About Todd


IMPACT Foundation Japan - Open Innovation Lab (Co-founder)
TEDxTokyo (Co-founder) / TEDx Ambassador
FabCafe - What do you fab? (Fab Global Team)
KOIL - Kashiwa-no-ha Open Innovation Lab (Team)
Open University of West Africa - Education, Incubation & Investment (Advisor)
21 Foundation - Aligning 21st Century Learning with 21st Century Learners (Evangelist)
Hatch Cowork+Kids - Women & Family Friendly Lab for Japan (Collaborator)

Co-founder of IMPACT Foundation Japan and TEDxTokyo -
Starting TED Salon Tokyo before there was TEDx, then launching one of the first two alpha TEDxes and supporting the TEDx movement as one of the inaugural TEDx Ambassadors, including helping organize the first regional organizer summit on the Great Wall of China--what an experience that was!

To develop a more dynamic ecosystem for supporting action after inspiration, 5 collaborators with very different backgrounds but a shared vision co-founded IMPACT Foundation Japan as a platform for impact organizations and individuals to cross-fertilize and collaborate year round, including the launch of physical hubs in both Tokyo and Tohoku.

TOHOKU 3.11 Disasters
The scale and impact of the triple disasters in the north of Japan are hard to describe to anyone who has not been there in person, but it has also activated many people to begin working across traditional boundaries to collaborate on Tohoku renewal. We are playing a connecting and catalyzing role to help build momentum during this unique window of opportunity.

(Back story - What led me here...)
Initial overview to the corporate world as a strategy consultant at Bain & Company, then followed interest in social innovation to work with the pioneer in the field, Ashoka: Innovators for the Public. Next, as Organizational Development Director of Public Allies, I co-wrote the proposal that won a major government grant to become a national pilot program in cities around the country, with now First Lady Michelle Obama leading the Chicago pilot.

Seeing the potential of the internet in the early 90s, I spent time as a fellow at one of the first online social networks, The Meta Net, before heading to Silicon Valley to focus on entrepreneurship and innovation at Stanford Business School. While a student there I co-founded a learning company and co-taught with Stanford Professor of Creativity and Innovation Michael Ray, whose legendary class Personal Creativity in Business hosted unconventional role models as Steve Jobs and changed lives.

Next I worked as the Venture Catalyst at Imagine Media for Chris Anderson who introduced me to TED when he began exploring buying the conference through his Sapling Foundation. When I later relocated to Japan with my Japanese wife, I felt TED could be the perfect trigger in Japan and began prototyping initial elements of a new platform with TEDster Patrick Newell, starting with TED Salon Tokyo (the precursor to TEDxTokyo).

While continuing to support the expansion of the TEDx movement in Japan and Asia, I began adding strategic projects for developing the fuller ecosystem including the launch of a new catalyst organization, IMPACT Foundation Japan to be a can do community and platform for innovators and entrepreneurs.



TED Conferences

TED2013, TEDActive 2012, TEDActive 2011, TEDActive 2010

An idea worth spreading

The Blue Economy 10 years 100 innovations 100 million jobs ...A Report to the Club of Rome 2009. Starting in February 2010, Prof. Dr. Gunter Pauli, Founder Director of the ZERI Foundation and member of the Club of Rome, will begin announcing one new Blue Economy business model per week, every week for the next two years - tinyurl.com/BEintro - (The Blue Economy: An Ecosystems Approach - 10 Years, 100 Innovations, 100 Million Jobs)

I'm passionate about

new dna orgs, developing high trust community & platform for changemakers with model physical hubs...supporting growth of Blue Economy Initiative, helping grow TEDx community locally & globally,...

Talk to me about

Generous learning and action environments, methods, communities, ecosystems, which accelerate innovators and their collaborative projects

People don't know I'm good at

cat whisperer

My TED story

I was working for Chris Anderson as the Venture Catalyst at Imagine Media back when he was in the process of purchasing TED for his Sapling Foundation. I met Richard Saul Wurman, attended a TED party in Monterey, began watching TED talks from past conference on CD-ROMS (now hard to imagine a time when TED Talks were not available to the world online), and knew I wanted to be involved lifelong. When I later moved to Japan I quickly saw that TED Talks could play a key role in opening thinking here and began hosting TED Salons, which later expanded into TEDxTokyo.

Favorite talks