Our Team

Joshua Kauffman

Emcee & Host
Joshua has lectured and emceed at hundreds of events in over 30 countries on 5 continents. His passion is to discover and connect the Earth's diverse knowledge and people. He’s equally at home in subjects ranging from neuroscience and the microbiome to art and the design of cities.

Joshua is a designer and venture capital investor who is a lifelong student of the implications and opportunities of technology. He founded Wisdom.vc to propel ethically-grounded entrepreneurs bringing breakthrough ideas to life.

Born in Toronto, Canada, Joshua studied at Harvard and MIT, and has lived in San Francisco for 10 years.

Rachel Ratliff

Executive Producer
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.

David Newson

Organizer, Curator & Licensee
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.

Halim Madi

Co-Organizer & Co-Curator
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.

Emma Barrie

Communication & Partnerships
Emma is a marketing professional for a registered investment advisor in San Francisco. If the previous sentence was too vague, her role includes, but is not limited to the following: digital/email/print marketing, branding, design, analytics, and event planning.

Although born and raised in Chicago, Emma has called the Bay Area home for the past 8 years since attending Santa Clara University.

Patrick Perini

Speaker Coach
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 Head of Product at Mira, Patrick puts his story expertise to use designing product experiences that help make information more accessible.

Shailesh Sachdeva

Director of Partnerships
A doer / operator / leader, sitting at the intersection of media / technology / human connections. Currently VP, Strategy at Atomic, helping portfolio companies scale marketing, grow sales, raise funds, and find product-market fit. Lead Business Development & Operations at Mira. Previously, led the Media & Entertainment strategy consulting practice at PwC based out of LA and NYC, working with clients such as NBC, Time Inc., DirecTV, Microsoft, Lenovo, etc.

Born in Hanoi and lived in Manila, Addis Ababa, Riyadh, Lilongwe, Copenhagen, amongst others.

Alec Davis

Design
Alec is a Designer at Mira, a startup focused on making it incredibly easy to manage content across fleets of screens. Alec wants to help democratize information; he is excited about designing channels for people to share ideas, connect with and better understand one another.

Born in Pittsburgh, Alec studied French and Marketing, and has lived in the Bay Area for two years. His work experience includes designing user experiences for the U.S. Green Building Council and co-founding a rapid-prototyping lab within Atomic. If Alec isn’t smiling, you might want to check if he’s breathing.

Peter Cochrane

Artist in Residence
Peter Cochrane utilizes photography, installation, flowers, ceramics, book arts, and sculpture to explore queer histories, trauma and recovery, and our relationship to time. In the Osiris Project he created self-portraits of shattered porcelain death masks highlighted with gold lacquer in a process known as kintsugi to excavate personal tragedy. His recent solo exhibition, A Continuum, explored the continuity of existence from multiple creation stories through the end of life using blood-red manzanita trees wrapped in gold thread. His work has appeared in several publications and his On Death And books have traveled internationally.

More information may be found at petercochrane.xyz.

Sarah Brooks

Production Manager
Sarah is a startup consultant, lawyer, world traveler and kiteboarder. She currently works with early stage tech companies in the bay area to develop and scale their sales process. Prior to that, Sarah worked with Fortune 500 companies to identify new technologies, run pilots and take new products to market. 

Sarah is originally from Savannah, Georgia and loves the deep connections and fascinating conversations that happen at TED events.