Ever since the organizers at TED started posting video footage of the conference talks, back in 2006, I have been watching avidly, and bugging my friends to do the same: each in their own way, most if not all of the presenters are truly fascinating and inspiring, both in substance and in style.
TED is now digging into its archives, posting talks going all the way back to the very first edition in 1984. Faced with this accelerating stream of great content to consume and disseminate, I am giving up on spamming friends with email to highlight this or that talk. Instead, here’s my growing list of favorite presentations, in no particular order.
Neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor: My stroke of insight.
Sir Ken Robinson challenges the way we’re educating children.
Majora Carter: Greening the ghetto.
Anna Deavere Smith: Four American characters.
Arthur Benjamin: Lightning calculation and other Mathemagic.
Craig Venter: on the verge of creating synthetic life.
Matthieu Ricard: habits of happiness.
Malcolm Gladwell: What we can learn from spaghetti sauce.
Erin McKean: Redefining the dictionary.
Hans Rosling: Debunking myths with the best stats you’ve ever seen.
Patrick Awuah: Educating a new generation of African leaders.
Larry Lessig: How creativity is being strangled by the law.
Nicholas Negroponte: From 1984, 4 predictions about the future.
Ideas worth spreading, indeed.
I read “My Stroke of Insight” in one sitting – I couldn’t put it down. I laughed. I cried. It was a fantastic book (I heard it’s a NYTimes Bestseller and I can see why!), but I also think it will be the start of a new, transformative Movement! No one wants to have a stroke as Jill Bolte Taylor did, but her experience can teach us all how to live better lives. Her TED.com speech was one of the most incredibly moving, stimulating, wonderful videos I’ve ever seen. Her Oprah Soul Series interviews were fascinating. They should make a movie of her life so everyone sees it. This is the Real Deal and gives me hope for humanity.