Why TED matters to me?

What is TED? TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader.

Why does TED matter to me? Because it keeps me in touch with new ideas, new things and extraordinary people. I started listening to TED talks in 2007. At that time, I was taking the Canadian Marketing Association E-Marketing Certificate Course. Mitch Joel was our teacher and he recommended that we get hooked on TED. How lucky can one get!

I’ve listened to TED talks regularly since then. TED is a place to find out what’s happening in so many different areas. I encourage anyone and everyone to check TED out. Its not time consuming since the videos last around 20 minutes or shorter.  By listening to TED presentations, I have a sense of what’s happening in the big world through the eyes of exceptional passionate people who really have something to say.

Here are some of my favorites presentations.

No 1 – Charles Moore on the Seas of Plastic

http://video.ted.com/assets/player/swf/EmbedPlayer.swf

Everyone on this whole planet should listen to this guy. The pictures he shows us on the ravages that plastics do to our waterways are disturbing. I felt so ignorant and so damn sorry for the birds that end up eating this stuff. It’s a sad thing. Since viewing this presentation, I pick up every piece of plastic I see. I’m especially reminded of the video everytime I walk along the lake where I live. Don’t know how many bottle caps I’ve picked up since. It is the most important and clear presentation I’ve seen on the impact of plastic in our environment. It’s not a happy story, but do yourself a favour and watch it. It’s great medecine.

No 2. Jill Bolte Taylor – Stroke of Insight

http://video.ted.com/assets/player/swf/EmbedPlayer.swf

Her recollection of her stroke is absolutely incredible. I’d never really listened to a neurosurgeon talk about life in such a way. Her detailed explanation of what actually happened to her, physiologically was captivating. I was truly moved.

No 3. Rick Warren – Living a life of purpose.

I just love this stuff. So simple, but yet so hard to do. Very inspiring. Pastor Rick Warren is the author of The Purpose-Driven Life, which sold some 30 million copies worldwide. I haven’t read that book yet, but maybe I will.

No 4. Tim Berners Lee – The Next Web

This guy invented the Web. It’s interesting to hear him talk about where he thinks the Web is heading towards. Data is the name of the game. Data, data, data…. It’s all about relationships. Learn how it all links or will all link…. He’s not the best speaker. There’s a nervousness in his voice that’s a bit aggravating, but beyond that, it’s worth the while.

No 5. Dan Gilbert on our mistaken expectations.

Great presentation on expectations and how we’re actually all very mixed up about some of those! He, who happens to be a Harvard Psychologist, ends his conference by saying that if we’re not here in 10,000 years, it’s because ‘we underestimated the odds of our future pains and overestimated the value of our own present pleasure ». Now there’s something to think about…

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