“Around the Campfire” Profile: Jay Blahnik

Who’s around our campfire? Each week we will profile a different TEDActive 2013 attendee and give you a peek into what they have to share around the fire in Palm Springs. This week, meet Jay!

Where are you from? 
I live in Laguna Beach, California, but my Dad was a military man so I grew up traveling all over the world.  For my work as a consultant, I continue to travel a tremendous amount each year, and have traveled almost 3 million miles and every single continent (except Antarctica) over the past 20 years.

Where is your favorite place on earth? 
One of my favorite places on earth is where I live, Laguna Beach, California.  I love the ocean, the small town feel and the surf!  It is a very connected community full of open space for hiking, biking and running.  Because I travel so much, it is also a dream to come home to such a magical place after each one of my trips.  However, one of my favorite places on earth outside of my home city, is Heron Island on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.  It is a small nature reserve island that is so small, you can walk around in just 20 minutes.  I have been there twice, once when the giant turtles were burying their eggs, and once when the giant turtles were hatching!  It is an isolated, magical place where you can swim with the turtles, and truly see one of the most amazing ecosystems on earth.

What interests you?
I love being active and outside.  Any opportunity to surf, hike, bike or even simply be with friends enjoying breakfast on the beach is a part of a perfect day for me.  I am also very interested in global and food politics, environmental and health issues and almost anything to do with animals!  I love technology, and believe there are so many incredible ways technology can help make the planet a better and healthier place.  I worked closely with Nike and Apple on the launch of Nike+ for runners, and that amazing digital ecosystem has grown to millions of people who are motivating and inspiring each other to be more active, even beyond running.  I am committed to working on projects that can replicate the same type of healthy success of Nike+.  As our world becomes more sedentary BECAUSE of technology, I strive to work on products and services that can actually help increase activity and improve health USING technology.

What problem are you trying to solve? 
I would like to use digital tools (that are contributing to making our population less active, less fit and less healthy) to be part of the solution in making our population MORE active, more fit and more healthy.  Digital tools can allow people to share, compare and compete in ways that were never before possible, and that can provide inspiration, motivation and education that can powerfully impact people’s health and fitness.

What’s your favorite thing about TEDActive?
I love the opportunity to hear about ideas worth spreading in an environment that is informal, interactive, social, digitally connected, a bit hip and slightly funky.  It provides an environment that is both perfect for listening and learning, but also for amplifying my own creative thinking and helping me to step outside of my day-to-day comfort zone.

What’s your favorite TED Talk?
I have many favorite talks, but one of my favorite is “David Gallo:  Underwater Astonishments” because his discoveries in underwater creatures are just astounding.  And, since we have only discovered 3% of what is underwater, he showcases not only how brilliant our planet is, but also how little we know about its inhabitants.  His presentation also magnifies how important it is for us to be a good steward of our planet.

What piece of advice would you give to someone coming to TEDActive for the first time? 
Do your best to sit in a different place during each Talk segment.  Part of what is amazing about TEDActive is the opportunity to meet unique and amazing people, and get different perspectives on each Ted Talk.  Taking the opportunity to listen from a different angle and sit with new people each time will open up the possibilities of seeing something you might miss, hearing something you might not catch and meeting someone you may not have seen otherwise.

What’s one thing you can’t live without?
The ocean.

Read all of the “Around the Campfire” profiles here. If you are attending TEDActive 2013 and would like to be included in this series, email tedactive@ted.com with your photo and answers to the questions above.

2 thoughts on ““Around the Campfire” Profile: Jay Blahnik”

  1. Love how you love Earth’s ocean. Me, too! So does TEDx speaker coach John Bates. Love Nike+! Very interested in gamification. While you are at Active, you might like a run through Joshua Tree.

    Like

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