Randall Mikkelsen

We asked our upcoming speakers a series of questions to get to know them a little better in advance of their presentation. In this post, we’re featuring Randall Mikkelsen, a financial and political journalist.

What was your reaction when you learned you were chosen as a speaker for TEDxAM18?
I was gratified to learn I was chosen as a speaker. I believe in the importance of my topic: “fake news” and the empowerment of citizens in a surprisingly fragile democracy. Being able to address a new audience that by definition is open to ideas is why I have taken up this issue, and an opportunity for personal growth.

Who is an inspiration or mentor who has influenced your work?
Andrew Knapp, who taught me about outdoor exploration and provided a guide to living: “Every trip should be a preparation for the next one.”

What is your favorite TED or TEDx Talk and why?
I don’t have a favorite TED talk, but An Inconvenient Truth had a powerful effect on me.

How does what you wanted to be when you grew up compare with what you’re doing today?
I feel pretty close to where I wanted to be — experiencing as much as possible of what life has to offer and expressing my perceptions. This is despite mistakes, setbacks, and regrets. Before there were such things as bucket lists, I made one, in my mid-20s. It was not just experiences but also stations in life. I rediscovered the list a couple of years ago. I can’t tick each box precisely, but I am gratified that it remains relevant. Another motto I have tried to follow is “check out your dreams” — not that they have to be achieved in the fullest, but it’s nice if you can at least get a taste and discover if they are right for you.

If you could pick one person to present a TED talk, who would you choose? Why?
The late Sir Edmund Hillary, the first man to climb Mt. Everest. He was a humble hero. I’d want to know more about his view of the world. I met him once, quite by chance, on a weekly market day in the village of Namche Bazaar in the Everest region of Nepal.


You can see (and meet) Randall when he presents at the TEDxAmoskeagMillyard event on June 2, 2018. Register now.


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