Transformative Tech Conference November 2018
Palo Alto, CA

Our mission is to permanently move a billion people into a state of fundamental wellbeing and flourishing by 2030.

Now there is a mission I can get behind. This was my first year attending the Trans Tech Conf and it certainly will not be my last. There were so many great speakers and this could be a very long article. I’ve included the highlights here and encourage you to participate next year.

We opened the conference with an exercise to connect with other attendees before speaker sessions. We took a few minutes to interact 1:1 and then in groups of 4. It was a great way to kick off the first day. Ironically, the phrases that resonated with me in that first event were all about connection and productivity.

“When you try to be, you lose the connection.”
”Faith is an emotional state.”
”To fulfill a vision, you need energy”
”Efficient does not equal speed”
”Connect by releasing filters”

In the next session, I’ve recapped the speakers that stood out among a great roster of sessions. I may add some speaker recaps, as I am still processing everything I saw and heard.


I first heard about Muse a year ago and we got to watch the announcement of Muse 2 launch at TTC. This EEG headband helps us train our brains to focus and the free Muse iOS app tracks progress. “Users showed neuroplasticity changes in 4 weeks of using Muse.”

This product completely addresses doubts about meditating. I would love to squelch the feeling of “am I doing this right?” and focus on the experience of meditating.

Data: Muse also has a user friendly privacy policy where you own your data. “Your data will remain strictly anonymous and confidential unless you give explicit permission otherwise.” This is a big win for the founders and consumers.

The founder, Ariel, was part of the early MIT media lab, a Therapist and Neuroscientist. The Muse product combines these talents into one to create a functional wearable thought controlled computing product . Her passion for positive change through meditation (with a tech assist) is infectious.

Founders: Ariel Garten, Trevor Coleman

BIO Beats

This session was a personal highlight for me and opened with a story of a man in his early 30’s who had a heart attack and flatlined. After being brought back to life by medical staff, the quest to find how this could happen to a young healthy man began. The results kept me jaw dropped throughout this talk.

As many of us have done before, we override our natural signals for self-care to get our work done. We ignore messages that tell us we are hungry, thirsty or tired. Beyond certain level of stress, an individual will stop feeling and simply not now how to answer questions like “How are you doing?” When the team studied the long term effects of this on the brain, they found that the brain patterns were similar to the brain of an autistic person. Alexithiama - inability to classify emotion forgetting hunger, thirst My take away, we are making ourselves autistic by continuing this behavior.

The team also found that prolonged rumination showed links to cardiovascular disease. The example given was waking up in the middle of the night, thinking about work and getting up to rewrite that email. Too many of us have done this and there is data to show how unhealthy this continued behavior can be.

Source: The Association between Work-Related Rumination and Heart Rate Variability: A Field Study, Fontiers Media

The good news is we can change our patterns once we understand them. With the BioBeats wearable, the app tracks heart rate, mood, brain function, sleep patterns, activity and creating habit. The results help you build a baseline and find out where you stress comes from.

BioBeats also offers BioBase which is an 8 week course coaching you on how to better understand your results, as well as how to cope with and reduce stress.

Data: BioBeats data is anonymized and aggregated into groups of 50 people.

PITCHFEST - companies to watch

Motivo - Therapists must complete x number of clinical supervised hours before being approved to practice. The app helps budding therapists to find, screen and connect with clinical supervisors in 45 states and expedite the licensure process. In the pitch we learned how difficult this process was for pre-licensed therapists without proper surfacing the pool of supervisors.

Healium - I sat for a few of their demos in the exhibit area. I found the Muse & iOS AR experience the most rewarding. The Muse EEG detects the gamma brainwaves* and determines the level of positivity we are emitting. The more positive thoughts the user has, the AR butterflies are hatched in the phone experience. The experience reduces stress using XR and help retrain the brain for positivitiy. I found it joyous and so fun!

*Gamma brainwaves measure between 25Hz and 100Hz, with 40Hz being the median. It’s a fast frequency with small amplitude. There is a hightened state of being associated with gamma waves and meditation.

Dr. Sanjay Manchanda

Dr. Sanjay Manchanda has a background in Psychology, body mind therapies and mindfulness. He hold degrees in Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and Psychology. He described his work in administering electrode placements for tDCS (Transcranial direct current-stimulation) using 40Hz | 10Hz to reduce pain and treat PTSD. After 12 weeks of neuro gamma 40Hz treatment, it decreased PTSD and showed residual effects.

low frequency —> body energy

hight frequency —> intuition

The residual results were encouraging and shows there are alternative to pharmaceuticals and they are available now. For more information on Dr Manchanda’s work, read this article that provides a wonderful breakdown in simple terms.

Peter Freer

EEG reader in a headrest that does not require direct contact with the subject. This one is tough to explain, but the room fell silent as we saw what this technology can do.

Nicole, the organizer of the conference came to the stage to demo the tech. She sat at a chair and was told to concentrate on a topic. Behind here the driving game showed a driver staying on the road. It appeared that as her concentration increased, the speed increased and the car stayed on the path. As soon as the speaker diverted her attention (either by speaking directly to her or handing her a cell phone) the game immediately stopped and the audio “PAY ATTENTION” was delivered. The impact this could have on distracted drivers can prevent numerous accidents and save lives. This is just the beginning of what we can do. You can read more about Peter Freer’s work here.

Reading list

There were several books mentioned throughout the event by speakers. I’ve added to my reading list and wanted to share the knowledge with all of you here.

Event Recap: #MeToo, how do we heal?

I couldn’t be happier with the results from #metoo, how do we heal on 11/291/8. The entire process of curating and producing this event gave me hope and inspires me to keep finding solutions to move forward. Of course, like any live event, it was a rollercoaster.

So….the event happened to be on the one night it was pouring rain in Los Angeles and I was worried about turnout. A rare event, but so was “#MeToo, how to we heal?” at The Riveter Marina Del Rey. We kicked off the night with 12 engaged audience members who stayed passed our scheduled time. I initially had concerns that this content would be too heavy, and those worries faded as we started the event. There was a feeling of solidarity in the room throughout the speaker sessions and we were deep in conversation afterwards past our scheduled time.

Here is a recap of the night and the actions items discussed.  To increate our impact, please share these with your friends and family.  

  • Celine Tricart:
    First, Celine spoke about her VR film The Sun Ladies. She traveled to Iraq to interview the Yazidi women who were kidnapped by ISIS, forced into sex slavery, escaped and become combat fighters. Yes, really! She shared that women who were fighting showed signs of healing and were able to readjust faster than those that did not take action. Throughout The Sun Ladies festival circuit, the team provided supplies so audience members could write letters of support to the women in the film. I personally can not wait to see the next round of footage when the translated letters are received by these brave fighters. How can you get involved?  
    ACTION: There are two days left to the kickstarter campaign.  Let's help Celine surpass her goal to translate and bring support letters to The Sun Ladies.  

  • Rachel Cook:  Rachel spoke about here experience in finance and about raising money for her startup, Seeds. Her male counterparts were raising far more money and receiving support, but that didn’t stop her. She founded and created the Seeds platform with the resources available and is now making the philanthropic token available to victims of sexual assault. In addition to allowing people to ask for and receive help, she is helping survivors crowdfund their healing.

    “Money isn't scarce, and in order for one person to financially 'win,' nobody has to lose.  We can transcend the old zero-sum economic paradigm together, creating abundance for us all.  Please join Seeds in asking for what you need, and helping others receive what they need too. <3 
    ACTION: To try and make Seeds as easy to use as we can, we're creating gift cards loaded with Seeds tokens, and pre-selling them at half price on our newly-launched site (yay!),  Please sign up and follow the prompts to receive more, and share the abundance with others as well.  Thank you!”

  • Stacie Aamon Yeldell:  Stacie shared here experience of sexual harassment and abuse of power in the workplace. She used this experience as fuel to create an environment for herself where she was safe and valued. As a board certified music therapist, she has created programs and workshops helping others do the same via hospitals, corporations and rehabilitation centers around the world.
    ACTION: Stacie is holding space for healing February 22-24 - Use the code "RIVETER" to receive 10% off Luminaria . She is also extending the discount to all session packages on her site.

  • Amita Swadhin: Amita spoke with us her work and mission to end rape culture. She shared her story and statistics outlining higher rates of sexual violence among children, transgender and Native American communities.

    • 68% of girls and 30% of boys under 18 Source: Save the Children, Handicap International

    • 47% of transgender people Source: National Gay and Lesbian Task Force,

    • 34% of American Indian or Alaska Native Source: NCIA Policy Research Center 2013, US Government Accountability Office , 2013

    ACTION: We can fight back by calling our representatives to show support to reauthorize the H.R. 6545 Violence Against Women Act of 2018.  After reading through the site, I was moved by the request to improve the criminal justice response, as well as inclusion of technological abuse in the bill. Read through the bill and choose talking points that resonate with you to cite on your call. 

#MeToo, how do we heal?

I have marched, rallied, voted and many times still don't feel heard.  We need to take some time, make ourselves whole again and stand up stronger than ever.  As a result, I’ve produced an event that brings healers and activists together.

Join us at on Thursday November 29th at The Riveter to discuss options for activism, healing and learn how we can take action to prevent sexual harassment & assault. We'll hear from powerful speakers that are helping people become whole again and stand up stronger than ever.


Afterwards there will be time to share your story and interact with other healers in this space. We’re happy to have this event at The Riveter, a co-working space focused on female-founded companies in LA’s tech hub.

Brought to you by: All for One


Diversity in the workplace

The day Dr. Ford testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee I was fortunate enough to speak on the Rabbit Hole Women in Blockchain Salon panel. Both the panelists and attendees were mentally exhausted from the news that day. I accepted the opportunity to speak about the Blockchain Basics Salon and how we can make this space more diverse. Introducing underrepresented communities to new technology is a passion of mine. What came out of my mouth that night was that women and minorities MUST be included if we want this new paradigm called blockchain truly change how we transact. That includes being directly involved as it’s being developed. No excuses.

It was a moment of realization for me. How do we convey this message outside of conferences and panels? When speaking about diversity, what stats and anecdotes can be point to to show why this is so important? What are we missing out on by not being inclusive and diverse?

I would like to share some articles and easily digestible stats that show the benefits of diversity. Let’s read them, become familiar with them and keep them top of mind when discussing the importance of diversity in the workplace.

Companies that reported above-average diversity on their management teams also reported innovation revenue that was 19 percentage points higher than that of companies with below-average leadership diversity—45% of total revenue versus just 26%.

In the United Kingdom, greater gender diversity on the senior-executive team corresponded to the highest performance uplift in our data set: for every 10 percent increase in gender diversity, EBIT rose by 3.5 percent.

McKinsey & Company

Revamping job descriptions benefits everyone, but can be especially helpful for diversity and inclusion efforts. As one often-cited Hewlett Packard study showed, men apply for a job when they meet only 60 percent of the outlined qualifications, but women don’t feel confident to apply unless they meet 100 percent. Rethinking the “requirements” section and remove the checklists that impede women and minorities from applying, and you’ll have access to a larger talent pool.

Medium @JenniferKim

Leaders who give diverse voices equal airtime are nearly twice as likely as others to unleash value-driving insights, and employees in a “speak up” culture are 3.5 times as likely to contribute their full innovative potential.

Harvard Business Review

Focus on intervention, not just bias reduction

The flexible structure allowed lead learners to change the content to specifically address “reverse racism,” which resulted in a 23% decrease in the number of people in that cohort who felt “reverse racism” was an issue at UCAR.

Harvard Business Review

Coursera - Blockchain Basics Course 1 review

Coursera Blockchain Basics Course 1 with the State University of Buffalo is a four week course covering the basic concepts of blockchain. 

  • Blockchain defined
  • Ethereum blockchain
  • Algorithms and techniques
  • Trust essentials

The course was well paced over 4 weeks.  At first, I found some of the materials repetitive but quickly realized that they were laying the foundation as the course built on that knowledge.  I also found the materials selection helpful.  When looking for materials online earlier this year, I quickly became overwhelmed.  It's not always easy to decipher which resources can be trusted.  The materials chosen in this course were informative and well balanced between video and text articles.  

It was advertised at 3.5 hours per week although I found myself spending 5-6 hours a week.  That was partially due to re-reading some articles to absorb the content as well as going down the rabbit hole of related blockchain online articles. 

Being that I started a group to address diversity in this space, I also found it refreshing that this course is taught by Dr. Bina Ramamurthy. She is a STEM researcher and received the Best Teaching Faculty of the Year award (2017) from SUNY Buffalo. It's great to see and support diversity when learning about blockchain.

Overall, the course was worth the time and I'd recommend it to anyone who is curious about or wants to learn more about blockchain.



Continuing Education Programs - Let's gain some new skills!


Here are some courses you can take to learn more about blockchain, including some development classes. 

  1. UCI Division of Continuing Education - Intro Bootcamp in July
    Live stream 7/21/18
    Cost: FREE
  2. UCI monthly Development Bootcamps beginning in August
  3. Oxford program 
    Great for business
    Cost: ~$3k
  4. Draper University 
    Great for entrepreneurship (next class opening January 2019) 
    Cost: ~$10k
  5. List of crypto/blockchain conferences 
    Attend to meet more people in the community and attend panels
    Cost: varying depending on conference and travel needs
  6. Coursera Blockchain Basics
    Cost: Courses are available for a $39 monthly fee.  Financial aid option available

Blockchain Basics Salon (BBS) kick-off 6/13/18

My goal is to help build a diverse community in the early days of blockchain development. This technology is available to everyone and we have an opportunity to defy current socio-economic divides.   

We meet monthly to discuss blockchain technology, learn about real world applications and identify opportunities to participate in this space.  Send your contact info and experience level to  if you would like to join our community.



Blockchain 101 and Glossary

The Crypto Girl Blog
Mimi runs a meetup group in San Francisco and is an Ethereum developer.  She has written some wonderful beginner blogposts.

Product School - Blockchain and Bitcoin
1 hour video explaining the basics of a blockchain transaction

Blockchain Law Summit
Practical legal conversations about the current status and future proofing



ICO Watchdog  
Real time updates on ICOs and crypto related news - available by email, Slack and Telegram

Cryptonite - Chrome extension - Mozilla extension
The browser extension verifies sites by blocking phishing sites and fake social media accounts

Unchained Podcast
Long form blockchain podcast

Unconfirmed Podcast
Short form blockchain podcast (20 minutes and under)

ZigZag Podcast
About changing the course of capitalism, journalism, and women’s lives

Digital Gold by Nathaniel Popper
Book subtitle: Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires Trying to Reinvent Money

Women + Blockchain
weekly newsletter for D&I community

Brooklyn Boardroom Podcast - Blockchain and crypto with Nadine Shelton
What are the possibilities?