Contributors > Rachel Tobias

Rachel Tobias

La Canada Flintridge, CA, United States
Business Development at IDEO

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Musings of a Globe Jaunt
Strange Is Our Situation

My name is Rachel Lauren Tobias.
In a past life I studied international relations, Arabic, and how to make international development more efficient, effective, and most importantly, compassionate.
Now I work under the Bay Bridge for a design consultancy called IDEO helping spread human-centered design across the products and services we use and create as a society.
I love the Earth.
I love the People of the Earth.
My life goal is to Make My Mark.
I take pictures to exercise my eyes.
I like to eat Swedish Fish, avocados, and rice with milk.
I always wear two different socks. Always.
I climb rocks so I can see the into the distance.
I would love to know what inspires you.

Stories by Rachel Tobias:

Global Issues

After tsunami, the Japanese spirit: Ken Mogi at TED2012After tsunami, the Japanese spirit: Ken Mogi at TED2012

Posted By Rachel Tobias

Photo: James Duncan Davidson Ken Mogi, a Ph.D and researcher from the Sony Computer Science Laboratory in Tokyo, bears a flag nearly twice his height, bright blue, covered with images of koi fish and Japanese letters. He begins by reminding us about a tragically transformative day in his country on March 11, 2011 that would […]


Solving (for) x: Terry Moore at TED2012Solving (for) x: Terry Moore at TED2012

Posted By Rachel Tobias

Photo: James Duncan Davidson The last time we heard from Terry Moore, executive director at the Radius Foundation, he challenged us to reexamine a process that most of us have known how to do nearly as long as we could read: tie our shoes. He returns to the TED stage today to share another valuable […]


Meet the TED2012 House Band

Posted By Rachel Tobias

Less than 24 hours before TED and just a few miles away in sunny Beverly Hills, the TED2012 house band gathers for its third day of rehearsal. It’s a very cool group of dudes, jamming away in the hidden, but fascinating Gibson Showcase Theater, where guitars of the one-of-a-kind variety dangle from the walls, threatening […]


A day at the Green School in Bali

Posted By Rachel Tobias

The Green School is hiring science and physics teachers. To learn more, visit the Green School website. And watch John Hardy’s TEDTalk from TEDGlobal last summer. In the shade of the open-air bamboo warung (the Balinese equivalent of a small cafe), I listened to the buzz of the cicadas rather than the buzz of fluorescent […]

Exploring the “uppards” of the Long Beach Performing Arts Center

Posted By Rachel Tobias

To get the shot of JR’s “eye” from above in Session 7, photographer James Duncan Davidson and photo editor Mike Femia spent a good deal of time climbing and crawling through the labyrinth of what I refer to as “the uppards” (as opposed to the innards) of the TED stage in Long Beach. Here are […]


Q&A: TED Fellow Camille Seaman’s photos give life to ice

Posted By Rachel Tobias

At the Fellows pre-conference and then again at TED University, Camille Seaman introduced us to the icebergs of the great oceans; as she described them: one snowflake on top of another snowflake, year after year. Her “portraits” of these great towering sea beings document the life of the iceberg, from its youth through its melting and […]

A spin in the Google Self-Driving Car at TED2011

Posted By Rachel Tobias

During TED2011, we listened to Sebastian Thrun from Google share his self-driving car. His motivation? “Most automotive deaths are due to human error, not machine error. A driverless car can save lives.” The car uses AI technology that enables the car to detect objects nearby and in its path, as well as control its speed, […]

TED2011 Report – Session 12: Only If. If Only.

Posted By Rachel Tobias

Kathryn Schulz, author of Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error: “We need to be able to look at the vastness and complexity of the universe and say, ‘Wow, I dunno. Maybe I’m wrong.’” John Hunter, creator of World Peace Games says,  “I allow them to learn, in a bloodless way, how to do what’s […]

Report from TED University Session 3

Posted By Rachel Tobias

At the final session of TED University, we learned how to draw mindmaps, predicted a future in which buildings are self-assembling, and heard a touching story about a passenger’s life after the Hudson River plane crash. Here were some of the highlights: Bill Gates talks about state budgets, corrupt processes, and what this means for […]

TED2011 Report – Session 10: Beauty, Imagination, Enchantment

Posted By Rachel Tobias

Béatrice Coron is a paper cutter: “I visualize my story … and as my image is already inside the paper, I just have to remove what’s not from that story.” Sarah Kay shares her spoken word with TED and talks about the challenges and joys of poetry: “I show up to each new poem with a […]

TED2011 Report – Session 5: Worlds Imagined

Posted By Rachel Tobias

Julie Taymor took us on a journey, from Indonesia, where she experienced a seminal moment in her life as a young artist, and through her life’s work, including The Lion King, The Tempest, and Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. Morgan Spurlock shares his takeaway from his new marketing documentary, The Greatest Movie Ever Sold: “Today, […]

TED2011 report — Session 3: Mindblowing

Posted By Rachel Tobias

Carlo Ratti launches airborne pixels on little helicopters to make flying art. Aaron Koblin shows a crowd-sourced Johnny Cash music video created frame by frame by volunteers … Mattias Astrom demos C3, a new 3D mapping tech … Mike Matas demos for the first time live onstage, at TED. Chefs Homaru Cantu and Ben […]

TED U Session 2: Smiles, bravery and serendipity

Posted By Rachel Tobias

At TED University Session 2 this morning, we discovered the science behind our smiles, witnessed a tale of a valiant shoe rescue, and heard about the “rich seed beds of serendipity.” Here are just a few of the highlights: Googler Amit Sood used his “20 percent” time to develop the  Google Art Project, which transports us […]

Report from TED University Session 1

Posted By Rachel Tobias

At TED University Session 1, we learned about modernist cooking … saw a flower unfold in sped-up time … met a woman who grows her own clothes … and heard one of the most exquisite musical instruments ever made. A few highlights from this session:   Cellist Joshua Roman, a TED Fellow, played his (borrowed) […]