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TED Speakers
Comedians

Astrophysicist, Former Space Science Education Lead for NASA, & Inspirational Speaker

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Dr. Hakeem Oluseyi has three degrees, 8 U.S. patents, four E.U. patents and has hosted shows on the Science Channel and on Discovery. But more impressive is his life story. Oluseyi grew up in the roughest neighborhoods of America, learned to survive on the street, and still taught himself Einstein’s theory of relativity from an old set of encyclopedias. At every turn he was presented with a compelling option to quit and yet he persevered. Today, he is a NASA astrophysicist, a global educator, and the author of the highly-anticipated memoir A Quantum Life: My Unlikely Journey from the Streets to the Stars where he recounts his journey from the streets to the stars. Dr. Oluseyi is exclusively represented by Leading Authorities.

Former CEO, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Fees
  • Local: $35,001 - $55,000*
  • US East: $75,001 and up*
  • US West: $55,001 - $75,000*
  • Europe: $75,001 and up*
  • Asia: $75,001 and up*
With a medical, scientific, and philanthropic career that spans more than 30 years, Dr. Sue Desmond-Hellmann has devoted her life to improving the human condition through innovation. Most recently, she was the CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, leading the organization’s vision for a world where every person has the opportunity to live a healthy, productive life. She was formerly the first female chancellor of University of California at San Francisco and spent 14 years at biotech firm Genentech, leading the development of a number of breakthrough medicines. An innovator and leader in life sciences, Dr. Desmond-Hellmann’s diverse training as an oncologist, scientist, and business executive leads to her endless curiosity about the world and her desire to change it for the better. In speeches, she shares her unique insights not only on revolutionizing global health, but also on effective and innovative leadership. Using lessons-learned as a trailblazing female leader of one of the world’s largest philanthropies, Dr. Desmond-Hellmann inspires audiences with her unparalleled perspective on how to foster an environment of collaboration and relentless innovation to drive disruptive solutions that make an impact.

Former Commander of US and International Forces in Afghanistan, Best-Selling Author, & Co-Founder of the McChrystal Group

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General Stanley McChrystal is a four-star general, the former commander of U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan and the former leader of Joint Special Operations Command, which oversees the most sensitive counter-terrorism units. He is widely praised for revolutionizing warfare by fusing intelligence and operations and is credited with the capture of Saddam Hussein and the location and killing al-Qaeda’s leader in Iraq. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates called McChrystal “one of America’s greatest warriors.” McChrystal addresses leadership, teambuilding, and geopolitics.

Record-Breaking Explorer & Repeat TED Speaker

Fees
  • Local: $10,001 - $20,000*
  • US East: $35,001 - $55,000*
  • US West: $35,001 - $55,000*
  • Europe: $10,001 - $20,000*
  • Asia: $35,001 - $55,000*
Polar explorer, TED speaker, and record-breaking long-distance skier Ben Saunders fuses the spirit of adventure with impressive technical ingenuity. He has five North Pole expeditions under his belt and is best known for leading one of the most ambitious expeditions in a century. Humble and self-effacing, he is an explorer of limits and his message is one of inspiration, empowerment, and boundless potential. He explores the dichotomy between ideas and action and urges audiences to consider carefully how to spend the “tiny amount of time we each have on this planet.”

U.S. Army Green Beret (Ret.), Pineapple Express Mission Leader, Rooftop Leadership Expert

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  • Local: $10,001 - $20,000*
  • US East: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • US West: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • Europe: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • Asia: $35,001 - $55,000*
Described as the “Warrior Storyteller,” retired Lieutenant Colonel Scott Mann is a former U.S. Army Green Beret who specialized in unconventional, high-impact special operations missions in do-or-die environments all over the globe. In a distinguished 23-year military career, Lt. Col. Mann operated at the highest levels of the Special Operations Community and has been widely recognized for his successful leadership of teams in complex situations. He grabbed global headlines when, alongside fellow Green Beret veterans and other volunteers, he led “Pineapple Express” — a grassroots leadership campaign using Rooftop Human Connection Skills to honor a promise and save more than 1,000 Afghans from a life-threatening situation amid the chaos of America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan. He brings an innovative approach to problem solving — one that has empowered people from all walks of life to get surrounded on purpose to achieve something much greater than themselves. Following his military service, Lt. Col. Mann founded Rooftop Leadership, a professional training and coaching program designed to help high-performing, servant leaders forge deeper connections with the people they serve to create more powerful outcomes in business and life.

Founder, Kindness Factory; Resilience Expert

Fees
  • Local: $10,001 - $20,000*
  • US East: $10,001 - $20,000*
  • US West: $10,001 - $20,000*
  • Europe: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • Asia: $20,001 - $35,000*
A testament to the power of the human spirit, Kath Koschel is a survivor who has overcome incredible odds and unimaginable tragedy to inspire ordinary people to do extraordinary things. Koschel is formerly an elite cricketer and Ironman competitor whose world came crashing down when she broke her back twice in the span of five years and was told she’d never walk again. Instead, she faced the challenges head-on and defied all medical prognoses by teaching herself to walk again on three separate occasions. Driven by a passion to spread gratitude in the world, she founded Kindness Factory with the goal of encouraging one million acts of kindness and helping people find the light during dark times — just as she has done so many times.

Expert in Technology-Driven Innovation & Human Evolution; Chief Technology Officer at NextSense; Stanford University Adjunct Professor; Futurist; Neuroscientist; and Technologist

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Poppy Crum works to bridge the gap between technology and insightful, effective human interaction. As a multi-dimensional advocate of empathetic technology, she builds technologies that best leverage human physiology to enhance our experiences and how we interact with the world. Poppy serves as the Chief Technology Officer at NextSense and is an Adjunct Professor at Stanford University in the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics, as well as its Symbolic Systems Program. She is formerly the Chief Scientist at Dolby Laboratories. She is dedicated to the development of immersive technologies that leverage human physiology and perceptual realities to enhance our experiences and interactions in the world. She is a frequent speaker on topics related to the intersection of human experience, artificial intelligence, sensory data-science, and immersive technologies.
A unique sense of humor and profound dry wit separates Kevin Nealon from other performers. A likable comedian, he got his start as a department store Santa Claus. Now the longest-running cast member of Saturday Night Live, Nealon's familiar face appears in movies such as Happy Gilmore and The Wedding Singer.

Comedian and Actor

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  • Local: $75,001 and up*
  • US East: $75,001 and up*
  • US West: $75,001 and up*
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Dana Carvey is an American actor and stand-up comedian best known for his work as a cast member on Saturday Night Live. He is also known for playing the role of Garth Algar in the Wayne's World movies. A sidesplitting addition to any audience, Carvey is one of America's most notable comedians.

Social Robotics Expert & MIT Media Lab Research Specialist

Fees
  • Local: $10,001 - $20,000*
  • US East: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • US West: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • Europe: $35,001 - $55,000*
  • Asia: $35,001 - $55,000*
A leading expert in robot ethics, Dr. Kate Darling is a research scientist at the MIT Media Lab, where she investigates social robotics and conducts experimental studies on human-robot interaction. Forever interested in how technology intersects with society, Kate has a background in law & economics and intellectual property, she explores the emotional connection between people and life-like machines, seeking to influence technology design and policy direction. Her writing and research anticipate difficult questions that lawmakers, engineers, and the wider public will need to address as human-robot relationships evolve in the coming decades. Dr. Darling’s work has been featured in international media, and she has authored multiple academic publications and contributed to industry publications from Vogue to Die Zeit to the BBC, and in 2017, the American Bar Association honored her legal work with the Mark T. Banner Award in Intellectual Property.

Former President of Research and Development at Walt Disney Imagineering

Fees
  • Local: $20,001 - $35,000*
  • US East: $35,001 - $55,000*
  • US West: $35,001 - $55,000*
  • Europe: $55,001 - $75,000*
  • Asia: $75,001 and up*
Bran Ferren is a designer and technologist working in entertainment, product development, engineering, architecture, and the sciences. He is former president of research and development, and creative technology for Walt Disney. Once known for entertaining millions by creating special effects for Hollywood, theme parks and Broadway, Applied Minds co-founder Bran Ferren now solves impossible tech challenges with previously unimaginable inventions. He has been named one of the “100 Most Creative People in Business” by Fast Company.

Comedian, Actor, Commentator

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An actor, comedian, sports commentator, and Emmy Award-winner, Dennis Miller is known as for his voice behind the desk of Saturday Night Live's "Weekend Update" and as the former host of his own television talk show. A recognizable face in comedy and film, Miller's brilliant stand-up, razor-sharp wit, and his creative rants result in edgy hilarity and lively audiences.
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