Jared Smith’s friends refer to him as a “maniac,” due to his penchant for self-punishment.
Co-founder of local marketing firm Incite, Smith is a third-degree karate black belt who lived in China for a stint—and has endured his share of intense physical regimens.
As a part of TEDxUAlberta’s ‘REBOOTEDx’ theme, Smith will share how training with Navy SEALs in San Diego helped him deal with high stress situations.
Smith is one of twelve diverse speakers presenting their unique ideas about local innovation—from urban agriculture initiatives and social housing projects to forensic psychology, artificial intelligence and the arts—at the second annual event. In his case, Smith talks about learning while “on the edge.”
“We often try and avoid crisis, and yet anyone that’s been through crisis would argue it’s the best thing that probably ever happened to them,” Smith explains. “At a minimum, [it’s] something that gave them profound insight into who they were. From a personal or business perspective, a crisis can create huge opportunity and real learning.”
Smith’s sister passed away a few years ago. Instead of falling into depression, he chose to recruit 10 friends to join him at the training camp.
“I signed up for this experience knowing from my past experience that it would give me a sense of direction and help me crystallize some learning about what happened,” Smith says of the regimen. “My talk is centered around creating your own crisis and the benefits that can come from that.”
A large part of his TEDxUAlberta talk focuses on being selfless during a crisis, a team-first approach developed during the training camp.
Despite injuries suffered by all participants—including concussions and a near-drowning—the notion of asking for help, and helping others lead to a greater sense of accomplishment.
As a seasoned public speaker, Smith enjoys being off-the-cuff while addressing his audience. This particular TEDx talk falls into the under 18 minutes category, forcing him pare down the address to a more compact length than he’s used to. The challenge was getting across the key points he wanted to emphasize in that timeline.
Smith is excited for the audience to hear his personal take on creating self-crisis, as well other approaches brought from the various speakers.
“The cool thing about the format is that there’s going to be an interesting perspective from everyone,” Smith says of the event. “To pull speakers together from all kinds of different disciplines, it’s such a great opportunity for people to attend.”
Sat., Feb. 25 (2 pm-8 pm)
Citadel Theatre, $60 to $80