1) Sarah Kay-If I Should Have a Daughter:
In a touching, inspiring talk that inspired two standing ovations at TED2011, a passionate poetess starts by reciting a beautiful poem about the things she would tell her daughter about the world if she had one, She goes on to explain her journey through life, and tells the story of her metamorphosis — from a wide-eyed teenager soaking in verse at New York’s Bowery Poetry Club to a teacher connecting kids with the power of self-expression through Project V.O.I.C.E.
Quote to remember – “And she’s going to learn that this life will hit you hard in the face, wait for you to get back up just so it can kick you in the stomach. But getting the wind knocked out of you is the only way to remind your lungs how much they like the taste of air.”
Who is Sarah Kay?
A performing poet since she was 14 years old, Sarah Kay is the founder of Project VOICE, an organization that uses spoken word poetry as a literacy and empowerment tool. Sarah holds a Masters degree in the art of teaching from Brown University and an honorary doctorate in humane letters from Grinnell College. Her first book, B, was ranked the number one poetry book on Amazon.com. Her second book, No Matter the Wreckage, is available from Write Bloody Publishing.
2. Ken Robinson – How Schools Kill Creativity:
In this hilarious, yet profound talk by author/educator Ken Robinson , he emphasizes the need for an education system where creativity is nurtured rather than undermined. He challenges the way we’re educating our children. He champions a radical rethink of our school systems, to cultivate creativity and acknowledge multiple types of intelligence, using examples to make his point.
Quotes to remember – “What we do know is, if you’re not prepared to be wrong, you’ll never come up with anything original — if you’re not prepared to be wrong. And by the time they get to be adults, most kids have lost that capacity. They have become frightened of being wrong. And we run our companies like this, by the way. We stigmatize mistakes. And we’re now running national education systems where mistakes are the worst thing you can make. And the result is that we are educating people out of their creative capacities. Picasso once said this — he said that all children are born artists. The problem is to remain an artist as we grow up. I believe this passionately, that we don’t grow into creativity, we grow out of it. Or rather, we get educated out if it. So why is this?”
Who is Ken Robinson?
A visionary cultural leader, Sir Ken led the British government’s 1998 advisory committee on creative and cultural education, a massive inquiry into the significance of creativity in the educational system and the economy, and was knighted in 2003 for his achievements.
3) Amy Cuddy- Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are:
Body language expert and social psychologist Amy Cuddy talks about how your body language and posture affects not only others’ perception of you, but that we can change these perceptions — and even our own body chemistry — simply by changing body positions. This amazing talk has been watched by over 16 million people.
Quote to remember – “Tiny tweaks can lead to big changes. So this is two minutes. Two minutes, two minutes, two minutes. Before you go into the next stressful evaluative situation, for two minutes, try doing this, in the elevator, in a bathroom stall, at your desk behind closed doors. That’s what you want to do. Configure your brain to cope the best in that situation. Get your testosterone up. Get your cortisol down. Don’t leave that situation feeling like, oh, I didn’t show them who I am. Leave that situation feeling like, oh, I really feel like I got to say who I am and show who I am.”
Who is Amy Cuddy?
Early in her college career, Cuddy suffered a severe head injury in a car accident, and doctors said she would struggle to fully regain her mental capacity and finish her undergraduate degree. But she proved them wrong. Today, Cuddy is a professor and researcher at Harvard Business School, where she studies how nonverbal behavior and snap judgments affect people from the classroom to the boardroom.
4) Susan Cain-The Power Of Introverts:
In a culture where being social and outgoing are prized above all else, it can be difficult, even shameful, to be an introvert. But, as Susan Cain argues in this passionate talk, introverts bring extraordinary talents and abilities to the world, and should be encouraged and celebrated.
Quotes to remember – “Camp was more like a keg party without any alcohol. And on the very first day our counselor gathered us all together and she taught us a cheer that she said we would be doing every day for the rest of the summer to instill camp spirit. And it went like this: “R-O-W-D-I-E, that’s the way we spell rowdie. Rowdie, rowdie, let’s get rowdie.” Yeah. So I couldn’t figure out for the life of me why we were supposed to be so rowdy, or why we had to spell this word incorrectly. But I recited a cheer. I recited a cheer along with everybody else. I did my best. And I just waited for the time that I could go off and read my books.”
Who is Susan Cain?
Susan Cain is a former corporate lawyer and negotiations consultant — and a self-described introvert. At least one-third of the people we know are introverts, notes Cain in her new book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.
5) Zak Ebrahim- I am the Son of a Terrorist, Here’s How I Chose Peace:
Zak Ebrahim shares his journey as being the son of El-Sayyid Nosair, one of the terrorists involved in the bombing of the World Trade Center. Zak Ebrahim was just seven years old when his father helped plan the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. His story is shocking, powerful and, ultimately, inspiring, which will leave you with a very important question – “If you’re raised on dogma and hate, can you choose a different path?”
Quote to remember – “That day, the last bullet I shot hit the small orange light that sat on top of the target and to everyone’s surprise, especially mine, the entire target burst into flames. My uncle turned to the other men, and in Arabic said, “Ibn abuh.” Like father, like son. They all seemed to get a really big laugh out of that comment, but it wasn’t until a few years later that I fully understood what they thought was so funny. They thought they saw in me the same destruction my father was capable of. Those men would eventually be convicted of placing a van filled with 1,500 pounds of explosives into the sub-level parking lot of the World Trade Center’s North Tower, causing an explosion that killed six people and injured over 1,000 others. These were the men I looked up to. These were the men I called ammu, which means uncle.” He ends saying that violence isn’t inherent in one’s religion or race and he is not his father.
Who is Zak Ebrahim?
When Zak Ebrahim was seven, his family went on the run. His father, El Sayyid Nosair, had hoped Zak would follow in his footsteps — and become a jihadist. Instead, Zak was at the beginning of a long journey to comprehend his past. In 2014 Ebrahim published the TED Book The Terrorist’s Son, a memoir written with Jeff Giles about the path he took to turn away from hate.
6) Andrew Solomon-Love No Matter What:
In this moving talk, writer Andrew Solomon talks about his experiences and what he learned from interviewing many parents while asking them-What’s the line between unconditional love and unconditional acceptance? He explains how certain things like disabilities and homosexuality can become part of one’s identity and is no longer viewed as a sickness or a choice of life.
Quote to remember – “When I was perhaps six years old, I went to a shoe store with my mother and my brother. And at the end of buying our shoes, the salesman said to us that we could each have a balloon to take home. My brother wanted a red balloon, and I wanted a pink balloon. My mother said that she thought I’d really rather have a blue balloon. But I said that I definitely wanted the pink one. And she reminded me that my favorite color was blue. The fact that my favorite color now is blue, but I’m still gay is evidence of both my mother’s influence and its limits.”
Who is Andrew Soloman?
Andrew Solomon is a writer on politics, culture and psychology. Andrew Solomon’s 2012 book, Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity, tells the stories of parents who not only learn to deal with their exceptional children, but also find profound meaning in doing so. Solomon’s startling proposition is that diversity is what unites us. Solomon’s previous book, The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression, won the 2001 National Book Award for nonfiction.
7) Ze Frank- Are You Human?
This simple but hilarious talk is a series of questions Ze Frank asks to prove whether you are human or not. Get ready for questions like “Have you ever eaten a booger long past your childhood? It’s okay, it’s safe here.” After some humor he moves on to some serious aspects of life and relationships which make you realize that whatever we go through is normal, and that despite our flaws, we’re all human.
Quote to remember – “Have you ever lost the ability to imagine a future without a person that no longer was in your life? Have you ever looked back on that event with the sad smile of autumn and the realization that futures will happen regardless?”
Who is Ze Frank?
Ze Frank rose to fame on a viral video — in 2001! He has been making online comedy, web toys and massively shared experiences (like the addictive Young Me Now Me) ever since. In 2006 he launched a year-long daily video blog called The Show with Ze Frank, which Slate.com called “the best sustained comedy run in the history of the Web.” He defines, in many ways, the genre of online comedy, and continues to innovate madly on the form.
8) Dan Gilbert- The Surprising Science of Happiness:
Dan Gilbert, author of “Stumbling on Happiness,” challenges the idea that people will be miserable if they don’t get what they want. He uses humor and fascinating experiences he’s heard of to argue that our “psychological immune system” lets us feel truly happy even when things don’t go as planned.
Quote to remember – “Moreese Bickham is somebody you’ve never heard of. Moreese Bickham uttered these words upon being released. He was 78 years old. He spent 37 years in a Louisiana State Penitentiary for a crime he didn’t commit. [He was ultimately released for good behavior halfway through his sentence.] And what did he have to say about his experience? “I don’t have one minute’s regret. It was a glorious experience.” Glorious! This guy is not saying, “Well, you know, there were some nice guys. They had a gym.” It’s “glorious,” a word we usually reserve for something like a religious experience.” His talk about synthesized happiness will make you think about your reactions during the downs of life.
Who is Dan Gilbert?
Harvard psychologist Dan Gilbert says our beliefs about what will make us happy are often wrong — a premise he supports with intriguing research, and explains in his accessible and unexpectedly funny book, Stumbling on Happiness.
9) Sheryl Sandberg- Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders:
Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO talks about why the number of women at the top are so low, nd offers 3 powerful pieces of advice to women aiming for the C-suite.
Quote to remember – “I think, as a society, we put more pressure on our boys to succeed than we do on our girls. I know men that stay home and work in the home to support wives with careers, and it’s hard. When I go to the Mommy-and-Me stuff and I see the father there, I notice that the other mommies don’t play with him. And that’s a problem, because we have to make it as important a job, because it’s the hardest job in the world to work inside the home, for people of both genders, if we’re going to even things out and let women stay in the workforce.”
Who is Sheryl Sandberg?
As the COO at the helm of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg juggles the tasks of monetizing the world’s largest social networking site while keeping its users happy and engaged. Sandberg not only built and managed Google’s successful online sales and operations program but also served as an economist for the World Bank and Chief of Staff at the US Treasury Department.
10) Damon Horowitz- Philosophy in Prison:
Damon Horowitz teaches philosophy through the Prison University Project, bringing college-level classes to inmates of San Quentin State Prison. In this powerful short talk, he tells the story of an encounter with right and wrong that quickly gets personal.
Quote to remember – “So when we meet in my philosophy class in his prison and I say, “In this class, we will discuss the foundations of ethics,” Tony interrupts me.”What are you going to teach me about right and wrong? I know what is wrong. I have done wrong. I am told every day, by every face I see, every wall I face, that I am wrong. If I ever get out of here, there will always be a mark by my name. I’m a convict; I am branded ‘wrong.’ What are you going to tell me about right and wrong?” Just like he inspires his students at prison, this carefully directed philosophical talk will inspire you too.
Who is Damon Horowitz?
Damon Horowitz is a philosophy professor and serial entrepreneur. He recently joined Google as In-House Philosopher / Director of Engineering, heading development of several initiatives involving social and search. Horowitz teaches courses in philosophy, cognitive science, and computer science at several institutions, including Stanford, NYU, University of Pennsylvania and San Quentin State Prison. Damon Horowitz explores what is possible at the boundaries of technology and the humanities.