Discover the world at the Kauffman Center

Join the Adventure with Trailblazing Talks

The Kauffman Center is pleased to guide patrons through a journey of exploration with our 2024 series of adventure speakers, Trailblazing Talks. New this year, Trailblazing Talks includes a lineup of renowned presenters whose work reveals fascinating insights about our planet. Join us once a month to learn about mankind and our role on this planet.

Michael Davie, journalist presents Documenting the Red Zone Tuesday, Feb. 20. Photo by Brent Stirton.

In February, witness the power of the human spirit in the most surprising places, inside a South African prison, on a mountainside in Rwanda and on the banks of the Ganges River, to name a few. Documentary filmmaker Michael Davie takes you on an odyssey through his nearly 30-year career, working in war zones, refugee camps and hostile territories.

Join us on March 12 as one of the few women to cover the Majors photographer, Jean Fruth shares a fresh perspective on America’s favorite pastime. Drawing on her extensive interviews with baseball legends, the all-women league that inspired the film A League of Their Own and the trailblazers of today, she paints a vivid picture of the sport’s rich history and exciting future.

Photographer David McLain takes us on a journey of a life well-lived as he uncovers the secrets of the Blue Zones, places where people live vibrant lives beyond 100.

David McLain, photographer, shares The Blue Zones: Unlocking the Secrets of Longevity presents Tuesday, April 23. Photo by David McLain.

McLain has spent years studying the habits of centenarians across the globe. This April, through personal anecdotes and scientific research, David shares how adopting their practices can add quality years to our own lives.

Finally in May, immerse yourself in Dr. Sylvia Earle’s inspiring mission to save the ocean, one “Hope Spot” at a time. Working beyond borders and ideologies, Earle advises heads of state on critical marine protection legislation and crisis response. She strives to help the rest of us navigate the consequences of everything we put into, and take out of, the ocean.

Trailblazing Talks is curated by Changemaker Talent. This speaker series brings to Kansas City a program of thought leaders, celebrated explorers, award-winning journalists, photographers and filmmakers, innovators and artists who are actively engaged in creating a better tomorrow. One by one, they are striving to solve big problems, inspire environmental stewardship, document the world around us and bridge the distance between us. In short, they are changing the world, one story at a time.

Single tickets can be purchased at