TEDxSantaBarbara Reveals New Program to Highlight Local Social Innovation

TEDxSantaBarbara Reveals New Program to Highlight Local Social Innovation title=
TEDxSantaBarbara Reveals New Program to Highlight Local Social Innovation
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Event Date: 
Saturday, November 16, 2019 - 10:00


TEDxSantaBarbara, a locally organized offshoot of the international TED nonprofit, announces Santa Barbara Spotlight – a new addition to their annual conference that raises awareness about local social innovation by bringing the leader of a Santa Barbara-area nonprofit to the Red Circle. This year’s conference is being held on Saturday, November 16 at the New Vic Theatre, 33 W. Victoria St. from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

The inaugural Santa Barbara Spotlight speaker will be Foodbank of Santa Barbara County CEO Erik Talkin. His talk – titled "Just giving people more food does not end hunger" – will explore the contradictions inherent in this proposition. “As CEO of a food bank that provides 10 million pounds of nutritious food annually to the people of Santa Barbara County, I have discovered that education and empowerment are just as important ingredients as fresh fruits and vegetables to increase food security. I encourage people to come and find out how we moved from a situation where people were throwing away fresh produce to how it now changes lives.”

Noting that Santa Barbara Spotlight evolved from a core piece of the TEDxSantaBarbara mission – to highlight social innovation – the group’s Director of Community Engagement, Rachel Johnson, commented, “When we look around Santa Barbara, the number of organizations running amazing programs for our collective social good is staggering. Santa Barbara Spotlight is an opportunity to amplify the global impact and recognition of this good work." 

Johnson shared that, more than merely inviting a leader to take the stage in November, those selected to speak at TEDxSantaBarbara are given a 6-month mentorship and coaching program to help them refine and elevate their talk. This makes the Santa Barbara Spotlight program even more impactful, as it directly leads to powerful professional development for nonprofit leaders. 

The annual TEDxSantaBarbara, which is run 100% by volunteers, receives its funding from community partnerships. This year, long-time sponsor Santa Barbara Foundation stepped forward to be the presenting partner for the new Santa Barbara Spotlight concept. Ron Gallo, President and CEO of the Foundation, stated, “TEDxSantaBarbara is about innovation, the future, and keeping people in dialogue. What SBF endeavors to do day in and day out is help our county residents identify the most important factors that will lead to our best collective future. Sponsoring TEDxSanta Barbara, and particularly supporting this year’s Spotlight speaker, Eric Talkin, who will speak to food security, could not be more of a bullseye for our attention.”

The 2019 event – themed “The Stories We Tell” – will explore a diverse array of topics. In addition to Talkin’s discussion on food literacy, other speakers will address plastic pollution, environmental security, applied virtual reality, the future of education, and more. A series of TEDxSantaBarbaraSalons – small group conversations – and TEDxSantaBarbaraAdventures – curated, exclusive outings – teasing these upcoming topics just wrapped up at the end of September. 

To reserve tickets and learn more about the annual TEDxSantaBarbara Conference, visit TEDxSantaBarbara.com. While there, sign up to volunteer for TEDxSantaBarbara, or get inspired by watching past speakers and listening to “Behind the Scenes” podcasts on past and future topics. To discuss community partnership opportunities, contact Executive Producer Mark Sylvester at [email protected].

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