Get inspired with TEDxSanJuanIsland

Entrepreneurs, authors, doctors and artists take to the San Juan Community Theatre stage to share their studies and experiences. TEDxSanJuanIsland returns for its fourth year with 11 speakers presenting from 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 22.

“We started the event to create space in the community for intelligent discussion without a political or religious agenda,” event organizer Megan Mulhall said. “We look for stories of innovation, adventure, breakthroughs and inspiration – ideas that shift paradigms, topple stigma and advance thinking.”

The theme of this year’s event is Origins. Tickets are $50 plus a $2 fee and are available at

“As a society, our future is undeniably informed by our past. We wanted to honor the value of diversity of thought and the heritage of our best ideas,” Mulhall said. “We asked our speakers to share their big ideas in the context of who we are, where we came from, and where we are headed.”

TEDx talks follow the same format the usual TED Conference that happens annually in Vancouver, British Columbia. Each of the 11 speakers will have up to 18 minutes to share about their respective field.

Mulhall explained, “We challenge our speakers to answer the questions: How have you unleashed a positive change in your community? What challenges have you faced to get where you are? What are you still facing on your journey? How are you pioneering change in the areas you are passionate about? What thoughts do you add to the public dialogue? How do your ideas improve the general well-being of individuals and societies?”

One of the speakers this year is Dr. Stephen Tower, a surgeon from Anchorage, Alaska. He was the first surgeon to report that contemporary hip replacements have the potential to systematically poison the patient due to a cobalt component.

“Very few people understand what replacements they have put in,” Tower said. “Given that those patients are at various degrees of risk, the American at-risk population is probably about 10 million [patients who have a cobalt medical devices].”

In a paper published in 2010, Tower explained that it isn’t just hip replacements, but any joint replacement that uses a cobalt component has the potential to injure the patient neurologically or even induce heart failure. His research was the topic of the 2018 Netflix documentary “The Bleeding Edge.”

Tower explained that cobalt is toxic to human tissue. He said the problem is discovered in many patients when they express pain near the replaced joint. A urine test can be used to diagnose the cobalt poisoning, he added.

“The patient’s clearly having a problem at the joint and they’re having neuro or cardiac toxicity then it’s a pretty easy decision to make, to redo the joint and replace it,” Tower said.

To learn more from Tower and to hear from his 10 co-speakers, attend TEDxSanJuanIsland on June 22.



Andrew Bennett has been studying, practicing and performing magic for over 50 years.


Megan Bloomer is the founder of RAMSHEAD Inc, a leadership consultancy that specializes in teaching and developing consent frameworks within corporate environments.


Jonathan Field is a gifted teacher, author, presenter and horseman with a driving passion to share his message that a better understanding of the horse leads to greater self-awareness in the human.


Dr. Teri Fisher is a Sport & Exercise Physician and Clinical Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.


Richard Lackey is a serial entrepreneur with a unique background that includes several years in emergency medical response and medical missions as well as almost three decades as an active trader and fund manager.


Laura Mattia is an educator, author, researcher and wealth manager. She is the author of “Gender On Wall Street: Uncovering Opportunities for Women in Financial Services” and her research interest is in supporting diversity and inclusion in the financial profession.


A clinical assistant professor in the Department of Psychology at Northwestern University and a licensed clinical psychologist at The Family Institute at Northwestern University.


Dr. Annika Sorensen is a Swedish Medical Doctor with more than 30 years of experience in the medical field. She has specializations in family medicine, environmental health and stress management.


Rahul Sood is the CEO of Unikrn, a global Esports company built on cutting-edge blockchain and gaming technologies.


Jake Thompson is an entrepreneur fueled by his passion for family and the pursuit of living a life of meaning. He leads Idaho’s most innovative school, Heroes Academy, and is on a mission is to inspire each child to find a calling and change the world.


Dr. Stephen Tower is an orthopedic surgeon in Anchorage, Alaska, affiliated with multiple area hospitals, including Alaska Regional Hospital and Providence Alaska Medical Center. He received his medical degree from the University of Washington School of Medicine and has been in practice for more than 25 years.