Cuban Red Macaw
Extinct: late 19th century


About TEDxDeExtinction and TED

Revive & Restore, with the support of TED and in partnership with National Geographic Society, is convening a day-long conference to showcase the prospects of bringing extinct species back to life, along with a discussion of the ethical issues that will raise.

TEDxDeExtinction is a TEDx event that explores a bold topic: reviving extinct species and re-introducing them to the wild. Can it be done responsibly? Should it be done at all? The full-day conference brings together a range of speakers to dive into the emerging idea of de-extinction.

In the past two years, longtime TEDsters Stewart Brand and Ryan Phelan have organized two private research workshops to dig into the practical side of the issue, and to explore whether molecular and conservation biologists were interested in working further on the idea. The success of these workshops proved to Brand and Phelan that the idea of de-extinction merited further exploration. Together they have started Revive & Restore as a project within The Long Now Foundation.

The TEDx platform is a unique one to examine de-extinction through the ideas of its key players — conservationists, genetic technology practitioners, scientists on current species-revival projects, ethicists — and an exciting opportunity to explore the possibilities and boundaries of science.

About Revive & Restore

Revive & Restore supports ecological enrichment through extinct species revival. As de-extinction science advances worldwide, Revive & Restore hopes to serve as a guiding force in the field by encouraging scientists to develop a long-term vision, shared ethical guidelines and agreed-upon revival criteria to help ensure the responsible use of genomic technologies to revive, and ultimately re-wild, extinct species.

About TEDx

x = Independently organized TED event.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

About TED

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 25 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. The annual TED Conference invites the world’s leading thinkers and doers to speak for 18 minutes. Their talks are then made available, free, at TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Al Gore, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. The annual TED Conference takes place each spring in Long Beach, California, along with the TEDActive simulcast in Palm Springs; the annual TEDGlobal conference is held each summer in Edinburgh, Scotland.

TED’s media initiatives include, where new TEDTalks are posted daily, the recently launched TED-Ed platform for students and educators, the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as the ability for any TEDTalk to be translated by volunteers worldwide, and TEDBooks, short e-books by speakers that elaborate on a single idea originally presented on TED’s stage. TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world are given the opportunity to put their wishes into action; TEDx, which offers individuals or groups a way to host local, self-organized events around the world, and the TED Fellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to become part of the TED community and, with its help, amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.

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TED2013, “The Young. The Wise. The Undiscovered,” will be held February 25-March 1, 2013.

About the Organizers

stewartStewart Brand


Stewart Brand is co-founder of Global Business Network, president of The Long Now Foundation, and co-founder of Revive & Restore. He created and edited the Whole Earth Catalog (National Book Award), and co-founded the Hackers Conference and The WELL. His books include The Clock of the Long Now; How Buildings Learn; and The Media Lab. His recent book, titled Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto, is published by Penguin in the US and Atlantic in the UK. He graduated in Biology from Stanford and served as an Infantry officer.

ryan_phelanRyan Phelan


Ryan Phelan is a serial entrepreneur active in both the for-profit and non-profit worlds. She is the Executive Director of Revive & Restore, with a mission to provide deep ecological enrichment through extinct species revival. Ryan currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Personal Genome Project, which aims to sequence and publicize the complete genomes and medical records of 100,000 volunteers, in order to enable research into personalized medicine.

In 2005 Phelan launched DNA Direct, the first medical genetics company to focus on bringing personalized medicine to the consumer market. The company was acquired in 2010 by Medco Health Solutions (with over 55 million Medco members) to provide pharmacogenetic testing services and clinical support focused on drug/gene interactions. In 2001 she was co-founder and director of the ALL Species Foundation, a global science initiative to discover all life on Earth in 25 years. It led to the online Encyclopedia of Life, which so far has collected 925,000 species web pages. In 1995 she founded Direct Medical Knowledge—a consumer health web site unique for its content depth and innovative search interface acquired by WebMD in 1999. DMK’s content became the backbone of WebMD’s consumer health site.

About The Long Now

The Long Now Foundation was established in 01996* to provide a counterpoint to today’s accelerating culture and help make long-term thinking more common. We hope to creatively foster responsibility in the framework of the next 10,000 years.

*The Long Now Foundation uses five-digit dates, the extra zero is to solve the deca-millennium bug which will come into effect in about 8,000 years.

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