Project O hosts first ever TEDx Laguna Beach at Rivian South Coast Theater on April 21

One hundred local nature lovers are coming together to celebrate Earth Day on Sunday, April 21, for TEDx Laguna Beach, hosted at the newly revived Rivian South Coast Theater.

The event is presented by the local nonprofit Project O. “We are honored to provide the TEDx platform to an amazing group of speakers who will share their expertise on a variety of topics relevant both to Laguna Beach and the world as a whole,” said Project O founder and co-organizer Rich German. “And we are delighted to be able to do it at the Rivian Theater right across from Main Beach.”

The event theme is Ocean. Earth. Humanity and the organizers have compiled an eclectic group of speakers with an “idea worth sharing.” Topics include ocean conservation, education, art, design, social justice and spirituality.

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(L-R) TEDx Laguna Beach is co-organized by local ocean conservationist and paddleboarding photographer Rich German; long-time Laguna resident and respected producer Bedonna Smith, and environmental activist, producer and avid surfer Steve Reiss

Several speakers are local to Laguna Beach, including Surfrider CEO Dr. Chad Nelsen, Laguna College of Art + Design President Steve Brittan, Rev. Rod Echols of the Neighborhood Congregational Church and Laguna Beach High School student Logan Teeple.

“I am honored to speak at TEDx Laguna Beach because my love for the ocean and desire to protect it was founded here,” said Dr. Chad Nelsen. “This TEDx is a celebration of Ocean, Earth and Humanity and is centered around this special place.”

Chumash Storyteller Alan Salazar will also take the stage, along with civil rights attorney Annee Della Donna and marine biologist Nancy Caruso.

“I am so excited to share my ocean experiences and big ideas on this ‘big stage.’ It’s a great opportunity to share with the local audience and on the TEDx global platform,” said Caruso.

TEDx Laguna Beach is an independently produced event operated under a license from TED. It is being organized by Rich German of Project O, Bedonna Smith and Steve Reiss. Evelina Marchetti, who specializes in zero-waste events, is the executive producer. Image Solutions in Irvine is creating the iconic TEDx Laguna Beach stage lettering with Falconboard instead of styrofoam, making them 100% sustainable.

Top sponsors include Rivian, Kelly Slater’s Outerknown, the Mike Johnson Group and Visit Laguna Beach. Starfish Restaurant is providing catering with support from MIIR and Equator.

“We are confident this will be a meaningful, memorable event and hope it becomes an annual staple at the Rivian Theater that the city of Laguna Beach can take great pride in,” said German.

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, TED Talks 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.)

For more details on the event and to get on the waitlist for tickets to next year’s event, go to

Follow the event on Instagram at

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