Why TEDxToronto will change the world (and already is)

tedThere is a Buddhist saying that goes something like this: We are shaped by our thoughts and as such, we become what we think. In the spirit of sharing ideas across religion, race, creed and economic background, TED talks around the world have become an “ouchy” pillar of community building. Ouchy isn’t a dismissive term if you haven’t heard it used before. It means living raw in a both painful and liberating way and it’s the act of truly experiencing life. It means living with your heart hanging out in the air and letting the world in with strength and passion. And this is what TEDxToronto delivered.

Who would have thought that something as abstract ideas could resonate so universally? It’s this desire to bring the abstraction of ideas to life that inspired the theme, “A Call to Action” for TEDxToronto 2010. One of the most appealing factors about TED as a channel for change is the wide appeal of the speakers. These are people whom have not hid from suffering or adversity; they have lived the “ouchy” parallel and it’s apparent in their own call to actions. You can come from anywhere and take away something profound from the experience no matter who you are; this is the beauty of TED that exists in the idealist in all of us.

Standout quotes from this year’s event:

Sol Guy: “Define and re-define your passion everyday, no matter where you come from. People, planet and profit – this has got to be the crux of the new bottom line and we need to learn to create abundance by giving.”

Amanda Sussman: “Politics is ultimately about learning how to live with those who disagree with us. Change happens but in small steps. We need to shift away from extreme views in order to bring about a call to action.”

Trey Anthony: “Leave the space around you a better place than how you found it. Did you create space in this world or take up space?”

Neil Hetherington: “It’s only when we move away from the lights of the shore that we can see the stars.”

Neil Pasricha: “Life is so great that’s it’s only the fleeting moments we can enjoy. Attitude, Awareness and Authenticity? Those are the 3 A’s.”

Bruce Poon Tip: “Engage humans to a higher purpose, not just your product; core value lie at the heart of any product.”

Drew Dudley: “We have made leadership about changing the world. There is no world – just six billion versions of it.”

If TEDxToronto left me with one thing this year, it was with the knowledge that we have at least few great things ahead of us and behind us, no matter where we’ve come from. Maybe that’s what sustainable action is all about.