I Am in Love With TED

Okay, so everyone knows how much I love books.  I don’t just love fiction.  I am just as interested in nonfiction – especially if it introduces me to something new.  And it isn’t just books that I am hooked on.  I love learning new things, hearing thought-provoking ideas, and listening to people who have creative minds.  This is why I have developed an addiction to TED Talks. 

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I was first introduced to TED through a talk that is still their most viewed presentation.  It features Sir Ken Robinson speaking on the topic “Do Schools Kill Creativity?”  It was fantastic and gave much to think about.  Curiosity led me to find out what this organization was and if were there more talks like this.  Their self-description says, “TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages. Meanwhile, independently run TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world…TED is a global community, welcoming people from every discipline and culture who seek a deeper understanding of the world. We believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and, ultimately, the world. On TED.com, we’re building a clearinghouse of free knowledge from the world’s most inspired thinkers — and a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other, both online and at TED and TEDx events around the world, all year long.”  I was hooked.  Who wouldn’t love an organization that so freely shares the ideas of some of the best minds in the world!

Eventually I shared the site with my students who found Aimee Mullins and introduced me to her.  Many of my favorites are on topics of interest to me, but I have also found more interests and a wider scope of fascinating topics by just clicking from one video to the next.  I can follow the rabbit hole just like I have often done on Pinterest, but the difference is that when I’m done, there is no guilt.  I find the time well-spent because my mind has been stimulated and I’ve learned new things.

If you aren’t familiar with this organization, you need to dive in and start watching!  I usually give you a book list, but with this post I am sharing a video list (with some references to books following it.)  Start exploring with this brief list of some of my favorites.  And when you find a great video, please return the favor and recommend them to me!

TED Talks – Just click on each video and be inspired.


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Sir Ken Robinson:  Do Schools Kill Creativity?


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Sir Ken Robinson: Bring on the Learning Revolution

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Aimee Mullins:  Changing My Legs – And My Mindset


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Aimee Mullins: My 12 Pairs of Legs

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Brené Brown:  Listening to Shame
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Brené Brown:  The Power of Vulnerability
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Bono:  The Good News On Poverty (Yes, There’s Good News)
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Dan Pink:  The Puzzle of Motivation



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Rick Warren:  A Life of Purpose
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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: The Danger of a Single Story
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Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie:  We Should All Be Feminists


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Billy Graham:  On Technology and Faith
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Malcolm Gladwell: Choice, Happiness, and Spaghetti Sauce
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Jamie Oliver:  Teach Every Child About Food
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William Kamkwamba: How I Built a Windmill
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William Kamkwamba: How I Harnessed the Win


Some Books by the Speakers Above:

Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche

  • Americanah
  • Half of a Yellow Sun
  • We Should All be Feminists
  • Dear Ijeawele, or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions

Brené Brown

  • The Gifts of Imperfection:  Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are
  • Rising Strong: How the Ability to Reset Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead
  • Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love Parent, and Lead
  • Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone

Malcolm Gladwell

  • The Tipping Point:  How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
  • David and Goliath:  Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants
  • Blink:  The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
  • Outliers:  The Story of Success

Billy Graham

  • Nearing Home:  Life, Faith, and Finishing Well
  • Where I Am: Heaven, Eternity, and Our Life Beyond
  • Just As I Am:  The Autobiography of Billy Graham

William Kamkwamba

  • The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope  (published in various forms for adults, children, and even as a picture book)

Jamie Oliver

  • Jamie’s Food Revolution:  Rediscover How to Cook Simple , Delicious, Affordable Meals
  • Jamie at Home:  Cook Your Way to the Good Life
  • The Naked Chef

Dan Pink

  • A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future
  • Drive:  The Surprising True About What Motivates Us
  • When: The Scientific Secrets of Perfect Timing

Ken Robinson

  • The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything
  • Finding Your Element:  How To Discover Your Talents and Passions and Transform Your Life
  • Our of Our Minds: The Power of Being Creative

Rick Warren

  • The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For?
  • God’s Answers to Life Difficult Questions
  • God’s Power to Change Your Life


  • TED Books Box Set:  The Creative Mind:  The Art of Stillness, The Future of Architecture, and Judge This

Public Speaking and TED

  • TED Talks:  The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking
  • Talk like TED:  The 9 Public-Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds
  • TED Talks Storytelling:  23 Storytelling Techniques from the Best TED Talks
  • How to Design TED Worthy Presentation Slides


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