Ted Talks

3 minute read

One of my favourite websites is called TED. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from those three worlds. Since then its scope has become ever broader. The annual conference now brings together the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes). There are some great talks and you really should indulge every now and then.

TED has now released the Top Ten Talks of all time, I am sure this will be updated in the future, but it brings together some great insights and I hope you enjoy watching these. There are hundreds of talks here but listed below are the TOP Ten as voted by readers. You will see a young guy  (Jeff Han) whose technology is now used in everything from Microsoft’s Surface Technology to the iPhone.

1. Jill Bolte Taylor: My stroke of insight
Jill Bolte Taylor got a research opportunity few brain scientists would wish for: She had a massive stroke, and watched as her brain functions — motion, speech, self-awareness –- shut down one by one. An astonishing story.


2. Jeff Han: Unveiling the genius of multi-touch interface design
Jeff Han shows off a cheap, scalable multi-touch and pressure-sensitive computer screen interface that may spell the end of point-and-click.


3. David Gallo: Underwater astonishments
David Gallo shows jaw-dropping footage of amazing sea creatures, including a color-shifting cuttlefish, a perfectly camouflaged octopus, and a Times Square’s worth of neon light displays from fish who live in the blackest depths of the ocean.


4. Blaise Aguera y Arcas: Jaw-dropping Photosynth demo
Blaise Aguera y Arcas leads a dazzling demo of Photosynth, software that could transform the way we look at digital images. Using still photos culled from the Web, Photosynth builds breathtaking dreamscapes and lets us navigate them.


5. Arthur Benjamin: Lightning calculation and other “Mathemagic”
In a lively show, mathemagician Arthur Benjamin races a team of calculators to figure out 3-digit squares, solves another massive mental equation and guesses a few birthdays. How does he do it? He’ll tell you.


6. Sir Ken Robinson: Do schools kill creativity?
Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity.


7. Hans Rosling: Debunking third-world myths with the best stats you’ve ever seen
You’ve never seen data presented like this. With the drama and urgency of a sportscaster, statistics guru Hans Rosling debunks myths about the so-called “developing world.”


8. Tony Robbins: Why we do what we do, and how we can do it better
Tony Robbins discusses the “invisible forces” that motivate everyone’s actions — and high-fives Al Gore in the front row.


9. Al Gore: 15 ways to avert a climate crisis
With the same humor and humanity he exuded in An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore spells out 15 ways that individuals can address climate change immediately, from buying a hybrid to inventing a new, hotter “brand name” for global warming.


10. Johnny Lee: Creating tech marvels out of a $40 Wii Remote
Building sophisticated educational tools out of cheap parts, Johnny Lee demos his cool Wii Remote hacks, which turn the $40 video game controller into a digital whiteboard, a touchscreen and a head-mounted 3-D viewer.

[TEDTALKS JOHNNYLEE-2008_high.flv]

There are many more, I hope this gives some inspiration

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  • Greg Vincent
    Posted June 27, 2008 at 1:59 pm 0Likes

    Peter thank you for such an insightful post. TED Talks will now be one of my favourites. The Jeff Han peice is amazing and it will be interesting to see where this technology will take us.

    My favourite is #6 Sir Ken Robinson: Do schools kill creativity?

    I’m sore from laughing through his presentation, but I have to say his segment is the most insightful piece I have ever seen on nurturing the gift of the human imagination. Especially good for anyone with children.

  • Peter Ricci
    Posted June 27, 2008 at 2:11 pm 0Likes

    Thanks Greg

    Another great one is http://video.allthingsd.com/ which has a great talk with Rupert Murdoch.

  • Greg Vincent
    Posted June 27, 2008 at 3:50 pm 0Likes

    Thanks Peter very interesting. For anyone else interested, here’s the link straight to the Ruport Murdoch video.


    Money Talks. 🙂

  • Glenn Batten
    Posted June 27, 2008 at 4:03 pm 0Likes


    I just added a new goal… To attend a TED Conference. That would be an incredible experience!!!

  • Gemma Duff
    Posted June 30, 2008 at 11:01 am 0Likes

    Hi Peter,

    Another great one is http://www.changethis.com. A site created by Tom Peters and the likes of marketing genius Seth Godin. Gives an opportunity to write manifesto’s into our changing world, from what the real business plan should be to new innovative thinkers on all subjects from selling to personal satisfaction and happiness.

    Reality is, why go to university when all this knowledge is imparted on the net.

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