Top 5 TEDxUniversityofNevada 2016 Talks for Business Professionals

Another TEDxUniversityofNevada event has wrapped, and what a spectacular event it was! This year’s event brought nearly 1,400 people to Reno’s Pioneer Theater on Saturday, January 23rd for a full day of talks featuring 25 different speakers and/or performances.


After listening intently to all of them and having now had the chance to fully digest all of the content presented, below is an overview of the top talks I’d recommend for  business professionals, as a follow up to my 2015 post, “Top 3 TEDxUniversityofNevada 2015 Talks for Business Professionals.”

Talk #1: “Building The $9 Billion CityCenter: The Power of Human Alignment”

Speaker: Bill Smith, Managing Partner of Bainbridge Development Consulting
Why you should watch: Learn how to rally and inspire those around a workplace vision that ultimately leads to greatness.
Summary: Bill Smith has built some of the world’s most iconic buildings, including CityCenter in Las Vegas, the largest privately funded development in U.S. history at $9 billion. In his talk about leadership and vision, he shared insights for how to keep projects on time, successful, as well as how unite employees and inspire them to do great work. “People are capable of great things when all of their interests are aligned,” he mused. “Align people to maximize human potential. How will you ensure that company principles are set to maximize the power of human alignment?”

Talk #2: “Healthcare Reform That Creates Healthier Communities”

Speaker: Dr. Anthony Slonim, CEO and President, Renown Health
Why You Should Watch: A professor and CEO discusses the importance of stepping into the shoes of the consumer as a model for informing business decisions in a complex system.
Summary:  Dr. Anthony Slonim, is an academic leader and tenured professor with 100+ publications and 15 textbooks. In his talk, he shared personal stories mixed with academic and management insights to bring a full-circle look into our healthcare system, a system in need of real change. He specifically talked about how his own personal experience as a healthcare consumer is working to inform changes at the hospital.


Talk #3: “How Student Debt Will Cripple the American Dream”

Speaker: Dusty Wunderlich, CEO of Bristlecone Holdings
Why you should watch: Learn why we should re-think our approach to education in today’s society. How do we educate in a way that keeps up with the needs/demands of the economy? What types of education should we pursue to remain competitive?
Summary: Founder and CEO of Bristlecone Holdings, Dusty Wunderlich, talked about the discrepancy between the number or graduates cycling out of the education system compared to the number of available jobs and warned that we’re at the edge of an education catastrophe. We need to re-think what it means to be educated in a society that functions more like a complex engine that requires many parts, many needs.

Talk #4: “The Future of Energy”

Speaker: Taylor Wilson, Scientist
Why You Should Watch: Get inspired and excited about the possibilities for new ways to solve age old problems through curiosity, passion, and hard work.
Summary: In 2009 at age 14, Taylor Wilson became the youngest person in history to produce nuclear fusion, and went on to develop many novel nuclear technologies including security, medical, and energy innovations. At the outset of his talk, he gleefully, nonchalantly, and most importantly, believably stated, “I’m going to take nuclear science and solve the energy crisis.” If nothing else, listen to this talk to become more excited about Millennials like Taylor, who are actively redefining problems and using their sheer curiosity and brainpower to work at uncovering ingenious new solutions, and shaping our collective future.

Talk #5: “Opposition: The Light Outside of the Dark Box”

Speaker: Dr. Anjala Krishen, Associate Professor of Marketing & International Business at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Why you should watch: Learn about the importance of expanding your own awareness to arrive at new insights and options to maximize creativity.
Summary: According to Dr. Anjala Krishen, “opposition solves problems, creates avenues for open thought … allows for thinking outside of the box.” In her talk she discussed her own story of being born into a cultural box, which created certain expectations for her as a person, until she dared to explore possibilities outside of her self-constructed box.  Anjala is author of the book The Dichotomy Heuristic in Choice: How Contrast Makes Decisions Easier.

In short, while I believe that every TEDx talk is worth watching, there are simply too many to summarize here. For a full list of TEDxUniversityofNevada talks starting from 2012 through to 2016, visit and click on the “videos” tab.

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