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TEDxSantaCruz Announces Two More UCSC Speakers: Barbara Rogoff & Flora Lu

Here they come! The announcements of two more speakers — two UC Santa Cruz professors, well-versed in the theme of Radical Collaboration — to the TEDxSantaCruz lineup!

BarbaraRogoffDr. Barbara Rogoff is a psychology professor who studies the cultural aspects of learning and collaboration among children. She spent more than three decades researching child development in the Mayan town of San Pedro in Guatemala, which led her to write an award-winning book, Developing Destinies: A Mayan Midwife and Town.

For the TEDxSantaCruz event, she will address the topic of children who pitch in to help at home.

“It surprises many middle-class U.S. parents to hear that it is normal for children to just pitch in to help with household work in some communities in the U.S. and Mexico,” Rogoff said. “Parents do not need to cajole, scold, pay, or assign their children to clean up — the children see helping with household work as just part of what everyone in a family does. They take the initiative to do what needs to be done.”

How can this be? “The short answer,” she said, “is it starts early with adults accepting children’s eager attempts to help, including children as contributors, and working collaboratively together with them.”

Dr. Flora Lu, associate professor of environmental studies, will give a TEDxSantaCruz talk about her findings as an ecological anthropologist. She has worked in the Ecuadorian Amazon since 1992, studying the impacts of ecological, economic, and cultural change among Native Amazonian communities, including the Waorani people, who have been in sustained contact with the outside world only since 1958.

Often, UCSC students travel with her as they carry out their own research projects.

FloraLu“What do hyper-connected, millennial-generation Santa Cruz hipsters have in common with native Amazonian hunter-gatherer horticulturalists?” she asks. “Ostensibly, very little, but in my experience, when youth from redwood forests venture to rain forests, transformative lessons await about the interconnectedness of human experience, the affinities between our varied cultures, and the threats that undermine our common future.”

The two professors will join Dr. David Haussler, who was the first confirmed speaker for this year’s TEDxSantaCruz. He is known for his work leading the team that assembled the first human genome sequence in the race to complete the Human Genome Project.

Tickets for the all-day TEDxSantaCruz 2015: Radical Collaboration event are available online. The 2015 theme is Radical Collaboration, and this fourth-annual local conference will take place April 24 at the Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz.

“We will showcase more than two dozen dynamic artists and speakers,” said co-organizer Nada Miljkovic, “whose ideas led them from the spark of inspiration to the act of realization, setting in motion a new reality, igniting new connections, and energizing communities.”

Last year’s event sold out, so attendees are advised to buy their tickets early.