x = independently organized TED event

Theme: TEDx Taft Avenue Countdown

This event occurred on
December 30, 2023
San Diego, California
United States

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).

University of San Diego
5998 Alcala Park Way
San Diego, California, 92110
United States
Event type:
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Speakers may not be confirmed. Check event website for more information.

Bijan Zayer, Ph.D.

Distinguished Professor, consultant, executive coach, author and entrepreneur
Internationally-known professor, businessman, executive coach, consultant, and author, Dr. Zayer holds a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California. He specializes in implementation of High-Performance Management, organizational / individual excellence, and effective executive leadership. Dr. Zayer is a member of multiple Board of Directors including major multinational firms. Author of three books, 42 research articles, contributing editor to numerous professional journals and magazines. His latest book published “Lead With Integrity, Seven Steps to Self-Respect and Happiness”. Consultant relationships include, among others, Royal Dutch Shell Corporation; Home Federal Savings: Heineken Beer; Kelco, a Division of Merck and Co.; Fokker Aircraft; IBM; Solar Turbine; Bank of America; Ralston; IVAC, Division of Eli Lilly; Dora Pharmaceutical; General Dynamics; Megatek, Division of United Telecom; Great American Saving; Armorlite.

Daniel Hettwer

Focusing on sustainability finance, Daniel established and headed the Financial Engineering division of Vestas Wind in China and consulted for several international companies, among them, The Third Floor, Hollywood’s leading previsualization company at the time. Gaining a foothold in the entertainment industry combined with his interest in sustainability led Daniel to pursue a way to transform entertainment into a force for good which was followed by teaming up with leading individuals in themed entertainment, conservation, technology, and storytelling. The result is Hidden Worlds Entertainment, which transforms the entertainment, travel, and hospitality industries by building high-quality guest experiences that merge fun with impact, inspiring visitors to make the world a better place. Hidden Worlds Entertainment is accredited by the United Nations and partners with the Government of The Islands of the Bahamas and industry leaders such as Mastercard and Nestle.

David Shad

David Shad grew up in San Diego knowing he wanted to be a world-class solution provider. After graduating from the University of Southern California (USC), David became a licensed electrical engineer, a licensed mechanical engineer, a project management professional (PMP), a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) accredited professional, an ASHRAE Building Energy Modeling (BEMP) professional, and a Commissioning Process Management Professional (CEMP). In addition, David teaches engineering at universities such as San Diego State University (SDSU) and the University of California at San Diego (UCSD). David has always had the desire to make the world a better and more sustainable place through his innovative visions and combined with his impressive engineering credentials, he wants to help propel society forward by challenging his fellow citizens to join him in the fight to end climate change.

Erin Lothes, Ph.D.

Faith Based Environmentalism | Climate change theologian and author
Author of “Inspired Sustainability: Planting Seeds for Action” (Orbis, 2016), Dr. Erin Loathes holds a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California Dr. Lothes is a theologian who researches energy ethics and the faith-based environmental movement. She has been invited to speak on this subject at Columbia University, Princeton University, Georgetown University and Fordham University. She is the senior manager of the Laudato Si’ Animators Program with the Laudato Si’ Movement (formerly the Global Catholic Climate Movement).

Jennie Edwards

Recycling and Reuse Acvitist
Jennie Edwards is a transformational photographer/videographer whose experiences helping people feel differently about themselves when in front of her lens has morphed into a passion to get people to see climate change differently through a community and global lens. Her commitment to recycling and reuse is best illustrated by how she is instills respect for the Earth and the value and importance of recycling and reuse in her daughters. Jennie's super power is her infectious and joyful attitude which earned her the nickname, "Joyful Jennie." Her hallmark is engaging in beach cleanup while dressed, with her daughters, as superheroes challenging the community, in a playful way, to think about climate change and understand the super power of doing the little things that make a big difference in the fight against climate change. In addition to climate change action, Jennie is an author who helps readers to live their most fulfilled life in her best-selling book "Empowered You".

Jim Warne

Generational Native American Earth Conservation Practices
Filmmaker, Advocate, Educator, Jim Warne is a member of the Oglala Lakota (Sioux) Nation. Jim is a filmmaker and his WSD Productions company has produced several award winning films including, "Oyáte un Itówapi - Pictures of my People" (3 Sports Emmy Nominations), "Decade of Dominance, The Warriors" and "7th Generation". Jim is President of his consulting firm, Warrior Society Development, LLC (WSD). He works with various government agencies, organizations and Tribal Nations. Jim is a Motivational Speaker with experience in professional football (NFL) Hollywood acting, film production, Indian Country advocacy, congressional testimonies, cultural diversity, youth athletic/life skills camps, organizational development and grants management.

Rich German

Marine Conservation
Founder of Project O, "Restore, Protect, & Sustain the Ocean" Rich German has been a successful business coach, philanthropist, photographer, and entrepreneur for over 20 years. An avid paddleboarder living in Laguna Beach, California, he has been on the water nearly every day since 2010. An encounter with a pod of 4 orcas in 2015 garnered international media attention and connected him with some of the leading ocean conservationist organizations. When he learned firsthand about the peril our ocean and the marine life are facing, his hobby turned into a passion to protect them. In 2017, he founded the non-profit organization Project O, dedicated to restoring, protecting, and sustaining the oceans and the sacred life within it. Two main initiatives of Project O include Blue City, a certification program, aimed at creating a global network of ocean-friendly and sustainable cities, and Our Epic Ocean podcast, a platform for experts working on solutions to our planet's challenges.

Sharon Jessop

Rhinoceros and Keystone Species Conservation
As an attorney, a keynote speaker, conservationist, adventurer and storyteller, Sharon has completed 4 running expeditions to date, and she’s run to and through 28 big 5 game reserves to promote rhino conservation. She’s run through some of the most remote areas in South Africa and through some of the biggest townships in South Africa and have had amazing conversations with many people from all walks of life whilst on foot. She is passionate about telling these stories and dispelling the myths that South Africa is a dangerous place. She’s delivered many talks to a wide variety of organizations that have ranged from telling her inspirational stories to talking to corporates and individuals about their passion and purpose and teaching them to tap into their amazingness by utilizing their uniqueness. Sharon knows how to stand out in a crowd and make it work.

Sierra Galardo

Elementary School Student | Advocate against deforestation
Sierra Gallardo is a 5th-grade student at Madison Elementary School in the Cajon Valley Union School District and has been a passionate advocate of protecting nature after learning about the harm humans are causing to Earth in first grade. Sierra participated in Junior Olympics for Waterpolo in Summer 2023 and enjoys kung fu, skateboarding, gardening, portrait sketching and painting in her spare time. To protect nature, Sierra prefers to walk or cycle instead of driving. She encourages her family and peers to recycle and has participated in beach and park clean-ups. She personally chooses to eat vegetarian and loves to garden and helped plant her family's garden where she grows vegetables and fruiting trees. Sierra’s next goal is starting a club at her school where members pledge to help nurture and replant native trees at designated locations.

Organizing team

Saunders Nasheed

San Diego, CA, United States