Conversations with Influencers
and Disruptors

Live conversations every
Wednesday (mostly) at 4 pm Pacific

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support of the Santa Barbara community.
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Upcoming Conversations

Reggie Smith III, Ph.D.

The Transformational Power of Distance Learning. What you need to know to be successful.

Distance learning includes e-learning, texting, social networking, virtual worlds, game-based learning, webinars. It’s the Internet. It’s Google. It’s broadband and satellite and cable and wireless. Corporate universities. Virtual universities. Blended learning, mobile learning. It’s using our phones and computers and whatever technology comes next, in new ways. Distance learning brings education and training to where students or trainees are connecting their world to worldwide learning communities. This presentation will cover how all of these technologies can transform the world and foster a continuously learning economy for society’s good.

Dr. Reggie Smith III is the Chief Executive Officer of the United States Distance Learning Association - USDLA. He provides leadership to the association, members, and partners. USDLA promotes the development and application of distance learning for education and training and serves the distance learning community’s needs by providing advocacy, information, networking, and opportunity. Distance learning and training constituencies served include pre-K-12 education, homeschooling, higher education, continuing education, and business, corporate, military, government, and telehealth markets.

Jan Campbell

Finding a Vaccine for Violence. Beyond the Virus.

Jan has been working diligently to get in front of the crisis of domestic violence here in Santa Barbara, and working at the state level to understand and learn from the best practices of others. She has strong opinions on the impact of isolation and understands that home is not the safest place for some people.

Jan has more than 30 years of experience in leadership and community engagement, with a background in fundraising, grant writing, marketing, and communications. She most recently served as the Chief Philanthropic Officer at the Santa Barbara Foundation. Jan’s nonprofit experience includes work at the Page Youth Center and Heal the Ocean. Jan has served on the boards of the UCSB Alumni Association, the UCSB Foundation, Montessori Center School, and the Santa Barbara Education Foundation. Currently, she is a member of the Goleta Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and the World Telehealth Initiative. She is a member of three women’s funds, the Association of Fundraising Professionals, and the Santa Barbara Women’s Political Committee.

O.P. Almaraz

Cleaning Up After COVID. Understanding the impact of the workplace on the workforce.

Category: PANDEMIC ,

O.P. asks, “Is your building asymptomatic?” As the first restoration company in the US that is certified by the Global BioRisk Advisory Council, he knows what a clean workplace should look like. He has advice to employers, employees, and homeowners who want their buildings to be safe.

O.P. Almaraz brings a genuine passion and over 26 years of entrepreneurial experience. Growing up on government cheese & food stamps, poverty was part of his culture. He found an opportunity in construction and immersed himself in the business. Climbing the ladder, from sales estimator to Vice President, to business owner, and after 15 years he found success. O.P. is on a mission to create positive change in the lives of people who have the desire to get more out of life, living with a higher level of passion, meaning, and contribution.


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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Missed a Conversation?

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Coming Soon

Be sure you don’t miss these conversations coming later this year.
* indicates new guest added to the show.

* Cooper Bates 11/25
Black When I Was A Boy

* Dr. Reggie Smith III 12/2

A World Where Distance Learning is the New Normal

Jan Campbell 12/9
Finding a Vaccine for Violence

* OP Almarez 12/16
Cleaning up after COVID

Bittersweet Gratitude
Virtual Concert and Conversations
Jackson Gillies
Kenny Loggins
Hana Loggins
Zach Gil
Glenn Philips
John Irving and the Renaissance Dancers

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People Are Talking

“It was an honor to contribute, once again, to the profoundly vital discussions the TEDxSantaBarbara team hosts, initiates and propagates with unparalleled integrity and consistency."
Dr. Harry Grammer, Making Waves speaker
"Really nicely done to be using your platform to spotlight something like this. Very proud of you guys."
Evan Asher, TEDxSantaBarbara performer
“Thank you for inviting me to be a part of your Conversations. Each of these presentations helps to make connections across disciplines, as a result, we’re all inspired to learn more.”
Dr. Yonette Thomas, Making Waves speaker
“This series has been terrific! I have caught a few of them and the conversations have been insightful. Keep up the great work.”
Julie Sorenson, Attendee
“Thanks so much for hosting such an important presentation by Dr. Wizdom Powell.”
Cheri C. Wilson, Education and Training Manager, Johns Hopkins Medicine
This program is one of the best I have ever seen in my life. This was amazing and there are not enough words to say Thank You and your Team."
Attendee, BJ King

This year, as we continue producing a series of weekly virtual talks, we focus on 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.

The topics we explore are focused on the Pandemic and Social Justice. We look at them individually and, at times, see how one has influenced the other. We look through various lenses and hear from different voices as we explore these inquiries. One of our guests introduced us to the word Syndemics, which is the collision of different epidemics. This syndemic and the chaos, complexity, and intricate complications it has brought to all of our lives is what Making Waves is all about. All while finding the silver thread of hope from our guests.

We navigate through opinions to help us all 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.

Making Waves is Hosted by Mark Sylvester and Produced by Tracy Wyle


Making Waves Conversations

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