2016 TEDxHonolulu Speakers

FLOW: Reaching Our Greatest Potential

"FLOW" image by Solomon Eno

Image by Solomon Enos

FLOW was the focus of the TEDxHonolulu 2016 conference on July 9, 2016, 10:00am at the Neal Blaisdell Concert Hall. The day-long event featured speakers from the worlds of sports, business, technology, education and the arts.

“During the intensity of a FLOW experience we’re learning more, making new insights and connections, and reaching new levels of high performance, self-knowledge and creative excellence.” says TEDxHonolulu lead curator Genesis Leong.

At this year’s conference, speakers shared how they experience and intensify their encounters with FLOW, and how they use FLOW to continuously improve their physical, social and mental performance in their professional and personal lives.

Learn more about our speakers below.



Andrei Natarov

“Talking effectively about science requires precision. We can do it by using the dynamics of FLOW.”

Andrei Natarov is an oceanographer with the International Pacific Research Center (IPRC) at the University of Hawaii. He holds a PhD in Physical Oceanography and Scientific Computing from The University of Michigan.

Andrei studies movements of the ocean: i.e. waves, currents, and turbulence. The topic he finds most fascinating at the moment is how these movements affect the Earth’s climate. In search for answers, Andrei has participated in many research cruises to the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

Andrei finds that although it is lot of fun to do research, sharing scientific findings is even better. His approach to teaching about science is based on the dynamics of FLOW –a combination of challenges and rewards, the familiar and the mind-blowing. Andrei believes that, “while it’s necessary to be precise in communicating science, being precise is not nearly as painful as many assume!”



Bettina Mehnert

“Contemporary architects are creating history, one building at a time, through FLOW.”

A descendent of three generations of architects, it is no surprise that Bettina found her true calling in the world of design. She moved to Hawai‘i from her native Germany and established a home at Architects Hawaii in 1988. Now its President and CEO, Bettina has achieved the proverbial American Dream. She has grown into a thoughtful, dedicated, and highly effective leader at one of the largest and most diverse firms in the Pacific. Recently she was awarded the prestigious and rare designation of Fellow by the American Institute of Architects.

For Bettina, what benefits the firm must benefit the surrounding community. She strives to consistently raise the standard of practice within the firm, therefore positively affecting the people and the environment surrounding it.

She is tireless in her advocacy of the public good. Deeply committed to the islands and to her family, working for the betterment of society also helps ensure a healthy future community for her adopted daughter. When she’s not at the firm, Bettina loves to explore the globe, snowboard and run races.


CALDWELLportraitCOLORmedBryan Caldwell

“Immersive spaceflight simulations are supported by a group suspension of disbelief similar to the state leads to FLOW.”

Bryan created an unusual pathway into human spaceflight research by overlapping an award winning career as a professional theater and event lighting designer with a doctoral major in physiology.

After receiving his PhD at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, and completing a postdoctoral appointment in Syracuse, NY, Bryan realized his lifelong dream of working for NASA by managing a sensory physiology study for Cornell University at the NASA Flight Analog Research Unit in Galveston, Texas. An appointment to Project Manager of the NASA funded Hawaii Space Exploration Analog (HI-SEAS) followed and is ongoing.

Analogs are a key research platform for human spaceflight on the ground. They range from medical centers where the effects of altered weightlessness on the human body are studied to immersive simulations like HI-SEAS where the response to isolated, confined, and extreme environments are investigated.

It comes as no surprise that a career in professional storytelling is very conducive to planning and maintaining a simulated planetary exploration mission on the Mars-like lava slopes of Mauna Loa, here in Hawaii. Bryan designed nearly 200 productions in NZ and internationally since 1987 before taking a break from lighting in 2011. In May, he will re-unite with the creative team at the Auckland Theatre Company to light a new production of ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’.



Christa Wittmier

Note: Due to a health emergency, Christa needed to withdraw from the 2016 TEDxHonolulu event. Please read the statement she sent to the community:

“It breaks my heart to have to step down from the TEDxHonolulu stage today, as I have just had surgery yesterday and am on dose 6 of 15 of whole brain radiation to treat a breast cancer recurrence. I was going to share with you the biggest lessons cancer taught me, which will always be relevant whether I am sick or fully healthy. Of the countless lessons learned this past year the biggest ones are so so simple: love yourself, help each other, you have more power inside you than you think, enjoy your life and every day – every moment – is a new chance to try again. I may not have physically been able to get up and share this with you today, but I trust that you will still get so much out of this event and all the hard work everyone has put in to it.”



Salina Storozuk

“Meditation can make ‘me’ disappear into pure bliss. It’s part of the never-ending search for FLOW.”

Salina Storozuk began her yoga and meditation studies in 2002 in India where she embarked on a lifelong spiritual journey. She devoted herself to a meditation practice from that point on, living in ashrams and exploring the inner dimension of Self, traveling to India several times over the course of a decade.

In 2013, Salina received her 200-hour certification from Maya Yoga Studio on Maui and is a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200). Currently Salina practices Mysore-style Ashtanga yoga, and meditates daily. To deepen her meditation practice she attends silent meditation retreats throughout the year when possible.

Salina is inspired to share these practices of healing, awakening and self-realization through teaching Ashtanga yoga, yin yoga, yoga nidra, meditation and outdoor hatha yoga classes.

Salina is the founder of Flo Yoga Hawaii LLC and serves as a Stress Management Specialist at the Ekahi Ornish Heart Disease Reversal Program in Honolulu, Hawaii, where she teaches gentle yoga and meditation practices to participants with heart disease or risk factors.


SOLOMONportraitCOLORmedSolomon Enos  

“Create a life-game that allows society to FLOW.”

Solomon is a Native Hawaiian artist, educator, illustrator, and visionary.

Born and raised in Makaha Valley (Oahu, Hawaii), he’s a proud member of the well-known Enos ‘ohana. His father, Eric Enos, is an accomplished artist and cultural practitioner who has been active in the community for more than 40 years.

Like his father, Solomon has the creative gene and has been making art for more than 30 years. He expresses his artistic viewpoint in a wide variety of media including oil paintings, book illustrations, outdoor murals (both painted and in glass mosaic), and mixed-media sculptures.

He considers himself an “intelligent optimist,” and his art explores an aspirational vision of the world at its best, which, at times, comes through in poly-fantastic (science fiction) narratives. His work touches on themes of ancestry and identity, the human relationship with the earth, and the future of Hawaii, its people, and its resources.

Solomon has exhibited in the Biennial X (Honolulu Museum of Art), 6th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art (Queensland Art Gallery), CONTACT art exhibitions, and others. His work is held in private collections and in the public collection of the Hawaii State Art Museum.



“Music is a way of tapping into and sharing the most amazing part of ourselves. FLOW is music–and music is FLOW.”

Tavana’s music has been described as “like Stevie Ray Vaughn meets Sublime and Funkadelic for a jam session at Johnny Cash’s house… in Hawaii!” 

Tavana performs regularly in Hawaii and has toured the mainland extensively, including performances at Austin’s renown SXSW music festival in 2010 and 2011. His unique performances have also garnered the attention of Eddie Vedder, beloved front-man of Pearl Jam, who invited Tavana to perform the Hana Hou (encore) for his sold out solo concerts at the Hawaii Theatre in 2009. Their rendition of the iconic island anthem Hawii ’78 (written by “Iz” Kamakawiwo’ole) was so moving that Pearl Jam released the single as their annual holiday gift to their fans. 

Tavana has released three full length albums–“Kicking and Screaming” (2014), “Electric Monkey” (2010) and “Only for the Lighthearted” (2007).

Tavana performed several songs at this year’s TEDxHonolulu event, sharing his unique sound and vision as he created a musical FLOW that took the audience to a new level of sonic exploration and vibration. 




“I perform in a state of total concentration. I want to create that in my audiences; taking them into an otherworldly FLOW.”

Victoria Roos is a professional aerialist at Airmaid Productions on the “Big Island” of Hawaii. Her performances are remarkable for their theatrically intense approach and fluidity–a seemingly merging together of Roos with her aerial apparatus and the music she performs to.

Through her artistry, Roos reaches out to audiences, creating “emotional experiences that are more than just entertainment.” Together, all the individual components of her performances produce an unearthly atmosphere which takes the spectator “out of this reality and into another world.”

Roos graduated in 2015 with the Bachelor of Circus Arts at the CODARTS University of Rotterdam, Holland. Visit www.cirquelicious.com to learn more.