x = independently organized TED event

Theme: DareToKnow

This event occurred on
October 10, 2017
San Francisco, California
United States

TEDxSanFrancisco is a full day of live TED talks in the heart of San Francisco with inspirational speakers in the field of tech, science, philosophy, design, and entertainment. Since 2016 it is a yearly event with the recurrent theme DareToKnow to push the frontiers of our knowledge and make lifelong connections.

Never in the field of research have so many tools been available to so many by so many. TEDxSanFrancisco is a day where we want to push the frontiers of our knowledge navigating an evolving a mesh of ideas and practices, a rich mix of citizens, scientists and culture.

Opera Herbst Theather
401 Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco, California, 94102
United States
Event type:
Standard (What is this?)
See more ­T­E­Dx­San­Francisco events


Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Andrew Hessel

Life Scientist in microbiology and genetics
Andrew Hessel is a distinguished research scientist with design software giant Autodesk Inc. in their Life Sciences group, which develops software for engineering molecular and living systems. He’s also the CEO of Humane Genomics, which is developing engineered nanoparticles for applications that include therapeutics, vaccines, and gene therapies. Andrew is on the leadership team of GP-write, the international effort to design, build, and test large like the human genome in cell culture. He is a fellow at the University of Ottawa, Institute for Science, Society, and Policy and faculty at Singularity University. His talks and articles help people appreciate and understand the rapid changes happening in life technologies.

Arthur Breitman

Entrepreneur in blockchain based governance mechanism
Arthur Breitman is the creator of Tezos, a public blockchain enabling decentralized governance through self-amendments. Previously, Arthur was a research engineer for Google X and Waymo. In his early career, he worked as a quantitative analyst for Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. Arthur graduated from the École Polytechnique and the Courant Institute of NYU where he studied applied mathematics.

Atul Butte

Computational Health Scientist
Atul Butte, MD, PhD is the inaugural Director of the Institute of Computational Health Sciences ( at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and a Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics. Dr. Butte is also the Executive Director for Clinical Informatics across the six University of California Medical Schools and Medical Centers. Dr. Butte trained in Computer Science at Brown University, worked as a software engineer at Apple and Microsoft, received his MD at Brown University, trained in Pediatrics and Pediatric Endocrinology at Children's Hospital Boston, then received his PhD from Harvard Medical School and MIT. Dr. Butte has authored over 200 publications, with research repeatedly featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Wired Magazine. Dr. Butte was elected into the National Academy of Medicine in 2015, and in 2013, he was recognized by the White House as an Open Science Champion of Change for promoting science through publicly availa

Catherine Hoke

Prison Entrepreneur
After being given a second chance of her own, Catherine founded Defy Ventures, a national nonprofit organization that “transforms the hustle” of currently and formerly incarcerated people. Defy has produced groundbreaking results, including a recidivism rate of less than 5%, and an employment rate of 95%. Defy’s vision is to end mass incarceration by using entrepreneurship as a tool to transform legacies and human potential. Catherine was named a #MakeTechHuman Agent of Change by WIRED and Nokia for being one of “17 Global Influencers Expanding Human Possibility Through Technology.” Catherine also received the MDC Partners Humanitarian Award on behalf of Defy Ventures (2015). She was named by Fast Company as one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business (2014) and is an Ashoka Fellow (2013).

Dan Everett

Philosopher, Linguist
Dan Everett was born in Southern California. He completed an undergraduate degree in biblical studies from the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago and his Master’s and ScD in linguistics at the Universidade Estadual de Campinas in Brazil. From 1977, he has regularly conducted research on the Pirahã language of Brazil. He has also conducted research on Tzeltal (Mexico), Selish (USA), Arawan (Brazil), Satere (Brazil), Wari’ (Brazil) among many others. He has published fourteen books and more than 110 articles and has lectured around the world on his research. He converted to Christianity at 17 years of age and was a committed, evangelical Christian until abandoning his faith due to lessons he learned from the Pirahãs (as discussed in Don’t sleep, there are snakes). His most recent books are Dark Matter of the Mind: The Culturally Articulated Unconscious (University of Chicago Press) and How Language Began: The Story of Humanity's Greatest Invention (W.W. Norton/Liveright).

Elaine Fong


Fran Guijarro

Film maker
Originally from Málaga (Spain), Fran Guijarro is a creative director and filmmaker based in San Francisco, CA. He started his career as a junior copywriter at Proximity BBDO Spain, where he was promoted to Associate Creative Director at age 24. In 2007, supported by laCaixa Full Scholarship Program, he arrived in San Francisco to complete an MFA in Copywriting at the Academy of Art University. Fran was nominated for Valedictorian, graduated with Cum Laude honors and was selected as “Copywriter of the Year” on two occasions. In 2009, he landed a job as an Associate Creative Director at the A-List multicultural ad agency, Alma DDB. During his four years at Alma, Fran also taught at the Academy of Art University. Fran also pursued studies at Cuba International School of Film and Television (EICTV.) His short films Mexican Cuisine and The Mural have been screened at over 100 film festivals worldwide, including Cannes SFC, AFI Fest and several other Oscar-qualifying festivals, and have rece

Gabe Zichermann

Entrepreneur in behavioral change
Gabe Zichermann is the CEO & Co-Founder of Onward and the principal experience architect of the company’s scalable, AI-driven approach to conquering addiction. Gabe is a serial entrepreneur, author of three books and speaker with over a decade of experience building systems for behavior change. He is also the world’s foremost expert on engaging design and technology whose work in creating the Gamification movement has changed government, large enterprise and startup workplaces, products and business processes. After watching family and friends battle their addictions, Gabe’s vision is to foster a world where balanced relationships between “real life" and technology make everyone healthier, happier and more truly connected.

Jack Gallant

Cognitive Neuroscientist
Jack Gallant is Chancellor's Professor of Psychology at the University of California at Berkeley, and he is affiliated with several other departments and graduate programs at UCB (EECS, Bioengineering, Neuroscience, Biophysics, Vision Science). He received his Ph.D. from Yale University, and he did post-doctoral work at the California Institute of Technology and Washington University Medical School. He is known for his neurophysiology work on the representation of natural scenes, the function of area V4 and its modulation by attention; and for the development of the voxel-wise modeling approach in human fMRI and its application to vision, attention and language perception. His current research program focuses on computational modeling and mapping of human brain activity under a wide variety of naturalistic conditions.

Jane Metcalfe

Entrepreneur in media and food
Entrepreneur in digital health and food with cofounding Wired and Tcho, Jane's current passion is the impact of technology on our health, or more specifically, how technology is pushing the frontiers of biology forward, showing us more and more about how our bodies, brains and minds function, why we get sick, how we age... and how to intervene in all those processes. Jane recently launched NEO.LIFE, an online magazine, in order to capture the stories of the people, projects, companies and ideas driving this Neobiological Revolution. Current and previous board seats include the Stone Research Foundation, Wired Ventures, TCHO Ventures, the UC Berkeley Foundation, the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, the Expression Center for New Media, One Economy Corporation, ZeroOne: The Art and Technology Network, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Joon Yun

Dr. Joon Yun is managing partner and president of Palo Alto Investors, LLC, an investment management firm founded in 1989 with $2 billion in assets invested in healthcare. Board certified in radiology, Joon served on the clinical faculty at Stanford from 2000-2006. Joon has served on several corporate and non-profit boards, and has published dozens of patents, scientific articles, and business essays. Joon and his wife Kimberly launched the $1 million Palo Alto Longevity Prize in 2013 to reverse the aging process and recently donated $2 million to launch the National Academy of Medicine Aging and Longevity Grand Challenge. Joon is a member of the President's Circle of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

Mar Cabra

Head of Data and Research Unit
Mar Cabra is the head of the Data & Research Unit at the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, known for high impact exposés such as the Panama Papers or Luxembourg Leaks. Her team produces the organization's key data work and also develops tools for better collaborative investigative journalism. She has been an ICIJ staff member since 2011, and is also a member of the network, participating in projects that have won more than two dozen awards, including the Pulitzer Prize and the Data Journalism Award twice. She also received the Spanish Larra Award in 2012 to the country's most promising journalist under 30.Mar fell in love with data while being a Fulbright scholar and fellow at the Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism at Columbia University in 2009/2010. Since then, she's promoted data journalism in her native Spain, co-creating the first ever masters degree on investigative reporting, data journalism and visualization and the national data journalism confe

Matthew Linaman

Driven by the intense desire to both express himself through music and inspire others, Matthew Linaman dedicated himself to learning the cello to express his own unique voice when he was 12. Over 10 years later, this dedication has led Matthew to perform both as soloist and collaborator in some of the world's most prestigious concert halls. Now focused on empowering young students through music, Matthew specializes in teaching young cellists the foundations of technique and self-expression while cultivating curiosity, the hunger to know, and the drive to make an impact in the world. While a student of Jean-Michel Fonteneau at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Matthew helped formed the Cello Street Quartet in 2012. Five years later, they have given over 300 free public performances including extensive musical and educational outreach. In 2014 the Cello Street Quartet was honored to serve as musical ambassadors to Hungary, Kosovo and Russia through the U.S. State Department of C

Matthew Roszak

Cofounder and Chairman of Bloq
Matthew Roszak is co-founder and chairman of Bloq, a leading blockchain enterprise software company. Mr. Roszak is also founding partner of Tally Capital, a private investment firm focused on digital assets and blockchain-enabled technology with a portfolio of over 20 investments, including Block.One, Civic, Factom, Rivetz and Qtum. Mr. Roszak is a blockchain investor, entrepreneur and advocate. He has spent over 20 years in private equity and venture capital with Advent International, Keystone Capital Partners, Platinum Venture Partners and SilkRoad Equity, and has invested over $1 billion of capital (from start-up to IPO) in a broad range of industries. Mr. Roszak is a director and beneficial owner of Eboost, Enter Financial, MissionMode, Neu Entity, Onramp, SolidSpace and TrueLook. Mr. Roszak serves as chairman of the Chamber of Digital Commerce, the world’s largest trade association representing the blockchain industry. In addition, Mr. Roszak serves on the board of BitGive, a no

Matthew Sweeny

Entrepreneur in Drones
CEO of Flirtey, the world's leading drone delivery service. Flirtey is a startup reinventing the delivery process for humanitarian, online retail and food delivery industries – with a mission to save lives and change lifestyles. Originally from Australia, Sweeny was the first in his family to attend college where he received a degree in international relations and philosophy from the University of Sydney. While studying economics on a scholarship in China, Sweeny began developing a technology to deliver goods faster, more cost effectively and with the ultimate customer experience. The first delivery drones were built in his dorm room. After moving Flirtey to the United States, Sweeny received his education from Y Combinator (YC S15). Flirtey has worked with NASA and top universities to create the technology and logistics systems for a mass-market drone delivery network, and has a record number of accomplishments and historic firsts in the drone delivery space.

Moses Moses

Born and raised in Forrest City (Arkansas), he was musically inclined from an early age. He learned how to play piano, flute and guitar. In 1972, he moved to San Francisco, where he worked as a house painter and played with several bands in the Bay Area. His music was recorded by Pete Miller, a legendary British guitarist that toured with The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, and who later opened a recording studio in San Francisco. Moses' life imploded in the early 80's, and he ended up enduring a rough life on the streets of San Francisco for two decades. In 2007, he starred in a student film that launched him on a ten-year journey to reclaim his life, his family, and his music.

Neil Grimmer

Entrepreneur in personalized and health nutrition
Neil Grimmer is an entrepreneur at the intersection of creativity, brand and business strategy. Prior to founding Habit, Neil was the co-founder and CEO of Plum Organics, the number one organic baby food brand. A former punk rock musician and artist turned entrepreneur, his punk roots have served him well in a creative career that has taken him from art galleries to product design at IDEO. As Habit’s Founder and CEO, his "outsider" sensibility permeated the purpose and design of the first personalized nutrition company created for anyone who wants to be their best through the transformative power of food. Under Neil’s leadership, Plum Organics became one of the first companies to reincorporate as a Public Benefit Corporation in Delaware in July 2013, reinforcing its mission to combat child hunger and conduct business responsibly. Neil also launched Plum’s social impact program The Full Effect™, dedicated to nourishing little ones in need across America.

Nick Adkins

Founder or the Pink Socks Movement
Ego is like dust in the eyes. Clear the ego and see the world.” This quote describes the unfolding path of Nick Adkins from healthcare executive to kilt-wearing digital health evangelist. A few of Nick’s initial stops were as a suit wearing MBA for the Vanderbilt Health Plans and a serial entrepreneur in Nashville. Nick attended Burning Man in 2010 for the first time and the dust cleared from his eyes. He returned to Nashville, ditched the suits, sold a company, and set out on a new adventure that took him to Portland, Oregon. Nick is a co-founder of ReelDx, the creators of the open API for secure asynchronous video management, a break through in telehealth. He serves on the advisory board at Cloudbreak Health, one of the leading telemedicine platforms in the U.S. Nick’s passion for seeing the awesomeness in people, connecting with them on a personal level, and sharing in their stories is what sets him apart from other leaders in healthcare.

Omoju Miller

Machine Learning Scientist
Omoju Miller is a Senior Machine Learning Data Scientist with Github. She has over a decade of experience in computational intelligence. She has a Ph.D. from UC Berkeley. In the past, she has co-led the non-profit investment in Computer Science Education for Google and served as a volunteer advisor to the Obama administration’s White House Presidential Innovation Fellows. She is considered one of the folks to watch, as part of Bloomberg’s Beta Future Founders program. She is a member of the World Economic Forum Expert Network in AI.

Ozark Henry

@ozarkhenry Since David Bowie praised Ozark Henry’s debut album as one of his favorites in 1996, the Belgian artist has produced music ranging from avant-garde electronica to pop and, a symphonic album with the National Orchestra of Belgium. Henry’s universe is defined by a blending of craft with experiment, audio with visual and heritage with technology. Google New York invited him to talk about his recent ground-breaking work in 3Dimmersive sound. In 2015 Ozark Henry was crowned as United Nations Goodwill Ambassador against human trafficking. He has been working together with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and local NGO’s ever since to raise awareness about this modern day form of slavery and to support the Blue Heart Campaign and the Trust Fund for Victims of Human Trafficking. Currently, he is working on a 3D sound installation for the United Nations.

Quentin Hardy

International writer
As the new head of editorial at Google Cloud, Quentin Hardy writes about the technology and impact of cloud computing, both inside Google and for other publications. Starting his career as an international publisher, he had previously worked as Deputy Technology Editor at The New York Times, National Editor at Forbes, and a reporter at The Wall Street Journal, having written about many diverse topics. One of his articles, titled "Hope and Profit in Africa”, received an Overseas Press Club award. He frequently appears on television and moderates panels at The World Affairs Council and The Computer History Museum. One of his more well-known panels is called "Programming the System of the World: The Industrial Internet of Things", where they discussed the advances in new technologies and how they will change the world.

Rebecca Altman

writer, environmental sociologist.
Rebecca Altman is a writer and environmental sociologist. Her work explores the social history of chemistry, plastics, pollution and environmental legacy — what we pass from one generation to the next. She earned her doctorate from Brown University and a bachelor of science degree from Bates College. Recent work has appeared in The Atlantic, UTNE Reader and Aeon Magazine. She is currently planning a book length project about plastics and is represented by Katie Grimm of New York’s Don Congdon Associates. Since 2013, Rebecca has served on the Board of Directors of the Science and Environmental Health Network. SEHN is national, non-profit think tank that supports communities, institutions and government agencies by offering the scientific insight and legal tools to implement precautionary policies that protect our health and environment, and uphold the rights of future generations to a just, livable planet. She lives outside Boston with her husband and two sons. She is an advocate for ne

Richard Socher

Chief Scientist
Richard Socher is Chief Scientist at Salesforce and an adjunct professor at the Stanford Computer Science Department. At Salesforce he leads the company’s research efforts and brings state of the art artificial intelligence solutions to Salesforce. Prior to Salesforce, Richard was the CEO and founder of MetaMind, a startup acquired by Salesforce in April 2016. Richard obtained his PhD from Stanford working on deep learning with Chris Manning and Andrew Ng and won the best Stanford CS PhD thesis award.

Robert Strong

Robert Strong is a Comedy Magician who has been amazing audiences since he was 12 years old. Since then, he has performed on national television, in all 50 states, in over 40 countries, and twice at the White House. He was a 10 year artist in residence at The Smithsonian and regularly leads workshops at Singularity University, Stanford University, and at Google. When he was opening for Robin Williams, Robin said that no one is better than Robert Strong at name dropping...

Ryan Nicole Austin

Artist Activist
Multi-faceted artist and producer, Ryan Nicole Austin finds her most fulfilling professional experiences at the intersection of art and activism. For nearly 20 years she has been committed to a career in theater, music and arts administration that transforms community by way of empowerment. As an actress, Ryan has most notably appeared as Bessie in Native Son (Marin Theater Company), BARS (Public Theater), Ruth in A Raisin in The Sun (Cal Shakes). She’s a 2017 SF Foundation Community Leadership Award nominee and California State Assembly recognized her for her contribution to the arts. She was Executive Director of Youth Movement Records, where she supported the aspirations of thousands of under-resourced young people in the Bay Area seeking careers in the arts. Most recently, Ryan led workshops on performance as the playwright-in- residence at New York’s Public Theater and will perform at the National Performers Network Annual conference at Yerba Buena Center in December 2017.

Sebastien de Halleux

Entrepreneur in wind and solar powered ocean drones for data collection at sea.
Sebastien de Halleux is the COO of Saildrone,Inc., a company designing wind and solar powered ocean drones aiming at revolutionizing data collection at sea. At the confluence of autonomous technologies and big data, Saildrone believes that improving the understanding of our oceans will help better understand key planetary systems that affect humanity, such as weather, ocean acidification, and global fisheries.He is also a founding partner of Graph Ventures, an early stage angel fund with a portfolio of 100+ startups. Formerly, Sebastien was Co-Founder and COO of Playfish, one of the largest and fastest growing social gaming companies. Sebastien helped grow the company to over 300 million players in two years before being acquired by video game giant Electronic Arts (EA) in 2009. Prior to founding Playfish, Sebastien helped launch Glu Mobile, an early pioneer in mobile games which IPO'ed in 2007. Sebastien is the recipient of the 2012 EA Emerging Leaders Award, the 2011 Tech 100 a

Organizing team

De Brouwer

Los Altos, CA, United States