2013 Speaker Spotlight: Jeff Shinabarger
Jeff Shinabarger‘s motto in life is “we will be known by the problems we solve,” and one problem Jeff, a social entrepreneur, founder of Plywood People, GiftCardGiver.com, and author of More or Less: Choosing a Lifestyle of Excessive Generosity is trying to solve is poverty.
His work at Plywood People helps support charitable organizations to provide relief to the poor, distressed and underprivileged. Plywood does so by education through events and conferences, and implementation through Gift Card Giver and Billboard Bags.
He will be giving his first TEDx talk next month with us and is humbled at the opportunity to share his ideas. “Some of my greatest living heroes have graced the stage of TED and my life has been shaped by their thoughts,” he said. “I hope to have something to share that resonates with others.”
One way that Jeff is shaping the lives of others is through his book. In his book, he questions readers to determine what “enough” means. He put that question to the test and started an experiment. Jeff wondered if he had enough food in his pantry to survive for a month. It turns out, he had enough food to last him two.
“More often than ever, we eat through every ounce of food that we have,” he said. “We have changed many habits. We love food, but we have found that we do better eating fresh food and clear our shelves more often.”
Jeff credits the people in his life for giving him rarely deserved catalytic moments. “Without people around me that have given me opportunities, I would never have the influence I have today. When I think about that, it inspires me to platform others and give them opportunities to dream and share their dreams with others.” He adds. “I hope I can play a role like this in other people’s developing stories.”
As a social entrepreneur, Jeff is paving the way for others with the same passion and drive. He is a mentor to many social innovators and he enjoys seeing them succeed. “Digging into their projects and finding opportunities to do things differently fuels me with energy. Ultimately, there are people in our society that have great needs and if we can create new ideas that address simple needs, it is a life giving.”
One of the greatest moments in his life was going through the adoption process for his daughter, which changed his life changed forever. In fact, he and his wife quickly became advocates and educators for adoption after their own success. Jeff is a man who is passionate about his family. If he were to change the world and lose his family, he’d equate that as a loss. He has dreams of seeing Atlanta as a center for social innovation, but doesn’t want to succeed at the cost of negatively influencing his family.
“I hope to raise kids that are changing the world and that, takes time, energy and creativity.”
Let Jeff Shinabarger inspire you at TEDxPeachtree on November 8. Purchase your tickets here today!
Emily Yang is the communications coordinator for Leadership DeKalb and is looking forward to her first TEDxPeachtree event on November 8.