Jacob Jolibois, a speaker at TEDxLSU 2018, wants to make our lives a much more beautiful experience through the application of design tenets. Jacob is the Director of Digital Strategy at MESH, a marketing agency in Baton Rouge. Both inside and outside of his profession, he uses his design skills to create lasting and memorable experiences, online and off.
We recently chatted with Jacob to discuss his work and life. Read some highlights of the conversation below.
What’s the first thing you do every morning?
My mornings are a sacred time for me. It’s a time where I’m thinking about my day and refocusing on what matters. So the first thing I do is turn my coffee pot on and hop in the shower. The shower isn’t necessarily to get clean, but it’s to get that focused atmosphere. I think way better in the shower.
Where in Baton Rouge do you go to relax?
My favorite places to recenter, calm down and refocus are the parks. Whenever I get into nature, trees, fresh air and grass, I always have this energy that is really healthy and for me, helps me get through the business of life. Like BREC’s Perkins Road Community Park. It has a skate park, it has a rock wall, it has volleyball courts — there’s a variety of things to do there. So if I get bored doing one thing, I can always switch to another.
Tell us about your podcast.
I run a podcast with Abe Felix called altBR. A lot of folks have grown up in Baton Rouge and feel like there’s not a lot going on or a lot to be proud of. We’re trying to open up their eyes to all of the good of the city. We’re trying to give voice to the people who are marginalized in some fashion, or are progressing the social conversation and social good. These people are doing things for the city and actually getting their hands dirty with different projects and organizations.
What advice do you have for someone starting their own podcast?
Make sure that you’re producing content that users want. Try to figure out what value could be added to their lives, and how that would actually affect their lives.
Of all the other TEDxLSU 2018 speakers, who would you switch jobs with?
Probably Rebekah Monson. She does civic hacking and I feel like all of the knowledge, skill and experience that she has could really translate well to this city.
You are a person of many talents. What are you terrible at?
There’s quite a number of things that I’m not good at. The great thing about being terrible at some things is there are other people who are great at these things. You get to surround yourself with these people, so your life becomes this never-ending source of knowledge and skill sets that opens doors of opportunity for you to accomplish whatever it is you set your mind to. Not alone, but as a community.
What’s your superpower?
It would have to be my ability to listen and ask good questions. I’ve been able to connect people that weren’t previously connected, which has produced new ideas and opportunities for myself and for those involved.
What’s your alternate reality career?
It would be this strange combination of bioengineering and being an astronaut so I could potentially go to Mars. The first thing I would design is government. I feel like there’s a huge opportunity to re-think the way government works.
If you were to make a list of untapped potential in Baton Rouge, what is at the top of your list?
High schoolers don’t realize what potential the community has, and what opportunity there is for them to fit into that picture. As a result, as soon as they get a chance, they’re leaving. Show them that they can make a difference and have pride in the city. If we can do that and keep all of that talent in Baton Rouge there is no telling what we can do.
To learn more about Jacob or about TEDxLSU 2018, follow TEDxLSU on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Reserve your seat now to listen to Jacob’s talk, as well as the talks of all of the other TEDxLSU 2018 speakers.