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TEDxMonterey Women was one of over 200 TEDxWomen events happening simultaneously around the globe in over 58 countries expanding on ideas presented at this year’s TEDWomen ”Invented Here” event in San Francisco. The local event hosted at the Monterey Institute on Friday, December 6, featured a community screening of a session recorded live at the TEDWomen “Invented Here” event, three live presenters from our local community, and an energizing networking session. Over 250 people attended the event, describing it as “warming the spirit,” and “inspiring.”

Andrea Stachnik, founder of the non-profit Unmarked Streets, was the first live speaker to take to the stage in front of the audience in the sold-out Irvine Auditorium. She spoke of her experience working with women in Guatemala, sharing the mistakes she had made, what she had learned from them, and how that has shaped her approach to development.

Our second local speaker was a well-known champion of the arts in Monterey County, Paulette Lynch. She shared the story of the challenging first days of her dream job as executive director of the Arts Council of Monterey County and her deep-rooted belief that “arts are the answer” that has kept her going. Over the years her belief has been strengthened and supported by scientific evidence and personal accounts.

The final local speaker, Tonya Antle, a trailblazer in the field of organic produce and philanthropist, asked the audience what she has asked herself many times – “why stop here?” She talked about women and poverty in Monterey County and shared the story of 18 girls from Salinas who asked themselves that question as they broke through barriers to education and success. “When a woman thrives, a family thrives, and when a family thrives, a community thrives,” said Tonya to thundering applause – “Why stop here?”

Plans are already underway for TEDxMonterey to be held at the Monterey Institute on April 26, when we will explore the theme of “Edges.” Open auditions for speakers will be held in January and February. Stay tuned to TEDxMonterey’s website for more information.

TEDWomen is a TED event curated by TED and Pat Mitchell that focuses on women and women’s issues. TEDxWomen events are independently licensed TEDx events hosted around the webcast of TEDWomen.

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Jason Warburg

Eva Gudbergsdottir