x = independently organized TED event


This event occurred on
January 30, 2021
Santa Rosa, California
United States

When we experience the rockiness of change, especially when it is beyond our control, we reach a point where the path in front of us diverges and the right course isn’t clear. Big changes require us to make choices that will affect us in ways we might never imagine. Having to shelter in place for weeks/months? Changing our profession? Needing to let go of someone or something that matters to us? Not knowing when there will be a cure or vaccine to protect us and our families? Ultimately dealing with choices like staying safe and going back to the way we used to live, can these choices coexist? These are the Crossroads of our lives.

Organizations, governments, societies all reach similar Crossroads - pivotal decision points that result in success or decline.

When faced with Crossroads kinds of decisions, many of us worry about making the wrong choice and its consequences. Fear, anxiety, and, we often feel a sense of loss; a loss of direction, a loss of belonging, a loss of someone, or a way of life that we’ve expected would continue. Our values, our integrity, our connections, what we learn from tough situations, and how we see the light in dark times all help us weigh the pros and cons of our decisions when we approach these challenges in our lives.

Some seize these opportunities and find innovative ways to transform a life, a company, an organization, seemingly they change destiny. And when we see someone embracing that moment that choices turn upon, it can be awe-inspiring!

Join us on January 30, 2021 for TEDxSonomaCounty: CROSSROADS to explore and experience the opportunities and possibilities that dealing with crossroads has on our human and societal experience. Be inspired by thought-provoking ideas that are larger than ourselves and help reframe our vision of what is possible.

Santa Rosa, California, Virtual
United States
Event type:
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Barbara Waxman

Life Stage Expert, Coach, Gerontologist, Speaker, Author
Barbara Waxman is the leading authority on Middlescence and a passionate advocate for aging, wisdom, and thriving in midlife Her mission is to shift cultural norms around aging and the life stage Middlescence. Barbara is the founder of Odyssey Group Coaching LLC which includes her one-of-a-kind coaching model, Entrepreneurship Turned Inward©, and proprietary content such as the Five Essential Elements© to help middlescents thrive personally and professionally. She is one of the only Gerontologist-coaches in the United States. Her breakthrough coaching has inspired hundreds of individuals and senior leaders with compassion, honesty, and a light heart while incorporating cutting edge research and methodologies. Barbara is the author of two books examining aging, including, most recently, The Middlescence Manifesto: Igniting the Passion of Midlife.

Blake and Virginia Miremont

CEO/Creative Director and COO Architectural Plastics
Architectural Plastics, Inc. is a design and fabrication company, owned by Blake and Virginia Miremont, specializing in creative custom products including museum display cases, acrylic furniture, retail displays, art installations, biomedical instruments, and machinery components. Founded in 1977 by Pierre Miremont, Blake transitioned to the helm in 2016. Since then, he and his wife have worked tirelessly to dismantle, renovate and modernize their facility; and at the same time hire and train an entirely new workforce and create new processes for all of their manufacturing. Blake’s eye for detail and desire to create have brought their company into completely new markets where plastics had never been applied. When the pandemic hit, they again shifted their business model not only to save their company, but to help thousands of people by producing personal protective equipment. They proudly lead their family’s business with an unwavering commitment to innovation, quality, and service.

Forest Stearns

TEDxSonomaCounty Artist in Residence
Artist Forest Stearns captures the spirit and ideas of TEDxSonomaCounty speakers through an artistic process called Illuminated Notes (TM).

Gregg Adams

Assistant Baseball Coach, Sonoma State University
Gregg Adams is a Bay Area native, having grown up in Concord, CA. He moved to Sonoma County in 1990 to attend and play baseball at Sonoma State University. After his playing days were over, Gregg returned to SSU as an assistant baseball coach for 15 years. Gregg’s life was forever changed in 2015 with the death of his wife, Leslie, from a long-time battle with Lupus. He became a single parent to his teenage son Tyler, who during this same time was also diagnosed with Type I Diabetes. How he successfully dealt with these hardships and challenges eventually led to Gregg becoming an empowering and inspirational speaker to colleges, police departments, and businesses. In his talks, he shares his incredible story and describes the step-by-step process he used for persevering and overcoming adversity when faced with life’s crossroads.

Jenny Sauer-Klein

Experience Designer
Jenny Sauer-Klein is passionate about designing transformational experiences that prioritize connection over content. She leads public and in-house Scaling Intimacy trainings, which help event designers strategically weave connection into the fabric of their programs. She is the founder and executive director of The Culture Conference, an invite only event that transforms leaders and teams from the inside out. She trains people to use the power of play to drive learning and development in groups and teams through a curated collection of team building videos at Play On Purpose. In her previous career as the co-founder of AcroYoga, she successfully scaled an international brand, community and organization with millions of practitioners She is a frequent presenter at international conferences and has been featured in The New York Times, Forbes, Fast Company, and Inc., as well as Tim Ferriss’ book Tools of Titans.

Joanne Pransky

World's First Robotic Psychiatrist (TM)
Dubbed as the ‘real-life Susan Calvin’ by Isaac Asimov in 1989, Joanne Pransky, the World’s First Robotic Psychiatrist®, prepares the world for living and working with robots with industry expertise and humor. Joanne has been tracking the robot evolution for over three decades and is a burgeoning voice in the now-official field of human-robot interaction. She was the senior sales and marketing executive for a major industrial robot manufacturer, was one of the co-founders of the first medical robotics journal, and has been an associate editor for Industrial Robot Journal for the past 25 years. Joanne has consulted for some of the industry’s top robotic and entertainment organizations, and has brought never-seen-before medical robots to the big screen. Most recently, she consulted for the documentary film featuring the humanoid BINA48, and was an official judge on the television show Comedy Central Sports Presents BattleBots.

Johnny Sansone

Musician, Songwriter, Recording Artist,
Long known for his instrumental prowess, particularly on harmonica and accordion, Johnny Sansone has been growing steadily as a New Orleans songwriter and bandleader for the last 30 years. His American Blues Roots songwriting is mixed with a deep appreciation for the culture of Southern Louisiana, as heard in his anthem Poor Man’s Paradise which vaulted him into the pantheon of New Orleans songwriters. Sansone has been nominated for numerous awards, including The Blues Foundation, Song of the Year, which he won for The Lord Is Waiting and The Devil Is Too.

Ozzy Jimenez

Entrepreneur, Advocate, Philanthropist, & Vice Mayor of Healdsburg CA
Born in Jalisco Mexico and living in the US as an undocumented person until the age of 13, Ozzy started his first business at 23 and his entrepreneurial spirit catapulted. He then embraced volunteer leadership through philanthropy and advocacy, which led him to recognize and understand the impacts of climate change, food insecurity, housing uncertainty, health care access, homelessness, and the importance of mental health for seniors and the LGBTQIA+ community. In July 2020, during the peak of the Black Lives Matter movement, Ozzy was appointed to Healdsburg City Council. His appointment came at a critical time when the dialogue of racism, inequity, and police abuse of force was at the forefront for many. He has since been named Vice Mayor. Ozzy uses his experience of entrepreneurship, community service, nonprofit philanthropy work, and now civic governance to help uplift his community, break away barriers, share knowledge, open doors, and be of service to those most in need.

Sheila Robinson

Founder Diversity Women Media
An expert in diversity and inclusion Dr. Robinson helps leading companies transform their culture to reach gender parity, equity, and belonging by combining her first-hand experience climbing the corporate ladder with the highest academic degrees, best practices from her leading magazines, and a deep passion for evidence-based workplace learnings. During her 14-year career at a Fortune 100 company, Dr. Robinson rose from working on the factory floor to the executive office, ultimately directing communications for a $6 billion division of a global chemical company. Her experiences, including the obstacles she faced as an African-American businesswoman in the South, led her to want to help other business leaders achieve leadership success in their career journey. Over the past two decades, Diversity Woman Media has grown to become a multi-faceted company that helps customers drive and deliver business results through diversity, inclusion, and talent development initiatives.

Shellye Archambeau

CEO, Silicon Valley leader, Board Member, Author, Speaker
Ms. Archambeau is the former Chief Executive Officer of MetricStream, Inc., a leading provider of governance, risk, compliance, and quality management solutions to corporations across diverse industries. She served in this role from the time she joined MetricStream in 2002 until 2018. Prior to that, Ms. Archambeau served as Chief Marketing Officer and Executive Vice President of Sales for Loudcloud, Inc., Chief Marketing Officer of NorthPoint Communications, and President of Blockbuster Inc.’s e-commerce division. Before she joined Blockbuster, she held domestic and international executive positions during a 15-year career at IBM. Ms. Archambeau has served as a director of Roper Technologies, Inc. since April 2018 and Nordstrom, Inc. since 2015. She also served as a director of Arbitron, Inc. from 2006 to 2013.

Tim Seelig

Artistic Director San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus
Dr. Timothy Seelig is the Artistic Director of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus. Founded in 1978, SFGMC is the world’s oldest and largest gay men’s chorus, whose mission is to lead by creating extraordinary performances and experiences that build community, inspire activism, and foster compassion at home and around the world. In 2019, SFGMC announced the purchase of a historic building to establish the National LGBTQ Center for the Arts and the home of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus. When our capital campaign is complete, the Center will serve as an epicenter for the development, performance, and exhibition of queer-focused art and performance.

Wilford Welch

Former U.S. Diplomat, Author, Futurist
The past 75 years since WW II have been the world’s greatest period of economic growth and prosperity the world has ever known, and that is largely thanks to fossil fuels and laissez-faire capitalism. But the CO2 emissions that industrialization have and continue to generate are now going to kill us if we do not rapidly get off our addiction to fossil fuels and on to alternative forms of energy. And capitalism in its current form will not dig us out of the hole we have dug for ourselves. We have the technology to solve this crisis but, in our current adolescent phase, we have yet to demonstrate the individual or political will, or the discipline, to change the embedded behaviors and systems needed to solve the climate crisis before it is too late. That is what I mean by the changes I call for in our human “software” and “hardware”. We have total choice of how this story ends, and what we do the next ten years will be decisive.

Organizing team


San Francisco, CA, United States


Sebastopol, CA, United States
  • Brad Weaver
    Team member