The Best of TED Conferences

“TED: Ideas Worth Spreading.”  TED conferences house the most elite speakers in their respective fields to share ideas on Technology, Entertainment, and Design. The annual symposium unites the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give an 18-minute talk similar to a “last-lecture.” It provokes phenomenal speaking skills from persons of all ages (energetic pre-teens to wizened elderly) and stretches the audiences’ minds in new ways. Stumble through the archives to be educated and entertained with these vastly differing lectures. Beginning in 1984, the two annual conferences hosted in Monterey, CA and Edinburgh, Scotland now include a much broader scope. You can find a myriad of information regarding these incredible talks at www.ted.com that corresponds to the non-profit mission:

We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world. So we’re building here a clearinghouse that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world’s most inspired thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other.

Here are some of my favorites to get you started:

Hear Sir Ken create a case for nurturing creativity in education rather than squeezing it out of systems for reasons of “tight budget,” etc. He hypothesizes that we are educating the future generations to become workers rather than creative thinkers. He says, “We are educating people out of their creativity.” In 1998 Sir Ken led the British government’s advisory committee on creative and cultural education, and was knighted in 2003 for his achievements. He is an accomplished writer and speaker, gaining both fame and respect in each subsequent revelation of this passionate theory. His brilliant story telling skills expressed through anecdotes are reason alone for watching this talk.

This comedic talk offers amazing advice for cultivating a happy marriage at whatever stage of a couple’s relationship. Jenna shares amazing advice based on her extensive research about what makes marriages successful. She leaves morality and religious-based preaching at the door when advocating couples embark on “marriages” rather than sexually-infused “partnerships,” using practical references such as better financial and emotional security, etc. “Merely watching a romantic comedy causes relationship satisfaction to plummet. Apparently, the bitter realization that maybe it could happen to us, but it obviously hasn’t and it probably never will, makes our lives seem unbearably grim in comparison.”  This writer-wife-mom shares witty and “down-to-earth” advice accessible to both men and women.


This famed author of memoir Eat, Pray, Love and the memoir inspiring the film “Coyote Ugly” speaks on the idea that each person is a unique but Elusive Creative Genius. Her musings suddenly make the incredible feats of Mozart, Galileo, and Da Vinci much more approachable. “’Ole!’ to you, just for having the sheer human love and stubbornness to keep showing up.” Surprisingly personal, Elizabeth also weaves comedy through her impressive vocabulary, inviting each creative person to embrace the potential within.