Our Most Recent Event: ALIVE!
ALIVE! Maximum Living as a HumanALIVE! will examine the human lifecycle from many angles: vibrant aging, meaning, mission, family,
identity, sexuality, living in community, parenting, coming of age, childhood, birth and conception.
Can't join us for the event? Watch it live via streaming from USTREAM:
Venue Location & Details
View Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in a larger map
Just a few short blocks from the Powell or the Montgomery Street BART/MUNI stations, YBCA is also accessible from dozens of major bus lines. Call 511 or visit 511.org for more information.Parking
Several reasonably priced parking garages are located within a block of YBCA. See the map to the left. Note: Some parking lots close at 11 pm. Please check with the lot before parking.
Make a weekend of it at the St. Regis San Francisco
Right across from the Yerba Buena Center is one of the finest hotels in the city, our Sponsor, the St. Regis. They have extended a special offer to TEDx members to make a weekend getaway out of TEDx San Francisco. Stay June 3-5 or June 4-6 and while in residence enjoy:
- 2 Night Accommodation in Deluxe, Astor, or Metropolitan Suite
- 2 Tickets to the TEDxSF Event at the Yerba Buena Center on June 4th
- Daily Overnight Valet Parking
Reserve your experience online, by phone at 866-716-8116, or through your preferred travel professional. Please ask for rate plan TEDSFPKG. From $795.
Event Program:11:00 Registration Opens @ Yerba Buena Center
11:45 Doors Open
12:00 Christine McCaull & Jason Johnson/Welcome
12:10 Wendy Northcutt/Darwin Awards
12:30 Jonathan Good/1000 Memories
12:35 Bill Thomas/Changing Aging
12:50 Louie Schwartzberg/Happiness Revealed
1:00 Scott Hess/Tru Insights
1:20 Interactive segment
1:25 Reckless Sons
1:35 James Mollison/Where Children Sleep
1:55 Arlene Samen
2:05 Segment Change - MAN AND MACHINE
2:10 Roz Picard
2:25 Joe Betts-Lacroix
2:45 Eythor Bendor/Amanda Boxtel/Berkeley Bionics
3:05 Video Short: Grow A New Eye
3:30 Carey Perloff/LIVE Theatre
4:30 David Kim/Violinist
4:35 Simon Mainwaring/From Me First to We First
4:55 Video Short: Triptych: Pathology of Civilization
5:00 Shereef Bishay
5:05 Pamela Wilhelm
5:10 Mel Robbins/How to Stop Screwing Yourself
5:30 Chusy Jardine/Andres Torres
5:50 Nicole Daedone/The Cure for Hunger in the Western Woman
6:10 Nina Wise/Performance Artist
6:30 Vicki Virk/Nonstop Bhangra
Party to follow on site. Full dinner served.
**Please note that all times listed above are estimates.
Joe Betts LaCroix
TEDster and core team member of Halcyon Molecular
Joe Betts-LaCroix is a scientist, inventor and entrepreneur in biophysics, geochemistry and electronics. Joe began professionally as an electronics designer while in high school, went to Harvard to study biophysics and got a degree in Environmental Geoscience, published quantum tunneling research (Science) from his fellowship at Caltech, did Ocean Chemistry and built robots at MIT, founded OQO which made the world’s smallest PC (Guinness, 2006), filed and sold scores of patents in thermal engineering, user interfaces, electronics miniaturization, cloud computing, wireless power and tunable antennas. He has worked at the summit of the Greenland Ice Sheet and at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean and is now passionately working to bring the dreams of Halcyon Molecular to fruition.
Branding Consultant, Author, Blogger and International Speaker
Simon Mainwaring is an award-winning branding consultant, respected author, influential blogger and international speaker. He is the founder of We First, a social branding consultancy committed to helping brands build communities, profit and positive impact. He is a member of the General Mills Digital Advisory Board, the AdAge Power150, TED, and the Advisory Board of the Center for Public Diplomacy at the USC Annenberg School. Simon’s first book, We First: How brands and consumers use social media to build a better world launches in the first week of June 2011 (www.wefirstbook.com). It lays out a new vision for a sustainable practice of capitalism, a new role for the private sector based on a partnership between brands and consumers connected by social media, and new thinking as to how we use the latest in social, mobile and gaming technology to scale positive social change. He is also an Expert Blogger for Fast Company and contributes to Huffington Post, Mashable, and GOOD Magazine. Prior to starting We First, Simon was a Nike creative writer at Wieden & Kennedy and worldwide creative director for Motorola at Ogilvy. He has received over sixty international creative awards at the Cannes Advertising Festival, the One Show (U.S.) and the British Design & Art Direction Awards, among others. Simon studied Law and Fine Arts (1st Class Honors) at Sydney University, lives in Los Angeles, blogs at simonmainwaring.com and tweets @simonmainwaring
Chief Executive Officer – Berkeley Bionics
More than anything else, Eythor Bender is a team builder. You want to be on his team. And that’s good news for bionics, a nascent industry that Eythor has championed and grown, taking bionic prosthetics from unconventional approaches to sustainable, approved products that merge man and machine, and enhance individuals’ participation in their community. Today and as CEO of Berkeley Bionics – developer and maker of wearable robots – Eythor is leading his company’s charge to boost everyone’s potential through personal bionics.
This year, Berkeley Bionics is introducing two new exoskeletons to the market that augment mobility, strength and endurance: eLEGS powers wheelchair users up to get them standing and walking again; and HULCTM (Human Universal Load Carrier) enables users to carry up to 200 lbs. for hours and over all terrains, while reducing the likelihood of back-injuries.
Eythor is a native of Iceland, with a Masters in Business and Economics from Germany, where he began his career with Hewlett Packard in medical diagnostics and computer imaging. He went on to join Nordic-European Ossur, which pioneered the field of commercial bionics. Eythor led Ossur’s Americas division, taking it from a start-up to a world leader in the field of wearable, non-invasive technologies designed for amputees, injury prevention, rehabilitation and pain relief. He lives in San Francisco and most recently spoke at TED2011 in Long Beach, California.
James Mollison was born in Kenya, and grew up in England. After studying art and design at Oxford Brookes University, and later film and photography at Newport School of Art and Design, he moved to Italy to work at Benetton’s creative lab, Fabrica. He has published four books: James & Other Apes (2004) – fifty ‘passport’ photographs of the Great Apes; The Memory of Pablo Escobar (2007) – the extraordinary story of ‘the richest and most violent gangster in history’ told by hundreds of photographs gathered by Mollison; The Disciples (2008) includes panoramic format portraits of music fans photographed before and after concerts. His last book Where Children Sleep (2010) – features stories of diverse children around the world, told through portraits and pictures of their bedrooms.
Photo Credit: Rick Friedman
Founder and Director of the Affective Computing research group at the MIT Media Lab
Professor Rosalind W. Picard, ScD is founder and director of the Affective Computing research group at the MIT Media Lab, co-director of the Things That Think consortium, and leader of the new and growing Autism & Communication Technology Initiative at MIT. In April 2009 she co-founded Affectiva, Inc., where she serves as chairman and chief scientist.
Picard holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering with highest honors from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and master’s and doctoral degrees, both in electrical engineering and computer science, from MIT. Prior to completing her doctorate at MIT, she was a member of the technical staff at AT&T Bell Laboratories. In 1991 she joined the MIT Media Lab faculty, where she became internationally known for content-based retrieval research, for creating new tools such as the Photobook system, and for pioneering methods of automated search and annotation in digital video.
She is the author of the award-winning book Affective Computing, which was instrumental in starting a new field by that name. She has authored 200 scientific articles and chapters and also holds multiple patents. In 2005, she was honored as a Fellow of the IEEE.
Cofounder of 1000memories.com
Jonathan is a founder of 1000memories, a website that is creating a new way for everyone to save and share memories. Jonathan grew up in New Zealand before studying at the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, where he was awarded the George Webb Medley Prize as the top graduate economics student. Upon completion of his studies Jonathan worked for McKinsey & Company, the management consultancy, serving media and technology companies around the globe. He founded 1000memories in 2010 with 2 friends and the website was a finalist at both the Crunchies and Webby awards in 2011.
Scientist and founder of DarwinAwards.com
Wendy Northcutt is a scientist and graduate of UC Berkeley with a degree in molecular biology. She began collecting the stories that make up the Darwin Awards in 1993 while working at Stanford and is the founder of the popular website www.DarwinAwards.com. She is the author of five previous Darwin Awards collections.
DJ, Remixer, Producer, Artist
Jesse Houk (born 1971) is a DJ/remixer/producer/artist from Amsterdam, The Netherlands. He is better known by his pseudonym, The Scumfrog, under which he has remixed songs by artists as varied as Britney Spears, David Bowie, Dido, Enrique Iglesias, and J-Pop Superstar Utada Hikaru. His first release was a 3-track EP called The Watersong, in 1997. He released his first CD, Simmer, in 2004, which included the single “Music Revolution”. In 2005 Music Revolution was chosen for Chevrolet’s long running HHR commercial. In 2006 he released “Mega Scum 01″, a DJ mix with original tracks and remixes. In 2008, he co-wrote and co-produced Cyndi Lauper’s album, Bring Ya To The Brink, (the song “High and Mighty”), which is also the first song on the CD track list. The album was nominated for a Grammy in the category “Best Dance Album”.
Vicki Virk & Non Stop Bhangra
Genre-busting elixir of North Indian Bhangra music and dance, mixed with hip-hop, reggae, and electronica
Highlighting the ancestral roots of Punjabi dance while pushing boundaries with contemporary influences, Non Stop Bhangra is a genre-busting elixir of North Indian Bhangra music and dance, mixed with hip-hop, reggae, and electronica. An ever-evolving collective of dancers, DJs, drummers, vocalists, and musicians, Non Stop Bhangra was founded in 2004 with the goal of sharing the spirit and energy of Punjabi music and dance with a wide audience. Featuring the vibrant dancers of Dholrhythms Dance Company, led by Vicki Virk and Suman Raj, and music by DJ Jimmy Love, the group has won over legions of fans with its monthly events in San Francisco. Dholrhythms also promotes the artistic and cultural heritage of India with classes and workshops, providing a unique platform for people of diverse backgrounds to come together and dance in a positive environment. The group has performed at some of the largest stages in the West Coast including San Francisco’s renowned Stern Grove Festival, Michael Franti’s Power to the Peaceful in Golden Gate Park, New Mexico’s ¡Globalquerque!, Grand Performances in Los Angeles, Pasadena’s Levitt Pavilion, and Canada’s Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival. www.nonstopbhangra.com
Author, Relationship Expert, Syndicated Radio Host and America’s Life Coach
Mel Robbins is a married working mother of three, an ivy-educated criminal lawyer, and one of the top career and relationship experts in America. Widely respected for her grab-‘em-by-the-collar advice and tough love, Robbins drills through the mental clutter that stands between people and what they want. Her approach is smart, effective and entertaining. Five days a week, Mel hosts her own syndicated radio show The Mel Robbins Show, discussing hot topics and giving advice to callers across America. She is starring in a new series, In-Laws, airing this summer on A&E. In addition, she writes a monthly column for Success Magazine, is a former CNBC contributor and is the co-founder of Advice for Living, Inc., which develops products and television programming with experts in the wellness, health, relationship and career categories.
Most nights, once the kids are in bed, you’ll find Mel at home with a bourbon on the rocks and her Australian Shepherd at her feet, writing about life, love and everything else on her award-winning blog: www.melrobbins.com
Born and raised in Venezuela, Chusy has lived in Europe, Latin America and the USA. He has put his febrile imagination to work as a bag boy, translator, video clerk, “marketing representative,” copywriter, art director, executive creative director, teacher and commercial director. Chusy attended the director’s program at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles, California and received an MFA in directing. There he made, MONKEY PARK, a short film starring Tim Roth, Amanda Plummer and Ray Wise. His first film, ANYWHERE USA, won the SPECIAL JURY PRIZE at SUNDANCE, awarded by a Quentin Tarantino-led jury. He is the father of two gorgeous children.
A brand new school of American Rockn’roll
Brainchild of Manhattan based writer/musician Matt Butler, Reckless Sons thrive on being one of New York’s most versatile and interesting up and coming acts. Inspired by a truly eclectic set of influences, Reckless Sons are the product of Butler’s vision of a brand new school of American Rockn’roll. From Springsteen to The Replacements, from The Rolling Stones to The Stone Roses, Reckless Sons are an expression of love for timeless songwriting paired with an urgency that only comes from the young and hungry.
Reckless Sons’ fearless live performances have garnered them critical praise and loyal fans, as well as opportunities to support acts as diverse as Crash Kings, Hercules and Love Affair, Peter Bjorn and John, and Littl’ans. Moreover, Reckless Sons have toured The United Kingdom as well as both coasts of The United States.
Reckless Sons are no strangers to New York City’s fashion scene. After a live performance in what was formerly CBGB, Reckless Son’s were chosen by John Varvatos to become the face of his new clothing brand, John Varvatos STAR USA, and have been featured in Spin magazine, Vanity Fair and various other media outlets.
In preparation for the recording of their first full length album, Butler and his accomplices travelled across the US, working with esteemed writers and producers such as Angelo Petraglia (Kings of Leon), Raine Maida (Our Lady Peace), Mike Viola (The Candy Butchers), and Jeff Saltzman (The Killers, The Sounds).
2011 saw the completion of Reckless Sons currently untitled debut album. The band has released tracks for free on there website, www.RECKLESSSONS.com, and had an informal launch at John Varvatos in NYC. Currently, they are planning their formal launch at TEDx in San Francisco this spring.
Inspirational Speaker and Cofounder of Challenge Aspen
Since sustaining a permanent spinal-cord injury nineteen years ago, Amanda Boxtel has evolved into a passionate and dynamic inspirational speaker. In 1995, she co-founded Challenge Aspen, now a successful nonprofit organization, which enables individuals with disabilities to participate in recreational activities in Aspen, Colorado.
For ten years, she was a professional ski instructor at Aspen Skiing Company; and from 2001 till 2005, she helped establish adaptive skiing programs in Chile, Argentina, and Iceland. In 1999 Amanda was honored as the Colorado Ski Country USA Adaptive Athlete of the Year; and that same year she orchestrated the first disability whitewater-rafting trip down the Grand Canyon. In 2002, Amanda carried the Olympic Torch on her mono-ski; and in 2005, she spearheaded bringing two hundred wheelchairs to the poorest of the poor in Argentina. Amanda was the recipient of the 2007 Colorado Rockies Leadership Award; and in 2008 Aspen Sojourner Magazine awarded Amanda as one of three Sojourner Salutes Honorees for her contributions to the Aspen community.
In July, 2010 Amanda was the first paraplegic woman in the world to test pilot Berkeley Bionics’ eLEGS (Exoskeleton Lower Extremity Gait System). Australian born, she enjoys writing, painting and drawing. She lives near Aspen in Basalt, Colorado with her golden retriever, Tucker.
Founder of BlackLight Films
Louie Schwartzberg is an award-winning cinematographer, director, and producer whose notable career spans more than three decades providing breathtaking imagery for feature films, television shows, documentaries and commercials.
As a visual artist, Louie has created some of the most iconic and memorable film moments of our time. He is an innovator in the world of time-lapse, nature, aerial and “slice-of-life” photography – the only cinematographer in the world who has literally been shooting 24 hours a day, 7 days a week continuously for more than 30 years.
President and Lead Architect, Wilhelms Consulting Group
Pamela Wilhelms is a social architect, organizational consultant and executive coach. Her work in social architecture focuses on the invisible systems and structures in organizations that ignite creativity, innovation, design, and tap the collective intelligence and soul of the organization. This transformational work drives a shift in culture from mechanistic, hierarchical frameworks to models based on complex adaptive living systems and higher performance on multiple dimensions.
Her coaching with executives is an integral leadership model, which applies recent research in psychophysiology, social neuroscience, spiral dynamics and quantum physics to the practical aspects of leading organizations.
As lead architect for WCG, the company she founded in 1987, Pamela now focuses the work on businesses building capacity for multiple bottom line measurements, and coaching leaders in all sectors of society who are shaping the shift towards an abundant regenerative economy. Pamela has worked with leaders from more than 40 countries, on five continents, and from organizations as varied as Fortune 20 companies, the White House, the United Nations, natural resource agencies, social entrepreneurs and community leaders.
Her latest endeavor is the Soul of the Next Economy Initiative, which connects global thought leaders and action leaders for innovation and profound deep change in individual, organizational and societal systems for the flourishing of life on the planet. With undergraduate studies in environmental engineering, landscape architecture and urban design, and graduate work in psychology, theology, leadership and organizational behavior, she is positioned to see the systems intersections and passionate about radical collaboration across traditional boundaries. Pamela has designed award winning multi-year leadership academies and taught in graduate programs for many universities including Harvard, Georgetown, Yale, the University of California and Stanford.
Speaker, Author and Educator
Nicole Daedone is a sought-after speaker, author, and educator focusing on the intersection between orgasm, intimacy, and life. She is the founder of OneTaste, a cutting-edge company bringing a new definition of orgasm to women. The practice at the heart of her work is called OM or Orgasmic Meditation. OM uniquely combines the tradition of extended orgasm with Nicole’s own interest in Zen Buddhism, mystical Judaism and semantics. Helping to foster a new conversation about orgasm —one that’s real, relevant, and intelligent—she has inspired thousands of students to make OM a part of their everyday lives.
Nicole graduated from San Francisco State University with a degree in semantics and gender communication. She went on to found the popular avant garde art gallery 111 Minna Gallery in SoMa before moving on to OneTaste. Nicole is the author of Slow Sex: The Art and Craft of the Female Orgasm (Grand Central/Hachette, May 2011) and has appeared on ABC’s Nightline. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, the New York Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, and 7×7 Magazine, among others, and her writing has appeared in Tricycle magazine. In his #1 New York Times Bestseller The 4-Hour Body Timothy Ferriss calls the OM practice “required education for every man on the planet.” For more about OneTaste and OM, visit http://onetaste.us. Nicole’s blog appears at http://nicoledaedone.com.
Raised in Los Gatos, CA, Nicole now lives in San Francisco.
Dr. William Thomas
Award Winning Doctor and Author
William H. Thomas, M.D. is an international authority on geriatric medicine and eldercare. A graduate of Harvard Medical School in 1986, he completed graduate medical training at the Highland Hospital/University of Rochester Family Medicine Residency.
While pursuing a career in Emergency Medicine, a part-time position as the medical director of a small rural nursing home turned into a full-time and life-long passion for improving the well-being of older people. In the early 1990’s, he and his wife Judith Meyers-Thomas developed the Eden Alternative, now a non-profit organization with international reach, which includes affiliates in Japan, Australia, Scandinavia, Europe, Canada, the United Kingdom, and across the United States. Dr. Thomas’ groundbreaking work in person-directed care also led him to imagine a new approach to long-term care that became known as the Green House. He oversaw the construction of the nation’s first Green Houses, and this model of care is now being replicated nationwide as an alternative to traditionally-designed nursing homes.
The author of six books, Dr. Thomas is also the recipient of several prestigious awards and honors, among them, the Heinz Award for the Human Condition, 2009 Picker Award for Excellence® in the Advancement of Patient-Centered Care, and being named as one of the ten most influential people in long-term care.
Resident Nerd, BetterMeans.com
Shereef’s first business was building the first online company in Egypt called careeregypt.com. After two years, Shereef and his partners sold Career Egypt to Microsoft where Shereef then went to work for a few years as lead developer. He made a leap into the non-profit world working as a challenge day leader for Challenge Day, and is now the resident nerd at BetterMeans.com, which is a platform for peer-to-peer focused companies to be more agile, resilient, innovative and democratic. He lives with his wive and son in Oakland, CA.
ACT Artistic Director
A vigorous proponent of unusual classical literature and a passionate advocate of new work and new theatrical forms, Carey Perloff has been artistic director of acclaimed American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco since 1992. Perloff has directed dozens of award-winning productions for A.C.T., including the American premieres of works by Tom Stoppard, Harold Pinter, and Timberlake Wertenbaker, world premieres by Philip Kan Gotanda, Constance Congdon, and Mac Wellman, and new interpretations of Schiller, Webster, Euripides, Gorky, Gogol, and Molière. Her most recent creation is The Tosca Project, a ground-breaking movement-theater piece developed in collaboration with choreographer Val Caniparoli. Also an accomplished playwright and a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Award, Perloff is the author of Luminescence Dating, The Colossus of Rhodes, Higher, and Waiting for the Flood, among others. Perloff received a B.A. in classics and comparative literature from Stanford University and was a Fulbright Fellow at Oxford University. Before joining A.C.T., Perloff was artistic director of OBIE Award–winning Classic Stage Company in New York. She was recently honored with France’s Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
Nina Wise, performance artist, writer, director and educator, is known for her provocative and original performance works which have been produced in the United States, Europe, South America and Asia. Her pieces have garnered seven Bay Area Critics’ Circle Awards, and she has received, among other prestigious honors, three National Endowment for the Arts fellowships. Her written pieces have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies. She is the founder of Motion Theater and the author of A Big New Free Happy Unusual Life (Broadway Books). She teaches Motion Theater at Esalen Institute, and has been a visiting lecturer at UC Santa Cruz, SF State University, Stanford University as well as at international conferences and think tanks. She also teaches Buddhist practice at Spirit Rock meditation center. She is currently writing and directing a multi-media work about Johannes Kepler which will be performed at Morrison Planetarium this summer.
Multi-instrumentalist, DJ and Professional Violinist
Dave Kim is a night life innovator based out of San Francisco, CA and is tasked with playing the electric violin alongside high caliber DJs and musicians at some of the hottest venues in the nation. He does so by creating spontaneous remixes of any song the DJ is spinning. He has played with countless DJs with not a minute of rehearsal time (including DJ Dan, Chris Clouse, David Carvalho, Donovan, Alex Dreamz of KIIS FM/XS Las Vegas and Discotech). Dave Kim has opened for top tier acts such as Kaskade, Mark Farina, The Temptations and the late great DJ AM. Dave Kim creates an infectious environment sought after by elite venues that wish to stay on the cutting edge of nightclub entertainment.
Vice President of Insights for TRU
Scott Hess is the Vice President of Insights for TRU, a global youth research firm, and is considered one of the foremost authorities on American youth. In this role, Scott works across TRU’s syndicated and custom research divisions to discover, distill, and communicate compelling, actionable insights for clients – the world’s leading youth brands and companies. A sought-after speaker, consultant, and moderator, Scott helps clients develop more youth-relevant products and services, communicate more effectively with their young customers, and ensure that corporate strategy and execution align with the evolving zeitgeist. Over the past decade, Scott has worked with virtually every significant youth-relevant entity in business today, from motorcycles to movies, from social networks to skin care, and from governments to gum. As a husband and father, Scott’s committed to building a future that’s profitable for clients as well as positive for young people. As a former teenager, Scott’s personal mission is to make sure that young viewpoints are heard, respected, and understood.
President and Founder, One Heart World-wide
Arlene Samen, has been a Nurse Practitioner in Maternal Fetal Medicine for 31 years. In 2004, she left behind her University of Utah clinical practice to dedicate her life to serving pregnant women living in the most vulnerable conditions. In her travels she learned about the plight of pregnant women and newborns in developing countries and in particular Tibet, where one out of ten newborns died due to preventable causes. She organized a fact-finding mission to understand the local traditions, religious and cultural beliefs of women giving birth.
Arlene spent over the next ten years in Tibet working side by side with the local government to bring a safe motherhood project to women who were poor, uneducated, and living in remote mountainous areas on the roof of the world. She brought the “Network of Safety” model to women who face death in order to give life. In 2009, One Heart World-Wide took its life saving model to remote villages in Nepal and in the Copper Canyon of Mexico.
She has received many awards, including being selected one of the 50 Unsung Heroes for Acts of Compassion in 2001, a Soroptomist Women Making a Difference Award and as a CNN “Hero” of the week in 2008. In 2009, she was a Rainer Arnhold Fellow with the Mulago Foundation and is a current member of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI).