Tamara is an independent filmmaker, trauma counselor, and change maker based in Berkeley, CA. She co-founded Niroga, bringing yoga and meditation into juvenile halls and prisons. Expanding upon her vision of creating tools for change, she founded Apple of Discord Productions in 2006, producing media that inspire dialogue, empower and provide voice for vulnerable communities. Tamara developed programs that train at-risk youth and incarcerated men in filmmaking as a transformational tool. Her documentary, Life After Life, began when a group of incarcerated men leading a self-help program in San Quentin asked Tamara to tell their story. She has spoken on prison issues and human rights at agencies and universities such as Equal Justice Society, Houston Institute, and Stanford Law. In 2010, Tamara received NCCD’s Media for a Just Society Award.
Lee Mun Wah is an internationally renowned Chinese American documentary filmmaker, author, poet, Asian folk teller, educator, community therapist and master diversity trainer. He is the Founder and Executive Director of StirFry Seminars & Consulting, a diversity training company that provides educational tools and workshops on cross-cultural communication and awareness, mindful facilitation, and conflict mediation techniques. His most famous film about racism, The Color of Fear, won the Gold Medal for Best Social Studies Documentary and in 1995, Oprah Winfrey did a one-hour special on the film and Lee Mun Wah’s life. In 2013, he will be releasing his latest film, If These Halls Could Talk, which focuses on college students speaking their truth about racism and other diversity issues in higher education and beyond.
Roy is a 5th generation Vermonter living in California and working as an entrepreneur in the non-profit field. He is also the ex-world record holder for the most high fives in a 24 hour period. In 2006, as an aspiring pro skier, a training jump changed Roy's life forever when he overshot a jump, fracturing the T-12 vertebrae of his spine. The accident was a life-changing event as Roy had to rely on adaptive equipment to relearn to walk and eventually to ski. However, the day of the crash was not a day of negative chaos for Roy as it spawned the creation of the High Fives Foundation – an experience of positive chaos in his life. Roy currently resides in Truckee, CA with his wife Michelle, where his days are filled with high fives, golfing, biking, and mastering the art of shoveling snow.
Spencer Nilsen is the co-founder of Illumina Studios and passionate about storytelling. As a designer, artist, producer and musician, raised by culturally engaged parents in the San Francisco Bay Area, he’s learned to remain open minded, trust his instincts, and be ready to use any and all forms of media to convey the essence of every unique “story”. In the 1990’s Spencer was head of music at game giant, SEGA, where he composed and produced original soundtracks for some of the most popular games in history, including Sonic the Hedgehog CD, Batman Returns, Ecco the Dolphin, Jurassic Park, Spider-man and many others. From 2006 through 2011 Spencer was president of Ex’pression College where he inspired students and faculty alike to explore the boundaries of their imagination and creativity. He is the married father of two grown children and lives with his wife, Claire, in Marin County, CA.
Tomáš Jech is a professional animator in the videogames industry. He currently holds the position of Senior Animator at Riot Games on League of Legends. Prior to joining Riot, he has interned in animation at Pixar, animated on Halo: Reach at Bungie Studios, and was an animator at Blizzard Entertainment. Throughout his career, Tomáš has had the great fortune to work alongside some of the most talented creative professionals in the world. But creative work is always a struggle, and innovation comes with a host of fears and insecurities to overcome. Tomáš travels all over the United States sharing the lessons that help him deal with insecurity directly and maintain an innovative environment in the ever-changing industry of game development.
Rafael Flores is an award-winning activist, educator and filmmaker of Mexican-Lithuanian decent. He is a Phi Beta Kappa Scholar who holds a Masters of Fine Arts from San Francisco State University specializing in third world cinema, directing, screenwriting, and post-production. He is the Director of Arts & Expression at Youth UpRising, and co-founder of Green Eyed Media, a production company that represents Indigenous, Latino, and African-American artists who are dedicated to improving public health, environmental justice, and cultural equity. His work has been praised internationally by various institutions that
include The White House, Writer’s Guild Theater of America, London Guardian, Cannes Independent Film Festival, Mexico International Film Festival, and Golden Lion Film Festival in Mozambique, Swaziland, Lesotho and South Africa.
Alexis Koefoed is a female farmer living in Northern California. She has been farming for ten years and developed one of the most successful pastured poultry farms for egg and meat production in California. Her innovation and expertise in farming poultry and using social media have been skills she continues to share with other aspiring farmers and agricultural related businesses. These days she continues to farm but has stepped away from pastured poultry production to focus on redesigning the farm into one with more diversity. She continues to explore ways to grow and become a more flexible farmer as customer demands and climate change put new pressures on farming as a business. She is looking for more interactive way for the public to engage in the story of farms and the reality of rebuilding a farming culture.
Matthias Wagner reinvents industries by coming from the left field and disrupting them in unusual ways. His diverse background gives him an entrepreneurial tool kit that allows him to push the envelope beyond ordinary imagination. His unique accomplishments range from gaming the music industry by creating a song that made over half a billion dollars in revenue, to founding and running a company of 50+ employees that revolutionized the out-of-home display space, to utilizing computer programming skills geared toward cost-effective solutions on a massive scale. These diverse skills have allowed him to create his own brand of formula for success, and provide a strong basis for his future entrepreneurial endeavors.
Jaimeo Brown (pronounced jah-mayo) has established himself as one of the preeminent composers and drummers on the New York music scene and has worked with Stevie Wonder, Carlos Santana, Q-Tip, Carl Craig, and Bobby Hutcherson. Inspired by the Gee’s Bend spirituals of Alabama, Jaimeo’s band Transcendence, featuring tenor saxophonist J.D. Allen and guitarist and co-producer Chris Sholar, combines some of the earliest forms of African American music with contemporary music with cutting edge technology to produce a revolutionary unique experience world wide. As a jazz ambassador for the U.S. State Department, Jaimeo gained extensive experience performing and educating various audiences from Europe, Asia and Africa. Jaimeo contributed music for PBS’s original film production of Ralph Ellison’s King of The Bingo Game and the acclaimed documentary Twenty Feet From Stardom. Jaimeo received his master’s degree from Rutgers University.
Karen Stackpole is an audio engineer, educator, writer, and drummer/percussionist who specializes in gongs. Since 1991, she has incorporated gongs into her life and music and has cultivated some distinctive techniques for drawing harmonics out of tam tams with various implements. She specializes in dynamic soundscapes and textures and is active in the experimental music scene, and also contributes gong sounds to more conventional musical genres including source material for film soundtracks. Over the years she has delved deeply into the vibrational healing powers of gongs, which are tremendous vehicles of transcendence and alignment. Her latest endeavor, Machine Shop: Live Amplified Gong Experience, is a duo with audio engineer Drew Webster that brings the intensity of gongs to a new level. This performance piece uses amplification and subtle processing to enhance the natural and complex harmonics of these amazing instruments while effectively translating the full vibrations into larger spaces.
Ann Dyer is Director of The Vak Project, a creative presenting, performing and educational initiative committed to awakening the public’s experience of sound and voice. Dyer began her career as a progressive jazz vocalist earning recognition from The New York Times, Village Voice, International Herald Tribune and more. For the past eighteen years she has engaged in the study of Indian classical music and the use of sound within the yoga tradition. Dyer’s work now centers on the experiential nature of sound from the crossroads of ancient Indian philosophy and modern culture. Her most recent work, a commission by San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, is a year-long project exploring “sound and self” through public programs and the creation of the full-length, interdisciplinary concert piece “Vak: Song of Becoming” featuring the recently formed Vak Choir of “everyday voices.”