A few years ago I was introduced to TED. If you don't know by now, TED stands for Technology Entertainment and Design. It represents one of the most explosive and dynamic platforms for cultural change, art and innovation. With a waiting list and a $5,000 price tag to attend (and only if you're invited) TED graciously offers all its talks online for free.
I got to go to TEDxUSC last year and met Chris Anderson (pictured below) the now Rock Star curator for TED and it was an extraordinary experience. (For details on how I embarrassingly got this picture, email me). TED has been a great source of inspiration for me and I wanted to share with you my top 10 talks (thus far!) and a little bit about why each made the list for me. Enjoy!
10. David Gallo - Underwater Astonishments
Check out minute marker 4:18. The next 60 seconds will blow your mind.
9. Elaine Morgan - We Evolved From Aquatic Apes
I love people who champion the minority opinion. Elaine displays such courage and-- interestingly enough-- insight. Inspiration to challenge the powers-that-be.
8. Barry Schwartz - Our Loss of Wisdom
If you love this talk you'll love Barry's books. This is one of the best talks making a case for values-based leadership rather than rules based.
7. Bill Strickland - Make Change with a Slide Show
A little on the long side, but worth watching 10 minutes of. The only talk as far as I know that is accompanied by music. Simply beautiful and inspiring for anyone who wants to create change in the world.
6. Robert Neuwirth - Shadow Cities
Giving dignity to the "slums" that will be tomorrow's cities. If you want to influence the future you need to understand this trend. Inspired me to skype with a "shadow city" expert in South Africa to learn more.
5. Wade Davis - Endangered Cultures
A speech where prose and poetry become indistinguishable. Begs the question: is it possible to create culture and preserve culture at the same time?
4. Jacqueline Novogratz - A Third Way To Think About Aid
One of the most influential quotes for me came from this talk: "Dignity is more important to the human spirit than wealth."
3. JJ Abrams - Mystery Box
The best talk on storytelling that I've ever heard. As an aspiring (and occasionally inspiring) storyteller I think about this talk often. Plus JJ is hilarious.
2. Elizabeth Gilbert - Nurturing Creativity
The best pragmatic case ever made for a spirituality outside of humanity. The world needs more women communicators and Elizabeth is a great example of what one looks like.
1. Sir Ken Robinson - Schools Kill Creativity
I love education. My parents are amazing educators, as were my parent's parents. I teach at Pepperdine University. Years from now this talk will be referenced as a turning point in how America (and the world) looks at education. Welcome to the future.
Posted on Tue, March 2, 2010