Becoming an Explorer — with Jimmy Hallyburton

When you’re young, there’s little that surpasses the love of a bicycle. From the first time experiencing the freedom of pedal-powered independence to investigating the mysteries of your neighborhood, there’s nothing else like it. It’s pure, unadulterated freedom of exploration — a feeling that Jimmy Hallyburton has carried with him since the first time his sneaker hit pedal.

For a lot of us, we’ve lost sight of this innate need to explore the unexplored. As work, school, family, social life and everything else that drives our days continues to pull us in every direction, it’s hard to remember the last time we were able to experience something so pure. For Jimmy, he’s managed to marry these stresses into his pride and joy, the Boise Bicycle Project. As Boise’s community-oriented, non-profit promoting the personal, social and environmental benefits of bicycling, BBP functions as “a bicycle recycling center as well as an educational workspace in a diverse and non-threatening atmosphere. Through education and access to affordable refurbished bicycles BBP strives to build a stronger bicycling community.”

Since its inception, the BBP and Jimmy Hallyburton have devoted their time and energy to their community, knowing that “with dirty hands, rolling wheels and grassroots community engagement,” they’d be able to share the thrill of independence with the people around them. As Jimmy puts it, every bike is a unique tool, offering a new lens with which to experience the world around you.

Now, as we all know, biking is good for us. But, for Jimmy, that isn’t his end goal. If you want to be healthy, you’re going to be doing a lot more than just riding your bike to work. Instead, Jimmy rides for the journey. To better illustrate why, think about your car for a moment.

From memory, you can probably draw a fairly detailed image of the interior. You know it buttons, knobs, the color of the seats and the size of the steering wheel. You spend hours upon hours in it a week. Every day, you get in your car, drive the same route and repeat the process after 8 hours. It makes sense that you’d have such intimate knowledge of your vehicle. But, can you say the same about the streets you drive through? You make the same trip daily, but what do you know about it? What have you learned about the neighborhoods, the people, the community? You could be living somewhere for years and not really know it until you’ve experience it outside of the confines of air conditioning.   

“On a bicycle, you’re moving at the speed of discovery,” says Jimmy. “It’s faster than your feet, but it allows you to stop when you want — you’re not separated from the world… There’s a lot of perspective there. On the bike, there’s so much you can encounter. It turns your trip into a journey, not a destination.”

It’s that journey that Jimmy hopes to share with the people he meets daily. From within the BBP to his time on the TEDx Boise stage, Jimmy wants to encourage the Treasure Valley to slow down, to engage, interact and expand with the city — to become participants in the world around them.

“People hop on their bikes for a lot of different reasons, but each has the same side effect. They become an explorer.”


Expose. Explore. Expand.

When it came time to decide the theme for this year’s event, we knew perfection was in order. It had to be short, exceptionally clever and it needed to roll off the tongue, let alone encapsulate the heart of TEDxBoise’s message, represent the interests of our speakers and still leave the audience wanting to ask questions. So nothing too difficult.

Nevertheless, through a few strokes of genius and quite a bit of conversation, we finally arrived at eXpose. eXplore. eXpand. But what does it mean? Better known as The Three eX’s  of TEDx, it breaks down like this:

  • eXpose: This speaks to our human desire to take things and issues apart. We love to see the guts of the world around us and how they work. Throughout history, scientists, tinkerers, housemaids and farmhands have always exposed the meat of their lives in order to learn from it. As humans, we just can’t help ourselves – we love to see how things tick!
  • eXplore: Once the remote control has been opened, the back is off the TV and the soil has been unearthed, this is what we do with what we find. It’s our natural curiosities taking the wheel and driving us in the direction of exploration of the unknown. Made of the same stuff that compelled Lewis and Clark to head West, this is the introduction to our mental workshop.
  • eXpand: After we’ve fully delved into an idea, the question becomes: “so, now what?” and that’s exactly the point! It’s uncharted territory. We’ve uncovered a new truth, something no-one has ever seen before. eXpose peaked our interest, eXplore introduced us to our workshop and eXpand is the culmination of late nights spent tinkering, twisting, thinking, wrestling and stretching. It’s where we test the limits of every new idea. It’s where we work to develop and diversify our minds, daily lives and communities. It’s what we’ve always done as humans.

This year, The Three eX’s have a lot of work cut out for them. Luckily, our incredible list of speakers are ready to lead us into the unknown!

On April 8th, 2017, join us as we eXpose, eXplore and eXpand topics like:

  • Deception-detention with Charles R. Honts.
  • Boise’s homeless population with Jodi Peterson.
  • SpaceX, speech writing and best-selling novel writing with Dex Torricke-Barton.
  • Boise Bicycle Project’s 10,000 recycled bikes with Jimmy Hallyburton.
  • Nutrition and wellness SeAnne Safaii-Waite and Sue Stillman Linja’s expertise in.

It’s a big world out there. There are rocks to be overturned, mysteries to be examined and a whole lot of ideas worth spreading! We can’t wait to see exactly what all 12 of TEDxBoise’s amazing speakers will show us this year as together, we eXpose. eXplore. eXpand. 

Drumroll, please! Meet our 2017 Speakers

After much ado (reviewing applications, auditioning the most promising ideas, and holding our initial coaching workshop), we are thrilled to present our 2017 TEDxBoise speakers (click through for bios):

  • Anselme Sadiki, Executive Director of Children’s Home Society of Idaho
  • Charles Honts, Professor of Psychological Science at Boise State University
  • Dex Torricke-Barton, Head of Communications at SpaceX
  • Haven Baker, VP of Plant Sciences at Simplot
  • Jimmy Hallyburton, Founder of Boise Bicycle Project
  • Jodi Peterson, Development and Co-Director of Interfaith Sanctuary
  • Kayla-Leah Rich, Director of Days for Girls Meridian, ID
  • Levi Bettwieser, Founder of The Rescued Film Project
  • Phil McGrane, Chief Deputy Clerk of Ada County
  • SeAnne Safaii-Watie, Associate Professor of Nutrition and Dietetics at U of I and Sue Linja, Co-founder, Officer and President of S&S Nutrition Network
  • Stacy Ennis, Writer and Creative Strategist
  • Suman Nag, Founder and Exec Director ROSA

Mark your calendars for April 8 at JUMP! because you won’t want to miss hearing the amazing ideas this impressive crew will be sharing. Our theme will be announced later this month along with ticketing information. It’s gonna be great!

BAM - TEDxBoise speaker selection is complete!

These past few weeks have been a whirlwind of excitement - thank you to the over 100 folks who submitted speaker applications! We have so many fabulous ideas percolating in the Treasure Valley and beyond. Each application contained the seed of an excellent TEDxBoise talk. Our committee reflected carefully on the ideas and invited just 24 candidates for brief auditions to pitch their ideas live. There were others we wanted so much to include and hope to see them back in the applicant pool next year.

The pitch sessions were extremely helpful to our team. We were challenged and inspired by each speaker; we marvel at the intelligent and tenacious people in our community and are so thrilled to put Boise on the world stage through our event in April 2017.

We’ve sent invitations to speak to a well-rounded group of Boise’s best ideas and stories. We can’t wait to tell you who will be sharing from the red dot at JUMP next spring. Stay tuned, as we’ll announce the official speaker slate and our 2017 theme in early November.

We hope to see you April 8 for this outstanding event. If you’d like to join our hard-working team of volunteers, shoot us an email at

Behind the speaker-selection scenes

If you missed our speaker brown-bag session a couple weeks ago, you might have some questions about the speaker selection process. Here’s the skinny:

Important dates

  • September 30: Applications due by noon. Bonus points for those who don’t wait until the last minute. (Not really.)
  • October 2: Those applicants selected to pitch their ideas “live” to the selection committee will be notified via email. If you don’t hear from us, then please know we are grateful for your interest but had to choose from among many great ideas and couldn’t fit yours in this time.
  • October 8 (afternoon) and October 10 (evening): Pitch sessions with second-round applicants.
  • October 15: Finalists are notified of their selection to speak at the 2017 event on April 8 at JUMP.
  • November 1: Finalists respond with their commitment to the event and all the intervening requirements.

What we’re looking for

  • Above all, the idea needs to be spreadable. Is it a new idea? Or at least a new take on an existing idea? TED-style talks are idea-driven, not speaking ability-driven.
  • Why are you the right person to tell this story or share this idea?
  • Are you able to convey this idea clearly and concisely? In an authentic, and relatable way?

What it takes

  • Speakers must attend a minimum of five free 1:1 sessions with one of the TEDxBoise speaker coaches (Nancy Buffington, AlejAndro Anastasio, and Kirsten Holmberg). We want you to give the best talk of your life; the coaching helps make that happen. We’ll help you deal with content development and delivery, anxiety, and slide preparation.
  • Practice, practice, practice. Will you be able to fit in the necessary hours of preparation with your other commitments? What other considerations might affect your commitment?
  • Being a TEDxBoise speaker requires endurance, flexibility, coach-ability, and flexibility.
  • We want you to be part of the TEDxBoise (and TED) community for years to come. Plug in, get to know the other speakers and volunteers. Help us by promoting the event and your talk!

What you’ll be a part of

  • TED is, at its heart, a conference. One meant to foster community and conversation to spread good ideas across the globe. Originally exclusively an on-site conference, in 2006 TED began posting the talks online to grant the world access to all the fantastic information being shared. While the events are often expensive (but amazing!) to attend, the videos are shared online for free.
  • Today, 17 TED talks are being viewed every second. In more than 100 languages.
  • TEDx, the independently organized, licensed events, began in 2008. TEDxBoise began in 2015. 2015 speaker Kate Simonds’ talk has more than one million views to date. (Just think: you’re getting a shot at this!)
  • TEDxBoise is entirely volunteer-led. We believe in this conference and are excited to have you along for the ride.
Got questions? Shoot us an email at Can’t wait to hear your idea worth spreading!

Calling for great ideas! 2017 Speaker application link is open!

TEDxBoise 2017 will be amazing!

If we have speakers with amazing ideas, that is.

Get in the game

The speaker application for our 2017 event is now open. We can’t wait to hear your stories and ideas, and to share them with Boise and the world. Apply here; the link will close on September 30th—don’t wait!

Not sure?

Curious about the process? Not sure what makes a great TED-style talk? Got questions to answer before you submit your idea worth sharing? Come to one of two free, brown-bag workshops hosted by the TEDxBoise speaker coaches, Nancy Buffington, AlejAndro Anastasio, and Kirsten Holmberg:

           Tuesday, August 30th, 5pm-6pm

           Venture College, 301 S Capitol Blvd, Boise

           Meet in the boardroom, first room on the left


           Thursday, September 1, 12p-1pm

           Venture College, 301 S Capitol Blvd, Boise

           Meet in the boardroom, first room on the left

No response or registration required—just join us!


If you’re interested in joining our team of awesome volunteer event organizers, shoot us an email at with a brief paragraph of the types of work you’d be interested in doing (and why you’re awesome at it). We’ve got a few open spots on this year’s team and you might just be lucky enough to land one.


We can’t wait to hear your idea.