TEDx San Diego. People spreading ideas.

Well, TED came to San Diego yesterday. It was a mind-blowing experience.

TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design. You've probably heard of the people who speak at the flagship event held every year, major leaguers like:  Bill Gates, Seth Godin and Bill Clinton. The TED website is one of my favorites where you can listen to or watch riveting talks by remarkable people.

Yesterday's local event was TEDx San Diego (x = independently organized.) How do I describe the day? My brain is overflowing. 22 speakers each gave a 15-minute talk offering inspiring new ideas. Some of my favorites included Marty Cooper, inventor of the cell phone and Bill Toone, who brought a new twist to conservation. Jake Shimaburkuro simply rocked the ukulele.

I had high expectations for TEDx San Diego and was so delighted when TEDxSD completely exceeded them in every way. I was completely unprepared for the community aspect of the event. The tagline of TED is “Ideas Worth Spreading.” The speakers were only a springboard. We were encouraged to meet new people and form new connections. We were asked to sit in a new seat next to people we didn’t know for every session. And instead of asking the typical what do you do questions, we were encouraged to ask “What do you love to do?”

These were some of the amazing people and fellow San Diegans that I met:

David Michael Bruno is the manager of online marketing at Point Loma Nazarene University. He started inspiring blog called 100 Thing Challenge, a project focused on breaking free from the constraints of American-style consumerism. He has a book about 100 Things coming out by HarperCollins.

Jamie Miller is an architect and founder of Urban Fabric Architecture. He proposes building office space out of shipping containers, so the building can grow with the needs of the company.

Joanna Wasmuth loves connecting people and resources to reduce poverty. Over lunch, she talked about her travels to over 25 countries where she saw unimaginable poverty. She is currently a strategic microfinance consultant at World Vision.

Sunni Black was a childhood hero of mine. She was a trainer and performer for many years for the Bird Show at the Wild Animal Park (now known as the San Diego Zoo Safari Park but don't get me started on that.) I loved that when I asked her what she studied in school she said she was an art major.

TEDx San Diego closed with the idea that what happens after the conference is what’s really important. We were encouraged to keep in touch with those new people we had met and encouraged to make a commitment to do something, whether professional, personal or volunteer in the upcoming year.

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TEDx San Diego wants ideas to turn into action.