The blurb: TED is a non profit organisation whose self stated mission is to 'share ideas worth spreading'. It started in 1984 as a conference bringing together people from Technology, Entertainment and Design fields, but since then it's scope has expended to pretty much anyone from any field, who has an idea worth sharing.
And these aren't just 'any' people. These are the worlds foremost brain scientist talking about new discoveries, or crazy intelligent inventors talking about new technologies, or humble refugees talking about their experiences under an evil regime or a famous sports person talking about their approach to a famous race etc. etc. And at each conference, these speakers are given just 15 minutes, on stage, fairly conversationally, to share their ideas or experiences with the audience.
And the website is full of the recordings of these talks. They also have transcripts of all of them.
I don't have much time to sit on TED and watch talks unfortunately, so I admit I'm not on there all that often. But every now and again (about once ever other month), I'll jump on during lunch or something, browse to a topic that jumps out at me, and spend fifteen minutes learning something new, and almost always, something very interesting - delivered by an incredibly interesting person.
The last three talks I've watched were excellent, and I thought I'd share them with you in case you're interested:
Hyeonseo Lee: My Escape from North Korea
This one had me in tears, sad and happy. Such an inspiring story and one that's worth hearing.
I would definitely recommend it.
Roger Ebert: Remaking my Voice
When film critic Roger Ebert lost his lower jaw to cancer, he lost the ability to eat and speak. But he did not lose his voice. In a moving talk from TED 2011, Ebert and his wife, Chaz, with friends Dean Ornish and John Hunter, come together to tell his remarkable story.
This one had me laughing out loud so many times, but it was deeply touching and had me teary a few times too. Here is a truly wonderful example of the kind of attitude I'd hope to have if I went through a trial of this magnitude!
Edi Rama: Paint the Town for Hope
When former Painter, mayor and current leader of the Socialist Party of Albania, Edi Rama, campaigned to add a few coats of colour to the buildings in his city of Tirana, even he wasn't prepared for how it inspired optimism in its residents. In his impassioned talk, he makes that case for hope in politics and the citizens ability to impact change.
I'm not sure if I'd agree with all of his politics, but I loved this story and the points he made.
As you can probably tell, I favour the 'Human Story' talks over the 'Latest breakthroughs in heart surgery' talks :) But it's a fabulous site, and I'd recommend exploring it on your own some time. You can also explore the videos through TED's YouTube Channel, which is another good way to go.
Enjoy!! And let me know if you come across a good one, I'll love to hear about it!