This page contains a listing of my favorite TED videos. The range from ingenious, inspirational, informative and wildly creative. I hope you enjoy them as much as I have.
A kinder, gentler philosophy of success. Alain de Botton examines our ideas of success and failure — and questions the assumptions underlying these two judgments. Is success always earned? Is failure? He makes an eloquent, witty case to move beyond snobbery to find true pleasure in our work. I blogged about this in my post: Job Snobbery
Bill Strickland makes change with a slide show. This video made me smile, laugh and cry. The ingenuity and passion of Mr. Strickland is changing the lives of thousands by changing how our children who have been left behind in the inner cities see themselves. Experience how he weaves his story of change with photos accompanied by live music from Herbie Hancock.
Jody Williams: Realistic View on World Peace. Nobel Peace laureate Jody Williams brings tough love to the dream of world peace, with her razor-sharp take on what “peace” really means, and a set of profound stories that zero in on the creative struggle — and sacrifice — of those who work for it.
Why our understanding of obesity and diabetes may be wrong: A Q&A with surgeon Peter Attia. Surgeon Peter Attia sees a disconcerting paradox at work when it comes to our health: while people are talking about eating healthily and exercising perhaps more than ever, we’re seeing no reduction in the rates of obesity and diabetes. As it stands, more than 8% of Americans are diabetic and an additional 26% are pre-diabetic — which represents a 400% increase since 1970. The answer to this riddle is not simply that people are lazy or unable to follow through on what they know is best for them. Attia wonders if, perhaps, our medical understanding of the relationship between obesity and diabetes may be wrong.
Ashraf Ghani on rebuilding broken states. Ashraf Ghani’s passionate and powerful 10-minute talk, emphasizing the necessity of both economic investment and design ingenuity to rebuild broken states, is followed by a conversation with TED curator Chris Anderson on the future of Afghanistan. Ashraf Ghani was a key figure in rebuilding Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban, and is a leading advocate for foreign investment (rather than foreign aid) as a tool for economic development and the eradication of poverty.
John Hunter puts all the problems of the world on a 4’x5′ plywood board — and lets his 4th-graders solve them. At TED2011, he explains how his World Peace Game engages schoolkids, and why the complex lessons it teaches — spontaneous, and always surprising — go further than classroom lectures can.
The Power of Vulnerability. Brené Brown studies human connection — our ability to empathize, belong, love. In a poignant, funny talk at TEDxHouston, she shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity. I wrote about this blog in my post: Wholeheartedness and Our Ability to Make Connections.
Margaret Heffernan: Dare to disagree. Most people instinctively avoid conflict, but as Margaret Heffernan shows us, good disagreement is central to progress. She illustrates (sometimes counterintuitively) how the best partners aren’t echo chambers — and how great research teams, relationships and businesses allow people to deeply disagree.
Esther Perel: The secret to desire in a long-term relationship. In long-term relationships, we often expect our beloved to be both best friend and erotic partner. But as Esther Perel argues, good and committed sex draws on two conflicting needs: our need for security and our need for surprise. So how do you sustain desire? With wit and eloquence, Perel lets us in on the mystery of erotic intelligence. In her practice and writing, Esther Perel helps loving couples navigate between the comfort of happy relationships and the thrilling uncertainty of sexual attraction.
Temple Grandin: The world needs all kinds of minds. Temple Grandin, diagnosed with autism as a child, talks about how her mind works — sharing her ability to “think in pictures,” which helps her solve problems that neurotypical brains might miss. She makes the case that the world needs people on the autism spectrum: visual thinkers, pattern thinkers, verbal thinkers, and all kinds of smart geeky kids.
Vikram Patel: Mental health for all by involving all. Nearly 450 million people are affected by mental illness worldwide. In wealthy nations, just half receive appropriate care, but in developing countries, close to 90 percent go untreated because psychiatrists are in such short supply. Vikram Patel outlines a highly promising approach — training members of communities to give mental health interventions, empowering ordinary people to care for others.
A choreographer’s creative process in real time. If you’ve ever wondered how a choreographer creates movements, you will enjoy this video! Wayne McGregor demonstrates how a choreographer communicates ideas to an audience, working with two dancers to build phrases of dance, live and unscripted.
The price of happiness is a surprising recount of author Benjamin Wallace’s experience in sampling the world’s most expensive products, including a bottle of 1947 Chateau Cheval Blanc, 8 ounces of Kobe beef and the fabled (notorious) Kopi Luwak coffee. His critique may surprise you.
Disorientation and Change. Reggie Watts’ beats defy boxes. Unplug your logic board and watch as he blends poetry and crosses musical genres in this larger-than-life performance. My favorite quote: “It is not so much as so little as to do with what everything is but it is within our self interest to understand the topography of our lives unto ourselves.”
How to spot a liar. On any given day we’re lied to from 10 to 200 times, and the clues to detect those lie can be subtle and counter-intuitive. Pamela Meyer, author of Liespotting, shows the manners and “hotspots” used by those trained to recognize deception — and she argues honesty is a value worth preserving. Pamela Meyer thinks we’re facing a pandemic of deception, but she’s arming people with tools that can help take back the truth. Favorite quote: “Lying is a cooperative act.”
Elizabeth Pisani: Sex, drugs and HIV — let’s get rational. Armed with bracing logic, wit and her “public-health nerd” glasses, Elizabeth Pisani reveals the myriad of inconsistencies in today’s political systems that prevent our dollars from effectively fighting the spread of HIV. Her research with at-risk populations — from junkies in prison to sex workers on the street in Cambodia — demonstrates the sometimes counter-intuitive measures that could stall the spread of this devastating disease.
Cameron Russell: Looks aren’t everything. Believe me, I’m a model. Cameron Russell admits she won “a genetic lottery”: she’s tall, pretty and an underwear model. But don’t judge her by her looks. In this fearless talk, she takes a wry look at the industry that had her looking highly seductive at barely 16-years-old.