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


"[TEDxSkyforest] was fun, interactive and informative."

"I was exposed to points of view that I am not normally exposed to... It was fascinating and the location was gorgeous. "

"TED and TEDx talks are potentially life-changing. I think we all learn a lot from these kinds of events, especially if we can see them firsthand."

"Good mix of speakers!"

"Ideas have a way of sparking other ideas."

"Awesome event... amazing to be outside and under the trees."

8/18/19: Let's talk about Nature, Resiliency, and Growth! TEDxSkyforest presents a diverse line-up of 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?

2020 UPDATE: There is no production scheduled at this time. TEDxSkyforest continues to welcome volunteers as well as prospective sponsors and potential speakers. Connect with us @TEDxSkyforest and let's support #glocal community together!

SkyPark at Santa's Village
28950 Highway 18
Skyforest, California, 92385
United States
Event type:
Standard (What is this?)
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.

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

movement coach + theater producer
Jehan Izhar (known on stage as Jypsy Wild) is an internationally recognized aerial circus performer, movement coach, and live theater producer. She has degrees in both dramatic arts and exercise science as well as 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. She teaches movement science courses around the world, and when she is not traveling, you can find her producing original black box circus shows at her home studio in Pomona, CA. Jehan uses community theater & social circus to empower, inspire and connect people and their communities. She 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
Mandy Krzeminski is an occupational therapist with nearly 15-years-experience working with special needs children and their families. Mandy has a private practice in Rimforest, California, where she helps children of all ages develop and maintain the skills necessary to thrive socially, emotionally, and academically. Mandy works with K-6 teachers using innovative, movement-based programs. Mandy has a bachelor’s degree in Biokinesiology from Chapman University and a master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from Midwestern University. She is registered by the National Board of Occupational Therapy and is licensed by the California Board of Occupational Therapy. She also holds certifications for Ayers Sensory Integration Theory, the Sensory Integration and Praxis Test (SIPT), and for several programs by Advanced Brain Technologies.

Michelle Markel

long-distance hiker + public lands advocate
Michelle AKA SuperClassy launched in 2017 to raise awareness of and advocate for our public lands. With more than 8,000 trail miles, she is poised to become the first female Pacific Islander to complete the Triple Crown of US hiking: the Appalachian, Pacific Crest, and Continental Divide National Scenic Trails. Michelle is passionate about getting people into the backcountry, and dedicated to promoting diversity and equity in outdoor recreation. 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. You can follow her on her YouTube channel SuperClassyAdventures, but she’d rather you get outside and enjoy your own adventures on our public lands!

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 Lamitte

A serial entrepreneurial leader in the global cannabis industry, Rico Lamitte in his TEDx Talk “The Man Behind The Mask: 3 Times Cannabis Saved My Life”, shares his personal journey from a traumatic childhood, college athletics and opioid addiction to rehabilitation through authenticity and entrepreneurship rooted in plant medicine. Rico was a co-founder of National Diversity and Inclusion Cannabis Alliance (NDICA). He actively assists several nationwide social impact organizations with their own community initiatives in the same vein. Rico also helps companies on both sides of the cannabis industry (plant-touching and ancillary) with their marketing and sales efforts through his consultative outfit, The Suave Life, LLC, traveling everywhere the green waves of opportunity take him. Along the way, he has hosted, emceed, and produced events of all sizes for celebrities, professional athletes, and investors looking to get into the green lane; effectively becoming the hub for all interested parties both in and outside of big cannabis, CBD, and hemp industries. His multi-location monthly wellness series, CBD Sundays, has rapidly become a regional hotspot for active, health & wellness-minded individuals, combining the three pillars of wellness, nourishment, and community. The CBD Sundays platform is active in multiple states with a philosophy built upon mirroring and celebrating each location’s unique demographic footprint and educating attendees on the benefits of plant medicine, alternative healing, and living a more balanced life. Learn more about Rico here: The Suave Life, LLC: CBD Sundays: ttps:// CannaGather Los Angeles: CannaGather Orange County:

Ryan Matthews

dog trainer + 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 Canine Connection. 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