TEDx Santa Cruz (Sat. Sept. 15) brought several of the big-name speakers and bombshell moments the conference is known for. There were also some subtle messages that deserve props.
Professional endurance athlete Terri Schneider posited that everybody is an endurance athlete, really—moving forward through our days and working towards the next goal. She shared with the TEDx audience her travels to Bhutan, and how the lifestyle of modesty and quiet contemplation affected her. She encouraged audience members to accept offerings with open, cupped hands as a sign of gratitude. She also showed the audience a picture of her butt.
Local conservationist Terry Corwin of the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County took an unexpected tack, saying, “If we want to have renewable buildings, we have to have renewable building materials.” She advocated cutting down trees in Santa Cruz County responsibly, in order to support the 17,000 new housing units we’re expected to need in the next 25 years. Fiercely protecting our local environment, she said, can create “islands of privilege.” We could end up keeping our trees, but take trees from Latin America and the Congo, she said, resulting in environmental “haves” and “have nots.”
Musician Luc Reynaud shared his story of how victims of one unfortunate situation wound up helping victims of another, halfway around the world: he volunteered after Hurricane Katrina, creating a song with kids at a shelter. Later, he and the kids recorded the song and a few years later Jazon Mraz picked it up, passing it on to an organization that frees and protects former child slaves in Africa. The song is called “Freedom.” TEDx moment: The whole audience sang along when Reynaud shared the song.
Nina Simon, director of the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History, shared the impressive strides MAH has made in the last few years, and coolly compared it to a dog, in terms of facilitating interaction between humans: “You know how a stranger will approach a person with a dog on the street and kind of talk through the dog to the person? I think museums should be more like dogs.”