Conversations with Influencers
and Disruptors

Live conversations every other
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

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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.


Our first series of conversations

Broadcast on Zoom and Live on our Facebook Page

Noah benShea

Ten truths to get you through tough times.

Noah benShea kicks off our series of Conversations. He was on our TEDx stage in 2010 when he delivered three essays on Imagination. Now he and Mark Sylvester, Making Waves' host, will talk about his Ten Truths to get us through tough times.

Noah benShea is one of North America's most respected and beloved poet philosophers. He is a Pulitzer Prize-nominated, Best Selling author of 28 books. He is a scholar and theologian who has spoken to numerous universities and institutions, including The Library of Congress and The US Department of Defense. He has been published by Oxford University Press and The World Bible Society in Jerusalem. He was a Dean at UCLA at the age of 22 and at 30, a Fellow at several esteemed "Think Tanks."

James Joyce III

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

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

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.

Seth Streeter

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

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.

Geoff Green

CEO, Santa Barbara City College Foundation

Propping up the Front Line of the Non-Profit Sector

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.

Coming Soon

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

Keith Witt 
Cultivating a post-outrage consciousness

Matt Bershadker
Helping 200,000 Animals Affected by COVID-19

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

Jan Campbell
Finding a Vaccine for Violence

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

Michael Lewis
The Cornerstone of the Experience Economy: The Future of Retail

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

Featured Videos from our Past Events

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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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