TEDxSF Salons

Design your own Government: Organizing the Body Politic

Tue, October 25, 2011 | Madrone Studios, 1417 15th Street, San Francisco, CA

New in 2011-2012: Salon Format

Salons will feature a few select speakers offering new understandings, alternative models and practical take aways. The salons will be smaller to enable deeper connections on a single topic.  Salons will be held throughout the fall and winter, each focused on one contemporary institution in turmoil.  They will be simulcast, and the video footage will be archived on TED.com on the TEDx channel.  The overarching concept for the year is “Institutionalized” – what we can do when the structures we design to meet our collective needs are no longer working, and what we can do to accelerate change – especially when it is urgent, controversial, or there are a lot of stakeholders, many of whom have a vested interest in the status quo.  We had planned this topic not anticipating the “American Autumn” of protests in all major cities over growing inequities, so we will try to add some relevant real time content to the dialogues as things unfold.

Design your own Government: Organizing the Body Politic

  • Tue, October 25, 2011
  • Doors open at 5:30, with drinks and food
  • Program begins at 6:30
  • Expect music and play, as usual, in the casual lounge space of Madrone Studios, 1417 15th Street, San Francisco, CA

Topics include….

  • The New Citizenship.
  • All politics is…Networked?
  • Can Technology Restore the Founders’ Vision?
  • Creating change from the outside & the inside.
  • Discourse and Diatribe.  New designs for governments: What would you do?
  • Right here, right now: Local Action.

Meet our speakers for 10/25/11: Reserve Your Tickets Now

David Binetti is Co-Founder and CEO of Votizen, the Online Network of Voters.  He is also the co-creator of USA.gov, the official website of the US Government, which was named USA Today’s Site of the Year for 2000.  David is a recipient of Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government’s “Innovations in American Government” award.  He is an engaging speaker, having presented at SXSW, Lean Startup Events, and Berkeley and Stanford Business Schools.
Jennifer Pahlka is the founder and executive director of Code for America, which works with talented web professionals and cities around the country to promote public service and reboot government. She spent eight years at CMP Media where she led the Game Group, responsible for GDC, Game Developer magazine, and Gamasutra.com; there she also launched the Independent Games Festival and served as executive director of the International Game Developers Association. Recently, she ran the Web 2.0 and Gov 2.0 events for TechWeb and co-chaired the successful Web 2.0 Expo. She is a graduate of Yale University and lives in Oakland, CA with her daughter and six chickens.
Jamila Raqib serves as the Executive Director of the Albert Einstein Institution where since 2002, she has worked closely with Gene Sharp, the foremost authority on strategic nonviolent struggle, assisting with new writing, and providing editorial support and research assistance.    Her other responsibilities include liaising with opposition groups on the work and resources of the institution, and serving as a commentator on nonviolent action in the world for various media bodies, including the BBC, National Public Radio, Voice of America, The New York Times, among others, and provides background briefings for other international broadcasters, newspapers and periodicals.
Ruaridh Arrow trained as a newspaper journalist in Scotland winning the Guardian British Student Reporter of the Year award in 2004.  In 2005 he was one of the youngest producers at Sky News in London before being asked to produce investigative programme Dispatches on Channel 4, the British equivalent of Frontline. He went on to work for BBC News, National Geographic and The Financial Times.  In 2008 He was asked to carry out a number of consultancy projects advising Afghan satellite news channels broadcasting from Kabul.  He was a Political Analyst for the Shadow Home Secretary in the British Parliament working on policing and security issues in the run up to the 2010 General Election. In 2009 he began work on a feature length documentary about the work of Nobel Peace Prize Nominee Gene Sharp which was funded by raising almost $60,000 in 3 weeks on Kickstarter. While completing the film in Egypt he reported for the BBC from Tahrir Square, Cairo during the Egyptian Revolution.
Dr. Michelle Kraus is a veteran of the political blogging community writing on regulatory and political issues concerning the economy, environment, social change, innovation and technology. She pioneered the earliest social network and platform for politics, and is often referred to as a “Ninja” working behind the scenes to build communities, craft messaging and reach out to activists with new and innovative technologies. Covering the Clinton Global Initiative in 2007, Dr. Michelle started the “quiet voices” series illuminating the monumental work of many of the participants across the globe who are quietly affecting change in health care and poverty alleviation. Invited to help with the grassroots outreach for the Dali Lama and the human rights community, she has covered the initiatives at www.humanitariandream.com.
Tom Foremski, is the founder and editor of the popular and top-ranked news analysis site, Silicon Valley Watcher, reporting on the culture of innovation at the intersection of technology and media. In May 2004, he became the first journalist to leave a major newspaper, the Financial Times, to make a living as a full-time journalist blogger.  Tom has been reporting on Silicon Valley and the US tech industry since 1984.  His current focus is on the intersection of media and technology – the fuel for a new era of Silicon Valley and a new Media Valley in the making.  For more information please visit:  http://www.siliconvalleywatcher.com.
Bear Kittay, is a visionary entrepreneur, musician, and social alchemist. Activation is his passion.  He is co-founder at Electionear, a market leading mobile technology platform transforming how campaigns organize field volunteers.  He became interested in the challenges of political organizing while working with Obama for America and founding Music for Democracy, a Federal PAC that mobilized the music community with events and innovative technologies to support progressive candidates nationwide.  Additionally, Bear is a founding partner at Kundavi, a new type of real estate venture creating an open source innovation cluster in Los Cabos, Mexico.  He is also an active angel investor particularly interested in injecting early state capital and critical resources into the hands of exceptional founders.  He is an early angel investor in Shaker after discovering them in Israel and bringing them to the United States and winning TechCrunch Disrupt.  He currently lives on Doloroes Park in San Francisco and takes his sitar, charango, guitar or at the very least, his kazoo, wherever his escapades take him.

We recommend that you see the movie “How to Start a Revolution” the week before the salon.  Two of our speakers, Rory Arrow and Jamila Raqib are talking about nonviolent political change – Rory’s documentary film “How to Start a Revolution” on Gene Sharp just premiered at the Boston Film Festival, to 3 standing ovations, and is coming to San Francisco to be shown in 2 places: At a private event in Pacific Heights at 6:00 on 10/19 (buffet dinner at 6:00, film at 6:30, followed by discussion with filmmaker) and at the SFIndie DocFest Film Festival at the Roxy at 9:30 on 10/19, and again on 10/23.

  • 11/29 – SKOOL’d (Reconsidering Higher Education)* – tickets available now
  • January – FutureNet (Technology, the internet, information exchange
  • Money Money Money (Banking and Finance)
  • Humans, Healthy & Whole (Healthcare, Pharma, Food Supply)
  • Gods and Men (Church/religion)
  • Activism University or Innovation University
  • The Military Divide

Ideas + People + Action = world of change

If your organization is interested in sponsoring or underwriting our salons, please contact

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