Meet Our Presenters

Michael Davis  |  Love 2.0: How Digital Romance Is Giving Birth To Artificial Companions

Cyber Security Expert Michael Davis shares his virtual adventures and misadventures in his presentation Love 2.0: How Digital Romance Is Giving Birth To Artificial Companions.


Michael Davis brings over 22 years of cybersecurity experience protecting critical systems for the US Navy, aerospace leaders like Boeing, and research giants including IBM and Los Alamos National Lab. Yet his firm Merek Security Solutions takes a radically different approach—bridging cyber defense with applied psychology to address the ultimate source of digital risk: human behavior.

As a sought-after speaker and author on the frontier of cyberpsychology, Michael explains how our consciousness and relationship with technology impacts online security. His presentations uncover the hidden drivers behind breaches—not just technical glitches, but psychological biases, emotional manipulation, digital addiction and lack of self-awareness. However, he offers hope and practical solutions so audiences walk away empowered to create positive change through understanding the secrets our cyber minds. Beyond thought leadership, Michael spearheads innovative immersive training applying theater to transform employee instincts—helping global firms establish resilient yet compassionate cybersecurity cultures focused on their most vital digital asset: their people.


Love is being redefined in the digital age thanks to artificial intelligence. In his presentation Love 2.0: How Digital Romance Is Giving Birth To Artificial Companions, Cyber Security Expert Michael Davis takes us along his journey into the world of digital matchmaking: AI-powered chatbot and virtual companion apps.

This presentation chronicles the adventure filled with simulated romance, from flirtations with chatbot girlfriends to going on “dates” with avatar partners inside virtual worlds. This presentation also reveal recent research on the exponential growth in users embracing synthetic love and friendship amidst modern isolation. What is the psychology underpinning our human vulnerability to become emotionally attached to even primitive AI displays of affection? How has algorithms claiming to decode romance impact on critical social issues from loneliness to gender bias?

The era of Love 2.0 is arriving faster than we realize. How we can guide it responsibly to augment rather than undermine the best of our human capacity for real connection?

Abby Feldman  |  My Science Baby

In My Science Baby, Single Mom by Choice Abby Feldman explores how artificial insemination might be shaping new generations.


Abby Feldman is currently a practicing landscape architect at Surroundings in Santa Fe. She received her undergraduate degree at The University of Pennsylvania and Masters in Landscape Architecture from Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. She has worked for twenty years for award winning firms in Philadelphia, Mexico City, New York and Los Angeles. She has taught at Harvard, LSU, Tulane and Kent State, as well as dedicating five years to directing a Post-Katrina recovery project in New Orleans called Growing Home.

A Santa Fe Native, Abby is the daughter of Ellyn Feldman, co-founder of the Santa Fe’s Children Museum. After her global trotting, included her year in Denmark where she lived on a pig farm at age 15, and in East Berlin at 18, she returns to New Mexico to enjoy fly fishing, skiing, hiking, hot tubs, dogs, cats, tequila, community building, and family. She rerooted in Santa Fe with her son Felix who she had as a Single Mom by Choice in Los Angeles when she was 38 years old.


In My Science Baby, Abby Feldman reflects on how artificial insemination has changed her life. As a Single Mom by Choice (SMC), Abby was able to create her son, Felix, with the help of science lying on a table in a doctor’s office in Los Angeles with purchased sperm from an anonymous donor. Felix is 8 years old now and has at least 17 half siblings. Abby will also be exploring the choices more and more women are making as SMC and how artificial insemination might be shaping new generations.

Brooks Williams  |  I like Surprises

In I like Surprises, Composer Brooks Williams reveals how he orchestrates circumstances to ignite play with technology, producing serendipitous outcomes.


Brook Williams started his creative career as a composer and sound designer. From the 1970s to 1990s, Brooks worked in his New York City studio, Harmonic Ranch, where he created, edited, mixed, and designed music and audio for film, dance, television, art projects, and performances. He has collaborated with a diverse group of artists and organizations such as Pauline Oliveros, John Cage, Christian Marclay, Shelly Hirsch, Zeena Parkins, Ikue Mori, Jem Cohen, LaMonte Young, Wooster Group, Dia Foundation, MOMA, New Museum, and many others.

Since relocating to Santa Fe in 2019, Brooks has developed a visual portfolio of work relying on the same software technology he used to compose his sought-after soundscapes. He is currently represented by Aurelia Gallery.


In I like Surprises, composer Brooks Williams reveals his creative process. Whether it is composing a soundscape for art exhibit, dance performance, soundtrack, or composing his newest digital painting series, Brooks embraces his co-creation with technology. Brooks reflects on how such randomness helps him collaborate with the universe in both his music and art.

Wendy Stein  |  Wendy vs. The Robot

Fasten your seatbelts for a visceral ride in a self-driving car as Wendy Stein relays the tale of her short-lived stint as a robot car tester in her presentation Wendy vs. The Robot.


WESST’s Regional Manager (Santa Fe) Wendy Stein supports entrepreneurs in starting and growing their businesses in northern New Mexico. As a lifelong entrepreneur, she knows the value of finding one’s place in the world through business and entrepreneurship.

Her professional life may seem like a study in contrasts, from her days designing graphics for video games in San Francisco to her 2+ year Peace Corps posting with no running water or electricity in Lesotho, Africa, to her work as an acupuncturist/herbologist specializing in addressing the needs of underserved population groups.

The common threads are being of service and engaging creativity which she hones with her 10+ years of improv theater training, her passion for wildlife photography (mostly birds), and her most recent pleasure of what happens when chance and skill meet in playing Catan.

She holds a B.A. in Studio Art from Michigan State University and a M.S. in Chinese Medicine from the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine. She is also a graduate of the Modern Elder Academy.


Wendy Stein shares her unique experience of her short stint as a tester for self-driving cars and her takeaways in her presentation Wendy vs. The Robot. With technology ever-evolving as a strong influence in how we live, and the exponential growth coming out of AI, what will be required of us to adapt to these changes? How much will we be ready to surrender our autonomy to a machine? To a robot?

Noah Fierro  |  The Nostalgic Reach

Illustrator Noah Fierro explores the power of nostalgia as he reminisces about his hometown Española in The Nostalgic Reach.


Noah Fierro is a proud Northern New Mexican. Through his time at New Mexico School of the Arts, Noah has developed a portfolio graphite and ink pieces inspired by graphic novel style, celebrating the cultural imagery of Española, his hometown. He uses a bold contrasting monotone palette to build new worlds to help him tell his stories. Noah is pursuing a career in animation with an emphasis on storyboarding and comic illustration.


Noah Fierro explores the complexities and power of nostalgia. In The Nostalgic Reach, Noah speaks to the benefits nostalgia brings and to the probable detriments if we lose it. He captures his love of his hometown Española through his boldly two tonal art with the hope to never forget the places and things that shaped him.

Duke Klauck  |  Everything is Real: A Maxim of Ten Thousand Waves

In his presentation Everything is Real: A Maxim of Ten Thousand Waves, Founder Duke Klauck shares the origin story and the spirit of this Santa Fe destination spa.


Duke is a purveyor of hot water to the masses—passionate about the psyiological effects of water and human touch. In 1981 he founded Ten Thousand Waves, a Japanese-style resort located in Santa Fe.


For decades, Ten Thousand Waves took pride in their mantra: “Everything at Ten Thousand Waves is real”. Built into the hillside off of the Santa Fe Ski Basin road, Ten Thousand Waves values natural building materials, effective treatments, and genuine hospitality. In recent years, they have been forced to examine the nature of both the words ‘real’ and ‘everything’.

Jay Myers  |  Who Are We Really?: An Evolution of Identity Through Self-Portraiture

Artist Jay Myers reflects on the evolution of his gender identity and self-reclaimation in his presentation Who Are We Really?: An Evolution of Identity Through Self-Portraiture.


Jay Myers is a multimedia artist focusing on themes of identity and the intricacies of the human condition. Jay grew up in Silver City and is currently in his final year at Visual Arts Department at the New Mexico School for the Arts. In the Fall 2022, he co-created a mural representing the many cultures of New Mexico, in collaboration with the Determined Art Movement and Three Sisters Collective. Myers currently works at Etc. Letterpress with Natalie Good in Santa Fe, working with antique letterpress printing technology. Jay is plannint to continue his studies Biology and/or Education.


Jay Myers explores the many personas he’s worn through his life, and the resulting art which represents the culmination of his experience and identity. Who Are We Really?: An Evolution of Identity Through Self-Portraiture represents transformation, survivorship, and his experience growing into himself.

Elana Haviv  |  Imagine Peace

In her presentation Imagine Peace, Educator Elana Haviv, takes us on a journey to explore the concept and complexities of peace through words and experiences of youth in post-war and post-genocide countries.


Elana Haviv, is the founder and Executive Director of Generation Human Rights. She is a human rights education specialist who develops best practices and programs for education experts and policymakers to recognize and confront human rights abuses, and other forms of discrimination that trickle down into educational settings. She designs and delivers innovative human rights-based curriculum projects for children, youth and teachers in schools, refugee settings and humanitarian emergencies worldwide. The programs she creates enable youth to develop the skills they need to live informed and engaged lives as they navigate the circumstances of the world around them. Her independent consulting work has included writing four guides for UNESCO aimed at providing practical advice for teachers on launching and managing constructive classroom discussions on violent extremism.

Elana is an Oral History Fellow at Columbia University and a George Eckert Institute of International Textbook Research fellow. She holds a Ph.D. from Antioch University in Leadership and Change.


What is peace? In Imagine Peace, Elana Haviv takes the audience on an immersive, multi-sensory journey exploring the concept and complexities of peace through the eyes, artifacts and voices of the youth of post-war and post-genocide countries. Though rooted in years of research, this is not an academic presentation, but an unforgettable trip through the varied terrain of lived human experience.