More than a dozen social leaders gathered last Thursday to speak at the second annual community-organized TEDx conference, bringing ideas on leadership, health, charity, politics and passion to one stage.

This year’s theme was “A Call to Action,” and the underlying message from the speakers was that in order to make any difference in the world, change must start with one person: you. Here are some of their ideas.

Drew Dudley, founder of Nuance Leadership Inc.:
Dudley believes we shouldn’t try to change the whole world, we just need to change our part of it.

“We’ve made leadership into something bigger than us, something beyond us, we made it about changing the world. We’ve taken the title of leader and made it into something that one day we’re going to deserve.”

Sol Guy, film producer, K’Naan’s manager, and creator of MTV’s 4REAL:
Guy expressed the importance of people, the planet and profit, but the biggest “P” he pushed was passion. “How do you give real change? I think you need to be a better human, because living is giving. You’ve got to show up every day, passionate.”

Amanda Sussman, senior advisor to Plan International, Canada:
Sussman questioned: if you can do one action, how can you make sure that it has a chance of moving something forward? “I believe change does happen, but it happens in small steps ... If we want [politicians] to truly represent our views, we have to make them known loud and clear.”

Trey Anthony, creator and star of GlobalTV’s Da Kink in my Hair:
Besides doing what you love or quitting the job you hate, she urges you to leave the world in a better place than when you showed up. “Dream beyond your circumstances. Break out of the box that they’ve put you in, that you’ve put yourself in.”

Neil Pasricha, bestselling author of The Book of Awesome:
Look at things like you are looking at them for the first time, it will bring out new experiences and open your eyes to the good that is already there or could be. “If you live your life with a great attitude, with a sense of awareness of the world around you, embracing your inner three-year-old and being authentic to yourself, letting your heart lead you and putting you in experiences that satisfy you, then I think you'll live a life that is rich and satisfying. I think you will live a life that is truly awesome.”

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