TED Talks

TED talks are highly addictive and the most welcome, educational and inspiring time sink I can think of.  Last weekend I indulged and revisited some old friends and found some new ones I wanted to share. 

For those of you who are new to TED, TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment and Design.  Since, TED talks have spread in many directions and in particular onto their amazing website onto which all TED talk videos are uploaded.

One of my new favorites is Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love which I have not read nor have I seen the film, but that’s beside the point. Elizabeth’s TED talk is about your creative genius and it’s uplifting, wonderful and inspiring.

Another new favorite TED talker is Hans Rosling. You have to see for yourself how this MD and statistician morphs into a performer and comedian as he presents graphs in the most amazing fashion. What’s even better – his simple but mind-blowing animated graphs, called Gapminder are downloadable for free. 

Hans Rosling’s TED talk about the economic rise of Asia is an eye-opener – it sounds very sexy I know – and it IS! If you like this one you shouldn’t miss Hans Rosling’s talk on religions and babies

For a good hearty laugh and for learning about leadership, check out Derek Siver’s talk on how to start a movement. It’s a three minute talk and it’s funny and very poignant.  

Maz Jobrani, a stand-up comedian who’s part of “axis of evil comedy tour” talks about being Iranian-American. Maz’s TED talk is called “make jokes not bombs” or “did you hear the one about the Iranian-American”? 

The music band OK GO of treadmill fame asked Adam Sadowsky and his engineers to create Rube Goldberg machine.  See Adam’s Talk and the OK Go music video that resulted out of the collaboration.  The result is a real feat of creativity, tenacity and a dash of madness. 

I was blessed with an amazing grade school teacher, grade four through six, but John Hunter has a vision unlike any other teacher. He gives his grade school kids the tools to solve the world’s problems, by themselves.  John’s TED talk is inspiring and funny as it is amazing to see how these youngsters take ownership of a very complicated game, and go at conflict resolution with real thought and considerable skill.  

The TED website recently introduced playlists, which are either organized by topic or by personal tastes. If you care to know what turns on Bill Gates, Barbara Streisand or Bono, or you want to see videos related to topics like creativity, science or women’s issues, you’ll be busy for a while. 

So: go, watch and be dazzled; and throw your brain and soul a party!