Yesterday I was debating on my attendance for TEDxSF. The day wasn’t the most pleasant with a heaving spattering of rain. I ended up going anyways and never looked back on that decision. I must say that TEDxSF V ALIVE! was absolutely amazing. It was one of the few places I found in the Bay Area which had such a great culmination of interesting people who see a problem and know how to fix it.

You know you’ve had an interesting day when you’ve met an Indian who grew up Brazil who is fluent in Hindi, Portuguese and English. Or when you meet an aspiring rapper who also wishes to make an impact through NGO work, a freak CS dropout working on improving computer science education at a young age and the co-founder of Lookout. Though these people have very diverse backgrounds, what binds them together is their humanity and desire to live a fulfilling life. These people are not tools, but rather the agents of change to issues of concern to them. I was indeed very impressed and inspired.

Perhaps the pinnacle speaker for me was Andres Torres, the Giants player whom recently made the MLB after 12 years in the minor league. His story was one of extreme perseverance. He arrived in the US at the age of 18 and began practicing his swing by batting against the mattress which he slept on. He worked his way up into the minor leagues, but found himself stuck. Presented with circumstances in which most of other players would’ve given up and sought other careers, he kept at it and eventually broke into the MLB after 12 grueling years. This to me is perseverance and also extreme fortitude to withstand criticism and white noise that distract one from their path in life.

TEDxSF was my second TEDx event and I would definitely say that the quality of attendees and speakers trumped my wildest expectations. The beauty of TED is its ability to disseminate this form of acute form of humanity and desire for action to a greater audience to inspire creation as opposed to subjugation. This form of inspiration is just as important as the hard scientific research being conducted in the fields of biotech and quantum computing. In short, TEDx was really emblematic of my expectations of the Bay Area as being the innovation capital of the world.