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TED Talks Thursdays

"Ideas worth spreading" is the motto of TED Talks, an ongoing series of brief but riveting videos from experts around the globe.
 
Given that the spread of worthy ideas is so much more to be desired than the viral spread we are currently facing, take some time off your worries to think about our situation in a different way.
 
All of these ideas are curated and brought to you by Uma Hiremath!
 
 
TED Talks Thursdays, May 21, 2020
 
Sir Ken Robinson's 2006 viral talk "Do Schools Kill Creativity" has been viewed over 60 million times, more than any other in TED talk history!
 
He returns in 2010 for yet another thoughtful deliberation, "Bring On the Learning Revolution," delivered in his inimitable and endearingly witty style. 
 
You may or may not agree with him; but you cannot help fall headlong into his charm and depth of thinking on life as an organic process unsuited to linear learning.   
 

TED Talks Thursdays, May 14, 2020

You are stuck in the house. You have a smart phone. You make a movie in the course of one night that is watched by over 10 million people! Welcome to the next generation.

In this 15-minute talk, online sensation Zach King tells us how "The Storyteller in All of Us" can, and should, be instantly gratified.
 
The 6-second "magic" video that he demonstrates in the talk can be seen on his YouTube channel.
 

TED Talks Thursdays, May 7, 2020

"We live in a vulnerable world," said Professor Brené Brown back in the BC era (before corona).
 
It seems timely, then, to once again view this intimate, wise and droll 20-minute talk on The Power of Vulnerability from someone who does not believe that "cussing and praying are mutually exclusive."
 

TED Talks Thursdays, April 30, 2020

Poetry matters. Or does it? You be the judge.

With infectious vitality and heartwarming sincerity, spoken-word poet Sarah Kay recites two of her poems in a 2011 TED talk that has since gone viral.
It seems only fitting to conclude National Poetry Month during a pandemic, with this 18 minute presentation by a poet who believes that "people find poetry when they need to."
 

TED Talks Thursdays, April 23, 2020

Us. How did we become us? How do people see us? How do all those thoughts churning in our heads and those emotions surging in our bodies get communicated to people?
 
Speech and body language, say this week's TED speakers.
 
In less than 10 minutes, author and expert Julian Treasure lists the seven deadly sins of speaking and provides tools to "Speak so that people want to listen."
 
At 21 minutes, in a much-debated talk, social psychologist Amy Cuddy provides a different set of tools on how "Your body language may shape who you are."
 
Most seductive of all, their talks suggest that each one of us has the ability to communicate more effectively. Now that's an idea worth checking out!
 

TED Talks Thursdays, April 16, 2020

Procrastination is one of those internal human dramas that create emotional whirlpools ranging from anxiety and self-flagellation to creative bursts of sudden productivity. We have all procrastinated at some point in our lives or, worse, had to deal with congenital procrastinators.
 
In less than 14 irreverent and insightful minutes, popular blogger Tim Urban introduces us to the Instant Gratification Monkey who helps us understand "what goes on in the head of a procrastinator". 
 
You could watch it now. Or maybe later?
 

TED Talks Thursdays, April 9, 2020

Happiness. Philosophers from Aristotle to the Dalai Lama have tried to define it. Million dollar industries have sprung up to deliver it. Poems, songs and fables have been devoted to it. The mountain kingdom of Bhutan has codified an entire index of Gross Domestic Happiness to measure it. 
As with the concepts of "Fear" and "Hope" that we saw in the last two TED choices, "Happiness" is another central tenet of the human condition.We know it when we feel it. We want to know it better. We continue on an unending quest to figure it.
 
Here to help us is Harvard psychologist, Dan Gilbert. In this 21 minute video from 2004, Gilbert argues "The Surprising Science of Happiness" in a presentation that is equal parts scientific, funny and thought-provoking.
 
 
TED Talks Thursdays, April 2, 2020
 
It was Maya Angelou who said "Hope and fear cannot occupy the same space. Invite one to stay." We gave space to "Fear" at last Thursday's TED presentation. This week we shall invite "Hope" to stay.
 
In this 15 minute video from 2018, check out MIT Professor Hugh Herr. He lost both his legs in a mountain climbing accident in 1982 but strongly held on to the hope that "a human can never be broken."
 
As you can see, far from being broken, Professor Herr extends human potential to unimaginable limits!
 

TED Talks Thursdays, March 26, 2020
 
In the first 8 1/2 minute video from 2015, Bill Gates proposes the need to establish a global health system that can simulate "germ games" instead of "war games," while cautioning that "time is not on our side." Truer words were never spoken!
 
In the second 11 1/2 minute video from 2012, author Karen Thompson Walker argues how fear, (yes, the stuff we are all feeling right now!) can be seen as "unintentional storytelling" and a way to make decisions.
 
Both videos can be viewed within 30 minutes and make for hours of thoughtful discussions - so go ahead and give it a try. 
 
See you next Thursday with a new set of mind-revving ideas worth spreading.
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