Tag Archive: TED

At the end of our TEDxTucson event, absolutely everyone in the theatre stood and stated “I am a green entrepreneur!” It was an inspiring moment. Many people approached me and asked what they could do next, which illustrates how powerful the whole concept of TEDx can be. Our theme was sustainability and “Innovating Our Green Economy”. So as we turned our attention to 2011 and what to do next, I was looking for a way to create a project between events to capture the enthusiasm and interest TEDxTucson had generated and make a real difference in our community. Why not take the concept of the local foods movement and all of the changes in behavior and awareness that has created and apply it to creating jobs?

“The Local Jobs Movement” is a project to grow the local food movement in Tucson and create entrepreneurial opportunities for people interested in urban agriculture. Our first TEDxTucsonSalon event on April 19 is all about local food issues, and the talks presented will increase awareness of some of the amazing work local innovators are doing to change our community’s access to healthy locally produced food. We’ll also be showing Jamie Oliver’s TED talk, and Carolyn Steel’s talk “How Food Shapes Our Cities”. Our intention is to inspire people to help us grow the local food movement and increase interest in supporting urban agriculture projects. This in turn will increase opportunities for entrepreneurship. Since I posted the announcement on the TED site a week ago I have had many people contact me offering to help grow our activities.

In addition to a host of TEDx volunteers, The Local Jobs Movement now includes our partners: the International Sonoran Desert Alliance; The Pimavera Foundation; The Community Foundation of Southern Arizona; and the Tucson Community Food Bank all of whom are very excited to be part of TEDxTucson. We will soon be applying for grant funding to increase urban agricultural activity and create jobs in South Tucson, which has the highest poverty rates in the nation and is in serious need of inspiration and transformation. Many of the social and health issues for the people living here are related to diet and the lack of availability of fresh local foods. Our intention is to leverage the excitement and inspiration TEDx generates to create real, measurable and meaningful community transformation by growing food and growing jobs.

To learn more please visit our TED.com event page and click attend if you want to join us.


Rainwater harvesting culvert

Well I am back in town after an amazing experience at TEDActive. Many people I spoke with loved the local jobs movement idea and so we’re back at it this week with a meeting with the Ajo Regional Food Partnership.

This blog is intended to tell the story as we create a movement to create jobs. The idea emerged from our work here in creating TEDxTucson and wanting to have a project that people could work on that contributes to Tucson’s sustainability. We’re working with people like James MacAdam who works helping people learn about rainwater harvesting and urban permaculture.

As I describe the idea of linking nurturing a local foods movement with job creation I can see people get the idea right away. In fact my new friends in Ajo are combating a “food desert” and the concomitant health issues that go with it. So they are working to create a sustainable local food system, new community awareness in making healthy food choices, restoring their rich cultural foods heritage and developing new food-based economic opportunities for community residents.


This is all being organized by the International Sonoran Desert Alliance and I’ll keep you posted as we link up.