Lior Zoref

Crowdsourcing advocate, @liorz
Ramat Gan, Israel

About Lior


I was born in 1970 in Israel and soon enough became a true geek.
At the age of 12, a friend of mine received a brand new Sinclair ZX Spectrum computer. I immediately fell in love with personal computers and invested most of my time learning programming (which was a bit like magic at that time).
In those days, before the Internet, working on a computer meant being alone. And indeed I grew up pretty much alone with no social life and no friends…
In order to make my parents happy, in 1992 I went to the Technion and studied computer science. It was during these years, in the computer science lab, that I used the Internet for the first time. I was totally blown away by it and immediately knew that I wish to take part in this and that itwill change the world forever.
While being a student, I started working as a programming trainer. For the first time, I was working with people and not computers. It was like magic. I fell in love with giving presentations and people told me that I was pretty good at that.
Someone at Microsoft saw me present in a computer trade show and offered me to join Microsoft (this was back in 1996). As a programmer, I was pretty excited. But soon enough I found out that my role is all about marketing which was pretty cool for a geek like me.
My career in Microsoft lasted 14 wonderful years in which I fell in love, got married and gave birth with my wife to 3 amazing kids.
I was fortunate enough to be a speaker in many key Microsoft events, such as product launch events, press conferences and more. During these years, I was practicing my way as a speaker and knew that this is something that I'd like to do for the rest of my life.
In 2007 I co-founded a video blog about the future of technology at With more than 100 episodes, I’m a passionate follower of the era of technological revolution we live in.
As I turned 40, my role at Microsoft was VP Marketing for consumer & online services. 40 is not just an age, but a period in time where I was thinking what do I want to do with the rest of my life? What is my real passion?
Well… First of all, it's my family, obviously. But, it's also about getting in front of an audience and sharing my passion about the impact of technology on our lives.
In 2010 I retired from Microsoft and I started my own consulting practice. I consult brands about digital strategy and digital marketing. I have also been fortunate enough to be invited frequently as a speaker to events and conferences and share my insights about the future of technology and the future of marketing.
I also started my P.hD in Bar-Ilan University in the area of future studies, where I investigate how wisdom of the crowds in social networks is changing the way we think. I've become obsessed with this as its daily use changed my life. I started to use wisdom of the crowds in my own life and it feels like magic.
It was then that I had a dream to speak at TED and share my idea and passion with the world. I shared my dream with my friends on facebook and twitter and something amazing happened – they decided to help me make my dream come true. They told my about the TED auditions for new speakers and helped me create a TED talk for the audition. The result was extremely satisfying for me… I've been chosen as a speaker at TED 2012 where I'll be giving the first-ever crowd sourced TED talk.
If you wish to be part of creating this TED talk – follow me at my blog and faebook account


English, Hebrew

TED Conferences

TED2013, TED2012

An idea worth spreading

The next step in human evolution might be related to how wisdom of the crowds help us think together using social networks

I'm passionate about

Crowdsourcing, crowd wisdom, the future of social networking

Talk to me about

Your dream!

People don't know I'm good at

Cooking :-) I make the best lasagnia

My TED story

It all started with one status on facebook in which I told my friends that I dream that one day I'll speak at TED. Then, my friends decided to make my dream come true. I went to first TED auditions and was chosen to speak at TED 2012. I'm going to deliver the first ever crowd sourced TED talk...

Favorite talks

Comments & conversations

Lior Zoref
Posted over 1 year ago
How can we make a behavioral change among medical personnel so that they’ll wash hands before examining each patient? It can save many lives
I'm not sure I agree about your statement about profitability. At least not where I come from which is Israel. We're dealing with a public health system which is always under budget by the government. Yet, you are absolutely right that we need to understand this problem better by asking metrical personnel and trying to understand the underlying reason for non compliance. Thanks for taking the time to write in such detail. I appreciate it very much.