The Coast News Group
Stephen Wampler, the first person with cerebral palsy to scale Yosemite National Park’s El Capitan, talked about his arduous six-day trek to the top of the mountain, the subject of a documentary called “Wampler’s Ascent.” Throughout his March 15 TedX Encinitas monologue, he said a willingness to try in the first place and perseverance are important for tackling any goal. Photos by Jared Whitlock

Local ideas worth spreading: TedX comes to Encinitas

ENCINITAS — At TedX Encinitas, 22 speakers delivered monologues, ranging from eight to 15 minutes, on issues important to them March 15 at the Seaside Center for Spiritual Living.

They included San Diegans Steve Wampler, the first person with cerebral palsy to climb El Capitan in Yosemite National Park, and Alex Kajitani, the California Teacher of the Year in 2009.

Ted Talks, a global phenomenon, is all about sharing new ideas and sparking discussion through conferences and videos. Resident Bobbi Cecio, the organizer of TedX Encinitas, said she put together the local version with the aim of spurring action.

“Our focus with our speakers and in developing their talks has been about the impetus for action — it’s not about a cause, a great idea, a passion,” Cecio said. We all have those, but we don’t all take action. What causes action?”

Cecio, who is also the co-founder and director of Village Gate Children’s Academy, said she chose to host the event in Encinitas to give back to the city. She envisions a TedX Encinitas every March.

“This is a unique community that’s open to new concepts,” Cecio said.

In roughly three weeks, videos of the monologues will be posted online at and

During TedX Encinitas, Nancy Hughes said women in remote villages throughout the world cook with open fires, resulting in many families inhaling the equivalent of two packs of cigarettes a day. Smoke from open fires kills more than eight times as many people as malaria and is extremely damaging to the environment, she noted. 
Hughes worked with engineers to develop a cleaner stove. To build them, she founded StoveTeam International, an organization that helps entrepreneurs in Latin America establish factories that produce affordable, fuel-efficient cook stoves. Visit to get involved. 
Alex Kajitani, the California Teacher of the Year in 2009, said race is still important in classrooms, recalling a student who couldn’t complete his homework because of the stress that came with immigration services putting his uncle on a bus back to Mexico. 
By ignoring race, teachers push aside real student experiences, he said. But when race is talked about the right way, it encourages a positive environment and culturally relevant learning.   
Michael Canning, CEO of Duke Corporate Education, said that in an era of fast change and short business cycles, when companies are looking for a direction forward, they shouldn’t rely as much on studies charting past market trends. Now, businesses should focus more on experimenting early, and less time modeling. “Jump in and act earlier than before,” Canning said.