x = independently organized TED event

Theme: The Unthinkable

This event occurred on
November 11, 2012
10:00am - 10:00pm PST
(UTC -8hrs)
Santa Barbara, CA
United States

The Unthinkable theme offers a wide range of topics, issues and areas to explore. The day will span from the dark, chilling side of unimaginable events that make way for life lessons, to the bright, thought-provoking side of life-altering ideas explored for the first time.

Bacara Resort
8301 Hollister Avenue
Santa Barbara, CA, 93117
United States
See more ­T­E­Dx­American­Riviera events


Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Sheila Kelley

There exists in every woman an Erotic Creature. When Sheila Kelley discovered this sleeping giant, her life changed irrevocably. She had stumbled upon what women were missing and launched it into a worldwide sensation, ushering in the 4th wave of feminism by teaching women to own their sexuality. Let’s Get Naked is about exposing the truth and the Erotic Creature, both of which rest just beneath the surface.

Sam Krishna

At some point, we all have to deal with post-peak results stress: the great fear that we can’t or won’t top our last or best accomplishment. Presidents and CEOs have to deal with this fear when they leave their seat of executive power. Artists have to deal with this fear when their inspirational pipeline runs dry. Spouses and ex-spouses have to deal with this fear after the wedding and after the divorce. And right now, you have to deal with this fear because your next success isn’t guaranteed. In his evocative talk, Sam Krishna reveals a compass for answering the disturbing question, “Is your best day behind you?”

Pam Oslie

Science states that humans have evolved over millions of years. So have we reached the pinnacle of our abilities and our mind’s potential? Do Quantum Physics and consciousness hold the key to our evolution? Pam Oslie will explore the answers to these questions and will reveal how electro-magnetic fields, non-local mind, and parallel universes play key roles in our development.

Lissa Rankin, MD

New age gurus suggest that we can heal ourselves by simply changing our minds, but is this concept grounded in cold, hard science? Lissa Rankin, MD explores the scientific literature, reviewing case studies of spontaneous remission, as well as placebo and nocebo effect data, to prove that our thoughts powerfully affect our physiology when we believe we can get well.

Lewis Griggs

Why do so many of us focus on the story of our shortcomings? How can our uniqueness be recognized as the greatest gift we bring to one another? Through his lives and near deaths, Lewis Brown Griggs shares transformational perspectives on how our weaknesses can become our greatest strengths.

Judith Orloff, MD

Judith Orloff MD You can sabotage success by pushing too hard. Surrender is the antidote to stress in a world that relentlessly conspires to interrupt creative thought. Surrender boosts your brain’s endorphins–euphoric, opiate-like pain killers–and serotonin, a natural antidepressant that allows you to relax, have more fun, and succeed more wildly than ever before. Life becomes easier and more blissful when you can let go.

Chris Pierce

Chris Pierce believes in the “healing powers of music”. He was struck with a rare hearing disorder called Otosclerosis when in High School that led to the loss of hearing in one ear, a setback that would deter many young musicians forever. Since, Chris Pierce has shared worldwide stages with Seal, B.B. King, Al Green, Aaron Neville, Toots and the Maytals and many more refusing to let partial deafness to keep him from doing what he loves the most, make music.

Moi Navarro

Moi Navarro is an independent artist in the music industry based in Los Angeles, California. Moi has gained a prominent fan base that spans worldwide. He reaches a vast audience with his passionate music, straight-forward lyrics, and unique stories. His diversity is more than just skin-deep, as his music is interwoven with influences of funk, rock, soul, folk and jazz. Moi’s ballads are emotional and heartfelt as they tell a story and invoke tremendous feeling, portraying sincere transparency, letting you see into his soul.

Dave Wheaton

As the world seems to be spinning faster and our lives appear more and more demanding, so many of us have become task oriented “Do-ers” who’s switch is always on, leaving the overstimulated brain to run full speed ahead. This nonstop thinking can cause stress and an unconscious resistance to the natural flow of joy, wellness and creative expression. Grandmaster Dave Wheaton will share some of the life lessons he has learned in the martial arts that reduce resistance and increase flow in our daily lives.

Ron Stotts

The greatest minds throughout history agree that everything we create begins with imagination. We are currently in crisis – financial, environmental, health, relational, and spiritual – which indicates just how disconnected we have become from our inspired imagination. What keeps us shut off from our innate creative abilities? Is there a way to bypass the gatekeepers of our brain? Dr. Ron Stotts will present you with the keys to unlock those gates and access your creative genius.

Rick Schubert

Our ideas shape our lives. And none of our ideas shapes our lives more than our ideas of who we are, what philosophers call our “self-conceptions”. Many of us struggle as adults to “find ourselves,” to break free from our old, externally imposed self-conceptions and to arrive at new ones of our own choosing. But Daoism, a classical Chinese philosophy, warns us that all our concepts are cages. They impose limitation, take our freedom, cloud our vision. Some cages are more pleasant than others. But we’re better off being free. Rick Schubert explains the Daoist path to freedom; how we can use concepts to move past concepts, how we can use our cages as things to stand on so we can get a better view.

Keith Witt

Sometimes we can uplevel our lives with simple principles that apply to most situations. Two rules for guys offers men priceless guidance to happy living and improved relationships.

Matt Lynch

There is a commonly accepted myth that our health and our healing outcomes are controlled by our genes…that we are this preprogrammed blueprint that unfolds or builds as designed…that once our bodies are injured or misused we have to accept the new limitation. Matt Lynch will challenge these fundamental misconceptions, demystify the forces behind our natural healing process, and explain how our bodies actually function. He will demonstrate how, through using neural plasticity to our advantage, we can re-task our neurons to optimize our health. Be prepared to permanently change your relationship to pain and dysfunction.

B. Willing James

As an artist and writer living in the entertainment capitol of America, Los Angeles, in the midst of a social media explosion, staying patient, curious, and determined is necessary for survival, sanity, and success. So is saying yes. Brendan will speak on the challenges of staying creative and focused, developing a healthy tunnel vision, pushing your own limits, lessons from a life changing three month tour, and will share some of the music and images born from the ongoing journey.

Howard Zisser

We trust technology – from Google Maps to pacemakers – to improve our lives and ensure our safety, but technologies can fail in extreme circumstances (like last year’s Japanese nuclear disaster) or from complex software problems (like the stock market “Flash Crash”). Would you – do you – let machines run your life? Dr. Howard Zisser, a leading artificial pancreas researcher, will consider whether technologies can be trusted with round-the-clock, life-or-death responsibility.

Organizing team


Santa Barbara, CA, United States


Santa Barbara, CA, United States
  • Mark Sylvester
  • Dawn Mitcham