Follow Your Heart Action Network
It took a hurricane to wake Curtis Reliford up to the needs of people here in our own country – the wealthiest country in the world. He founded Follow Your Heart Action Network, a grass-roots, non-profit organization started after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. In his travels across this country to make deliveries of donated goods to the displaced people of Louisiana, he witnessed the needs of people on Indian Reservations, ghettos, and the poorest communities. It has been a wake up call for him.
Katherine L Reid, PhD
Katherine Reid, PhD, is an entrepreneur, biochemist, and mother of five. Through her research and trial and error, Katherine determined that certain foods common in the Western diet were associated with her daughter’s autistic behaviors. Seeing the profound effect of diet on the brain, she has become a provocateur questioning medical approaches and food manufacturing practices relating to health. Given the improvements she observed after helping families and friends transition their diets, she started a nonprofit organization, Unblind My Mind (unblindmymind.org), which educates and raises awareness on the links between food and metabolic disorders, particularly those impacting the brain. Unblind My Mind also helps people transition to a life changing diet, which can be overwhelming when plagued with chronic health issues.
Wallace J. Nichols, PhD
Scientist, Activist, Community Organizer
Dr. Wallace “J.” Nichols is a scientist, ocean advocate, community organizer, author, and dad. He takes a slow, collaborative approach with leaders in businesses, government, non-profits, and academia to inspire a deeper connection with nature. Sometimes through adventures, or simply by walking and talking. Other times through writing, images, and art. Science and knowledge can also stoke our fires. But he knows that what really moves people is feeling part of and touching something bigger than ourselves. J. is a Research Associate at California Academy of Sciences and co-founder of OceanRevolution.org, an international network of young ocean advocates, SEEtheWILD.org, a conservation travel network, GrupoTortuguero.org, an international sea turtle conservation network, and LiVBLUE.org, a global campaign to reconnect us to our water planet. He has authored and co-authored more than 50 scientific papers and reports and his work has been broadcast on NPR, BBC, PBS, National Geographic and Animal Planet and featured in Time, Newsweek, GQ, Outside Magazine, Fast Company, Scientific American, and New Scientist, among others. J. lives with his partner Dana, two daughters and some cats, dogs and chickens on California’s SLOWCOAST, a rural stretch of coastal mountains where organic strawberries rule, mountain lions roam and their motto is “In Slow We Trust.” Lately he is working on Blue Mind, merging the fields of neuropsychology and aquatic exploration to foster a deeper appreciation of the emotional and cognitive benefits of healthy waterways and oceans.
Philosopher and Theologian
Paul Lee is a retired philosopher and theologian, a homeless advocate and author. He is a graduate of Harvard Divinity School and Harvard University (PhD) where he studied with Paul Tillich and learned the meaning of thymos, the Greek word for courage that has been a guiding force for his life. He recently published: There Is A Garden In the Mind, Alan Chadwick and the Organic Movement in California. He is currently reviving his Circle Trail Project which encompasses the west side of Santa Cruz.
CEO and founder, Six Seconds
Joshua Freedman is CEO and a founder of the world’s most extensive emotional intelligence organization, Six Seconds. He leads a network of 50,000 changemakers teaching skills equipping people to be more aware, intentional, and purposeful – so people and organizations do better. Freedman is one of a handful of experts in the world with over 15 years of full-time, proven experience in emotional intelligence development. He is the bestselling author of At the Heart of Leadership and of INSIDE CHANGE, and co-author of seven psychometric assessments in 12 languages (including the SEI Brain Brief and Organizational Vital Signs), working with clients such as the US Navy, FedEx, Make A Wish, the UN, HSBC and Emaar. Freedman is one of the most prolific contributors to making the science of emotional intelligence practical and transformational.
urban designer, social catalyst, and a place making pioneer
Mark Lakeman is an unusual urban designer, social catalyst, and a place making pioneer. As founder of the design activist cultures of the City Repair Project, communitecture design collaborative, and Planet Repair Institute, Mark's work challenges conventions of thought and action, and even dares to suggest that much of history, that seems long past, may not yet be settled. His work to transform the American colonial grid into a network of intersections of convergence and cultural expression has become a movement that spans the continent. With more than 350 projects in Portland, Oregon alone, the projects emerge from communities as outrageous fusions of unheard of functions and irrepressible forms, in which design is employed as a means to bring people together. As a son of Portland, Oregon's visionary culture of design activism, Mark helps keep his city on the edge.
faculty member, Biology Department at Cabrillo College in Aptos / Senior Conservation Scientist, Oceanic Society
Nicole Crane is a faculty member in the Biology Department at Cabrillo College in Aptos, California. She is also a Senior Conservation Scientist at the Oceanic Society, and is the Project Leader for the Ulithi Marine Management and Conservation Project – focusing on outer island communities to help with sustainable management planning. Crane has more than 20 years experience working with communities and conducting ecological assessments of reefs. She is dedicated to linking rigorous science with cultural knowledge and community leadership in conservation. Nicole has established several science education programs in the United States, with a focus on serving underrepresented students. She was the founder and PI of the National Science Foundation Center for Excellence in Marine Advanced Technology Education (Monterey Peninsula College), and PI for Camp SEA Lab (California State University Monterey Bay). She was nominated for a PEW fellowship, and is a Fellow National at the Explorers Club.
Author and Documentarian
Susanna Zaraysky speaks eight languages. She is the author of Language is Music (in English, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish) about how to use music & other media to learn foreign languages and the book, Travel Happy, Budget Low (a budget travel guide). The BBC, CBS, CNN, EFE, The Guardian, Univision and Telemundo have interviewed Susanna about how to improve foreign language education with music. She hosted her own segment in Spanish on the Al Despertar morning show on Univision San Francisco called “El idioma es música” where she taught English grammar and pronunciation via songs. She is the co-producer of the documentary, Saved by Language, about how a young Bosnian boy saved his life in the Holocaust by speaking Ladino. The US State Department has organized her presentations about language learning through music in Bosnia, Kyrgyzstan, Mexico, Qatar and Russia.
Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies
Virginia Wright has been working as a director for the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelics Studies (MAPS) since October 2011. Prior to her work with MAPS, Virginia was the Principal of Wright & Associates, a firm that provided strategic planning, marketing and fundraising services to nonprofit organizations. Virginia served as the Executive Director of the Santa Cruz County Symphony, and the Development Director of the Carmel Bach Festival, and KUSP radio. Virginia was an early employee of the Global Fund for Women, and co-founded the Soviet American Performing Arts Exchange. She has participated in two international movements that have helped change the world: citizen diplomacy and the woman’s movement. She believes that ending the drug war, and basing drug policy on science, not fear, is one of the next big shifts in thinking that will bring healing and freedom to millions of people. Virginia received her MBA from Santa Clara University, and her BA from SFSU in International Relations and Russian Studies. She danced professionally in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, and currently dances for joy.