Speakers and Performers @ TEDxSanDiego 2013


re:THINK challenges us to remove our preconceived notions
in order to look at the world around us in new ways.

Check out the event photos on Flickr!

Jerry Kang

Jerry Kang is a Professor of Law and Asian American Studies at UCLA. His work examines the legal implications of socio-cognitive implicit bias, or unintentional racism. Our ability to judge whether we are racist may not even be obvious to us if we look deeply at ourselves. Kang disseminates the work of other cognitive neuroscientists who study implicit bias and stereotype threat, and he extrapolates the implications of this work in a legal setting. He has received the highest honor for his teaching at UCLA, the 2010 University Distinguished Teaching Award.

Wendy Maruyama

Wendy Maruyama was one of the first women to graduate with an MFA degree in Furniture Design and Woodworking from the School for American Craftsmen at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Since 1980 she has been teaching woodworking and furniture design: first at Appalachian Center for Crafts, then California College of Art in Oakland, CA, and at San Diego State University. Her first installation piece, “Executive Order 9066/The Tag Project” addressed the internment of 120,000 Japanese Americans in 1942.

Chris Rezendes

Chris Rezendes has helped hundreds of technology companies investigate, develop and market complex technologies through unique and uncommon approaches in a broad range of target markets. Rezendes and his team at INEX Advisors focus on helping clients define, select and prosecute their most promising investment opportunities in Internet of Things (IoT), connected unattended devices and related enabling technologies critical to transforming mobility, cloud and big data solutions into a semantic web.

Tina Guo

At the age of 28, Tina Guo has developed a fascinating international multi-faceted performing career as a traditional solo classical cellist, metal-fusion-new age electric cellist, and acclaimed recording artist and composer known for her distinctive sound and improvisatory style in motion picture, television, and game scores. Tina holds a Bachelors in Metaphysics and is working on her Masters Degree. She is also co-founder and CEO of M|G Morabito-Guo Music, a production company with her husband R. Armando Morabito.

John Ayers

John is a leading expert on the “big data” revolution in public health, particularly for the study of non-communicable diseases and health behaviors. His recent work tracked the seasonal variation in mental health using data from Google searches. He harnesses search queries, Facebook posts, news media, and tweets to uncover how cycles in public health and disease are shaped by the physical and social environment. He has been featured nationally by the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Wired.

Chris Berka

Chris Berka is the CEO and Co-Founder at Advanced Brain Monitoring (ABM). She has over 25 years experience leading large-scale neuroscience research with the goal of developing new EEG-based technologies for understanding and improving human performance. As co-inventor of eleven patented and 14 patent-pending technologies, she contributes to programs supported by National Institutes of Health, DARPA, ONR, NSF and others within wide-ranging international research consortiums.

Sarah Susanka

Sarah Susanka’s “Not So Big” message has become a launch pad for a new dimension of understanding how we inhabit our homes, our planet and our lives. A thought leader and acclaimed architect, Susanka is the best-selling author of nine books that collectively weave together home and life design, revealing that a “Not So Big” attitude serves not only architectural aims, but life goals as well.

Matt D’Arrigo

Matt D’Arrigo is CEO and founder of A Reason to Survive (ARTS), a San Diego organization providing arts programs and career preparation for youth facing adversity. His belief in the power of the arts stems from the year he spent caring for his mother and sister as they both battled cancer, during which he relied on his art and love of music to help him face an extraordinary life challenge. A student in the ARTS Empower program was the subject of Inocente, winning the 2012 Oscar© for best short documentary.

Janell Burley Hofmann

Hofmann’s Slow Tech Manifesto challenges families to rethink what brings them joy. She tackles how to meaningfully craft experiences that foster togetherness while integrating technology in a balanced manner. Hofmann gained attention in the national media when she required her son Gregory to sign a contract as a condition to accepting his new iPhone. She is a writer and community activist leading a movement on tech and respect.

David Brin

David Brin is a scientist, tech speaker/consultant, and author. His 16 novels range from NY Times Bestsellers to Hugo Award winners. “The Postman” was directed by, and stared, Kevin Costner. His non-fiction book — The Transparent Society: Will Technology Make Us Choose Between Freedom and Privacy? — won the Freedom of Speech Award of the American Library Association. Adept at foreshadowing global warming, cyber warfare, and the Web, Brin will help us re-think the future.

Sylvia Todd

Sylvia Todd, the girl behind the ‘Sylvia’s Super-Awesome Maker Show,’ is only 12 years old but has over one million followers – kids and adults alike. On her show Todd gets herself busy with ‘everything cool and worth making’ – like an Arduino pendant that flashes to your heartbeat. Sylvia Todd is as comfortable with a soldering iron and a hot-glue gun as she is with a microphone and a camera. Her show helps us realize that today’s kids are enormously capable digital natives, with unlimited potential.

Gill Sotu

Sometimes poetic, sometimes soul, sometimes hip-hop, sometimes comedic, always from the heart, Gill Sotu has a style like no other. He is the master of connection, engaging audiences throughout California. Whether performing poetry or singing with band the one thing that stays consistent is Gill Sotu’s passion. Follow the stories of a young couple and a young man as they explore believing, belonging, and becoming. Sotu collaborated with local choreographer Anjanette Maraya-Ramey to create this original performance.

Erin Cooney

Erin Cooney is an American artist residing in Los Angeles, CA. Her work spans mediums from 3D printed objects to wall installations to video and examines multiple perspectives of reality. While experiencing a friend’s reality through Skype for the first time, she was inspired to create a project titled ‘Simultania’ which captured hundreds of points of view for the exact same minute, all across the world. She studied Graphics at Art Center College of Design and received a BA in Philosophy from the University of Notre Dame.

Jordi Munoz

A native of Ensenada, Mexico, Jordi Munoz co-founded and built a highly successful company with Chris Anderson of Wired magazine: 3-D Robotics. Munoz started by rebuilding a toy remote-controlled helicopter using accelerometers from a Wii controller, making it a much more stable machine. He soon built his first drone, costing a few hundred dollars, while the nearest competition cost about twenty thousand. Today, Munoz is considered one of the top gurus in the field of drones or UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles).

Hal Harvey

Hal Harvey is the CEO of Energy Innovation: Policy and Technology LLC, an energy and environmental policy firm, and is also a Senior Fellow for Energy and the Environment at the Paulson Institute located at the University of Chicago. Prior to his current work, he spent significant time focused on addressing environmental challenges through multiple ventures in the philanthropic sector. Mr. Harvey has served on energy panels appointed by Presidents Bush (41) and Clinton, has published two books and dozens of articles on energy and national security issues.

Jason Chua & Daniel Makoski

Daniel, design lead for Motorola’s Advanced Technology and Projects group, and Jason, co-founder of Stanford’s SparkTruck maker-mobile set out on an epic journey across the country in a velcro-covered van to see what would happen when they let college students loose with hackable smartphones and state-of-the-art tools, including 3D printers and laser cutters. Over the six month, 10,000 mile road trip to 12 universities and 4 Maker Faires they gained insights on just how personal technology can become.

Steven French

Mr. French is the instrumental technical and business leader for platform technology and infrastructure at Epic Sciences, where the company’s cancer detection processes have been recognized through awards from National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute. Most recently Mr. French is formulating the solutions to ensure the Epic processes are ready for large scale environments including global launch. He is an MBA graduate from the University of San Diego.


Machina makes music with nothing but the clothes on their backs. They are on the leading edge of an evolution where clothing merges with technology and integration becomes ubiquitous in every device we have. The second step will be clothing turning into exoskeletons, allowing people to do things that they couldn’t do before. Function, fashion, and form in concert. Speaker: Daniel Fernandez de Cordova, Co-founder, Machina Wearable Technology, DJ/Performer: Juan Pablo Villegas, internationally renowned artist.

Benjamin Bratton

Benjamin Bratton’s work spans Philosophy, Art and Design. He is an Associate Professor of Visual Arts at UCSD and serves as the Director of D:GP, The Center for Design and Geopolitics and the UCSD Design Theory & Research Platform. His work is situated at the intersections of contemporary social and political theory, computational media & infrastructure, architectural & urban design problems. He holds a PhD. in the Sociology of Technology from UC Santa Barbara.

Paula Torres-Symington

Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, Torres-Symington grew up in California, straddling both worlds. She’s broken the mold, literally and figuratively, by heading up the first female- and minority-owned tequila company, taking on gigantic distillers along the way. Her company focuses on sustainable production, supporting entire villages in Jalisco, building Nobleza Tequila from the family’s agave farm and rethinking everything in the process.