Technology, Entertainment and Design. These three words inspired Richard Saul Wurman to start what has now become one of the most-well known live events organized on the planet. The first edition was in 1984 and talks were based on topics such as the compact disc and the state-of-the-art graphics technology used by LucasFilm. As the years have gone by, TED has served as the platform from which innovators and change-makers have showcased their wares to the world. It has also spawned off a sister conference known as TEDGlobal; the TEDPrize for exceptional leader; and most popularly, the video series known as TED talks.
Though the event was first organized in 1984, it was only in 2006 that the first TED Talk was posted on the internet. In just four months, the channel touched a million views. A simulcast version of the Talks known as TEDActive was launched a couple of years later. This allowed a lot more people to watch the Talks live at a much cheaper price. It was in 2012 that a TED Talk had been viewed for the billionth time, a significant achievement considering most of the videos are quite long and do not possess what’s generally known to make videos go viral.
Here’s a brief look at some of the most watched TED Talks ever:
1) Ken Robinson: How schools kill creativity
Ken Robinson’s take on the ills of conventional education system practices and what can be done to address them has made him an internet star and done much to widen the popularity of the Talks itself. Robinson has been a key part of educational reform in Britain and was knighted in 2003 in recognition of his work.
The video shines a light on some of the pitfalls of the way in which people currently view education. Robinson humorously makes viewers understand the importance of encouraging creative thought processes and inculcating different kinds of intelligence. Watch this video to gain a new perspective on the mass-production machines we call schools and to have a few laughs while making a few alarming realizations.
2. Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action
How is it that Apple manages to differentiate their products so much from what is being offered in the rest of the market? Business, and life in general, is all about goading yourself and those that you want to influence, into positive action. Simon Sinek is someone who has delved deep into how to achieve that.
Sinek studied Anthropology and went on to work in advertising. This unique mix of education and career gave him insights on what it is about certain ads that lures people into buying a product. He records these and other principles in his book “Start with Why.” Sinek explains why it is essential to elucidate the “why” of any action in order to be successful.
3. Brené Brown: The power of vulnerability
Brene Brown teaches at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work and does research on some of the benefits of what is generally perceived as weaknesses or imperfections. Her 2010 book “The Gifts of Imperfection” cut into the heart of how to leverage apparent foibles to one’s advantage.
Brown studies a plethora of human feelings, some positive and others negative. The talk focuses on how is possible to realize self-worth only after facing up to the reality of one’s own vulnerabilities. Brown has gone on to become a highly sought-after speaker and writer. She was bestowed with an Outstanding Faculty Award in recognition of her contributions as a professor and researcher.
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