Blossom Each year, TEDxGunnHighSchool aims to center its annual conference's content around a central theme. Previous themes have included Be The Variable, More Than A Number, Trailblazers, Crossroads, New Perspectives, One Step Forward, Redefining Normal and Call to Adventure.

With our distinguished set of speakers and performers, we hope to provide a conference experience where the audience will explore innovative ways on how they can reapproach the standard to a better future.


ThinkFund TEDxGunnHighSchool is grateful for our sponsors, who enable us to present Ideas Worth Spreading.


Time Event
8:30 AM Doors Open
9:10 AM Opening: MC
9:20 AM Irene Tsen
9:40 AM Performance
9:55 AM Adrit Rao
10:15 AM Jill Johnson
10:40 AM Intermission
11:00 AM Patricia Zurita
11:20 AM Speaker
11:50 AM Speaker
12:10 AM Performance
12:30 AM Announcements
12:35 PM Lunch Break
1:15 PM Check-In
1:30 PM Speaker
1:50 PM Performance
2:10 PM Speaker
2:30 PM Performance
3:35 PM Speaker
3:05 PM Speaker
3:30 PM Closing Ceremony + Drawing for Prizes!

*Times subject to change.


Irene Tsen Irene Tsen is a junior at Gunn. She leads The Prose Train, a collaborative writing nonprofit redefining high school writing. Irene is also a Features Editor for The Oracle, Gunn’s student newspaper, and the Editor-in-Chief of Scribere, an online youth literary journal. Irene will be speaking about the power and joy of group storytelling.
Adrit Rao Adrit is a 15-year-old Sophomore at Palo Alto High School and a research intern at Stanford University. He is conducting AI research to solve healthcare problems at the point-of-care through accessible innovations and mobile apps. Adrit is part of various research initiatives and has authored over 10 scientific research publications. He is a passionate app developer with 5 apps on the App Store which aim to solve real-world problems. In his free time, Adrit enjoys teaching app development to kids, competitive fencing, and traveling around the world.
Jill Johnson Jill Kauffman Johnson is Managing Director of the Erol Foundation and NextWorld Philanthropies. With decades of experience in the environmental movement, Kauffman Johnson served as Executive Advisor of Sustainability and Society for Corbion, a Netherlands-based global leader in food, algae and bio-based ingredients. She was formerly Principal and Managing Director of CEA Consulting, a leading firm working at the intersection of policy, philanthropy and the private sector to address some of today’s most serious environmental challenges. She also served as the founding Director of the Pacific Coast Regional Office of the Ocean Conservancy where she initiated the first public-private effort in California to address marine plastic pollution.

Kauffman Johnson is a Switzer Fellow and was the former Board Chair of the Algae Biomass Organization, the world’s leading algae trade organization. She holds a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard University and a BA in Human Biology from Stanford University.
Patricia Zurita Dr. Zurita Ona, Dr. Z, is a Licensed Psychologist in California. Her work is dedicated to helping all her clients to get “unstuck from fear-based reactions” and live the life they want to live. A key question to her work is “how can we get unstuck from worries, fears, anxieties, perfectionism, procrastination, and any other form of fear-based reactions so we can live a meaningful, fulfilling, and purposeful life?”

Dr. Z. has significant experience - over 18 years - working with individuals dealing with fear-based struggles such as perfectionism, procrastination, uncertainty, decision-making, phobias, OCD, panic, and any other anxiety-related difficulties. Dr. Z is the founder of the East Bay Behavior Therapy Center, a boutique therapy practice, where she offers therapy, coaching, and focused interventions based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and contextual-behavioral science.

Dr. Z is the author of 6 books and has been nominated as a Fellow of the Association of Contextual Behavioral Science.