This year’s TED Conference will be a Mini Epstein reunion

The TED Conference kicks off this Sunday in Vancouver, with more than 1,000 powerful brokerages gathering to pitch ideas that shook the world. But between futurists and physicists and artists, the sold-out event will also function as a reunion of late sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s ties.

According to a separate app that lists the conference’s attendees and speakers, part of which was revealed to The Daily Beast, those accused of having ties to Epstein include Bill Gates, the former MIT Media Lab director Joi Ito (listed as a remote attendee), Elon Musk, Google founder Sergey Brin, computer scientist Danny Hillis, and former Gates advisor Boris Nikolic, who was pointed out designated as backup executor in Epstein’s will and last will.

The breadth of connections demonstrates just how influential Epstein was in the years before he was found dead in a Manhattan cell in 2019.

Each person has a different degree of closeness to Epstein. For example, Gates has met the disgraced financier several times, as The Daily Beast previously reported. Hillis, meanwhile, had known Epstein in the years before his 2008 guilty plea; This pairing is used to talk about currency trading. “He has what a physicist calls physical intuition,” says Hillis New York magazine about Epstein’s investment prowess in 2002. That year, Epstein’s accomplice Ghislaine Maxwell sent packages via FedEx to a number of people including Hillis, according to testimony at the social site’s criminal trial. British Council in December 2021.

The scientist also met him as recently as 2015, according to a 2020 report from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Epstein’s connections and contributions to the school.

Epstein himself attended TED conferences for many years, including in 2002 and 2011, and at least managed to mingle with attendees in 2013. In the early 2000s, TED coincided with a “dinner” of billionaires,” the Edge Foundation’s ultra-exclusive, run by agent John Brockman, which Epstein and his inner circle attended. “TED is hard to get in, but Jeffrey can show up with 11 people and they’ll all get through,” a former regular at the conference told The Daily Beast, adding that the multi-millionaire brought along an entourage of young women, along with assistant Sarah Kellen and former model Kelly Bovino among them.

Indeed, several of Epstein’s acquaintances claim to have met him at TED. When Nathan Myhrvold, a former Microsoft chief technology officer, was asked about his relationship with Epstein in 2019, his spokesman said Vanity Fair: “Epstein used to regularly attend TED conferences and he was a major funder of basic science research, so while Nathan knew him and interacted with him, that was it. Exactly where their relationship ended.”

The MIT report also states that Linda Stone – a longtime associate of Epstein, a former Microsoft executive and a member of the Advisory Board of the MIT Media Lab – introduced the financier to Ito at TED in February. 2013. However, the document adds that “several witnesses to Epstein’s “Declaration” were barred from attending TED Conferences by conference organizers; and so Epstein met people in the hallways or in the hotel lobby. “

The individuals mentioned in this story did not respond to emails about whether they will be attending this year’s conference, let alone Hillis, who confirmed he will be there.

The event is still very exclusive. Membership at TED (assuming one’s application is accepted) starts at $5,000. A $250,000 option includes five years of membership, a concierge service, and an extra opportunity to mingle with the speakers.

This year’s five-day event began with appearances by the likes of Pulitzer Prize winner Gary Kasparov, Alison Killing and Olympian Allyson Felix, and ended with a “farewell picnic”.

The conference is unlikely to highlight the controversial associations of some of its members.

Bill Gates is listed as a speaker on the TED 2022 website, although he is not on the conference’s announcement schedule. (TED did not respond to an email requesting clarification.) The billionaire previously spoke at TED in 2015 about the potential dangers of a global pandemic.

Gates’ Epstein links are now well documented. They are said to have first met at the tycoon’s New York City townhouse, three years after Epstein pleaded guilty to soliciting prostitution from a minor.

The couple remained in touch; Gates even chartered a trip to Florida on Epstein’s private jet in 2013, like New York Times reported in 2019. (His spokesman asserted that he did not know Epstein owned the plane.)

Sources have previously told The Daily Beast that Gates would love to stand trial at Epstein’s Manhattan lair, where he was allegedly a way out of his “toxic” marriage. According to the former Gates Foundation employee, the high-powered philanthropist also hopes that the wealthy sex offender can help him win the Nobel Peace Prize.

Gates’ ex-wife, Melinda, said in a television interview last month that his meetings with Epstein were partly to blame for the breakdown of their marriage. She claims she met Epstein “once” and immediately determined that he was “disgusting”.

Nikolic, a former Gates adviser, also spent time with Epstein and is said to have acted as an intermediary between the two men. The biotech venture capitalist met Epstein through Melanie Walker, a neuroscientist who worked at the Gates Foundation starting in 2006.

The Times released a photo of Nikolic at Epstein’s New York mansion in 2011. He posed for the photo with Gates, then JPMorgan chief executive Jes Staley, and former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers.

Days before Epstein’s death in 2019, he signed a will and last will naming Nikolic as backup executor for his roughly $600 million estate. Nikolic declined to take the position, saying he was “shocked” to learn his name was on the document.

Nikolic said in a statement: “I was not consulted on these matters and I do not intend to complete these assignments.

For his part, Musk met Epstein at a dinner event a few years ago hosted by LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman. He admits Vanity Fair that he went to Epstein’s house for about half an hour, but said he did so at the urging of his ex-wife, who was “curious to meet this stranger for a novel she was writing.”

Another report in Insider suggested that Epstein ensnared Musk’s brother with a woman in an attempt to get closer to the billionaire. That report also alleges that Epstein received a private tour at Musk’s rocket company, SpaceX, a claim Musk has denied.

Musk is said to have attended a dinner event with Epstein in California in 2011, along with Sergey Brin and other tech celebrities. No wonder: they gathered for a TED conference.

As for Ito, the entrepreneur resigned from MIT’s Media Lab in the fall of 2019, as Epstein’s donations and access to prestigious universities came under closer scrutiny. (Ito isn’t the only MIT researcher to have enjoyed Epstein’s generosity. The late computer scientist Marvin Minsky received at least $100,000 from Epstein for his research, and professor Seth Lloyd, who did his research. visited Epstein while he was working in Florida in 2008, posted at least $225,000.)

Ito endorsed Epstein as a sponsor of the Media Lab after meeting him at TED in 2013, and between that time and 2017, the financier has made six donations totaling 525,000 dollars. Ito “hopes that Epstein can donate millions,” the MIT report on Epstein said.

In 2018, Ito tried unsuccessfully to get $1.5 million from Epstein to fund research by Media Lab scientist Caleb Harper, who created a “personal food computer.” ” but doesn’t seem to work as advertised. Harper spoke to TED about his device in 2015, and the video of the event has since been removed from TED’s website.

Ito attended meetings with Epstein, one of which featured actor Woody Allen, and visited several of his homes. Epstein will also fund two of Ito’s personal projects, providing $250,000 to a company set up to commercialize technology created at the school and putting $1 million in a private equity fund. $9 million run by Ito.

The MIT report indicates that Ito claimed that “Epstein’s investments were being held in ‘escrow’ and that he was attempting to ‘withdraw’ Epstein’s funds from those projects.”

The sex predator also claimed in 2014 to have arranged anonymous multi-million dollar donations to MIT from his billionaire friends: Gates and hedge fund investor Leon Black. Gates denies ever giving money at Epstein’s request, while Black has not commented on the allegation.

Days after Epstein committed suicide in prison in August 2019, Ito published a small quote on the MIT website. “I met Epstein in 2013 at a conference through a trusted business friend and, in my fundraising effort for the MIT Media Lab, I invited him to the Lab and visit several places in the country. his,” Ito said in the statement. “I want you to know that in all my interactions with Epstein, I have never been involved, never heard him speak about it and have never seen any evidence of terrorist acts. damn he was accused.”

Before stepping down, Ito also vowed to “donate an equal amount” of Epstein’s donations, which he said he would give to charities supporting human trafficking survivors. The Daily Beast could not immediately confirm whether he was following.

Ito is currently a consultant at the Complex Intervention Center, which is funded by a company Ito co-founded, the Reid Hoffman Foundation and the Sergey Brin Family Foundation. Hoffman also apologized for transferring Epstein’s money to MIT.

However, Ito may have trouble returning. When the Twitter account @TEDpartners shared a post tagging him in January, users started stroking the pundit’s Epstein donations. “Get rid of the pedo launderers or expect a total boycott,” one person replied. Another observer wondered, “um… why are you promoting people associated with Epstein? Is that the future everyone wants? ”

And in a sign that TED understands optics badly, the Twitter post was later deleted. This year’s TED Conference will be a Mini Epstein reunion

Russell Falcon

Russell Falcon is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Russell Falcon joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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