x = independently organized TED event

Theme: The Edge of What We Know

This event occurred on
November 16, 2010
7:30am - 2:00pm PST
(UTC -8hrs)
San Francisco, CA
United States

From where we stand as humans, at the scale that we are, we push the edges of our knowledge from the inside out. Join TEDxSF as we explore the very small (the nano, the microbial, ants) and the unimaginably large (supernovae, black holes). We will push your senses spanning what you see to how you perceive and explore how that impacts what we know about.

California Academy of Sciences
55 Music Concourse Drive
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, CA, 94118
United States
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Curt Smith

Curt Smith is best known as a musician, singer and songwriter who co-founded the seminal music group Tears For Fears, with which he continues to tour worldwide. He also produces and hosts the live music web series “Stripped Down Live With Curt Smith” and pursues his own solo music career. His most recent release, “Perfectly…Still (featuring Universal Hall Pass)” is the second song of an album-length project on which Smith is collaborating with artists he meets or discovers via social media. Smith is also currently at work on songs that he’s been commissioned to write for film and television.

Alex Filippenko

Alex Filippenko received his Ph.D. in Astronomy from Caltech in 1984 and joined the University of California, Berkeley faculty in 1986, where he is currently the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Distinguished Professor in the Physical Sciences. An observational astronomer who makes frequent use of the Hubble Space Telescope and the Keck 10-meter telescopes, his primary areas of research are supernovae, active galaxies, black holes, gamma-ray bursts, and the expansion of the Universe. Elected to the National Academy of Sciences and one of the world’s most highly cited astronomers, he has coauthored more than 640 scientific publications and is the recipient of numerous prizes for his research. He was a member of both teams that discovered the accelerating expansion of the Universe, propelled by mysterious “dark energy.”

John Kohler

For the past several years, John has been a mentor to Social Entrepreneurs at the Global Social Benefit Incubator and now also serves as an Executive Fellow at Santa Clara’s Center for Science, Technology and Society. He was recently named to the Center’s Board of Advisors. Outside of this, John manages technology investments through Redleaf Venture Management. He has been heavily involved in technology product formation and has been concentrating on Internet and Life Science startups since 1994. John’s background includes twenty years of executive level positions in sales operations, product division general management and worldwide customer support at technology corporations including Hewlett Packard, Silicon Graphics and Convergent Technologies/Unisys. He was one of the founding executives at Netscape Communications and original founder of Redleaf Group.

Juan Enriquez

Mr. Enriquez is an experienced business leader, author, and academic who is recognized as a leading authority on the economic and political impacts of life sciences. He is a Managing Director in Excel Venture Management, a venture capital firm that invests in life science companies. He was the founding director of Harvard Business School’s Life Sciences Project. He then founded Biotechonomy LLC, a life sciences research and investment firm. In 2005, he co-founded Synthetic Genomics, Inc., a synthetic biology company. He is the author of the best-selling As the Future Catches You, an analysis of the impact of genomics on business and society. His latest book Untied States explores why, as technology advances, some countries are successful while others disappear.

Julia Query

Julia is a writer and psychotherapist in SF. She used to be a comic and filmmaker. She produced, wrote and co-directed Live Nude Girls Unite! a documentary about the successful unionization effort by the workers at the Lusty Lady peep show. Live Nude Girls Unite! won multiple awards—including the San Francisco International Film Festival Audience Award for Best Feature. After theatrical release it was broadcast on Cinemax and the Independent Film Channel in the United States. It was aired in Australia, France, Spain and other countries. It is currently being made into a Hollywood film by Reason Pictures. Julia is now editing an anthology called Death, Taxes and Puddle Jumping; inspired by Pema Chodron. This talk is from a chapter in an untitled book she plans to complete in 2011.

Tony Deifell

Tony Deifell heads Q Media Labs, which tackles questions about how the future of media, technology and business will shape society. Recent work includes The Big Thaw: Charting a New Future for Journalism (TheBigThaw.com), The Future of Green Building and studies about Mother Jones, AlterNet, Sierra Club and Brightcove’s online strategies. He also runs leadership trainings for companies such as Google. Tony created the social-media meme “wdydwyd?” (wdydwyd.com) that has challenged over one million people to answer, “Why do you do what you do?”

Ozomatli with Josh Kun

The motto of multi-racial Los Angeles band Ozomatli used to be “We take you around the world by taking you around L.A.” In a session hosted and narrated by scholar and author Josh Kun, the band will mix story and sound to explore the challenges and promises of musical identities in a global age defined by extremes of scarcity and abundance, from the streets of L.A. to the orphanages of Nepal and Burma to the levees of New Orleans. How can music preserve traditions while inventing new ones, healing wounds while imagining new spaces of hope? From backyard Mexican rancheras to Arabic funk, from flamenco dancehall tocumbias for the dead, this will be a sonic trip to the global edges of contemporary urban identity.

Dr. Brian Fisher

Often found hip-deep in Madagascar mud, Dr. Brian Fisher is a modern day explorer who has devoted his life to the study and conservation of ants and biodiversity around the world. His research sends him through the last remote rainforests and deserts of Madagascar and Africa in search of ants. Although his subjects may be small in stature, they make a huge impact on their ecosystems. And what they lack in size, they more than make up for in numbers. By documenting the species diversity and distribution of this “invisible majority,” Dr. Fisher is helping to establish conservation priorities for Madagascar, identifying areas that should be set aside to protect the highest number of species.

Molly Fisk

Poet and essayist Molly Fisk lives in the Yuba River watershed of California’s Sierra Nevada foothills, where she teaches poets, cancer patients, and women of all ages how to be more deeply themselves through writing. She’s the author of the poetry collections The More Difficult Beauty and Listening to Winter, and the radio commentary CDs Blow-Drying a Chicken and Using Your Turn Signal Promotes World Peace, and runs the popular on-line workshop Poetry Boot Camp. Widely published and anthologized, Fisk has won a National Endowment for the Arts grant and been nominated for Poet Laureate of California. “The More Difficult Beauty returns emotion to the American poem with its supple lines. . .” — Molly Peacock “Fearless, clear-eyed work.” — John Updike

Dr. Edward Moses

Dr. Moses is internationally recognized in laser and optical sciences. He received a B.S. in 1972 and Ph.D. in 1977, both in Electrical Engineering, from Cornell University. He holds several patents in laser technology, fusion and fission energy, and computational physics. He has received many honors, including the Fusion Power Associates 2008 Leadership Award, the National Nuclear Security Administration Defense Programs Award of Excellence, the Memorial D.S. Rozhdestvensky Medal for Outstanding Contributions to Lasers and Optical Sciences, and the R&D100 Award for the Peregrine radiation therapy program. Dr. Moses is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of SPIE and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Kevin Kelly

Kevin Kelly is Senior Maverick at Wired magazine. He co-founded Wired in 1993, and served as its Executive Editor from its inception until 1999. He has just finished a book for Viking/Penguin called "What Technology Wants," published October 18, 2010. He is also editor and publisher of the Cool Tools website, which gets half a million unique visitors per month. From 1984-1990 Kelly was publisher and editor of the Whole Earth Review, a journal of unorthodox technical news. He co-founded the ongoing Hackers' Conference, and was involved with the launch of the WELL, a pioneering online service started in 1985. He authored the best-selling New Rules for the New Economy and the classic book on decentralized emergent systems, Out of Control.

Organizing team


San Francisco, CA, United States
  • Christine McCaull
  • Michael Levit