Go to the Talks page to view any of these speakers.
Tracy Lee Stum
Tracy Lee Stum is an internationally recognized American streetpainter who specializes in spectacular, interactive 3d chalk art street paintings. A visionary and master in the chalk art world, Tracy’s mind-blowing dimensional images continue to ‘wow’, inspire and amaze viewers around the globe.
Richard Dreyfuss began his acting career at the Los Angeles Jewish Community Center when he was eight years old. He acted on television in shows such as Bewitched and The Big Valley and others. He started doing features in roles of size in the early 70s such as American Graffiti, The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz and Jaws. He won the Oscar in 1978 for his performance in The Goodbye Girl. In his personal life, Dreyfuss, In 2008, founded The Dreyfuss Initiative, a nonprofit corporation formed to revive, elevate and enhance the teaching of civics in public schools grades k-12. He has also become a spokesperson on the issue of media informing policy, legislation, and public opinion, both speaking and writing to express his sentiments in favor of privacy, freedom of speech, democracy, and individual accountability.
Formerly homeless, Liz Murray transformed her life of despair into an inspiring journey of determination, hope and hard-won success. Her personal and powerful story has been featured on Oprah and made into a motion picture. Liz travels across the country inspiring people from all walks of life to succeed in the face of adversity, hardship and personal struggle.
The Buried Life
Ben Nemtin, Dave Lingwood, Duncan Penn and Jonnie Penn set out in an old RV to complete a list of “100 Things We Want To Do Before We Die,” and help out strangers along the way accomplish something their own lists. What began as a personal mission among friends has blossomed into a hit MTV show based on the lives of four young men who dedicate themselves to making peoples’ dreams come true.
Jason Russell is one of the original founders of the media-driven nonprofit Invisible Children, Inc. A graduate of USCProduction Film School, his experience in film has run the gamut – he’s co-directed a documentary seen by millions, sold his musical “Moxie” to Steven Spielberg, and served as the assistant to the director for Disney’s blockbuster Step Up 2. His revolutionary approach to humanitarian work has put Russell at the forefront of a generational movement for peace, and he continues to serve as a keynote speaker across the country, empowering youth to become more involved in the global landscape.
David Schenone is the Innovation Director for Global Footwear for NIKE, Inc. An avid runner, Schenone grew up in the Bay Area near Silicon Valley in the mid 1970s during the Bill Bowerman craze, the Co-Founder of NIKE, Inc. and former University of Oregon Track Coach. Schenone has found for over 19 years at Nike, that the best way to build a better relationship with Nike athletes is to get on their level – to endure the obstacles they face. He has competed in 18 ironman competitions and his greatest ideas of creativity and innovation come from his long runs and bike rides. Schenone’s experiences have helped him in all aspects of his job- from concept work to technologies for design in running and customization insights for NIKEiD.
Mark Hixon is a Professor of Zoology at Oregon State University who has dedicated his professional life to conserving ecosystems and species. His expertise is the ecology and conservation biology of coastal marine fishes, such as the lionfish. He speaks to pressing environmental issues (invasive species and ocean warming / acidification, respectively).
Adora Svitak is a writer of over 300 short-stories, a poet and a humanitarian who hopes to use her own success to inspire other young people to take more of an interest in reading and writing. Adora is an incredibly motivational young speaker who believes that everyone deserves the opportunities that come with literacy and a meaningful education.
A 15-year old entrepreneur who founded Pencil Bugs at age nine. He is also the author of Bitten by the Business Bug: Common Sense Tips for Business and Life from a Teen Entrepreneur at age fourteen. Jason speaks extensively and motivates young audiences with a simple but successful mantra, “Try Your Ideas.”
Patrick Ivison sustained a spinal cord injury when he was involved in a motor vehicle accident as a small child; however, that has never slowed this active teenager down. At 14-years-old, Patrick’s been a featured athlete in the US Open of Surfing, appeared on the Today Show for his inspirational outlook on life, and is a proud member of his high school surf team. Earlier this year, he also placed fourth in the Challenged Athletes Division at the Western Surfing Association (WSA) West Coast Championships. Patrick recently became a spokesperson for ThinkFirst, a national injury prevention foundation which advocates for injury prevention through education, research and policy. Each year, he also hosts a “Help Patrick Walk” Texas Hold ‘Em Poker Tournament to raise money for his treatments at Project Walk Spinal Cord Injury Recovery Center.
Josh and Nina Church
Nina Church, co-founder of Nika Water, is a rising senior at La Jolla Country Day School. In addition to being active in extracurricular clubs such as Model UN, Mock Trial, and Free the Children, Ms. Church serves as Associated Student Body President next year. Ms. Church spent this past summer working as a facilitator for Me to We trips in Kenya, and speaks nationally on behalf of Nika on the world water crisis as well as on youth empowerment.
Josh Church, co-founder of Nika Water, is a rising junior at La Jolla Country Day School. He has been an active member of student council, and is currently serving as the junior class President. Mr. Church lettered as a Varsity football athlete as a sophomore and was named MVP of the Junior Varsity team. Josh serves on the Free the Children Board of Directors, an organization of children helping children eradicate poverty, and interns at Flank Marketing. Mr. Church has been to Kenya three times to help build schools and water systems.
Alec Loorz, founder of Kids vs Global Warming, is one of the leading young voices in the US on the issue of climate change, calling the “ruling generation” to consider the needs of his and future generations in their actions. Now 17 years old and entering his senior year of high school in Ventura CA, Alec has been a climate change activist for 4 years and spoken to over 200,000 people on panels with experts, in presentations at schools, museums, conferences, and the UN and a popular keynote speaker throughout the world. Alec inspires youth to get involved in bringing about change in their families, their schools and their communities.
Cameron Johnson started his first business at the age of nine. Before graduating high school, he was recognized as one of the most successful young entrepreneurs in the world. As a teenager he started a dozen profitable businesses and at 15, he became the youngest American appointed to the board of a Tokyo-based company. Most recently, Cameron was a finalist on Oprah Winfrey’s first prime time series, The Big Give, and speaks to audiences about realizing one’s full potential and paying it forward.
Nineteen-year-old graduate of Canyon Crest Academy who started Save the Sudan Club and raised $10,000 to build a well in Africa. Because of her hard work in this club, she was featured in a photography book called RARE by Nicole Maloney, along with people such as John McCain, Cindy Crawford, and the Lost Boys. She was also named one of the 35 under-35 leaders of San Diego for the year of 2010 by the San Diego News Network.
Known for lightning-fast fingers and revolutionary playing techniques, Jake Shimabukuro is a master of the ukulele. Not only does he play styles previously “taboo” on the four-string, two-octave instrument, but he also creates music never before thought possible. While Jake has great respect and love for traditional Hawaiian ukulele music, his mission is to show everyone that the ukulele is capable of so much more.
A singer/songwriter from Australia on an eternal quest to write the song that touches that chord in everyone. He tries to breakdown stereotypes for young aspiring musicians (i.e. there is no direct link between trashing hotels and making good music). Coulter carved his first guitar from a eucalyptus tree and set out to bring an end to the raging roo/koala feud with songs promoting social justice, good times and the simple joys of life.