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Jason Johnson to organize version of annual TED conference

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Local,Science and Technology,Katie Worth

The vice president of marketing for a subsidiary of Dolby Laboratories is a cofounder of TEDxSF, a local, independently organized version of the annual TED conference, which draws famous speakers from around the world. On Tuesday, TEDxSF will host “Creativity & Reinvention” at the California Academy of Sciences.

What is TED? It’s a technology, entertainment [and] design conference that’s gone on for more than 20 years. What TED does each year is it gathers 1,300 of the most amazing people together to spread great ideas, which range from, of course, technology, entertainment and design to business and science and global issues.

What’s so special about these conferences? It’s special because it limits the presentations to under 18 minutes. So in under 18 minutes, you have someone who’s an expert in a particular field share their life’s work.

And you have lots of these talks in a single day? We have 54 of these talks over three days. We might have Stephen Hawking, or Al Gore, or Cameron Sinclair. We had the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra jump up and play something and tell us how he created it, and get the whole audience singing.

What is TEDxSF? What they’ve done recently is try to bring that TED experience ... and made it a local event as well. Our first event was in May and this will be our second. Instead of 54 of these talks over three days, we’ll have a dozen speakers in an evening.

— Katie Worth

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