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10 speakers, 10 topics, 10 minutes each

Terry Paulson

Terry Paulson

Pizza delivery by drones, clean water for future generations and the FBI’s ongoing fight against terrorism were among the talking points during a free community event presented by the Conejo/Las Virgenes Future Foundation.

The Oct. 10 presentation at the Grant Brimhall Library was the third annual 10×10 event, which featured 10 speakers addressing 10 topics for 10 minutes each. It was all about the world of tomorrow.

Alon Goren, a leader in business crowdfunding who has been involved with more than $200 million in online investment transactions, gave a talk on “Entrepreneurs of the Future.”

“The future entrepreneur really has no barriers anymore,” said Goren, the leadoff speaker.

“It’s all about your ability to execute. And what’s so great now is you don’t have to have a Harvard education. You literally can go online—you can audit classes for free on the internet now and learn any skill, if not free, practically free . . . so there’s no excuse.”

James Peaco

James Peaco

Terry Paulson, a psychologist and national columnist, was tasked with topic “Politics, Pundits and Polarization.” Paulson said the noise level in society has gotten uncomfortably loud.

“It’s like sipping through a fire hydrant, and it’s going to continue to be that way. I don’t see any change in that,” he said.

Paulson said the country is due for some good old-fashioned cooperation but it won’t be easy.

“How do you find teams that you respect and you want to work with? You better be good not only at knowing something that is of value, but know how to fit in with other people who are going to allow us to be far more effective.”

Dave Pedersen

Dave Pedersen

Monica White, interim CEO of Ventura County’s FOOD Share regional food bank, presented “Hunger at Home.” On any given day, 1 in 6 people are hungry in Ventura County, she said, and it’s not just the homeless, mentally ill and transients.

“It’s a very small percentage of the people that FOOD Share serves every month,” White said. “Who we serve is the working poor; 50 percent of the people who go to FOOD Share on an annual basis only go one time per year.”

Mike Paule, president of the video marketing company MobileVideo360, focused on technology with his topic, “The Game of Drones.”

“There are over 1.1 million consumer drones in the U.S. as of the end of last year,” Paule said. “The projection is continued rapid growth of this industry.”

The future of drone technology includes delivery services, with companies such as Amazon, FedEx, Walmart and others hoping to use drones to deliver goods, Paule said.

“So someday, perhaps, when you order your pizza, down will pop a drone to deliver those pizzas right to you,” he said.

James Peaco, a special agent with the FBI, addressed terrorism and counter-terrorism with his 10 minutes on “Safe in the 21st Century.”

Los Angeles remains a top terrorist target, as does Hollywood, Peaco said.

“ Hollywood really ticks some people off around the world. There are a lot of cultures and groups that all the things they don’t like about America and the lifestyles they see are thrown in their face by Hollywood,” said Peaco, a Conejo Valley resident.

Community support is crucial to help the FBI in its ongoing fight, he said.

“There’s only 13,000 FBI agents. We can’t do it alone,” Peaco said. “When things are going wrong, we absolutely need to know about that, and we actually do respond to every single tip.”

In other topics, Blake Bribois, a Westlake Village child psychologist, discussed the addiction of teens to their devices in his topic, “Facetime or Downtime?”

Amanda Sabicer, vice president of Energize California, an energy innovation hub in Southern California, talked about the future of clean energy in “Who’s Got the Power?”

The future of water for the Conejo and Las Virgenes valleys was addressed by Dave Pedersen, general manager of Las Virgenes Municipal Water District.

“Our current situation is we’re very dependent on imported water. We rely on imported water for 80 percent of our water demands,” Pedersen said. “We lack local groundwater, which is the crown jewel of most water agencies and usually your most reliable water source.”

Pedersen announced plans to build a $100-million water purification facility designed to turn reclaimed sewer water from the 122-square-mile district into drinking water. Negotiations are underway to build the new plant in Agoura Hills.

“We can use technology that has already been used in many other industries to treat the water and make it safe for us to drink,” Pedersen said. “It’s about total reuse. This is exploding. This is the biggest trend emerging in water right now.”

Acorn managing editor and Future Foundation board member John Loesing served as moderator for last week’s event. To see a video replay of the program, visit

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