A nanoscientist and professional athlete, Grant Korgan has never shied away from a challenge. After breaking is back in an extreme snowmobiling injury, Grant began an extraordinary journey of recovery, the first year of which inspired his book, Two Feet Back. Through hard work, positivity and love Grant has regained the ability to walk with two canes. On January 17, 2012 he became the first person with a spinal cord injury to push himself the final degree of latitude (80 miles) to the geographical South Pole – providing a powerful metaphor – that regardless of ability or perceived disability we can all come to the awareness that we can achieve our limitless potential. Fueled by a lifelong desire to make a positive impact on the world, Grant now shares his story and inspiring words of empowerment and unflagging positivity with audiences around the country.
Shane Koyczan and the Short Story Long
Poet, author and performer, Shane Koyczan, wowed the world at opening ceremonies for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics where an audience of more than 1 billion people worldwide heard his piece “We Are More.”
He has published three books: Stickboy, Our Deathbeds Will Be Thirsty and Visiting Hours.
Shane breathes life into the new genre of talk rock with his band the Short Story Long. The band creates a musical backdrop that blends folk, classical and rock to emphasize Shane’s powerful words. They have released two albums. The most recent album includes the viral hit “To This Day,” which explores the anguish of anyone who grew up feeling different or just a little bit alone. To bring visual life to this image-rich poem, Shane invited artists from around the world to contribute 20-second segments of animation to the project. Posted on YouTube on February 19, 2013, by the close of the month the video had been viewed 6 million times.
Shane Koyczan and Short Story Long Band Members: Shane Koyczan (spoken word), Olivia Mennell (keys and vocals), Jordie Robinson (cello and vocals), Jesse Lee (bass and vocals), Maiya Robbie (guitar and vocals).
Jerome Jarre loves life like crazy! In 2009, Jerome dropped out business school and officially started life. Within the next few days, Jerome moved alone to China and created his first startup. Ever since then, Jerome hasn’t stopped moving, trying, failing, changing. In January 2013, while launching his new software company in Toronto, Jerome discovered Vine and felt like Picasso finding his paintbrush. This is the tool he needed to fulfill his ambitions and to reach out to the world. Jerome believes that anyone can make anything happen and he is living proof of that. His new startup GrapeStory finds and helps talented mobile content artists. The startup is evolving how advertisements for Fortune 500 are created and perceived via mobile media platforms. Gaining over 3 million followers on Vine and 1 million on Facebook within the past 6 months, it looks like Jerome’s journey is just beginning.
An award-winning actor, director, and the founder of FortyMagnolias Productions, Anne Gottlieb co-created and co-produced the world premiere of The Wrestling Patient, a play based on the writings of Dutch diarist, Etty Hillesum and her spiritual transformation before her death in Auschwitz. The five-year research and development on the project led to an on-going inquiry and exploration into human identity and the capacity of the mind to imprison or liberate regardless of conditions. These discoveries have informed her unique approach to presence and creativity work with global and business leaders. Her 20 years of work on stage has earned her numerous awards and honors including the 2011 Eliot Norton for Outstanding Actress. Anne teaches acting on the faculty of the Michael Chekhov Association and is a Resident Scholar at the Women’s Studies Research Center at Brandeis University. She resides in Boston and New York with her husband, Robert Pemberton.
Entering his third year at the University of California, Los Angeles, David Joseph is the co-founder and Overseas Director of the Northern Uganda Medical Mission (NUMEM). He founded NUMEM, now a fully developed health center, with six Ugandan clinicians, in order to address the deplorable status of healthcare in the district of Pader. He and the organization use a strictly community-based approach to develop an innovative, sustainable and quality healthcare model. David is a member of the Clinton Global Initiative University, and received the first ever UCLA Global Citizens Fellowship to implement his groundbreaking “Rural Emergency Medical Communications System.” David believes that developing NUMEM is not an act of help or charity, but rather an act of humanity, an act of loving another human being the way a human being deserves to be loved. He hopes to continue to practice this philosophy by pursuing a career in medicine.
A high school senior at Canyon Crest Academy in San Diego, Eric Chen was recently recognized as the 2013 Google Science Fair Grand Prize Winner. He fell in love with science at an early age, and began doing research at the age of fifteen. His recent work focuses on combining computer models and biological assays to speed up drug discovery of new influenza medicine. One hope of his is that this computer-aided strategy can be applied to speed up discovery of lifesaving medicine for other diseases as well. Eric also runs an outreach program for the sciences, getting younger students interested through hands-on experience. Eric participates in the Biology, Math, and Physics Olympiads, and in his free time enjoys fencing, reading, and card games.
Retta, Noah and Alexis Beery
Retta Beery’s twins, Noah and Alexis, were born with a neurologic disorder. Through research and advocacy, Retta discovered that her twins were misdiagnosed and then, eight years later, would use whole genome sequencing to give an exact diagnosis with additional treatment that saved Noah and Alexis’s lives. The Beery family now speaks around the world at medical, scientific, research, and political conferences on patient advocacy and diagnostics tools they believe will change the future of medicine. Their story has been featured on NOVA, The Today Show, Good Morning America, PBS, etc. and is also in a new exhibit at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC. They recently founded a non-profit focused on patient advocacy and education.
Stacey started her first business, MySocialCloud, an internet security and password storage company, with her brother when she was 18. A few months later, they raised $1 million from Sir Richard Branson, Jerry Murdock and Alex Welch for MySocialCloud. Two years later (and after a lot of handwork on the part of the MySocialCloud team), MySocialCloud was acquired by Reputation.com. Now, she is working on a non-profit, 2 Billion Under 20, that helps young people pursue their passion by giving them the resources and network they need to do so.
After taking just one introductory programming class at his Wisconsin high school, Andrew Aude had enough exposure to teach himself iOS programming. Each summer since then, he has worked as a professional app developer for various tech companies. He now attends Stanford University and studies Computer Science. During the school year, he works as a TA for Stanford’s introductory programming classes.
Youth entrepreneur, author, and speaker, Michael Costigan was the recipient of a Youth Venture Grant from Ashoka in 2007 for his work as a young entrepreneur at madFusion. Starting in 2008 Michael became an active columnist for RadicalParenting.com where he writes advice for parents from a young person’s perspective and the Entrepreneur Magazine owned property, YoungEntrepreneur.com where he writes on various business and startup topics. In 2011 Michael was named ‘Young Business Leader of the Year’ by the National Financial Educators Council and featured on NPR. Beginning in 2013 he became a contributor for the online version of Inc Magazine as well as Entrepreneur.com. Michael is a member of the Young Entrepreneur Council.
Upon graduating from the Anderson School of Management at UCLA with his MBA, Matthew Emerzian became a prominent SVP of a major music marketing company, working with the biggest artists in the world. He was “on the top of the heap” as they say, but felt like he was at the bottom of the world. He was empty. Realizing he spent his career focused on everything that didn’t matter… fame and fortune… he set out to change it by creating a life focused on making the world a better place. This new purpose not only transformed his life, but it became the inspiration for his book, Every Monday Matters – 52 Ways to Make a Difference. Based on the idea that “people matter,” today, Every Monday Matters is an organization that is changing the face of Mondays, transforming hundreds-of-thousands of lives, and positively impacting the world… one Monday at a time.
An award-winning television and film teacher at Canyon Crest Academy, Mark Raines, is passionate about helping students find and share their voice through film. He was named National New Teacher of the Year by the Association for Career and Technical Education in 2008 and also received teaching recognition from the Toyota International Teacher Program, USAToday, and the Radio Shack National Teacher Award. For the past 14 years, Mark has been the executive producer of a weekly student-produced television broadcast along with hundreds of student films and videos, often showcased in the nation’s largest film festivals, including the LA Film Festival, the All-American High School Film Festival, and the National Film Festival for Talented Youth. Before becoming a teacher. Mark spent eight years as a television anchor and reporter. Mark also serves as a mentor and leader for various youth programs, including local youth and adult Bible study programs.
As an operations scientist, Leslie Lipkaman has “lived” on Mars for the past 10 years, spending 8 years operating imaging cameras on two Mars orbiters and 2 years working on and operating cameras on the current Mars rover, Curiosity. She spent 3 months at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory living on “Mars time” after Curiosity landed in August of 2012 monitoring the health and safety of 4 imaging cameras as well as commanding the cameras to acquire images. Leslie earned a bachelor’s degree from Purdue University in geology and a master’s degree from SUNY Buffalo in planetary geology studying a small volcano in the Southern Hemisphere of Mars called Tyrhenna Patera.
Dr. Satchin Panda, Ph.D.
A scientist at the Salk Institute, Satchin Panda studies how biological clocks or circadian rhythms tunes physiology, metabolism and brain function. Dr. Panda’s research has shown how thousands of genes in every cell from neuron to hair follicle turn on and off at specific times of the day. This gene orchestra dictates the optimum times for everything from athletic performance, shaving, taking any medicine to cramming for an exam. His research has found flipping a light switch or taking a snack bite at a certain time can reset the circadian clocks. This discovery points to new lifestyle changes that can potentially improve health and prevent chronic diseases by changing a light bulb or timing breakfast and dinner.
Derick Tsai founded Magnus Rex Studio as an attempt to push past his own self-imposed boundaries and turn his personal creative potential into reality. That founding spirit has continued as Magnus Rex has gone on to develop content for film, TV, gaming and the web for clients such as Marvel, Nike, Android, and The History Channel. In 2013 Magnus Rex debuted “RE:INVENT”, an original book about career and creative reinvention at San Diego Comic Con 2013. Derick is currently venturing into original content by developing his project “Mythika” as an episodic animation and graphic novel.
A freshman and AB Scholar at Duke University, Brittany Wenger is dual majoring in biology and computer science and conducting research in an epigenetic ovarian cancer lab. Wenger began studying neural networks when she was in the seventh grade. And in 2012, she won the grand prize of the second Google Science Fair for her project, “Global Neural Network Cloud Service for Breast Cancer.” Brittany’s resulting Cloud4Cancer service aids in early detection and diagnosis of breast cancer. And because it is delivered as a cloud service, Cloud4Cancer is built to support usage by every hospital in the world. Recently, Cloud4Cancer has been extended to manage leukemia diagnostics. Not only detecting aggressive cancers, it can also recommend which proteins may be candidates for drug targeting in the future.
A Human Sexuality educator and consultant, Al Vernacchio teaches at Friends’ Central School in Wynnewood, PA. He is the Upper School Sexuality Educator, teaches in the English department, and is one of the faculty advisors for the Gay-Straight Alliance.
Al has lectured, published articles, and offered workshops throughout the country on sexuality topics. His work was featured in “Teaching Good Sex”, a November, 2011 cover story of The New York Times Magazine. In addition, Al is a TED Talk speaker and his blog, “For Goodness Sex”, can be found on the Psychology Today website.
Al earned his BA in Theology from St. Joseph’s University and his Masters in Human Sexuality Education from the University of Pennsylvania.
Sometimes CEO. Sometimes Executive Producer. Sometimes dance party instigator – Shabnam Mogharabi wears many hats! At SoulPancake, Shabnam and her colleagues produce daily video content for YouTube (Kid President!), create awesomeness for TV, and can sell any brand in a fun, uplifting way. Basically, SoulPancake content will help you open your heart without feeling like an idiot – something she is very proud of! A long time journalist (translation: she likes a good story), Shabnam says you can probably blame deforestation on her severe magazine subscription addiction (hey, that rhymed!).
As a research scientist at the NASA Ames Research Center; Jonathan Trent recently started a grass-roots movement called “Global Research into Energy and the Environment at NASA” (GREEN) in which he developed OMEGA. OMEGA is an ocean-going photobioreactor system to grow algae for making biofuels, food, fertilizer, and other useful products, while treating wastewater and sequestering carbon.
Jonathan earned his Ph.D. in marine biology at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and conducted postdoctoral research at the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry in Germany, the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, and the University of Paris in France. He also worked at Boyer Center for Molecular Medicine at Yale Medical School and Argonne National Laboratory. Jonathan is an adjunct professor at UC Santa Cruz and a fellow of the California Academy of Sciences. Jonathan’s research has ranged from marine biology to molecular medicine, from astrobiology to nanotechnology.
Jonathan Trent will not be representing NASA or the US Government in his TEDxYouth@SanDiego talk.
At age 15 Jack created a novel paper sensor that detects pancreatic, ovarian, and lung cancer in 5 minutes – for as little as 3 cents. He conducted his research at Johns Hopkins University and his groundbreaking work led to recognition as the winner of the Gordon E. Moore award at Intel International Science and Engineering Fair and the Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award. President Obama named him a Champion of Change for his work to break down scientific journal paywalls, and he was Mrs. Obama’s guest at the State of the Union Address.
Jack is currently in high school in Maryland and he’s working with a team of teens (Gen Z) on the Qualcomm Foundation Tricorder X Prize. He is an internationally acclaimed speaker, traveling all over the world sharing his thoughts about open access, STEM education and universal Internet availability. He is also on the national junior wildwater kayaking team.
Beatboxer, guitar player and singer-songwriter, Julia Dales is from Ottawa, Canada. At age six Julia discovered and began to master the art of vocal percussion. Today, using an RC-50 loop pedal to combine her skills, Julia is able to layer vocal instruments and guitar riffs to become a one-girl band on stage. Her videos on YouTube have garnered over nine million views and have been recognized by celebrities including Ashton Kutcher and Justin Timberlake. She has appeared on iCarly and MTV and hosts the Canadian children’s television show Beats in Bites which teaches its viewers how to beatbox. She is now finishing her undergraduate degree in history and hopes to pursue a career in law.
A graduate of Canyon Crest Academy and founding member of the TEDxYouth@SanDiego organizing team, Brian is a junior studying Human Services and Social Justice at The George Washington University in Washington, DC. Passionate about collecting stories, helping others and the power of ideas, he brings this passion to life as the organizer of TEDxFoggyBottom. In 2013, Brian orchestrated an interactive installation of Candy Chang’s “Before I Die” wall on the GW campus – providing students and the community a public forum to share their dreams and aspirations. His enthusiasm for chocolate milk and Batman is second only to community service and making people smile. Brian loves stars in the night sky, when the lights go out at a concert, and striving to change the world, one day at a time.
An aspiring product designer, Eden Full is interested in human-centered, appropriate technology for the developing world. She is the inventor of the SunSaluter, a low-cost mechanism that optimizes solar panels while providing clean water. The SunSaluter won the Westly Prize, Mashable/UN Foundation Startups for Social Good Challenge. Named one of the 30 under 30 in Forbes’ Energy category two years in a row (2012 and 2013) and Ashoka’s Youth Social Entrepreneur of the Year, Eden is a junior in Mechanical Engineering at Princeton University. She also took a gap year as part of the Thiel Fellowship’s inaugural class. While at Princeton, Eden helped launch the social innovation movement on campus by starting and curating TEDxPrincetonU. After coxing for the Princeton lightweight women, Eden was selected to be the coxswain for the 2012 Rowing Canada Aviron senior women’s development team. Proudly Canadian, she was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta.
Shaka Senghor is a writer and mentor whose story of redemption has inspired young adults across the nation. Shaka was recently selected as a MIT Media Lab Fellow and is the recipient of the Knight Foundation’s 2012 BMe (Black Male Engagement) Leadership Award. Senghor will also be teaching at the University of Michigan winter of 2014. While serving 19 years in prison, Senghor discovered his love for writing. He has written six books, including a new memoir about his life in prison, Writing My Wrongs. He is the author of the detective series Crack: Volume 1 and Crack: Volume 2, and most recently published a book of his writings entitled Live in Peace: A Youth Guide to Turning Hurt into Hope, a companion piece to his mentoring program.
Matt Wolf is a 2009 graduate from UCSB with a major in Literature and Japanese. He is a writer and Kung Fu and Tai Chi instructor. His debut novel, The Knife’s Edge, a young adult epic fantasy, was published in 2013, and Matt has is close to completing book two in the series. His passion for the hero’s journey, his knowledge of Japanese language, and his interest in the martial arts appear in most of his works of fiction.
Founder and Executive Director of The Meditation Initiative, Jeffrey Zlotnik, has led free meditation since 2003 for more than 12,000 people. He began meditating in 1996, while working with abused teens and noticed tremendous change in their attitude after meditation. In 1997, he received his BA in Psychology from the University of Arizona. He has a consulting background working with SAP, Siebel, Oracle and RDR, and coached youth baseball for 15 years. He has led free meditation for Homeless Teens, K-12 Public Schools, Juvenile Detention Facilities, Federal and State Prisons, Diabetes Patients, Thiel Foundation, Wikimedia, KPBS, HIV Patients, Seniors Centers, United States Military, Wounded Warriors, UCSD, Susan G. Komen, Braille Institute, Jewish Family Services, Catholic Charities, Christian Youth Groups and Group Homes for Victims of Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking. He views meditation as a daily practice of mindfulness laying the foundation for a happier and healthier life.
Believing there is magic in all of us- individually and collectively- Martina Gray offers her yoga students the opportunity to align mind, body and spirit, which ultimately, can connect them with that peaceful, magical place within. Martina’s fascination with yoga began in Denver nearly a decade ago. After a surprisingly dynamic class at a new studio, she was hooked! – her body felt challenged, her spirit warmed, and her mind expanded. She began practicing regularly and this evolved into teaching. She has over 300 Registered Teacher Training hours and adds several trainings a year to her experience. Martina currently teaches at CorePower Yoga and co-owns Sunshine Yoga in San Elijo Hills (San Marcos) which opens January 2014. Off the mat, Martina’s a mama – she’s married with one sparkly little girl. She has a degree in photography and loves music, the outdoors and traveling.Program is subject to change without notice.