A Guide to the 10 Best TED Talks Ever!
One of our favorite things to do here in Funkmeyer-land is head on over to TED.com and watch one of the amazing TED talks, which always feature some of the world’s most amazing minds giving “the talk of their lives.” We’ve watched more of these videos than we can even remember, and these are without question our favorite 10!
A brand new #1! Chris Anderson – How YouTube is Driving Innovation
This one speaks near and dear to our hearts. TED head honcho Chris Anderson (not to be confused with the Wired Magazine Long Tail Chris Anderson) speaks on how the force of Youtube–online video–is causing a global renaissance in learning. As everyone in the world is able to see the level that everyone in the world is at in every possible thing there is to be into in the world, the rate of progress starts to head exponential.
It is truly a new reality out there folks!
1: Jill Bolte Taylor – My Stroke of Insight
This talk starts off the list because it is probably the most powerful of them all. It actually has the potential to change your life. Jill was a brain scientist who experienced a brain hemorrhage. Her experience caused her to see the two hemispheres of the brain individually. While experiencing the left hemisphere, she called an ambulance and worried about her condition. At times, this experience would fade into the right hemisphere, and everything would start melting into everything else. Numbers and letters stopped making sense. She was thrown into a state of timelessness.
Her delivery of this story and the affect it had on her is nothing short of astonishing. Highly recommended.
2: Hans Rosling: The Coolest Statistics You’ve Ever Seen
When we watched this, we were skeptical. It was highly rated on the TED website, but it sounded pretty boring. Statistics about third-world countries moving out of poverty. Yawn. But the star of the show turned out to be the statistics themselves. In a real *WHOOOOAAAA* moment, Hans makes the statistics dance and shows how our world is changing in truly beautiful, truly positive way. His delivery is as inspiring as his message.
This is a real feel-good talk that will make you love how ingenious we humans can be.
3: Dan Gilbert explains how we generate our own happiness
This talk is another stunner. Harvard psychology professor Dan Gilbert presents research which clearly makes the case that happiness is something we invent. It is not something that happens to us. It is not based on how well our lives are going. It is not even real. It is just something we make up and in so doing, create the story of our lives.
Gilbert uses many funny and startling examples such as a life-long, wrongly-convicted prisoner who describes his 70+ years of confinement as “exquisite” to show that life is not all that it seems.
4: The poet Rives tells a hilarious tale about 4AM
This “talk,” which is more like a performance piece, is just plain awesome. Linking together google results, popular song lyrics, and the dates of various art movements, Rives weaves together a narrative out of thin air.
The guy is a true virtuoso and this is the best of his many TED talks! Check it out.
5: David Gallo shows the most amazing underwater footage you’ve ever seen
This one is great because it’s quick and it’s all visuals. This is some of the craziest footage you will ever see and it’s amazing that these aquatic animals are alive on this planet at this time. They make aliens look normal.
This is a great talk to share with friends and to just be inspired at how amazing creation truly is.
6: Jimmy Wales explains the birth of Wikipedia
If there is anything other than Google that has most changed the world in the past 10 years, it’s gotta be Wikipedia. The coolest thing about Wikipedia of course is that we all created it. Now one of the top 10 websites in the world, Wikipedia still maintains a staff of under 40 and is almost entirely run by the community.
Founder Jimmy Wales shares the experience of making it and how it was created from a previous failure and shows the audacity that enormous vision requires. A very inspiring talk.
7: Benjamin Zander gives a passionate speech about classical music and creativity
This talk is so powerful because of the passion of the speaker. Benjamin Zander took me, someone who could for the most part care less about classical music, and made me passionate about it as well, at least for 20 minutes!
He addresses the disconnect between classical music and mainstream society and shows how alive and passionate the music really can be when it is understood and played with vitality.
8: Sir Kenneth Robinson argues that schools kill creativity
Sir Robinson shows what we’ve all secretly known to be true. School is a bad thing that hurts kids and turns them into consuming, desk-jobbing robots. But he makes the point with wit, with clarity, and with compassion, and puts forth a vision of how things could be different, right now, in this world.
The kind of talk everyone should see once.
9: Barry Schwartz explains why too much choice is a bad thing
Barry Schwartz basically runs a chainsaw through the most basic modern American assumption: MORE CHOICE IS BETTER and less choice is Communism! Schwartz shows that too much choice is paralyzing and that it leads to indecisiveness and it makes us less happy with what we do have–wondering if we made the right choice or not!
This is a great talk for questioning the basic assumptions of what we think we know to be true.
10: Shai Agassi shows how we can create a green future with no fossil fuels
Holy Shmoley! This guy might just change the world with his electric car goodness! I am really amazed at his vision and the fact he seems to be actually making it happen. He could go down as the modern day Henry Ford or Bill Gates.
His talk is professional, inspiring, pragmatic, and hopeful! Well worth watching.