Healdsburg Vice Mayor Ozzy Jimenez is set to be one of the speakers at the upcoming TEDxSonoma County virtual Ted Talk on Saturday, Jan. 30 from 1 to 5 p.m.

Jimenez is one of 11 speakers for this year’s event which centers around the theme of crossroads, pivotal decision points that result in success or decline.

“We selected this theme before the pandemic hit, but we selected the theme because we feel that there are crossroads moments that all of us face and those are the times where we don’t know what’s around the corner and we have to make choices and this year we felt it was particularly important to talk about all of the issues and challenges that we are facing, both here  in Sonoma County and individually,” said TEDxSonoma County Executive Producer, Marilyn Nagel.

Now in its ninth year this will be TEDxSonoma County’s first virtual event. The talk is typically held at the Jackson Theatre at the Sonoma Country Day School but had to pivot to online only due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“The way that TEDx works is that we have speakers that cover topics and each talk is the sharing of a big idea that is inspirational, or sparks discussion and additional conversation. So while the talk is not a long format it engenders additional conversation around the topic. Following the TED format we have speakers on technology, design and entertainment,” Nagel explained.

Jimenez, who’s also the owner of Noble Folk Ice Cream and Pie Bar, will discuss how he got involved in local politics, the importance of diversity in local government, and how that is different for communities that are rural versus urban areas.

“He’s also going to talk a little bit about how he can uplift the voices of communities who are underrepresented, both in his business and also in his public services, and he’ll speak about the need for public service and thinking about the way we do things to break down in public service to address issues and the challenges that we all face,” Nagel said.

Other speakers include Joanne Pransky, Shellye Archambeau, Blake and Virginia Miremont, Johnny Sansone, Wilford Welch, Gregg Adams, Jenny Sauer-Klein, Barbara Waxman, and Dr. Sheila Robinson.

“We have a woman who is considered the first robotic psychiatrist and she talks about how we interact with robotics as they take up and have a larger space in our lives and how we interact with them in our homes. We have to be sure that we understand the distinction between what she calls, ‘our silver companions,’ and what they can do and (what they can’t),” Nagel said of Pransky.

Sauer-Klein, who’s the founder of the Culture Conference, will discuss Zoom fatigue and how to connect with people remotely. Culture Conference is an invite-only team building event for professionals.

“We have a speaker that talks about how to connect remotely and in this new world where we’re all talking about being on Zoom and Zoom fatigue, her hypothesis is the reason we are so Zoom fatigued is that we don’t all remember that we have to make sure to put the time and effort in for connection over content and so we forget to do thighs that would happen naturally if we gathered in person,” Nagel said.

Welch, a former U.S. diplomat, will discuss fossil fuels and climate change.

“Welch will talk about things we can do to help turn around what’s going on in our climate and counter things like the increase in major wildfires,” Nagel said.

Additionally, “We’ll have a local coach (Gregg Adams) from Sonoma State who will talk about how to turn your life around when you’re faced with tragedy or unusual challenges.”

The Miremonts will discuss how they had to pivot their Petaluma Architectural Plastics Inc. business when the pandemic hit to make masks and plastic dividers.

“They had to provide health equipment, something that was not at all in their domain, but they shifted to do what they needed and were able to keep their business extremely successful,” Nagel said. “(And) we have best-selling author Shellye Archambeau who just wrote a book called, ‘Unapologetically Ambitious’ talking about how to get beyond our fear of asking for help”.

The TEDx talk will also include entertainment from the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, which is in their 43rd season.

Aniysa Fritz, the proprietor and co-owner of Lynmar Estate Winery, will be emceeing the event. Student tickets are $25 and regular tickets for one household are $50.

“You can buy one ticket and anyone in your household can watch it and it will be a similar platform (to Zoom) that you can watch on your TV,” Nagel said.

The event reception will also be virtual. Folks from Ginny’s Gin will conduct a mixology demonstration with music from Johnny Sanson. Folks can also choose to attend a specific themed reception with TEDx speakers for $5 a piece.

 And while the event will be virtual Nagel said the benefit is that they may be able to reach more people.

“It will be a fun celebration, there will be something for everyone,” she said.

When and where: Jan. 30 from 1 - 5 p.m., online at https://www.tedxsonomacounty.com/.

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