This event will bring together a unique collection of artists, organizers, academics, writers, thinkers, and community leaders from within and beyond the Burning Man community, collaborating with Burning Man staff, board members, and benefactors in an environment of discourse, discovery, and co-learning.

A. Dara Dotz

Co-Founder, Field Ready

Dara is a pioneer in 3D printing in austere environments, who combines her design strategy experience and rapid ethnographic assessment to empower others through technology. Two years after the earthquake in Haiti, Dara realized the extreme supply chain challenges and was motivated to tackle these, starting with 3D printing as a way of addressing immediate needs. She co-founded Field Ready, an NGO that focuses on manufacturing humanitarian supplies. Field Ready supplies 3D printers and teaches locals to make essential medical supplies in multiple countries. Dara also worked as Human Factors Lead for Made In Space, Inc., a company that built and operates the first gravity-independent 3D printer on the ISS. She has lectured at the UN, MakerFaire, TEDx, and more about the potential of technology to address human needs in remote environments. Dara holds a BS in Industrial Design, a minor in International Business from MSCD, and has received numerous accolades for her creative applications of technology and most recently at the White House she was recognized as a “Champion of Change” by the Obama Administration.

Alexa Clay

Author of Misfit Economy

Alexa is a leading expert on subculture and innovation from unlikely places and is the co-author of “The Misfit Economy” (Simon & Schuster 2015), a book that explores underground and informal innovation. She is also the Founder of Wisdom Hackers, an incubator for philosophical inquiry, and the Co-Founder of the League of Intrapreneurs, a movement to create change from within incumbent systems and big organizations. Alexa is currently passionate about two areas - transitioning land stewardship around the world to a new generation through cooperative real estate models, and promoting the dissemination of informal practice from "neo-tribal" communities working to reboot culture around the world. Alexa has written and appeared in Fast Company, Forbes, Wired, Dazed and Confused, VICE, Harvard Business Review, the New York Times and MTV. She is a regular commentator on topics related to economic transition, misfit subculture, social entrepreneurship and technology angst. She received her BA from Brown University and a MSc. from Oxford University.

Alexander Rose

Executive Director, Long Now Foundation

As the director of Long Now, Alexander founded The Interval and has facilitated projects such as the 10,000 Year Clock, The Rosetta Project, Long Bets, Seminars About Long Term Thinking, Long Server and others. Alexander shares several design patents on the 10,000 Year Clock with Danny Hillis, the first prototype of which is in the Science Museum of London, and the monument scale version is now under construction in West Texas. Alexander curates speaking series' at The Interval and The Battery SF, has been a part of the Thiel Fellowship Network, and founded the Robot Fighting League. Alexander graduated with a bachelor of arts honors degree from Carnegie Mellon University in Industrial Design, as well as attended the Art Center College of Design. He was an artist in residence at Silicon Graphics Inc., and a founding partner of the robotics company Inertia Labs.

Allison Dewald (Sunny)

Burning Man Headquarters Hospiltality

A staff member since 2013, Sunny keeps the hospitality flowing at Burning Man headquarters. She coordinates and executes office events and keeps the office staff fed and happy. Sunny first came to Black Rock City in 2007 and every year since for good ol’ fashioned unplanned adventures. Sunny graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Indiana University. She taught preschool for ten years in three states, was a nanny for five, and tended bar throughout. In her rare spare time, Sunny bar tends in the Mission, shoots film photography, creates costumes, reads and writes.

Andie Grace

Andie Grace is the Vice President of Acquisitions and Head Cheerleader at Devolver Digital Films, the film distribution arm of indie video game publisher Devolver Digital. She oversees acquisition, strategy, and publicity for the Austin-based label's slate of independent films. She is also a Co-Founder of The Factory 510, a coworking studio and creative space for art, tech, and makers located in Silicon Valley. Aside from her love of film, community management and creative collaboration is a longstanding passion. Andie served for 12 years on the executive staff at Burning Man, where her responsibilities included management of communications and media relations. Additionally, as Regional Network Manager she was instrumental in the development and growth of the The Burning Man Network, a year-round global program supporting local civic service, community, and leadership training. Andie is an experienced event producer, and provides production and publicity consulting and services to a range of art/culture/community clients. Andie has presented keynotes and panels at top conferences, including SXSW, The Conference on World Affairs, The Economist's Innovation Conference, Europe's Nonick Conference, OnScreen Manitoba, and The Public Relations Society of America.

AnnaMaja Jenson

Citizen of Christiania

Christiania, founded in 1971, is a self-proclaimed autonomous neighborhood of about 850 residents, covering 34 hectares in the borough of Christianshavn in the Danish capital Copenhagen. Christiania's commitment is to create and sustain a self-governing community in which everyone is free to develop and express their selves as responsible members of the community.

Annie Vikart (Lulu)

Project Manager for the Ticketing Department, Burning Man Project

As part of the Burning Man Ticketing team, Lulu helps tens of thousands of people experience Burning Man every year. Year-round, she helps with the Low Income Ticket Program, manages our internal ticketing processes, and oversees projections and statistical analysis of ticket sales patterns. On playa, she is the Assistant Operations Manager of the box office. Lulu first participated in Burning Man as a child in 1995, and grew up in the Burner community. Lulu is deeply interested in Burning Man’s relationship with money, and the myriad of ways our community engage with the organization. Lulu holds a Master’s degree in Organometallic Chemistry from the University of Washington, as well as Bachelor’s degree in Medicinal Chemistry from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and brings an analytical eye to her work with the organization. Lulu has had bright pink hair for 12 years, and wants to talk with you about any ideas you have for new macaron flavours.

Ben Nehmadi

Founding Partner & Managing Principal, Republic Investment Company

Ben Nehmadi immigrated to the United States at 16 years during the revolution in Iran. He came to the US seeking refuge from religious persecution and within a few years was able to bring his entire family to New York to start their new life. With a small personal loan, Ben started investing in commercial real estate and formed Republic Investment Company nearly thirty years ago. Equipped with an indomitable work ethic and desire to provide for his family, Ben grew his company into a formidable commercial real estate firm with assets throughout the United States. Today, Republic has offices in New York, Los Angeles, and Florida. Having been raised Jewish in a devout Muslim country, traveling to over 50 countries, and interacting with people from all socioeconomic levels, Ben has developed a deeper sense of understanding and empathy towards the human condition. Ben has channeled his success into many charitable initiatives and over the past year has helped with Burners Without Borders and Fly Ranch and many other international philanthropic endeavors, including Ilai Fund in Israel, One Drop and other Jewish organizations. He looks forward to deepening his involvement by offering his unique gifts and generous spirit to organizations who strive for profound social and economic impact. Ben currently resides in Los Angeles with his loving wife and three children, ranging in age from 13-18. He enjoys spending time with his family, hiking, embarking on new journeys and experiences and meeting people from all walks of life.

Benjamin Wachs (Caveat)

Caveat is a member of Burning Man’s Philosophical Center, and works with its education program. His writing has been published by Gannett, Gatehouse Media, Village Voice Media, NPR, and, among other venues. He served as the Director of Communications for Saybrook University for 8 years, working closely with the leadership of the American Psychological Association’s Division 32 (Humanistic Psychology). He is the author of “A Guide to Bars and Nightlife in the Sacred City” (a short story collection), and the forthcoming novel “The Deeds of Pounce.” He has written for the Burning Man Journal since 2010. He is chair of the board of the San Francisco Institute of Possibility, an arts and education non-profit. He holds an M.A. in linguistics, specializing in cultural semantics. His business cards say “Fascinating Stranger.” He is frequently accused of being a fictional character.

Brian Goggin


Brian Goggin is a multi-disciplinary artist utilizing non-traditional locations and a wide-range of materials to create an interaction with the environment through sculpture, public artwork, and museum and gallery installations. He attracted international recognition in 1997 with Defenestration, an NEA-funded site-specific sculptural mural on the vacant Hugo Hotel in San Francisco. Defenestration was an unofficial local landmark for seventeen years until the building was razed to make way for affordable housing. Recent works include Caruso’s Dream (2014), a canopy of angled and overlapping glass and steel pianos held aloft along the frontage of a residential apartment building; and The Language of the Birds (2008), an illuminated flock of translucent, suspended open books for the San Francisco Arts Commission. Other commissions include works for the Lafayette Public Library, Yahoo!, Sacramento International Airport, Seattle Arts Commission, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Goggin studied literature and fine art at Cambridge University in England and San Francisco State University. He has completed artist residencies at Djerassi Foundation, Stanford, Bay Area Discovery Museum, LEAP and Project Artaud. He lives and works in San Francisco, California.

Catie Magee

Design Manager, Practice Fusion & Director and Co-founder, FLUX Foundation

Catie Magee is a force multiplier in the fields of art, design, and health. As a producer, creative strategist, and operations expert, she brings teams of designers and artists together to achieve astounding results. Originally from Tucson, AZ, she made San Francisco her home in 1998. She attended Burning Man for the first time in 1999 and created a small interactive sculpture call the “Time Chime.” She’s been bringing people together to create monumental art ever since. In 2010, Catie co-founded FLUX, an Oakland-based nonprofit dedicated to building large-scale collaborative interactive public art. In 2013, she joined a San Francisco-based health startup called Practice Fusion as a Design Manager where she leads design strategy and operations. Catie has a Master of Public Health from San Francisco State and a BA in Psychology from Boston College.

Charlie Dolman

Operations Director of Black Rock City

Charlie is the Operations Director for Black Rock City. Before joining Burning Man from the U.K., Charlie helped nurture several significant community focused festivals including Secret Garden Party and Wilderness "I believe the management team of any community function should represent the community diversity and values specifically and that this alignment is critical to success as the organization and community matures. Black Rock City is a macro microcosm of what the Burning Man culture can be and maintaining integrity of the Principles in how the city operates is key to ensuring potential partners are 'getting it' in a way that best serves ongoing growth globally."

Chip Conley

Board Member, Burning Man Project

Chip Conley is the founder of Joie de Vivre Hospitality, California’s largest boutique hotel company. At the age of 26 with no industry experience, Chip created The Phoenix, taking a 1950′s seedy motel and turning it into a world-renowned “rock ‘n roll hotel” that catered to celebrities from David Bowie to Linda Ronstadt. Building on transformational leadership practices and an innovative design formula that enables customers to experience an “identity refreshment,” Chip and his company’s time-tested techniques have been featured in TIME, Fast Company, Fortune, People, and The Wall Street Journal. In 2007, the SF Business Times named Chip the “Bay Area’s Most Innovative CEO.” Chip is a big believer in giving back to the community and is recognized as a committed and creative philanthropist. He is the founder of San Francisco’s Annual Celebrity Pool Toss, which has raised over $3 million for inner city youth programs. He is a member of the Young President’s Organization and received his BA and MBA from Stanford University. In addition to Board membership with the Burning Man Project, Chip is also a Board member of Esalen.

Christopher Breedlove

Burners Without Borders Program Manager, Burning Man Project

Christopher supports the volunteer-driven community leadership work of BWB, whose goal is to unlock the innate skills of local communities to solve problems that bring about meaningful change. Supporting citizen-led civic engagement solutions and community resiliency projects around the world, BWB is known for bringing unbridled creativity to every project. Christopher has served as Board President of both Burners Without Borders and the Chicago 501c3, Bold Urban Renaissance Network. He also co-founded the Lakes of Fire Regional Burn, where he co-created both their Volunteer Coordinator and Arts Honorarium programs. Before joining Burning Man, Christopher worked as a freelance designer, fabricator, and experiential producer. He's produced several large-scale interactive sculptural installations for festivals and corporations, and he’s an avid silkscreen and laser technology print maker.

Crimson Rose

Founding Board Member and Board Secretary, Burning Man Project

As a co-founder of Burning Man, the Black Rock Arts Foundation and Burning Man Project, Crimson Rose’s life passion and work have focused on the arts and artistic expression. She began participating in the Burning Man event in 1991, and developed the organization’s Art Department, including the infrastructure, financial and other support services that make possible the large-scale participatory art works that Burning Man is renowned for. With Crimson’s guidance, Burning Man serves as an inspirational limitless canvas, the works of which now find public placement in cities around the world and serve as catalytic sparks for community collaboration.

Cynthia Jones (Cooky)

Meta Regional Contact

Cynthia Jones, known by the playa name Cooky (the one who cooks) is a 21 year Burner based in Detroit. Co-founder of Lakes of Fire, the Great Lakes Regional Burn; a grant recipient from Black Rock Arts Foundation for the Temple of the American Dream project with David Best; Black Rock Ranger; and current Meta Regional focused on Social Alchemy. Cooky’s Burner and professional worlds often collide in magical ways, she was instrumental in bringing Maker Faire to Detroit creating a home for it in Henry Ford Museum where she serves as General Manager overseeing exhibit development, public programs, operations and VIP experiences for the main museum as well as Ford Motor Company’s Rouge Tour operations. Her interactive exhibit experiences have won global best of awards from the Themed Entertainment Association and EventTech. Cooky is quiet, insightful, and absolutely adores her pit bull Roxy.

Daniel Barcay

Chief Technology Officer, Thiel Marco

Daniel Barcay is a technologist, investor, and leadership advisor. His various interests fundamentally revolve around perceiving, naming, and harnessing nearly-invisible forces around us. In his current role as CTO of Thiel Macro, he is focused on building predictive models of global-scale market phenomena. A computer scientist and software engineer at heart, he previously spent many years at Google helping build several prominent projects including Google Earth, Latitude, and machine learning research. Daniel became fascinated by how individuals band together to build large projects, and studied leadership development, team dynamics, and adult-developmental psychology. In his leadership development practice, he helps teach fellow leaders cognitive tools to help embrace complexity, and thrive amidst uncertainty. In his spare time, he loves to fly various forms of powered and unpowered aircraft.

Daniel Brand

Daniel Brand is a strategist catalyzing early-stage, high-impact ventures. Originally an environmental activist and multi-media artist, at heart Daniel is a steward of places and experiences that inspire multi-disciplinary creativity and build community. For the past two years, Daniel has focused on the fundraising, negotiations, and acquisition of Fly Ranch for Burning Man Project. Previously, he specialized in unlocking impact investment capital and transacting conservation real estate projects totaling over $34M and 28,000 acres.

Dave Sholl (Dave X)

Fire Safety Manager, Burning Man Project

As a child, Dave X sought out activities considered naughty by some, including his parents. As he grew older Dave X was always looking behind the curtain to see who the wizard really was and how his mysterious machines worked. It was only natural that he would bring the traits of organization and mechanical curiosity together in his future work. In 1992 he was lured to the Black Rock Desert when he discovered a strange group called The Cacophony Society. In 1999 after several years of creating large-scale fire installations he realized that the use of fire and fuel had grown to a tipping point. Under the guidance of Crimson Rose he began his career with the Performance Safety Team and sought training and licensing so that he could create guidelines for the use of fire and fuels that would ensure the spectacle and ritual of their use while preventing their misuse. Dave X is now the Manager of the Fire Art Safety Team and holds several certifications for fuel management as well as being a licensed Pyrotechnic Operator.

David Koren

Founder of Figment

David Koren is an expert in community building, marketing, communications, strategy, public engagement, and cultural entrepreneurship. David is the President of SHIFT Living, a startup that is creating new, community-based urban residential models, starting with a 300,000-sf mixed-use pilot project in Brooklyn. He is the Founder, Executive Producer, and Executive Director of FIGMENT, a not-for-profit participatory arts festival that started on Governors Island in NYC in 2007 and that now takes place annually in 12 cities in 3 countries, involving 1,000 artists, 1,000 volunteers, and 100,000 participants a year. David has over 20 years of experience leading marketing, business development, and communications for design firms including Gensler, Perkins Eastman, Ralph Appelbaum Associates, ESI Design, and WSP. David first attended Burning Man in 2000, and has been to TTITD 10 times. He previously served as a Burning Man Regional Contact for NYC, and as a member of the Meta Regionals Committee.

David Shearer

Environmentalist & Co-Founder of Black Rock Solar

Dr. David Shearer is co-founder and CEO of Full Circle Biochar, a clean technology company developing biochar products for global agricultural and carbon sequestration applications. Prior to launching Full Circle Biochar, Dr. Shearer was Chief Scientist at California Environmental Associates and Principal Environmental Scientist at AeroVironment Inc. where he worked in the next generation transportation, energy, carbon mitigation, and information technology space with Toyota’s Advanced Technology Group and Google.Org. In addition to his private sector activities, Dr. Shearer has directed groundbreaking work in both public policy and philanthropic investment for climate change mitigation. He is co-founder and Board Chair of Black Rock Solar, soon to transition to Black Rock Labs, and Board Chair of SkyTruth. He is a frequent collaborator with Brian Goggin, a creator of large scale public art. Dr. Shearer has a Ph.D. in Environmental Epidemiology and a M.S. in Environmental Microbiology from the University of California, and B.S. in Biology from the University of Oregon.

Doug Robertson

Director of Finance, Burning Man Project

Director of Finance since 2009, Doug provides oversight and management of the financial and accounting operations for Burning Man, and is a member of various Burning Man leadership committees. He is an eight-year financial management veteran, experienced in building financial administration, operations, and services in corporate and non-profit organizations. Doug has provided consulting services and managed finance and accounting operations at the highest level, and has developed and implemented policy and procedure, oversight, analysis and forecasting across numerous industries, including real estate, hospitality, family offices, medical, and financial services. He has worked with Pacific Union Development Company, the Maybach Foundation, Pacific Crest Group, Charles Schwab and Company, and Wells Fargo. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Doug first attended Burning Man in 1996, and has been committed since. To him, Burning Man feeds the soul.

Dusty Mikel

Dusty’s background is in Communications & Graphic Design. Dusty is a consistent early adopter of breakthrough media technologies. One of the first to get a Macintosh, she designed a publication for Walt Disney using a Mac 512K and a beta version of Pagemaker. She created one of the first websites with true content, using the early “Mosaic" web browser, and did the first websites for the Internet Archive and American President Lines Shipping. She later worked for Linden Lab, the creators of Second Life, where she project-managed and produced large VR events including the virtual version of Burning Man, which engaged 28,000 users, from 30 countries, over 8 days, and became the seed of Burning Man’s first Virtual Regional. Dusty’s work for Burning Man centers on community and philosophy. She is interested in what causes people to behave (or misbehave) in civic arenas. Dusty first attended Burning Man in 1995, and began volunteering in 2000. She is currently a Regional Rep for the Second Life Virtual Region. She met her husband, Burning Man co-founder Michael Mikel, at a Cacophony Society event in Gerlach, in January 2000. Dusty & Michael are now living closer to the Playa, in Reno, NV.

Erin MacCool (Playground)

Associate Director, Event Operations, Burning Man Project

As Associate Director of Event Operations, Playground oversees a portion of Black Rock City’s operations and staff, including BRC Outside Services, Burner Express, Café & Ice as well as other departments. She brings with her more than a decade of spreadsheet wrangling experience and a special love of numbers to our business operations. She will be working directly on strategic planning and budgeting for Black Rock City and for the nonprofit Burning Man Project. During her 15 years at Burning Man, she has helped develop and implement policies & procedures and analysis & forecasting across numerous departments. As part of this role, Playground sits on the Black Rock City Operations Management Board, the Budget Committee, the Executive Committee, the Event Operations Team, Event Leadership Team as well as many other teams and committee. Playground is passionate about food, wine, and books.

Gaby Thijsse


Gaby Thijsse is an Award Winning Independent Photography Professional based in the Netherlands, specializing in Travel and Cultural Documentation. Gaby works primarily as a freelance photographer, creating stock and working on assignment. Her work has been widely published in magazines, books and newspapers internationally. Gaby contributed to Exhibitions in Amsterdam, Copenhagen, New York and San Francisco. In 2015 Gaby helped spearhead the first agreement of its kind between Burning Man and another organization to allow for the use of the name Burning Man to produce an event in Europe. The initial event, Where Sheep Sleep, in 2016 had 500 participants and was located in Velwe, Netherlands.

Giora Israel

Head of Strategic Relations, Midburn

Currently Head of Strategic Relations at Midburn, the 8,000-person Burning Man affiliated event held in Israel. Gio is a cultural entrepreneur. Gio travels the world as a DJ and has been teaching Meditation for the past 3 years, focusing mainly on former army veterans. He founded his first company, an international electronic music label, at 22. Gio holds a BA with a specification in Business Management, and was CEO and Marketing director for several other companies. His first visit to the playa back in 2009 deeply touched him and changed his life. Ever since that first visit he has been focusing on promoting creative initiatives with the main goal of challenging the existing paradigms, both culturally and socially. He is involved with the Burning Man community because he believes that it is changing our world for the greater good. He is excited by the growth of the regional network and the Midburn community and is thankful for the opportunity to be a part of it.

Harley K. Dubois

Board Member, Burning Man Project

A founding member of Black Rock City LLC, Harley K. Dubois has over 25 years of project management, art and city planning experience. As the City Manager of Black Rock City for over 15 years, Harley oversaw both the Playa Safety Council and Community Services departments, ensuring the citizens of BRC are happy and safe, including ingress, life on playa, and egress. She originated theme camp placement, the Greeters, Playa Info, and Burning Man Information Radio, and has kindled the development of all other Community Service teams. Harley also created and maintains a comprehensive training and self-development program for the Burning Man staff, fostering volunteerism and cross-departmental communication. Harley was a founding member of the Black Rock Arts Foundation (BRAF), where she created and chaired the Grants to Artists committee and acted as the foundation's liaison with the Burning Man Project. She worked closely with the Executive Director and other staff members in conducting day-to-day operations. As Chief Transition Officer Harley is responsible for the merging of Black Rock City LLC, BRAF, and Burners Without Borders into the Burning Man Project. She helped to complete the merging of art related programs into a unified Burning Man Arts program. She is passionate about seeing volunteerism fully integrated into all BMP operations, and is continuing to integrate and develop BMP programs and infrastructure to support Burning Man's role as a network node for our global expansion. Harley has an extensive background in the visual and performing arts, and has been a fitness director and a San Francisco fire fighter.

Heather Gallagher (CameraGirl)

Director of Technology, Burning Man Project

Heather Gallagher, aka CameraGirl or CG, has been the head of Burning Man Technology since 2003. In addition to being a computer geek, CG has been a photographer, a costume and clothing designer, and an assemblage sculpture artist. She loves to live an artful life and might decorate you if you let her. CameraGirl photo edited the Burning Man website from 2001 through 2008 and has co-produced the official Burning Man Wall Calendar since 2002. Outside of BMHQ, Heather is the elected secretary of the Treasure Island/Yerba Buena Island Citizen's Advisory Board. She was appointed to the board a decade ago by then Mayor Gavin Newsom to add a voice to the CAB that would champion the interests of Arts & Culture as the islands are redeveloped over the next 15-20 years. Heather can often be found on her yoga mat, or outside participating in rituals honoring nature and the seasons. She has studied extensively an ancient yoga philosophy and Celtic priestess traditions.

Heather White

Managing Director - People and Operations, Burning Man Project

As Managing Director of People and Operations, Heather oversees portions of Burning Man's programming and operations. Heather’s service leadership supports the people and teams of Burning Man, and she works to help streamline the organization’s efforts and systems. For nearly 20 years, Heather has focused on strategy, operations and partnerships for creative service organizations. Throughout her life and career, she has also partnered with artists on media projects and opportunities for artists to create ancillary revenue streams. And since 2004, Heather has been a roving member of Black Rock City’s Random Pizza Experience.

Ian Rowen

Meta Regional Contact

A Fulbright Scholar and human geographer, Ian's work on culture, politics, and place-making has appeared in The New York Times, the Journal of Asian Studies, and elsewhere. A participant-observer in Hong Kong and Taiwan’s recent democracy movements, he has delivered invited talks everywhere from Stanford to the National University of Singapore. The first Burning Man regional contact in Asia, Ian moved to Taiwan to study Chinese after his first burn in 2001. On playa, he has created interactive art around the Man Base, including the Taiwan Temple Market (2014), a playful exploration of spiritual and consumer culture, and FoxCarn and the Betel Store (2015), a satire of commodity fetishism and global capitalism. In Asia, he shepherded China's Dragon Burn, organized Burning Taiwan, and convened the Asia Burner Leadership Summit with special guests Larry Harvey and Marian Goodell in Taipei in 2015. Ian holds a PhD in Geography from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and a BA in Mathematics and East Asian Studies from the University of California Santa Cruz.

Ian-Michael Hebert

Property Development Manager, Esalen

As Esalen Institute’s Property Development Manager, Ian-Michael Hébert oversees the implementation of the organization’s long-term development plan and capital projects. Ian-Michael received his MA in Counseling Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies with a focus in Community Mental Health. Prior to this he focused his BA studies in eco-resort design and development at Evergreen State College. While completing his BA, Ian-Michael facilitated the creation of Evergreen’s Center for Ecological Living and Learning and promoted implementation of sustainable living practices on the campus. He applied his knowledge of sustainable technology as Vice President of Chena Hot Springs, a geothermally-powered resort in interior Alaska, and as President of Solaris Enterprises, Inc., a project management company specializing in green design and development. He has served as a Denali Education Center board member, Conference of Young Alaskans founder, and Fairbanks North Star Borough planning commissioner. Hébert finds creativity and joy in meditation, snowboarding, surfing, gardening, watercolor painting, and adventures with family or friends in the wilderness.

Ifat Golan

Board of Directors, Midburn

Ifat is a member of Midburn's Board of Directors, and leads Midburn’s Strategic Relations and Fundraising departments. Involved with Midburn since 2012, Ifat has been the head of the Gate, head of Art Department, and a member of the NGO Inspection Committee (internal audit). For over a decade she has played a leading role in similar intentional communities and admires the effect they have on people's lives. Ifat firmly believes Midburn has the potential to sow the seeds of true transformation for its community. In her own words: “Being part of this global movement, and experiencing the impact is has on my life and on the community I live in, I am keen to continue and contribute from my knowledge and passion for the creation of communities in any way I can.” In her professional life Ifat has held positions in organizational consultation, executive coaching, IT Training manager, SAP Implementation manager, Help desk/ support center manager, and organizational change management.

Ira Wing

Department Manager, Gate, Perimeter & Exodus, Black Rock City

Ira began playing in traffic as a volunteer for Gate, Perimeter & Exodus (GP&E) in 2012. Since then, Ira has worked on a handful of new projects within GP&E and joined the staff in the office this year as the full time department manager for GP&E. Ira's career began managing large groups of volunteers in support of queer spaces on AOL during the mid 90's. After going through a couple of startups, Ira made a career change and joined the US Army Reserve in 1999. After a tour in Afghanistan from 2001-2003, Ira returned to the civilian workforce and spent several years in a mix of analytical, customer and technology operations leadership roles, primarily for a not-for-profit health insurer in California. An amateur student of the intersection of history and mythology, Ira believes context matters more than intent and that action and consequence are the only two real constants.

Irina Lazar

Event Producer

Irina believes that building community, facilitating meaningful connections and creating memorable experiences are her greatest gifts and she has had the incredible fortune of being able to share them with others for the last 20 years as an event producer. Throughout her career she has curated experiences and environments for the purpose of bringing more joy and inspiration into people's lives. And it has been an honor for her to fulfill that intention with some of the most incredible people and organizations in the world such as The Burning Man Project, Moby, Habitas, Summit Series, Summit at Sea and many many more. This year she launched a new business with her partner Lauren Brand, Portal, whereby they are focused on creating immersive, nomadic and culture-forward events around the world.

Jackie Latendresse

Meta Regional Contact

Jackie Latendresse is the founder and director of the charitable organization Free Flow Dance Theatre Company, which has just about completed its 21st season. Her professional choreographic work with the company has been publicly acclaimed; she has been nominated for various awards including the Saskatchewan YWCA women of distinction award and Saskatoon Champion for the Arts. Jackie is a voice for the arts and an advocate for dance. She endeavors to create a strong and vibrant dance and arts community by providing many opportunities for the arts to flourish in her annual season of events. She strives to create bonds and connections between artists that will continue to grow through the years and works to make dance an art form that is fun and accessible to all. In her spare time Jackie runs a dance center out of an old church she has converted, is the founder and director of the Rosebud Burlesque Club, and Regional Contact and Meta Regional committee member for Burning Man. She enjoys gardening, making unique costumes and fancy martinis.

Jeff Reese

Meta Regional Contact

Jeff went to his first Utah Burn/Sinorgy (Element11) in 2005 because he was asked to play his djembe in the main fire performance, and he hasn’t missed E11 since. In 2008, he joined the "Jellyfish 12,000" art car group and attended his first Burning Man which ignited his passion! The 10 Principles resonate with him, and he loves the level of social sustainability they inspire. In 2013, he joined the Element 11 Board of Directors and in 2014 became Chairman for the next two years. This year Jeff became a Meta-Regional Contact, and serves on the Conflict Resolution sub-committee, the Regional Events Committee, and is a Black Rock Ranger. He is a member of "Akoma," a traditional West African drum group. By trade, Jeff is a manager and a Senior Software Engineer; he loves writing code poetry and nerding out with other developers.

Jenn Nelson

Mayor of East Jesus

Jenn Nelson serves on the board of directors of the Chasterus Foundation, and is part of the residential management staff of their museum and art collective, East Jesus. East Jesus is an experimental, habitable, sustainable art installation that invites all who engage with it to imagine a world without waste, in which every activity is a vehicle for self-expression. Jenn's primary responsibilities at East Jesus have included off-grid electrical installation, maintenance, and repair; permaculture; financial management and fiscal oversight; media contact; barbering; bread-baking; and about a bajillion other things that come up when a group attempts to live, work, and create in a hostile environment with the intent of using predominantly scrap and waste. Jenn joined East Jesus after retiring from her career in secondary education; a former award-winning stagecraft teacher, she has also holds a California Administrative Services credential and consulted for the Los Angeles County Office of Education, the California Department of Education, and the United States Department of Education. Jenn is a member of the Black Rock Civilian Defense Corps (The Last Outpost, Temporal Boundaries In Flux, The Last Apothecary) as well as a long practicing artist in a variety of disciplines.

Jenn Sander

Global Initiatives, Burning Man Project

Based in New York City and Vancouver, BC, Jenn works on global innovation, affiliations, and new initiatives for Burning Man. She facilitates diverse stakeholder collaborations and consults on community-focused business models, and external leading-thinker engagements. Currently she is supporting the growth of the Regional Network and Burning Man culture in New York and London. She received a Bachelor degree in Tourism Management in Vancouver, Canada, and a Bachelor degree in Business and International Relations at London Metropolitan University. Previously, Jenn put her skills to work helping many grass-roots brands expand internationally, including Vimeo, Neurosky, and THNK. Previously Jenn was a Partner at a specialist future technology communications firm in east London and a curator of TEDxLondon.

Jennifer Crook

Associate Producer, Artichoke Trust

Jennifer has been engaged in arts production and management for over 10 years, working in key management roles at major performing arts festivals including Glastonbury Festival, Paradise Gardens, Ashton Court Festival and the Bristol Harbour Festival. She was one of the founding team of the critically acclaimed End Of The Road Festival, and has produced national and international touring works for artists including Luke Jerram and Jeremy Deller. Prior to joining Artichoke Trust, Jennifer was a Producer for the London 2012 Festival, bringing together leading artists from all over the world for the UKs biggest ever festival. The 12 week, nationwide programme engaged more than 19.5 million people in celebration of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Whilst in the role, Jennifer managed and developed a large and complex portfolio of over 30 national and international arts projects, with budgets of up to £2 million.
Previous experience includes four years as Festival and Events Officer for Bristol City Council and three years producing independent research-based commissions for arts and cultural funding bodies, including Arts Council England, the London Cultural Improvement Programme and the Greater London Authority.

Jennifer Raiser

Board Member, Burning Man Project

Jennifer Raiser divides her roles as a writer and management innovator. She is the founding editor of, and writes for the San Francisco Chronicle, Huffington Post, and other publications. She is the author of the bestseller, Burning Man: Art on Fire, 2014/2016, Race Point Press, In the Spirit of Napa Valley, 2015, Assouline, and a number of books in development. She serves as the Treasurer of Burning Man Project, and has served on the boards of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, Peninsula Community Foundation, Junior Statesmen Foundation, Coyote Point Museum, Ecology Action, Community Gatepath, and many community benefit organizations. Previously, Jennifer managed Raiser Senior Services, a provider of luxury retirement communities in the Bay Area. The subject of a case study at the Harvard Business School, she was a trailblazer in the implementation of continuing care for the elderly, outlined in her book “Designing Retirement Communities for the Future.” She earned a BA in English Literature and an MBA, both from Harvard University. She lives with her family in San Francisco.

Jeremy Crandell

Co-Lead - Central Arts Team, Burning Man Project

Jeremy Crandell is the owner of St. Louise Studios, a collaborative workspace for artists, fabricators and entrepreneurs, in the West Oakland Industrial Arts Corridor. Active with The Crucible since 2000, Jeremy served on the Board of Directors from 2005 to 2013. Additionally, Jeremy is a Board member of the Friends of the Children’s Eternal Rainforest supporting the work of the Monteverde Conservation League in Costa Rica. He has served on the Black Rock City LLC’s Art Department for the annual Burning Man event as well as the Black Rock Arts Foundation’s Advisory Council. Previously Jeremy was co-founder of Brightmail, Inc., Director of Technology for Network for Good, and a Senior Technical Producer at America Online. Earlier in his career, Jeremy worked for the Soviet/Russian Refugee program for the State Department and Immigration and Naturalization Service. Jeremy received a bachelor’s degree in Politics and Russian from Principia College.

Jerónimo Calderón

Co-Founder and Chief Inspiration Officer of

Jerónimo Calderón is co-founder and Chief Inspiration Officer of, an independent, youth-driven, social innovation enterprise based in Switzerland. inspires and empowers people to move from passiveness and good intentions to activeness and change-making. An open-source train-the-trainers approach has allowed to scale its work to 20 countries on 3 continents in collaboration with the UN and the BCorp movement. Jerónimo is also a board member of WWF Switzerland, an Ashoka fellow, a Global Shaper of the World Economic Forum, and a co-creator of the Wellbeing Project. Jerónimo is also the first recipient of the ThinkPact award, a half million Swiss Francs award to develop an innovative approach to engage young people and business leaders in taking action on sustainable development.

John Clippinger

Co-Founder and Executive Director, ID3

Dr. Clippinger is co-founder and Executive Director of ID3, a 501 C(3) non profit organization ( formed to develop and field test legal and software trust frameworks for identity, personal data, data-driven services, infrastructures, crypto-currencies, and enterprises. He is a Research Scientist at the MIT Media Lab’s Human Dynamics Group and former Chairman of the ITU Working Group on Identity and Authentication. Previously, Dr. Clippinger was founder and Co-Director of The Law Lab at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School. He is also co-founder and Chairman of Intrinsic, a decentralized work as a services company. Dr. Clippinger is the co-editor of “From Bitcoin to Burning Man and Beyond; The Quest for Identity and Autonomy in Digital Society,” the author of “A Crowd of One: The Future of Individual Identity,” and “The Biology of Business; Decoding the Natural Laws of Enterprise.” Dr. Clippinger is a graduate of Yale University and holds a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania. He is a member of the eG8 Forum, the Global Leadership Council of World Economic Forum, The DoD’s Highlands Forum, Yale University CEO Leadership Institute, The Aspen Institute, World Technology Network Leader Finalist, Ashoka, and The Santa Fe Institute Business Network.

John Styn (Halcyon)

John has been an enthusiastic BRC Citizen the last 19 years and making Burning Man enculturation videos for a decade. He started Pink Heart Camp 7 years ago, an Esplanade camp that gifts vegan ice cream, iced cucumber water and the pinkest, fuzziest shade ever created. John has won Webby Awards for best personal site ( & best video reality site ( Both were dramatically inspired by Burning Man, as were his TedX talks and most of his speaking gigs. John is the co-founder of “1st Saturdays,” a Homeless Outreach in San Diego. For the last 15 years his passion has been “Hug Nation,” a live, weekly broadcast about integrity, self-growth and love. Its goal is to recalibrate our hearts to who we are when we are on-Playa. He believes all this dusty stuff matters in a big, big way.

John E. Mueller

John E. Mueller at one time or another has been or still is, a: Barrister, Black Rock Arts Foundation board member, Bread & Roses board member, Buddhist, Burner, California Supreme Court attorney, court consultant, David Best Temples (non-profit) board member/treasurer, deadhead, father, film festival director, foodie, Giants fan, globetrotter, hiker, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation board member, mediator, Obama legal team & campaign volunteer, outdoor art show curator, political attorney & junkie, poet, scuba diver, skier, Stem Cell Initiative (CA Initiative 71) author, Temple Crew member, wino

Jon Mitchell

Publisher, Burning Man Project

Jon Mitchell is the publisher of the Burning Man website, the Jackrabbit Speaks newsletter, and the Burning Man Journal. He's been a Burner since 2008. He was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. He's a former tech journalist and a hobbyist musician. He wrote a book called "In Real Life: Searching for Connection in High-Tech Times," published by Parallax Press in 2015. His playa name is Argus.

Jon Sarriugarte


Jon started the metal furniture company Form & Reform in 1987. He has studied and worked as a blacksmith/ fabricator for over 25 years; pouring his creativity into both work and the local community where he is a civic leader and board member of the West Oakland Commerce Association. Jon served on Mayor Libby Schaaf’s Task Force on Artist Housing & Workspaces. He co-owns the Kraftworks building in West Oakland that houses over 25 industrial craftspeople and performance artists. Not content to “merely” excel at work, Jon also believes in plain old fun. His entries in the Power Tool Drag Races have been featured on the Discovery Channel, and his work on Vortex generators were featured on the History Channel. He continues to be active in the Bay Area art group, Survival Research Laboratories. He has collaborated and worked with a number of artists and arts/crafts organizations throughout the years including American Craft Council, Burning Man, MAKE, Eric Paulos, Pepe Ozan, David Therian, Robo Dock, California Blacksmith Association, John Law, Christopher Brooks, Lighting on Demand, Therm, and the Crucible, to name a few.

Jordan Chabalowski

Based out of Chicago working in the solar sector, Jordan Chabalowski’s formal education is in international business and sustainable development. He is intrigued by what it takes to build healthy, happy and robust civilizations/communities that thrive. This path lead him to conduct research in several Eco-villages and alternative living models to see what lessons could be applied within the US context. He soon became involved in the world of disaster relief/reconstruction and community building in India, and again in Sri Lanka following their Civil War. After his first Burn in 2008 he joined the Burners Without Borders Pisco, Peru Project following their devastating earthquake. Today, Jordan continues his work in sustainable and regenerative development as it pertains to re-envisioning our relationships to place/space, as well as his involvement with Burners Without Borders. His intention is to bring his experiences within the Global Ecovillage Network and working with community groups in the Global South to the discussion of how we choose to move forward as a cultural force.

Josette Melchor

Founder and Executive Director of Gray Area Foundation for the Arts

Josette Melchor is the Executive Director and Founder of Gray Area Foundation For The Arts, a leading San Francisco non-profit dedicated to applying art and technology to create positive social impact. Recently, she led fundraising to revive the historic Grand Theater as an 800 person venue in the Mission District. As a Community Organizer, she has partnered with cities to develop programs that use locative media to address civic issues such as the Urban Prototyping Festival. As a Curator, she produced the first art exhibition that paired artificial neural networks with artists, which helped create the Artists and Machine Intelligence program at Google. She has led the development of hundreds of creative technology projects utilizing cutting edge technologies and is currently working on a shared meditation experience in virtual reality.

Josh Lease

Program Development Manager, Burning Man Project

As the Program Development Manager for the nonprofit programming team at Burning Man Josh administers the Fellowship and Fiscal Sponsorship programs and he is responsible for developing collaborations, managing activity reporting, and building out grant processes. Josh previously held positions with the Japanese Exchange and Teaching Program, Centro de Estudios de Derechos Humanos (Santioago, Chile), Tostan (Senegal), and the World Affairs Council. Josh earned a Master in International Development and Human Rights Policy from the Middleburry Institute of International Studies and a Bachelor in Foreign Language from Lewis & Clark College. Josh's first year on playa was 2013 when he was lured by the idea of skydiving over Black Rock City. Josh joined the Burning Man HQ staff in 2014

Karen Cusolito


Karen studied at Rhode Island School of Design and Massachusetts College of Art. She worked on several public art installations in and around the Boston area before moving to San Francisco in 1996. Her art has taken many forms, from painting and mixed media to the large-scale steel sculptures she’s presently developing. She finds drawing to be the easiest and most concise form of communication and the human form a rich arena in which to explore and express emotion, intention, and challenge. Much of her work focuses on humanity and the environment and the delicate balance between the two. Karen is about to embark on a new series that studies the female form throughout history. Since 2009, she has been running American Steel Studios in Oakland, CA, which provides studio and gallery space to over 100 artists and small businesses.

Kari Gregg

Foundation Relations Manager, Philanthropic Engagement Department, Burning Man Project

As the Philanthropic Engagement team’s Foundation Relations Manager, Kari takes a storytelling approach to writing grants to secure financial support for the Burning Man Project. She is passionate about the 10 Principles and their potential for community building and increasing capacity for intrapersonal and interpersonal connections. Kari has been a vicarious Burner since 2010, first visiting BRC in 2014. She found her Burning Man home in 2015 with the Friendlandia Theme Camp, which ceremonially celebrates new and longtime friendships. Kari has five years of fundraising experience with the San Francisco Symphony and San Francisco AIDS Foundation. She is a certified yoga teacher, enjoys investing in her community, geeking out on music, dancing and drinking coffee.

Katie Hazard

Co-Lead - Central Arts Team, Burning Man Project

Katie Hazard manages the BRC Honoraria Program, and art processes, people, and technology - all toward having the most awesome art possible in Black Rock City and beyond. She’s been passionate about arts administration and grants management for many years. She has a Bachelor in Art History from the University of Notre Dame, worked at the Art Institute of Chicago, and spent 10 years at Harvard University as a Senior Grants Manager. Katie’s first year on playa was 2000. She volunteered for 10 years (DMV, Man Base Lighting, Fire Conclave, art build crews, theme camp organization) before joining the staff in 2013. Prior to moving to San Francisco in 2012, she was active in the Boston Burning Man community, serving on the board of Firefly and founding their art grant program. Katie is also a certified yoga teacher and has been a practitioner of Buddhist meditation for more than a decade.

Kay Morrison

Board Member, Burning Man Project

Based in Seattle, Kay Morrison has been honing her skills in community business development since 2000, which was also the first year she ventured into the Black Rock Desert. In that time she has worked with the likes of: the Seattle and National offices of NPower, a nonprofit organization that brings information technology services to nonprofits; Capitol Hill Arts Center, a multidisciplinary art and community center; and Shunpike, a nonprofit fiscal sponsorship organization for small to mid-range arts businesses. In 2005 she helped found Ignition Northwest, a 501c3 organization whose mission is to fuel community through participatory arts, events, and education. She has been supporting the Burning Man Regional Network for many years in her role as a Co-Regional Contact for Seattle, and also as a member of the Meta Regional Committee. When not helping start or maintain businesses Kay can be found in the shop with the Iron Monkeys, a blacksmithing collective that builds stuff out of steel and then sets it on fire. The Iron Monkeys have displayed their art in Black Rock City, Reno, Seattle, and at many local Burner events.

Kelly Anders

Executive Assistant to Marian Goodell and Larry Harvey

Kelly plays the roles of Executive Cat Herder and Harsh Muse as well as Administrative Documentrix and Whip-Cracker for the Burning Man Founders and Black Rock City Operations Management Board. Kelly is often described as part Joan Holloway and part Jackie O. On playa, Kelly manages First Camp operations. Kelly first made it to Black Rock City in 2003 when she was finally able to convince her dad to let her borrow his shiny new pickup truck and completely cover it in dust. After brief stints as a local desk jockey for a huge software company and resident super woman for a small venture capital firm, Kelly was hired as Secretary to the Board in early 2005. In her spare time, Kelly particularly enjoys vintage record, midnight bike rides, local art, traveling, sunshine, tall trees, fabulousness, alliteration, ellipses, lemonade, and certain shades of green.

Kim Cook

Director of Art & Civic Engagement, Burning Man Project

Kim participates, collaborates, and converses on the role that aesthetics and kinetics play in human experience, through creative interventions in space, interdisciplinary performance, and connected communities. Kim has a history of being at the center of change and the forefront of innovation. With an M.A. in Arts & Consciousness, a B.A. in Performing Arts, and as a Kennedy Center Fellow, Kim has worked in strategic collaboration, cross-sector partnerships, and creative placemaking/economies. She has produced and directed many original performance works and is a well regarded speaker. Before coming to Burning Man Kim served as the President of the Arts Council of New Orleans, prior to that she was the Associate Director for the Western Region of the Nonprofit Finance Fund. As Burning Mans Director of Art & Civic Engagement Kim manages the Playa Arts, Civic Arts, Burners Without Borders, Grants, and Community Events programs.

Kristen Berg (Answergirl)

Placement Manager, Burning Man Project

Kristen oversees the vibrant crew of volunteers responsible for reviewing and placing interactive camps and other groups in Black Rock City. The Placement team works to arrange participants’ intended interactivity to create a unique version of Black Rock City each year. She also manages Placement-related communications and is active in the city planning process. Calling on her PhD in Social Work, Answergirl emphasizes the importance of communication and collaboration to build and strengthen communities in everything she does. Anything is possible with integrity, a well-written form, and a great team.

Larry Harvey

Founder, Burning Man

In 1986, Larry Harvey founded Burning Man on Baker Beach in San Francisco. Nearly three decades later, this manifestation of a creative impulse, and the annual event that it has become, has made its mark on history: Burning Man is now a global force for creative culture on six continents, and in more than 50 countries, and growing. Larry has steered the growth of Burning Man since its beginning. In 1997 he became a co-founder of Black Rock City, LLC, the event’s managing organization, and served as its Executive Director. He later went on to co-found and serve as the Chairman of the Board of the Black Rock Arts Foundation. In 2013, he co-founded Burning Man Project, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with a year-round staff of more than 70 employees and an annual operating budget of approximately $30 million. He currently serves as its Board President and Chief Philosophic Officer. Larry scripts and produces the Burning Man event’s annual art theme, supervises the design of the iconic Man sculpture and its infrastructure, and is Co-Chair of its Art Department. As a recognized visionary and steward of a unique creative culture, Larry speaks frequently around the world at renowned institutes of higher learning, museums, and other cultural crossroads. He has spoken at Harvard University, Columbia University, Walker Art Center, The Commonwealth Club of California,The Economist World In Conference, the Oxford Student Union, London’s Southbank Centre, Austin’s South by Southwest conference, and was interviewed on Charlie Rose in 2014.

Leiasa Beckham

With 15 years of real estate experience, Leiasa specializes in grassroots affordable development projects that serve the affordable housing, social enterprise, and nonprofit sectors. In the last 5 years, as Senior Real Estate Consultant at NCCLF, she assisted nonprofits in securing more than 500,000 sq. ft. of commercial space, using various financing mechanisms including Transfer of Development Rights, New Market Tax Credits, Capital Campaign, and public, private and foundation grants. Her most notable projects are the City of San Francisco’s Central Market Economic Strategy, CAST, San Francisco Nonprofit Displacement Program, San Francisco Community Land Trust’s 55 Columbus, and the Refugees Resettlement Program of Lewiston, Maine. Leiasa is a Board Member of Communitere International, holds a Masters in Urban Studies and Planning from MIT, and a Bachelor in Urban Affairs and Planning from City University of New York City. When Leiasa’s not busy promoting social equity through real estate she spends her time with family doing anything else but real estate.

Leon Wilson

Chief Financial Officer, Impact Effect Systems

Leon is currently serving as CFO of Impact Effect Systems. Impact Effect is a Vancouver based technology company focused on providing innovative management support and philanthropic solutions to organizations and individuals investing in and serving the social sector. Additionally Leon is currently providing pro bono financial consulting support to nonprofit community development orgs serving West Baltimore, Maryland. The West Baltimore initiative is a concentrated effort to improve economic conditions in the aftermath of the Freddie Gray incident and civil unrest. Leon E. Wilson has over thirty years of experience in Financial Management and previously served as Executive Vice President of Direct Services at the Nonprofit Finance Fund. In this capacity Mr. Wilson serves as the head of all business activities for the organization. These services provided to the not for profit sector by the fund include financial consulting, lending, philanthropic equity services, training and sector advocacy. Mr. Wilson has extensive experience in Financial Management, including his role as Executive Vice President and Managing Director of Philanthropic Investment Services at Bank of America. Earlier, he served as Corporate Senior Vice President of GMAC Residential, the holding company for GMAC Mortgage, GMAC Global Relocation Services, GMAC Home Service, GMAC Real Estate, GM Bank, Family First by GMAC and

Lindsay Loeffler

Administrative Assistant, Burning Man Project

Lindsay is a long-time burner with 12 trips to Black Rock City under her belt. She got her first peek behind the dusty curtain in April 2016 as an administrative assistant in the People & Operations department of the Burning Man Project supporting seasonal hiring for BRC. She has since joined the Esalen Symposium team as core administrative support. A recent transplant from Seattle, Lindsay also teaches fitness classes in the East Bay. She loves the Bay Area and can often be found dancing with friends and going to yoga class. She is looking forward to gathering with you all to help shape the future of creative communities around the world.

Mac Murphy

Esalen Institute

Marci Bennett

HR Generalist, Burning Man Project

Marci was lured to Burning Man by friends at Death Guild Thunderdome in 2006 with the promise of much violence and hard work. It was a sales pitch that does not work on many. Professionally, Marci has over 14 years experience in many different areas of Human Resources with companies big and small. Joining Burning Man’s Human Resources team in January 2014 was the perfect blending of her career goals and personal interests. In this role, she uses all her combined knowledge and expertise to help implement services, policies, and programs focusing on people while assisting and advising staff on a myriad of Human Resources issues. Marci is a San Francisco Bay Area native, yoga teacher and practitioner, rock climber, and retired book nerd who is always looking for new and exciting adventures to embark upon.

Marian Goodell

Chief Engagement Officer, Burning Man Project

As the organization’s first (2013) CEO, Marian oversees Burning Man’s year-round staff of 70+ employees and its annual operating budget of approximately $36 million. Marian first attended Burning Man in 1995, and in 1997 was a co-founder of the management organization that eventually became Black Rock City, LLC, which produces the Burning Man event. Throughout her leadership in the Burning Man organization, she has been the Director of Business and Communications, and also oversaw (2004-2011) the Black Rock City Department of Public Works. She has steered the development of the Burning Man Regional Network, which is now on six continents, with more than 250 representatives in 30 countries. Marian is a founding board member of the Burning Man Project, the Black Rock Arts Foundation, and Black Rock Solar. She is currently leading the organization’s efforts to facilitate and extend the Burning Man ethos globally. Marian holds a BA in Creative Writing from Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland and an MFA in photography from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. She has worked in sales and public relations, and was a project manager for a software development firm when she first arrived as a participant at Burning Man in 1995.

Marnee Benson

Political Affairs Manager, Burning Man Project

Marnee’s work with Burning Man focuses on relationships with Nevada legislators and government leaders. With a knack for finding successful solutions to challenging situations she helps Burning Man navigate state politics and federal issues affecting the Burning Man event. Her background includes a B.S. in Mathematics, an M.P.A. in Environmental Policy, and an M.S. in Environmental Science & Natural Resource Management. Previously Marnee worked with local and national organizations in Nevada as a communications & environmental campaign strategist and as a journalist in art and environment before serving as Deputy Director of the 501(c)(3) Black Rock Solar for five years. She's currently indulging her lifelong interest in hiking the remote slot canyons of the Colorado Plateau and exploring ancient Native American cities in the desert southwest.

Matt Cadwallader

Director of Operations, East Jesus

Matt Cadwallader is the Director of Operations at East Jesus and co-founder of the Chasterus Foundation, an arts, education, and science non-profit that explores experimental off-grid sustainable technology, supports an artist-in-residence program, and runs East Jesus as an educational demonstration project in Slab City, near the Salton Sea. He is the creator of the "World Without Waste" program, which seeks to meet the needs of power, clean water, food security, sanitation, and habitation with primarily re-purposed waste materials. Over his last three years as Director, he has maintained and curated the site’s art garden of large format installations, as well as designed and implemented new infrastructure, all with primarily re-used and re-purposed materials. More about these projects can be found:

Matt Goldberg

Board Member, Burning Man Project & Senior Vice President Corporate Development QVC Group

Matt Goldberg leads corporate development at Liberty Interactive/QVC Group, driving global expansion via new market entry, M&A, and adjacent growth opportunities. His team led the “green field” build of QVC France, and the $2.4 billion acquisition and post-merger integration of Zulily. Previously, he served as CEO at Lonely Planet, where he grew digital revenue from less than 10% to nearly one-third of the total. Goldberg also led strategy and operations for The Wall Street Digital Network, including, Market Watch, and All Things Digital. He began his career in public service in the US and Australia and earned his BA in English from Cornell University, a MA in International Relations from University of Melbourne, and a MBA from Stanford University. Matt serves on various non-profit boards including Lumina Foundation, Burning Man Project, The Conversation Media Group, The University of Melbourne USA Foundation, and Cornell University Council. Burning since 2003 and this year he finally produced a camp for our tribe, which focused on culinary gifting on playa from an Iron-Chef Winner and a mighty crew of merry-meal-makers from LA, Woodstock, NYC, and Chang Mai.

Matthew Schultz

Founding Executive Director of The Generator, Reno

Matthew Schultz is the Lead Artist of The Pier Group and Founding Executive Director of The Generator Inc. a Reno based non-profit makerspace founded upon the 10 principles of Burning Man. The Pier Group gained notoriety with the eponymous Pier at Burning Man in 2011, followed by La Llorona in 2012, Embrace in 2014 and most recently The Space Whale. The Pier Group started as a collective of friends building art and has blossomed into an art collective with over 100 members from 12 countries with the goal of giving everyone an opportunity to build something incredible, together. Opened in May of 2013, The Generator has helped enable over 120 Burning Man projects and has become a cornerstone in the burgeoning Reno Arts scene. The Generator is completely free and open to everyone, giving a wide range of people from all walks of life access to a huge array of industrial tools and production space.

Megan Miller

Director of Communications, Burning Man Project

Megan is passionate about the art of sharing and spreading information in creative and impactful ways, and believes in the power of ideas and authentic self-expression to change the world for the better. As Burning Man's Director of Communications, Megan oversees media and public relations for the nonprofit Burning Man Project, which, in addition to producing the annual 70,000+ person event in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, conducts year-round arts, civics, and educational programming for a rapidly growing network of Burners across the globe. Megan helps to set priorities for the organization, shape the perception of Burning Man in the public eye, and guide the growth and impact of Burning Man culture. Prior to joining the Burning Man organization in 2012, Megan spent more than a decade working for environmental protection, HIV/AIDS prevention, political campaigns, and the United States Senate.

Meghan Rutligliano (Megs)

Associate Director of the Regionals Network, Burning Man Project

Megs is responsible for the management of Burning Man’s Regional Network, comprising 240+ Regional Contacts in 31 countries and over 65 official Regional Events around the globe. Megs oversees the production and programming of Burning Man’s annual Global Leadership Conference and the European Leadership Summit. She has a passion for bringing ideas to life, for public speaking, and for learning new languages. Called to the desert in search of exciting performance art opportunities and dusty dance floors, Megs first started Burning in 2005. The creative community in the Bay Area drew her in and she moved to San Francisco from Chicago in 2007 and began working for The Man in 2008. Megs moonlights as a jazz singer in her band The MegaFlame Big Band and Cabaret, and as a voice and on-camera actress.

Mercedes Martinez

Board Member, Burning Man Project

Mercedes Martinez followed a career as a teacher and performer with work in film production. She has combined the most challenging aspects of all three in her latest vocation, parenting. She currently also serves on the boards of Homeboy Industries and Seven Arrows Elementary School. Mercedes and her husband Chris Weitz were the first significant supporters of Burners Without Borders in fall of 2005 before it was anything more than an organic gathering of people (some of whom had driven directly from Black Rock City) helping in Biloxi, Mississippi with the hurricane Katrina relief effort.

Michael Mikel

Founding Board Member, Burning Man Project

An avid futurist with an interest in technology and social communities, Today, he serves Burning Man as Director of Advanced Social Systems, Ambassador and as a member of the Philosophical Center. Michael Mikel joined Burning Man in 1988 and initialized much of Burning Man’s progress over the years. In 1992 he drove the first art car to Burning Man, founded the Black Rock Rangers, and edited the first on-site newspaper. In 1995, he developed the logo design, which has become the symbol of the Burning Man community. In 1997, he launched containerized storage and transport for the Burning Man festival with the acquisition of the first shipping container. In 2001 he visited Regional communities across the US during his Tour of America as an ambassador for Burning Man. In 2008, he managed the development of Burning Man’s presence in the virtual world of Second Life. He has also been involved with many San Francisco social, cultural and technology institutions. He was a founding member of San Francisco’s Cacophony Society, and also a crew member of the machine performance group, Survival Research Labs. During the 1970′s his Silicon Valley career began in the early days of the personal computer as an electro-mechanical systems engineer for Fairchild Semiconductor. During the early 1980s he was a consultant to Caltrans, doing research on intelligent freeway systems in Los Angeles. Branching into automated systems in the mid-1980s, he developed the first robotic assembly line for Apple Computer’s Fremont plant in 1986. In 1988 he was a co-founder of Jasmine Technology, the first technology company to be located within San Francisco’s city limits. As a content contributor and social catalyst, he was influential to many local technology startups, including Wired, Laughing Squid, Boing Boing and the Internet Archive. He has contributed printed and written material to the San Francisco Main Library, the Bancroft Library in Berkeley, the Special Collections archive at the University of Nevada in Reno, and extensively to the Nevada Museum of Art’s Center for Art & Environment. Within the Burning Man community, he is best known by his playa persona: Danger Ranger.

Michael Murphy

Co-Founder, Esalen

Michael Murphy is the co-founder and Chairman of Esalen and the author of both fiction and non-fiction books that explore evidence for metanormal capacities in human beings, including Golf in the Kingdom and The Future of the Body. During his forty-year involvement in the human potential movement, he and his work have been profiled in the New Yorker and featured in many magazines and journals worldwide. A graduate of Stanford University, he was one of the first Americans to live at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry, India in the early 1950s. In the1980s, he began a successful Soviet-American Exchange Program, which was the premiere diplomacy vehicle for citizen-to-citizen Russian-American relations. In 1990, Boris Yeltsin's first visit to America was initiated by Esalen. His other books include: God and The Evolving Universe, co-authored with James Redfield, The Life We Are Given, co-authored by George Leonard, The Kingdom of Shivas Irons, In the Zone: Transcendent experience in sports (with Rhea White), and The Physical and Psychological Effects of Meditation.

Michel Bachmann

Co-Founder of Impact Hub Zürich

Michel Bachmann is co-founder of Impact Hub Zürich and was leading the transition of the global Hub network to a distributed community structure with 80+ spaces around the world. Today, Michel is exploring the craft of organizational shamanism and has recently been mandated to help cultivate the spirit of Together Possible across the WWF network. Michel is part of The Value Web and works with Theory U to facilitate the co-creation of Teal organizations. He's a passionate Burner and draws much inspiration from the Borderland.

Michelle Grambeau

Director of Gifts,

Michelle Grambeau is a student and educator in the practices of yoga, meditation and spiritual ecology as well as the founder of World Wide Well, a Silicon Valley based company, implementing holistic Well Standard programs for digital teams and place-based communities. In her roles as ecosystem partner for the Wellbeing Project, NeoTribes steward, cultivator of New Frontiers, New Zealand and Gift Director at the Namaste Foundation, Michelle gracefully starts fires of cultural possibility between business, non-profits, instigators of impact, artists, healers and new paradigm storytellers.

Mike Zuckerman

[freespace] founder

Mike create spaces all kinds, mostly [ Freespaces ] and most recently a Refugee Camp in Greece. When not creating spaces he is checking out spaces that others have created or are creating. He never puts energy towards concepts that already exist, he prefers to birth new ones. Inherently, he has no competitors. Everything he does is open source and he is happy to see others join him or do it themselves. Mike claims his secret is that he doesn’t actually know much. However, he is really good at asking people what they want first and making that happen; that is what makes him look smart. Everything he does seems obvious to him, but for some reason it seems strange to others at first. Institute for the Future is his intellectual home. His motto is “Let's make stuff together!”

Míša Rýgrová

Meta Regional Contact

Míša Rýgrová is an Art Production Manager based in Prague, with over a decade of experience from theater, film, art and music industry. She has been a“dust” addict ever since she stepped out of the car in Black Rock Desert and has been actively involved in the Burning Man community and culture since 2010. After years of volunteering in different roles, she was awarded the first Global Fellowship by Burning Man in 2015 and is conducting research within the European Community to support the non-profit mission of Burning Man. She received her Bachelor in Media Studies and Journalism and Theatre History and Theory at Masaryk University in Brno, then she studied Theatre production at Theatre faculty at Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, where she received BcA, MgA and now teaches Sustainability and Ecology in Arts. She is the author of the book “The Sustainable Theatre.”

Neel Sharma

Global Story Telling

With a background in engineering and experience in design and development, Neel travels from country to country, creating micro living experiences while curating music, film, & youth projects as a method of global storytelling. Prior to his current journey of creating micro living experiences, post graduation, Neel decided against a job in engineering and instead took advantage of the flexibility of a recent graduate to explore other opportunities. Neel joined a group called the Global Shapers – an initiative of the World Economic Forum – Focussing on creating local impact with a global perspective. Using local hubs with a global network the group leverages the benefit of working across sectors to create more relevant and sustainable solutions for non-profits, current business, and entrepreneurs with a strong social value proposition.

Neil Shister


Raised in Buffalo and resideing in D.C. Neil made a career as journalist and writer for outlets including Time Magazine, Miami Herald, and World Trade Magazine. His passions include tennis, jazz piano, baseball, drinking espresso, reading the daily New York Times, traveling to new destinations, and hanging out in his garden. Neil has a shameless curiosity about people and willingness to ask indiscrete questions without embarrassment. Neil’s current goal is to write an instructive book about living in America as it passes through the Great Cultural Disruption currently underway. He has a BA from University of Michigan, a Master in Philosophy from Yale, and was a Peace Corps volunteer in Cote d’Ivoire.

Neil Takemoto

Co-Founder of the CSPM Group

Neil Takemoto has been committed to developing extraordinary places for almost three decades. As the co-founder of CSPM Group, he developed a system known as crowdsourced placemaking, applying the principles of crowdsourcing to real estate and economic development. Working in partnership with local communities, public sector (economic development, planning) and private sector leaders (real estate developers), he is managing this system in five downtown revitalization programs totaling over $8 billion in development value. Prior to that he co-founded the National Town Builders Association with renowned town planner Andres Duany, a business trade group of Smart Growth/New Urbanism real estate developers. In addition, Neil has published over 1700 articles on his blog dedicated to crowdsourced placemaking and walkable development, including ‘Learning from the Burning Man principles in our cities.’ Neil is a three-time burner.

Nir Adan

CEO and Co-Founder of Midburn, Israel's Regional

CEO and co-founder of Midburn and one of four Burning Man Regional Contacts in Israel, Nir has been participating in Burning Man since 2001. Previously, Nir served in the IDF for 3.5 years, worked for the Israeli government for 4 years, and founded a production company. Nir was born and raised in the south of Israel, and is a proud dad of two desert boys aged 10 and 6. He believes in the human power of inspiration which leads to participation to make the world a better place.

Nondas Voll

Project Manager, Burning Man Project

After years of hearing tales from the desert, Nondas first went to the playa in 2007. She hasn’t missed a burn since. Before joining the BMHQ team in 2015, she worked on multiple art projects as part of several groups, among them: the Flaming Lotus Girls, the Department of Spontaneous Combustion and the Flux Foundation, This year she was an igniter on the Burn team for the Black Rock City Lighthouse. At BMHQ, she works on data, processes and user support for the Burning Man instance of the Force. She’s been a docent at the Asian Art Museum for the past ten years, and has facilitated hundreds of conversations about art and art making. Previously, she was a producer for public television in New York, China and other locations. Throughout her career she’s been involved in helping artists and filmmakers to realize their projects.

Peter Durand

Meta Regional Contact, Burning Man

Over his 16 years at Burning Man, Peter’s volunteer service has touched many groups including the independent art installations, the Web Team, Greeters, Cafe, Regional network, Fly Ranch, and the ARTery. Peter is currently a member of the Meta Regional Committee and hails from Boston. Peter is a founder and current board of an LLC in his region that supports the local Burning Man community. Additionally he is an advisor to and on the New Cities team for Figment. Peter was the first Regional Contact to serve on the BRAF art grant committee, he implemented and still manages the Community Container program, which has steadily decreased the cost to ship art cross country and which has a goal of 'art rides for free'. In his professional life he is a business analyst and project manager for a manufacturer of Automated Test Equipment.

Peter Hirshberg

Peter Hirshberg is an entrepreneur, speaker and innovation advisor to cities and enterprises. His work is helping redefine how citizens, companies, and visitors interact with cities, with a particular focus on the smart city, the internet of things and participatory urbanism. For the past two years Peter has engaged over fifty U.S. and international cities in developing their maker ecosystems and helping to create maker-based economic development approaches. Peter contributed to, “From Bitcoin to Burning Man and Beyond: The Quest for Identity and Autonomy in Digital Society.” Peter is especially proud that he introduced the White House to Burning Man in 2015 after which both organizations learned they had so many common interests. Peter is a Senior Fellow at the USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership and Policy and a Henry Crown fellow of the Aspen Institute. Peter was co-founded San Francisco’s Gray Area Foundation for the Arts, founder and CEO of Elemental Software, president and CEO of, and Chairman of Technorati. Additionally he is a frequent technology and media industry speaker, having presented at TED, the World Economic Forum, DLD, EG the Entertainment Gathering, and The Aspen Ideas Festival.

Ping Fu

Ping Fu describes herself as an artist and a scientist whose chosen expression is business. In 1997, Ping co-founded Geomagic, which was acquired by 3D Systems in February 2013. The 3D imaging and 3D printing technologies she created fundamentally change the way products are designed and manufactured around the world. She was also part of the team that created the NCSA Mosaic software that led to Netscape and Internet Explorer. Ping has received numerous awards, including the Outstanding American by Choice award from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the Ernst & Young and Inc. Magazine’s Entrepreneur of the Year.

Quaglia Cocco

Citizen of Damanhur

Quaglia Cocco (Quail Coconut in Italian) is the first American-born citizen and fire dancer in Damanhur Spiritual EcoCommunity in northern Italy, where her passion for art and creativity, holistic healing, organic agriculture, community life, and social movements are unified. She has lived in Damanhur for eight years and her activities span from communications and media work, Italian-English translation, facilitating courses on the Path to Spiritual Freedom, and guiding visitors in the underground Temples of Humankind. Her devotional work includes painting in the Temples, and a Sacred Dance practice. Originally from Houston, Quaglia has ethnic origins in Taiwan and China and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of California at Berkeley. Other experiences include human rights and activist campaigns, crafting raw vegan cuisine, living at the San Francisco Zen Center, and studying new genres at the San Francisco Art Institute.

Rae Richman

Board Member, Burning Man Project

A 21 year burner, passionate about facilitating community-based transformative experiences, Rae has served on the board of Burning Man related nonprofits since 2005 and is a founding board member of Burning Man Project. Rae is a cross-sector philanthropic leader with twenty years experience providing strategic consulting and facilitation services to organizations of all sizes, including family and corporate foundations, leading nonprofits, and a wide range of Fortune 500 corporations. As the first Head of Global Citizenship of Airbnb, she was responsible for activating all of the company’s assets for social good and launched their Diversity and Inclusion work. Previously, she was the Vice President of the Bay Area office of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors with responsibilities for grantmaking, client servicing, new business development, strategic planning, and donor education. She was also previously Senior Manager of Consulting Services at Business for Social Responsibility, working with companies to provide counsel on issues of global corporate community engagement. She received her BA from the University of Virginia and her MBA from the UC Berkeley/Columbia University Executive program.

Ray Allen

General Councel, The Burning Man Project

Ray Allen has been experiencing Burning Man since 1996 and working for Burning Man since 2004. In his role as General Counsel, Ray oversees all aspects of Burning Man's legal and government affairs; advises the Board of Directors, CEO, and department managers on a wide variety of legal issues; and is heavily involved in the long-term strategic planning for the nonprofit, and its various subsidiaries and affiliate programs. Ray’s undergrad degree is in Anthropology, and he has always been fascinated in the culture of Burning Man. Ray believes that being able to dream, build, and realize Black Rock City on federal land is a testament to the power of collaboration among a broad spectrum of government departments and citizens with a multitude of competing interests and, at times, diverging opinions. “Burning Man represents the extreme culmination of what is possible when people work together.” He is very excited about the future possibilities of that the Fly Ranch has to offer.

Rebecca Anders


Rebecca Anders is a San Francisco-based artist and performer, where she works as a mixed-media sculptor, metal artisan, and welding and sculpture instructor. Rebecca received a BFA from Cornell University in 1995, and has since shown her sculpture and graphic work in galleries and events around the Bay Area and West Coast. A member of the Flaming Lotus Girls, she has participated in the design, construction and operation of large-scale fire sculptures, most often experienced at the Burning Man festival. A veteran of stage acting and tech, Rebecca has performed with a capella trio called Samsara, puppetry and street theater group Art and Revolution, and the all-drag 50's band, "The Woodyz." In 2004, she was a team member in a two week road race filmed for the Discovery Channel show, "Junkyard Megawars". Rebecca's teaching experience includes sculpture, metal fabrication, music, theater and puppetry instruction with children, college students and adults.

Rebecca Throne

Ticketing Operations Manager, Burning Man Project

Rebecca has been Burning Man’s head of Ticketing since 2007. Rebecca's first Burn was 1999 and she began working with the organization as a volunteer in 2001 with the Café. Seeing firsthand the need to foster community and organize to support the 500+ volunteer base of the Café, she pioneered the role of Volunteer Community Manager and helped to form Cafe Village. Architecting ticketing strategies that support community makes her heart go pitter pat, and she also enjoys producing the printed Survival Guide and What, Where, When handbook of participant events. Prior to Burning Man, Rebecca worked in branding and creative direction, business innovation strategy, retail management, and dabbled in finance, although at her core she has always been an artist. When not working on Burning Man projects, she is happily raising two young Burners in her native San Francisco. She loves clouds, the ocean, meaty conversations, and gin.

Richard Kelley (Heyu)

Richard (Heyu) has been a Regional Contact for Chicago since 2010, and has traveled to burns globally for the past several years, including both Australian regionals, New Zealand, Africa,
Israel, European, US and Canadian Regional Burns. In 2009 Richard started Recycle Camp at his home burn, Lakes of Fire. For the past 3 years, Recycle Camp has sponsored a “Burner Exchange” program with AfrikaBurn. Each year an artist is selected, airfare is provided, they are matched with a theme camp in Africa, and are given a budget of $1,000 to create an art project. This is an effort to remove the financial threshold to burning, and to grow the network. Every year, Richard’s camp (Ski Patrol) at BRC does a project at the burn. This years project was “The Edge of the Known World.” It was a di vinci-like machine located by the trash fence. By cranking a handle, you were rewarded for being adventuresome and curious and going all the way out to the trash fence with a patch. Over 5,000 patches were gifted.

Rob Goldman

Vice President - Product Management, Facebook

Rob Goldman is an entrepreneur and dreamer. A computer engineer from age 11, Rob has founded or led several pioneering internet companies including and Threadsy. He is currently VP of product management at Facebook. He is also an investor, engineer, seeker, student and tinkerer. Rob is passionate about technology and its power to effect positive change on a massive scale. He serves on the boards of Indiegogo, Stratim, and Cerebellum Capital. He lives in SF with his wife Kristin and his two daughters Annabel (13) and Gaby (11).

Rosalie Barnes

Government Relations Manager, Burning Man Project

In her role at Burning Man, Rosalie facilitates the permits, government partnerships and compliance programs necessary for the 70,000 person Burning Man event to take place in the Black Rock Desert, a National Conservation Area. She directs the environmental research, multi-year impact planning, and mitigation efforts required as part of the permitting process. Prior to moving out west, Rosalie studied Technology and Neuroscience at the Harvard Graduation School of Education. She holds an undergraduate degree in dramaturgy.

Sayulita Storm

Event Producer

Sayulita Storm is an event producer, business coach, and lover of cultivated intention. Her favorite clients include transformational music festivals, individuals for rite-of-passage ceremonies, surf & yoga retreats, social benefit causes, and of course, Burning Man. She specializes in high-impact & time-sensitive projects that require creativity, seamless organization and continuous flexibility. In addition to producing the year’s Esalen Symposium, Sayulita will also be supporting Burning Man as Event Manager at the 10th Annual Artumnal Ball. She is curious about people, energy, and intentional and alternative living styles. Sayulita studied Integrated Marketing Communications, later gaining an M.A. in Psychology to continue to explore her curiosities about what motivates people, how we connect and why we do what we do. Sayulita’s roots are in Sayulita, Mexico, a little surf village off the coast of Nayarit, Mexico (near Puerto Vallarta) where she was born and lives part time.

Selena Ozuna

Lifecycle Manager, Burning Man Project

Selena Ozuna has returned to the Bay Area after spending 10 years in Southern California with a mission to leave people better than she finds them. Selena started her post-collegiate career as a Software Programmer and evolved her way into HR, specializing in Compensation, Total Rewards, HRIS, and Analytics. She has experience working with small companies that strived to scale up and high-tech behemoths that strived to scale back, exercising her skills of balancing the health of the employee and the health of the organization. Before joining Burning Man Project she left SpaceX and traveled for a year that began with a retreat at Esalen and ended at her first Burning Man. Five months later Selena joined Burning Man Project as the People Lifecycle Manager in February 2016.

Shaye Harty

Outside Services Manager, Burning Man Project

Shaye Harty brings her love of play and creativity to her work managing community events world-wide. Her passion for event production began when she co-founded the non-profit Kinetic Universe to run a 40 mile, three day human-powered kinetic art race in Humboldt County, California. Shaye moved to Australia in 2010, and being a longtime burner, was inspired to become involved with BurningSeed, Australia’s largest Burning Man Regional event, soon serving as the Event Coordinator. She has continued to contribute her unique skills to Burning Man events around the world: as Event Manager for Blazing Swan, Site Manager for Afrikaburn, and most recently as Outside Services Manager for Black Rock City. Amidst all the jetsetting, she is also a devoted stepmom and loving partner, a performance artist, a permaculture advocate, and an all-around passionate fiery ball of energy.

Silvia Stephenson

Web Production Manager, Burning Man Project

Silvia joined the Burning Man Technology Team in 2011 and currently drives new web product initiatives, evangelizes responsive mobile web development and best practices, all the while addressing the importance of user experience from a holistic perspective. Self-proclaimed technology junkie, advocate of User Experience, lover of beautiful design, typography, art and snark, Silvia is a veteran of advertising agencies, boutique graphic design and web development groups, and just a few of the Silicon Valley tech giants. After years of consulting, team management, and working with some of the most influential and creative technology teams, the opportunity to apply all these experiences came about with a position at Burning Man.

Skip Smith

Skip has a long interest in architecture, city planning and technology as it impacts society, inspired by the work of Paolo Soleri at Arcosanti in Arizona and Whole Earth in the 1970’s. His career has centered on helping develop companies and institutions financially and strategically. He was a co-founder of FLG Partners, a consultancy focused on high level CFO-oriented advisory and strategic work for high growth companies and non-profits. Skip has been a member of the board of directors of the Exploratorium for 33+ years and served on various committees including, as Chairman of the board’s Finance Committee for 21 years through its recent $300 million capital campaign and move to Pier 15 on the Embarcadero in San Francisco. He completed majors in Strategy, Finance and Marketing and did independent work in Technological Forecasting as part of an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.

Steven Ra$pa

Project Manager & Producer, Burning Man Project

$teven Ra$pa is an artist, arts advocate, prankster, and long-time community organizer and events producer for Burning Man. He has over 25 years of event production experience and has worked with numerous cultural organizations and museums. In addition to organizing gatherings for Burning Man, he supports and nurtures Burner communities around the world with their official Regional Events. He is a founding member of the Burning Man Regional Network Committee and has a wide range of first-hand experience supporting a growing, and globally dispersed community of artists and freethinkers. $teven Ra$pa was named by 944 magazine as one of the most influential people in San Francisco nightlife and culture, although he first cut his teeth as an artist in the vibrant NYC East Village art scene of the 1980s. He has been a poet, sculptor, installation artist and living work of art. His present artistic medium of choice is “social reality”.

Stuart Mangrum

Director of Education, Burning Man Project

A member of the Burning Man community since 1993, Stuart was one of the organization’s first year-round volunteers. In his current role he focuses on cultural development programs including public education, staff and volunteer training, historical documentation, and the Philosophical Center. He is also involved in the event’s creative direction, as co-author of the last four event themes and a collaborator in designing the Black Rock City experience. A former member of the San Francisco Cacophony Society and a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, he holds a degree in Government from the University of Maryland.

Terry Gross

Board Member, Burning Man Project

Terry has engaged in significant complex litigation on behalf of private clients and civil liberties organizations for over 25 years. He has been named a Northern California Super Lawyer from that recognition’s inception. He has an extensive focus on the changing face of copyright, trademark, and media law in the digital age and in matters of intellectual property. As General Counsel to Burning Man, he has negotiated, advised and litigated numerous trademark, copyright and privacy matters on its behalf, including a successful defense of a lawsuit challenging the event’s major trademarks. Terry also represents authors, artists, performers and their agents in negotiating contracts for publication, performance, and sale of motion picture and television rights.

Theresa Duncan

Director of Philanthropic Engagement, Burning Man Project

In her role at Burning Man Theresa leads the development and implementation of a fundraising strategy, which honors Burning Man’s culture of gifting while supporting its global mission, and manages the fundraising team and related programs. With more than 15 years experience as a professional fundraiser and consultant, Theresa has also provided pro-bono consultation to local non-profit boards and taught fundraising to grassroots organizations nationally and abroad. She currently serves on the Boards of the Ginsburg Foundation, the Palos Verdes Heritage Castle Museum, and the Faulconer Gallery at Grinnell College. Theresa earned a BA in Philosophy and a MBA from CSU Long Beach. Theresa has served as a speaker and moderator for the Association of Fundraising Professionals in Los Angeles, the California Association of Museums, Waterkeeper Alliance Annual Conference, and Burning Man's Global Leadership Conference. In her creative pursuits, Theresa is author of a book of poetry entitled "tell me more, but don't use any words.” Every August, she engages in "Anonymous Altruism in August" and provides gifts and random acts of kindness to strangers every day during the month of August, all anonymously.

Tony Perez-Banuet (Coyote)

Black Rock City City Superintendent

Tony “Coyote” Perez-Banuet is the City Superintendent of Black Rock City and is a member of the council that supervises the Department of Public Works. He has been coming to Burning Man as a staff member since ’96. Coming from an entertainment background as a professional singer and sax player, it was an easy transition to the world of Burning Man, where he has been building the Black Rock City grid and infrastructure ever since. He has as of late been gaining respect in the literary world through story telling, and is the first recipient of Burning Man’s Storytelling Fellowship, which is supporting an upcoming book of his stories that work to capture the evolution of the Burning Man community. He is also a member of the Black Rock City event safety team and is an OSHA trainer for the working staff of Black Rock City.

Tracy Burton (Leave No Tracy)

Tracy Burton, aka Leave No Tracy, is passionate about her family, community, equality, nature, movement, and FUN. Professionally she works to help organizations fulfill their mission and goals. Tracy was actively involved in the San Francisco community for 15 years as Treasurer of both the Compass Family Services and Black Rock Arts Foundation Board of Directors. She is also a member of the Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership San Francisco program. She attended Burning Man for the first time in 2003 and just keeps coming back for more. Now living in Hood River, Oregon last year she is focused on planting roots. Tracy is a Vice President for Wells Fargo’s Community Lending and Investment group where she manages and originates a portfolio of New Markets Tax Credits Investments. NMTC is a federal tax-credit program intended to stimulate commercial growth in low-income areas and provide services to low-income people. She has been with Wells Fargo since 2000. Tracy holds a MBA from Columbia University and University of California, Berkeley. She earned a Bachelor of Science in International Business and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish at the University of Denver. She loves nothing more than the sound of her husband, 3 year old, and 1 year old laughing together, the favorite family pastime.

Wilfredo Sánchez Vega (Tool)

Department Manager for the Rangers Dept of BRC

In 2000, Wilfredo was asked by a college buddy if he was interested in going to Burning Man, and hasn’t missed the event since. He now camps annually with a group of people that he loves dearly, most of whom he met at the event, including his wife, Answergirl. In order to help him meet more people in Black Rock City, he volunteered for Playa Info and the Black Rock Rangers in 2001. He was a shift manager at Playa Info for a few years, and had a brief but intense stint with the Greeters. He then found his home with the Rangers, where he became a shift lead and eventually Ranger Operations Manager, overseeing the overall activities of Rangers at the Burning Man event. Wilfredo is a software engineering manager by trade and a private pilot who has made numerous flights to the Black Rock Desert.

Will Roger

Board Member, Burning Man Project

Will Roger discovered Burning Man in 1994, through his life partner Crimson Rose. Together and with several others, they co-founded Black Rock City, LLC, which has overseen the Burning Man event for nearly twenty years. Will founded and managed the Black Rock City Department of Public Works — a team of several hundred people responsible for the pre-event and post-event construction logistics and production. He is a founding board member of Burning Man Project, and is the Vice-President of Friends of the Black Rock/High Rock. Will is heavily involved in conservation efforts of the Black Rock Desert, which is the United State’s largest National Conservation Area, and which is home to the Burning Man event. He served as Chairman of the Sierra Front – North Western Great Basin – Resource Advisory Council (RAC), and is currently a member of the RAC NCA Subgroup. Will is also an accomplished photographer, and worked nearly 20 years at the Rochester Institute of Technology as a photo chemist, administrator, associate professor, and Assistant Director.

William Funderburk (Sauce)

Meta Regional Contact

Sauce works with Burning Man year-round from Asheville, NC by supporting regional communities as they develop and grow across the globe. He sits on the Regionals Committee, interviews Regional Contacts on the Intake Team, develops leadership conference content, and sits on the Meta Regional Committee and Conflict Support Subcommittee. He is a classically trained trumpet player with a Master from Yale and a Bachelor from the NC School of the Arts. Sauce teaches music each Thursday in Asheville. His last corporate employment was at Bank of America in Executive Talent Management and Enterprise Learning where he provided leadership development resources and wrote enterprise communications. Sauce was a Regional Contact for 7 years, served on the board of his local burn Transformus, and has hosted Decompressions and Precompressions locally.

Zac Cirivello

Media and Communications Specialist, Burning Man Project

Zac has been involved in event and festival production since attending Earthdance festival in 2003 and has spent time in nearly every facet of operations at festivals around the globe, supporting an international network of participatory arts events. He first attended Burning Man in 2007, and immediately recognized it as the most profound example of creative human gathering. He dove deeply into participation, becoming a member of Center Camp Cafe leadership, the Department of Public Works, and the Playa Restoration team. He has worked as a member of the Burning Man Communications team since 2013, where he leads high-level strategic communications and media relations. He also manages operations for the Communications Department’s on-playa teams and supports the freshly undertaken Fly Ranch project. Outside of Burning Man, Zac is the Co-producer of The Bloom documentary series about festivals and festival culture and a board member of Oakland Art Murmur nonprofit.

Zach Bell

Founder of RETURN

As the founder of RETURN, Zach convenes, partners and invests with thought leaders, entrepreneurs, & creators who are at the intersection of culture, lifestyle and what is possible. RETURN helps to discover what is next with communities, organizations and culture. He's founded and helped build several technology companies in San Francisco/NYC and advises top cultural influencing non-profits. A builder at heart, Zach’s spends most of his days making big ideas seem simple and become new realities.

Zachary Coffin


Originally from Atlanta, Zachary Coffin’s early passion for photography landed him a job after high school as sole photographer for a daily law and business newspaper. After earning a BFA from the Cooper Union in New York, he spent a year living as Artist in Residence at Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens. There began a 20-year exploration of massive, kinetic, interactive sculpture that seeks to alter the art experience from passive viewer to active participant. He has a particular interest in our relationship with gravity, and an affinity for placing huge stones in improbable situations. Burning since 1996, he did the structure for Michael Christian’s Bone Arch, 1997, and built his first large work, Rockspinner, a 23,000lb spinning boulder, in 2001. Other playa works: Temple of Gravity, 2003, Colossus, 2006, and the Universe Revolves Around (YOU) 2012/13. He represented Burning Man artists in the recent renegotiation of the Artist Contract with Burning Man Project, and has spent over a decade as part of the DPW Heavy Equipment Department using his crane and rigging skills to help other artists build the ever larger and more ambitious work of Burning Man.