TEDxSantaBarbara and CEC Host COUNTDOWN Event to Spotlight Local Environmental Experts


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Community Environmental Council

TEDxSantaBarbara and Community Environmental Council Host COUNTDOWN Event to Spotlight Local Environmental Experts, Building on International TED Climate Initiative

Local Experts Speak to Community-Based Climate Action as TED Launches Global Initiative to Champion and Accelerate Solutions to the Climate Crisis
October 6, 2020, Santa Barbara, CA – TEDxSantaBarbara, a locally organized offshoot of the international TED nonprofit, in conjunction with the Community Environmental Council (CEC), presents COUNTDOWN. This two-part, full-day event includes a local panel of experts that launches a global initiative to champion and accelerate solutions to the climate crisis, turning ideas into action. The free online event takes place Saturday, October 10, 2020 from 8:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. (global speakers) and 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. (local speakers).

To attend, register at TEDxSantaBarbara.com or tune in at Facebook.com/TEDxSantaBarbara on Saturday, October 10.

Part 1: Global TED COUNTDOWN Event
8:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
In five curated sessions, more than 50 speakers – including Al Gore, Don Cheadle, Jane Fonda, and other celebrities, activists, business leaders, scientists, and political leaders – speak to themes of urgency, leadership, transformation, breakthroughs and action as it relates to the climate emergency.

Part 2: Local TEDxSantaBarbara COUNTDOWN Event
2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Four local experts build on the morning’s sessions and bring the conversation closer to home by sharing community-based climate action happening in our region. Individual conversations with each speaker will end with a panel discussion to answer audience questions asked live on Zoom and Facebook. The speakers are:

  • Steve Finkel, White Buffalo Land Trust Founder/President – Our Land
  • Katie Hershfelt, Cultivate Events Founder/Director – Our Food
  • Corey Hoven, Next Energy Technologies Co-founder/Chief Technology Officer – Our Buildings
  • Sharyn Main, Community Environmental Council Director of Climate Resilience – Our Resiliency

This event marks the launch of the global TED COUNTDOWN initiative (https://TED.countdown.com) to champion and accelerate climate solutions with a goal “to build a better future by cutting greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030 in the race to a zero-carbon world – a world that is safer, cleaner and fairer for everyone.”

Sigrid Wright, CEO of Community Environmental Council, spoke to the importance of thinking globally while acting locally, “The joint crises of a global pandemic, a deeply flawed economic system, structural racism, fraying political institutions, and growing climate chaos demand that we lean into urgent action – building global momentum as we pursue local solutions.” Noting that TED’s global initiative aligns closely to statewide and local efforts, she added, “We are seeing aggressive actions – like the Cities of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo adopting ambitious Climate Action Plan goals of carbon neutrality by 2035 – and as a community we must lean in, hold each other accountable, and make good on these goals.”

Mark Sylvester, TEDxSantaBarbara Executive Producer, stated, “This year we have focused on lifting up important ideas that address our current challenges with public health and social justice. The climate crisis is intimately connected with both of these crises, and we hope our work with COUNTDOWN will help lift up ideas, created here in Santa Barbara, that the global  community can put in motion to address all three.”

To learn more about the global TED COUNTDOWN initiative, visit https://countdown.ted.com/global-launch/program.

About TEDxSantaBarbaraSince 2010, TEDxSantaBarbara has created space for amazing speakers to deliver ideas worth spreading. This year’s Making Waves series of conversations is empowering individuals to present, learn, and advance ideas into action in lieu of our annual Fall conference in downtown Santa Barbara and monthly small-group experiences, which are postponed until 2021 due to COVID. These ideas creatively and positively impact the Santa Barbara community and the world at large. Organized by husband and wife team Mark Sylvester (Executive Producer) and Kymberlee Weil (Speaker Strategist and Curator), all events, virtual and live, are 100% run by volunteers and financed by community partners. 

For more information, visit TEDxSantaBarbara.com, like us on Facebook.com/TEDxSantaBarbara, and follow us on Instagram at @TEDxSantaBarbara. 

About the Community Environmental Council (CEC)

Recognized as a 2020 California Nonprofit of the Year, CEC has worked since 1970 to incubate and innovate real life environmental solutions that directly affect the California Central Coast. Our current work advances rapid and equitable solutions to the climate crisis – including ambitious zero carbon goals, drawdown of excess carbon, and protection against the impacts of climate change. Our programs lead to clean vehicles, solar energy, resilient food systems and reduction of single-use plastic.

Learn more at CECSB.org/impact and find CEC on the web at CECSB.org and on Facebook.com/CECSBInstagram.com/CEC_SB, and Twitter.com/CECSB.

Additional Background on the Speakers

Steve Finkel
Steve is the founder and president of White Buffalo Land Trust (WBLT). Through the foundation’s work to practice, develop, and promote systems of regenerative agriculture for local, regional, and global impact, he is committed to building WBLT into a permanent service organization that will adapt and evolve as regenerative agriculture becomes the standard for land stewardship. Steve brings with him decades of entrepreneurial, environmental, and private sector experience. He believes the most effective organization is built on the excellence and merit of the team – and the commitment to the core values of integrity, quality, and clarity in results-oriented and service-oriented pursuits. 

Katie Hershfelt
Katie is the founder and director of Cultivate Events (CE) and is currently supporting communications and marketing efforts at the Community Environmental Council (CEC). She is a passionate local food and farming advocate, business owner, consultant, and community builder. Eight years ago she launched CE, where she curates and produces food-focused educational community programs that celebrate farmers and food producers and connect people to the local food movement. Best known for founding the Santa Barbara Fermentation Festival, Katie’s team works on numerous regional festivals, including CEC’s Santa Barbara Earth Day. She spent seven years cultivating and promoting food producers through her work at Edible Santa Barbara and as a Host on KCRW Santa Barbara’s Meet at the Market segment. Katie’s experience and deep ties to the food system make her a trusted community resource and strategic partner in building food resilience.

Corey Hoven
Corey is a co-founder and the full-time Chief Technology Officer at Next Energy Technologies (NEXT). For more than six years, Corey has led a NEXT technical team that is comprised of international leaders in the field of organic photovoltaics (OPV) who are uniquely qualified to bring a transparent organic solar technology to the market by including scientists with world-class expertise in device fabrication and physics, chemical synthesis, materials processing, and characterization across multiple scales. He received his Ph.D. from the Department of Materials at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) and served as a Postdoctoral Fellow with the Department of Materials at UCSB where his research focused on organic light-emitting diodes and OPV with a strong focus on device design. Corey’s UCSB committee included two Nobel Laureates.

Sharyn Main
Sharyn Main is the Climate Resilience Program Director at the Community Environmental Council (CEC) and has 35 years of experience in philanthropy and the nonprofit sector. Sharyn returned to CEC in 2020 to continue working on critical issues related to climate change and community resilience. She served as Senior Director of Community Investments at the Santa Barbara Foundation for nearly a decade where she developed countywide initiatives to advance regional strategies for land conservation, protection of ecosystems, and support of agriculture and food systems. Over the course of her career, she has helped develop and manage a range of community collaborations including the Santa Barbara County Conservation Blueprint and Santa Barbara County Food Action Plan.

Community Environmental Council - 2020 California Nonprofit of the Year
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