Wednesday, April 10, 2024 – David & Dorothea Garfield Theatre

April 10, 2024 TEDxSanDiego hosted its 15th annual event, "commUNITY." This evening showcased visionary speakers and vibrant performances from the San Diego community.

Titled "commUNITY," this event promises a series of impactful, short talks and performances designed to uplift, inspire, and share powerful ideas that can shape our world.

Registration starts at 6:00 pm with open seating, doors open at 6:30 pm and speakers start promptly at 7:00 pm concluding at 9:30 pm

Meet the


Author and Relationship Expert
Wabi Sabi Wisdom: Aging with Laughter, Gratitude, and a Splash of Imperfection

Celebrate aging with humor and grace by embracing the Japanese concept of "Wabi Sabi," the Japanese Art of Impermanence which honors imperfections and finds beauty in aging. Arielle Ford encourages choosing happiness and gratitude over seeking perfection. With humor and wisdom, she shares the journey of self-acceptance and celebrates the freedom of aging authentically.

CEO of The Ford Group, Inc.

Arielle Ford is a fixture in the personal growth and contemporary spirituality movement. For the past 30 years, she has been living, teaching, and promoting consciousness through all forms of media. She is a celebrated love and relationship expert, author, and speaker. Her mission is to help people Find Love, Keep Love, and Be Love. Arielle is the author of eleven nonfiction books including the international bestseller, THE SOULMATE SECRET: Manifest the Love of Your Life with The Law of Attraction. She lives in La Jolla, CA with her husband Brian Hilliard, and their feline friends. IG @arielleford44.

Founder and Author
Mentorship Matters: Reimaging your darkness to be a light unto others

Mentorship serves as a guiding light for youth, providing them with direction, support, and belief in their potential. Armand King shares his personal journey from homelessness and loss to becoming a dedicated mentor for at-risk youth, drawing from his own experiences and the tragic losses he’s endured. He underscores the power of mentorship to guide and support youth, urging others to embrace this vital role in shaping brighter futures and healing communities.

Program Developer at Walk With Me Impact

Armand Lawrich King is a transformative leader who has risen from a challenging past to make a global impact. Over the past decade, Armand has reshaped communities as a nonprofit founder, consultant, author, and inspiring speaker. His expertise in entrepreneurship and team building has made him a sought-after mentor and a crucial figure in community service, serving on numerous government boards and commissions. Armand's deep commitment to youth empowerment led to the creation of Walk With Me Impact, an organization that creates unique mentorship and training material for groups and individuals worldwide. IG @mr.armand_king

Cosmologist and Podcast Host
Nobel Minds and Humble Hearts: Confronting Imposter Syndrome

After losing the Nobel Prize, Cosmologist Brian Keating interviewed 19 Nobel Prize winners and discovered one commonality; they each grapple with Imposter Syndrome. Through anecdotes from these remarkable individuals, Keating emphasizes the significance of maintaining humility while daring greatly.

Professor of Physics at UCSD

Brian G. Keating is Chancellor’s Distinguished Professor of Physics at the University of California, San Diego. Keating's research area is the study of the cosmic microwave background and its relationship to the origin and evolution of the universe. He is the Principal Investigator of the Simons Observatory and is the author of more than 200 scientific publications, two U.S. Patents, and the best-selling books Think Like a Nobel Prize Winner, and “Losing the Nobel Prize”, selected as one of Amazon Editors Best Nonfiction Books of All Time. IG @drbriankeating

Cognitive Neuroscientist
The Biggest Risk Factor in Alzheimers

Neuroscientist Courtney Glavis-Bloom redefines Alzheimer's research by emphasizing the importance of understanding aging as its primary risk factor. She introduces innovative research that uncover insights into cognitive decline. By understanding the intricate series of biological changes that unfold during the aging process, we will uncover why some individuals are vulnerable and others resilient. This discovery will drive innovative treatment strategies targeting the root causes of Alzheimer’s, offering hope for millions affected by the disease.

Senior Staff Scientist at Salk Institute

Dr. Courtney Glavis-Bloom, a neuroscientist at the Salk Institute, conducts groundbreaking research on the neurobiological changes that occur with aging, and their link to cognitive decline and resilience. She leverages nearly two decades of experience from roles spanning both industry and academia to uncover novel approaches for intervention by utilizing non-human primate models. Her educational foundation includes a BA in Cognitive Science from Yale and a PhD in Neuroscience and Animal Behavior from Emory. IG @cglavisbloom

Neuroscientist and Child Advocate
Revolutionizing Children's Mental Health with Brain Imaging Technology

Right now, we are fighting for the future of our children’s mental health. The U.S. Surgeon General has declared a youth mental health crisis. In this enlightening talk, Neuroscientist Jillian Wiggins discusses the urgent need to address children's mental health issues and proposes a revolutionary approach using brain imaging technology. She highlights the challenges in current treatment methods and shares insights from her ground-breaking research.

Associate Professor at SDSU

Jillian Lee Wiggins, PhD, was born in Chicago to immigrant Jamaican Chinese parents. She fell in love with psychology and neuroscience while an undergraduate and moved on to complete her PhD in developmental psychology at University of Michigan and her postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institutes of Health. She is now the Director of the Translational Emotion Neuroscience and Development Lab (TEND Lab) and an Associate Professor of Psychology at San Diego State University. Her two children (ages 3 and 6) often attend her class as “demo kids”.

Leader and Aviator
The Technological Renaissance of Native American Cultural Heritage

In this innovative talk, Kilma Lattin showcases how cutting-edge tech such as AR, VR, and geolocation software are reshaping the preservation and understanding of Native American cultural heritage. Through the OurWorlds Project, we witness how these tools enrich appreciation and education by immersing users in cultural narratives, turning natural landscapes into engaging centers of learning and entertainment. Kilma is re-imaging the future of cultural education with this fusion of tradition and technology.

Founder and CEO of OurWorlds, Inc.

Kilma Lattin is a futurist, a military aviator, and a former Tribal Leader. He believes that every square mile has a story and that geolocated XR content will transform public and private spaces into place-based immersive and interactive experiences for education, entertainment and advertising. His projects have won an Emmy Award, been featured in the Smithsonian Institute, and his company OurWorlds was the 2022 winner of the Launch Competition for, “best EdTech startup.” Kilma Lattin is the founder of a cultural-futurism movement known as The OurWorlds Project, which is digitizing culture for the 21st Century. He has studied at Harvard Business School, Harvard JFK School of Government, Johns Hopkins, the University of Southern California, and UC Santa Barbara. IG @ourworlds.xr

CEO and Entrepreneur
Unveiling the Silent Architects of Entrepreneurial Triumph

Drawing from personal experience of starting a business at 52 and building it to $1 Billion, Mark Klein sheds light on the overlooked contributors to entrepreneurial success: the silent partners and supporters who navigate challenges behind the scenes. These unsung heroes, often spouses, family members, or friends, take significant risks by providing unwavering support amidst personal crises and business struggles. Mark emphasizes the critical role of recognizing and appreciating these silent partners and encourages people to reciprocate such support in their own relationships.

Owner at Pacific Northwest Energy Consultants

At age 52, Mark Klein, while fighting cancer and being a devoted parent to a son with autism, co-founded Broad Reach Power and built a national renewable energy storage business that he sold 5 years later for $1 billion. Humbled by his great fortune, Mark founded Pacific Northwest Energy Consultant so he can devote his life to bringing renewable energy to underserved communities throughout the US. He also generously gives his time and resources to support organizations like the Autism Society of San Diego.

Master of Ceremonies – Educator and Leader

Faculty Scholar at SDSU

Rachael Stewart, Ed.D. a Kenyan immigrant, wife, mother, mentor and Professor & Director of Academic and Career Programs. Her research and work are centered around organizational leadership, change, policy, and practices within education systems. Outside of the academic arena, Rachael enjoys exercising (weight lifting and pilates) and spending time exploring San Diego with her husband and their three sons.

Kidney Donor Advocate and Dating Coach
Gift of Life: The Transformative Power of Kidney Donation

In the United States, kidney donation is a critical issue due to the high demand for organ transplants and the shortage of available kidneys. With over 103,000 people currently on the National Kidney Transplant list, there is an urgent need for more donors to come forward. Live kidney donation offers a faster and often more successful alternative for those in need. Rochel Smoller, a kidney donor herself, shares a deeply personal and inspiring talk on the transformative power of kidney donation, ignited by her co-worker's need for a kidney. She shares the simplicity of the process and its life-changing impact.

2nd Grade Teacher

A lifelong educator, Rochel Smoller, born in Boston, graduated from the Beth Rivka teachers seminary in Brooklyn N.Y. For 38 years she has taught 2nd grade as well as directing a summer camp with her husband. Rochel has lectured globally about education, dating, and maintaining a positive outlook in life. Outside of teaching she is a matchmaker and professional dating coach.

CEO and Editor
The Power of Local Journalism to Uplift our Communities

There's significant power in local journalism to revive community connections, a reality Ron Donoho has seen firsthand during his three decades in the industry. Bringing back local journalism is crucial. When we focus on grassroots reporting, we strengthen the bonds connecting us to our neighborhoods. Local news acts as a vital channel, keeping us updated on events and issues shaping our communities. This knowledge fosters social cohesion and unity, allowing us to unite around common concerns and interests. Through engaging storytelling, local journalism cultivates emotional connections that deeply resonate within our neighborhoods.

Founder of The San Diego Sun

Ron Donoho is founder/editor of, a hyperlocal, independent news source that covers downtown San Diego. He is an advocate for rebuilding independent, nonpartisan media outlets that give voice to local populations that lack or have lost news coverage. Previously, Donoho was editor of San Diego Magazine and San Diego CityBeat. He's written for dozens of local, regional and national media outlets over a three-decade career as a professional writer and editor. IG @thesandiegosun.


Meet the


Performing Artist

Gaby Aparicio has a dynamic, multi-lingual (English, Spanish, Italian & Portuguese) musical repertoire that leaves a lasting impression with her audiences.

Performing Artist

Matrida Boazi has an ethereal voice that shares the stories of tragedy and hope from journey from a refugee camp in her native Congo to San Diego.

Dance Crew
The Junkyard Dance Crew

The Junkyard Dance Crew, hailing from southeast San Diego, inspires audiences through their energetic movements of hope and joy.

Our venue


David & Dorothea Garfield Theatre

4126 Executive Dr, La Jolla, CA 92037

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.
© Copyright TEDxSanDiego - All Rights Reserved
About TEDxSanDiegoAbout TEDAbout TEDxPrivacy PolicyFAQsPress Kit