TEDxSedona Speakers & Performers for 2018

Narcissism and Its Discontents
Ramani Durvasula

Narcissism has not only become a normalized social condition, it is increasingly being incentivized. The framework of narcissism with the central pillars of lack of empathy, entitlement, grandiosity, superficiality, anger, rage, arrogance, and shallow emotion is a manifestation of pathological insecurity – an insecurity that is experienced at both the individual and societal level. The paradox is that we value these patterns – and venerate them through social media, mainstream media, and consumerism, they represent a fast-track to financial and professional success. These traits are endemic in political, corporate, academic, and media leaders. There are few lives which are not personally touched by narcissists – be it your spouse, partner, parent, child, colleague, boss, friend, sibling, or neighbor. Whether societally or individually, the toxic wave of narcissism, entitlement and pathological insecurity is harming us all. The enticements of charm, charisma, confidence and success can draw us in or blind us to the damaging truths of narcissism. The invalidation inherent in these relationships infect those are in them with self-doubt, despair, confusion, anxiety, depression and the chronic feeling of being “not enough,” all of which make it so difficult to step away and set boundaries. The illusion of hope, and the fantasy of redemption can result in years of second chances for narcissists, and despondency when change never comes. It’s time for a wake-up call. Health and wellness campaigns preach avoidance of unhealthy foods, sedentary lifestyles, tobacco, drugs, alcohol, but rarely preach avoidance of unhealthy or toxic people. Yet the health benefits of removing toxic people from a life may have far greater benefit to both physical and psychological health than going to the gym. We need to learn to be better gatekeepers for our minds, bodies, and souls. Instead of habituating to the global shift of validating narcissism and other toxic patterns, it’s time to understand it and take our lives back.

Dr. Ramani Durvasula is a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice in Santa Monica and Sherman Oaks, CA and Professor of Psychology at California State University, Los Angeles, where she was named Outstanding Professor in 2012. She is also a Visiting Professor at the University of Johannesburg.

She is the author of the modern relationship survival manual Should I Stay or Should I Go: Surviving a Relationship With a Narcissist (Post Hill Press) She is also the author of You Are WHY You Eat: Change Your Food Attitude, Change Your Life, as well as the author of numerous peer reviewed journal articles, book chapters and conference papers.

Dr. Ramani received her B.S. in Psychology from the University of Connecticut, and her MA and Ph.D. degrees in Clinical Psychology from UCLA.

She brings a wealth of expertise in relationships, sexuality, health and wellness. Dr. Ramani was the co-host of Oxygen’s series My Shopping Addiction, and has also been featured on series on Bravo, the Lifetime Movie Network, National Geographic, the History Channel, Discovery Science, and Investigation Discovery as well as in documentary films on health. She has been a featured commentator on nearly every major television network, as well as radio, print, and Internet media.

What If There is Nothing Wrong With You?
Susan Henkels M.S.W.

We often design our lives around a long list of all the things we believe are wrong with us.  The premise of this presentation questions our interpretation of right and wrong and how that interpretation ultimately determines how we decide who we will become as adults, how we choose our important relationships, how we pick our professions, how or if we parent, and what determines the quality of the life we choose.  This presentation is a discovery toward what’s in the way of having the life you deserve and an easier and more fun way of getting there.  You will find ways of releasing judgment and criticism of yourself, begin to consider forgiveness of yourself and others, start making wiser choices, and expand your passion for contribution.  Asking the question:  What if there’s nothing wrong with you?……. can become an ongoing practice for life.”

Susan Munich Henkels. M.S.W is a psychotherapist focused on resolving relationship issues with yourself, your partner, families, family business and organizations. She is committed to clear and honest communication for the best possible outcomes. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan and received a Masters’ degree in Social Work from the George Warren Brown School of Social Work, Washington University in St. Louis, MO.

Susan is also an avid colored pencil artist with a passion for drawing trees and the magic they hold. She has many original drawings in private and public collections and has shown at the Sedona Arts Center and several international and national colored pencil exhibitions.

Out of listening for over 45 years to thousands of people talking about all that’s wrong with them, she presents today What If There is Nothing Wrong With You? Her first book comes out by the end of the year with the same title.

Reconsidering how we think about Autism
Dr. Ronit Molko, BCBA-D

Dr Ronit Molko is a dynamic senior executive and entrepreneur recognized for combining strategic vision and technical expertise to drive business initiatives. In 2001, Dr. Molko cofounded Autism Spectrum Therapies Inc. (AST) in California, which grew into a highly respected, multi-state provider of services for individuals on the autism spectrum. In 2014, she sold her company to Learn It Systems, a private equity backed strategic buyer, and served as President of Autism Services for the combined family of companies until early 2016.

Today, as CEO and Principal of Empowering Synergy, Dr. Molko conducts due diligence for investors and consults as an expert in the field of service delivery for healthcare, with a special focus on behavioral healthcare and companies that provide services to families affected by autism and developmental disabilities.

In 2018, she released her latest work, “Autism Matters: Empowering Investors, Providers and the Autism Community to Advance Autism Services” published by ForbesBooks in which she takes a critical look at the autism services industry and identifies opportunities for advancement of services and business.

A graduate of Harvard Business School’s three-year Owner/President Management program, Dr. Molko holds a Ph.D. in Applied Behavioral Science and Family Life from the University of Kansas and a master’s degree in Psychology from Claremont Graduate University. She is a licensed clinical psychologist in both California and Washington, and a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst.

Dr. Molko is currently a board member of the Galt Foundation, which places individuals with disabilities in the workforce, and the Los Angeles Chapter of the Autism Society of America. She has been actively involved in many healthcare-based committees and organizations throughout her career and has received multiple awards in recognition of her business prowess and leadership abilities. Most recently, she was recognized with a 2017 Woman of Influence Award by the Los Angeles Business Journal.

Finding Your Life Purpose
Michele Lando

Michele Lando is the best-selling author of Create Demand for Your Brand – How to Align your Purpose, Passion and Profit!, a highly successful Fortune 500 consultant, and CEO of Skilset Communications, Inc. She works with senior executives, emerging leaders, and teams, guiding them to most effectively lead and communicate in a way that drives consistent business results.

In support of companies achieving their goals and enhancing their cultures, Michele authors and delivers customized trainings, facilitated workshops, keynotes and Master Class series’. All of her consulting, training and coaching is tailored to each client, thereby ensuring a maximized return on investment. Since launching Skilset Communications Inc. in 1994, she has guided companies such as American Express, Wells Fargo, Pacific Life, Cisco Systems, Prudential, Kaiser Permanente, Visa, Bank of America, U.S. Trust, and Metropolitan Water District, to name a few, to reach their full potential. She does this by bringing science, tools, wisdom and inspiration to each client.

Helping You Find Your Personalized Diet
Momchilo (Momo) Vuyisich

Our gut microbiome is the key to personalization. It’s a new human organ, but its composition and function are determined by diet and environment, not our DNA. At the genome level, humans are >99% the same. In the gut, at the strain level, we can be 99% different.

If you take healthy people, they can be as much as 96% dissimilar in composition, but have a very high level of similarity in functions (60% at KO level).

Everyone has been looking for a healthy microbiome, but  everyone has been looking at it using the wrong approach. There is a healthy microbiome, but functionally, not taxonomically.

Momo is currently a founder and CSO at Viome. He is also an Adjunct Professor at University of New Mexico (UNM) and New Mexico Tech (NMT).

Momo brings more than 25 years of R&D experience in many scientific disciplines. He was most recently a scientist and leader of the Applied Genomics team at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where his team’s research focused on applying modern genomics to the areas of gut microbiomes, host-pathogen interactions, microbial inter-species interactions, pathogen detection, cancer biology, toxicology, infectious diseases, antibiotic resistance, and forensics.

Becoming a Health Detective
Mette Dyhrberg

Mette Dyhrberg holds MS in economics and is a certified health coach. An economist turned diagnostician, she’s the Sherlock Holmes of anamnestic data. She’s the founder and CEO of Mymee, a digital therapeutics program rethinking autoimmunity. The Mymee protocol reverses the symptoms of autoimmune disease through data analytics and health coaching.  As an authority on autoimmune issues, Mette is a frequent speaker at industry events and conferences such as Stanford Medicine X and Exponential Medicine.

Become the Carpenter of Your Life
Kiersten Hathcock

Becoming the carpenter of her own life meant doing things she never imagined and discovering buried truths along the way. Eleven years ago, a 34-year-old ex-TV network executive & mom of two unexpectedly went from corporate to carpentry. Without woodworking experience, funding, or furniture design know-how, she built an internationally known kids’ furniture brand called Mod Mom Furniture out of their 300 square foot garage in Burbank, California. For four years—while covered in sawdust and sweat—she built close to 400 toy boxes and play table sets before partnering with several American-made manufacturers and eventually signing a North American licensing deal with a Colorado-based furniture company.

In 2011, Kiersten braved ABC’s Shark Tank and convinced two Sharks to invest in her company. Mod Mom Furniture has not only been featured in magazines, TV shows, and modern design books, but is being purchased by families, celebrities, and interior designers from around the globe.

At many points throughout the journey, Kiersten found herself facing common entrepreneurial obstacles in addition to shocking realizations that came in like a wrecking ball, nearly demolishing all she knew, who she was as a person, and the family she loved. She learned she needed some serious courage, faith in the power of vulnerability, and a very sturdy tool belt.
At Tedx Sedona 2018, she shared her unique story as well as tools she used to help build the life she wanted as she became the carpenter of her own life over the past decade.

The #1 Skill to Survive in the 21st Century is Creativity
Curtis Panasuk

Creativity consultant, Curtis Panasuk, will supercharge your creative problem-solving skills by showing two of the many creativity techniques that you and your children will need to survive in the job market for the 21st century.  According to leading publications such as The New York Times, robots and AI may eventually take jobs from you and future generations.  The world is in transition, so how can we avoid becoming second-class citizens among super-robots and AI?  The answer is creativity, which is the one skill that robots and AI do not have over humans.  Unfortunately, this is also the one skill that is not being taught widely in our schools.  Curtis is a former magazine editor, high-school teacher, and a creative thinker at Apple and Intel.

Louis Landon and Oman Ken

Louis Landon is a composer, Steinway Artist, solo pianist for peace, singer-songwriter, recording artist, and touring musician from New York City, currently residing in Sedona, AZ. He toured and recorded with renowned musician John Payne as a member of the John Payne Band. He has performed and toured with Mikhail Baryshnikov, John Payne, Rupert Holmes, John Hall, and Pucho & His Latin Soul Brothers.

Oman Ken is a master of Native American flutes and various ethnic flutes from around the world. He has been performing with his extensive flute collection for over 30 years.