2014 SPEAKERS

We are excited to share a sneak preview of the amazing speakers for TEDxConstitutionDrive 2014.

More coming soon!

 

Chip Conley Headshot

Chip Conley

founder of Joie de Vivre / Fest300 and avid festival-goer
“Finding our Humanity at Festivals”
Hotel guru. Armchair psychologist. Traveling philosopher. Author. Speaker. Teacher. Student. Chip Conley has lived out more than one calling in his lifetime. No one has led the development, creation, and management of more boutique hotels than Chip Conley, founder and former CEO of Joie de Vivre (JDV). At age 26, Chip’s mission was to “create joy” by building a company that USA Today called “the most delightfully schizophrenic collection of hotels in America.” During his nearly 24 years as CEO, JDV grew to become the second largest boutique hotel company in America. (Chip is no longer an owner or leader of Joie de Vivre’s management business – now part of Commune Hotels – but remains a partner in several hotel properties.)Chip shares his unique prescription for success in PEAK: How Great Companies Get Their Mojo from Maslow, based on noted psychologist Abraham Maslow’s iconic Hierarchy of Needs. The New York Times bestseller, EMOTIONAL EQUATIONS: Simple Truths for Creating Happiness + Success, is Chip’s latest book where he takes us from emotional intelligence to emotional fluency – placing meaning at the top of the balance sheet. His previous books include The Rebel Rules: Daring to be Yourself in Business, and Marketing That Matters: 10 Practices to Profit Your Business and Change the World. Chip presents his theories on transformation and meaning – in business and life – to audiences around the world and he’s been a featured speaker at TED.Honored with the 2012 Pioneer Award – hospitality’s highest accolade – The San Francisco Business Times named Chip the Most Innovative CEO – and JDV the 2nd Best Place to Work in the entire Bay Area. Chip received his BA and MBA from Stanford University and holds an Honorary Doctorate in Psychology from Saybrook University, where he is the 2012/2013 Scholar- Practitioner in residence. He served on the Glide Memorial Board for nearly a decade and is now on the Boards of the Burning Man Project, the Esalen Institute, and Youth Speaks.
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Dave Asprey

founder of Bulletproof Exec and nootropic biohacker
“Hacking Yourself” (interim title)
Dave Asprey, founder of The Bulletproof Executive, is a Silicon Valley investor and technology entrepreneur who spent 15 years and over $300,000 to hack his own biology. Dave lost 100 pounds without counting calories or excessive exercise, used techniques to upgrade his brain by more than 20 IQ points, and lowered his biological age while learning to sleep more efficiently in less time. Learning to do these seemingly impossible things transformed him into a better entrepreneur, a better husband, and a better father. From private brain EEG facilities hidden in a Canadian forest to remote monasteries in Tibet, from Silicon Valley to the Andes, Dave used hacking techniques and tried everything on himself, obsessively focused on discovering the answers to this one persistent question: What are the simplest things you can do to be better at everything?
Kirk Lombard

Kirk Lombard

sea forager and piscatorial haiku poet
“Some Strange and Wonderful Fishes of San Francisco”
My name is Kirk Lombard and I am many things: writer, teacher, fishmonger, fisherman, actor, musician, San Francisco history buff, walking baseball encyclopedia, smoker of fine cigars, and raconteur.  In addition to all these, I am deeply passionate about our California marine resources.  As the Sea Forager, I started a sustainable seafood delivery service and I lead coastal fishing and foraging tours. My fishing antics have been featured in the New York Times, CNN Travel, Food Network, Travel Channel and more. As the fisheries observer for the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission for 7 years I counted rockfish off the Farallones; checked herring, jacksmelt, stripers, and pile perch on the piers; saw how surf and night smelt were captured on the beaches; checked in on goose barnacle poachers in hidden coves; and watched homeless, drop-line-wielding grandmothers pull rockfish after rockfish out of storm drains in downtown San Francisco. You want to get deep with this stuff? Talk to me.
Carol Queen Headshot

Dr. Carol Queen

writer and cultural sexologist
“The Nature of Sexual Inhibitions & Fulfillment”
Dr. Carol Queen [www.carolqueen.com] is a writer and cultural sexologist and is the co-founder of the Center for Sex & Culture [www.sexandculture.org] in San Francisco. She is a noted erotic writer and essayist whose work has appeared in dozens of anthologies. She’s written three books: the essay collection Real Live Nude Girl: Chronicles of Sex-Positive Culture; erotic novel The Leather Daddy and the Femme; and Exhibitionism for the Shy, which explores issues of erotic self-esteem and enhancement. Shes also edited several volumes of erotica and essays. Queen works as staff sexologist and Chief Cultural Officer at Good Vibrations, the women-founded sex shop, where she has worked since 1990. She has been speaking publicly about sexuality for over 30 years. Her perspective in addressing sexual diversity incorporates personal experience, accurate sex information, and informed cultural commentary. She has addressed many conferences, including the International Condom Conference, the International Conference on Prostitution, and the International Conference on Pornography; she frequently addresses college as well as general and specialized audiences. Five years ago she debated the question of promiscuity (“Virtue or vice?”) for the Oxford Union at Oxford University, England.
Jill Tucker

Jill Tucker

writer on the trauma of urban warfare
“The Well-Meaning White Lady”
Jill Tucker is arguably the longest, still-employed newspaper education reporter in California. She has been writing about schools for 17 years, currently at The San Francisco Chronicle and previously at the Oakland Tribune. Her professional expertise includes education policy and finance, some knowledge of the rules of tether ball and a good grasp of when someone actually might solve for x in real life. She has received national and state awards for her work and is a frequent television and radio guest on KQED’s “Newsroom” and “Forum.” A Bay Area native, Tucker earned a master’s degree in journalism at the University of Colorado, Boulder and a bachelor’s degree from UC Santa Barbara. In between, she spent two years in the Peace Corps teaching English in Cape Verde, West Africa. She lives in Oakland with her photojournalist husband and 12-year-old son.
Viviana Guzman Headshot

Viviana Guzman

flutist and Grammy nominee
“Flutes + Beatbox: From Body Casts to the Stages of the World”
Described by the New York Times as “an imaginative artist,” Chilean-born flutist, Viviana Guzmán (www.viviana.org) performs over 50 concerts a year throughout the world. Her most recent recording “Traveling Sonata” received a Grammy Nomination. She has been featured on programs for PBS, NBC, and NPR, seen on the cover of Latina Style Magazine, and in COSMOPOLITAN en Español and has performed in 123 countries, and in all 7 continents including South Africa, Ireland, Spain, Brazil, Bali, India, Peru, Japan, China, Argentina, Greece, often featuring flutes from her collection of over 100 gathered from concert tours. Her music video was aired on UNIVISION in 30 countries. She has performed as soloist with 65 ensembles including orchestras in Russia, Chile, Vermont, New York, Wisconsin, California, Texas, Montana, Philippines, in such halls as in Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center, and other prominent stages with such artists as Mikhail Baryshnikov, Placido Domingo, and Glenn Close. Last season included appearances in New Orleans, Honolulu, American Samoa, Mexico, Thailand, Panama, Peru, Chile, and as a soloist with the Philippines Symphony Orchestra in Manila and this season includes performances in Argentina, Philippines, Taiwan, Tahiti, Easter Island, California, Mexico Chile, and as a soloist with the Southeast Missouri Symphony Orchestra as well as with the San Jose Chamber Orchestra.
Gerald Richards Headshot

Gerald Richards

CEO of 826 National
“There Is No Box”
Gerald Richards is the Chief Executive Officer of 826 National, a network of creative writing and afterschool tutoring centers. With twenty years of management and development experience at national nonprofit organizations, Gerald is a respected trainer and sought after speaker on topics of youth and education access. He is interviewed regularly on these topics and has appeared on NBC’s Nightly News with Brian Williams, CNN’s Anderson Cooper’s 360, and The Michael Eric Dyson Show, as well as in articles in publications including The San Francisco Examiner and Inc. Magazine. He has also served as an education expert for national marketing campaigns promoting creativity in and outside the classroom.
Terence Ketter Headshot

Terence Ketter

professor and chief of the Bipolar Disorders Clinic @ Stanford University
“Feeling, Thinking, and Creativity in Bipolar Disorder”
Since 1995, Dr. Terence Ketter has been at the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences in the Stanford University School of Medicine, where he is Professor, and founder and Chief of the Bipolar Disorder Clinic. Dr. Ketter’s research, has involved studying bipolar disorder’s causes, symptoms, and treatments, and has included exploring links between creativity, temperament, and mood disorders. He has published extensively on bipolar disorder, including over 350 scientific articles and book chapters, and is editor of the American Psychiatric Publishing volumes “Advances in the Treatment of Bipolar Disorder” and “Handbook of Diagnosis and Treatment of Bipolar Disorder”. He serves on editorial boards for numerous scientific journals. Dr. Ketter continues to care for patients with bipolar disorder, for which he has been awarded the Outstanding Faculty Physician Award by Vaden Health Center at Stanford University.
Greg Wyser-Pratte Headshot

Greg Wyser-Pratte

jazz drummer and educator
“TAMING THE BEAST: Jazz Drumming and Overcoming Creative Challenges”
Drummer Greg Wyser-Pratte played both piano and trumpet before realizing his true passion for percussion at age 18. Following a BM degree from Northwestern University, Greg honed his skills in Chicago where he performed with the area’s top artists, including Von Freeman, Ron Perrillo, Dan Trudell, Bobby Broom, and Ira Sullivan. In addition to his freelance work, Greg is a longstanding member of the Dan Cray Trio and toured regularly with Dave Specter’s blues projects. Highlights from Greg’s associations include major festivals in both the United States – the Chicago, the Idlewild, and the San Jose Jazz Festivals – and Europe – the Lucerne Blues Festival and the Netherlands Crossing Border Festival. Greg relocated to San Francisco in 2009, and shortly thereafter he joined celebrated vibraphonist Christian Tamburr’s Quartet. Since 2010, Greg has been performing with vocalist Paula West, including her recent engagement at Feinstein’s at the Nikko. Greg can be heard alongside many of the Bay Area’s other top jazzand blues musicians including Dayna Stephens, Wil Blades, Adam Theis, Mike Olmos, and Steve Freund. Recent national and international tours include performances with vocalists Rene Marie, Clint Holmes, and Charenee Wade, trumpeters Dominic Farinacci and Tatum Greenblatt, saxophonists Jacam Manricks and Bob Reynolds, and pianist Aaron Diehl. In addition to his live performances, Greg is in high demand in the studio, and has received critical acclaim for his appearances on over 20 full-length albums. Recent releases include Places by Christian Tamburr featuring pianist Eric Reed. Finally, Greg is an avid educator who enjoys sharing his concepts with others through clinics and private instruction. He currently maintains a teaching studio in San Francisco for students of all ages.
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Patrick Valentino

attorney and California Wolf Center Board of Directors
“In the Presence of Wolves”
In the mid-1990s on a field excursion to Yellowstone National Park, Patrick Valentino saw firsthand the impact of gray wolves on the overall health of North American Ecosystems and has been committed to the recovery of gray wolves in the western states now for almost 20 years. He has been a member of the Board of Directors of the California Wolf Center since 1996 and served as the organization’s Executive Director from 1997 to 2008. In 2006 he formed the award winning Mexican Wolf Fund (2010 recipient of the Conservation Champion Award from the US Fish and Wildlife Service). He has given more than 500 presentations on the importance and the role of gray wolves in our ecosystems and quoted on the subject of wolves in many publications, including the NY Times, San Francisco Chronicle and San Diego Union Tribune. Outside of his work with the conservation of wolves, Patrick is a law partner at VLP Law Group and received his law degree from Northwestern University in Chicago and received his B.A. in Economics magna cum laude from the State University of NY at Albany. Patrick lives in San Francisco with his dog Brindall.
Kevin Feinstein - basketforpress

Kevin Feinstein

wild edible plants expert
“Foraging: Can Food Just Grow?”
Kevin Feinstein, also known as “Feral Kevin” is an author, teacher, forager, and naturalist residing in Walnut Creek, CA. He is the author of the book “The Bay Area Forager” and the E-book “Crash Course in Wild Mushroom Foraging,” With nearly a decade in the field overall leading wild food walks and related classes, Kevin and his work have been featured in Time magazine, Wall Street Journal Online, AP, SF Chronicle, The Travel Channel, KWMR, KPFA, The Examiner and several more. He has also managed a children’s center garden in Lafayette for the past 8 years, using ecological techniques well beyond organic standards.
Luke Griswold-Tergis headshot

Luke Griswold-Tergis

documentary filmmaker
“Can Woolly Mammoths Save the World?”
Luke Griswold-Tergis is a filmmaker based part time in San Francisco and part time in Haines, Alaska. His first film, Smokin’ Fish, played at film festivals around the world and broadcast nationally on PBS. He is currently working on a series of films that examine the human relationship with the rest of the world. The first is about Russian Scientist Sergey Zimov and his unusual “Pleistocene Park” experiment. In a remote corner of Siberia Zimov has single handedly began recreating, or in his words “restoring” the Mammoth Steppe, a vanished ice age grassland ecosystem that once extended from Spain to Canada and was populated and maintained by massive Serengeti-like herds of large, wooly, free roaming undulates — including the namesake mammoths. Zimov believes that, in addition to it’s self evident virtues, restoring this ecosystem on a large (continental) scale could stabilize melting permafrost, a ticking “carbon bomb” and global warming feedback loop that threatens to create a worst case scenario of climate change far in excess of current worst case scenarios. When not making documentaries Luke spends his time thinking about sailboats, bicycles, arugula, the apocalypse, and re-engineering the espresso making ritual.
Peter Yobo headshot

Peter Yobo

3-min audience participation talk
“3 Steps to Greatness”
Peter Yobo is a man on the journey of life who believes in consistently experiencing and accomplishing the tests that life presents us in order to be qualified to govern the gifts we have been blessed with, in order to live the lives we were designed for. At the age of 16 while in boarding school in Ghana, Peter discovered the power of visualization and applied focus. Peter came across an ad for University of Southern California (USC) Football and fell in love with the school even though the chances of him being able to afford to attend a private school like that was slim to none. He immediately set out to build his first map plan of action and within a few years found himself not only at USC as a student but also as a two sport athlete in Football and Track. In this Peter learned a very valuable lesson, the circumstances don’t determine the outcome, a clear vision of what is desired, a guided map plan of action, and the relentless pursuit of it will inevitably drive you to your goal. Helping people achieve similar feats in life has since become a passion and lifelong goal. After moving to the United States Peter set out on a mission and co-founded a nonprofit called “The iStandAbove Organization” whose goal is to equip the underprivileged youth and people of the world with the tools and techniques proven to guarantee success and required to maximize resources in conditions of scarcity, in order to achieve their short and long term goals, of which he is now the Chairman of the Board. Since then a dream that begun with a nonprofit has evolved into the world wide company Peter Yobo International; a company on a mission to connect people with the person they were designed to be and to empower organizations to grow, extend their reach, and create sustained impact.