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Ideas Take the Stage at TEDxSantaCruz

More than 25 speakers are taking the stage on June 11, 2011 as part of the TEDxSantaCruz event, offering their insights and passionate views on a variety of subjects addressing the theme: “Engage!”

A varied program of speakers and performers is planned, ranging from programs about improving local life to theories of the universe.  TEDx was created in the spirit of TED’s mission, “ideas worth spreading.” The program is designed to give communities, organizations and individuals the opportunity to stimulate dialogue through TED-like experiences at the local level.  TEDx Santa Cruz is expected to sell out, with many of the presentations likely to be rebroadcast as part of the growing online library of TEDTalks.

The June 11 event, will take place at the Music Recital Hall at Cabrillo College from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm.  TEDxSantaCruz has been fully planned and coordinated independently by a wide roster of volunteers, from curators to event managers to music producers.  TEDxSantaCruz reviewed over 120 interested speakers nominated by others or themselves and selected just over 25that brought the “Engage” theme to life by exploring attention to some interesting research or looking closely at broad cultural, social or scientific trends.  Each speaker has had rigorous interaction from the curation team in an effort to help them edit their presentations into true story telling.

The event will be streamed live on the Internet to other TEDx organizations all over the world, with several in the global TED community helping spread the word about the June 11 event’s amazing content and speakers.

TEDxSantaCruz is completely supported through sponsors and volunteer contributions from organizations like Plantronics, Santa Cruz Community Credit Union, Firelight Foundation, Tannery Arts Center, New Leaf Community Markets, Bates Creek Research & Consulting, NextSpace, IP Society, the Santa Cruz Film Festival, First Friday Art Tour Santa Cruz and the Santa Cruz Public Libraries.

Featured presenters include:

Nancy Abrams and Joel Primack

“The New Universe and the Human Future”

Nancy Ellen Abrams is a lawyer (J.D., U. of Michigan) with a B.A. from the University of Chicago in the history and philosophy of science.  She specializes in the role of science in a new politics and is an award-winning writer and lecturer at UCSC.

Joel R. Primack is Distinguished Professor of Physics at UCSC.  He received his A.B. in Physics from Princeton and Ph.D. in Physics from Stanford.  He is one of the creators of the theory of Cold Dark Matter, the accepted theory of the formation and evolution of galaxies and the nature of the dark matter that makes up most of the mass in the universe. Nancy and Joel co-authored The New Universe and the Human Future: How a Shared Cosmology Could Transform the World and The View from the Center of the Universe: Discovering Our Extraordinary Place in the Universe.

Rachel Abrams

“(R)evolutionary Medicine”

Rachel Carlton Abrams, MD, MHS opened the award-winning Santa Cruz Integrative Medicine & Chi Center in 2008 where she manages and works with 15 practitioners and 10 instructors to provide the highest level of care from conventional and holistic medicine. She is a graduate of Stanford University with a medical degree from the University of California San Francisco and a masters degree from the University of California Berkeley. She is Board Certified in both Family Medicine and Integrative and Holistic Medicine and uses treatments from both conventional and holistic medicine to help create ideal health for her patients. Dr. Abrams has a cutting edge Optimal Health and Longevity Program working with many of the world’s most influential people, from CEO’s to billionaire entrepreneurs to Nobel Peace laureates. Dr. Abrams is the author of two books and teaches workshops and classes regularly in Santa Cruz and throughout the country.

Catherine Aurelio


Catherine Aurelio is the User Experience and Creative Direction Lead at Bunchball. She has over 15 years of experience in interactive media and print design creating award winning solutions for her clients in a variety of industries. In her current role, she provides program design solutions using her unique skillset as a graphic designer, gamification expert and user experience maven to create successful solutions for Bunchball’s clients.

Heidi Boynton
“Engagement, not sitting on the sidelines”
Heidi Boynton, personal trainer, co-founder of Finding Sophia, co-founder of Mini Mermaid Running club, and triathlon coach has inspired women of all walks of life in achieving their personal goals. A cancer diagnosis in 2001 and an additional diagnosis in 2008 has been the stimulus for Heidi to share her story of living life fully through writing, speaking, coaching and participating in endurance events. She has done multiple triathlons and marathons ultimately completing Ironman distance triathlons.  Through her unique personal experience she has helped women work through fitness and emotional blocks in training for races as well as for life. Heidi loves to help women reach their fullest potential by helping them to stay focused on their own individual abilities
Lori Butterworth
“Sustaining Compassion: A Nonprofit Story”
Lori has founded two award-winning, nationally recognized non-profit organizations, which have dramatically improved care for thousands of children with life-threatening conditions. As the founder and former Executive Director of Jacob’s Heart, Lori designed, implemented, and secured sustainable funding for innovative programs that provide emotional, financial and practical support to families of children with cancer. Lori also co-founded the Children’s Hospice and Palliative Care Coalition (CHPCC), spearheading healthcare policy initiatives including the enactment of the Nick Snow Children’s Hospice and Palliative Care Act of 2006. Now she is mentoring the next generation of nonprofit leaders through the Boomerang Foundation and is passing on her own positive, life-affirming experiences while providing support and guidance to young people about “living life on purpose.”  Among Lori’s awards for her contribution to the nonprofit sector are Oprah Winfrey’s Use Your Life Award and the California Association of Nonprofits Award for Achievement in Innovation.
Gina Castaneda
“How to Unite Rival Teen Gang Members through their Common Passion: Soccer”
Theresa Regina Castaneda (Gina), was literally raised on the streets of Watsonville. As an adolescent, Gina experienced intervals of homelessness and even lived in a car for a period of time with her mother. Despite the adversities of growing up in a violent neighborhood, and a violent home, Gina avoided gang entrenchment.  In April 2008 Gina founded the Aztecas Soccer Program for Latino juvenile probationers who affiliate with both Norteño and Sureño gangs. As the coach and organizer, Gina has successfully managed to assimilate these opposing gangs into teammates, on and off the field.
Rebecca Costa
“The Greatest Discovery You Never Heard Of”
Rebecca Costa is a sociobiologist who offers a genetic explanation  for current events, emerging trends and individual behavior. A  thought-leader and provocative new voice, Costa examines “the big  picture”– tracing everything from terrorism, crime on Wall Street,  epidemic obesity and upheaval in the Middle East to its evolutionary  origins.  Retiring at the zenith of her executive career in Silicon  Valley, Costa spent six years researching and writing The Watchman’s  Rattle: Thinking Our Way Out of Extinction.  The success of Costa’s book  led to a syndicated weekly radio program in 2010 called The Costa  Report.  A former CEO and founder of one of the largest marketing firms in  Silicon Valley, Costa developed an  extensive track record of introducing new technologies.
Riane Eisler
“Caring Economics”
Riane Eisler is a social scientist, attorney, and author whose work on cultural transformation has inspired both scholars and social activists. Her research has impacted many fields, including history, economics, psychology, sociology, and education. She has been a leader in the movement for peace, sustainability, and economic equity, and her pioneering work in human rights has expanded the focus of international organizations to include the rights of women and children.  Dr. Eisler is President of the Center for Partnership Studies and internationally known for her bestseller The Chalice and The Blade: Our History, Our Future, now in 25 languages. Her newest book, The Real Wealth of Nations: Creating a Caring Economics proposes a new approach to economics that gives visibility and value to the most essential human work: the work of caring for people and nature.
Rev. Deborah L. Johnson
“It’s Time To Evolve How We Resolve”
Rev. Deborah L. Johnson is the founder of Inner Light Ministries in Santa Cruz, and The Motivational Institute, an organizational development consulting firm specializing in cross-cultural relations. A dynamic speaker and trainer known for bringing clarity to complex issues, she is a popular facilitator for progressive think tanks working at the intersections of religion, sexuality, social justice, and public policy.  Author of The Sacred Yes and Your Deepest Intent, Rev. Johnson is an inductee into the Board of Preachers of the Martin Luther King Jr. Chapel at Morehouse College honoring clergy for their lifetime social justice work  She received the 2011 Tony Hill Award in Santa Cruz County for her efforts to build bridges across diverse communities. A faculty member of UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Management’s Executive Leadership Diversity Institute, Rev. Johnson holds a BA from USC, an MBA from UCLA, and a ministerial degree from the Holmes Institute.
Joe Jordan
“The Solar Window of Opportunity”
Joe Jordan worked at NASA Ames Research Center and the SETI Institute for 20+ years, serving on various projects, including flying observatories for infrared astronomy, Hubble Space Telescope design, studies of stratospheric ozone depletion and global climate change, the search for planets around distant stars, image analysis from the first Mars rover, and investigations of Saturn’s rings and the atmosphere of its moon Titan. In the last few years he’s been teaching renewable energy at Cabrillo College and San Jose State University. He leads “physics-in-nature” hikes and astronomy/stargazing evenings for various organizations or events in this area and elsewhere. He’s on the Board of Directors of Ecology Action, and long ago helped steer them in the direction of their now primary work on modernizing energy infrastructure. He originated the very first public-facility solar-energy projects in Santa Cruz, including the large-scale deployment of solar-energy systems on several of our schools. Sky-power to the people!
Bruce Lee
”My Vertical Gift: what I learned in Big Sur”
After graduating Augusta State University, with highest honors, Bruce picked up and moved directly to Santa Cruz where he began a decades-long career creating paintings, sculpture, and performance art in Santa Cruz and the surrounding bay area.  Having abandoned painting in the 80s and 90s for the immediacy of the moment in dance and theater works, Bruce has discovered the equally mesmerizing dance of immediacy: trying to capture a changing landscape on canvas. He was one of the first recipients of the Gail Rich award in 1998. In addition to painting, his media include projection design, set design, and dance theater. His work has been exhibited and honored in many venues in the bay area, including SF MOMA, Cabrillo College, UCSC, Henry Mello Center, Santa Clara University, Laney College, Santa Cruz Art League, The Bulkhead Gallery, Dancing Man Gallery, Davenport Gallery, and more.
Howard Martin
“Creating individual, social and global coherence through engaging the intelligence of the heart”
Howard Martin is one of the original leaders who helped Doc Childre found HeartMath. In 1999 he co-authored The HeartMath Solution published by HarperSanFrancisco and he has been with HeartMath’s world-wide training and consulting team since its inception in 1991. In 2000 he authored The HeartMath Method, an audio learning program published by Nightingale Conant. He is also the producer of two award winning musical recordings including Doc Childre’s Heart Zones, which spent 50 consecutive weeks on Billboard Magazine’s music charts.
Howard speaks internationally on developing new intelligence needed to navigate life during changing times.
David Merrill
“Sifteo Cubes, Makers and Learners: My Double Ah-Ha Moment”
David Merrill is co-founder and president of Sifteo, a company based in San Francisco building the future of play. Sifteo’s first product is a tabletop user interface system made of wireless graphical tiles that enables unique intelligent play applications. David is a graduate of the Fluid Interfaces Group at the MIT Media Lab. His work explores how human interactions with computers can leave the limitations of the desktop interface behind, through the development of physical-digital tools that operate comfortably in our real-world environments. He has lectured in computer science at Stanford University and led music controller design workshops at the MIT Media Lab. David holds a MS in Computer Science and BS in Symbolic Systems from Stanford University, and a MS and Ph.D. from the MIT Media Lab.
Annie Morhauser
“Hands On”
Ann Morhauser is the founder of Annieglass, a highly successful line of glass tableware sold through the finest luxury stores and resorts in the nation. Handcrafting her products in Northern California since 1983, Ann developed her company throughout the years to become one of the largest and most successful American glass studios. Ann’s work is in the collections of such noted museums as the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Luce Foundation Center for American Art in Washington DC; the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow, Scotland; and the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, New York. She is an active fundraiser for hunger, children’s health, and art education. She mentors young women in business.
Rachel Pike
“Climate for Innovation/Innovation for Climate”
Rachel Pike works at venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson, where she invests in clean technology and mobile companies. Prior to joining DFJ, Rachel completed her Ph.D. in atmospheric chemistry at the University of Cambridge. During her time there, Rachel served as President of the Gates Scholars community, worked on a field campaign in Malaysia, and gave a short TED University talk on the scale of scientific research behind climate headlines. Previously, Rachel earned a B.A. in chemistry and a minor in African studies at Northwestern University. As an undergraduate, Rachel co-founded Fusion dance company, which has since become the largest dance company on campus. She also spent a year in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where she gained experience working on a Bus Rapid Transit planning project as an assistant consultant.
Gonan and Johan Premfors
Gonan and Johan are the main drivers behind the coaching and human consciousness movement on the Arabian Peninsula. Both are faculty members of the Coaches Training Institute. They are the founders of Parentology, a relationship philosophy and series of workshops, currently delivered on four continents. Johan and Gonan have worked with thousands of people including business leaders, families, professional athletes and governments.  Gonan is from Istanbul, Turkey but has lived in Dubai since 1988 where she enjoyed a long career in finance before embarking on the human development path in 2005 by bringing the Coaches Training Institute and professional coaching to the Arabian Peninsula.  Johan is from Stockholm, Sweden but grew up in faraway places like Pakistan, Kenya and Turkey. He is a former private banker turned telecommunications entrepreneur and later professional coach.
Kyle Thiermann
“Surfing for Change”
Kyle Theirmann, 21, is a pro surfer with a passion to systemically effect change. Combining surfing great waves around the world with making a series of short films about current issues, Thiermann focuses on the power we have to create a better world through everyday actions that we take.  Through his Internet series, Surfing For Change, Kyle inspired viewers to move over 340 million dollars of lending power out of multi-national coal funding banks, and into local banks around the country. Kyle connects young people with the simple daily decisions they make that benefit their local economies and the world and leverages his exposure as a Pro Surfer to empower typically disengaged people to become part of the solution. Kyle was voted Best Inspiration in the Good Times News Awards and is the winner of the Peter Benchley Blue Vision Youth Award.
Jeff Traugott
“Living to Live”
While studying music and getting his BA at Evergreen State College, WA, Jeff became fascinated with the art of luthiery. During a one-year apprenticeship in Santa Cruz, he knew he was hooked, and decided to pursue of career in guitar repair and construction. In a  nine-year period, Jeff cofounded a local music store, did guitar repair, and worked for a local guitar company; this gave him the foundation to open Jeff Traugott Guitars in 1991.  Jeff’s work has given him the opportunity to become part of a larger community of musicians and instrument makers worldwide. His customers span the globe from Egypt and Romania to Indonesia and Japan. He loves the idea that at any given moment one of his guitars is being played on stage at a jazz club in Tokyo or is part of a father daughter duet in a living room in Arizona.
Jonathan Trent
“Fuels and Tools for a Sustainable Future”
Jonathan Trent, NASA scientist and adjunct Professor at UCSC, wanted to understand what politicians meant when they said: “We need an Apollo mission for energy” and he began “Global Research into Energy and the Environment at NASA (GREEN).” Leading an interdisciplinary team of scientists and engineers, he investigated how tools developed for Apollo, and space exploration in general, could be applied to address some of the most pressing problems on “spaceship earth.” Inspired by closed life-support systems developed for long-duration space exploration, he invented OMEGA—a system to grow microalgae, produce sustainable biofuels, clean wastewater, sequester carbon, and produce food and fertilizer without competing with agriculture for freshwater or land. The OMEGA project, supported by NASA and the California Energy Commission, is an ecology of technologies in which wastes become resources. An optimistic glimpse at the future and a reminder that we are not passengers on spaceship earth, we are the crew!
Rick Walker
“An Interactive Presentation of Live Audio/Visual Looping”
Composer, Multi-Instrumentalist, Inventor, Rick Walker has been on the cutting edge of music for the last 30 years. A founding member of both the World Beat movement in the 80′s and the International Live Looping Movement in this past decade he has taught, lectured, performed, and recorded in 15 different countries as solo headlining artist.  He’s collaborated with master musicians from African, Asian, Indonesian, Indian, Middle Eastern, the Americas, and Europe and plays a diverse collection of 1,000  percussion instruments including the drumset, his first musical love. Considered an expert in the fields of cross cultural rhythmic expression,odd time, and polyrhythms  he’s also a multi-instrumentalist  (keyboards, strings, wind brass , extended vocal techniques and found sound)  He’s made his living as producer, studio musician, teacher, sound designer, author, band leader and live looper and has been making and designing new technology in the field of audio and video along with his interest in lo fi, toy video creation and photography.
Terrie Williams
“The Biology of Big”
Terrie Williams, PhD is a co-Founder of the Center of Ocean Health and Director of the  Marine Mammal Physiology Program at the University of California- Santa Cruz.  She has spent her life studying how big animals survive on our changing planet, from Alaskan killer whales to African cheetahs.  Her research expeditions have taken her to the wildest places on earth.  During these expeditions she has witnessed marked human impacts on wild animals.  In response she directed the rescue of oiled sea otters following the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill and has been recording the effects of climate change on Arctic and Antarctica marine mammals.   Her most recent work involves working with the most endangered marine mammal in U.S. waters, the Hawaiian monk seal.  By creating a new research facility that promotes integrative learning between humans and animals she hopes to revive the human-animal bond that is essential for our future survival.
David Wish
“If You Love Music, You Are A Musician: Let Me Prove It”
Dave Wish is the Founder and Executive Director of Little Kids Rock, a nonprofit organization that funds and runs one of the largest, free instrumental music programs in the US public schools. Little Kids Rock is also a leading provider of free instruments and curriculum.  Mr. Wish has initiated and managed the launch of campaigns to restore and revitalize music education for over 150,000 low-income children in eleven states. A number of national and local media outlets including CNN Headline News, Time Magazine, MTV, A&E, The Dr. Phil Show and National Public Radio have highlighted his work.  Mr. Wish is a recognized social entrepreneur and has been awarded numerous honors for his work in the field, including fellowships from Ashoka, the Draper Richards Foundation, The Goldhirsh Foundation and the Kenneth A. Picerne Foundation.
Tickets are $75 and the price includes the full-day conference, lunch, and afternoon refreshments.  Those interested in attending the event can purchase tickets at