November 12th, 2011

3 TED talks that still blow my mind

My first night with an iPad. I remember my first night with our brand new iPad: I curled up on the couch, fired up the TED video site and watched several videos. And then got so wired up I couldn’t sleep.

It’s no wonder that my bookmark for this website is filed under “Inspiring”: it truly is filled with “riveting talks by remarkable people”.

If you don’t know TED (and even if you do), here are my three personal favourites. Having watched each of these dozens of times, I can promise you: boredom is not an option.

Pranav mistry and the thrilling potential of Sixth Sense

Even if you are not a geek, you will love everything about this TED talk. The SixthSense technology, which is all about uniting the digital world with the real world, is mind-blowingly cool. How about taking a picture with your hands, then sending it by email from the nearest wall? Or turning a piece of paper into a laptop, like that scene on the train in the Caprica pilot? Or pinching a graph on a piece of paper to copy it to your computer? Pranav does all of these things and more in this talk. Which probably explains why it remains one of the most viewed TED videos of all time.

Clay Shirky: How Social media can make history

This talk dates from before the events in Egypt and the Middle East, which makes it all the more visionary. If you are still one of those people who thinks Facebook is for 14-year-olds and Twitter is just a fad, think again.

After listening to this talk, I read Clay Shirky’s excellent book “Here Comes Everybody” during my vacation last year and proved to myself that, yes, I can finish a business book…when it’s this good.

Hans Rosling: Asia’s rise, how and when.

You will never look at a graph the same way after seeing what Hans Rosling does with numbers and statistics. Thanks to some clever animation and his play-by-play narration, he makes numbers sing. (I really need to get my hands on the software that he uses, it’s remarkable.) And not only will you be enchanted by his dry Swedish humour, you will actually learn something about world economics.

Caution: Inspiration ahead. Unless you’re trying to stay up late, I don’t recommend watching a TED video after 9pm: any one of their videos has the firepower of about 20 espresso. I also don’t recommend checking out their very well designed home page when you’re in the middle of doing something else.

This blog post got delayed so many times because I did just that.

3 comments to 3 TED talks that still blow my mind

  • Hi Elisabeth,

    I love watching TED, and these 3 videos are very, very inspiring.\

    PS: It’s also hard to watch TED at night because every time you watch something you are “instinctively” lead to watch another thing.

  • Elisabeth Bucci

    I know what you mean: click, click, click and, before you know it, it’s 2 am. *sigh*

  • Asti

    Wonderful expression of affinity with TED videos. I feel incredibly fortunate to be born in the time that has got me such iconic idea leaders!
    I can stay up all my life for such stimulating TED talks. Guess they should change their tagline to
    “Idea worth staying up for!”

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