About Mark

Bio

Mark is the CEO and co-founder of introNetworks which offers enterprise networks that are dedicated to helping people identify, and then make smart connections to who and what matters to them in their work and interests.

Since 2003 the company has successfully deployed over 300 introNetwork Systems across a growing customer base that includes such high profile organizations as Adobe, Autodesk, Cisco, the Clinton Global Initiative, Coca Cola, DowJones, Fortune, Google, Harvard, HP, McCann Worldgroup, NASA, P&G, PennState, the US Government, Virgin Galactic, Wharton, xerox, YPO and of course the TED Conference.

Mark has been on the leading edge of software development for more than twenty years. As a co-founder of Wavefront Technologies, Mark and his team developed software that completely revolutionized the way the world is entertained. He co-designed Wavefront's flagship product, Advanced Visualizer, which was the first commercial 3D modeling and animation system. Working directly with major Hollywood studios, the company introduced the world to computer-generated animation, and received many accolades - including an Oscar for Technical Achievement.

Mark was instrumental in growing Wavefront over ten years to a $45 million company. As the liaison between Fortune 500 clients and Wavefront software developers, Mark shared with non-technologists the possibilities of a new breed of software, and worked with developers to make clients' dreams come true. Beyond helping design products that were tailored for the entertainment industry, Wavefront's technologies revolutionized the design and video game industries as well.

TED Conferences

TED2014, TED2013, TED2012, TED2011, TED2010, TED2009, TED2008, TED2007, TED2006, TED2005, TED2004

I'm passionate about

Helping people see how technology can be used to sift through vast amounts of information and help them make better decisions, faster, easier and much more intuitively.

Talk to me about

What you do with your day that might surprise me.
What your favorite TED moment is (this year)
What the best question anyone ever asked you was.

People don't know I'm good at

Helping brainstorm ideas on how a smart social network could be created that would stimulate conversations between employees, customers and partners.

My TED story

In 2002 I learned from a colleague at Macromedia that they were slated to sponsor TED. But because of their sponsorship role, the company would not be able to self-promote at the conference - so we proposed that Macromedia create an immersive social networking experience for the attendees.

In just eight weeks - and with the help of Chris Anderson, Macromedia heavyweights, and some talented developers and designers - we created an ambitious and unprecedented networking system that allowed over 1,000 attendees to build personal profiles and interact with one another. After just four days 78 percent of the people had tried the system at least once and more than 3,000 messages had been sent.

Since then, we formed introNetworks, Inc. to continue innovating around the base technology created for TED. We have rolled out a completely new version of the platform each year, always working closely with customers to implement their ideas for improving the networking experience.

Favorite talks

Comments & conversations

198361
Mark Sylvester
Posted over 1 year ago
Ron Finley: A guerilla gardener in South Central LA
Ron, I have been a Chef since I was very young - opened several restaurants here in Santa Barbara and for the past three years have been primarily a raw / live food person. We call it raw til dinner.... works for us. I have been blogging about this at http://msylvester.tumblr.com and you may find some interesting recipes and ideas that the kids might like making. I loved your line - "Kids that grow Kale, eat Kale." I have a monster Kale salad there that my die hard carnivores ask for seconds. I'd love to see how your project connects to the next step up the food chain, which is in the Kitchen of the families you are serving. Jamie Oliver is doing a lot of work in that area as well - which you may know, now that you are in the esteemed club of TEDSpeaker.
198361
Mark Sylvester
Posted over 1 year ago
Ron Finley: A guerilla gardener in South Central LA
Ron, great to meet you in Long Beach - so thrilled that TED posted your talk so soon. It's important. Thanks for having the courage to follow your passion and present your ideas in a way that certainly will be spread. I expect 1000's of comments here with people looking for ideas on how they can get started in their local area.
198361
Mark Sylvester
Posted over 3 years ago
How to build love that lasts forever?
Maria, this is a great question and one that we explored at our TEDx event in October. One of nation's preeminent psychologists spoke on 100 Reasons to not have a secret affair - educated love in the 21st Century' - his name, Dr. Keith Witt - you can see his talk here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lsyw4P7x6EA It is a REALLY great answer to your question
198361
Mark Sylvester
Posted over 3 years ago
Would you risk declaring to a total stranger three TED resolutions?
I have thought about this a lot every year on the drive home from TED. And I found one thing that really has kept me in the TEDHEAD space - and that's the TEDx program. We co-produced one last year, started working on it right after Long Beach and while it was a lot of work, it kept us in touch with what TED stands for (Ideas worth sharing, and in our case, Community) - and we really felt connected to TED - and it worked. The multiple conversations we had with potential sponsors, speakers, attendees and volunteers allowed us to be ambassadors for TED in each encounter. That was an excellent way to keep the spirit alive. Also, there are about ten of us from Santa Barbara and we are planning a TEDDinner next month to get together and keep the fire burning so to speak.
198361
Mark Sylvester
Posted over 3 years ago
Sarah Kay: If I should have a daughter ...
My favorite line from her first poem knocked me out when I heard it live and it was great to hear again, "My mama was a worrier and my papa was a warrior." What a great sentiment to conjour. I hope that TED continues to showcase these types of voices (think RIVES from a few years back)
198361
Mark Sylvester
Posted over 3 years ago
Anthony Atala: Printing a human kidney
Someone asked me "What was the best thing about TED this year?" I said, seeing a human kidney get printed while we watched.... this is stunning, and one of the reasons we continue to attend TED, to see the future.
198361
Mark Sylvester
Posted over 3 years ago
How do we capture the collective wisdom and engage the global TEDx communities?
I think that the first thing to do is recognize that TEDx is a world wide phenomenon and has gotten extremely large and complex very quickly and that there are hundreds of amazing people involved with each of them. As a TEDx Organizer I have to say that trying to keep up with the TEDx Community is like drinking from a firehose, there is so much information out there. When we were in planning mode I had no idea how much time it was going to take (4 months of 15+ hr's week). I would also like to see us get together more than once a year - and not just Palm Springs (I attend Long Beach).
198361
Mark Sylvester
Posted over 3 years ago
What's the overlooked gem, the book I haven't read that I must?
In 1971 I found a copy of The Universal Traveler (http://www.amazon.com/Crisp-Universal-Traveler-Don-Koberg/dp/1560526793/ref=dp_ob_title_bk) that I marked up and is dog-earred from so much use. I recently brought it out in a discussion with a speaker we had at our TEDxAmericanRiviera event. Seems that my friend had taken a class in 1970 with Don at Cal Poly while the book was being written - he didn't know that anyone had ever read it. If you are a problem solver and are looking for new ways to think about how you do your work, this is an amazing book.