, retail volume and revenue for the companies he serves. In recent years, Mike brought his marketing expertise to local growers at RedHat Cooperative and introduced a number of innovative programs aimed at raising the profile of local fresh produce while tackling the complex issue of food waste. Watch his full talk here:

MARIANA ATENCIO – Rethinking Storytelling To Help People Care

In 2017, Mariana Atencio gave a TEDxUniversityofNevada talk about the search for humanity, tolerance and inclusiveness. In 2018 she returned to the stage, and brought with her an important story inspired by the crisis unraveling in her home country of Venezuela.

Based on lessons learned over the past year from reporting on some of the top tragedies across the country, she realized the importance of changing the way we think about storytelling. Having covered three hurricanes, one earthquake and the worst mass shooting at a church in America in less than three months, she traveled to Mexico, Puerto Rico and Texas raising her voice for thousands of victims. In her talk “Rethinking Storytelling To Help People Care,” she said:

“Little by little I learned that using my voice motivates others to use theirs, leading to positive change. And that is a superpower all of us have.” She continued: “Now think about what you are willing to fight for. And go ahead and do it. All you need to do is care enough to come forward. Like the women who are saying ‘me too,’ and the dreamers who refuse to yield, you can change the future. You can write your own story and be a superhero for one person, or for millions. The choice is only yours.”

NBC News journalist Mariana Atencio is a Peabody-Award winning journalist and news personality working for MSNBC and NBC News, where she covers domestic and international issues doing breaking news and special reports. The Huffington Post called her “our Latina Christiane Amanpour” and one of the top Latinas in American Newsrooms, making the rare “crossover from Spanish to English television.” In 2017, she gave a TEDx Talk about the search for humanity, tolerance and inclusiveness in our world that has been seen by more than 4 million people. Mariana is very passionate about inspiring the next generation of storytellers. Watch her full talk here: