So much has transpired since TEDxSantaCruz last took place in Santa Cruz. Back in December 2019, speakers and performers gathered together at the Rio Theater to discuss the “Art of Hope”; now, that vision inspires the next iteration of TEDx in our community.

Last month, TEDxSantaCruz organizers announced its sixth event, scheduled for Saturday, April 13, 2024 at the Crocker Theater at Cabrillo College in Soquel. This year’s theme focuses on “Rising Together,” inviting community members to connect on a scale of collaboration and partnership that currently does not exist.

  • TedxSantaCruz
  • TedxSantaCruz

Prospective speakers and performers will take the stage for the full-day live event to address big ideas and solutions to challenges on the local, regional and global levels. From climate change to racism, poverty, homelessness, and educational disparities, speakers will share their vision of how we can rise together to face what comes next.

Interested in speaking or performing? All those who live or work in Santa Cruz County are welcome to apply! Apply here by December 3.

This year’s co-organizers include long-time Santa Cruz County residents and community leaders.

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Credit: TEDxSantaCruz

Event co-producer Nada Miljkovic — University of California Santa Cruz program manager for the Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurial Development and continuing instructor — is joined by community members Consuelo Alba, co-founder and executive director of the Watsonville Film Festival, and Jenny Kurzweil, communications officer for Community Foundation Santa Cruz County.

Miljkovic, who’s been a part of TEDxSantaCruz since its start in 2011, says this year’s event is a chance to acknowledge and celebrate the greater community’s collective strength, and gives rise to building resilience through hardship.

“Santa Cruz County has been through so much since we held our last TEDxSC event,” she said, noting the COVID-19 pandemic, the CZU fires and back-to-back storms and floods countywide. “Our community has literally risen together, disaster after disaster, to meet each challenge as it comes.”

This year’s theme was further inspired by the Rise Together coalition, an initiative overseen by the Community Foundation to gather local Black, Indigenous and People of Color leaders to provide a platform toward advancing racial equity in Santa Cruz County.

The ‘Rising Together’ theme is meant to suggest ‘an immense scale of collaboration. As a society, we are facing these huge challenges…how do we rise together? How do we build effective and lasting collaborations? — Consuelo Alba, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Watsonville Film Festival

Coalition members have also joined the organizers to help in volunteering and planning efforts, with a particular focus on the lunchtime networking program.

With a cohort of over a dozen organizers and volunteers thus far, this year’s event theme shines through, according to Alba.

“The ‘Rising Together’ theme is meant to suggest ‘an immense scale of collaboration,’ she said. “As a society, we are facing these huge challenges…how do we rise together? How do we build effective and lasting collaborations?”

  • TedxSantaCruz
  • TedxSantaCruz

Event partners and sponsors have jumped on board to make this event as memorable as previous TEDxSCs, with notable contributions from Diamond Sponsors UC Santa Cruz and the Community Foundation Santa Cruz County. Other notable partners and sponsors include The Humanities Institute at UC Santa Cruz, Baskin Engineering, Event Santa Cruz, Lookout Santa Cruz, Watsonville Film Festival, and Blue Heron Design Group.

For those interested in lending their voice to the TEDxSC stage, apply to be a speaker or performer by December 3. For those interested in partnership or sponsorship opportunities, learn more here.

Tickets and speaker/performer announcements will go live in early 2024; stay tuned for updates by signing up for the TEDxSC mailing list here.

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Credit: TEDxSantaCruz