Wednesday, July 18 , 2018, 10:38 pm | Fair 66º


Mark Sylvester


Mark Sylvester: What Does the Open Door Mean to You?

(TEDxSantaBarbara illustration)

[Noozhawk’​s note: TEDxSantaBarbara makes its debut Aug. 20 at The New Vic Theater in downtown Santa Barbara. As part of the advance publicity, Noozhawk will be republishing Mark Sylvester’​s e-letters.]

The theme of TEDxSantaBarbara this year is What If? Our marketing partners, Orange Identity, came up with a number of innovative ideas to express the theme.

It was when they said, “Imagine an open door and everything that could come through it,” that we immediately visualized a red door on stage at The New Vic. Our iconic idea was born.

We think this image is something that cultivates the curiosity each of you will bring to the event. Each of our speakers will have the theme in mind. We will find smart ways to integrate this imagery into the overall experience.

If you’d like to tell us what the open door means to you, head over to our Facebook and weigh in, we’d love to hear from you.

Partnership News

We welcome the Santa Barbara Foundation as our TEDx SantaBarbara Presenting Partner.

Ron Gallo, president and CEO of the Santa Barbara Foundation, recently sat down with TEDxSantaBarbara executive producer Mark Sylvester to talk about why the foundation is so excited to be the Presenting Partner of TEDxSantaBarbara.

Mark: How is the mission of the foundation aligned with the goals of TEDx?

Ron: TEDx is about innovation, the future and keeping people in dialogue. When I think about what a community foundation is doing, more than anything else, is helping citizens identify the most important factors that will lead to the best collective future. As a community, we have the opportunity to write our future, instead of just playing the hand we’re dealt.

Mark: What are you looking forward to from TEDx?

Ron: Whenever I watch a TED video, I learn something new. I usually also hear someone talking about something I didn’t even know they were identified with. And that’s an important element. It might be a doctor talking about something artistic, or an artist talking about technology. The world is so interconnected, and we need to continue to get rid of silos.

Mark: How important is it that we have a strong representation of Santa Barbara voices at the event?

Click to view larger

Ron: The fact that many of the speakers are based here says a few things; it reminds me of the extraordinary population we have, people who were born and raised here and people who have moved here. It also demonstrates how many of our residents are thinking about community.

Mark: Is there something else the foundation is doing that the TEDx audience would be interested in learning about?

Ron: We just announced today the Food Action Plan, the result of a two-year dialogue with the community. I used to think food is about what we put in our body, but think about how we use the word: Food for Thought, Food for the Soul.

Food is a critical element of being human and being curious, which is one of the better parts of our species. This plan brought together people who had never sat around the table before. They talked about how to redesign the entire food distribution and growing patterns of Santa Barbara County.

We have a $1.2 billion agricultural industry, we import 97 percent of our food and export 98 percent of the food grown locally. Santa Barbara still has a lot of hungry people. This problem is solvable.

So, when the opportunity to partner with TEDx came up, we said, “This is an accelerator of ideas and connectivity.” The very fact that people come together to discuss ideas has intrinsic value to us.

We’re very excited to have Ron and the entire Santa Barbara Foundation in our corner.

Speaker Submissions Open One More Week

You still have time to submit your Idea Worth Spreading in a two-minute video. We’ve received many already and are encouraged by the quality of the thinking.

For those of you who are worried about production quality, don’t worry. We’ve received many iPhone videos submissions. It’s all about your idea.

Submissions are open until midnight Tuesday May 31, so you don’t have a lot of time.

Click here to submit your idea on video.

How You Can Help Today

Local partners are the principle funders of this event. We’re seeking to build relationships with a few select organizations and individuals who want to support TEDxSantaBarbara. We will produce an experience for our attendees that sets a tone for creativity, conversation and connections.

We are very close to our fundraising goals and have a few spots left for the right partner. Is that you or someone you know? Let’s talk so we can explain how your support makes dreams come true.

Click here to view our Partner Pak or click here to drop us a note. We’ll be in touch.

Next Week

Calling all Volunteers. Learn about the Santa Barbara Hustlers for Humanity and the great work they're doing as a part of the TEDx team.

Thanks for your support and enthusiasm,

— Mark Sylvester, Kymberlee Weil and the entire TEDxSantaBarbara Team

Click here to sign up for the TEDxSantaBarbara e-letter.

Mark Sylvester is the executive producer of TEDxSantaBarbara. A 20-year veteran of attending TED events, he was the executive producer of TEDxAmericanRiviera from 2010-2012. He is the ambassador for 805connect, which helps Central Coast businesses make relevant connections, and is the co-founder of introNetworks. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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