Conversations with Influencers
and Disruptors

Live conversations every
Wednesday at 4 pm Pacific


The world is grappling with an issue of enormous scale and human impact, and our hearts go out to all who have been affected by the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19). 

At TEDxSantaBarbara, we believe it is our role and responsibility during this time to prioritize two things: the health and the well-being of our community while also playing a constructive role in supporting local health officials and government leaders as they work to contain the virus. Through that lens, we will continue to make decisions with vigilance and courage informed by the latest science-based information.

Our first step is to postpone the two upcoming events, the TEDxSalon Sea Level Rise on March 18 and the TEDxAdventure at the Carpinteria Salt Marsh on April 29. As of now, we are continuing to plan for our main event in the Fall, scheduled for Saturday, November 7.

We will continue to post updates here and through our newsletter.


There are many ways to participate in TEDx

This year we’re continuing to focus on ways to bring the TEDx community together. Our focus this year is going to be on celebrating Santa Barbara as the birthplace of world change. Our Salons, Adventures and Main Event in November will give us opportunities to share ideas and take collective action.



Regular events for smaller groups to explore single topics of community interest
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Regular field trips for smaller groups to explore our community
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Main event

Our Annual All-Day Event with Live Speakers and Performers at The New Vic

Get your tickets

This year, as we begin producing a series of virtual talks, we are curating ideas that are influencing us, locally and globally. These short conversations are not news-focused. Instead, we are highlighting discussions of hope and optimism while showcasing actionable solutions.

Some of the topics to include; our Food Supply, BioTech, Psychology, Resiliency, Impact on Gatherings, Retail, The Environment, Energy, the Ocean, Social Justice, Civil Discourse, Education, Creativity, and Animal Activism, to name a few.

We’ll navigate through opinions to help us understand these challenging times by focusing on positive disruption. We’ve heard that normal will never be normal again.
This year we’re Making Waves.


Upcoming Conversations

Broadcast on Zoom and Live on our Facebook Page


Founder, New Earth

Breaking Down Privilege.
Time to build a better world


Harry was on the 2018 TEDxSantaBarbara stage and returns to talk about the confluence of COVID and Social Justice. We’ll discuss understanding the transformation that needs to happen as we come to grips with the amount of work facing us moving forward.

Dr. Harry Grammer is a nationwide activist and educator. He founded the community-based organization New Earth in 2004 and is instrumental in reforming the justice system in Los Angeles County. In 2017, Harry was honored as a CNN Hero, and in 2018 was selected as one of twenty inaugural Obama Foundation Fellows from over 20,000 applicants in 191 countries. Harry brings leadership and lived experience, with a background in teaching arts and advocacy to incarcerated and at-promise youth.


President & CEO, ASPCA

Pets, Poverty and the Pandemic.
The impact on animal welfare.

Category: The Pandemic

As the head of the ASPCA, Matt has a deep understanding of the effect of poverty on our nation’s animals. Couple that insight with the Pandemic and you’ll look forward to hearing about what he describes as a seismic shift in the animal welfare community.

Matthew Bershadker is the president and CEO of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), the first animal welfare organization in America, and a national leader in the rescue and protection of at-risk animals. Under Matt’s leadership, the ASPCA has established and expanded critical animal protection, community support, and COVID-19 response programs across the country with the goal of creating systemic change for animals in need. A lifelong animal lover, Matt joined the ASPCA in 2001.

James Joyce III

Coffee with a Black Guy. What do we do with this discomfort?

Category: Social Justice

James says we've been having conversations about race in Santa Barbara for four years, starting with his Coffee with a Black Guy series. James joins us to talk about how our reaction to the senseless murder of George Floyd has us questioning everything.

James Joyce III is the District Director for State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson. He's served on advisory boards, Impact Hub, the Ventura County Leadership Academy, and the Santa Barbara Young Black Professionals. James is on the board for the Lois & Walter Capps Project, the national Student African American Brotherhood (SAAB), where he helped found the collegiate chapter while a student-athlete at Ohio University. In 2016, James launched Coffee with a Black Guy, where he hosts interactive conversations about issues from a black man's perspective. For these efforts and more, the Ventura County branch of the NAACP awarded James with their 2018 Distinguished Citizen Award. James previously was a journalist in several diverse communities across the country, covering various subjects, from education to crime, local politics, features, and more.

Sigrid Wright

CEO, Community Environmental Council

The pandemic did not fix our climate problem

Category: The Pandemic

Sigrid has a challenging role as the CEO of the Community Environmental Council. She's thinking about emissions issues, protecting our food system, including how our ecosystem will recover after COVID. She has some definite ideas of how we can move forward.

Sigrid has 25 years of experience in non-profit environmental management and is the CEO for the Community Environmental Council. She is a steering committee member of the Central Coast Climate Collaborative and the Alliance of Regional Collaboratives for Climate Adaptation. Sigrid is co-author and/or editor of more than a dozen CEC policy documents, including The Santa Barbara County Regional Energy Blueprint. She is on the executive team and board of the countywide Food Action Plan.



Rethinking Public Safety.
Peace isn’t the absence of crime, it’s the absence of pain.

Category: Social Justice

Garrett will talk with us about the impact the current protests are having from someone who has dedicated their career to public safety. Garrett's experience as the host of The Squadroom podcast will add the context we desperately need for better understanding.

Garrett TeSlaa is a law enforcement veteran, TEDx speaker, and thought-leader on issues facing policing. Garrett is also the host of The Squad Room Podcast about personal development in law enforcement. A graduate of the Supervisory Leadership Institute, Garrett holds a Master’s in Public Administration with an emphasis in Public Sector Leadership and is a contributing writer for PoliceOne and Law Enforcement Today. Garrett’s TEDx talk, “The Importance of Second Responders” is available on YouTube.

Seth Streeter

Leaping forward into deferred dreams:
How to design and ignite your 3.0 life

Category: The Pandemic

Seth Streeter was on the TEDxSantaBarbara stage in 2016, talking about a new way to think about how we manage our money and our lives. In this conversation, we will look at how our current climate is an opportunity to take another look at our goals.

Seth co-founded Mission Wealth in 2000, a nationally recognized wealth management firm that specializes in guiding clients through significant life events. Seth is a thought-leader for conscious financial planning as well as an ambassador for environmental sustainability. He graduated from UCSB and has a Masters of Science in Financial Planning. Seth is the Chief Impact Officer at, where they take positive actions to improve our community and our planet.

Dr. Yonette Thomas

Urban Health Champion | Mentor | Women’s Health & Empowerment

Is racism a public health crisis?

Category: social justice

Health encompasses mental, social, economic, and educational success and stability - all of which are eroded by structural racism. If US institutions want to combat racism like the public health issue it is, they need to address not its symptoms, but its causes.

Dr. Thomas serves as Strategic Advisor for Health of Women & Girls to the Women's Economic Imperative and is a founding board member of the International Society for Urban Health. She served as a science advisor for urban health to the New York Academy of Medicine and is a founding board member and former vice president of the Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health Science (IAPHS). She formerly served as the Associate Vice President for Research Compliance at Howard University.

Geoff Green

CEO, Santa Barbara City College Foundation

Philanthropy as a Radical Act.

Category: The Pandemic

Geoff makes conversations about philanthropy fascinating because he is fascinated by it. While now may seem the wrong time to ask for donations, Geoff makes a case that now is the exact time to put your money to work, especially during an emergency.

Born in the San Francisco Bay area, Geoff came to Santa Barbara in 1990 as a UCSB student. He found his passion for campus and community organizations working for social justice and environmental health. He has raised over $4 million for more than 50 nonprofit organizations as a volunteer auctioneer. He currently also serves as the Chairman for the Chamber of Commerce of the Santa Barbara Region and the VP of the Board of Directors for the Network of California Community College Foundations.


The Future of Retail.
The Cornerstone of the Experience Economy

Category: The Pandemic

Michael has a long history of innovation in the retail industry. His current project is using technology to monitor what’s going on within a physical store to understand how merchants can make shopping safe and give consumers peace of mind.

Michael is a successful tech entrepreneur with more than 20 years of experience. He has helped build brands and led teams at companies such as AG Edwards, HP & Citrix. He is currently the COO at the Santa Barbara-based Kiva Cowork which is supported by an entrepreneurial community that continues to grow and support the central coast through mentorship and charitable initiatives. Prior to joining Kiva Cowork Michael founded RetailGo and began researching and writing on the topic of the retail renaissance, technology, and the future of the sector.

Dr. Wizdom Powell, Ph.D., MPH

It’s time for radical healing.
How do we leverage the collective energy we have now to move the needle forward?


Dr. Powell will discuss how the combined impact of COVID-19 and racism is brewing a lethal force of mental health syndemics — or the social patterning of co-occurring disease conditions. COVID-19 has all the ingredients of a trauma pandemic in the making.

Dr. Powell was recently named one of the 25 Essential Black Voices on Mental Health and Wellness. Wizdom is Director of the Health Disparities Institute and Associate Professor of Psychiatry at The University of Connecticut. Formerly, Dr. Powell spent over a decade at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Gillings School of Global Public Health where she held a tenured appointment in the Department of Health Behavior and was Research Associate Professor and Associate Director of the Center for Health Equity Research in the Department of Social Medicine.

Featured Speakers from Past Conversations

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Coming Soon

Be sure you don’t miss these conversations coming later this year.

Keith Witt 
Cultivating a post-outrage consciousness

Sangwon Suh
COVID-19 and the Value of Information:
Measuring the Societal Costs of the Pandemic

Jan Campbell
Finding a Vaccine for Violence

Than Baardson
Accelerating the Fight Against Human Trafficking

Kerri Murray
The Role of Shelter During a Pandemic

Lisa Biggs
Building Emotional Resilience in our Children

John Greathouse
Looking Around the Corner: The Zoomers Role in the post-COVID success

Katie Hershfelt
Making it worth it to plant the next harvest: Reinventing Community Supported Agriculture

Lisa Jones
Double Emergencies for Women of Color

Andreas Forsland
Connecting Intentions to Outcomes: Reinventing Interpersonal Communications

Shannon Kenney
Social Justice is on the front lines of Sustainable change.

Jackson Gillies
New Year's Musical Celebration

The Importance of Partnership

Our event is 100% volunteer-driven and we rely on the community for financial support and in-kind contributions.

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Meet our 2020 Partners

The moment you've all been waiting for has arrived.

Watch the VIDEOS!

A glimpse of a recent TEDx event


Meet the 2019 Team

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We're looking for a few more awesome Volunteers.

Volunteers are the backbone of our TEDxSantaBarbara events. We've been very fortunate over the years to have built a team of wonderful and dedicated change agents. We'd love to invite you to apply for our 2020 Volunteer team.

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