Now Playing

X-Rated

When TEDxSanDiego (tedx-sandiego.com) illuminates UC San Diego’s CalIT2 on Dec. 14, instigator, curator and optimist-in-chief Jack Abbott will be leading the charge for the fourth year running. The S.D. visionary and green entrepreneur gave us the goods on this year’s larger-than-life ideas, equally massive video screens and the ironic talk that just may go viral.

Jack Abbott, founder of TEDxSanDiego, at Atkinson Hall, seat of CalIT2 at UC San Diego

Who goes to TEDxSanDiego?
We don’t have attendees; we have participants. That’s why we make people apply: We want to see why they’re coming.

Because...
They’re crying; they’re laughing; they’re changing their lives. Going forward, we’re going to have many more events, like the TEDxSanDiego Salons at the University Club, which all sold out. By having more events, we can build more of a community and sustain more action.

Life changer?
I’m a guy who spent his whole life in ad agencies, but the last thing I want to do is find myself on my deathbed thinking, ‘I was going to do something good someday, wasn’t I?’

Like...
Every penny I make in my day job, I invest in my entrepreneurial business: After the first TEDxSanDiego, I saw an opportunity to help other people grow their own food indoors.

December TEDx highlights?
A group from Mexico City uses wearable instruments and plays music by playing their clothes. One of the hottest minds on the environment will talk climate change. And one of the speakers I’m most excited about is going to talk about why he doesn’t like TED talks. I said, ‘I want to hear this. Maybe you’ll make us better!’

How cool is CalIT2?
The Black Box Theater there has one of the largest 4K screens on the planet; four times the definition of high-def. Almost beyond 3-D. It will be one of our featured experiences.

Are you a techie?
I was just in Europe and spent half my time chasing Wi-Fi connections.