Flow Genome Project | THE TEAM





Steven Kotler

Director of Research for the Flow Genome Project


Steven Kotler is a New York Times bestselling author, award-winning journalist, and cofounder and director of research for the Flow Genome Project. His books include The Rise of Superman, Abundance, A Small, Furry Prayer, West of Jesus, and The Angle Quickest for Flight. His work has been translated into thirty languages and his articles have appeared in more than seventy publications, including New York Times Magazine, Atlantic Monthly, Wired, and Forbes. You can find him online at www.stevenkotler.com or writing Far Frontiers, a blog for Forbes.com: www.forbes.com/sites/stevenkotler.


Jamie Wheal

Director of Programs for the Flow Genome Project


Jamie Wheal, Executive Director of Flow Genome Project, is a leading expert on the neuro-somatics of ultimate human performance. His work ranges from Fortune 500 companies, leading business schools,Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), to Red Bull and its stable of world-class athletes. He combines a background in expeditionary leadership, wilderness medicine and surf rescue, with over a decade advising high-growth companies on strategy, execution and leadership. He is a sought-after speaker, presenting to diverse and high-performing communities such as YPO, Summit Series, MaiTai Global, TEDx, and theAdvertising Research Foundation.

At the Flow Genome Project, he leads a team of the world’s top scientists, athletes and artists dedicated to reverse-engineering the genome of the peak-performance state known as Flow.


We are deeply grateful for the amazing talent that has assembled in support of the project.  Leaders in their fields–from adventure sports, to performance psychology, to innovation, branding, and neuroscience–are helping us realize our mission to reverse-engineer the Flow state and open source it to everyone.

Get to know them here–follow their work.  They make no small plans, ever.


Dr. Andy Walshe

High Performance Director, Red Bull North America


If you’ve ever wondered what kind of a mad scientist would invite pro surfers to spend a week cross-training with free-hold breath divers (just to see how long they could get pinned underwater by giant waves,) or would strap sensors all over a fearless man about to free fall from the edges of outer space–Walshe is the man.

An Aussie researcher who designed and implemented the state-of-the-art training facilities for the US Ski and Snowboard Teams’ High Performance Program, Andy is passionate about delivering pragmatic solutions to explore human potential.

He now spends his days with Lindsay, Shaun, Mick, Travis (more than one) and a host of other icons of action sports.  Andy’s constantly pushing the edge of bio and psycho metrics, innnovative training equipment  (like a forty foot super bungee that catapaults snowboarders high enough to spin quads) and interdiscplinary research to give the athletes that ride The Bull the competitive edge.

It’s not fair really, but someone’s got to have that job–Andy’s just the bloke that created it.



Dr. Andy Newberg


The science of spirituality has become something of a hot topic in the past few decades because we finally have the advanced imaging technology — fMRI and SPECT scans and the like — to actually peer inside the brain and find out what is going on during so-called spiritual experience. No one has peered deeper than Dr. Andrew Newberg, currently the Director of Research at the Myrna Brind Center of Integrative Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University and Hospital in Philadelphia  and formerly the Director of the Center for Spirituality and the Mind at the University of Pennsylvania, . During his career, Newberg has examined the brains of Tibetan monks during peak meditation, Franciscan nuns during ecstatic prayer, Evangelicals in the throes of glossolalia — all with an eye towards understanding how brain function produces mystical experience. His books include How God Changes Your Brain: Breakthrough Findings from a Leading Neuroscientist and Why God Won’t Go Away: Brain Science and the Biology of Belief. He has presented his work at scientific and religious meetings throughout the world and has appeared on Good Morning America, Nightline, 20/20, CNN, ABC World News Tonight as well as in a number of media articles including Newsweek, Time, New York Times, and Los Angeles Times.



Jason Silva

Television personality, filmmaker and philosopher


Jason was recently described as “part Timothy Leary, part Ray Kurzweil, and part Neo from The Matrix.”

Others have described Jason as “A Digital DJ, a re-vitalizer and remixer of optimism, and above all, a curator: of ideas, of inspiration, and of awe… like a trumpet player or modern-day digital Mingus, he jams, riffs and rhapsodizes through a tumbling thicket of ideas with such a sharp and vital alacrity that it can take the breath away. He’s a modern performance philosopher, reviving the vibe of Tim Leary and Buckminster Fuller and revivifying the dialogue that they started decades ago.”

From 2005 to 2011, Venezuela-born Silva was a presenter on Current TV, the Emmy winning, independent cable network started by former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, where he hosted, wrote and produced over 100 hours of original content.

Jason recently launched a series of non-commercial micro-documentaries exploring the co-evolution of human and technology, the latest of which was called “stunning” by TED Conference owner and curator, Chris Anderson. Jason has recently spoken at The Singularity Summit in NYC and his work was featured at The Economist World in 2012 Ideas Festival. In January 2012, Jason spoke at the prestigious DLD Digital Life Design Conference in Munich.

Jason has partnered with Oscar nominated producer Peter Martin to create a feature length 3D Documentary on the technological singularity and has been featured in The Economist, Vanity Fair, Forbes and Wired, among many others. Silva was also featured as part of the GAP ‘Icons’ campaign.

The Imaginary Foundation wrote of Jason’s most recent talks and short films that, “like some kind of Ontological DJ, he recompiles the source code of western philosophy by mixing and mashing it up into a form of recombinant creativity, which elevates understanding from the dry and prosaic, to a sensual cognitive romance.”’

We’re deeply into hacking source codes ourselves, and that’s why we’re stoked to have a kindred spirit and co-conspirator in Jason.



Jimmy Chin


Jimmy Chin is a 12 year veteran of the North Face Athlete Team, a National Geographic photographer and filmmaker. He’s participated and documented breakthrough expeditions around the world with some of the top climbers, skiers, snowboarders and adventurers of our time. Besides climbing up some of the hardest high altitude alpine routes in the Himalayas, he is also one of the only people in the world to ski down Mount Everest from the summit. He knows a thing or two about the flow state both as an athlete and a creative.


Susi Mai


Susi is one of the most inspirational and decorated female kiteboarders in the world. Her deep passion for growing sport has manifested into a number of creative, innovative and impactful projects, including the annual MaiTai event (dubbed by the media as the “anti-conference” and likened to the prestigious TED conferences), an exclusive kiteboarding camp in Hawaii for entrepreneurs and venture capitalists to discuss the future of technology. She’s also worked with Cabrinha to design and develop a line of kiteboarding gear – just for girls – to unveil during the 2013 season, and is the official patron of KiteRight Charity, a non-profit organization that aims to use all kite sports to help improve lives of people that would not normally be able to access the sport.


Pilar Gerasimo

Senior Vice President, Lifetime Fitness, Founder, Experience Life Magazine


Pilar didn’t climb the ladder to become one of the most influential voices of the Lifetime Fitness empire–she kicked down the door.

Frustrated by the lack of critical, thoughtful dialogue around health and fitness, Pilar convinced Lifetime’s founder Bahram Akradi to fund her dream magazine, Experience Life –what has become the coolest, most provocative in-flight magazine, ever.

Not content to stop with a readership approaching a million worldwide, Pilar took the gloves off.  In the award-winning Revolutionary Act she calls out the dysfunctional pre-packaged couch potato life we are marketed, and advocates for the simpler, saner and more sustainable options all around us.

Pilar has been a guest on Dr. Oz’s “Oprah & Friends” radio program and has partnered with Functional Medicine pioneer Dr. Mark Hyman to create and copresent the UltraSmart Weight Loss Workshop at the Omega Institute. She sits on the advisory board of the University of Minnesota’s Health Journalism & Communication program. She has served as a judge for the National Magazine Awards and the Beard Foundation Awards.

Plus, she lives in a super cool fairy-tale farmhouse with a turret.


Bill Tai

VC, Educator, Athlete


Bill is co-founder of MaiTai Global, an exclusive community of the world’s best kiteboarders and entrepreneurs dedicated to finding Flow and maximizing performance on and off the water. He is one of Silicon Valley’s top investors and a Partner at Charles Rivers Ventures. Prior to joining CRV, Bill founded IPInfusion as Executive Chairman, Founded iAsiaWorks as Chairman & CEO and founded Tradebeam as President. As a an Olympic Ambassador for the IKA (Int’l Kitesurfing Association), he is part of the campaign to put Kiteboarding into the 2016 Olympics to be held in Rio de Janeiro. He is also a World Economic Forum Tech Pioneer, and holds an MBA from Harvard Graduate School of Business, and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois. Bill is an adjunct professor of innovation at Curtin University in Australia.


Dr. Ned Hallowell

New York Times best-selling author and Harvard Medical School psychiatrist


Are you looking for practical, how-to solutions to life’s personal challenges? Best selling New York Times author and world-renowned ADHD expert, Dr. Ned Hallowell offers groundbreaking advice on how to survive in an ultra-competitive, ultra fast, attention deficit society while remaining sane, how to raise happy children, how to manage worry, the art of forgiveness and how to bring the best out of your employees.  He also offers a prescriptive guide that shows how to get the most out of life with Attention Deficit Disorder.

A graduate of Harvard College and Tulane School of Medicine, Dr. Hallowell is a child and adult psychiatrist and the founder of The Hallowell Center for Cognitive and Emotional Health in Sudbury, MA and New York City. He was a member of the faculty of the Harvard Medical School from 1983 to 2004 until he retired to  devote his full professional attention to his clinical practice, lectures, and the writing of books.



Dr. Michael Gervais


Michael Gervais has spend his career pushing on the limits of human potential. A high-performance psychologist, Gervais has flown onto aircraft carriers during wartime to work with fighter pilots, developed high-performance strategies for action sport athletes who attempt the impossible (like, say, Felix Baumgartner’s space dive), and expanded capabilities in the more traditional realms of the NFL, NHL, NBA and Olympics. He’s also one of only sixteen members of Nike’s Expert Performance Advisory Board, and is a currently working with the Seattle Seahawks in shaping their high performance psychology and performance innovation program. His work has been featured on ESPN, NBC Sports, CNN, NFL Network, FUEL TV, Red Bull TV, Extra, Fox Sports, Yahoo Sports and, in print, in The Huffington Post, Playboy, ESPN The Magazine, and Outside.


Dr. Edythe Heus

Revolution in Motion Training


Not content with training Olympians, World Champions, and Hollywood stars, Edythe saved Spiderman too.  Her Revolution-ary technique–equal parts Cirque de Soleil, Pilates, and ballistic yoga–tunes and shapes bodies in ways that few other methods can.

A form of neuro-kinesthetic programming that serves equally well rehabilitating aging Boomers, optimizing elite athletes, or engaging executives and artists–Revolution in Motion serves as one of the foundational methodologies in the Flow Dojo, and as the skeleton key to integrated performance.

Edythe splits her time between her Manhattan and Los Angeles studios, and gets as much time longboarding and skiing as she can.

Revolution in Motion Fitness


Dr. James Olds

Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study


Jim is our pater familias of sorts, helping us think through the thorny and intractable challenge of how to bottle the lightning of the Flow state. Under his guidance, we are establishing precise but fluid research protocols for further study, so that researchers across disciplines can collaborate and integrate what they find. (and stay tuned for an X-Prize of Flow in the years to come.)

Jim’s career has taken him in and out of academia, civil service, and private enterprise–from award winning stints at NIH and collaborations with Craig Venter and Daniel Alkon, to a multi-decade relationship with the Woods Hole marine lab, to advising Congress on alternative energy, to filing patents on imaging devices we don’t pretend to understand.

In summer of 1998, Jim accepted the position of Director and CEO at the Krasnow Institute for Advanced Study, an independent research institution located on the campus of George Mason University in Fairfax Virginia. Concurrently he is the Shelley Krasnow University Professor of Neuroscience at George Mason University and Chair of the Department of Molecular Neuroscience.

Jim has served on grant review panels for the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and the Office of Naval Research and the editorial board of the Journal of Cognitive Dynamics from 2007-2010.  As a scientist and public policy expert he has been an invited speaker to many domestic and international meetings to speak on topics ranging from brain imaging to global warming. Jim is also a member of the Cosmos Club.

krasnow.gmu.edu/james olds