BigTEDxUCSB: BigSpeak Sponsors TedxUCSB Talk


Santa Barbara, Calif. January 31, 2017—This weekend, thought-leaders and industry experts took their turn center stage at the TEDxUCSB talk.

Several BigSpeak keynote speakers stepped into the famous TEDx red circle: Matthew Luhn, one of Pixar’s original story creators; Ari Popper, founder and CEO of SciFutures; and, BigSpeak Executive Vice President, Ken Sterling, who also teaches at UCSB.

Other UCSB faculty who presented at the event were Sociology Professor Kum-Kum Bhavnani; English Professor Ken Hiltner; Doug McCauley Professor of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology; Sociology and Global Studies Professor Richard Appelbaum; and, Robert Kennedy, Professor of Linguistics. Their twenty-minute talks ran the gamut of subjects including interpersonal relations, eco-friendly academic conferences, ocean conservation, protecting workers rights, and regional variation in speech patterns, respectively.

Matthew Luhn, who has over 25 years of experience creating stories and characters, started out his career working on The Simpsons and later moved to Disney Pixar to work on such films as Toy Story, Finding Nemo, and UP. His talk centered around the idea that to tell an effective and memorable story you must first make your audience experience a particular emotion. He also discussed how necessary failure is in the creative process–a lesson he has internalized from Pixar. Failure, Luhn said, helps you test out ideas and eliminate bad ones, it also inspires more ideas and pushes you past your boundaries. 

Ari Popper, founder and CEO of SciFutures—a company that uses science fiction prototyping to help their clients create meaningful products and innovative change―spoke about utilizing science fiction narratives to envision technological possibilities in an age of exponential growth.

BigSpeak Executive Vice President and UCSB Technology Management Lecturer, Ken Sterling, spoke on anticipating and managing turbulence in business and in life.  

BigSpeak is a proud sponsor of TEDxUCSB, which welcomed UCSB students and Santa Barbara community members. The event also featured a catered lunch that allowed attendees and TED talkers to network and discuss thought-provoking concepts brought up by the presentations.

“It is always rewarding when BigSpeak partners with and sponsors local community organizations,” said BigSpeak President Barrett Cordero. “The TEDxUCSB event aligned so closely with BigSpeak’s mission of making innovative and digestible information accessible to the public that the collaboration and sponsorship was a natural fit. Not to mention many BigSpeak staffers are also UCSB alumni!”   

Lilly Tam

Matthew Luhn









Ken Sterling


Ari Popper






(L-R) Lilly Tam, Ken Sterling, Matthew Luhn


BigSpeak is a full-service speakers’ bureau located in Santa Barbara, California. BigSpeak serves 64% of the global Fortune 1000 and works with a wide variety of organizations–including corporations, associations, and universities–to serve the needs of event and meeting planners, and corporate training. BigSpeak’s keynote speakers include business keynote speakers, world-class athletes, bestselling authors, award-winning entertainers, global icons and more. BigSpeak also offers workshops and consulting services—with programs geared toward sustainable organizational change.

The content writers at BigSpeak Speakers Bureau are Experts on the Experts. They hold doctoral, masters, and bachelors’ degrees in business, writing, literature, and education. Their business thought pieces are published regularly in leading business publications. Working in close association with the top business, entrepreneur, and motivational speakers, BigSpeak content writers are at the forefront of industry trends and research.