Since the age of four, Adora has been exploring what she can do with the written word. Hoping to instill her love of writing in others, she taught her first class at an elementary school the year her first book, Flying Fingers, debuted; since then, she has spoken at hundreds of schools and conferences around the world. In 2010, she delivered the speech “What Adults Can Learn from Kids” at TED. The speech received over 3.3 million views and has been translated into over 40 different languages. Adora has written widely, including opinion pieces and contributions to poetry anthologies. Excerpts from her speeches have been included in textbooks around the world. Adora will be a freshman at UC Berkeley in the fall.
Libby Norcross is the founder and owner of Libbydoodle, where she designs and sells her own handmade works of art. As a child, Libby could never let a guest leave her family home until she had drawn them a picture. Now, as the owner of Libbydoodle, she is overjoyed to encourage people around the world with her original hand-drawn quotes and doodles. When she’s not making art, Libby is a full-time Flight Director and Science Educator at a Challenger Learning Center in Normal, IL., where she spends her time educating children and other visitors about space travel. Libby is best known for her avid crafting skills, her quirky presence on social media and her consuming fascination with all things related to outer space.
Valerie Coleman Morris is a former CNN domestic and international business anchor, Peabody Award winner, three-time Emmy Award winning journalist, and creator of the long running national radio column “With the Family in Mind” on CBS Network Radio. Morris is a professor in the Multimedia Communications Department at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California and an author. Her first book, “IT’S YOUR MONEY SO TAKE IT PERSONALLY®”, provides doable, incremental ways for individuals and families to start “banking on the future”: building wealth and passing it on to the next generation.
James Sanders is the founder and executive director of the Future Ready Schools foundation and an entrepreneur in residence at KIPP Bay Area Schools. Before starting Future Ready Schools, James served as a White House Presidential Innovation Fellow, supporting the President’s education agenda. While working for the Obama Administration, James founded the White House Film Festival, showcasing student use of technology. In 2012, James co-founded ClassBadges, an online tool that allows teachers to award digital badges to students. James’ career in education began in 2007 as a Teach for America corps member. James is from Port Townsend, WA and currently lives in Fremont, California.
For the last 25 years, Richard Hilleman has soldered cables, copied disks, built copy protection, mastered and manufactured more than 200 titles, in addition to starting and running the first Ethernet and Internet in the business. Starting with Chuck Yeager’s Flight Simulator, he helped build a broad range of simulators and driving games on 8 and 16 bit computers at Electronic Arts along with the first Genesis, Madden and NHL titles. He was named GM of organizations in San Mateo, Origin Systems and the U.K. His final product line was the Tiger Woods driving game. Since 2000, Richard has been teaching master production classes inside EA and contributing to university programs around the world. In 2008, he became Chief Creative Director for the company.
Jake Lowenstern is a research geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park, CA. He serves as Scientist-in-Charge of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory. He studies the interaction of magmas and their overlying hydrothermal systems at Yellowstone and elsewhere, and has published about 100 scientific articles. A 1986 graduate of Dartmouth College, he spent the following year on a Fulbright fellowship to Catania Sicily (Italy). He later earned an M.S. and Ph.D. at Stanford University, finishing in 1992, followed by a year at the Geological Survey of Japan. He started with the USGS in Menlo Park, CA in 1993. His research has brought him to many interesting volcanoes around the world.
Dr. Spencer Klein studies the most violent events in the universe – exploding stars, supermassive black holes, and the like – using an unusual tool – neutrinos. Neutrinos are the least interacting particles known, able to escape from dense matter, even from the center of the Sun. Because they interact so rarely, enormous detectors are required for this study. IceCube uses a cubic kilometer of Antarctic ice to search for these cosmic neutrinos, while the future ARIANNA detector will instrument 100 cubic kilometers. Dr. Klein received his PhD from Stanford University, and has more than 20 years’ experience studying diverse aspects of particle, nuclear and astro-physics. He is currently a senior scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and a research physicist at UC Berkeley and is a fellow of the American Physical Society.
Leila Jade Valencia
Leila Jade Valencia a 10-year-old fifth grader from San Diego, CA, who is renowned for her Brazilian Jiu Jitsu skills. She is a four-time Kid’s World Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Champion and a four-time Grappling X gold medalist, as well as a title belt holder for the North American Grappling Association expert level division in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Leila is a classically trained dancer and featured soloist in Dance & Company’s annual production. In her spare time, Leila participates in community outreach programs such as Locks of Love and Adopt-A-Family.
Tom Duterme was born in Belgium and moved to America during his childhood. A graduate of MIT Sloan, he’s lived in various parts of the America, France, Belgium, Japan and China. He lived in Beijing for 7 years where he became fluent in mandarin. He’s advised and worked with a number of startups as well as Google. Tom has worn many professional hats: engineer, sales, consultant, business development, M&A negotiator and angel investor. Personally, he enjoys being a dad, playing music, making art, meditation and teaching Tai Chi. He is also co-founder of International Sun Tai Chi Association. He believes Burning Man is about way more than just playing in the desert for a week.
Kevin Urban is an actor and personal brander from New York City. Kevin helps actors, performers and entrepreneurs to establish their own personal brand, which in turn helps them with their own ventures. Although he originally concentrated on branding actors, Kevin broadened his clientele after realizing that everyone can benefit from understanding how they are perceived in society.
As an actor, Kevin has performed in theater productions, television shows, films, and commercials. Kevin has taught at PACE University, New York Conservatory of Dramatic Arts, New York Film Academy, and at The Savvy Actor Inc., the latter of which he co-founded.
18-year-old Adrianna Svitak employs over a decade’s worth of experience in piano and violin to create artistic experiences influenced by classical music and the avant-garde. She has also co-published a poetry book “Dancing Fingers” with her sister Adora. For piano, she has received many awards from competitions and has performed internationally at events including Ciudad de Las Ideas and the INK Conference. On violin, Adrianna held the position of “concert-mistress” of her school orchestra. In 9th grade, she was concertmistress of the Junior All-State Orchestra in Washington. Following that, Adrianna participated in WMEA All-State and WMEA All-NorthWest. Since 2010, she has performed at an array of TEDx conferences.
Jay Alexander is a highly-skilled performer who engages audiences with his blend of comedy, magic, lie detection and speed math. Celebrities like Robin Williams and members of the Rolling Stones, as well as many Fortune 100 companies, book Jay for events year after year. He has appeared on the Today Show, Good Morning America, MTV and is a favorite on many morning shows.
Jay Alexander is the great-grandson of the legendary vaudeville performer Gentleman Ben Darwin. As a child, Jay found a trunk in his grandparents’ attic filled with magic tricks. His interest in magic took off from there. At the age of fourteen, Jay was honored to be the youngest recipient of the Society of American Magicians Gold Medal of Honor.
Casey Dilloway was born and raised on the island of Maui before moving to Seattle. He graduated from the University of Washington with a BA in business before returning to school to earn an MBA in Sustainable Business from the Bainbridge Graduate Institute at Pinchot, one of the first sustainable business schools in the country. Most recently, Casey co-founded Community Sourced Capital; a social purpose corporation that helps small businesses borrow money directly from people in their own community. For the past two years, he also helped teach social entrepreneurship at Pinchot. Casey lives in Seattle with his partner Shane.
Rossella Fabbri, aka Professora Lua, first experienced Capoeira in the late 1980’s on the streets of New York City. Having come from a dance and sports background, she was instantly mesmerized by the diversity of movement, which seemed to combine the rhythmic and intense momentum of a warrior with the agility and grace of a dancer. Professora Lua has been a student of Mestre Caxias of Grupo Capoeira Brasil since 1993. Her Capoeira knowledge and abilities are recognized internationally. In addition to leading her own branches of Grupo Capoeira Brazil - New York, one of which resides at New York University, and giving master classes throughout the US, Professora Lua reaches out to teach Capoeira to at-risk youth throughout the New York City public school system.
Lisa was first drawn to the movement arts at a young age for their sense of expression and loving power. She is now a 200-hr RYT certified by Mark Stephens of Santa Cruz Yoga and a certified HoopDance Trainer by Hoopgirl, Inc. Her classes focus on finding a place of grace and empowering students to discover a greater sense of self-awareness, acceptance, well-being, and self-love. Her guidance as an Energy Intuitive and Life-Path Coach invites her clients to explore the infinity of their souls, leaving them feeling more peaceful and connected. In addition to guiding yoga movements at Yoga @ Cindy’s in Sunnyvale, Lisa also teaches classes throughout the Bay Area.