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The Kindness of Strangers: Sophia VanKlootwyk-Forde at TEDxSantaCruz

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During a 1700-mile bicycle tour across Eastern Europe, Sophia VanKlootwyk-Forde experienced a series of incredible human interactions that forever changed how she relates to other people. This talk explores how trusting other people may be the key to addressing the global issues of our time.

This TEDxSantaCruz talk is one of 22 surrounding our theme of "Activate" at the third full-day TEDxSantaCruz event held March 8, 2014 at the Hotel Paradox in Santa Cruz, CA.

Sophia VanKlootwyk-Forde sees bicycles as more than transportation: she sees them as vehicles for human connection. Equipped with a camp stove and a tent, she has biked thousands of miles across a dozen countries. Sophia is also fervently involved in bicycle advocacy: she co-founded the Cabrillo Bike Co-op as a community college student, taught bike safety and maintenance classes to fellow students at UCLA, and worked at a DIY Bike co-op in a low-income neighborhood in Los Angeles. Sophia earned her Associates Degree while still in high school and obtained a BA in Geography from UCLA and the University of Copenhagen. She is a 2009 fellow with Young People For, a progressive student leadership program, and a 2011 fellow with the Jack Kent Cooke Association, a private scholarship fund that awards outstanding academic achievement.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.* (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)
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