Nearly 600 people turned out for the third annual TEDx San Diego conference Saturday.
The event included a series of short presentations and demonstrations by inspirational speakers covering a wide range of topics aimed to foster learning and taking action.
San Diego's TEDx conference is just one of thousands of similar events happening around the world, in hopes of making it a better place.
“The objective is really to inspire people to do some of things that they've been putting off and putting off and putting off, and get out there and start,” explained Jack Abbott of TEDx San Diego.
Saturday’s electric atmosphere included speakers like a man with cerebral palsy who climbed a half-dome and scientists who work on curing cancer or enabling people to control machines with their brain waves.
Another researcher who spoke displays his work on tattoo electronics, working to help people with innovative technology. Meanwhile, some business consultants talked about their mission helping San Quentin inmates form ideas for companies so they can find work when they're released.
The TEDx movement is spreading quickly, with online views of the events reaching over a billion last month.
The reason for the popularity is clear.
Attendees say they are inspired, invigorated and ready to improve the world around them.
Rancho Bernardo resident Rob Davis attended Saturday’s event and said the presentations really made him think,
“[I see] how I react and treat other people and the extent that I can have an influence on other people's lives in a positive way,” said Davis.
Meanwhile, San Diego State University graduate student Kevin Branson thought about how he can make a difference after listening to TEDx speakers.
“There are a couple of people that I can reach out to help,” said Branson.
“I think it's a great way to question for yourself: ‘What can you do for others? What can you do for your community? How can you push yourself.’” pondered Phoenix resident Wardah Jamil at TEDx San Diego.
Mission Bay resident Fran Benedict also felt inspired.
“It's the whole idea of tapping into our gifts we all have been given to make a difference in this world. And each of us has that,” added Benedict.