About TEDx

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.

Our Team


David Newson

David is an experienced entrepreneur and financial services professional currently leading a team responsible for the creation and execution of all experiential and growth activities for a nationally recognized, local Bay Area registered investment advisor. Giving unheard voices in our local community with ideas worth spreading a stage is a passion of David's and what drives his participation with TED and TEDx.

Executive Producer

Rachel Ratliff

Rachel spent 15 years as a corporate lawyer honing her skills in herding cats and getting shit done. Having perfected said skills, and feeling an unsettling disconnection from her fellow human beings, she then spent 3 years developing a messaging app focused on voice and video messaging and saving memories. She now works on fostering connection through writing about things that matter, and organizing groups of people to get together and talk about things that matter.


Halim Madi

Halim is an entrepreneurial product manager with a knack for telling stories with words and sketches. Born in Beirut, he studied in Paris and Toronto, worked in London and Sao Paulo and now lives in San Francisco's Castro.

Assistant Executive Producer

Melena Smith

Melena is a project manager and facilitator with a passion for creating, inspiring and growing community. As director at One Salon San Francisco, Melena brings learning and play to life through enabling conversations that matter. She also hosts and supports events which emphasize the beauty of dance, self-awareness and artistic expression.

Design Lead

Alec Davis

Alec is designer focused on building technology that fosters understanding, closes opportunity gaps and strengthens communities. As Design Lead at TEDxSoMa, he works with the speakers and local artists to develop a brand that evokes each year's theme and helps share their "ideas worth spreading."

Marketing Manager

Andrew Adams

Andrew is a marketing professional with experience in financial services, education, and advertising. A Bay Area native, he enjoys working with different communities to foster relationships and facilitate positive outcomes. Andrew is also an experienced event planner and enjoys bringing ideas from concepts to reality.


Cindy Lee

Hsing Yi Lee, Cindy, is originally from Taichung, Taiwan and came to the U.S. five years ago to study Art. She completed an MFA in Visual Development in 2015 at Academy of Art with a focus on game concepts and animation. Since graduation, she has done freelance work as an illustrator and helped with visual art on a few collaborative animation projects. She was an full-time game artist in Lumosity for two years. She designed art assets built animations for multiple projects, with various requirements. She aspires to become a great visual storyteller.

Social Media

Nicole Gervacio

Nicole Gervacio is an interdisciplinary artist based in occupied Ohlone territory, Huichin - known as Oakland, California. She is inspired by the body, memory, destruction and deterioration, permanence versus impermanence and is driven by the fear of forgetting. She received her BFA at California College of the Arts in 2011 and has exhibited visual work throughout the bay. In 2016, she became involved in the grassroots adult freedom school Liberation Spring and co-founded the collaborative cultural production collective We Rise. Both continue to deepen and support her work as an artist, activist, and culture producer.

Speaker Coach

Patrick Perini

Patrick Perini was raised in the theater and has over a decade of acting and speaking experience. Devoted to narrative, his exploits have included acting, coaching, designing, writing, and founding a video game company. Now VP of Product at Mira, Patrick puts his story expertise to use designing product experiences that help make information more accessible.

Director of Partnerships

Taylor Schaude

Taylor is a tenured management consultant working in venture capital. He currently serves as Chief of Staff at a large venture firm located in San Francisco. When Taylor isn't working or exploring the Bay area, he volunteers at local shelters. He believes wholeheartedly in the following quote from Gandhi: "The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.

Lighting & Stage Designer

Kendall Smith

Kendall Smith has designed theatre, music, ballet and opera productions around the world.  Theatre credits include Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Walnut Street, GEVA Theatre, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Alabama Shakespeare, Syracuse Stage, North Shore Music Theatre, As the Resident Designer for Michigan Opera Theatre for the last twenty five years, he has designed over 70 productions.  Regional Opera companies include Florida Grand Opera, San Diego Opera, Minnesota Opera, Kentucky Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City and Virginia Opera.

Get in touch!

The 2019 show already happened, but feel free to contact us if you'd like to participate in one of our next events.

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