Upcoming Event: Big Blue: A Very Special Evening on the Oceans

BIG BLUE: Compelling Speakers, Stories, Discoveries, Technologies & the World Premier of Okeanos

What if liquid robots could completely change the way we understand currents? Sniff for oil leaks? Identify bad actors in marine protected areas? Why is Gigartina so sexy? Why is our whole conservation paradigm false and how can we change it? What does an explorer and photographer see when he stays in the water in the remotest area for a really long time? What comes out when a composer gets inspired to write an opera to the Ocean? How do the poets and lineage holders advocate for a new relationship with the Ocean? ALL THIS AND THE WORLD PREMIERE OF CAPACITOR’S OKEANOS.

Doors open at 4:30 for registration and networking. Program begins at 5:00. Expect an immersive experience Herbst Pavilion at Fort Mason Center. The 1st part of the evening will feature TEDx talks by a group of vital writers, scientists, researchers, chefs & aquapreneurs. See data visualizations, infographics, and technologies being used to understand and address the issues of the sea, get inspired by original music and art. Co-hosted by celebrity activist Deborah Bassett.


Deborah Bassett, Independent Journalist and Non-Profit Consultant


Ed Lu, Liquid Robotics
Neill Duffy , Tribe Management
Jenefer Palmer, OSEA
Andy Sharpless, Oceana
Kristin Hoffmann, Musician
Mkalani Souza, Peacemaker
Amos Nachoum, Photographer
Patri Friedman, Seasteading Institute
Casson Trenor, Tataki
Roz Savage, Ocean Rower and Environmental Campaigner
Thomas Dolby, TED Music Director
(PENDING: America’s Cup)

Speaker Bios:

Deborah Bassett

Deborah Bassett was born and raised in Connecticut. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology & Anthropology from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. During her college years, she spent a year abroad studying Spanish and Latin American History and completed an internship in International Public Relations at the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, Mexico.
Fluent in French and Spanish, Deborah has since traveled the globe extensively documenting the efforts and raising awareness and funding for various environmental and social initiatives. She has volunteered in the field from tsunami relief in southern Thailand, to Habitat for Humanity in rural El Salvador, to jaguar conservation in the heart of Mexico’s Selva Maya Rainforest. Through the years she has worked directly with such organizations as Amazon Watch, Global Green USA, Rainforest2Reef, Earth Island Institute, Orangutan Outreach, The Clinton Global Initiative, TEDx and The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
In her mid-twenties Deborah relocated to the North Shore of Oahu, where she learned to surf, discovered yoga and deepened her life long love and appreciation for the Ocean and marine life. In 2007 she joined the crew of pro surfers and celebrity activists in a paddle out ceremony to help expose the annual slaughter of dolphins in Taiji, Japan, as featured in the 2010 Academy Award winning film, The Cove. Her recent Sea Shepherd campaign to end the pilot whale slaughter in the Faroe Islands will be featured as a 5 part series on Discovery’s Animal Planet in 2011/2012.
Based in LA, Deborah continues to travel often as an independent journalist and consultant for various non profit organizations, specializing in public relations and special events planning. She is a frequent contributor to The Huffington Post, The Ecologist, Elephant Journal, Take Part and The Los Angeles Examiner.

Edward T. Lu Chief of Innovative Applications

Ed Lu is an engineer, physicist, pilot, and former NASA astronaut. He spent 12 years at NASA flying anything he could get his hands on including T-38 jets, Space Shuttles, the Russian Soyuz, and the International Space Station.
After NASA, Ed spent 3 years at Google leading Advanced Projects, where his teams built imaging and data gathering systems for Google Earth, Google Maps, Street View, Google Books, as well as energy information projects like Google PowerMeter.
Ed has a bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University, and a doctoral degree in Applied Physics from Stanford University.

Neill Duffy Chairman, Tribe Management

After having qualified as a Chartered Accountant, Neill has spent the last 25 years advising major brands, federations, properties, NGO’s and agencies as a senior sports and entertainment marketing and sustainability professional.
During this time Neill has led a regional division for Octagon Worldwide, one of the worlds top sports and entertainment practices, started and grown an award winning sports marketing agency, developed sustainability and CSR strategies, been part of an Olympic bid team, managed international Olympic athletes, spoken at international conferences, authored a book called Passion Branding, hosted a horse racing TV show and presented sport on a weekend breakfast radio show.
Neill’s most recent venture is Tribe Management, a ‘for purpose’ social business that raises capital, in all its forms – financial, human, emotional and brand – for the benefit of organizations with a sustainability commitment. Tribe has a special interest in harnessing the emotional, communicative and commercial power of sports, entertainment, media and celebrity for this purpose.
Neill advises the America’s Cup Event Authority on its “More Than A Sport” sustainability strategy and Healthy Ocean Project.

Jenefer Palmer OSEA

OSEA is the world’s leading brand of marine-based natural products sold in destination resorts, luxury spas and boutiques. OSEA products are 100% free of synthetic fragrances, genetically modified ingredients, petrochemicals, parabens, and sulfates. All products are vegan and biodegradable.
OSEA is based in Malibu, California, where Jenefer lives with her family, close to the sea that inspires her. Her commitment to marine science and Ocean stewardship is interwoven in all of her activities.

Andy Sharpless CEO, Oceana

Oceana is the largest international conservation organization fully dedicated to protecting the oceans. Sharpless holds degrees from Harvard Law School, the London School of Economics, and Harvard College and is an advocate and a manager with wide leadership experience in business and NGO start-ups. He served as Executive Vice President of Discovery.com, the online division of Discovery Communications, the cable television programmer behind The Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Discovery Health and The Travel Channel.
Prior to that, he was Senior Vice President of the initial management team which launched RealNetworks, the company which pioneered online streaming media. As VP at the Museum of Television & Radio in New York City, he helped manage its move to a new and expanded Philip Johnson-designed building in midtown Manhattan.
Sharpless was a management consultant at McKinsey & Co., working for a variety of corporate, non-profit, and governmental clients. As an advocate, Sharpless joined People for the American Way shortly after its founding, serving as deputy director of development. He was a grassroots organizer for the Center for Study of Responsive Law, and the leader of the launch of the Wisconsin Citizens Utility Board. His volunteer work includes serving as trustee and treasurer of Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C.

Kristin Hoffmann

Kristin Hoffmann is a singer/songwriter based in New York City. She grew up studying classical piano, opera, guitar and composition, and attended the Juilliard pre-college program. Kristin has performed her music at many venues in NYC and toured with The Wallflowers and Tina Dico, as well as opening for Brandi Carlile, Feist, Howie Day, Dar Williams, Richie Havens and Ben Lee. She was signed by both Capitol Records and Interscope Records and currently has her own indie label, Starr Records. She has performed at the Sundance Film Festival and her songs have been featured on several television shows, among them Dawson’s Creek, Palmetto Pointe and The Young and the Restless.
Kristin is also a musical spokesperson for ocean awareness and conservation, with her “Song for the Ocean,” and has recently released a music video of the song, created with the videographer, environmentalist and founder of Global Classroom, Colin Garland. She has written more than 150 songs for health-challenged children as a writer/producer for Songs of Love, a non-profit organization.

Mkalani Souza

Kalani is a gifted storyteller, singer, songwriter, musician, performer, poet, philosopher, priest, political satirist, and peacemaker. A Hawaiian practitioner and cross-cultural facilitator, he has experience in promoting social justice through conflict resolution.
Kalani previously taught Conflict Resolution at UH Manoa in DURP Program and was on the Committee for Intense Public Conflict of ACR (the Association for Conflict Resolution), a body of 6,000 professional peacemakers internationally. He works training and leading workshops throughout the country and in Europe and is a teacher and community builder around resiliency and capacity, particularly in the case of natural and manmade disasters.
Currently, Kalani works as a Coastal Community Resilience Trainer with FEMA Consortium member National Disaster Preparedness Training Center with the University of Hawaii. The UH NDPTC is located in Honolulu, Hawaii. Kalani also serves as the chairman of the Indigenous Knowledge Hui of the Pacific Risk Management Ohana, PRiMO a collection of federal, state, county and non governmental agencies who work primarily to mitigate and respond to disasters in the greater pacific region. He also serves as a cultural competency consultant for NOAA Pacific Services Center of the Dept. of Commerce and previously served as one of two Hawaiians in the Native Network, a group of 450 peacemakers on the Dept. of Interiors out of the Morris Udall Center for Peace in Tucson, Arizona.
He currently serves as a mentor with the Hawaii non-killing effort out of the Spark Matsunaga Center for Peace and as a board member for the Ala Kahakai Trail Association, part of the National Park Services Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail. He is also the executive director of the Olohana Foundation, a non profit focused on community capacity.

Amos Nachoum Photographer and Explorer

Amos has shot just about everything there is to shoot, but what he loves most is wildlife photography. Especially if it’s in the water. And he has become world-famous at it. So much so, in fact, that he has been asked to lead National Geographic expedition teams with Dr. Eugenie Clark, Dr. Sylvia Earle, and astronaut Buzz Aldrin. He has co-produced documentaries with Stan Waterman, and he was the team leader for National Geographic’s Red Sea, Great White Shark, and Killer Whale photo expeditions.
His commitment to wildlife led him to co-found Israel’s Marine National Park on the Red Sea. He works tirelessly to bring attention to some of the most fragile regions of the underwater realm, with preservation of the environment foremost in every encounter.
Amos’s photos and essays have appeared in hundreds of publications around the globe, including National Geographic, Time, Life, The New York Times, Condé Nast Traveler, Le Figaro, Terra Sauvage, Airone, Mondo Somerso, Der Spiegel, Unterwasser, and many more.
His work has also been included in the books The Living Ocean, The World of Nature, and Oceans. He has been profiled in television appearances on National Geographic Explorer, Today, and Good Morning America, as well as featured in People, Esquire, and Money magazines.
Amos’s photography has won Nikon, Communication Arts, and BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards. His clients include Apple, IBM, Microsoft, Discovery Channel, Armani, Disney, and Colombia Pictures.
Based in San Francisco, California, Amos operates the cutting-edge adventure-travel program Big Animals Expeditions. His voyages take him and his guests all over the world to observe, photograph, and revere the most magnificent creatures on the planet.


Covering 99% of Earth’s living space, the ocean is representative of the rhythms of life itself. By turns fascinating and terrifying, the ocean is an integral part of our lives: we derive food from it, breathe the oxygen produced in it, drink the water that cycles through it, explore its depths to learn more about its inhabitants and our planet, and create countless songs, poems, and paintings about its breathtaking and often dangerous beauty. Yet this essential resource is being destroyed by growing human demands. Coral extinction, plastic trash contamination, over-fishing, oil spills, climate change – our immense impact on the ocean is undeniable. What once felt vast, endless, and overwhelmingly deep is now vulnerable to our increasingly destructive ways of living.

Okeanos is a multidisciplinary corporeal portrait of the ocean as body, environment, resource, metaphor, and force. The work incorporates choreography and set design by Capacitor artistic director Jodi Lomask, video art by RJ Muna and Joseph Seif, sound composition by EO, Beats Antique and Tipper, vocalizations by Anka Draugelates, violin by Julia Ogrydziac, and costumes by Kimie Sako and Yoshie Enda. The creation process also features the participation of a scientific advisory panel of some of the world’s leading researchers in marine biology and oceanography. Through this collaboration, Capacitor created a 60-minute performance that gives audiences a fully immersive sensory experience of the ocean; assisting people in affirming their commitment and connection to ocean life; and creating a blueprint for future art/science collaborations.

Okeanos features the distinctive artistic and technical components that Capacitor has come to be known for – inventive and articulated dance vocabulary, abstract steel forms that mirror nature, poetic integration of audio/video/media forms, sculptural costumes, scientifically supported content, and conservation partnerships. The audience will participate in the space with Capacitors’ six dancers (including choreographer Lomask) and five circus artists as they perform among them on a custom-designed aerial apparatus inspired by the shapes and features of ocean life.

The Okeanos multi-media installation surrounds this central performance space on all four sides and takes audiences on a visual journey of the ocean, from the breaking waves of its surface to the diverse ecosystems at its depths. Video includes underwater footage of dancers and sea life as well as constructed video effects of dancers to simulate underwater movement and flow. Vocal improvisations – performed live both as solos and in conjunction with recordings of whale songs – and samples of recordings of the scientific advisors punctuate the sound score.

The Okeanos performances feature a multi-level educational component.

Tierney Thys PhD – Marine Biologist, National Geographic Emerging Explorer and Expedition Leader, Monterey Bay Aquarium consultant, past director of research at the Sea Studios Foundation, a team of scientists and filmmakers that makes award-winning media to raise awareness of environmental issues
Bart Shepard – BA MS General Curator of the Steinhart Aquarium at the California Academy of Sciences
Michael Arvedlund – BSc MSc PhD CICS, Reef Consultants
John Potter – Principal Scientist at the NATO Undersea Research Centre
Edith Widder – President & Senior Scientist, Ocean Research & Conservation Association
Morton Lomask – Bathyscaphe Explorer, 1957 (10K foot dive)
Healy Hamilton – Director of the Center for Applied Biodiversity Informatics at the California Academy of Sciences
Terry Gosliner – Curator of Invertebrate Zoology and Geology at the California Academy of Sciences
Edward T. Lu – Chief of Innovative Applications
Kristin Hoffmann – Singer/Songwriter