TEDxBerkeley 2016 Looks to Solutions to World's Imperfections on Feb 6

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From innovative surgery and extraterrestrial intelligence to reporting from war zones and Grammy-Award winning music, this year’s theme for TEDxBerkeley 2016 — Finding X, which will be held at Zellerbach Hall in Berkeley CA on February 6, will look to solutions to our world’s imperfections. Sixteen riveting speakers will address how we identify these problems and make sense of them in the larger systems where they belong.

Whether it be voyaging into uncharted technological or scientific territory, reconciling our diverse perspectives of the human condition, or unearthing the parts of ourselves that give our lives direction and meaning, we all hope to make an impact on this world by Finding X.

Now in its 7th year, this prestigious TEDx event will bring together thought leaders, visionaries, innovators and 54 performers who will enlighten and inspire more than 2,000 attendees across core disciplines impacting the world, from medicine and education to technology and diversity.

TEDxBerkeley strives to curate an outstanding group of inventive and provocative speakers who can shift global conversations in a way that makes the world a better place, central and core to TED’s mission. The goal is to get us all to re-think conventional ideas and the status quo so that we can all make a positive difference in our own communities. Tickets for TEDxBerkeley 2016 are on sale through Friday, February 5 or until they sell out.

Attendees or those viewing via Live Stream at http://www.tedxberkeley.org starting at 10 am PST/1 pm EST, can also participate in the conversation on social media by using #TEDxBerkeley on Twitter, Facebook and other popular social networks.

This year’s line-up includes:

  • Christopher Ategeka: Award-Winning Social Entrepreneur & Nano-Technology Inventor that identifies early detection and monitoring of chronic diseases.
  • Celli@Berkeley: a cellist quartet made up of undergraduate and graduate students united by the passion to express the uniquely rich possibilities of the cello.


  • Kathy Calvin: As President and CEO of the United Nations Foundation, Kathy works to connect people, ideas, and resources to the United Nations to help solve global problems.
  • Jacob Corn: Scientific Director of the Innovative Genomics Initiative & on faculty at UC Berkeley in the Molecular and Cell Biology Department, Jacob focuses on neurobiology, infectious disease, and oncology.
  • Stephanie Freid: An International Conflicts Journalist, TV correspondent for CCTV (China) and Turkish TV International networks, Stephanie reports from some of the world’s toughest conflict and war zones.
  • Rose Gelfand, Molly Gardner & Isa Ansari: this trio from Oakland School for the Arts Literary Arts Department, are performance artists who specialize in the spoken word and poetry on stage.
  • Rob Hotchkiss: Grammy Award-winning Musician for the Best Rock Song for five-time nominated “Drops of Jupiter”, and was the musical force behind hits such as Meet Virginia, Free, I Am and Get To Me.
  • Naveen Jain: An Entrepreneur & Philanthropist, Naveen is the founder of Moon Express, World Innovation Institute, inome, Talent Wise, Intelius, and InfoSpace.
  • Jeromy Johnson: An EMF Expert, Jeromy is dedicated to mitigating the negative impacts of Electromagnetic Field (EMF) exposure, helping to implement solutions that reduce and eliminate EMF pollution around the globe.
  • Reverend Deborah L. Johnson: Minister, Author & Diversity Expert, Deborah teaches practical applications of Universal Spiritual Principles and is founder of The Motivational Institute, which specializes in diversity.
  • Aran Khanna: As Computer Scientist & Security Researcher on personal privacy, he builds tools that empower users to discover the consequences of the digital footprint they’re leaving.
  • John Koenig: Creator & Author of The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows, which fills gaps in language with new terms for emotions, some of which (‘sonder’) have entered the language outright.
  • Ellen Leanse: As Apple’s first User Evangelist, she brought Apple online in 1985 and has since helped more than 40 companies and policy makers increase their innovation and impact.
  • Susan Lim: As Surgeon and Entrepreneur, Susan broke through the gender glass ceiling in transplantation surgery by becoming the first in Asia, and the second woman in the world to have performed a successful liver transplant.
  • OSA Chamber Choir: the largest audition-only high school Vocal ensemble at the Oakland School for the Arts, this ensemble has performed for Governor Jerry Brown’s inauguration, Obama’s campaign tour and many other notable events.
  • Sonia Rao: A BMI Spotlight artist, Sonia is a singer and songwriter whose latest album Meet Them At the Door is a collection of heart-felt pop songs that showcase her piano skills and soulful voice.
  • Amandine Roche: A Human Rights Expert, Amandine’s focus is on civic education, democratization, gender and youth empowerment.
  • Sriram Shamasunder: Sriram aims to deliver comprehensive healthcare in resource poor areas of the world through his work at UCSF and as co-founder of the HEAL initiative.
  • Andrew Siemon: Andrew is an Astrophysicist, Director of the UC Berkeley Center for Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) Research & lead scientist for the “Breakthrough Listen Initiative”, a $100 million effort that is conducting one of the most sensitive searches for advanced extraterrestrial life in history.
  • Joshua Toch: After being bullied because of Cerebral Palsy, Joshua founded Mind Before Mouth, which equips students to better deal with social aspects of life and get through times of hardship.
  • UC Berkeley Azaad: UCB Azaad is a competitive Hindi Film Dance team which motivates audiences to connect with Bollywood culture.

This year’s partners include Repertoire Productions, Vÿykn Water, Zola, Peet’s Coffee, Fast Imaging, 18 Rabbits, Larabar, Victor Hugo Winery and EthiCal.

I am proud to be a co-curator again this year, joining Chris Lew as TEDxBerkeley’s 2016 curator and co-curator R. Jennifer Barr together with an incredible team behind us, including Leilani Gutierrez-Palominos, Max Wolffe, Melody Jung, Aaron Chelliah, Mehdi Kazi, Sean Kelly, Krupa Modi, Aashna Patel, Andrew Veenstra, Alvin Wan and Joe West.

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