x = independently organized TED event

Theme: Smaller Towns, Bigger Thinking

This event occurred on
August 18, 2019
12:00pm - 5:00pm PDT
(UTC -7hrs)
Skyforest, California
United States

Join us Sunday August 18th for an interactive event and Live Recording for Let's talk about Nature, Resiliency, and Growth! TEDxSkyforest presents you a diverse line-up of eleven speakers brought together by LOVE for Smaller Towns and PASSION for Bigger Thinking.

More than half of humanity is living in Big Cities today. All except for a diminishing sliver of us are connected by the internet and global politics. What does the world look like from the perspective of a Smaller Town today? What impact has TECHNOLOGY and ENTERTAINMENT had on Smaller Towns? How can we DESIGN Smaller Towns for Bigger Thinking?

General Admission: $100
Student & Educator Admission: $35
Promotional Admission: $65 to $80

Admission includes TEDxSkyforest's interactive event and Live Recording for taking place at Skypark at Santa's Village as well as a weekend full X+ Adventure. Whether you are local or visiting, transform TEDxSkyforest into a memorable gettaway in the San Bernardino Mountains.


SkyPark at Santa's Village
28950 Highway 18
Skyforest, California, 92385
United States
Event type:
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See more ­T­E­Dx­Skyforest events


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

Aaron Michael Pyne

business mentor + healer
Aaron’s mission is to help others to live more conscious, creative, and connected lives in contribution to a larger scale evolutionary healing. He carries a gift for bridging spirituality, meditation, healing, digital design, and business to assist individuals and organizations to discover their unrealized potential. Aaron calls the San Bernardino Mountains home from Lake Gregory and tends communities elsewhere in CA and the Midwest. He is often in amazement of his 7 year old daughter, enjoys hiking and is passionate about mythology and mysticism.

Andrew Techmeier

coach + listener
More than a decade of professional golf caddying has empowered Andy to shift his coaching practice off the golf course and into hearts and minds. Andrew has traveled the world empowering people to perform at the highest level. He is passionate about positivity, productivity, intimacy, joy and authenticity. His passion for inquiry is contagious and his commitment to human development inspires many.

Gabriel Santos

paleontologist + cosplayer
Gabriel Santos is a born and raised SoCal scientist. He started out his career in paleontology studying weird marine mammals while getting his masters in Geology at Cal State Fullerton. Now he spends his days talking about fossils as the collections manager and outreach coordinator for the Alf Museum in Los Angeles, California. Lately, Gabe has shifted his focus to science education and communication. When not talking specifically about science in his usual wardrobe, he likes to talk about science in cosplay as a co-founder of the Cosplay for Science Initiative, a STEAM-powered science education initiative that uses pop-culture narratives and cosplay to teach science and change people’s perceptions of scientists.

Jared Stephens

community builder + entrpreneur
A friend of people, animals, and robots - Jared is a firm believer in a better future of our earth. He arrived in the San Bernardino Mountains earlier this year and enjoys spending time with the community and trees! Jared has sold multiple websites before the age of 24, and his entrepreneurship has enabled him to live in 40+ homes across the planet. His mission in fueled by the belief that love is the connection that will bring harmony to humans, nature, and technology.

Jehan Izhar

kinesiologist + performance coach
Jehan Izhar (known on stage as Jypsy Wild) is an internationally recognized aerial circus performer, movement coach, and business owner. She has degrees in both theater and exercise science and over a decade of experience teaching human movement - from rehabilitative exercise to performance enhancement. Jehan was one of the first athletic coaches in the world to develop accredited, sport specific training programs for pole and aerial dancers. Jehan teaches movement science courses around the world, and when she is not traveling, you can find her at her home studio in Pomona, CA. Jehan uses community theater to empower, inspire, support and connect people around the production of original performing arts shows, every season! Jehan is a tireless mentor, passionate performer, dedicated teacher, and adventurous soul. Her mission is to give as many people as she can a moment to be celebrated under the spotlights.

Mandy Krzeminski

occupational therapist + child advocate
A parent and business owner, Mandy has called the mountains home for nearly 15 years. Her private pediatric occupational therapy practice, The Silly Room, is located in Rimforest, CA. She focuses on helping children from the local San Bernardino mountains develop and maintain the skills necessary to thrive socially, emotionally, and academically. Mandy utilizes her credentials in occupational therapy and kinesiology to impact students in local schools and communities, as well. She enjoys having four seasons in the mountains and being among a network of friends regularly supporting each other. Mandy attributes her successful therapeutic outcomes to several advanced certifications, but her generous spirit and contagious positivity distinguish her from other practitioners.

Michelle Markel

hiker + public lands advocate
Michelle (known on trail as SuperClassy) launched in 2017 to encourage recreational usage of and advocacy for public lands. She is an avid hiker with more than 6,000 miles of experience, and is on track to be the first Polynesian American to complete the Appalachian Trail, Continental Divide Trail and Pacific Crest Trail. Michelle is dedicated to increasing diversity, equity, and inclusion in the backcountry. When she is not tackling a long trail, she can typically be found exploring and van-dwelling somewhere on our 850 million acres of public lands. Stay tuned to her SuperClassyAdventures on YouTube, and enjoy the public lands near you soon!

Natasha Gordon

community advocate + researcher
A big-hearted, big thinker, Natasha is a local parent and psychology undergrad at Cal State University San Bernardino. She is passionate about mental health and community wellness. Natasha presented her research on resilience to the Western Psychological Association earlier this year. She is the first person in her family to attend college and she’s not quitting until she’s Dr. Gordon. Her dream is to test, develop, and write animated television shows using her knowledge of psychological principles of intervention in order to reach children who may not otherwise be given counseling.

Nathan Hidajat

student + podcaster
Nathan is an artist, passionate about martial arts and the outdoors. Community-minded and research-savvy, Nathan has raised over $7,000 selling his artwork for social justice causes and regularly produces a podcast about health and wellbeing. His goal is to empower as many people as possible through Scrubcaps: A Health and Medical Podcast where he talks about everything from Snapchat dysmorphia to aromatherapy. Nathan is a member of the class of 2021 at Rim of the World High School in the San Bernardino Mountains. His ambition is to help educate people on how to be happier and healthier; both physically AND mentally!

Rico Tarver

entrepreneur + community advocate
A big thinker from a small town, Rico attended school in Chicago and now calls California home. He is a serial entrepreneur with a firm footing in the rapidly expanding global cannabis industry. Rico is a founding member of National Diversity and Inclusion Cannabis Alliance (NDICA) and was named among High Times’ 100 Most Influential People of 2018. He brings a lifetime of character building and a decade of corporate finance experience into his endeavors. It was a cancer scare that helped him fully transition into cannabusiness, where he is an advocate for social justice, equity and inclusion. His dream is to wake up in a world marinating in authenticity.

Ryan Matthews

dog lover + business coach
Decorated veteran, gifted dog trainer and inspiring entrepreneur, Ryan’s mission in life is to share his gifts and talents to positively transform the lives of others. He began his dog training career in 2002, while in the US Army, training and handling elite Military Working Dogs (MWDs). Following his passion for dogs and seeing them unleash their potential, he published The Art of Dog Training. To complement the publication, Ryan created an eLearning platform with more than 130 supportive dog training videos. Ryan is also passionate about improving the lives of dogs, undertaking community projects to free dogs of pain, reduce the likelihood of life-threatening illnesses, and decrease the number of dogs in rescue shelters. Ryan hopes to further impact the health and wellbeing of dogs with natural canine supplements. Earlier this year, Ryan’s dog Zeus became the first dog to perform tricks on a TEDx stage.

Steven Rubio

musician + producer
Steven is a local musician, music producer, and drum instructor, with over 20 years of percussive experience. From an early age, he was heavily influenced by his family of musicians and their passion for music. In high school, he gained invaluable experience drumming in an award-winning concert, marching, and jazz band. He attended Musicians Institute in Los Angeles and graduated with an Associate's Degree in Music Performance. Within a 10-year period, Steven performed at 70 different venues with 25 bands across 3 countries. Born in the San Bernardino Mountains, Steven has called it home again for five years and enjoys living among nature. He is passionate about vegan lifestyle, practices yoga and enjoys jamming on his guitar with friends.

Organizing team


Skyforest, CA, United States
  • Angie Baker
  • Jaden Powell
  • Jared Stephens
    Team member
  • Jehan Izhar
    Team member
  • Mandy Krzeminski
    Team member
  • Ryan Matthews
    Team member
  • Solange Quarshie
  • Steven Rubio
    Team member