This year is all about encouraging social progress at TEDxTysons.

The Northern Virginia-based branch of TED’s local and independently-organized events, TEDx, dedicated their 2017 theme to what they’ve dubbed “[i]MPACT“, exploring the effects of local activists, philanthropists and entrepreneurs on the Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. community.

And it all culminates this Saturday, at their 2017 TEDx Talk at the Capitol One Auditorium in Tysons Corner.

The day-long event will feature 17 speakers with local radio personality Sarah Fraser and award-winning author Andrew Chapman serving as co-hosts. Most of the speakers are from the DMV area, said TEDxTysons co-founders Josh Stillman and Ashwood Heffern.

One is McLean high school student Liam McKinley, a 10th grader at The Potomac School. McKinley created a “conversational bot front-end to Google Classroom for students and parents.” The bot won him first place in 2016 at the International VentureBeat Botathon.

Vienna-based Jack and Alley Dufour will share their experiences working with people with disabilities through their company Taalum Totes. Virginian residents with disabilities create and sell backpacks using traditional fabrics from around the world, and 20% of their proceeds go back to the country where the fabric originated from in the form of micro-loans.

Stillman and Heffern, along with a third co-founder, started TEDxTysons in 2015. Saturday’s event will be their second to date.

Being so close to D.C., they said, is a huge plus.

“Aside from the government and political and international aid themes here, there’s a large tech scene [in the District] and that aligns very well with TED and the TED brand being so tech and socially-oriented,” Stillman said.

They’re expecting around 400 to 450 guests on Saturday – four times what they saw at last year’s inaugural event.

Heffern says he hopes the audience will walk away feeling inspired and motivated to generate change in their communities.

“The mission [is] building a community and connecting the community here in Tysons,” he said. “[It’s about] inspiring people to feel confident enough that they, too, can add value to the community they’re a part of.”

TEDxTyson [i]MPACT will take place this Saturday at the Capitol One Auditorium in Tysons Corner, Va., from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tickets are available here.

CC BY-ND 2.0 – Credit TEDxOaklandUniversity