David Berg

is a professional photographer and the owner of Blackwood Imaging. Born in Puerto Rico and raised on St. Croix, David's family history coincides with many significant cultural aspects of Virgin Islands history. For example, some of St. Thomas's historic churches were built by the Bergs - whose family lineage in the Virgin Islands dates back to the 1600s. Today, David incorporates physical ruins from that history into photographs of beautiful life moments while also acting as an advocate for preserving the culture and heritage of the Virgin Islands.

During David's TEDxSaintThomas talk, entitled "Persevering Culture: The Importance of Remembering Where We Came From So That It May Guide and Inspire Our Future," he will discuss how he incorporates St. Croix's history into his art and the importance of upholding and preserving this history for future generations.



Racquel Berry-Benjamin

was born and raised in the U.S. Virgin Islands and is passionate about teaching, learning, exploring, inspiring, creating, and leading. She believes everyone’s life purpose is to serve using their "Natural, Unique, God-Given Talents and Strengths."

Racquel is an educational leader and currently serves as a Deputy Superintendent of Schools in the St. Thomas-St. John School District. Additionally, she is a Notary Public, Investor, Innovator, and Creator.

Her TEDxSaintThomas talk is entitled "So You Say You Want To Be Happy?" During this talk, Racquel will discuss how honoring your unique human design, (your natural make-up) growth, and service leads to true happiness. It is a talk about discovering self, which leads to authenticity; growing self, from being intentional; and giving of self which leads to living a purposeful life.



Mark Changizi

has a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from the University of Maryland, and degrees in Mathematics and Physics from the University of Virginia. He is a prolific scientist with unique cross-disciplinary expertise in cognitive science, neurobiology, vision, optics and language. His research has been featured in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, Forbes, Wired, Discover, Scientific American, Newsweek and as a host on the Discovery Channel.

He is currently Director of Human Cognition at 2ai Labs, and co-founder of O2Amp.

Mark’s TEDxSaintThomastalk is entitled "Curing the Colorblind of their Health-Blindness" and will address the impact of colorblindness on a medical professional's ability to detect clinical signs and diagnose disease. ...and how he’s working to overcome this problem.



Paul Cater Deaton

came from modest beginnings as a movie grip in 1978, and has become an internationally acclaimed, award-winning writer, producer, director, cinematographer, and a full member of the Television Academy. PCD has filmed on six continents and thrives in all spheres of production, from aerial to undersea. Credits include HBO Documentaries, Animal Planet, PBS, The Amazing Race, Travel Channel, and The Discovery Channel. His underwater documentaries have aired all over the world, and he is internationally published. Over the past 20 years, Paul has presented over 100 seminars, workshops and film festivals around the world. He lives in the Virgin Islands.

In his TEDxSaintThomas talk entitled "The Only Good Shark," PCD explores the horrific loss of over 90% of the ocean's apex predator, the shark. Deaton cites the ages-old belief that sharks are mindless killing machines, and counters with recorded facts and images. He explains why people should care about the shark's critical role in nature's balance, and offers solutions to this global threat.



Scott Eanes

leads the Virgin Islands Sea Turtle Project through which he is helping to research and protect the endangered hawksbill sea turtles along the Cyril E. King International Airport runway on St. Thomas.

His TEDxSaintThomas talk is entitled "Cyril E. King: Where Passion and Conservation Take Flight." During this talk, Scott will discuss finding your passion in life and the path he took to find his. It is a story of the discovery of an abundance of juvenile, critically endangered hawksbill sea turtles along an artificial reef.



Ben Halpert

is Vice President, Risk and Corporate Security for Ionic Security and Founder and President of Savvy Cyber Kids, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization he founded in 2007 to provide innovative cyber ethics resources to assist parents and teachers as children grow up online.

Ben is an award-winning author of several books for diverse audiences. He has written and continues to expand The Savvy Cyber Kids at Home series of books that include The Family Gets a Computer, The Defeat of the Cyber Bully, and Adventures Beyond the Screen. Ben has the most fun when he is invited to schools world-wide to educate students, teachers, and parents on how to be empowered with technology and to bring cyber ethics to all aspects of our digital lives.

Ben's TEDxSaintThomas speech is entitled "Technology Addiction and What you Can do About It." Society is guiding our children mindlessly towards technology at an alarming rate, without taking a step back to examine the potential impact this could have. For many, technology flooding starts very early in life, and is hard to escape as we become increasingly dependent on technology for even the simplest of tasks.



Priscilla Hintz Rivera Knight

is the director of PHR-Art Projects, a multidisciplinary enterprise that specializes in arts management consulting, curatorial services, and arts-integrated projects. She is responsible for the PoP-Up Art Gallery space at Yacht Haven Grande where she has produced numerous exhibitions, which have garnered critical acclaim. Recently, she was awarded the V.I. Academic & Cultural Awards Grant to produce a Virgin Islands Art History book in collaboration with David Knight Jr. and St. Croix artist La Vaughn Belle.

In her TEDxSaintThomas talk entitled "What is Arts-Driven Economic Development and what can it mean for the Virgin Islands?," Priscilla will explore how the Virgin Islands can better leverage its distinctive arts and cultural assets to revitalize neighborhoods and downtowns, instill a strong sense of place and pride in residents, attract creative workers and cultural visitors, and create sustainable economic development. Arts and cultural strategies of development can help to reveal and enhance the underlying identity and productivity of a community.



Sandra Maina

is a Kenyan-born atmospheric and climate scientist passionate about bridging the gap between science and community. While earning her B.S. in Meteorology and M.S. in Environmental science, Sandra was seen as a scientific trailblazer for her desire to integrate and work alongside with indigenous communities who are highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Her belief is that successful development and implementation of climate change adaptation strategies will only occur through bottom-up, participatory approaches.

In her TEDxSaintThomas talk entitled "Vanishing Lands: The Untold Story of Our Nation's 1st Climate Change Refugees", Sandra will narrate the tragedy of the tribal community Isle de Jean Charles. Using her first-account experiences with this south Louisiana tribe, Sandra will illustrate how moving a village takes a village, one of the lessons in climate change adaptation our nation can learn from the plight of Isle de Jean Charles.

Amit Mirpuri

is a technophile who became fascinated by computer programming and its ability to provide useful solutions to everyday problems. By the age of 14, he had created a library management solution for a high school in his home town of Casablanca, Morocco. Amit later attended Carnegie Mellon University where he double majored in Computer Science and Business Administration. Today, Amit is using that passion and experience as the co-founder and Managing Director of Connect Anything, a company working to create unique marketing solutions for the service industry.

In his TEDxSaintThomas talk entitled "Click. Done," Amit will explore the impact of the commercial internet on the retail world and a future where nearly all services are available to you at the click of a button.



Lukas Neely

Born and raised on St. Thomas, Lukas Neely is a former Hedge Fund Portfolio Manager and current best-selling author of "Value Investing: A Value Investor's Journey Through the Unknown." He gave up his job in the hedge fund world to focus on his mission in life — helping individuals invest better.

Lukas' TEDxSaintThomas talk is entitled "Is This the Death of Investing?" Today, more and more individuals are giving up on investing or relying on passive, non-value added investment structures. Ultimately, this will have an enormous negative effect on their purchasing power and quality of life. Lukas will explore the steps to becoming a successful investor by creating a lifetime investing plan aimed at individuals at every income level.



Nate Olive

After narrowly escaping a sinking ship in the Caribbean with his life, farmer and natural resources Ph.D. candidate Nate Olive turned to the soil with a new passion.

Nate's TEDxSaintThomas speech is entitled "Fixing Paradise: Rethinking Sustainable Agriculture for Food-Desert Caribbean Islands and Beyond." Over 99% of food consumed in the Virgin Islands now must be imported, at great cost. Moving beyond the paradigm of sustainable agriculture into beneficial relationships at the food-scape level is only way to repair vital ecosystems necessary to feed the region and save small-scale food production communities.



Alex Randall

is Chairman and Professor of Communication at the University of the Virgin Islands. Randall has a BA in Psychology from Princeton and a Doctorate from Columbia. His doctoral dissertation is on a field study of Group Dream Communication. He created the world's first e-commerce business and ran a non-profit foundation bringing computers to the communist countries of Eastern Europe. "One day at a State Department event, the Dalai Lama thanked me for the good work I was doing, then Desmond Tutu, then Bill Clinton. Everything else pales by comparison,"

In his TEDxSaintThomas talk entitled "Wake Up!" Alex will discuss how to remember your dreams and have them help you figure out who you are, where you are going and what to do with our life." The basic ideas to help you remember dreams is pretty easy to learn and master. Making sense of them is all about learning the language they use, which is not your day time normal speech and then getting guidance is the goal. It is all about discovering how to think in Ana-Logic instead of Logic.



Steve Rockstein

is a national award-winning photographer. His images have been exhibited and published worldwide. A self-described 'restless artist' his subject matter reflects his ever evolving, straight-from-the-heart approach to both his work and his life. As a mentor and photography teacher, his goal is to inspire great work in others. Today he is producing his first full-length documentary film, SAND on the FLOOR. He and his wife, Leslie, have called Saint Thomas home for more than 40-years.

In his TEDxSaintThomas talk entitled "Photography and the Human Spirit", Steve will deconstruct his process of conscious camera-work and reveal a place where art meets technology and the brain meets the heart. With photos culled from his 45-year, photographic journey, his talk will leave participants with tools to begin their own.



Hayida Sewer

is a Ph.D. student in the Africana Studies Department at Brown University. She earned her B.A. in Sociology at Spelman College, where she was a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow. Hadiya's research interests include Africana feminism, Colonialism, and Radical Caribbean Thought. Her proposed dissertation examines the impact of American colonial rule on race, gender, sexuality, conceptions of the human, and sovereignty in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Hadiya's TEDxSaintThomas talk is entitled "We Must Talk about Race and American Colonialism." The social, political, and economic marginalization of people in American territories raises a host of pertinent questions about racism and American colonial power. In an effort to decolonize the remaining non-self-governing territories of the world, prevailing discourses on colonialism must be willing to grapple with the idea that American domination is rooted in colonial logic and practices.



Kevin Williams

spent 12 years serving as an officer in the U.S. Navy Sea, Air, Land (SEAL) Teams, including leading SEAL and Coalition Forces during seven deployments worldwide, serving at SEAL Team SIX, and acting as a Basic Training Officer responsible for leading SEAL instructors and selecting candidates. Kevin currently lives on St. Thomas and serves as the Chief Operating Officer at 13D Research.

In his TEDxSaintThomas talk entitled "Everything I Know I Learned in Kindergarten (and SEAL Training)," Kevin will discuss the premium on screening for character and how fear and failure play a critical role in building elite teams.



Dr. Leslie-Ann Williams

is a native of Trinidad and Tobago. She is the Medical Director and Founder of Healing Wings International, a primary care/wellness practice servicing the US Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands and Anguilla. Since 2014, Dr. Williams has made St. Thomas her home and takes great pride in caring for her patients. She loves teaching, educating and motivating her patients to live wholeheartedly. Her compassion and ability to infuse ebullience into her practice has earned her a reputation as “a doctor with a difference”. Dr. Williams is a mentor to many medical students, residents and physicians and conducts wellness workshops at medical schools for incoming students as well as at National Conferences. She is featured in the publication, “Against All Odds: Celebrating Black Women in Medicine."

In her TEDxSaintThomas talk entitled "Taking Care of the ME in Medicine," Dr. Williams will discuss the disturbing trend of physician suicide and burnout. She will discuss the importance of physician wellness and discuss ways in which physicians can care for themselves. Her talk brings awareness, provides an outlet where listeners can identify themselves, and stimulates them to action where balance and self care put the ME back in MEdicine.



Katie Zaytoun

is a North Carolina native who has called the Virgin Islands home since 2003. She is the Executive Director of Dancing Classrooms V.I., a 501(c)3 nonprofit founded in 2011 to provide the Dancing Classrooms program to the children of the Virgin Islands. Katie is currently pursuing an Executive Masters Degree in Public Administration through Rutgers University and the Center for Puerto Rico.

In her TEDxSaintThomas talk entitled "More than Just a Dance," Katie will examine the relationship between arts education and how children, families, schools and communities can go from surviving to thriving.