Top 10… TED Talks
As Edmund Burke said, “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” One of the many things that has struck me about my Curium colleagues is how open they are to learning new things.
A home for the curious, TED is a non-profit organisation devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks. With almost 3000 talks available on the TED website, there’s something for everyone.
In celebration of Curium’s tenth anniversary, and the curious and creative spirit that drives the business, I share my 10 favourite TED talks.
The best stats you’ve ever seen, Hans Rosling
One of my favourites is by Hans Rosling. In this TED talk, Rosling brings data alive. Using easy-to-understand graphical representation of statistics, he challenges preconceptions about how the world has changed and is changing. Sadly, Rosling passed away in 2017, but his influence lives on, particularly in the work of the Gapminder Foundation.
Do schools kill creativity? Ken Robinson
Top of the TED pops is ‘Do schools kill creativity’. This talk by Ken Robinson has been viewed more than 57 million times. Sharing stories and observations, he argues that the challenges facing humanity require creativity, but that the education system trains children out of creativity. “Creativity is as important as literacy. If you’re not prepared to be wrong, you will never come up with anything original.”
The power of believing that you can improve, Carol Dweck
Carol Dweck researches “growth mindset”, the idea that we can grow our brain’s capacity to learn and to solve problems. She describes two ways to think about a problem that’s slightly too hard for you to solve. Are you not smart enough to solve it… or have you just not solved it yet?
Dweck’s research shows that when parents and teachers praise the process – effort and improvement – rather than results, then children can achieve more than they thought they could.
How diversity makes teams more innovative, Rocío Lorenzo
Rocío Lorenzo and her team surveyed 171 companies in Europe to find out whether diverse teams are more innovative. Lorenzo dives into the data and explains how companies can start producing fresher, more creative ideas, which drive revenue and growth, by treating diversity as a competitive advantage.
As she says, it comes down to two decisions made every day: who to hire and who to develop and promote. “Embracing diverse talent provides true opportunity for everyone.”
How great leaders inspire action, Simon Sinek
Simon Sinek considers examples of successful leaders – both individuals and companies. He argues that those who stand out give people a reason to believe. Using ‘the golden circle: why, how, what’, Sinek explains that inspired leaders think, act and communicate from the inside out; from the ‘why’. If people know why you do what you do, and they believe in that purpose too, then they will buy from you, work with you, be loyal to you.
Inside the mind of a master procrastinator, Tim Urban
Why is it that some people wait until the very last minute while others meet their deadlines with ease? Tim Urban talks about the interplay between the “rational decision maker”, the “instant gratification monkey” and the “panic monster”. When there is no deadline, how can we ensure that we still get things done, especially things that are important to us?
Forget the pecking order at work, Margaret Heffernan
Rethinking what it means to be a leader and how teams work best together, Margaret Heffernan challenges the “super chicken’ orthodoxy. Placing value on star individuals who outperform others isn’t what drives the most high-achieving teams. Heffernan observes that it is social cohesion that leads to great results.
The surprising science of happiness, Dan Gilbert
Harvard psychologist Dan Gilbert, author of “Stumbling on Happiness,” challenges the idea that we’ll be miserable if we don’t get what we want. Our “psychological immune system” lets us feel truly happy even when things don’t go as planned. According to Gilbert, our longings and our worries are both, to some degree, overblown because we have the capacity to manufacture what we are constantly chasing: happiness.
The power of vulnerability, Brené Brown
Having gathered thousands of stories, interviews and focus groups over six years, Brené Brown’s data suggest that there is one variable between people who have a sense of ‘worthiness’ and people who don’t. People who have a strong sense of love and belonging believe they are worthy of love and belonging. They have the courage to be imperfect; they fully embrace vulnerability.
Your body language may shape who you are, Amy Cuddy
For anyone who ever doubted the positive impact of a Wonder Woman-style ‘power pose’, Cuddy provides the perfect riposte.Knowing that our minds can affect the way we stand and move, Cuddy’s research shows that the reverse is also true. In her study, adopting a ‘high status’ pose before a job interview improved the participant’s performance in that interview, whereas ‘low status’ posture impeded performance.
TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages. Meanwhile, independently run TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world.
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