Our Summit Speakers
Mental Health Advocate; founder of Wuf Shanti Children's Wellness Foundation
Teen mental health education advocate, Adam Avin, created the Wuf Shanti Children's Wellness Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit organization, to teach mindfulness and social emotional learning, so children 3-17 can live in health and wellness & peace and positivity.
Adam also founded the Kids' Association for Mindfulness in Education, and co-founded the international online Mindful Kids Peace Summit.
Adam is certified in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction for Teens, Kidding Around Yoga, and the Emotion Code.
He also recently gave a [email protected] Talk and was the keynote speaker for the Broward Mental Health Summit.
Author, Teacher and Speaker
Bayo Akómoláfé (Ph.D.), rooted with the Yoruba people in a more-than-human world, is the father to Alethea and Kyah, the grateful life-partner to Ije, son and brother.
A widely celebrated international speaker, posthumanist thinker, poet, teacher, public intellectual, essayist, and author of two books, These Wilds Beyond our Fences: Letters to My Daughter on Humanity’s Search for Home and We Will Tell our Own Story: The Lions of Africa Speak.
Bayo Akómoláfé is the Chief Curator of The Emergence Network and host of the online postactivist course, ‘We Will dance with Mountains’.
Essayist, educator, producer & human rights activist
Belvie Rooks is an essayist, educator, producer and human rights activist whose work and vision weaves the worlds of spirituality, feminism, ecology, cosmology and social justice.
One of the inspirational and transformational milestones in her life was the privilege of meeting a very young, 29 year-old Martin Luther King, Jr., as a teenager, at an American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) weekend retreat. Belvie and her husband, poet Dedan Gills (1945-2015) have had the privilege of working with, mentoring and engaging in intergenerational collaboration with some of the country's most amazing and innovative social justice activists.
Her writings have appeared in numerous publications and anthologies including: Sacred Poems and Prayers in Praise of Life; The Same River Twice: Honoring the Difficulty edited by Alice Walker; My Soul is a Witness: African American Women's Spirituality.
Growing a Global Heart Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/growingaglobalheart
Belvie and Pseads: https://www.pseads.org/legacy/
Director of the Third Story at Human Energy, a non-profit public benefit organization
Brian Thomas Swimme is Director of the Third Story at Human Energy, a nonprofit public benefit organization, and professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies in the Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness program in San Francisco.
His published work includes the popular YouTube video series, "The Story of the Noosphere," written with Monica DeRaspe-Bolles and produced by Devin O'Dea. (www.humanenergy.io)
Planetary Health Fellow, Stanford University, Creator of Gen Dread and Author
Dr. Britt Wray is a Human and Planetary Health Postdoctoral Fellow at the Stanford Center for Innovation in Global Health, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
Her research focuses on the mental health impacts of climate change. She is the creator of the weekly newsletter about “staying sane in the climate crisis” Gen Dread (gendread.substack.com) and author of Generation Dread: Finding Purpose in an Age of Climate Crisis, a book that investigates the psychological underpinnings and impacts of the climate crisis (Knopf 2022).
She has hosted several podcasts, TV and radio programs with the BBC and CBC, and is a TED speaker.
CHIA-YING CHOU, PhD
Clinical Psychologist and Director at San Francisco Center for Compassion-Focused Therapies
Chia-Ying Chou, PhD is a clinical psychologist and director at the San Francisco Center for Compassion-Focused Therapies (SFCompassion), a group psychotherapy practice in California specializing in hoarding and other challenging mental health experiences.
As a a specialist in hoarding and trauma, Dr. Chou’s clinical and research interest focus on the connection between difficult life experiences and the blocks and fears of letting go and letting in.
Dr. Chou provides training and consultation for clinicians on hoarding and Compassion-Focused Therapy (CFT) worldwide. With the support of the founder of CFT, Dr. Paul Gilbert, she created a 20-week CFT group protocol tailored for hoarding. Her recently finished YouTube series provides self-help resources based on this protocol.
Her and her team at SFCompassion found a program, Better Treatment for Hoarding, where clinicians, researchers, and advocates come together to bring forth public education, support, and research about hoarding.
Dr. CHRIS GERMER, PhD
Clinical Psychologist, lecturer in psychiatry
Dr. Chris Germer, PhD is a clinical psychologist and lecturer on psychiatry (part-time) at Harvard Medical School. He co-developed the Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC) program with Kristin Neff in 2010 and they wrote two books, The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook and Teaching the Mindful Self-Compassion Program.
MSC has been taught to over 200,000 people worldwide. Dr. Germer is also the author of The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion; he co-edited two influential volumes on therapy, Mindfulness and Psychotherapy, and Wisdom and Compassion in Psychotherapy; and he maintains a small psychotherapy practice in Massachusetts, USA.
Founder & Executive Director of Force of Nature
Clover Hogan is a 22-year-old climate activist, researcher on eco-anxiety, and the founding Executive Director of Force
of Nature - a youth nonprofit mobilising mindsets for climate action. Clover has worked alongside the world’s leading authorities on sustainability, consulted within the boardrooms of Fortune 500 companies, and supported students in over 50 countries to realise their power as change-makers.
Clover has taken the stage with corporate giants including the CEOs of P&G, Twitter and YouTube; alongside global change-makers such as Jane Goodall, Vandana Shiva and Paul Hawken; and interviewed the 14th Dalai Lama.
Clover is also director and host of the Force of Nature podcast. Season 2, We
need to talk about eco-anxiety, explores the intersection of youth mental health and the climate crisis: from food, to fashion, and the role of media in driving climate doomism.
Executive, Director of the Mindsight Institute
Dan Siegel, M.D., is a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine and the founding co-director of the Mindful Awareness Research Center at UCLA.
He is also the executive director of the Mindsight Institute, which focuses on the development of mindsight, which teaches insight, empathy, and integration in individuals, families and communities.
Dr. Siegel has published extensively for both the professional and lay audiences. His four New York Times bestsellers are Mind: A Journey to the Heart of Being Human, Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain, and two books with Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D.: The Whole-Brain Child and No-Drama Discipline.
His other books include The Developing Mind (2nd Ed.), The Pocket Guide to Interpersonal Neurobiology, Mindsight, The Mindful Brain, The Mindful Therapist, The Yes Brain (also with Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D.), and his upcoming book Aware (2018).
Dr. Siegel also serves as the founding editor for the Norton Professional Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology, which contains over sixty textbooks.
Trauma professional, educator and best-selling author
David Treleaven is a writer, educator, and trauma professional working at the intersection of mindfulness and trauma.
He is the author of the acclaimed book Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness and founder of the Trauma-Sensitive Mindfulness (TSM) Community—a group of practitioners committed to setting a standard of care through mindfulness-based practices, interventions, and programs.
His work has been adopted into multiple mindfulness teacher training programs around the world, including UCLA’s Mindful Awareness Research Center, and he's an Advisory Board Member for the Mindfulness Center at Brown University.
Founder and Executive Director of Homeboy Industries & best-selling author
Rev. Gregory J. Boyle, S.J. is the Founder and Executive Director of Homeboy Industries. Father Gregory Boyle was born in Los Angeles and is one of eight children.
He entered the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in 1972 and was ordained a priest in 1984. He received his BA in English from Gonzaga University, an MA in English from Loyola Marymount University and advanced theology degrees from The Weston School of Theology and the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley.
He has taught at Loyola High School in Los Angeles; was chaplain in the Islas Marias Penal Colony in Mexico and at Folsom prison and worked with Christian Base Communities in Cochabamba, Bolivia.
He was appointed pastor of Dolores Mission Church in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles in 1986 where he served through 1992. Homeboy Industries was born in 1988 and is now the largest gang intervention, re-hab and re-entry program in the United States.
Father Greg is the author of the New York Times Bestselling book, Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion.
His debut book has been honored by SCIBA (Southern California Indie Booksellers Association), Pen USA, Publishers Weekly, and Goodreads Choice Awards. He has received numerous honorary degrees, awards and recognitions including the Civic Medal of Honor, the California Peace Prize, Humanitarian of the Year from Bon Appetit Magazine, and in 2011 was inducted into the California Hall of Fame.
He has served on the State Commission for Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, The National Youth Gang Center Board and the Attorney General’s Defending Childhood Task Force.
FLEET MAULL, PhD
Founder-CEO, Heart Mind Institute | Engaged Mindfulness Instituter
Fleet Maull, PhD, CMT-P is an author, meditation teacher, social entrepreneur and peacemaker who facilitates healing and transformation through is Radical Responsibility approach. Fleet has also developed Neuro-Somatic Mindfulness (NSM), a deeply embodied, neuroscience and trauma-informed approach to meditation that offers an accelerated path to healing, awakening, and integration.
He is both a Roshi in the Zen Peacemaker tradition and an Acharya in the Shambhala-Tibetan Buddhist tradition, and leads meditation and bearing witness retreats worldwide. He founded Heart Mind Institute, a transformational education platform for embodiment & resilience training programs and summits.
Dr. Maull is the author of Radical Responsibility: How to Move Beyond Blame, Fearlessly Live Your Highest Purpose and Become an Unstoppable Force for Good;Dharma in Hell: The Prison Writings of Fleet Maull, and the Resilient C.O.: Mindfulness-Based Wellness & Resiliency for Corrections Professionals.
Actress, Humanitarian, & Co-founder of Never Alone
Gabriella Wright is an actress, model, activist and motivational speaker with long-standing humanitarian engagement. Gabriella recently starred in “The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard” (June 16, 2021) alongside Salma Hayek, Antonio Banderas, Ryan Reynolds, and Samuel L. Jackson. Gabriella portrays the only female assassin ‘Veronika’ in the action-packed comedy directed by Patrick Hughes. The film is the sequel to its successful predecessor “The Hitman’s Bodyguard” (2017). As a lifelong thespian, Gabriella has an equal passion for humanitarian causes.
She developed Never Alone, a mental well-being initiative of the Chopra Foundation, which she currently oversees as co-founder alongside Deepak Chopra and Poonacha Machaiah. She is the innovator of the Mental Hygiene Toolkit, a collection of mind cleansing and self-awareness tools that help individuals nurture their bodies, minds and spirit, while developing inner guidance to consciously choose the best path for their lives. Born from the tragic passing of her sister who took her life in 2018, Gabriella’s mission in life has expanded to provide free services to those struggling.
She will soon also be seen starring in the indie feature film “I Am Never Alone” in partnership with the Never Alone initiative, which will be making film festival rounds in 2022. Gabriella was born in London and raised in the Champagne region of France to a video artist and sculptor father (English, Scottish) and Marine Biologist mother (French, Portuguese, Mauritian).
Her exposure to the creative arts coupled with their family’s dedication to nature, eco-friendly and sustainable living, established Gabriella’s life path from an early age, with a natural convergence in the space she currently takes up on the planet. Gabriella studied acting at the acclaimed Cours Florent in Paris, studied Shakespeare under Patsy Rodenberg, the director and Head of Voice at Guildhall in London and has done stage work in both Europe and New Zealand as well as appeared in numerous foreign films.
She was previously seen in theaters starring opposite Ed Skrein and Ray Stevenson in “The Transporter Refueled” produced by Luc Besson. Gabriella’s most notable television appearances include a recurring role opposite Henry Cavill and Sam Neill in Showtime’s hit series “The Tudors” as 'Queen Claude,’ as well as an arc opposite Alexander Skarsgard on HBO's hit series “True Blood” as ‘Silvie,’ his French true love. She also guest starred in the Paramount TV series “Berlin Station” executive produced by Steve Golin and Eric Roth airing on Epix, as well as starring opposite Tom Davis in ITV’s British comedy “Action Team.”
Gabriella lives a sustainable, mindful, and conscientious lifestyle. She is a vegetarian and only uses natural, cruelty-free makeup products. At the age of 18, she began to study meditation and QiGong as a result of a serious trauma. She later went on to teach meditation and healing. She takes regular trips to India, Nepal, and Burma for her humanitarian efforts as well as to work with women that have been victims of sexual and domestic violence.
Gabriella regularly visits prisons to work with parolees and lifers teaching meditation. In 2020, Gabriella created Conscious Intent, a production company dedicated to creating docu-style entertainment infused with consciousness driven storytelling. As the industry changes, Gabriella is finding that what once were two sides of her life, disconnected, have now fused together to create beautiful and enriching stories.
Gabriella currently resides in Los Angeles with her 17-year-old son and speaks fluent English and French, conversational Spanish and Hindi.
Founder & CEO, MindUP
Goldie Hawn is an Academy Award winning actress, producer, director, best-selling author and true children’s advocate. She created The Hawn Foundation, a public charity with a mission to equip children with the social and emotional skills they need to lead smarter, healthier, happier and ultimately more productive lives.
Alarmed by increases in school violence, youth depression, and the persistent failure of the education system to help children cope with increasingly stressful lives, Hawn started her Foundation in 2003, applying cutting edge scientific research to create education programs that support the social and emotional development of children. Working with leading neuroscientists, educators, psychologists and researchers, the Foundation developed MindUP ™ an evidence-based curriculum and teaching model for grades K-12 that provide tools to help children self-regulate and understand their own emotions, moods and behaviors; reduce stress and anxiety; sharpen concentration; increase empathy; and improve academic performance.
MindUP ™ is the signature program of The Hawn Foundation which is serving over six million children in the US, Canada, UK, Finland, Ireland, Venezuela, Uganda, Portugal, Serbia, Jordan, Hong Kong, Australia, and New Zealand. The skills and mindfulness practices that are being taught have helped children improve learning and academic performance and learn valuable social and emotional skills that build personal resilience for a lifetime.
Hawn authored two best-selling books, a memoir “A Lotus Grows in the Mud”, in 2005 and in 2011, “10 Mindful Minutes”, offering guidance on raising healthy, joyful and resilient children. In 2015, Hawn released “10 Mindful Minutes: A Journal”, a practical application to her last book, offering prompts and exercises to enhance the reader’s daily life through mindfulness practice.
Goldie has lived with her partner Kurt Russell for over 30 years and has four grown children, Oliver and Kate Hudson, Wyatt Russell and stepson Boston Russell. They have also been blessed with six grandchildren. Hawn believes “children light the path to joy” and dedicated much of her life’s work to creating innovative solutions to help children thrive.
Meditation teacher & best-selling author
James Baraz is a founding teacher of Spirit Rock Meditation Center.
He founded and is teacher-advisor Spirit Rock's Family Program.
He is the co-author with Shoshana Alexander of Awakening Joy: Ten Steps to Happiness and leads a popular online course by that name (www.awakeningjoy.info).
James is also co-author of Awakening Joy for Kids with co-author Michele Lilyanna. James is an advisor to One Earth Sangha (www.oneearthsangha.org), a website devoted to a skillful response to Climate Change.
Lt. (ret.) JASON REDMAN
Retired Navy SEAL,
New York Times Best Selling Author, Leadership and Resilience Speaker and Coach
Jason Redman is a retired Navy SEAL and NY Times bestselling author of The Trident and Overcome.
Jason uses his 21-year Navy SEAL career to relate how the mindset practiced for decades to lead, build elite teams and deal with the highest levels of adversity can transform your life and business.
Jason teaches how his Overcome Mindset helped him rise above a leadership failure, vicious enemy ambush, life-changing injuries and even a debilitating business crisis.
Jason’s incredible story, positive message and vibrant energy make him a highly demanded speaker both nationally and internationally.
Dr. Jean Clinton is a Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster, She is a member on the MindUP Scientific Advisory Board, as well as a MindUp for Families advisor.
She has been a consultant to children and youth mental health programs, child welfare, and primary care for over 30 years. Her special interest lies in brain development, and the crucial role relationships and connectedness play. Dr. Clinton has also authored her first book, Love Builds Brains.
International retreat leader, author of Boundless Compassion
Joyce Rupp is well known for her work as a writer, international retreat leader, and conference speaker.
She is the author of numerous bestselling books, including Praying Our Goodbyes, Open the Door, and Fragments of Your Ancient Name.
Fly While You Still Have Wings is among her publications earning an award in the spirituality books category from the Catholic Press Association.
Rupp has led retreats throughout North America, as well as in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Joyce has a B.A. in English, a M.R.E. in Religious Education, and a M.A. in Transpersonal Psychology.
She is a member of the Servites (Servants of Mary) community and was a volunteer for Hospice for fifteen years. She currently resides in Des Moines, Iowa.
Buddhist meditation teacher and international Dharma teacher
Kaira Jewel Lingo is a Dharma teacher who has a lifelong interest in blending spirituality and meditation with social justice. Having grown up in an ecumenical Christian community where families practiced a new kind of monasticism and worked with the poor, at the age of twenty-five she entered a Buddhist monastery in the Plum Village tradition and spent fifteen years living as a nun under the guidance of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh.
She received Lamp Transmission from Thich Nhat Hanh and became a Zen teacher in 2007, and is also a teacher in the Vipassana Insight lineage through Spirit Rock Meditation Center. In addition to writing We Were Made for These Times: Ten Lessons in Moving through Change, Loss and Disruption, she is also the editor of Thich Nhat Hanh’s Planting Seeds: Practicing Mindfulness with Children.
She has led many teen retreats and programs with Inward Bound Mindfulness Education, as well as with the Plum Village monastic sangha, and has taught thousands of teachers and parents mindfulness both online and in-person through Wake Up Schools, Mindful Schools and Centro Avalokita in Italy.
Now based in New York, she teaches and leads retreats internationally, provides spiritual mentoring, and interweaves art, play, nature, racial and earth justice, and embodied mindfulness practice in her teaching.
She especially feels called to share the Dharma with Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, as well as activists, educators, youth, artists, and families. Visit kairajewel.com to learn more.
Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, Research Fellow at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Dr. Karen Bluth is faculty in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina, and a research fellow at the University of North Carolina Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, where she conducts research on self-compassion and its influences on the emotional wellbeing of teens.
Dr. Bluth is a certified instructor of Mindful Self-Compassion, co-creator of curriculum Mindful Self-Compassion for Teens (formerly known as Making Friends with Yourself), Embracing Your Life, the adaptation of Mindful Self-Compassion for young adults, and one of the creators of Self-Compassion for Educators, a self-compassion program offered through Mindful Schools.
Dr. Bluth is author of the books The Self-Compassion Workbook for Teens: Mindfulness and Compassion Skills to Overcome Self-Criticism and Embrace Who You Are, The Self-Compassionate Teen: Mindfulness and CompassionSkills to Conquer Your Critical Inner Voice, co-author of Mindfulness and Self-Compassion for Teen ADHD: Build Executive Functioning Skills, Increase Motivation, and Improve Self-Confidence, and the soon-to-be-released Audible Original Self-Compassion for Girls: A Guide for Parents, Teachers, and Coaches.
As a mindfulness practitioner for over 40 years, a mindfulness teacher, and an educator with 18 years of classroom teaching experience, Dr. Bluth frequently gives talks, conducts workshops, and teaches classes in self-compassion and mindfulness in educational and community settings.
In addition, she trains teachers in Mindful Self-Compassion for Teens internationally.
KIM JOHN PAYNE, M.ED
School Counselor, Adult Educator, Consultant, Researcher and Private Family Counselor
Kim John Payne has been quietly and passionately working to help tens of thousands of people give voice to the feeling that something is not okay about the new normal of overwhelm that so many people are now experiencing.
He offers doable ways to realize the hopes and values we all have for ourselves, and build deep connections with our children that gives families resiliency and simple joy. A consultant and trainer to over 230 U.S. independent and public schools, Kim John Payne, M.ED, has been a school counselor, adult educator, consultant, researcher, educator and a private family counselor for twenty seven years.
He regularly gives key-note addresses at international conferences for educators, parents, and therapists and runs workshops and training’s around the world. In each role, he has been helping children, adolescents and families explore issues such as social difficulties with siblings and classmates, attention and behavioral issues at home and school, emotional issues such as defiance, aggression, addiction and self-esteem and the vital role living a balanced simple life brings.
He has also consulted for educational associations in South Africa, Hungary, Israel, Russia, Switzerland, Ireland, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom, Thailand and China.
Kim has worked extensively with the North American and UK Waldorf educational movements. He has served as Director of the Collaborative Counseling program at Antioch University New England.
He is the Director of the Simplicity Project a multi media social network that explores what really connects and disconnects us to ourselves and to the world. Together with his team they have trained around 1000 Simplicity Parenting Coaches around the world.
Kim is the Founding Director of The Center for Social Sustainability, an organization that has trained thousands of teachers, parents and students in the Three Stream Process that gives social, emotional and behavioral support to children who struggle in the school environment.
In addition to authoring the #1 Best Seller Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier and More Secure Kid, he also authored The Games Children Play, The Soul of Discipline, co-authored Whole Child Sport: How to Navigate Child & Youth Sports and Being At Your Best When Your Kids Are At Their Worst.
His books have been translated into 27 languages. He has appeared frequently on television including ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox; on radio with the BBC, Sirius/XM, CBC & NPR and in print including being featured in Time Magazine, Chicago Tribune, Parenting, Mothering, Times Union and the LA Times. Kim strives to deepen understanding and give practical tools for life that arise out of the burning social issues of our time. He lives on a farm in Ashfield, Massachusetts with his wife and two children.
Associate Professor Department of Educational Psychology The University of Texas at Austin
Kristin Neff is currently an Associate Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Texas at Austin.
She is a pioneer in the field of self-compassion research, conducting the first empirical studies on self-compassion nearly twenty years ago.
She is the author of the best-selling book Self-Compassion.
Along with her colleague Chris Germer, she developed the Mindful Self-Compassion program (MSC), taught worldwide, and co-wrote The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook.
Her latest book is Fierce Self-Compassion: How Women Can Harness Kindness to Speak Up, Claim Their Power, and Thrive.
Teacher and Board President, The Insight Meditation Community of Washington (DC)
La Sarmiento (they/them) has been practicing Vipassana meditation since 1998.
They are the board president and a teacher with the Insight Meditation Community of Washington, DC (IMCW), the guiding teacher of the IMCW People of Color and LGBTQIA+ Sanghas, and a mentor for the Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program.
They were the lead teacher for the Virginia iBme Teen Retreats for 7 years, completed the Spirit Rock Community Dharma Leader Training in 2012, and teach retreats around the country.
As an immigrant, non-binary, Filipinx American, La is committed to creating access to and sharing teachings and practices that alleviate suffering, cultivate true happiness, and support the liberation of all beings, especially through song and laughter.
They live in Towson, MD with their life partner Wendy and two rescue pups Annabel and Bader.
Meditation Teacher, Author, Founder of Awake in the Wild
Mark Coleman has practiced Buddhist meditation since 1984. He is on the Spirit Rock Teachers Council, and has been teaching Insight Meditation retreats since 1997.
He also leads wilderness meditation retreats from Alaska to Peru, integrating mindfulness meditation with nature.
Mark is a psychotherapist, life-coach, and mindfulness consultant to corporations. He is an avid outdoor enthusiast and passionate about combining the forces of meditation, silence, and nature.
Mark's books include Awake in the Wild: Mindfulness in Nature as a Path of Self-Discovery and Make Peace with your Mind: How Mindfulness and Compassion Can Free You from Your Inner Critic and From Suffering to Peace: The True Promise of Mindfulness.
Director, Family Constellation Institute
Mark Wolynn is the director of the Family Constellation Institute in San Francisco.
He is a leading expert in the field of inherited family trauma.
His book It Didn't Start With You: How Inherited Family Trauma Shapes Who We Are and How to End the Cycle (published by Viking/Penguin) is the winner of the 2016 Silver Nautilus Book Award in psychology, and has been translated into 22 languages.
His articles have appeared in Psychology Today, Mind Body Green, MariaShriver.com, Elephant Journal and Psych Central, and his poetry has been published in The New Yorker.
Meditation teacher & best-selling author
Martin Aylward began dharma practice and study aged 19, spending several years in Asian monasteries and with Himalayan hermits.
Teaching worldwide since 1999, Martin co-founded Moulin de Chaves, the retreat center where he lives and teaches in SW France; the Mindfulness Training Institute and the online dharma community Sangha Live.
He is married with two adult children, and integrates dharma into daily life with programs like Work Sex Money Dharma. His latest book is Awake Where You Are (2021).
Co-founder of Melissa & Doug and Lifelines
Melissa Bernstein, along with her husband Doug, is the Co-Founder of the toy company Melissa & Doug, which has created over 5,000 children’s products and sold billions of dollars of toys since its inception.
Raised by educators, Melissa and Doug started the business in their garage in Westport CT in 1988, and they’ve been on a mission ever since to provide open-ended, inventive, non-technology playthings for young children.
Throughout Melissa’s remarkable career, she has created a daily practice which has enabled her to stay steadfast and balanced in the face of life’s ups and downs.
In 2020 Melissa launched LifeLines, an ecosystem filled with content, tools and products to share her learnings and her practice in order to help as many people as possible.
Melissa lives in Westport Connecticut with Doug and their six children.
Certified Holotropic Breathwork Facilitator, Shamanic Practitioner
Michael Stone attended his first breathwork session in 2005 and was blown away by the power of the breath. It was such a life-changing experience for him that it changed his career direction and he decided to focus his life around breathwork in support of world healing.
Michael has a unique way of combining his science background with his breathwork training and experience that allows him to create a safe space for participants to open their hearts and have transformative life-changing experiences.
After starting by facilitating Holotropic Breathwork workshops for over a decade, In the last 3 years, he has facilitated over 800 online sessions of a breathwork modality which he created, Neurodynamic Breathwork, with participants from over 120 countries and has been instrumental in creating a thriving worldwide breathing community in support of personal and global transformation and healing.
OSCAR PAUL MEDINA
CEO & Founder | Conscious Cultura
Social Entrepreneur | Meditation Teacher
Oscar Paul Medina's lineage is from Mexico, he was born in East Los Angeles, raised in the Mojave Desert, spent formative years in the Bay Area, and now resides in Baja/California.
He is Founder and CEO of Conscious Cultura, Co-Founder of Axis Mundi, and Director of Strategy and Development at Mind Body Awareness Project. His vision as a social entrepreneur, transformative guide and advisor is to partner with leaders who elevate BIPOC and Latinx communities towards building a more whole, just, and thriving world.
Since 2014, he has supported underserved populations, leading and designing mindfulness-based trauma healing programs in the education, justice, and mental health sectors. He has founded social innovation projects through his work as a Dalai Lama Fellow and his current role as a Robert Wood Johnson Culture of Health Leadership Fellow.
Over the last 15 years Oscar has dedicated his life to personal and systems transformation with a focus on meditation, trauma-informed psychology, and leadership development through an equity lens. In the last decade, he has been researching culturally rooted practices from Latin America and its indigenous sources towards developing a digital mental health platform that serves Latinx communities.
Co-Founder, Center of the Heart Pastoral Counselor and co-editor of Black and Buddhist
Pamela Ayo Yetunde, Th.D. is the daughter of an adopted parent, and the parent of an adopted child.
Ayo is also a pastoral counselor and co-founder of Center of the Heart (www.centeroftheheart.org).
She teaches pastoral care and counseling and is the author of several books and articles. Pamela Ayo Yetunde, J.D., M.A., Th.D., was the Frederick P. Lenz Foundation Visiting Scholar-in-Residence at University of the West, Fall, 2016. Ayo earned her Doctor of Theology in Pastoral Counseling degree from Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, GA.
She earned her M.A. in Culture and Spirituality from Holy Names University in Oakland, CA and her law degree from Indiana University School of Law, Bloomington. Ayo is a pastoral counselor in private practice, and has also worked in spiritual care in hospital, hospice, and mental health care settings.
She is a Community Dharma Leader certified by Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, CA.
Cultural Consultant, Mother of five, Grandmother of one
Woman Stands Shining (Pat McCabe) is a Diné grandmother, activist, artist, and international speaker.
Her primary work is proposing to the Five-Fingered-Ones, that paradigm is a choice, and pointing to Indigenous cultures as examples that we have evidence that human beings can participate in paradigms in which we can become beings capable of causing all life to thrive.
Author and factual presenter for radio and television
After volunteering with the Samaritans, Philippa trained as a psychotherapist. She worked in the mental health field for several years before writing her graphic novel, Couch Fiction which lays bare the process of psychotherapy, published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2010.
Her second book, How to Stay Sane, was written for a series published by the School of Life and Pan Macmillan in 2012. As well as continuing her psychotherapy work with an organisation called Talk for Health, Philippa writes regularly for The Observer Magazine.
She also created a cartoon agony aunt series for Guardian Video. She has presented several documentaries including The Truth about Children Who Lie for BBC Radio 4, Being Bipolar for Channel 4 and How To Be A Surrealist with Philippa Perry for BBC Four. Philippa also consulted on highly popular dating show Celebs Go Dating for E4, where she used her expertise to give the celebrity singles some much needed love advice.
Her latest book, The Book You Wish Your Parents Had Read (and Your Children Will Be Glad That You Did), was published by Penguin in 2019 to critical acclaim, and was a Number One Sunday Times bestseller.
Philippa featured across both series of Grayson's Art Club, curating artwork for the programme's exhibition that chronicled the changing moods of Britain and provided a record of the historic times we're living through. The programme won the Arts and Presenter's Award at the 2021 RTS Programme Awards, shortly after it returned for a second series.
Philippa teamed up with audible for a new original series Philippa Perry's Siblings in Session, where she aimed to bridge the communication gap within families.
She also featured in the brand new season of Fane Production events in autumn 2021, bringing her insightful knowledge from human psyche and dream interpreting, to parenting and relationships.
Co-Founder and Executive Director at Center for Humane Technology, Board Member at Spirit Rock Meditation Center
Randima (Randy) Fernando is a Co-Founder and Executive Director at the Center for Humane Technology, which is dedicated to realigning technology with humanity’s best interests. For 7 years he was Executive Director at Mindful Schools, a nonprofit that has brought mindfulness training to millions of children and tens of thousands of educators worldwide. Prior to that, Randy ran several award-winning projects over 7 years at NVIDIA, including authoring three books on advanced 3D graphics. Born to a Buddhist family in Sri Lanka, he has been a dedicated Buddhist practitioner for many years. He has taught a daylong Spirit Rock with Matthew Brensilver: “Technology as an Existential Threat to Mindfulness”.
Psychologist, & best-selling author
Richard Strozzi-Heckler is founder of Strozzi Institute. He has spent over four decades researching, developing and teaching Somatics to business leaders, executive managers, teams from Fortune 500 companies, NGOs, technology start-ups, non-profits, the U.S. government and military.
He was named one of the Top 50 Executive Coaches in The Art and Practice of Leadership Coaching, and in Profiles in Coaching.
He is the co-founder of the Mideast Aikido Project (MAP), which brings together Palestinians and Israelis through the practice of Aikido. Richard is the author of eight books, including The Leadership Dojo, In Search of the Warrior Spirit, The Anatomy of Change, Holding the Center and The Art of Somatic Coaching: Embodying Skillful Action, Wisdom, and Compassion.
From 2002 to 2007 he was an advisor to NATO and the Supreme Allied Commander of Europe (SACEUR) General Jim Jones, formally the National Security Advisor.
Richard has a PhD in Psychology and is a seventh degree black belt in the martial art of Aikido.
Psychologist, Senior Fellow of UC Berkeley's Greater Good Science Center
Dr. Rick Hanson, PhD, is a psychologist, Senior Fellow of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, and New York Times best-selling author. His books are available in 28 languages and include Resilient, Hardwiring Happiness, Buddha’s Brain, Just One Thing, and Mother Nurture. He edits the Wise Brain Bulletin and has numerous audio programs. A summa cum laude graduate of UCLA and founder of the Wellspring Institute for Neuroscience and Contemplative Wisdom, he’s been an invited speaker at Oxford, Stanford, Harvard, and other major universities, and taught in meditation centers worldwide.
Dr. Hanson has been a trustee of Saybrook University, served on the board of Spirit Rock Meditation Center, and was President of the Board of FamilyWorks, a community agency. He began meditating in 1974, trained in several traditions, and leads a weekly meditation gathering in San Rafael, California. His work has been featured on the BBC, CBS, and NPR, and he offers the free Just One Thing newsletter with over 135,000 subscribers, plus the online Foundations of Well-Being program in positive neuroplasticity that anyone with financial need can do for free.
Standup Comedian, Actor
Rory Scovel can currently be seen starring as Danny in Apple’s hour-long series PHYSICAL, as well as in his Comedy Central series ROBBIE, which he also created. Prior to that he starred in I FEEL PRETTY opposite Amy Schumer and can be seen in New Line feature THE HOUSE, TBS series GROUND FLOOR, ABC’s MODERN FAMILY and NBC’s SUPERSTORE.
His hour stand-up special is currently streaming on Netflix. Up next, Rory will be seen in Paramount Picture’s BABYLON.
SALINA MAE (she/hers/ella)
Mindfulness Coach and Consultant
Salina Mae (she/her/hers), is a Bay Area born and raised community leader with over 20 years experience serving California schools both as a K-12 classroom teacher and as a mindfulness coach and consultant.
She specializes in building creative, inspired, and socially awake trainings and curricula that lead to action in the areas of mindfulness, social justice, and systems change.
Salina is a certified yoga teacher, a dedicated mentor and advocate for LGBTQI+ youth and is currently a Director with The Teaching Well in Oakland, Ca.
Salina Mae brings her whimsy, imagination, and passion for collective liberation to create ritual and rites of passage that support communities in transforming themselves from the inside out.
Clinical Psychologist, retired Associate Clinical Professor, Founding Director of the UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness
Dr. Steven Hickman is the Executive Director of the non-profit Center for Mindful Self-Compassion. He is a Clinical Psychologist and Retired Associate Clinical Professor in the University of California at San Diego School of Medicine, as well as the Founding Director of the UC San Diego Center for Mindfulness.
Steve co-developed the Mindful Self-Compassion Teacher Training program and has participated in the training of over 1800 MSC teachers around the world.
Steve has co-taught the 8-week and intensive MSC program many times around the globe and is also a Certified teacher of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and trains teachers of that program. He is married and has three young adult children, affording him ample opportunity to practice what he teaches!
Certified Money Coach & best-selling author
Tammy Lally is a Certified Money Coach™ (CMC)® LUTCF, TED Speaker, and Author of Money Detox.
She helps others master their finances by stopping the cycle of their money shame to rewrite their financial future.
Tammy works with people to first conquer their emotions around money and then through a comprehensive financial plan. Tammy has 20 years of experience in the financial industry and 30 years of study in psychology, addiction, recovery, and spirituality.
She brings a distinctive blend of financial industry experience, psychological knowledge, and spiritual consciousness to her work. Tammy offers a compassionate approach to money and money shame, which is truly powerful in helping her clients achieve transformative outcomes.
Her signature "Money Detox" process is a seven-step journey that allows anyone to achieve financial freedom and joy. Tammy work with individuals, couples, teams, and leaders and has helped thousands of people.
Psychologist, Meditation Teacher, Emotional Healing and Spiritual Awakening and Best-Selling Author
Tara Brach is a meditation teacher, psychologist and author of several books including international best-selling Radical Acceptance, Radical Compassion and Trusting the Gold.
Her popular weekly podcast on emotional healing and spiritual awakening is downloaded 3 million times a month.
Tara’s teachings blend Western psychology and Eastern spiritual practices, mindful attention to our inner life, and a full, compassionate engagement with our world.
START Co-founder + Executive Director
Tracy is Co-Founder and Executive Director for START: Stand Together and Rethink Technology and is responsible for the strategic direction and vision of the organization.
Tracy frequently contributes to news publications such as the Wall Street Journal on the topic of digital health.
She and her co-founder have co-authored two books to educate and guide parents/mentors in digital wellness for their families. Previous to START, Tracy invested 15 years developing growth strategies for some of the world’s leading organizations as a management consultant with Mercer Management Consulting, then as an Associate Director at FSG, which specializes in creating large-scale, lasting social change.
She helped foundations, businesses, nonprofits and government agencies increase impact through revised strategy and program design, performance measurement, and operational improvement.
On a project for one of the world's largest toy companies, she was captivated by the power of play in children's emotional, social, and cognitive development, fueling her passion for rethinking cultural norms around technology.
She graduated summa cum laude from Northwestern University and lives with her husband and two children in the Kansas City area.
Dr. TYREE OREDEIN DrPH (she/her)
Public Health & Social Justice Consultant, Founder of Left Turn Village
Since 2005, Dr. Tyree Oredein (she/her/hers) has dedicated her work to serving LGBTQ+, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), and other marginalized communities in health, social service settings, schools, corporate settings, and society at large.
She has been developing and delivering a wide array of workshops and trainings to health & social service providers, educators, administrators, law enforcement, corporate personnel, parents, students and community members.
She worked with Hudson Pride Center, and later Garden State Equality before starting Left Turn Village, a public health and social justice consulting and training organization. She sits on the Boards of Directors for Say Ah!, an organization dedicated to increasing health literacy, What Makes You Feel Beautiful, an organization created to empower women and non-binary people, and the Wellesley Racial Justice Initiative, an organization created by an independent group of Wellesley College alums engaging in anti-racism work.
Dr. Oredein also co-leads the development and implementation of WRJI's programming. She of course received her Bachelor’s Degree from Wellesley College, her Masters from Hunter College, and her Doctorate from Rutgers University.
Fetzer Institute Senior Program Officer
Xiaoan Li, Ph.D. in higher education and organizational change, is currently a program officer at the Fetzer Institute, a private operating foundation in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Since 2011, Xiaoan has actively participated in the exploration of building the spiritual foundation for a loving world, being responsible for the development of many project initiatives and the management of the full life cycle of the project process within the areas of social and emotional learning, spiritual literacy and education, spiritual formation and the role of communities, spiritual development of children and youth, workplace spirituality, leadership development, and for forth.
Prior to his working at the Fetzer Institute, Xiaoan has assumed numerous teaching and leadership positions in educational institutions in both China and the United States. As a Teaching Fellow, he has taught several courses, including Diversity in U.S. Higher Education, Chinese Language and Culture, and International Education at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) for four years.
He has also worked once an Associate Faculty at Indiana University. While in China, Xiaoan served as faculty and director of English as a Foreign Language (EFL) program at the China University of Geosciences Beijing (CUGB) from 1998-2001. He also once served as assistant president of the Meijia Education Group, a private and elite educational company in Beijing. From 2001 to 2005, Xiaoan was president and Chief-Teaching-Officer (CTO) at the Beijing Global Times Language Training School.