No Limits™ at Oceanit is a speaker series designed to stretch our imaginations and examine how vision and risk stimulate discovery and achievement. We aspire to host the most interesting thinkers in science, engineering, business, and community to share their creative genius and innovative mindsets on problem solving – beyond the limits of traditional thinking.

Below is a list of previous list No Limits™ speakers and topics,
along with links to their video presentations.

Noam Chomsky
Professor of Linguistics, Father of Modern Linguistics
“Know Thyself: Language, Creative Intelligence, and the Fate of the Human Experiment” | Video Presentation

Dr. Noam Chomsky is often called ‘the father of modern linguistics,’ but his contributions to human understanding also extend deeply into philosophy, cognitive science, and political science. Dr. Chomsky is one of the most cited scholars alive and has published more than 150 books. After a long career teaching at MIT, he is currently part of the philosophy faculty at the University of Arizona.

Chris Lee
Founder of University of Hawaii’s Academy for Creative Media
“Future of Digital Animation and Movie Making” | Video Presentation

Chris Lee is the founder and director of the University of Hawaii’s Academy for Creative Media and has worked tirelessly to grow Hawaii’s film production industry. Previously, he was the president of production at Columbia and TriStar Pictures where he oversaw movies such as Jerry Maguire, Philadelphia, and As Good As It Gets. At Oceanit, he spoke about the future of digital animation and movie making.

Earl Bakken
Founder of Medtronic, Inc.
“Future of High-Tech Medicine in Hawaii” | Video Presentation

Earl Bakken was the founder of Medtronic, where he developed the first wearable external pacemaker. He moved to Hawaii in the 1990s and quickly dedicated his efforts to promoting high-tech and holistic medicine in the islands. His contributions were instrumental to the design of the North Hawaii Community Hospital and its vision to be “the most healing hospital in the world.” His talk at Oceanit focused on the future of high-tech medicine in Hawaii.

John Dean
Former Chairman and CEO of Silicon Valley Bank
“Characteristics of a Leader and Keys to Success” | Video Presentation

John Dean is the former director, chairman, and CEO of Central Pacific Bank as well as the former chairman and CEO of Silicon Valley Bank from 1993 to 2001. During this time, Silicon Valley Bank was a leading provider of financial services to early stage technology companies. He is credited with the turnaround of four major banks throughout the United States and is heavily engaged with a wide range of community programs in Hawaii. He spoke at Oceanit about the characteristics of a leader and keys to success.

Alfred Yee
Founder and President of Yee Precast Design Group
“Pioneering Precast, Prestressed Concrete Construction Technology”

Dr. Alfred Yee was the founder and president of Yee Precast Design Group. He pioneered the use of precast concrete construction, and for many years his design of the Ala Moana Hotel held the designation of the tallest all precast structure in the US. His innovations in engineering are staples in the precast industry throughout the world.

George Ariyoshi
Former Governor of Hawaii
“Standing Firm in Adversity” | Video Presentation

George Ariyoshi was born in Honolulu to Japanese immigrant parents and served as Hawaii’s third governor from 1974-1986 and has been active in politics from 1954 until the present. He was Hawaii’s longest-serving governor and the first Asian American to serve as governor of a U.S. State. Ariyoshi later served as president of the Hawaii Bar Association and on the Board of Directors for First Hawaiian Bank. He has dedicated his life to the betterment of the state, and in 2020 he released his third book, Hawaii’s Future. When he spoke at Oceanit, Governor Ariyoshi discussed standing firm in the face of adversity.

Aaron Robinson
Senior Manager of Environmental Strategy and Sustainability
“Embracing Innovations in Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF)” | Video Presentation

The aviation industry is a highly visible emitter of carbon, accounting for approximately 2.5% of global CO2 emissions. Aaron Robinson manages United Airlines’ Eco-Skies and Eco-Alliance programs, focusing on sustainable fuel development and emissions reductions. United has committed to being 100% green by 2050 – reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 100%.

Sir Harold Kroto
1996 Nobel Prize Winner in Chemistry
“Impacts of Science on Society” | Video Presentation

Sir Harold Kroto won the 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery of fullerenes (or Buckminsterfullerenes after the architect, Buckminster Fuller, who conceived of geodesic domes), a structural form of carbon also known as buckyballs. During his talk at Oceanit, he discussed the impacts of science on society—almost prophetically as today, his Nobel-winning discovery is being examined for applications in areas as diverse as solar panels, military armor, and medicine.

Dean Kamen
American entrepreneur and inventor
“Fostering Innovation” | Video Presentation

Dean Kamen is a prolific inventor best known for the Segway PT (electric, self-balancing mobility tool) and the all-terrain electric wheelchair iBOT. In 1989, he founded the FIRST organization to foster students’ interest in STEM, and today, FIRST robotics leagues are found around the US. A tireless advocate for technology, Kamen’s varied pursuits have been united by a desire to improve lives through technology and innovation, which he spoke about during his visit to Oceanit.

Roz Savage
First Woman to Row Solo Across Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans
“Tackling Overwhelming Challenges in Unpredictable Conditions” | Video Presentation

Roz Savage holds four Guinness World Records for ocean rowing and was the first woman to row solo across the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans. Roz has cumulatively spent over 500 days at sea in her 23-foot rowing boat. She is a prolific environmental advocate focusing largely on ocean issues and plastic pollution. At Oceanit, she spoke about tackling overwhelming challenges in unpredictable conditions.

Lance Hansche
Founder of Phoenix Technologies, the Initial PC BIOS
“Learning from Missteps, Serendipitous Market Events, and Wasted Opportunities in the Rapid Growth of New Technology Market Segments” | Video Presentation

Lance Hansche is the founder of Phoenix Technologies, the initial PC BIOS (basic input/output system). During his talk at Oceanit, he spoke about learning from missteps, serendipitous market events, and wasted opportunities in the rapid growth of new technology market segments. Phoenix Technologies built a virtual monopoly in BIOS products and services in the personal computer industry.

Bill Burnett
Executive Director of Stanford D-School
“Creative Competency in Education and Why it is Essential to Building a Competitive 21st Century Workforce” | Video Presentation

Bill Burnett is the executive director of Standford’s D-School and a pioneer in the field of Design Thinking, a human-centered design methodology shaping innovations in technology and engineering. Oceanit brought Design Thinking to Hawaii in the early 2010s and count several Stanford D-School grads among our Ohana. At Oceanit, Bill spoke about creative competency in education and why it is essential to build a competitive 21st century workforce.

Dr. Pulickel Ajayan
Founding Chair, Rice University Materials Science & NanoEngineering
“Future of Nanotechnology” | Video Presentation

Dr. Pulickel Ajayan is the founding chair of Rice University’s Materials Science and NanoEngineering Department. He is a pioneer in the field of carbon nanotubes and is considered one of the world’s most cited materials scientists. His PhD work (1989) involved the characterization of gold nano-particles on oxide substrates and their phase instabilities. When he visited Oceanit, he spoke about the future of nanotechnology.

You can view the entire playlist of No Limits speakers by visiting Oceanit’s YouTube playlist.