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Video: Tim Niemier's TEDxMeritAcademy Talk

In August, Merit Academy hosted TEDxMeritAcademy at the Rio Theatre in Santa Cruz.

Tim Niemier was a featured speaker, and his TEDx Talk is embedded below.

How do we stop the flow of plastic pollution into our oceans?

We need healthy oceans, but we can’t give up our plastic. Maybe there’s a way that we can have healthy oceans and still use plastic. If we create value for recycled plastic as a new resource, we can prevent it from harming our life-sustaining oceans. Tim will discuss a clever way of combining great worldwide designs with an inexpensive local recycling process that can stop the flow of plastics into our oceans.

About Tim Niemier: Tim’s goal in life is to put “A billion butts in boats in healthy water.” He is the founder and designer/entrepreneur who introduced the sit-on- top Ocean Kayak to the world. These kayaks revolutionized all paddle sports because it made kayaking water-friendly. Bringing millions of people into the water makes them appreciate the delicate balance of our eco systems. Tim was 100% responsible for all post-consumer waste and pioneered product stewardship in the water-sport industry and other endeavors.  He also continues to lead many environmental organizations with creative and sustainable innovations. Tim enjoys finding solutions to cleaning the ocean using resource management and recycling.

Video: Gregory Gavin's TEDxMeritAcademy Talk

In August, Merit Academy hosted TEDxMeritAcademy at the Rio Theatre in Santa Cruz.

Gregory Gavin was a featured speaker, and his TEDx Talk is embedded below.

What if you built a river in a classroom?

Artist Gregory Gavin set out to use the engaging properties of water to invigorate public life and ended up creating a new kind of classroom. Only in a world with consequences, he argues, can children truly be engaged, take on responsibility and become creative agents.

About Gregory: Gregory Gavin is an artist, inventor and educator. He founded Riveropolis in 2004 to design, build, install and facilitate innovative water play environments and to bring design experiences to schools, museums and neighborhoods. Since 1991, his projects — ranging from woodworking to filmmaking, to interactive waterworks — have engaged a diversity of participants to both create and exhibit work in public places. His work has been particularly successful in overcoming the obsessive segregation of children, teen and adult activities into separate realms in a way that he feels damages the transfer of inter-generational knowledge and discovery. Gavin has been commissioned by National Endowment for the Arts, the de Young Museum, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Seattle Public Art Program and the Bay Area Discovery Museum. He has taught at the California College of the Arts and is a California Arts Council Fellow.

Video: Mas Hashimoto's TEDxMeritAcademy Talk

In August, Merit Academy hosted TEDxMeritAcademy at the Rio Theatre in Santa Cruz.

Mas Hashimoto was a featured speaker, and his TEDx Talk is embedded below.

Racism and America's Concentration Camps

Remember when the American government unjustly incarcerated 120,000 persons of Japanese ancestry, most of whom were American citizens, during WWII?  Mas Hashimoto compares how Japanese American incarceration during WWII and the massive discrimination of Muslims post 9-11 are both founded in hate and racism.  Learn how “Make America Great Again” really translates to “Make America White Again.”  Learn about what you can do to stop this form of racism and take active steps to protect everyone’s civil and human rights.

About Mas: Mas Hashimoto was a child when his family was taken from their Watsonville home in 1942.  He was sent to a federal prisoner of war camp during WWII because of racism, war hysteria, and political leadership failure. Mas taught US History in the Pajaro Valley Unified School District until his retirement.  He speaks to groups of students about the wartime experience of Japanese Americans during WWII to ensure that this injustice never repeats itself again. Mas also headed the Re-enactment of the Incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII: “Liberty Lost; Lessons in Loyalty” in 2002, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Watsonville-Santa Cruz chapter Japanese American Citizens League.

VIDEO: Logan Conover's TEDxMeritAcademy Talk

In August, Merit Academy hosted TEDxMeritAcademy at the Rio Theatre in Santa Cruz.

Logan Cononver was a featured speaker, and his TEDx Talk is embedded below.

Rethinking How We Drive

WHEN natural disasters start to happen is the real question behind climate change, not IF they will happen. People have already started to see the consequences of rising CO2 levels, with the 2-degree temperature rise and global CO2 levels passing 404 parts per million (ppm). Let’s discuss an easy and practical solution that we can all embrace.

About Logan Conover: Logan Conover founded When, Not If…, a non-profit organization that educates people about their carbon emissions, the positive feedback loop, and easy solutions to reducing CO2 in the atmosphere. He stumbled across climate change when he learned that many congressmen/women were denying its existence. This frustrated Logan because he couldn’t understand why people wouldn’t believe 99% of the scientists who state with proof that climate change is real. Logan realized that he needed to do something fast and he needed to make it easy, so he created When, Not If… to share facts with people and get the world to take action against climate change.

Why TEDx Rejected Our Initial Application

We were rejected when we first applied to host a TEDx event.  Yup.  Actually, we were rejected twice because they considered our topics “too focused on climate change.”

To solve the problem, while we didn’t reduce our numbers of speakers who offered solutions to climate change, we did invite other interesting speakers to offer more diversity.  But isn’t climate change the single most important crisis we face today? If we don’t reduce CO2 in the atmosphere and stop warming up the planet, our permafrost in the artic will begin to melt, and then we’ll face problems that we probably will not be able to fix. 

In other words, if we don’t find solutions now, all of the other issues will be moot. Check out this interesting article by New York, “The Uninhabitable Earth.”

TEDxMeritAcademy Success!

Our TEDxMeritAcademy debut at the Rio Theatre was a huge success!

With 9 dynamic speakers, 1 music video, and 2 TED pre-recorded speakers, we introduced innovative solutions to climate change, overpopulation, and plastic up-cycling, as well as exploring black holes in the universe and contemplating racism in America. 

We’ll post our TEDx videos soon to share these ideas worth spreading!

TEDxMeritAcademy Video: Nicole D'Arcy & Anna Krawisc's "Ode to Advanced Directives"

To offer both comic relief and valuable medical advice, Nicole D’Arcy and Anna Krawisc – along with the Stanford Video Department – perform a music video. 

Come see this today, Monday, August 14th at 7:00 pm at the Rio Theatre in Santa Cruz.  Get your tickets at TEDxMeritAcademy.com or at the door. 

TEDxMeritAcademy Speaker David Vasquez

Thrilled that we are hosting a TEDx event at the Rio Theatre in Santa Cruz! Join us on Aug 14, 2017 at 7 pm.  Get your tickets for TEDxMeritAcademy at wwwtedxmeritacademy.com.  Meet David Vasquez, one of our speakers!

“What if there actually IS an energy ‘magic bullet’?”

David Vasquez is going to challenge the cliched notion in the energy world that “there are no ‘magic bullets’. There’s a breakthrough energy technology from an engineer-scientist-inventor in Arizona named Roy McAlister.  He’s developed a new liquid fuel for both motor vehicles and power plants called METROL that is typically made from garbage and sewage and is  not only clean, safe, affordable, unlimited in supply, and 100% clean, but actually  cleans the air around it.  The implications for both climate change, environment, and world economic prosperity in general are profound.

About David Vasquez:
David Vasquez is a college instructor, book author, computer-graphic specialist, and filmmaker who is focused on renewable energy and sustainable urban design.  He has a doctorate degree mixing cognitive science with science education and he wrote a book about next-generation solar-hydrogen railway-systiems. His professional role has been as VISUALIZER of outside-the-box environmental solutions. He uses this craft both (a) as an independent consultant to public planning agencies in the SF Bay Area, and (b) to educate graduate students in a Landscape Design Dept. (Academy of Art University, SF) about how to create emotionally-engaging promotional images of proposed public projects.

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