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What have you learnt from watching TEDTalks?

I often find myself bringing up things I have learnt from TEDTalks in conversations with friends and colleagues. What are some of the things you have learnt from watching TEDTalks, that you did not know before?

Topics: Facts knowledge
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    Jun 30 2011: The most important thing I have learned is that there are millions of people who want to make the earth a better place. I thought I was alone. There is never anything on the news about it, they just want to program us to behave the way they want us to. I found a new lease on life because of this realization, and TED is responsible for my enlightenment.
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      Jul 4 2011: throw away the television!
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        Jul 25 2011: Or tune it to TED channel instead. If there's none let's make one.
  • Jul 3 2011: Three years ago I had a pessimistic biased view of people in general, but TED show me a new kind of people I never know before.
    Watching TED talkers I realizing how many brilliant and generous minds are in the planet, and it makes me more positive about people. In TED I see humanity and it gives me a great feeling about the future.
    TED talks make me a better persona.

    Great question Martin. It becomes fully conscious to me when you asked.
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      Jul 3 2011: :)
      My initial thought was about learning facts and stuff, but through all the answers you have all given, I realize that I too have learnt more than mere facts. It's a new way of seeing things, a new outlook on making a difference, getting involved and expanding ones horizon. Thanks for all your great responses!
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        Jul 11 2011: Yes, I believe this is the case for me too. TED showed me that is possible to live up my dreams. TED gave me and still gives me inspiration. Speaking about facts, at the end of 2009 I used this speech http://www.ted.com/talks/richard_st_john_s_8_secrets_of_success.html as a tool to evaluate my year and plan the year ahead. Thanks for this great topic!
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        Jul 24 2011: Love learning. Love to see it happen, to dawn on a person. Thank you for sharing your change of perspective. Kudos +infinite, TED team, and affiliates.
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    Jun 30 2011: I think I have watch most of the TED talks that I have found. I have even gone back into the archives. As I tried to distill what I have learned- one word popped out of my subconscious- HOPE. I have learned to really confidently hope again that the world will be OK. This spirit which loves goodness, wisdom, humanity, growth etc. etc. is still firmly alive and widely dispersed. TED taught me to have real hope again.
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      Jul 6 2011: Yeah, Hope is the greatest gift that TED has given me as well!
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        Jul 16 2011: Another thing that I have learned is that debates can be civil and informative. I hope TED has more debates on a whole variety of issues to teach, inform and to lead the way to a better way of public discourse.
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    Jul 7 2011: I have learned
    1. The value of life
    2. The amazing abilities of so many out there
    3. To expand my consciousness and awareness
    4. That there are so many very smart people out there and I love it
    5. The infinite variety of ideas, innovation and knowledge we can all share

    ...just a few off he top of my head.
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      Jul 17 2011: I was just writing a similar answer when I discovered this one.

      I haven't learnt much on TED in terms of facts or some kind of knowledge. Actually, the more Talks I watch and translate, the more I feel small and that "I only know that I know nothing".

      However, I have learnt something more important that facts. With every Talk I discover the human capacities and possibilities and it's a great source of inspiration. They DID it, they did something great. And when they did, why couldn't I?

      I have learnt to overcome myself and try things I was only dreaming about. I overcame my fear of travelling and using foreign languages and I went for an exchange abroad. Thanks to TED. And now, studying abroad, I learn many new things every day, to respect other people and cultures, how language affects understanding the world, how little details can change your life.

      Without watching and translating TEDTalks, I would have probably never tried anything new and I would have been stuck in my mind forever. TED has openned my mind and I'm very grateful for that.
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    Jul 6 2011: My learning was complex. While watching hundreds of talks from the TED archives, I felt reassured that I have a clue about what is going on in the world, and at the same time I gained a new tool for social change. Earlier I tried to change my country by building an NGO from scratch, but two years ago I realized I could support the change from a different angle and started translating and reviewing TED talks (beyond posting TED talk links to my facebook wall). So, due to this experience I managed to learn new skills: video subtitle translation and review. After a while I got the TED associate status for my TED translations and started watching the TED conferences live online and I had the feeling that I need to take my blogging activity to the next level, and I started live TED conference blogging. Again, a new skill. And it is all voluntary, nobody asked me to do all this. TED for me is a multi layered learning experience: the talks, the interdisciplinary knowledge, the sharing, the changing, the translating, the reviewing, the live blogging...
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    Jul 5 2011: I teach Public Speaking in English at a University in South Korea. I have my students listen to TED talks for evaluation homework. It's great because they can find topics in their own majors (which are varied) or in an area of personal interest plus it helps them to evaluate what was good or bad about the speech. They even develop quite a continuing interest in listening to TED after the class is over. We LOVE TED!
    • Jul 5 2011: I taught EFL at a local private institution in Taipei. In an one on one lesson I have asked my student to transcribe part of TED talk to help him with his listening ability. After transcription he then can compare his works with the transcripts on the TED's website to see how well he can listen. And I can help him to see what error has he made and how can he correct it. TED's speech is authentic, real, intelligent and rich in it's contents and quality, which is in my opinion very good audio material for teaching advanced listening. LOVE TED, too! =)
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      Jul 7 2011: What a great idea Debi! Great way to use TED talks for mulitple benefits!
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    Jul 4 2011: You can learn fascinating things on topics you would have never guessed would interest you on Ted.com

    I play a little game. find the video that looks the least interesting to you and watch it! You'll be surprised. I watched an hour long lecture on birds. I discovered the parallels (?) between the fashion industry and the music/movie industry (and their fight with P2P networks, copyrights)

    I found my favorite author, lobbyist, spokesperson for common since in law. Phillip K Howard. His ideas have influenced how I think about most of my actions.
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    Jul 9 2011: I can't really say that I learned a lot on TED. I think 20 min. talks are not enough for learning. However, I see the TED talks as seeds and inspirations. One has to build upon them.
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      Jul 24 2011: I am surprised by the response. One word can change the world if we latch onto it. 20 minute talks are lengthy. I have been so intensely moved by such short talks as "Try Something New for 30 Days", and "Building Parks in the Sky". Doesn't take a lengthy, structured lecture. Takes motivation, enthusiasm, follow-through. I agree wholly on this: One *must* build upon them. Good call.
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    Jul 7 2011: positivism, relationships, social and corporate responsibility, humour, English, my mothertongue, rhetoric, VISION......and much more
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    Jul 5 2011: ... that passion is the key to achieving success.
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    Jul 5 2011: that nothing is impossible!!
  • Jul 5 2011: TED talks have helped to clarify my life's purpose. Although I can't really quantify it, let's just say that in my first 37 years as a meat-eating, car driving consumer in a 1st world country, in my mind I've symbolically contributed to the painful demise of 10 blue whales. If, for the remainder of my life, I can make amends and save the symbolic equivalent of 11 blue whales, then I'll have made a net positive difference. I'm hoping that math reckons itself in the afterlife though. :-)

    But specifically, Ray Anderson has taught me that business is the fastest and most effective way to save the world. If he could do a mid-course correction for a transnational corporation, then there's no excuse for other companies not to do the right thing and still make a profit. I’m very happy with the performance of my Interface stock. Mainly because of Ray, I'm leading a green team at my work place. Janine Beynus has opened my eyes to the truth of biomimicry and revealed that those who follow mother nature’s rules will succeed. From her teachiings, I feel that I intentionally came across an article for Project Kaisei. I am now a volunteer for Project Kaisei and am doing all I can to avoid using plastics and styrofoam in my life and spreading the word. Jill Bolte Taylor spelled out our interconnectedness to one another and everything around us. She taught me that it's my relationships to all beings that will underscore true happiness and that our bodies and minds are a gift to be used in that capacity.
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    Jul 4 2011: First, a fun fact, I've knew about this page a few months ago, because a professor, in my school, show us a TED Talk of Simon Sinek, trying to inspiring us (I study Graphic Design). While I was seeing the Talk, I told to myself, "hey that's what I think!".
    After that class, I enter to the page and I get fascinated with all the Talks, all the ideas from too many people, so different each one, without caring about their religious, politics, jobs, nationalities, but with one point in common: trying to make a better world.
    I've started some proyects, trying to make a change in my country (Mexico), before TED I was inspired, but now, I'm the double inspired to make the change, and to don't give up so easily, that is a long road, but it would worth it.
    What I've learnt? Inspiration, don't give up, and I'm not the only one making a change.

    Sorry if I've some mistakes in the text.
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    Jul 4 2011: TED has re-inspired my desire to learn new concepts and ideas. TED has opened up to me a world of people that are a positive influence, and for that I am grateful!
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    Jul 26 2011: ...that any shred of cynicism I've had about our world's future is entirely unwarranted. Now well into my '30s, I'm in that middle ground between youthful optimism and veteran scorn. I now feel myself being pulled back toward optimism as I see SO many talented, creative, and (most of all) hopeful people striving to make the world better. That so many look and think nothing like me gives me an even greater sense of pride.
  • Jul 18 2011: I find myself spreading the word of TED almost every 3:d talk that comes up here, just because you do learn a thing or two or TED acts as a great news source that actually gives you real live news about interesting topics.

    I've learned a lot about the human study, the brain and the body..
    How society works and what's going on around the world.

    Stories that facinates me like the one about "Suspended animation" or the outcome of putting children in charge of modern day problems.
    TED, as Stephen below mentioned, acts as a gateway between people that are interested or knowlage.

    And on TED, everyone is equal, this is the only forum that i know where gender, age or race does not matter.
    I'm glad to be able to take in the information that is shared from within the community!
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    Jul 16 2011: TED for me is more than learning 'something new' or 'skills for my daily life'. Instead I get inspired, shocked and surprised by so many wonderful (as well as miserable) things that happened in this world.

    Life is wonderful and interesting just because there is always something NEW to explore. TED is like a booster to my curiosity to this world and things around me.
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    Amy Hu

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    Jul 11 2011: This is an inspiring and exciting platform for us to learn more about the world. Thanks TED!!!!
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    Jul 9 2011: I've learned new ways to learn. New ways to understand knowledge and transform into wisdom. Learned new ways to share information,
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    Jul 7 2011: I grew up as a Jehovah's Witness, leaving the group (and home) at the age of 17. Part of the recovery process was accepting that the world was not getting worse, and was in fact getting better all the time. I now spend a fair amount of my time helping others to leave that high-control group, and TED talks are a big part of that. Steven Pinker, Hans Rosling and many others have given me the ammunition I need in order to convince many (including myself) that we are headed for a bright future indeed. Thanks, TED!
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    Jul 5 2011: There is always something new to learn.
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    Jul 5 2011: That there are a lot of different ideas and even more points of view. Diversity and disagreement!
  • Jul 4 2011: I've learned too much to recount here. I love this organization. I only discovered this site about a year ago, and was immediately hooked! Much of it is over my head, but I still enjoy trying to expand my mind....LOL
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    Jul 4 2011: I remember my very first TED presentation I've seen at friends's facebook wall... I was absolutely new and exciting experience.. I found completely different world, and a whole society of people I always wanted to speak with...
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    Jul 1 2011: Not to be gloomy but positive, the world is much richer and vaster than it often seems to be...
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    Jun 30 2011: The talks that are my personal favorites are David Gallow: Underwater astonishments, Jill Bolte Taylor's stroke of insight, Jonathan Drori: Why we are storing billions of seeds and Paul Stamets on 6 ways mushrooms can save the world.

    Indirectly I have learned that any one of these videos can spark a TON of interest on a topic, and you really get to see all sides of thought in comments from hundreds of experts, hobbyists and the general public. I have been participating in the TED conversations lately and think this is an incredible opportunity for people to get real critisism from all walks of life. TED has change my life :D
  • Jul 27 2011: i have learnt that there are 2 types of people in this world :
    1. the ones who divide the world into 2 types.
    2. the ones who don't
    i mean we must treat everyone as the family member of this global family where EARTH is our home (:
  • Jul 26 2011: TED has taught me that if you truly want to make a difference there is nothing that can stop you, and if you put your heart into it anything is possible!

    It is inspiring to see so many people at TED making a difference in their own way! THANK YOU
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    Jul 25 2011: Part 1

    Early on in this conversation I stated that I didn't know where to begin, and that's still true but scrolling through what I shared on Facebook yesterday might be a good place to start. so here it goes! (Thank you Joe Delsen for pushing me)

    I'd like to say that the things I share about each Talk is just a bit of what I've learned about them and that i point to knowledge and not the feeling these Talks also gave me!

    http://www.ted.com/talks/mechai_viravaidya_how_mr_condom_made_thailand_a_better_place.html Taught me not only how condoms can change a society and it's birth rate but how a country, or rather the inhabitants of a country are easily empowered to do so if you just educate everyone a bit and... replace Coca cola with condoms.

    http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/TEDxSaltLakeCity-Jason-Fairbour;Most-popular Taught me a new word "Micro-Franchising" and how sustainable it is in comparison to Micro-financing. I also learned the importance of providing cosmetics to third world places and how it improves on self-esteem.

    http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/TEDxTokyo-Gunter-Pauli-Balancin;Featured-Talks Taught me an ingenious way of harvesting both solar and wind power (and much more) and that there is actually a really good, well developed list of how to make the world (and your part) sustainable.

    http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/TEDxCMU-Luis-von-Ahn-Duolingo-T;Most-popular Taught me that every time I send an Email through TED I contribute to deciphering books that computers can't read, I also learned that approximately 750 million people have done this, just by contributing 10 seconds every now and then. I also learned of a great free language-learning website that you are doing good by using, and it's free!

    http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/TEDxManhattan-Dr-Melony-Samue-2;Most-popular Taught me about the possibility of farming in the Bronx, turns out all you had to do was educate some people and their neighbors will follow! (ran out of chars)