Rachel Pike works at venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson, where she invests in clean technology and mobile companies. Prior to joining DFJ, Rachel completed her Ph.D. in atmospheric chemistry at the University of Cambridge. During her time there, Rachel served as President of the Gates Scholars community, worked on a field campaign in Malaysia, and gave a short TED University talk on the scale of scientific research behind climate headlines. Previously, Rachel earned a B.A. in chemistry and a minor in African studies at Northwestern University. As an undergraduate, Rachel co-founded Fusion dance company, which has since become the largest dance company on campus. She also spent a year in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where she gained experience working on a Bus Rapid Transit planning project as an assistant consultant.
Tess Dunn’s voice has been described as passionate, real and “gorgeously raspy.” Dubbed in the media as “the young and the fearless,” this sixteen-year-old singer-songwriter from Santa Cruz writes songs that “…delve into deeper and darker spaces than the pop stars of her time.” Diagnosed with cystic fibrosis (CF), diabetes and epilepsy, Tess faces issues of mortality that infuse her music and lyrics with richness and haunting depth. Pursuing her musical dreams at a dizzying pace, Tess performs throughout the Bay Area (including at the Vans Warped Tour shows at Shoreline Amphitheatre), and has opened for artists including Karla Bonoff, Iris DeMent and Nina Storey and released her first album, “Darling Just Walk,” in 2009. Tess says that living with CF is “…like having a clock ticking over your head, but it has a way of putting things in perspective,” and her music explores issues of love and trust. An affecting advocate for anyone battling life’s challenges, Tess encourages others to shake off self-pity and to live fully. To listen to Tess is to be inspired.
social scientist, attorney, and author
Riane Eisler is a social scientist, attorney, and author whose work on cultural transformation has inspired both scholars and social activists. Her research has impacted many fields, including history, economics, psychology, sociology, and education. She has been a leader in the movement for peace, sustainability, and economic equity, and her pioneering work in human rights has expanded the focus of international organizations to include the rights of women and children. Dr. Eisler is President of the Center for Partnership Studies and internationally known for her bestseller The Chalice and The Blade: Our History, Our Future, now in 25 languages. Her newest book, The Real Wealth of Nations: Creating a Caring Economics proposes a new approach to economics that gives visibility and value to the most essential human work: the work of caring for people and nature.
While studying music and getting his BA at Evergreen State College, WA, Jeff became fascinated with the art of luthiery. During a one-year apprenticeship in Santa Cruz, he knew he was hooked, and decided to pursue of career in guitar repair and construction. In a nine-year period, Jeff cofounded a local music store, did guitar repair, and worked for a local guitar company; this gave him the foundation to open Jeff Traugott Guitars in 1991. Jeff’s work has given him the opportunity to become part of a larger community of musicians and instrument makers worldwide. His customers span the globe from Egypt and Romania to Indonesia and Japan. He loves the idea that at any given moment one of his guitars is being played on stage at a jazz club in Tokyo or is part of a father daughter duet in a living room in Arizona.
Coach and Organizer of Aztecas Soccer Program
As an adolescent, Gina Castaneda experienced intervals of homelessness and even lived in a car for a period of time with her mother. Despite the adversities of growing up in a violent neighborhood and a violent home, Gina avoided gang entrenchment. In April 2008, Gina founded the Aztecas Soccer Program for Latino juvenile probationers who affiliate with both Norteño and Sureño gangs. As the coach and organizer, Gina has successfully managed to assimilate these opposing gangs into teammates, on and off the field.
Founder and Executive Director of Little Kids Rock
Dave Wish is the Founder and Executive Director of Little Kids Rock, a nonprofit organization that funds and runs one of the largest, free instrumental music programs in the U.S. public schools. Little Kids Rock is also a leading provider of free instruments and curriculum. Mr. Wish has initiated and managed the launch of campaigns to restore and revitalize music education for over 150,000 low-income children in eleven states. His work has been highlighted by a number of national and local media outlets including CNN Headline News, Time Magazine, MTV, A&E, The Dr. Phil Show and National Public Radio. Mr. Wish is a recognized social entrepreneur and has been awarded numerous honors for his work in the field, including fellowships from Ashoka, the Draper Richards Foundation, The Goldhirsh Foundation and the Kenneth A. Picerne Foundation.
Rev. Deborah L. Johnson
Rev. Deborah L. Johnson is the founder of Inner Light Ministries in Santa Cruz, and The Motivational Institute, an organizational development consulting firm specializing in cross-cultural relations. A dynamic speaker and trainer known for bringing clarity to complex issues, she is a popular facilitator for progressive think tanks working at the intersections of religion, sexuality, social justice, and public policy. Author of The Sacred Yes and Your Deepest Intent, Rev. Johnson is an inductee into the Board of Preachers of the Martin Luther King Jr. Chapel at Morehouse College honoring clergy for their lifetime social justice work She received the 2011 Tony Hill Award in Santa Cruz County for her efforts to build bridges across diverse communities. A faculty member of UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Management’s Executive Leadership Diversity Institute, Rev. Johnson holds a BA from USC, an MBA from UCLA, and a ministerial degree from the Holmes Institute
Rebecca Costa is a sociobiologist who offers a genetic explanation for current events, emerging trends and individual behavior. A thought-leader and provocative new voice, Costa examines “the big picture”– tracing everything from terrorism, crime on Wall Street, epidemic obesity and upheaval in the Middle East to its evolutionary origins. Retiring at the zenith of her executive career in Silicon Valley, Costa spent six years researching and writing The Watchman’s Rattle: Thinking Our Way Out of Extinction. The success of Costa’s book led to a syndicated weekly radio program in 2010 called The Costa Report. A former CEO and founder of one of the largest marketing firms in Silicon Valley, Costa developed an extensive track record of introducing new technologies.
After graduating Augusta State University, with highest honors, Bruce picked up and moved directly to Santa Cruz where he began a decades-long career creating paintings, sculpture, and performance art in Santa Cruz and the surrounding Bay Area. Having abandoned painting in the 80s and 90s for the immediacy of the moment in dance and theater works, Bruce has discovered the equally mesmerizing dance of immediacy: trying to capture a changing landscape on canvas. He was one of the first recipients of the Gail Rich award in 1998. In addition to painting, his media include projection design, set design, and dance theater. His work has been exhibited and honored in many venues in the bay area, including SF MOMA, Cabrillo College, UCSC, Henry Mello Center, Santa Clara University, Laney College, Santa Cruz Art League, The Bulkhead Gallery, Dancing Man Gallery, Davenport Gallery, and more.