x = independently organized TED event

Theme: The Heart of Technology

This event occurred on
September 23, 2021
Mountain View, California
United States

Innovation, diversity, transformation: positive ideas to shape a positive world. From inside high tech companies and organizations, our speakers will share ideas that they have and projects they're working on that have grown out of the heart of technology. The heart of technology includes both innovative technology shaping the course of the world and using technology with care to make a difference in the world. This virtual event combines the people in Silicon Valley, California and those on the Silicon Prairie.

Mountain View, California, 94041
United States
Event type:
Standard (What is this?)
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Irene Thomas

Senior Director of Global Marketing at Sailpoint, Ex-Googler
Irene is the Global Head of Demand Operations and Enablement at Google Cloud. She is a technologist, marketer, and mutual aid activist whose early career focused on visual communications, political campaigning, and public opinion research. Her transition to big tech with the power to reach at scale in real-time, has evolved her ideas of community service through a mix of hyper-local and worldwide hybrid approaches. Irene will speak on the next evolution of social impact and community engagement through the lens of hybrid-communities.

Jin Zhang

Director of Engineering at Facebook
Jin Zhang is a Director of Engineering at Facebook. A technology enthusiast with both Fortune 500 and startup experience in enterprise software, she delivered 8-figure revenue at IBM, built new products at Amazon, and is now helping to expand infrastructure at Facebook. Jin speaks regularly at technical conferences, owns multiple patents in analytics, and spends her spare time teaching product building and innovation at Stanford University (CSP). A native of Inner Mongolia, China, Jin is passionate about promoting diversity in the technology industry. Recently she was named a woman of Influence by Silicon Valley Business Journal.

Karissa Bettendorf

Karissa Bettendorf is an artist and the owner of Karis Fine Arts, her business offering fine art commissions, original paintings, and other art products. She studied art through Art Instruction Schools and graphic design at Union College, and has been an associate at Noyes Art Gallery in Lincoln NE for 10 years. Her children's book, "Everybody's Baby", was published in 2019, and she produces a yearly calendar titled "Love Wins". Karissa is a proud citizen of Lincoln NE, where she lives with her husband, son, and dog. She believes art can make the world a better place, and is passionate about expressing the complicated human experience in a way that brings hope and healing.

Mark Antonson

Director, Design Studio, Jeffrey Raikes School of Computer Science, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Mark is director of the Design Studio capstone program in the Jeffrey S. Raikes School of Computer Science and Management at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The Raikes School believes in learning by doing and that changing the world in the 21st century starts with understanding business and computer science. The school brings together faculty and students in the areas of Computer Science and Engineering, Arts and Sciences, Business, and Journalism to help students develop a deep understanding of the complex models that drive each discipline. After graduating from the Raikes School and Raikes MBA programs and 10+ years of product management, architecture, and software design experience, Mark became Director in 2017. He coached Design Studio teams before serving as Director.

Mary Vincent

Manager Advanced AI Solutions at Lockheed Martin Space
Mary is an entrepreneurial leader at the forefront of innovation building high performance teams, to make a significant difference in the world in Technology, Innovation, Investment and Sustainability. Currently Mary is a Manager of data scientists and software engineers leading a Space Data Analytics and AI Portfolio at Lockheed Martin Space. She is also a Tech and Climate Tech Scout. She enjoys mentoring, developing and coaching her team to personally and professionally excel. Her Teams have won an annual Space Award and Systems Thinking Award and she is the Bay Area Lead for the Space Sustainability Employee Network. Mary previously advised companies and spoke globally at a variety of tech and clean tech conferences including being the Stakeholder Judge at the United Nations Climate Change Conference.

Scott Shute

Head of Mindfulness and Compassion at LinkedIn
Scott is the Head of Mindfulness and Compassion at LinkedIn and is at the intersection of the workplace and ancient wisdom traditions. He has been an active advocate for customers and employees in the technology space for over 20 years, with roles ranging from sales, customer advocacy, and customer service leadership. Previously, he was the Vice President of LinkedIn’s Customer Operations organization. In his current role, Scott blends his lifelong practice and passion with his practical leadership and operations experience. His mission is to change work from the inside out by “mainstreaming mindfulness” and “operationalizing compassion.” He is the author of the book The Full Body Yes.

Shane Farritor

Professor of Mechanical Engineering, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Dr. Farritor is the David and Nancy Lederer Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He holds degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is co-founder of Virtual Incision Corporation that is developing miniature robotic devices that are placed inside the body during laparoscopic surgery. Dr. Farritor holds more than 150 patents and is a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. He’s been on the TEDxLincoln stage twice.

Shilpa Gulati

Head of Behavior Prediction at Waymo
Shilpa Gulati has been interested in building robot brains to improve human well-being since she was in her teens. She works at Waymo, formerly Google’s self-driving car project, helping build the autonomous driving technology to safely move people and goods. She leads the Behavior Prediction team at Waymo that develops algorithms to predict the future actions of other users, such as other vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians. This is one of the key technologies comprising an autonomous vehicle’s “brain”. She has been featured in Business Insider online, American Association of Civil Engineers (ASCE) videos, Women in Autonomy interviews, and other media. Shilpa has a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin where she researched methods to plan safe and comfortable motion of intelligent wheelchairs. She has B.Tech. and M.Tech. in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay.

Stephanie Wu

Assistant Principal Cellist - Berkeley Symphony - Head of Global Enterprise Marketing Campaigns at Coursera
Stephanie Wu enjoys dual careers as a marketer and a cellist. Praised by The Washington Post for her “perceptive musicianship and spirited, emotionally immediate way of setting melodies aloft”, Stephanie has appeared as a soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. As one of 101 musicians selected from 33 countries, Stephanie performed in the YouTube Symphony at the Sydney Opera House in 2011, a life-changing experience that inspired her to get an MBA from UC Berkeley and become a marketer at Google. Today, Stephanie works at Coursera, where she helps others to upskill as she did. Stephanie graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard with a B.A. in social studies and music. She also holds a Master’s degree in cello performance from the Royal Northern College of Music.

TL Campbell

Program Management Lead at Facebook
TL is a Program Management Lead at Facebook and operates on the Steering Committee for the division’s Racial Justice Coalition. She program manages Elevate, a Facebook initiative whose mission is to bring an increase in economic impact to Black and Latinx small businesses. She was born and raised in the Bronx, NY of Jamaican and Chinese parents which had a heavy influence on her celebrating a rich cultural background. Having received her MBA in a career pivot after well over a decade in Healthcare and Nonprofit, TL turned her focus towards driving Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity with the advocacy and importance of having more representation of women of color in leadership roles in Tech.. She also is an avid yoga teacher and practitioner heading Teacher Trainings, Retreats, and Workshops that address fair representation and accessibility to all communities.

Uttam Tripathi

Head of Global Programs, Developer Relations Ecosystem at Google
Uttam heads Global Dev Ecosystem Programs at Google, leading the team working on programs that aim to make the developer community successful as they build products and apps using Google’s Developer Products & Platforms. Prior to this he led Google’s Launchpad program and Developer Relations for Google in India & SouthEast Asia. Uttam has 10+ years experience of building and nurturing communities across Asia, Middle East, Europe and Americas. Uttam developed strong interest in technology early in his career while studying Computer Science at Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur.

Organizing team


Mountain View, CA, United States


Lincoln, NE, United States
  • Ryan Dobesh