For those who don’t know: TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. TED brings together the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives.
But TED is a lot more. TED is about inspiration, education, and solutions. It’s about empowering those who want and can make a difference. It’s about recognition of localised or global issues and exposing solutions that make a difference. Famous past speakers include Bill Clinton, Jane Goodall, Malcolm Gladwell, Al Gore, Gordon Brown, Richard Dawkins, Bill Gates, Salman Khan, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, and many Nobel Prize winners.
But what’s great about TED, is that all talks are freely viewable online: just visit Ted Talks. My all time favourite talk is from Benjamin Zander on music and passion. If you like that one, you may want to watch Jill Bolte Taylor’s stroke of insight, or Bill Gates on mosquitos, malaria and education, and on energy innovating to zero.
This year’s program includes:
- What is it like to be a baby?
- Is life a game?
- Is synthetic life thrilling or terrifying?
- How close are we to sustainable energy?
- How does the brain control the body?
- In what world will we live tomorrow?
- Are our social and political systems reformable?
- Is simplicity gone forever?
- How easy will it be to design lethal viruses?
- Is the Internet taking over our lives?
- What’s the point of art?
- What does it mean to be conscious?
- Can humans and computers be friends?
- What makes a life worth living?