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Home My Blog I love TED.com

I love TED.com

Tuesday, 09 November 2010 18:38

I discovered TED.com about a year and a half ago when I came across Elizabeth Gilbert's wonderful talk on creativity and genius.  It is still one of my favourite TED talks.

TED.com is a small non-profit devoted to ideas worth spreading.  It started as a conference bringing together people from 3 worlds - Technology, Entertainment and Design.  Since then its scope has become ever broader.

The website was launched in April 2007 with rivetting talks by remarkable people, free to the world.

As a small business owner, I often work alone, so watching a TED talk while I am eating my lunch helps me to feel connected.

It makes me feel so happy that there are so many wonderful people doing amazing things and the passion is palpable.

I thought I would share with you 5 of my favourite talks so far:

  • Elizabeth Gilbert on nurturing creativity www.ted.com/talks/elizabeth_gilbert_on_genius.html.  Elizabeth is so amazing in this talk - I want to be like her when I grow up.  She so obviously loves writing.  It is the work that she was put on this world to do.  Elizabeth is such a great storyteller and so vividly describes the maddening capriciousness of the creative process (her words) and those transcendent moments when time stops.  I love the story about the poet, Ruth Stone, running like hell so that the poem would not barrell through her before she could get her hands on paper and pencil.  Elizabeth's message - don't be afraid to do your job; your life's work.
  • Benjamin Zander on music and passion www.ted.com/talks/benjamin_zander_on_music_and_passion.html.  I fell in love with Benjamin.  He is so passionate about music.  He talks about one buttock playing, that you cannot be tone deaf (everybody has a fantastic ear) and that he wants everyone to love and understand classical music.  He plays the Chopin Prelude in E Minor and I love how he explains that the job of the C is to make the B sad.  As a conductor, he came to understand that it is his job to awaken possibility in other people.  He wonders, as I go out into the world how many shining eyes are around me.  And lastly, it makes a difference what we say - 'I will never say anything that couldn't stand as the last thing I said' is a wonderful possibility to live into.
  • Jill Bolte Taylor's stroke of insight www.ted.com/talks/jill_bolte_taylor_s_powerful_stroke_of_insight.html.  The first time I watched Jill's talk it had a profound effect on me.  I was so excited.  She had experienced so profoundly the grandeur of this present moment.  Jill is a brain researcher who studied her own stroke as it happened.  She actually does a show and tell of a human brain with the spinal cord dangling and I was amazed at how the two hemispheres are completely separate.  She explains how the two hemispheres process information differently.  Her left hemisphere shuts down completely and she describes how it feels to operate entirely from the right hemisphere.  We really do have two cognitive minds that see the world so differently.  Incredible!
  • Viktor Frankl on why to believe in others www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/viktor_frankl_youth_in_search_of_meaning.html.  This is a short talk, only a few minutes, but very inspiring.  He quotes Goethe 'If we take man as he is, we make him worse but if we take man as he should be, we make him capable of becoming what he can be'. 
  • Michael Sandel on what's the right thing to do www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/michael_sandel_what_s_the_right_thing_to_do.html.  Michael Sandel teaches political philosophy at Harvard.  I listened to his talk and found it fascinating.  I was becoming really interested in philosophy and I have always wanted to study at Harvard so here was a great opportunity for a taste.  I came across Justice with Michael Sandel at www.justiceharvard.org.  I was so excited.  It is the first course Harvard has ever made available to everyone, online.  Justice is one of the most popular courses in Harvard's history.  In his 12 part series, Sandel challenges us with difficult moral dilemmas and asks our opinion about the right thing to do.  I have listened to a few of the episodes and I would love to start up a Discussion Circle.  What a great opportunity.

I have always loved reading but I do agree with Chris Anderson (the curator of TED) about the power of video - he talks about the rise of web videos driving a world wide phenomenon he calls crowd accelerated innovation.  It enables us to connect in a really powerful way.

I have noticed that 3 of the talks in my top 5 are in the most favourite list of all time for TED.  A part of me was a touch disappointed that I am not unique but a much greater part of me is so excited that we all recognise quality.

I would love to hear about your favourite TED talks. 


 

 

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