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Francis TapoN

Francis Tapon was born and raised in San Francisco. His mother is Chilean, his father was French, and his wife is Cameroonian. That makes him connected to four continents and utterly confused. He earned a Religion Degree with honors from Amherst College. He also has an MBA from Harvard Business School. He co-founded a robotic vision company in Silicon Valley. He’s the first person to do a round-trip on the Continental Divide Trail—a seven-month journey spanning 9,000 km. He has walked across America four times, Spain twice, and Madagascar once. He’s backpacked 50,000 kilometers and traveled to 120 countries.   He is the author of Hike Your Own Hike and The Hidden Europe. From 2013 to 2018, he traveled nonstop overland to all 54 African countries. He is producing a video series and book called The Unseen Africa.

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Atul Butte

Dr. Butte is Chief of the new Division of Systems Medicine at Stanford. He is also founder of three investor-backed companies: Personalis, providing clinical interpretation of whole genome sequences, Carmenta, discovering diagnostics for pregnancy complications, and NuMedii, finding new uses for drugs through open molecular data. Dr. Butte has authored more than 160 publications, with research repeatedly featured in Wired Magazine; other recent awards include the 2013 induction into the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the 2012 FierceBiotech IT “Top 10 Biotech Techies,” 2011 National Human Genome Research Institute Genomic Advance of the Month, 2010 Society for Pediatric Research Young Investigator Award, and the 2008 AMIA New Investigator Award.


Arjanna Van Der Plas

Three years ago, Arjanna van der Plas moved from Amsterdam to San Francisco so her husband could work for Google. She thought she'd find a job in tech for herself too, but she was so touched by the social inequality in the city that not Silicon Valley but the Tenderloin became her new home. Together with the team of Stories Behind The Fog (http://storiesbehindthefog.com/) she is now collecting 100 stories of people that have experienced homelessness, striving to rehumanize the issue, and in this talk, she will share what she's learned from the people she interviewed.


Professor x

Jianxiong Xiao (a.k.a., Professor X) is the Founder and CEO of AutoX Inc., a high-tech company working on self-driving vehicles. His work has received the Best Student Paper Award at the European Conference on Computer Vision (ECCV) in 2012 and the Google Research Best Papers Award for 2012, and has appeared in the popular press. He was awarded the Google U.S./Canada Fellowship in Computer Vision in 2012, the MIT CSW Best Research Award in 2011, NSF/Intel VEC Research Award in 2016, and two Google Faculty Awards in 2014 and in 2015 respectively. In his talk, he will be speaking about the grocery run of the future: self-driving technology and its implications on retail.


Alycia Cary

Alycia Cary is inspired by stories that connect us across cultural and ideological divides. As a senior at The Harker School, she has dedicated her time towards pursuing a greater understanding of what makes us work by exploring the intersection between biology and the humanities. She currently interns at the Stanford Petrov Lab, conducting evolutionary biology research to understand more about our capacity for adaptation. In her TED talk, she will be speaking about her experience being mixed-race as a lens through which to examine the power categorical thinking holds in our culture.

As a nationally ranked orator, she has been recognized at speech and debate tournaments across the United States. Through her talk, she hopes to take her message outside the speech and debate community and bring it a little closer to home.