The Ten Best TED Talks

October 6, 2012
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Entrancing internet users since 2006, TED Talks exist to stir human curiosity and question mere ideas and “realities” that many of us assume as axiomatic. The topics and speakers are vast in scope and tone, but here’s a selection of our favorite TED Talks:

1. YouTube: Herald Of The Digital Renaissance

This TED Talk is given by none other than its head, Chris Anderson. In it, Anderson waxes poetic on the importance and influence of YouTube in fomenting a unique learning renaissance that is inherently democratic and international.

2. Jill Bolte Taylor’s “Stroke” Of Insight

One morning, a blood vessel burst within neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor’s brain. She suffered a stroke and was unable to speak, move or comprehend anything. In this talk, she describes her stroke, her recovery and the structure of the human brain that connects all of us to one another.

3. The Depths Of David Gallo’s Insights

In this talk, it is the video that speaks more than the speaker. Here, David Gallo takes the audience to the depths of the sea, revealing to us an astonishing world unseen by most eyes.

4. Benjamin Zander’s Connection Between Classical Music And Creativity

Acclaimed composer and conductor Benjamin Zander discusses the incredible link between classical music and creativity, and one that cultivates lasting relationships among all of us.

5. The Paradox Of Choice

Psychologist Barry Schwartz debunks the Western notion that maximum choice brings about maximum welfare. Choice, Schwartz suggests, hasn’t made us feel more free; rather, it has paralyzed us into a perpetual state of dissatisfaction.

6. A Green Future Sans Fossil Fuels

A future that flourishes without the use of fossil fuels might seem a bit utopian, but to Shai Agassi it is attainable by 2020. In this talk, Agassi advocates the use of the electric car to impact carbon emissions and reveals his own company’s plan of making entire countries oil-free within the next eight years.

7. Creativity’s Greatest Enemy? The School

Taking this rather contentious opinion, English author and speaker Ken Robinson advocates rewiring the contemporary education system to encourage–not undermine–creativity, not only for children but for the future of international innovation.

8. The Incredible Potential Of Sixth Sense Technology

What once was considered only possible within darkened theaters and editing studios in Hollywood, the “sixth sense” takes on a new meaning with Pranav Mistry. Here, Mistry unveils his incredible SixthSense device–an apparatus that convenes the digital and physical world–and a paper thin computer.

9. The Power Of Vulnerability

What many consider a weakness, Brene Brown considers a formidable strength. Brown advocates that leaning into discomfort or making oneself vulnerable only opens doors to connection and increased understanding of humanity.

10. Understanding The Universe

In this legendary TED Talk, Professor Stephen Hawking ponders the most basic and overriding of questions: what is the universe, where did it come from and are we alone in it?