South Santa Cruz County will be well represented at this year’s TEDxSantaCruz event, which returns April 13 and will be held at Cabrillo College’s Crocker Theater. The 2024 theme is “Rising Together.” The event was last held in 2019 at the Rio Theatre.

South County speakers include Watsonville High School academic counselor Daisy Nuñez, Digital Nest’s Jacob Martinez, Watsonville-based software engineer Alex Chavez-Guerrero, Watsonville software engineer Martin Vargas Vega, Community Action Board of Santa Cruz County Executive Director MariaElena De La Garza and PUENTES Founder and Executive Director Antonella De La Tore Marcenaro.

TED Talks, whose slogan is “ideas worth spreading,” began as a technology conference in Monterey in the 1984 and later moved to Vancouver, British Columbia. TEDx events are similarly formatted locally-organized spinoffs of the elite technology conference.

Announced speakers and topics for TEDx SantaCruz 2024 include:

  • Alex Chavez-Guerrero, Jacob Martinez & Martin Vargas Vega — Scalable Impact through Social Capital
  • Antonella De La Tore Marcenaro — Belonging and Nature: Connecting To Ourselves Through Land
  • César Rojas Bravo — Shared Humanity, Shared Night Sky
  • Daisy Nuñez – Rising Through Grief Together: A Community and Educator Support Perspective
  • Effron “Donnie” Veal — Transcending Incarceration Through Education
  • Esabella Bonner — Values As Verbs: Walking the Walk
  • Galina Hale — Funding Climate Solutions
  • Juliano Calil — Immersive Narratives for Climate Awareness
  • Kara Meyberg Guzman — Local News: Telling Our Story Through the Lens of Listening
  • Kat Armstrong & Jorge Guillen — Someone Like Me: Drag Matters
  • Kyra Bobinet — Iteration: The Neuroscience of Change
  • Luna HighJohn-Bey — Following A Hunch: History, Community, & Belonging
  • Madeline Aliah — Beyond Safe Spaces: Meet Me There
  • Maria Cadenas — Building a Shared and Prosperous Economic Future for All
  • MariaElena De La Garza — What Did You Call Me? Reclaiming Our Power Through Language
  • Natalia Ocampo-Peñuela — Traditional Knowledge & Ecotourism: A Tale of North and South
  • Nicole Beck — Rainwater Not Wastewater
  • Stephen Will Weir — Intentional Consumption: Three Simple Questions
  • Terry Carr — Growing Justice, Growing Food, Growing Tech

The independently organized TEDxSantaCruz event was launched at the Cabrillo Music Recital Hall in 2011 by David Warren, a retired Cabrillo College professor. The April 13 event is being produced by the Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County.

Presentations will be delivered in English and simultaneous Spanish translation will be available.

Susan True, CEO of the Community Foundation, noted that “bringing people together to generate ideas and solutions for problems that are too big for any one individual to solve alone is core to the Community Foundation’s work. TEDxSantaCruz will showcase local innovation and provide space for meaningful community conversations.”

Tickets may be purchased at

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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