TEDxSantaCruz Announces Speakers & Ticket Sales for April Event


 | February 22, 2024

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. — TEDxSantaCruz is thrilled to announce its lineup of speakers taking the stage on Saturday, April 13, 2024 at the Crocker Theater on the Cabrillo College campus. Throughout the full day event, speakers representing nearly every part of Santa Cruz County will focus on ideas surrounding this year’s theme, RISING TOGETHER. The theme–and the event at large–seeks to celebrate the greater community’s collective strength and provide new ideas and solutions as we build our resilience as a local and global community. Talks will be delivered in English and there will be simultaneous Spanish translation available. 

Tickets for the event are on sale now

Consuelo Alba, one of the four primary producers for the event and co-founder and executive director of Watsonville Film Festival, said the theme emphasizes “an immense scale of collaboration,” as society faces massive challenges including poverty, racism, global climate change, food insecurity, and divisiveness.”

“How do we rise together — how do we build effective and lasting collaborations?” Alba asks.

To address that deep question, Alba and co-producers Nada Miljkovic of the University of California Santa Cruz, and Elana Solon and Jenny Kurzweil of Community Foundation Santa Cruz County were part of a 10-person selection committee to determine this year’s speakers. During the open application period, TEDxSantaCruz received over 130 proposals from local community members. Those applications were whittled down to 30 finalists. 

As Miljkovic shared on behalf of the selection committee, “We were beyond impressed by the overall quality of the applications, the innovative thinking in our community, both in terms of building social movements and developing technology. The applications we received were by and large a showcase of how people in this community are powerful forces for good.”

The selection committee chose this year’s speakers through an in-depth scoring and qualitative review process, focusing on the quality of each talk’s content, how it provided a shift in the conversation, its dual relevance to local concerns and global issues, and its aim to inspire calls to action.

The 2024 TEDxSantaCruz speakers and their proposed talk titles are:

  • Alex Chavez-Guerrero, Jacob Martinez & Martin Vargas Vega — Scalable Impact through Social Capital
  • Antonella De La Tore Marcenaro — Belonging and Nature: Connecting To Ourselves Through Land
  • César Rojas Bravo — Shared Humanity, Shared Night Sky
  • Daisy Nuñez – Rising Through Grief Together: A Community and Educator Support Perspective
  • Effron “Donnie” Veal — Transcending Incarceration Through Education
  • Esabella Bonner — Values As Verbs: Walking the Walk
  • Galina Hale — Funding Climate Solutions
  • Juliano Calil — Immersive Narratives for Climate Awareness
  • Kara Meyberg Guzman — Local News: Telling Our Story Through the Lens of Listening
  • Kat Armstrong & Jorge Guillen — Someone Like Me: Drag Matters
  • Kyra Bobinet — Iteration: The Neuroscience of Change
  • Luna HighJohn-Bey — Following A Hunch: History, Community, & Belonging
  • Madeline Aliah — Beyond Safe Spaces: Meet Me There
  • Maria Cadenas —Building a Shared and Prosperous Economic Future for All
  • MariaElena De La Garza — What Did You Call Me? Reclaiming Our Power Through Language
  • Natalia Ocampo-Peñuela — Traditional Knowledge & Ecotourism: A Tale of North and South
  • Nicole Beck — Rainwater Not Wastewater
  • Stephen Will Weir — Intentional Consumption: Three Simple Questions
  • Terry Carr — Growing Justice, Growing Food, Growing Tech

Community Foundation Santa Cruz County is supporting the event as the presenting sponsor. Susan True, the Foundation’s CEO, said this year’s event will help inspire collective action in the community, creating solutions for challenges that are too large for any one person to solve alone. 

“We’re honored to partner with TEDxSantaCruz to showcase local innovation and solutions and help provide space for meaningful community conversations,” True shared.

Other sponsors include: Rise Together Fund for Racial Equity at the Community Foundation, Driscoll’s, UCSC’s The Humanities Institute/Office of the Chancellor/Baskin School of Engineering, Lookout Santa Cruz, Watsonville Film Festival, Cabrillo College, Santa Cruz Community Credit Union, Blue Heron Design Group, Bay Federal Credit Union, Digital NEST, the San Lorenzo Valley Post, Event Santa Cruz, LIFEAID, Allterra Solar, Dientes Community Dental, Pedro Gonzalez Farmers Insurance Agency, Aurora Wonder Properties, and Janet Janssen Life in Business Coach. The event is fiscally sponsored by United Services Agency.

About TEDxSantaCruz

The mission of TEDxSantaCruz is to bring together a community of some of the brightest and most innovative thinkers who contribute to solutions for our local and global challenges. Our purpose is to establish fresh, new conversations, perspectives, and exposure to different ideas from Santa Cruz and the world beyond. We provide a stage and platform for the very best ideas, thoughts, and actions generated in Santa Cruz County. TEDxSantaCruz has been holding events since 2011 with a total of 106 speakers garnering over 3.2 million views through the TEDx YouTube channel.

What is TEDx?
In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TED has created a program called TEDx. TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. Our event is called TEDxSantaCruz, where x = independently organized TED event. At our TEDxSantaCruz event, TED Talks video and live speakers will combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events, including ours, are self-organized.

About TED
TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, often in the form of short talks delivered by leading thinkers and doers. Many of these talks are given at TED Conferences, intimate TED Salons and thousands of independently organized TEDx events around the world. Videos of these talks are made available, free, on and other platforms. Audio versions of TED Talks are published to TED Talks Daily, available on all podcast platforms.

TED’s open and free initiatives for spreading ideas include, where new TED Talk videos are posted daily; TEDx, which licenses thousands of individuals and groups to host local, self-organized TED-style events around the world; the TED Fellows program, which selects innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities; The Audacious Project, which surfaces and funds critical ideas that have the potential to impact millions of lives; TED Translators Program, which crowdsources the subtitling of TED Talks so that big ideas can spread across languages and borders; and the educational initiative TED-Ed. TED also offers TED@Work a program that reimagines TED Talks for workplace learning. TED also has a growing library of original

podcasts, including The TED Interview with Chris Anderson, WorkLife with Adam Grant, Far Flung with Saleem Reshamwala and How to Be a Better Human.

Follow TED on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and on LinkedIn.

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  1. EIGHTY DOLLARS is way beyond what my budget can handle but knowing that there are plenty of people who earn a lot more than I do, the tickets will sell. Perhaps the producers could consider offering a limited amount of senior or low income admission tickets????

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