Civic Innovation

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TEDxMarketStreet: Civic Innovation

There is a rising tension between the tech startup ecosystem and the pre-existing residents and social infrastructure of the city of San Francisco. At the geographical heart of these shifting tides is Market Street, a major thoroughfare that splits the city diagonally and houses old and new residents of the city. As we witness the creation of a continually changing, inimitably eccentric urban history, how can we make sure that technology and innovation are helping this transformation occur in a responsible way that benefits the entire community?

At TEDxMarketStreet, we're spotlighting creative ways of tackling the income disparity in gentrifying cities by inviting a variety of voices to the stage in order to catalyze this important conversation.

While we are hosting this event, we are fully aware that our stage alone cannot represent all the important voices in the community. We welcome all those who have an opinion on this matter to join and help steer the conversation here. We also have a few speaker slots left, so please feel free to suggest other powerful voices whose views are not yet represented on this speaker roster.

We welcome all those who have an opinion on this matter to join and help steer the conversation via our discussion page.

Speakers and Performers

Brandon Santiago

Brandon Santiago

Brandon Santiago is a Lead Artist at Youth Speaks. As a Puerto Rican poet, radical educator and San Francisco native, he has traveled across the country to perform in venues such as the San Francisco Opera House and the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington D.C.. He has led workshops for both college and high School students as well as pedagogical, and artistic development for Teachers and Educators. Brandon Santiago’s main focus is to empower urban communities of color by using the arts as a tool to illuminate issues that have been marginalized by mainstream culture. After dropping out of High School, Brandon went on to Graduate from San Francisco State, earning a degree in Anthropology. He is currently on scholarship at the University of San Francisco’s School of Education pursuing a Masters degree in International and Multicultural Education. Brandon is recently happily married and he maintains his faith in Christ as the most important reality in his life.


Caleb Hunter

Born, raised and educated in California, Caleb is fueled by all things digital and is a lover of entrepreneurism, architecture, urban design, and music. He has also had the opportunity to be a part of the technology groups within several organizations, including Autodesk, Cadence, Shaman, BlueWireless, and NASA. In addition, Caleb have the honor of being a member of the board of directors of The Learning Shelter as well as continuing to support the endeavors of The Last Mile. He is also a learner of languages (programming and linguistic), a voice on Quara, a Tweeter of the mundane, and a plucker of the guitar.


Deleano Seymour

Del knows the Tenderloin better than anyone. The 65-year old army veteran spend many years on the very streets in which he now conducts his tours. He launched the Tenderloin Walking Tours in 2009 to share his extensive knowledge - both historic and firsthand - of the infamous Tenderloin district. Del's connection to the TL creates a rich and vibrant experience to everyone who joins him. The tours are held by appointment.


Eric Rodenbeck

Eric Rodenbeck founded Stamen Design in 2001 and has since then he has been working to extend the boundaries of online media and live information visualization. He led the interactive storytelling and data-driven narrative effort at Quokka Sports, and illustrated and designed at Wired Books and Wired Magazine, for which he has also written. He is a sought-after speaker and has spoken at Yale, Columbia, Harvard, Stanford, and multiple design and technology conferences, and has been a judge in the Smithsonian's National Design Awards. Eric has been named one of Esquire Magazine's "Best and Brightest" new designers and thinkers, and one of ID Magazine's top 40 designers to watch. His work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, and he sits on the Board of Directors of the Kenneth Rainin Foundation and the Grey Area Foundation for the Arts.


Gregg Cassin

Gregg, a survivor of HIV for nearly 30 years, is a powerfully charismatic speaker and facilitator, working with universal themes of how life’s challenges and suffering present us with growth-filled opportunities. He has worked with the LGBT, HIV/AIDS and youth communities for over 25 years with his lectures, retreats and workshops. During the height of the epidemic Gregg began facilitating groups for people affected by HIV/AIDS. He founded the San Francisco Healing Circle, and the San Francisco Center for Living, as well as leading conferences and retreats around the country with AIDS, Medicine and Miracles. He is currently offering "Honoring Our Experience", a retreat program addressing the issues of long term survivors of the epidemic.


Ingrid Sanders

Ingrid Sanders is the Founder and CEO of, a platform that inspires and enables lifelong learning by making it easy to meet with experts over live face-to-face video sessions that help you get better at: life, work & play.


Jenny Odell

Born just a few miles from where the Google Headquarters would eventually be, Jenny Odell studied English at UC Berkeley and Design and Technology at the San Francisco Art Institute. Her work utilizes cutouts from Google Maps screen shots in an effort to show human environments -- particularly their fragile infrastructural elements -- from a new and clarifying perspective. Odell's work has been exhibited internationally and has appeared in TIME's LightBox, The Atlantic, The Economist, Wired, Rhizome, ESPN the Magazine, the NPR Picture Show, Esquire Russia, and Die Zeit. She currently teaches a class on the implications of cell phone photography for art and experience at Stanford University, and is working on a series of work enabled by a grant from the San Francisco Arts Commission.


John Paul Farmer

John served as Senior Advisor for Innovation at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy under President Barack Obama, where he co-founded and directed the Presidential Innovation Fellows program to save lives, save taxpayer dollars, and promote economic growth. He previously served as Senior Advisor for Healthcare Reform. Prior to Washington, John build new businesses in the investment industry and played professional minor league baseball for the LA Dodgers and the Atlanta Braves. He is a graduate of Harvard University and has an MBA from Columbia University.


Karen Cheng

Karen learned to dance in a year. Her dance video has been seen by over 4 million people and has inspired thousands to pursue their passions. She's the co-founder of Giveit100, a video site where you choose something to get better at and take a video of your progress every day.


Rose Broome

Rose believes in using the power of technology to create health, happiness, and positive transformation in the world. She's the cofounder of HandUp, a direct donation system for homeless people and neighbors in need. She lives in San Francisco and loves cats and dark chocolate.

Theon Johnson III

Theon Johnson III

Theon Johnson III is the Associate Pastor at GLIDE. A native of Mississippi, Theon came to GLIDE from serving as a campus minister at Jackson State University. With a background in Philosophy, Religion and Education from Millsaps College, Theon studied Theology and Ethics at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington DC. During his time in Washington, he served as an Advocacy Associate with the General Board of Church Society on Capitol Hill. Theon is currently a doctoral student in Educational Leadership at Jackson State University in Mississippi. Theon believes music traverses many barriers and is particularly passionate about music as a vehicle for both personal expression and communal witnessing. Likewise, he also considers sharing meals a spiritual practice – of which Indian and Thai food are some of his favorites. He finds a strong connection between these experiences and the Mission and Core Values of GLIDE.


Tim O’Reilly

Tim is the founder and CEO of O'Reilly Media, a technical book publisher who learned that the right way to market books was to market the technologies behind them. His company played a crucial role in evangelizing the world wide web, the Perl programming language, Linux, open source, and xml, and later expanded into online publishing, conferences, magazine, and early stage venture investing. He is interested in getting to know people on the cutting edge. "I think of my role as changing the future by helping to capture and spread the knowledge of innovators," Tim writes. "I sometimes call my company's edge in trendspotting 'watching alpha geeks.'"


Viviana Guzman

Described by the New York Times as "an imaginative artist," Chilean-born flutist, Viviana FluteQueen Guzmán 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. Viviana is CEO & Director of the San Francisco Flute Society & Festival. This season Viviana includes performances in Argentina, Philippines, Peru, Chile, Japan, China, Taiwan, Tahiti, Easter Island, California and as a soloist with the Southeast Missouri Symphony Orchestra as well as with the San Jose Chamber Orchestra.


If you are a company committed to seeing civic innovation take place in a healthy way in San Francisco and beyond, please consider becoming a sponsor for our event. Your brand will be acknowledged in materials relevant to the event, and we are happy to work with you to come up with creative ways to get you involved. Please email info[at] for more information.

This event is sponsored by:

with in-kind donations from:


TEDxMarketStreet is entirely self-funded. We don't receive any funding from TED or TEDx; all of our event expenses are paid for through ticket sales, sponsors, and out of the pockets of our event team. Please consider making a tax-deductible PayPal donation through our fiscal sponsor, The Tofu Project.

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Steering Committee

Brady Forrest

Lisa Katayama

Alli Magidsohn

Peter Shanley

Event Team

Heather Cochran

Eddie Codel

Ariena Kaneshima

Tomo Saito

Tact Sasajima

Minori Toyoi

Mitsuo Yoshizawa