TED is a favourite of mine and is a huge source of inspiration to me regularly. In case you have not yet met TED, let me introduce you:
TED is owned by The Sapling Foundation, a private nonprofit foundation.
The goal of the foundation is to foster the spread of great ideas. It aims to provide a platform for the world’s smartest thinkers, greatest visionaries and most-inspiring teachers, so that millions of people can gain a better understanding of the biggest issues faced by the world, and a desire to help create a better future. Core to this goal is a belief that there is no greater force for changing the world than a powerful idea. Consider:
- An idea can be created out of nothing except an inspired imagination.
- An idea weighs nothing.
- It can be transferred across the world at the speed of light for virtually zero cost.
- And yet an idea, when received by a prepared mind, can have extraordinary impact.
- It can reshape that mind’s view of the world.
- It can dramatically alter the behavior of the mind’s owner.
- It can cause the mind to pass on the idea to others.
From left: Al Gore at TED2006; Jane Goodall at TED2003; Brian Greene at TED2005
TED is devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. Along with the annual TED Conference in Long Beach, California, and the TEDGlobal conference in Oxford UK, TED includes the award-winning TEDTalks video site, the Open Translation Program, the new TEDx community program, this year’s TEDIndia Conference and the annual TED Prize.
I’ve never physically been to a conference but I go to TED.com often and I’m always inspired by what I find there. On TED.com, they make the best talks and performances from TED and partners available to the world, for free. More than 450 TEDTalks are now available, with more added each week. All of the talks feature closed captions in English, and many feature subtitles in various languages. These videos are released under a Creative Commons license, so they can be freely shared and reposted.
TED mission: Spreading ideas. (Quoted directly from their website)
We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world. So we’re building here a clearinghouse that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world’s most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other. This site, launched April 2007, is an ever-evolving work in progress, and you’re an important part of it. Have an idea? We want to hear from you.
This would be where I insert a TEDTalks video but there are just so many too choose from that I couldn’t decide on only one. So here is the link to the sites most favourite talks: http://www.ted.com/talks/list
Here is a small list of just a few talks that I have enjoyed:
Chimamanda Adichie: The danger of a single story
Jill Bolte Taylor’s stroke of insight
Elizabeth Gilbert on nurturing creativity
William Kamkwamba: How I harnessed the wind
Eve Ensler: happiness in body and soul
Mary Roach: 10 things you didn’t know about orgasm
The talks are all usually around 18 minutes long each so before you start to explore them you may want to get comfortable; it’s easy to get watching these videos and forget everything else.