Once known for entertaining millions by creating special effects for Hollywood, theme parks and Broadway, Applied Minds cofounder Bran Ferren now solves impossible tech challenges with previously unimaginable inventions.

Why you should listen

After dropping out of MIT in 1970, Bran Ferren became a designer and engineer for theater, touring rock bands, and dozens of movies, including Altered States and Little Shop of Horrors, before joining Disney as a lead Imagineer, then becoming president of R&D for the Walt Disney Company.

In 2000, Ferren and partner Danny Hillis left Disney to found Applied Minds, a playful design and invention firm dedicated to distilling game-changing inventions from an eclectic stew of the brightest creative minds culled from every imaginable discipline.

What others say

“For former Disney Imagineer Bran Ferren, being an inventor means creating just about anything that makes the world a better place.” — Fast Company, May 18, 2011

Bran Ferren’s TED talks

Bran Ferren on the TED Blog

Live from TED2014

What will be our Pantheon? Bran Ferren gives an idea at TED2014

March 18, 2014

Bran Ferren’s life pivoted on a trip to Rome at age 9. He’s the son of two passionate abstract expressionist artists, who taught him that art wasn’t just decorative but about communicating ideas, and the grandson of a cabinet-making factory owner, who often took him on field trips to buy electronics to take a apart […]

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Live from TED2014

Retrospect: The speakers in session 2 at TED 2014

March 18, 2014

This year, TED turns 30. It’s a big, round anniversary — the kind that brings with it a welcome moment of reflection. In this session, we look backward and see how far the world has come in the past three decades. These speakers turn back the clocks and offer bold new ways to think about […]

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