TED Goes Uncharted

By Steven Libowitz   |   August 13, 2020

TED began as a conference converging “ideas worth spreading” in the fields of technology, entertainment, and design. So after 35 years, there was no way it would let a little thing like a global pandemic prevent its big annual gathering from taking place, even if all of the talk and energy exchanges had to happen online. Similarly, TEDxSantaBarbara, which hosts its own big one-day conference but also curates selections from the national event, has jumped right on the bandwagon to present the best of the fest that took place from May to July.

Dr. Sangwon Suh, professor at the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, gives TEDxSantaBarbara virtual talk on August 19

The locals have culled three hours of the cream of the crop of TED2020, which carried the theme “Uncharted,” offering excerpts and talks that cover a wide range of topics plus inspired musical interludes. “As a result of everything being presented virtually,” producer Mark Sylvester wrote in an email, “these intimate, direct-to-camera presentations feel deeply personal and compelling.”

Among those whose presentation will run during the three-hour stream starting at 11 am on Saturday, August 15, are the late civil rights leader and longtime US congressman John Lewis in conversation with lawyer and activist Bryan Stevenson; Amanda Gorman, the inaugural Youth Poet Laureate of the United States; actor-writer-director Ethan Hawke; singer-songwriters Rufus Wainwright and Lucius; AI specialist Ali Kashiani; Oscar-nominated actress/singer-songwriter Cynthia Erivo, and many others. Find more info at tedxsantabarbara.com, or visit https://Facebook.com/TEDxSantaBarbara to watch the live stream.

Meanwhile, every Wednesday at 4 pm, TEDxSantaBarbara is producing a series of virtual talks covering ideas that exert influence locally and globally, short conversations that are not news-focused but instead offer discussions of hope and optimism while showcasing actionable solutions. Next up: Dr. Sangwon Suh, professor at the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, whose research focuses on the question of metrics and measurement in sustainability science, from environmental performance to greenhouse gas emissions and plastics entering into land and ocean. He’ll draw a parallel between environmental problems and the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting the importance of rapid testing, tracing, and isolation in his August 19 talk. Visit https://tedxsantabarbara.com.


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