x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Dare to Know

This event occurred on
October 6, 2016
San Francisco, California
United States

TEDxSanFrancisco 2016 is a full day event with TED speakers, game changers who are pushing the frontiers of our knowledge. It will be held on October 6th 2016 in Opera Herbst Theatre in San Francisco.

We have come to believe that the fabric of our existence, the ontology of being, is not based on matter or energy, but on data. This has become our new weapon to fight against the forces of randomness and indifference. Completely novel tool boxes have become available in the last 2 years: cutting-edge technologies that were originally used during the moment of creation of both living macrocosms and microcosms.
These tools will enable us to change our destiny, take evolution in our own hands and replace the philosophy of need by the philosophy of want.

During this event we will study the impact of these new ideas on Bits-Atoms-Neurons-Genes (the essential building blocks of our reality). After millennia of READING the codes of our existence, we seem to be ready to WRITE them ourselves.

Dare to know.
“Dare to know” is the translation of “Sapere Aude”, the battle cry for the Age of Enlightenment, during the 17th and 18th centuries.

Opera Herbst Theather
401 Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco, California, 94102
United States
Event type:
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Dawsondancesf created by Gregory Dawson Creator

Gregory P Dawson, former Lines Ballet dancer, formed dawsondancesf as an outlet for his choreographic goals and vision. Shortly thereafter, he created “which light in the sky is us” for Company C Contemporary Ballet and became the Assistant Director of the California State Summer School of the Arts’ Dance Department in Southern California. In the fall of 2011, Mr. Dawson became Artistic Director of Dawson Wallace Dance Project in Denver, Colorado, where the Denver Post named him “the best choreographer in Denver.” Soon after, Dawson received a CHIME grant, partnering him with choreographic mentor Elizabeth Streb for one year. In September 2013, dawsondancesf re-established its presence in San Francisco with the world premiere of “fabricca matterasso d’argento” at Zaccho Dance Theatre. Mr. Dawsonreceived an Isadora Duncan Award in 2015.

The Hiplet Ballerinas

The Hiplet Ballerinas are the brain child of Artistic Director Homer Bryant started at the CMDC the only contemporary ballet school in the world that teaches Hiplet™, a ballet class that fuses classical pointe technique with Hip-Hop and urban dance styles. Their classical technique fused with new steps can be danced in pointe shoes. Often these steps are misjudged by classical Ballet purists to be incorrect technique. However the steps are carefully thought out to ensure that they are done in a way that is not injurious or detrimental to the student. For example Hip Hop dance is very earthy and requires a lot of bent knees and movements low to the ground. Translated into Hiplet, dancers execute a lot of movement fully on pointe with bent knees and undulating torsos.

Alex Tapscott

The Blockchain Revolution
Alex Tapscott is the CEO and Founder of Northwest Passage Ventures, a consulting firm focused on early-stage, high growth companies in the Canadian and U.S. Capital markets. His is also co-author, with Don Tapscott, of the new book Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business, and the World (Portfolio / Penguin Random House 2016). Alex was Director of Institutional Equity Sales at Canaccord Genuity Inc. from 2008 to 2015. He managed a diverse client base of value, growth, long/short equity, merger-arbitrage and activist investors, including many of the largest asset managers in Canada and some of the largest hedge funds in New York. A graduate of Amherst College and a CFA Charterholder, Alex serves as a research fellow for the Global Solutions Network (GSN) program at the Martin Prosperity Institute at the Rotman School of Business in Toronto and sits on the board of CAMH Engage, a young leadership counci

Anthony Iton

Zip code / genetic code
Dr. Anthony Iton is Senior Vice President for Healthy Communities at The California Endowment. He oversees the organization’s 10-Year, $1 billion statewide commitment to advancing policies and forging partnerships to build healthy communities and a healthy California. Dr. Iton believes that reinvigorating democracy in California’s underserved communities is the first step in improving residents’ health. ​As Senior Vice President of the Building Healthy Communities program, Iton is leading an effort to empower residents in 14 cities across California with the worst health outcomes to fight for changes in their communities that will help them lead healthier lives. Prior to his appointment at The California Endowment, Iton served as the director and County Health Officer for the Alameda County Public Health Department. Under his leadership, Alameda County launched an innovative plan to improve the health and lifespan of low-income communities by focusing on the poverty and racism.

Ariel Waldman

Citizen space exploration
Ariel Waldman makes “massively multiplayer science”, instigating unusual collaborations that spark clever creations for science and space exploration. Ariel is the founder of, a directory of ways to participate in space exploration, and the global director of Science Hack Day, a 20-countries-and-growing grassroots endeavor to make things with science. She is the author of What’s It Like in Space?: Stories from Astronauts Who’ve Been There and the co-author of a congressionally-requested National Academy of Sciences study on the future of human spaceflight. She sits on the council for NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC), a program that nurtures radical, sci-fi-esque ideas that could transform future space missions. She is also a fellow at Institute for the Future. In 2013, Ariel received an honor from the White House for being a Champion of Change in citizen science. For her work on Science Hack Day, Ariel has been awarded awarded grants from the Alfred P. Sloan Found

Ashok Goel

Computer scientist
Ashok K. Goel is a Professor of Computer Science and Cognitive Science in the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Institute of Technology. He is Director of the School's Ph.D. Program in Human-Centered Computing, Coordinator of the faculty consortium on Creativity, Learning & Cognition, and Co-Coordinator of the faculty consortium on Interactive Intelligence. He is Director of the School's Design & Intelligence Laboratory and a Co-Director of Georgia Tech's Center for Biologically Inspired Design. Ashok conducts research into human-centered computing, artificial intelligence and cognitive science, with a focus on computational design, discovery, and creativity. The goals of his research are to understand human creativity in conceptual design of complex systems as well as scientific problem solving, to develop interactive tools for aiding people in such creative tasks, and to invent computational systems that are themselves creative.

Chad Cowan

Our goal is to understand how naturally occurring human genetic variation protects (or predisposes) some people to cardiovascular and metabolic disease—the leading cause of death in the world—and to use that information to develop therapies that can protect the entire population from disease. Our strategy is to identify patients, families, and cohorts with disease; to use genetic techniques such as genome-wide association studies and exome sequencing to identify novel DNA variants and genes linked to disease; to use human cell-based models and mouse models to understand how the DNA variants affect gene and protein function; and to use these mechanistic insights to begin the process of developing new therapies that will benefit patients and populations. In particular, we are interested in using human pluripotent stem cells to create human-derived tissues, containing specific DNA variants, as genetic disease models in which environmental and epigenetic influences have been minimized. We

Christoph Kohstall

Drones as self-extension
Christoph Kohstall holds a PhD in particle physics from IQOQI, and is currently a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University. Christoph serves as a co-founder and CEO of Nixie. After tinkering with a quadcopter that he received as a gift, Kohstall built a drone model of eyeglasses with propellers, as well as a prototype that could dive underwater and then reemerge from under the surface. To better address the poor usability of quadcopters, he then had an idea to create a "flying wristband" with a camera. Kohstall and his team entered the 2014 Intel's Make It Wearable competition and after becoming a finalist in 2014, his project Nixie received significant amount of attention with more than 5.9 million views on YouTube. The team won the grand prize to develop the prototype into a product. The rest we’ll see at TEDxSanFrancisco.

Dominique Crenn

World’s best female Chef
Dominique Crenn is an insanely talented chef who every food lover should know. The French chef's creations at her San Francisco restaurant Atelier Crenn earned her the title of World's Best Female Chef 2016 at the World's 50 Best Restaurant awards. Raised in , France, Executive Chef Dominique Crenn developed a keen interest for cooking as a young girl surrounded by a family that celebrated fine dining. Before attending college, Crenn traveled extensively through Europe to learn the endless styles of cooking and possibilities of using ingredients from each culture. Crenn moved to San Francisco in 1988, where she began her formal training as a chef, fell madly in love with the city, and remained there for the next nine years. During this time, she built an impressive resume, working under the tutelage of San Francisco luminaries, Jeremiah Tower and Mark Franz for over two years at the celebrated Stars.

Eric Topol

Consumer medicine
Eric Topol is a Professor of Genomics at the Scripps Research Institute, the Chief Academic Officer for Scripps Health, and the Director of the Scripps Translational Science Institute (STSI). Voted as the #1 Most Influential Physician Executive in the U.S.A. in a national poll conducted by Modern Healthcare, Dr. Topol works on genomic and wireless digital innovative technologies to reshape the future of medicine. He is a practicing cardiologist at Scripps in La Jolla, California and widely credited for leading the Cleveland Clinic to become the #1 center for heart care. While there he also started a new medical school, led many worldwide clinical trials to advance care for patients with heart disease, and spearheaded the discovery of multiple genes that increase susceptibility for heart attacks. He is one of the top 10 most cited researchers in medicine. His bestseller book The Creative Destruction of Medicine published in 2015, was followed by The Patient Will See You Now in 2016.

Homer Hans Bryant

Artist, Choreographer
Homer Hans Bryant is a former principal dancer with the world renowned Dance Theater of Harlem. His professional credits span from a command performance for the Royal Families of Norway and England to Timbuktu, with the Legendary Eartha Kitt, and the motion picture The Wiz with Diana Ross and Michael Jackson. Mr. Bryant was a former member of Prima Ballerina Maria Tallchief's Chicago City Ballet. His teaching and training experience include working with Canada's mesmerizing Cirque Du Soleil productions of Mystere, Alegria, Quidam and Saltimbanco; many of Mr. Bryant's former students are in various Cirque Productions around the world. Bryant’s core mission is to bring the opportunity for dance training to all of Chicago. In 1992 he founded the Bryant Ballet School, later renamed the Chicago Multi-Cultural Dance Center to reflect the diversity of dance and the student body. Mr. Bryant is currently also Assistant Artistic Director for Gus Giordano Jazz Dance Chicago.

Indre Viskontas

Professor of Neuroscience and of music
Combining a passion for music with scientific curiosity, Dr. Indre Viskontas is affectionately known as Dr. Dre by her students at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she is pioneering the application of neuroscience to musical training, and at the University of San Francisco, where she is an Adjunct Professor of Psychology. She received a BSc in psychology and French literature from the University of Toronto, an MM degree in vocal performance at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and a PhD in cognitive neuroscience at UCLA. She co-hosted the 6-episode docuseries Miracle Detectives on the Oprah Winfrey Network and has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, major radio stations across the US, including several appearances on the NPR program City Arts & Lectures and The Sunday Edition on the CBC in Canada. She is the co-creator and host of the popular science podcast Inquiring Minds, which boasts more than 5 million downloads since inception.

Juan Benet

Researcher, Founder
Juan Benet is the creator of the Interplanetary Files System (IPFS), an open source movement focused on creating a new way of sharing knowledge. The mission of IPFS is to increase ease of access to the information contained on the internet by creating protocols and an infrastructure where even people in the most remote areas of the globe will have the ability to connect. Juan is the Founder and CEO of Protocol Labs, a company started to support the vision of building a distributed web.

Kara Swisher

Kara Swisher is the cofounder and executive director of Recode. She started covering digital issues for the Wall Street Journal's San Francisco bureau in 1997. Her column, "BoomTown," originally appeared on the front page of the Marketplace section and also online at Previously, Kara covered breaking news about the web's major players and Internet policy issues, as one of the first hires to cover the web. She also wrote a weekly column for the Personal Journal on home gadget issues called "Home Economics." Over the last 11 years, Kara has co-produced D: All Things Digital, a major high-tech conference with interviewees such as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, with Walt Mossberg. The gathering is considered one of the leading conferences focused on the convergence of tech and media industries. Kara won a Loeb Award while at for her coverage of Yahoo. Previously, she worked as a reporter at the Washington Post.

Kathryn Haun

Based in San Francisco, Kathryn Haun is a federal prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice and is its first-ever coordinator for emerging financial technologies. Since 2006, she has served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, first in the Washington D.C. area and later in San Francisco, California. She has investigated and prosecuted hundreds of violations of federal criminal law in U.S. courts, with a focus on organized crime syndicates, cybercrime, the Dark Net, and fraud. In addition to her role at the Justice Department, she teaches Stanford Law School’s first-ever course on Cybercrime and Digital Currency and is frequently called on by U.S. and international policymakers for her expertise in these areas.

Mary Lou Jepsen

Director Excecutive Facebook Oculus
Before starting her new company Mary Lou Jepsen was leading the advanced consumer electronics, opto-electronic, display design and manufacturing efforts at Facebook and Oculus. Previous to that she had a similar role at Google and Google[x] where she was a close advisor to Sergey Brin. She co-founded One Laptop per Child (OLPC) with Nicholas Negroponte, and was the lead inventor and architect of the $100 laptop where she developped partnerships throughout Asia to deliver the $100 laptop into high volume production. Her startup CEO experience includes the world’s only fabless display screen company which was based in Taipei. She has been globally recognized with many awards including TIME magazine’s “Time 100” as one of the 100 most influential people in the world, a CNN top 10 thinker, and by the leading global professional societies in optics, display and electronics.

Michael Zeisser

Michael Zeisser is Chairman of US Investments for Alibaba Group, one of the largest internet companies in the world. Prior to Alibaba Group, Michael spent almost a decade leading activities in digital media and Internet commerce at Liberty Media. Michael created and oversaw Liberty Media's Digital Commerce Group, a roll-up of specialty online retail companies. Prior to joining Liberty Media in 2003, Mr. Zeisser was a partner at McKinsey & Company in New York, where he co-founded and led McKinsey's Internet Practice to lead experts on internet businesses and digital transition strategies in the consumer media.Mr. Zeisser earned a business degree with honors from the University of Strasbourg, France and an MBA with distinction from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, where he was a Procter & Gamble International Academic Scholar.

Preston Estep

Dr. Preston Wayne Estep graduated from Cornell University and received his Ph.D. in Genetics from Harvard University for his graduate work in the lab of genomics pioneer Professor George Church, founder of the Personal Genome Project (PGP). Dr. Estep is Director of Gerontology and manages genome sequencing as part of the senior management team of the PGP at Harvard Medical School. He is also a co-founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Veritas Genetics, the company that first broke the $1000 barrier for whole genome sequencing and interpretation. Dr. Estep is Chairman of the Mind First Foundation, which he co-founded with thought leaders at Harvard Medical School and in the healthcare industry. The foundation is dedicated to scientific mind research and the development of better diagnoses and therapies for brain disorders. ​In 2016 Dr. Estep published The Mindspan Diet, a comprehensive synthesis of scientific evidence on the causes of Alzheimer's disease and cognitive decline.

Rachel Haurwitz

Rachel is a co-founder of Caribou Biosciences and has been President and CEO since its inception. She has a research background in CRISPR-Cas biology, and in 2014, she was named by Forbes Magazine to the "30 Under 30" list in Science and Healthcare. She is also a co-founder of Intellia Therapeutics where she is a member of the board of directors. Rachel is an inventor on several patents and patent applications covering multiple CRISPR-derived technologies, and she has co-authored scientific papers in high impact journals characterizing CRISPR-Cas systems. Rachel earned an A.B. in Biological Sciences from Harvard College, and received a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of California, Berkeley.

Serban Porumbescu and Brett Red

Serban is an entrepreneur with a deep history of collaboration and connecting cutting edge technology with millions of people.He has earned a handful of degrees, including a Masters and PhD in Computer Science. He workson novel modeling approaches and generalizing two dimensional textures to arbitrary functions and objects in three dimensions. AND Brett Red invents things that improve the human experience. He has been doing so since 2009 continuously shipping digital projects that reach tens of millions. From designing touchless interfaces for cars to apps that teach children the fundamentals of programming, he is an active member of the tech community, mentoring, advising, and lecturing. Brett takes comfort on the front line of the unknown to design and define a brighter future for everyone.

Stanley Li

Tiantian (Stanley) Li is the founder of DXY, which is the largest physician social network in China. DXY was established in 2000 and now has 2+ million physician members. Stanley has a Master degree of Tumor Immunology and he gave up his PhD on Neurology for his vision of providing trusted online healthcare service in China. Stanley is also a visiting professor of the Second Military Medical University in China.

Theresia Gouw

Founder, Partner
Theresia Gouw is the Founding Partner, Co-Founder, and Managing Partner at Aspect Ventures. She also serves as Special Advisor of Accel-KKR LLC. Theresia serves as a Trustee on Brown University's Corporation Board, on the board of and as a member of Stanford's DAPER Investment Fund. She is also a board member of the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA). Before that she was responsible for several Accel's investments which have had successful acquisition or IPO exits. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of several private companies in both the consumer internet and security sectors. Theresia holds a Master of Business Administration from the Stanford University and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Brown University.

Tim O'Reilly

Tim O'Reilly is the founder & CEO of O'Reilly Media, & a partner at early stage venture firm O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures. Tim has a history of convening conversations that reshape the computer industry.In 1998, he organized the meeting where the term "open source software" was agreed on, & helped the business world understand its importance. In 2004 he defined how "Web 2.0" represented not only the resurgence of the web after the dot com bust, but a new model for the computer industry, based on big data, collective intelligence, & the internet as a platform.In 2009, he framed the conversation about the modernization of government technology that has shaped policy and spawned initiatives at the Federal, State, local level, & around the world.He has now turned his attention to implications of the on-demand economy, AI,robotics, & other technologies that are transforming the nature of work & the future shape of the economy.

Tristan Harris

Tristan Harris is a design thinker, philosopher and entrepreneur.Tristan co-founded the movement for “Time Well Spent” for technology built to help people spend their time, and their lives, well - not maximize engagement or screen time. Like the Organic food movement changed farming practices and created a new market for safe and healthy food, Time Well Spent aims to change design practices and create a marketplace for technology competing to create net positive contributions to people’s lives. Integrating insights from behavioral economics, psychology and product design, he has taught design workshops around in the world that support Time Well Spent, including the “Empowering Design” methodology. Tristan was Product Philosopher at Google until 2016, where he studied how technology influences a billion users’ attention, wellbeing and behavior.

Udi Manber

Computer scientist
Udi Manber is a computer scientist known for his work on search, He is also one of the authors of agrep and GLIMPSE. Udi hold a master degree in mathematics and a PhD in computer sciences. He started to develop search software in the late 80s when nearly no one was interested, but he was patient enough to wait 10 years when it finally paid off in a big way. He joined Amazon as Chief Algorithm officer in 2002, lead the search groups at Yahoo, Google and Youtube. In 2015 he left Google to join the National Institutes of Health, where he is trying to use his expertise to improve access to medical knowledge.

Organizing team

De Brouwer

Los Altos, CA, United States