2015 SPEAKERS

Our amazing speakers for TEDxConstitutionDrive 2015.

 

Ryan Farr

Ryan Farr

butcher and founder of 4505 Meats
“Seeing What’s Right in Front of You”
Growing up in San Francisco, Ryan Farr started his culinary career as a dishwasher. Eventually working as a cook, Farr decided to take the next step and attend the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. After school, Farr moved back home and started cooking with Melissa Perello at Charles Nob Hill.

When Perello moved to Hotel Palomar’s restaurant, Fifth Floor, Farr followed. In his three years cooking at Fifth Floor, he earned the title of executive chef and helped the restaurant win a coveted Michelin star. In 2007, Farr became opening chef de cuisine at Elizabeth Falkner’s Orson, honing his butchery skills and developing a passion for all things meat. After leaving Orson, Farr joined local nonprofit CHEFS and began teaching professional kitchen skills to people re-entering society from challenging circumstances. That experience gave him a close look at how people source their food, and drove his interest in wholesome foods.

Farr founded 4505 Meats in 2009 with his wife Cesalee. The company started small, selling chicharrónes to local bars before expanding to farmers markets with a prepared foods menu. Farr also began teaching butchery classes out of a 3,000-square foot warehouse in Hayes Valley and published his first butchery book, Whole Beast Butchery, in 2011. The next year the team opened their Mission district meat shop, 4505 Meats, a product of Ryan’s experience, voracious appetite, and dedication to great meat products. 4505 Burgers & BBQ is Farr’s latest addition to the 4505 family.

Flaming Lotus Girls

Flaming Lotus Girls

makers of large-scale art installations
“How Big Art is Made in a Do-ocracy”
Copyright 2014 JasonChinn.comFlaming Lotus Girls is a volunteer-based group of artists who make large-scale kinetic fire art. Over half of our ~100 members are women, but we welcome all genders to create interactive large-scale fire sculptures that are both visually stunning and engaging, inviting people to become part of the art. We approach our collaborations through a unique design methodology with a hyper-fluid organizational structure. We work together in an egalitarian fashion, accepting input from anyone who participates. All creative decisions are made collaboratively, and our pieces are designed, built, repaired, packed, and installed by a crew of passionate volunteers.
Luke Iseman  Heather Stewart - photo

Luke Iseman & Heather Stewart

founders of Boxouse and shipping container residents
“Living Inside the Box”
Luke Iseman is chief technology officer and cofounder of growerbot, a wireless soil sensor for small gardens and farms, which helps regular people grow their own produce. He is passionate about using open source hardware and the physical computing revolution to build a more sustainable world. He has invented an automated gardening computer, built and managed a fleet of 25 pedicabs, and written a book about travelling the world. His projects have been covered by publications like Make Magazine, Wired, Treehugger and TechCrunch. WEBSITE: http://www.growerbot.com/

Heather is a co-founder of Boxouse, a company that converts shipping containers into tiny off grid houses. She also manages a small container village in Oakland. After graduating with a degree in art, Heather went to run horse farms around the U.S, learned to welding in a field in Kenya while supporting a biochar start-up and eventually made her way to Oakland where she has been working on a variety of design/ build projects.

Justin Ancheta Headshot

Justin Ancheta / Honey of the Heart

poet, bicyclist and musician(s)
“Inspiration for positive change
we can witness now; music and action”
Justin Ancheta is positively-charged, high-energy music from the Bay Area. Bringing together exotic world sounds with some heavy doses of funk and reggae, lacing socially-conscious lyrics with guitar melodies over a steady foundation of drums, percussion, and bass, he creates a rhythm bed for everyone to enjoy. Locally acclaimed, Ancheta plays venues such as the Independent, Yoshi’s, and the Great American Music Hall, while his tour schedule has taken him from Barcelona to Hawaii. After more than a decade of shows and touring, he has shared the stage with The Wailers, Joan Baez, and Charles Neville to name a few. Ancheta laces lyrics and vision for a positive future through music and actions.
David Barzelay

David Barzelay

founder and chef, Lazy Bear
“TBD”
A self-taught super chef, David Barzelay knows good food. With the runaway success of the underground rendition of his restaurant Lazy Bear, one would be surprised to learn that his culinary path wasn’t always set in stone. With a background in law and a penchant for hosting entertaining dinner parties, Barzelay brings a unique set of skills to the restaurant.

Barzelay grew up in Tampa, FL and pursued his academic career at Vanderbilt University. After college he enrolled in Georgetown Law, but quickly developed an interest in cooking and spent class time sneakily poring over cookbooks and food blogs. Shortly after moving to San Francisco for a job as an associate attorney, the 2009 financial crisis hit and Barzelay was left with a long severance package and a driving passion to start anew. He took advantage of the opportunity and plunged into the culinary world full force, staging at a handful of San Francisco’s best restaurants while experimenting with recipe concoctions at home.After a year of hosting multi-course dinner parties with his wife in their own home under the moniker Lazy Bear (dinners during which excess dirty dishes had to be placed in the bedroom to be washed once guests left, and for which goats were left on ice in the bathtub while waiting to be butchered), Barzelay took a leap of faith and moved the dinners to an empty warehouse. As interest grew and word of mouth spread, Barzelay began to accommodate more and more guests, and was soon serving upwards of 40 people per night, several nights each week.

Recognizing the success of the five-year-old underground operation, Barzelay decided to open a permanent space to give guests an enhanced experience while still maintaining the open, communal aspects of the pop-up. “I started Lazy Bear as a huge food geek because I loved food, and every format decision we’ve made along the way has been about appealing to people who love food and want to celebrate it,” Barzelay says. The permanent location allows for more control over everything from beverages to comfort and ambience, and Barzelay is thrilled to finally have a space that is truly Lazy Bear, complete with rustic materials and quirky vintage decorations.

When not hosting his ten dinner parties a week, Barzelay can be found sourcing ingredients at various local markets, or spending time with his wife Jeanette and baby son Arthur.

Duleesha Kulasooriya New

Duleesha Kulasooriya

head of strategy at the Center for the Edge and schoolbus owner
“#weboughtaschoolbus”
Study the changing world. Get inspired. Talk to people. Build things. Contemplate navel. Create compelling models for a new world and understand why they matter.

Duleesha Kulasooriya is the lead strategist for Deloitte’s Center for the Edge – a Silicon Valley-based management research institute exploring the edges of business and technology. Over the past few years they have explored how the world is changing in very dramatic ways as a result of ever evolving digital infrastructure and liberalizing public policy, and its implications to us as individuals and institutions. Duleesha led the team to design and develop the Shift Index, a new set of metrics to supplement current economic indicators in assessing the rate of change in the world around us, and have also researched, written and spoken extensively about the pathways to moving from static to dynamic performance ecosystems, emerging business landscapes, rethinking the role of firm and individuals in the form of institutional innovation, and about relevance of ‘edges’ such as the Maker Movement, the Sharing Economy and Burning Man.

Duleesha was born and grew up in Sri Lanka and now lives in San Francisco with his Singaporean wife, exuberant five year-old, toddler twins and a cat that thinks it is a dog.

Chelseas Rustrum

Chelsea Rustrum

founder of Tiny House Village and sharing economy practitioner
“Bringing Back the Village”
Chelsea Rustrum is the co-author of It’s a Shareable Life, a practical guide to the sharing economy, as well as a consultant, connector, and practitioner in the space. She both lives and works in the sharing economy, with specific interests in how the sharing can be built into every day life through housing. Chelsea also founded several related event series, including the Sharers of San Francisco, a 900+ person community with educational and social events discussing business trends and the future of the sharing economy. Using everything she’s learned about the sharing economy, Chelsea’s currently working on bringing a tiny house village to life, integrating minimalism and shared resources with a rich community that focuses creating deeper connections and experiences. She’s been quoted in TechCrunch, Inc. Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and Forbes, among others.
Jeannette Michels

Jeannette Michels

founder of PackIt and storyteller
“It’s My Neighbor’s Fault”
Jeannette Michels, co-founded, built, invented and owns PackIt, a multi-million dollar consumer goods company that was just named the 26th Fastest Growing Company by Inc. Magazine. She currently is also a consultant for Global Icons, a brand licensing agency that represents companies such as Ford, BMW, and Ironman the account Jeannette is working on. A well-accomplished entrepreneur and business veteran with over 16 years of executive experience, Jeannette brings a wealth of experience to the consumer goods industry, most evident in her successful brand development and marketing. Jeannette’s capacity to develop cutting-edge technology is matched only by her intuitive understanding of product design trends. Jeannette led PackIt to attain global recognition in 2012 by IHA as a “Green House” award finalist, earning the accolades by national media outlets – put simply by the Chicago Sun Times as the “perfect” product. Under her leadership, PackIt also won the Rising Star Award 2011 by NAPPA and the 2011 Mom’s Choice Award.

Her career has spanned several industries, including psychology, advertising and behavior analytics, workforce development, technology and most notably, consumer goods. Jeannette is nationally recognized for her work in instructional design and workforce development. Jeannette has specialized for more than 18 years in evaluating and designing programs directed at improving the effectiveness of people working with children. Before co-founding IntegriTeach and CommuniTeach, she served as CEO of Partnercom, a professional consulting and training services firm serving youth organizations and schools. Jeannette was also a school counselor in LAUSD and therapist for BSI in Seattle. Her professional development system is used to train staff throughout the country.

Jeannette has a BA in Film & Television, a specialized Masters degree in Clinical Psychology from Pepperdine, and a post-grad degree from the University of Washington. Jeannette lives with her husband Mike and two teenagers in Southern California.

Jeffrey Zygmunt

Jeffrey Zygmunt

sculptor
“Carving Emotions”
Born and raised in Minnesota I flew out to San Francisco to study at the Academy of Art University at the age of 18. While I was in college, I was on track to move into the commercial art world. During my Senior ear, I got a sculpting position for Curt Chiarelli a leader in the toy and entertainment industry. I loved being able to tell a story through sculpture and Curt brought me to a new level. After graduating from AAU I quickly realized fine art sculpting is where my real passion lies, so I obtained a sculpting assistance position with Bruce Wolfe, working on a larger than lifesize sculpture of Cesar Chavez. At the base of the statue I made four relief sculptures depicting different environments of Farmworkers and Cesar Chavez. The time working with Bruce Wolfe was great because, I developed a new understanding of the human body and how to make the sculpture grab the viewer’s eye. In 2008 I studied at the Florence Academy of Art in Florence, Italy, where I expanded my knowledge of sculpture. This was a monumental time in my life because, I was able to visit all the famous museums in Florence, Italy and work on my art in the same day.
Anthony VenezialeChris Libby - photo

HUGE: Anthony Veneziale & Chris Libby

improv performers and musicians
“Agreed Upon Play – The Power of Shared Imagination”
Anthony Veneziale, also freestyling by the nickname Two Touch, is a producer, writer, director, and actor. He is an original producer of PBS’ relaunch of The Electric Company and has appeared in films such as Che and Hereafter, as well as TV shows such as All My Children and Sex and the City. Two Touch is currently the resident host, executive producer, and one of the founding fathers of Freestyle Love Supreme. Anthony is passionate about arts education and has taught improv for the past 15 years around the country specializing in “improv thinking” on camera performance, freestyle rapping, and group support. He has taught regularly at the P.I.T. in NYC, the United Nations in NYC, Stanford, UC Berkeley and with his newest venture, Speechless, in Silicon Valley.

Chris Libby graduated Emerson College, in Boston, with a B.F.A. in Acting. While attending Emerson he worked with voice coach Kristen Linklater, Del Close, David Mamet, and The Bread and Puppet Theater. Chris furthered his training by taking master classes in Mime, Movement, and Advanced Improvisation with Tony Montanaro at The Celebration Barn Theater. He later landed at The San Francisco Mime Troupe where he studied Commedia Dell’Arte and writing for musical theater. He collaborated as writer, performer, and producer for both the S.F. based theatrical dance company, “Bow and Sparrow” and the aerial burlesque troupe, “Cirque Noir” in which he also played MC. Chris has performed in improv and sketch troupes for 20 years. He helped start the San Francisco Improv Festival. He currently teaches as a specialist for the improv centric company Speechless.

Jason Ragosta

Jason Ragosta

writer and director
“World-Building: Experiments in Immersive Storytelling”
Jason started his career in stop motion animation as a storyboard and concept artist at Wreckless Abandon Studios. He then went on to work as a writer, director, and director of photography, on various independent films, music videos, and commercials, including work he has done as concept artist for Pandora FX. After recently partnering up with Christopher Logan to create Harbinger Game Studios, Jason has been writing and art directing their first game as well as completing preproduction on the Pandora FX short horror Oculus VR film, The Ballad of Celia Lee.
LisaRuth Elliott

LisaRuth Elliott

writer, bicyclist and community historian
“Utopia Rising in a Ready-made Culture”
Photo by Daniel GulkoLisaRuth Elliott is a community historian, baker, urban farmer, everyday bicyclist, international disaster relief volunteer, artist, writer, editor, and dancer. A 20-year resident of San Francisco, she co-directs Shaping San Francisco/Foundsf.org—a participatory urban history project that includes public programming, a digital archive, and collaborations with UC Berkeley, Stanford, and the University of San Francisco. She has edited 4 books; participated as a weaver in the 2014 Berkeley Art Museum show “The Possible”; painted 4 public murals with Mona Caron; co-created two dance ensembles; and can be found regularly at San Francisco’s Alemany Farm helping manage the workdays.

Through her breadmaking endeavor, LisaRuth’s Lovin’ From the Oven, she has become a bread-u-cator with a utopian agenda. She has worked on a broad range of human rights and human dignity issues, and engaged with the challenge of creating new possibilities out of the chaos following natural disasters in Thailand, Peru, and Haiti.

Find out more at www.lisaruthcreates.com.

Sunita Sayana

Sunita Sayana

founder of SmartlyU
“The Magic of Role-Playing”
Sunita is the Founder of SmartlyU and brings extensive experience as a serial entrepreneur and educator in the technology and education sectors. Over the past three years, Sunita has transformed SmartlyU from concept to a much sought-after SEL program in over 50 schools throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. This initial success has been pivotal in creating the leading-edge online SmartlyU program, which is rapidly being adopted in schools both nationally and internationally. She is also a public speaker at renowned conferences such as Learning Annex and Invent Your Future and holds a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from Tufts University.
Ward Macdonald

Ward Macdonald

career advisor, SNP (Smart Nice People)
“We’re all just tall 2nd-graders”
Ward brings an entrepreneurial eye to his role in Executive Coaching and Leadership Development. Having worked at two start-ups before entering the coaching field Ward is well versed in the unique excitement of actually making payroll, and the leadership and communications challenges faced by aggressively growing organizations.

With a degree in Analytic Philosophy from Trinity College and a background in Corporate Finance, Ward is a natural problem solver. He also has a knack for teaching — in a past life, he’s been a stage actor, ballroom dancing instructor, football coach, and jujitsu teacher.

When he’s not busy coaching, Ward can be found crushing grapes in the Dry Creek valley, on the back of a thoroughbred, on a J-24 on the Bay, or sound asleep with a bad spy novel on his chest.

Chris Pan

Chris Pan

founder of The My Intent Project
“One question for amazing conversations and positive energy”
Chris is founder of The MyIntent Project which is asking the world “What’s Your WORD?” with the mission of being a catalyst for meaningful conversations and positive energy? Your word is something you want to have more of in your life or a challenge you want to overcome. We then hand-stamp each person’s response into a wearable bracelet or necklace as a daily reminder and conversation starter. More info: www.myintent.org and instagram.com/myintent

Additionally, Chris hosts events at SpiritLab leading creative activities such as singing, improv, painting, cooking, and “inner technologies” such as meditation and tai chi to help people feel better emotionally, spiritually, and physically.

Previously, Chris spent 4 years at Facebook growing users, advertisers, Page admins (organizations and celebrities), and mobile users. When Facebook experienced a growth slowdown, he taught himself SQL over his holiday break and figured out the key insight for retaining users. Before that, Chris was a Marketing Director at PepsiCo and a senior consultant at McKinsey.

He has played guitar in a cover band with fellow Facebook execs called feedbomb, produced many unique events, and guest lectured at high school and college classes. Chris holds an MBA from Harvard focused on marketing, a B.S. in Psychobiology from Ohio State University, and completed the Hoffman Process – an intense personal leadership retreat in Napa.