Author, speaker, futurist and innovator who specializes in developing and unleashing creativity, Erwin Raphael McManus is an iconoclast known as a cultural pioneer for his integration of creativity and spirituality. Engaging such issues as culture, creativity, change, and leadership, Erwin is widely known as a thought-provoking communicator. His travels have taken him to over 50 countries and he has spoken to over a million people.
Dr. Tererai Trent grew up in a cattle-herding family in rural Rhodesia (now known as Zimbabwe) and dreamed of getting an education, but limited by cultural practices and a war that liberated her country, she was married with 3 children by the time she was 18. Undeterred by traditional roles and cultural norms, Tererai taught herself to read and write from her brother’s schoolbooks. From those humble beginnings, Tererai has become a world-renowned scholar, humanitarian, motivational speaker, educator, mentor, leading the global charge in the fight for quality education for all children.
Described as “A Talent of the Next Generation”, Natasha Tsakos is known for pioneering ways of integrating technology with live performance. She is a conceptual director, interactive designer, idea generator and performer from Geneva, Switzerland now residing in the US, and the president of NTiD, inc: a creative powerhouse dedicated to inspiring and activating imagination through theatrical experiences. Natasha has created and produced 9 multimedia shows, 10 commercial and independent short films, has spoken at the TED conference, IBM Summit, Tribeca Film Festival: Imagination Day.
Mallika Chopra is a mom, media entrepreneur, and published author. She is the founder of Intent.com, a website focused on personal, social and global wellness. Her intent is to harness the power of social media to connect people from around the world to improve their own lives, their communities and the planet. Mallika learned about the power of intention at a young age from her father, Deepak Chopra, who taught her to ask for love, hope, purpose, passion, inspiration on a daily basis.
John Iversen is a UCSD neuroscientist studying music, language and the brain in an effort to understand how we perceive rhythm, and how musical rhythm can be used in medicine. John is also directing the SIMPHONY project, an ambitious collaborative longitudinal study of the impact of music training on brain and behavioral development. By night he’s the co-founder of San Diego Taiko, a group dedicated to sharing the dynamic energy of Japanese taiko drumming with the community.
As the founder and CEO of Everyone Counts, Lori Steele Contorer is the world’s top expert in election modernization, pioneering the adoption of software as a service and bringing proven state of the art technologies, already proven in other mission–critical industries, to make elections more accessible, affordable, transparent and secure. Lori has led successful election administration and voting projects in countries including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Bosnia & Herzegovina, and Australia.
Stephon Alexander is the EE Just Professor at Dartmouth College of Natural Sciences, Physics and Astronomy, focusing on theoretical cosmology, quantum gravity and particle physics, and a National Geographic Emerging Explorer. Stephon has studied at Brown University and conducted postodoctoral research at Imperial College, London and at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Laboratory. He also plays jazz saxophone and sees improvisation as an extension of his scholarship.
Before becoming Dean of The Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, Patricia Márquez was a professor at IESA Business School in Caracas, Venezuela. She was the Cisneros Scholar at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies (DRCLAS) at Harvard University and visiting professor at Harvard Business School for the academic year 2005-2006. She has taught graduate and executive education courses on Leadership and Organizational Behavior, Business Initiatives at the Base-of-the-Pyramid, Corporate Social Responsibility and Social Enterprise.
Stephen Cobb has been researching computer security and data privacy for more than 20 years, advising companies, consumers, and government agencies on the protection of sensitive data and systems. Cobb has been a CISSP since 1996 and currently leads a San Diego-based research team for security software maker ESET. He is also working on an MSc. in Criminology at the University of Leicester in England.
Dalouge Smith is in his 10th season leading the San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory. He’s transformed SDYS into a community instigator for restoring and strengthening music education in schools, and in 2010 began its first community music program inspired by Venezuela’s El Sistema. Dalouge has served as a national leader in the U.S. El Sistema movement since co-founding the National El Sistema Network in December 2010 and convening the first summit of El Sistema inspired programs in 2011.
Yao Huang is a highly entrepreneurial executive who works with businesses and start-ups in many industries with a focus on technology, assisting with revenue and funding. Yao founded The Hatchery, a venture collaboration organization instrumental in developing the New York technology ecosystem, and leads the Hatchery’s enterprise incubator in New York building products with corporate partners — from ideation, development, sales, funding to exit. The Hatchery looks to change the way companies are built anchoring in customers first.
Almis Udrys began his career evaluating and improving state government operations at the California State Auditor’s office and then continued as a health care policy consultant for the State Legislature. More recently, while serving in various advisory roles at the City of San Diego, Almis has delivered results on issues including open data, water diversification, strategic planning, economic development, and infrastructure funding.
The San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory’s Chamber Orchestra, led by Music Director Jeff Edmons, is a pre-professional, artist-level ensemble comprising principal and assistant principal musicians from the youth symphony’s most advanced program. This orchestra performs a professional level repertoire unique to this type of ensemble from multiple historic periods for both string orchestra and full chamber orchestra and is the resident Chamber Orchestra at La Jolla Music Society, performing two concerts during their 2015-16 season.
Besos de Coco featuring Gilbert Castellanos
An eclectic ensemble comprised of Lorraine Castellanos, a classical guitarist and jazz vocalist, Evona Wascinski, an upright bassist, Claudia Gomez, a tap percussionist, and Gilbert Castellanos , a jazz trumpeter, brings audiences a fresh and intense sound that maintains its roots in the romantic music of the old-world Mediterranean, Latin American, and Jazz traditions.
Young Lions of Jazz
Gilbert Castellanos presents the future of Jazz. Armed with immense talent, discipline, and professionalism, these junior high and high school musicians are setting the pace and keeping America’s Classical Music—Jazz— alive and well! These students meet weekly as an ensemble to work on jazz standards, learn jazz theory, develop their own improvisational style and hone their performance skills. Mentoring young jazz players is a passion and a practical issue for Castellanos, and he will bring the best and brightest to the stage.
“my poems emerge from the dark of you meeting i. then there is something more than light. there is life.” Silvi Alcivar received her MFA in Creative Nonfiction writing from The Pennsylvania State University and earned a BA in English and Women’s Studies, with a focus on fine art, from the College Scholar program at Cornell University. Her work has been published in online journals, Poets 11 (a collection of poems edited by Jack Hirschman), and her “Broke-Ass Manifesto” is featured in Broke-Ass Stuart‘s latest book.