Meet Our Speakersz

Junko Nagao

Junko Nagao  |  Light Codes & Choice Vectors

In Light Codes & Choice Vectors, systems thinker Junko Nagao examines the lost art of connecting with nature and ancient wisdom.


Junko Nagao is a systems thinker, fundraiser, and organizational development strategist whose passion is to create a more trust-filled world. She combines 20 years of professional experience with an ancient spiritual practice, more recently known as light language, to align individuals with their own humanity and solve some of our most pressing social, environmental and economic challenges. She recently launched a podcast, Return to Wonder, to help demystify and de-stigmatize this powerful application of energetic activation. As a recent NM resident, she creates events as a board member of Harvard Alumni in IMPACT, and leads the NM chapter of Alumnae-i Network for Harvard Women. She loves to propagate plants, growing a jungle whenever possible, and is currently curating a list of best places to eat and make friends in Santa Fe.

Junko Nagao presents Light Codes & Choice Vectors


What if you carry all the knowledge and wisdom within you to heal, love, and be the hero of your life journey? This presentation examines the lost art of connecting with ones self and nature, the courageous people who carried and protected this wisdom for the future generations despite the atrocities they faced, the growing number of people finding their limitless gifts, and the co-creative powers we carry to solve our most pressing problems on earth.

Charlotte McKernan

Charlotte McKernan  |  Take Back the Streets: OpenStreetMap and DIY Cartography

Architect Charlotte McKernan’s Take Back the Streets introduces open-source geographic data and its myriad uses in design, humanitarian aid, and community development.


Charlotte McKernan is an architect at DNCA. Her work explores placemaking through interdisciplinary research and design. She was raised in Santa Fe, and completed programs of study in Japan and Switzerland. She loves getting lost in places, in thought, in her work, in research, in good books, and in companionable silences. Her background is in communications, computer programming, and environmental research.


Data is power. As we cede more and more location data to corporate entities, we lose non-commercial access to information about our world. Despite the overwhelming presence of Big Tech in the cartographic landscape, the OpenStreetMap project offers a unique, accessible, and empowering alternative. This presentation will introduce open-source geographic data and its myriad uses in design, humanitarian aid, and community development. What can we learn about our built environment when we micro-map the things that are truly important in our lives?

Beth Johnston

Beth Johnston  |  Red Dots

Artist Beth Johnston expands the climate crisis conversation through her creative prose Red Dots.


Beth Johnston (she/hers) is an interdisciplinary artist and educator making work around | about | amidst | from within the climate crisis. Beth’s work investigates and challenges inherited ways of knowing and is indebted to Latinx, Black, Indigenous, Queer and other voices aligned in acknowledging that the climate crisis is rooted in settler-colonial legacies. Grounded in research on environmental justice, Beth’s work explores temporal chasms, climate data encounters, the decolonization of nature, and how to visualize the imperceptible. Her work blurs traditional boundaries between photography, sculpture, performance, video, and activism, often building conversations across mediums. Beth has exhibited in Colorado, Rhode Island, and New York. She received an MFA in Photography from Rhode Island School of Design in 2022 with a self-designed concentration in NatureCulture studies. Beth lives (and works) in the high mountain desert of the Southwest in Salida, Colorado with her partner and two dogs (Thyme and Grey).

Beth Johnston red dots


From within the climate crisis, Beth finds herself searching—searching for understanding, searching for solutions, searching for inherited blind spots and perceptual gaps. The more that she has searched and researched, the more questions birth new questions. Through this process, she is learning to embrace the questions and the searching.  Through creative prose, photography, and performance, Beth hopes to open up the conversation around the climate crisis rather than simplifying it or closing it down. By expanding the conversation, she hopes, we see not only the interconnectedness of the problem, but also the interconnectedness of the solutions.

kelechi agwuncha

kelechi agwuncha  |  tether

In tether, digital media artist kelechi agwuncha reveals how her life as an athlete informs her artistic practice.


Chicago-born kelechi agwuncha is an Igbo-American video artist, filmmaker, and sound artist who uses a surrealist approach to create a set of interventions and reconstructions upon sports and bodily movement that become rehearsals of play. Using techniques of expanded cinema they construct black imagery alongside live rhythms of theatrical and musical performances; this is otherwise known as VJing or video jockeying. Drawing from their former life as an athlete, kelechi’s work is often concerned with observations and ecstatic interventions upon gestures, spaces, and local histories of Black athletes, musicians, and African diaspora. Their work has been exhibited in spaces including OpenTV, Black International Cinema Berlin, MoMA PS1, Pitchfork Music Festival, Bulk Space Detroit and Chicago Architectural Biennial. They recently received an MFA in Visual Arts at University of California.

kelechi agwuncha is a video artist


Memory is an embodied process that can be retrieved across space-time. This presentation introduces how kelechi’s muscle memory was forged and its influence on the artist’s practice.

Daniel Quat

Daniel Quat  |  From Persona to Essence

Photographer Daniel Quat shares benchmark moments that inspired the evolution of the way he works in From Persona to Essence.


Daniel Quat began his passion with photography at 8 years old with his brownie
camera. After completing his BA education from Columbia University and Goddard College,
he continued honing his skills at Apeiron Photo Workshops in upstate NY,
apprenticing under the landscape photographer Paul Caponigro. For almost two decades
in New York City, Daniel ran his own successful commercial photo studio specializing in
advertising, catalogs, corporate portraits and annual reports. He has been published in
many national and local magazines.

In 2005 Daniel transplanted to Santa Fe, where he became known for compelling portraits
and his ability to warm up a crowd for event photography. When he’s not shooting or
editing, he loves to horseback ride, dance (Nia), read mysteries, and hike the beautiful hills
of Santa Fe with his Bijon, Xander. His other loves include his partner, Dawn, and his sweet
Bengal cat, Makela.

Photo by Daniel Quat


Celebrated photographer Daniel Quat knows how to draw out his subjects in order to capture their essence in the best light.  Stepping out from behind the lens, Daniel shares his evolution— from commercial photography practice in Manhattan, to licensed massage therapist, to an active participant in discovering his own inner shadow in process therapy, to reconciling his own adoption, finding his birth mother and picking up the camera, once again, with a new purpose and mission: to help people to be seen.

Gina Hessburg

Gina Hessburg  |  Blowing Up Rafael

Creative Gina Hessburg shares how humor and play helped her navigate through her health crisis in Blowing Up Rafael.


Gina Hessburg is an author and a creative on a mission. With over twenty years of experience in art buying and production management for corporations, advertising agencies, directors, and photographers, Gina has a prowess for creative solutions. Applying inventive problem solving skills to her personal life as well helped Gina survive and thrive through extraordinary challenges.


To help her process unexplained optic neuritis attacks that had slowly been taking her vision during the isolation of COVID-19, Gina Hessburg got creative. She inflated a unique coping mechanism: Rafael, a blow-up doll and COVID companion who injected humor into her journey. Rafael then took on a life of his own, becoming a mascot for other patients experiencing health crises. Gina shared photos of her antics with Rafael on social media accompanied by punchy commentary and reflection. Later she compiled the photos and stories into the award-winning book, Blowing Up. Capturing their best moments, she raised awareness around optic neuritis as well as funds to support other patients with the same condition. Together, Gina and Rafael advocate for a better understanding of what patients go through day-to-day and use her experiences to help other patients navigate the hurdles and challenges of the healthcare system.

Eric Sirotkin

Eric Sirotkin  |  Moving from the Age of Separation to the Era of Ubuntu

In Moving From the Age of Separation to the Era of Ubuntu, human rights lawyer Eric Sirotkin sheds light on the lost principles of interconnectedness as the key toward a peaceful world.


Eric Sirotkin mixes his experience as a lawyer, film producer, author, and peacemaker to contribute to the Ubuntu movement: transforming individualistic thinking to the collective consciousness. Eric is the Founder of the Ubuntuworks Project, which helps both people and countries navigate their conflicts in a way that enhances health and well-being.  Over the years his peacemaking activities have taken him around the world, including India, Peru, Cuba, South Africa, Japan, North and South Korea, Vietnam, France, Netherlands, Canada, and China. He contributed to dialogue on the new Constitution in South Africa, was a UN sponsored election observer at President Mandela’s election and coordinated an international monitoring Project of the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission. It was through this experience that he learned about the wisdom of ubuntu. In the United States he has defended protesters arrested for challenging U.S. militarism and foreign policy, sanctuary workers helping families flee U.S.-sponsored violence in Central America, and workers who have lost their jobs or been harassed due to discrimination and retaliation for race, age, sex, disability, or whistleblowing. He helped found the New Mexico Human Rights Coalition, Ashland Culture of Peace Commission, the National Lawyers Guild Korean Peace Project, and now the Ubuntuworks Project. He is also the Executive Producer of the award-winning film Committing Poetry in Times of War. He is author of Witness: A Lawyers Journey from Litigation to Liberation, and Surviving and Thriving at Work: What Every Employee Needs to Know but is Afraid to Ask. He lectures nationally and internationally on ubuntu and peace and justice issues.

Eric Sirotkin maze


In Moving from the Age of Separation to the Era of Ubuntu, Eric Sirotkin illuminates the secret of how to move beyond good-vs.-evil or us-vs.-them, drawing from his work as a lawyer activist in South Africa, North Korea, and the Navajo Peacemaker courts. In September 2022 he returned to South Africa to go deeper into the lessons of ubuntu and to search for solutions to our great divisions.  Through the framework of Ubuntu— “I am because we are”—Eric sheds light on the too often lost principles of interconnectedness across non-dominant cultures, which are re-membered and seen as the key toward a more peaceful and connected planet, thus helping us to overcome the divisiveness we experience at home and abroad.

Dani Katz

Dani Katz  |  The Lost/Found Trap: How Polarities Program Our Consciousness/the World

Author Dani Katz invites us to move beyond polarity through expansive and deliberate languaging choices in The Lost/Found Trap.


Dani Katz established her reputation as one of Los Angeles’ edgiest literary talents by way of her bold voice, her expanded perspective, and her mastery of language, having published hundreds of articles in the LA Weekly, Los Angeles Times, Vice, Teen Vogue, LA Yoga, Reality Sandwich, and Santa Fe Reporter, among many others.

Her broad spectrum of practical experience and formal studies (including a master’s degree in journalism), combined with a pronounced passion for the metaphysical, inspired Katz’s ever-deepening fascination with the energetic frequencies of words. Devoted to understanding how language programs the subconscious mind, and creates the world as we know it, Katz’s impassioned investigations lead her to develop Quantum Languaging — a method of deconstructing and perfecting the myriad ways, whys, and hows words shape our every human experience.

Katz is the author of the critically-acclaimed Word Up: Little Languaging Hacks for Big Change, Pop Propaganda: An Illustrated Guide, and the forthcoming title, The Language of Betterarchy. She also penned the #1 bestseller, Spirit Hacking, for Shaman Durek. She has been awarded a number of writing residencies, including stints at Santa Fe Art Institute and Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, and has traveled the world teaching and speaking about how language programs our every experience of reality. Katz works as a Quantum Languaging consultant, supporting high-performing needle-movers and game-changing organizations in optimizing their communications in service to greater impact, efficacy, harmony and profit, while guiding the individuals involved to empower themselves, actualize their potential and evolve the world for the infinitely more wonderful.


“Lost” implies “found”, “found” implies “lost.” They are inextricably bound through the linguistic trap of polarity. Polarity constructs attempt to limit the scope of possibility to reductive either/or scenarios rife with implications, assumptions and limitations. These subjective judgments carry heavy vibrational baggage, loaded as they are with programs that seek to convince us that deviating from the beaten path means we’re “lost”.