Chris Anderson

Curator, TED

This conversation is closed.

Has a TED Talk ever influenced you? How?

We get beautiful feedback on how much people appreciate watching TED Talks. But as well as learning, has a talk ever actually changed your (or someone else's) behavior? Or led to something intriguing? I'm curious to get some stories about how an idea can have impact... big or small, significant or just funny. I may share a couple of the best at TED2011 next week.

Closing Statement from Chris Anderson

Many thanks to all who answered. I found a lot of these responses really moving. My take away is that perhaps the biggest single impact of TED Talks is in expanding peoples' sense of possibility and thereby motivating them to get up and realize their potential.

  • Feb 27 2011: Chris,

    Your talk on “Crowd Accelerated Innovation” inspired us to think big about how sharing videos can be used to slingshot good ideas into mainstream culture.

    So we created innovideo.tv, a curated gallery of videos about innovative ideas.

    Assuming that only half of the people who have gone to the “Charlie bit my finger – again!” video on YouTube (http://goo.gl/8jviM) watched all 59 seconds, then humanity has spent 253 years watching that one video.

    Imagine the change we can create if we harness that power to share innovation in video format.

    Thank you for inspiring us with your talk, Chris. We hope that innovideo.tv can continue working with the crowd to shine light on ideas and create desire to do good.

    Cheers,

    -the Innovideo team
  • thumb
    Feb 23 2011: A TED talk saved my life. At a TED University session a few years ago, I learned about 23andme, the genetics testing company. I took the test, and found out I was at high risk for blood clots, particularly after surgery. A few months later -- unexpectedly -- I needed surgery on my knee. I told my doctors about the genetic test; they put me on blood thinners; and then -- as foretold -- I had a blood clot that went to my lungs. Because my doctors had prescribed the blood thinners, the clot just put me into the hospital instead of killing me. I'm fine now, but grateful to 23andme, and grateful to TED.
  • thumb
    Feb 23 2011: Liz Gilbert's talk at TED2009 hit so close to home, it's scary. When she said, "It's exceedingly likely that my greatest success is behind me." it hit me like a ton of bricks. I remember the moment well. I was transiting the back of the theater and it her words stopped me in my tracks. I almost dropped the camera I was carrying.

    It took me a few seconds to realize that the reason it smacked me so hard was that it's the same thought (said much more eloquently than I could put it) I had been wrestling with for over a decade. I've watched people try to put my career changes and life path in context of a few bits of software that I created in the late 90's that have done quite well. As my public career has morphed from software to photography and now settled in a world somewhere between, I've watched as people explain it. And it always came back to stuff that happened ten years ago, not now or not the path that I'm currently on. And, quite frankly, I hated that. I despised it, in fact.

    But then, as she went on with her talk and argued that it'd be much better to think about creativity as something that flows through us, I was able to start changing my thoughts on the matter—in real time as she continued to talk, and I somehow managed to keep making photos of her with the camera I almost had dropped a few minutes before—and start recasting my view on it.

    Instead of trying so hard to live up to something in the past that I happened to be in the right time and place for, Liz's words guided me to consider a different view on it of being a conduit for that creativity. Maybe that would be enough. Furthermore, if I could indeed follow her advice and be the best conduit for my own creative spark, maybe I would be that much more ready for the next right time and place and prepared to apply everything I could. And if that time never came, well, I'd done my part.

    By the time she finished, I was both emotionally spent and at peace with the idea. Thank you Liz
  • Feb 24 2011: I remember watching Richard Dawkins ted talk before i knew that TED existed.I was a devout hindu and at the same time was (am) a science student. Eventhough all the science i have been reading never suggested God existed but i kept on believing. That talk moved something inside me. It waged a war inside me. I had been praying all my life and suddenly i didn't have enough belief. It was like being cured from Schizophrenia. The transformation was very painful but the revelation was a delight. I found an answer to a question - "why there is so much pain and suffering in this world". Because we get rid of our burden of responsibility thinking there is some powerful and benevolent being that will do it for us. Being atheist made me realized that atitude will cost this planet a lot. TED is really a GODSENT in that matter (hehehehehehe) as it has been attacking that attitude. It shows people that even a single person can bring the revolution to life, whether it's Sunitha Krishnan fighting sex slavery or Dawkins fighting mass schizophrenia.
  • thumb
    Feb 24 2011: Chris,

    I suppose this would be a good time to thank you for all you've done with TED--I have lacked any form of mentorship for the last 5 years throughout my undergraduate studies, until recently at least, and TED Talks have really sustain me through the disheartening youth culture of mediocrity and un-inspiration.

    When I first found TED, I was an under-performing high school student, barely made it into a state university, and had lost the love for learning that had so passionately consumed me since my days of Montessori. I am now one of the first--if not the very first--undergraduate ever to present in the main program of the annual meeting for the American Philosophical Association in their 120 year history; I've had 2 major lung surgeries during which i started a surgery recovery blog that has reached thousands across the world; I have facilitated a new partnership between a major non-profit and a major bay-area startup; I was selected by the Office of the President of my University as a distinguished scholar candidate for next cycle (Rhodes, Marshall, Mitchell); and I have started a philosophy-action student group at a local high school that is in the process of being integrated into my University Department of Philosophy.

    I don't say this to brag, as the accomplishments of TED speakers and those who might post here vastly overshadow my own; I say this because I want to illustrate how massive of an impact TED has had on my life. I can trace a specific set of talks to all of these accomplishments, and though I don't have space to go into this here, they include talks by Ken Robinson, Tim Ferriss, Aimee Mullins, Tony Robbins, Mike Rowe, and Shimon Schocken among others.

    The intellectually-starved and mentor-deprived youth of today, my students included, find in TED inspiring examples and a rare fountain of social hope in an otherwise oppressive and broken education system. I hope to have even a fraction of the impact you've had here with TED.

    Best,
    Nathan
  • thumb
    Feb 27 2011: TED has given me the strength to fight for a better world.
    Since I discovered TED I am always scheming on ways to improve things, ways of uniting people for a greater good and for the first time in my life i feel that It's possible!
  • Feb 26 2011: I tell people I meet that the Internet was invented just so that TED.com could exist. It is quite simply one of the most valuable websites that has ever been created.

    Has TED changed my behaviour?

    My initial reaction would be to say " No, not really...".

    But wait, TED constantly changes my mood, and like most TED devotees, that change of mood is invariably positive in nature - taking a cue from the Home Page - TED talks increase my fascination, my wonder, my enthusiasm, my inspiration and my understanding. Who knows where such mood-enhancement will lead, long-term?

    I just love the range of TED talks. From astrophysics to spaghetti sauce, from rats sniffing out landmines to the confessions of an advertising man, from mirror neurones to some of the best talks on marketing you could ever hear.

    Sir Ken Robinson has rightly come in for a lot of praise for his TED speech, which at this rate will soon overtake Shakespeare's Henry V's battle-cry at Agincort. But I believe that Sir Ken's speech is just the tip of a TED iceberg crammed full with insights and ideas. Go explore the whole pantheon of TED talks - it'll be worth the effort.

    So I'll finish as I started:

    TED. Why the Internet was invented.
    • thumb

      jag .

      • 0
      Feb 26 2011: Very well said, I dont need to comment, your opinion on ted is very similiar. Although in addition to TED, youtube is why the internet is created.
  • thumb
    Feb 24 2011: Well it has often made me think, but the biggest impact on my life so far is helping me get together with my wonderful girlfriend by helping me be braver. I had watched Brene Browns talk about the power of vulnerability. It wasn't exactly a new idea, but it was powerfully communicated. I was visiting my friend Callie in the States, and we had become closer during my visit. So riding in the car on the way to the airport I was writing a letter as a parting gift, but I decided to tell her how I felt about her. She is a wonderful, smart, funny and kind person who struggles in a poor part of America without wealthy parents to pay her way into college. It was as heartfelt as I get, and as I opened up so did she, and I am visiting again in two weeks, this time as her boyfriend. So thank you TED, this is only a small part of the greater wisdom I think I have earned from your talks.
  • thumb
    Feb 23 2011: It's very hard to asses something that gets under you skin as deep as TEDTalks...

    I guess every TEDTalk has influenced me in that I can now put into words many of the beliefs I already had before watching it, which in turn helps me make impact among my peers' thinking and my own.

    For example, I've always felt education is broken in a way, but I could never formulate a single "why", whereas now I can form several (schools kill creativity, math is not taught in a practical way, etc.). I've also felt that there's something wrong in the way we perceive morals and religion, but couldn't express what I thought was right, whereas now I can point at the "golden rule" (which I was actually thought in school, but handn't realized it's such an old and culturally universal saying) and Richard Dawkins' talk.
  • thumb
    Feb 27 2011: Ted Talk constantly influences who I am every day. I was introduced to Ted Talk a few years ago and one of the first memorable presentations that changed how I approach challenges in my life and how I teach in the classroom is Benjamin Zander on music and passion.

    This talk was absolutely amazing and shows the importance of being passionate about what we do and how it carries over to others.
  • thumb
    Feb 26 2011: You have recently experienced a major loss in your life yet you will bring so much optimism and hope to all of through the TED venues and sharing of ideas. I continually find that sharing various TED talks in my classes and workshops provides the kind of perspective that all of need to have now and in the future. Often it is not one talk but the threads through many talks that weave differently for each of us. My tapestry will be different that yours but yet common elements and threads.
    Thanks for providing a platform from which we can weave our tapestries.
  • thumb
    Feb 25 2011: Ted.com has completely changed how I look at the world. I am much more optimistic about the future now, especially a more just future for women, and I look at everything in a different, enlightened way, thinking about what is going on behind the scenes, who is running everything, and Ted has especially raised my awareness of the importance of design. Besides giving me a whole new pantheon of heroes, ted also affects my daily life:
    -I get mad at the stop signs after watching a speech about how roundabouts are so much better!
    -I practice breathing daily after I saw a speech that called it 'brain-brushing,' like teeth-brushing, which totally changed how much of a burden I considered it.
    -I have something to add or ask about in almost any conversation
    -I went semi-vegetarian
    -I recognize what an extraordinary time period it is to be alive for
    -I feel like part of a global community
    -I spend 10-20 minutes a day watching a TED speech- I've seen about 700 at this point. I also attended TEDxPSU, a TEDxGlen Echo watch party, and got into the Washington Post complaining about its TEDWomen coverage. TED makes real all the ideals we have about what humanity should be like.
    • thumb

      jag .

      • +1
      Feb 26 2011: Nice, thats great. Especially the part abput feeling part of a global community. Sometime when I see people arguing over crazy things like race and religion, it feels so small and unimportant.
  • Feb 25 2011: I am an educator and TED has inspired both me and my students in countless ways. My favourite TED talks have been by Sir Ken Robinson, Adora Svitak, Madeline Albright, Isabel Allende and Tony Porter.

    However the one TED talk that has truly impacted me is Dave Egger's "Once Upon a School".

    As an educator I wear 2 distinctive hats: as a an academic in a recognized academic institution and as a popular educator working in the larger community. In my role in academia I am challenged by the limits imposed by the bureaucracy of education. As a popular educator I practice the Freirean philosophy of education for the people which is based on an anti-oppression learner centred paradigm.

    Dave's talk has inspired me to work toward uniting these two oppositional paradigms. I have begun by developing a pilot program in my college to get first year students published. This project titled "The Next Big Idea" will launch in the 2011-2012 academic year. The next step involves applying for a grant to create a popular education space in the community that will link the community with popular education practices. And finally I intend to build action learning into the curriculum for my courses. This will call for students to connect with community members and share their learning & experiences, allowing all learners, both formal & informal, to inspire one another.

    I have watched his Ted Talk countless times and am continually inspired by the project he developed.

    Thank you, Dave Eggers!!
    • Feb 26 2011: I really liked Dave Eggers' talk too. Another related and equally inspiring TED talk that you might like is by Zoe Weil called "The World Becomes What You Teach" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5HEV96dIuY
      • Feb 26 2011: Thank you for suggesting Zoe Weil's talk. I loved it and have ordered her books from my local library and will look at integrating her ideas into my curricula :)
  • thumb
    Feb 23 2011: A TED talk changed my life. About five years ago I was doing an online search about Richard Dawkins when I found his TED talk. I then started watching other talks as they went online and a few years later became a TEDster myself for the first time in 2009.

    It may be a cliche, but it is still true: TED2009 blew my mind and when the pieces came together again they were aligned differently ... better! The experience was repeated in 2010 and I have high expectations for what will happen in a few days in 2011. I can honestly say that I lead a better life by thinking bigger and acting on ideas.

    TED does that to you, it gives you ideas and energizes you into taking action to make this world a better place.
  • thumb
    Mar 2 2011: I am a beginning college professor in Engineering and discovered TED while a graduate student a few years ago.The talks have inspired me to become a better student, researcher, educator, and teacher. When people ask me what I do, I respond that "I teach".

    I could go on about how I am inspired, motivated, challenged, and touched by the TED talks, but instead I want to focus on the ripple effect that TED has had on my teaching and my students.

    TED talks bring into context a lot of concepts that are part of my classes. The objective of using the TED talks is to inspire but most importantly to let the students see that all of what they are learning is related to the real world, or on what they will do when they become professionals. Sometimes to give them a little guidance, and to expand their sphere of ideas, of influence.

    As a result of featuring these talks, the level of motivation, and the quality of the work that the students do has increased significantly. That is a wonderful result, but suddenly at the start of the class I now have students wanting to discuss a talk that they saw, or ask me questions about something outside of class that they were curious about that we saw in a talk and wanted to know more.

    One of my students has now declared he wants to be part of the first manned Mission to Mars( after watching the talks about Space and Mars), some have decided to build robots, others have started their own organizations or clubs (Mini Baja vehicle, leadership groups, faith based groups), others have applied to internships or scholarships at NASA, JPL, Raytheon, etc that they would have never thought to do (and have gotten them). Students are sharing the talks at home, with other students, and now with other faculty. Some of those faculty members have now started to use TED talks in their classes, and the cycle repeats. It's not all of them, but enough to make a difference as it trickles down to others.

    Inspiration, motivation, challenge, repeat as needed
  • thumb
    Feb 28 2011: I have listened to Liz Gilbert's talk on creativity over and over, and I don't think I'll ever get tired of it. As a student in the extremely competitive environment of a music conservatory, I've become quite disillusioned with the often cut-throat environment of the arts. It seems so contradictory! If someone is pursuing what they love, they should not be judged or put down for "inferior standards" or any of that nonsense. When I first saw Liz's talk a year ago, it was a breath of fresh air to hear her "Ole" to all artists out there for giving their all.

    The second time I listened to the video of her talk, I was in an extremely different place in my life. I had just had a nervous breakdown due to the overwhelming pressure of music school, had been hospitalized in a psychiatric institution, and had replaced music with writing as my creative outlet. Listening to the talk a second time, I was hit even harder with the importance of loving what I do, no matter what that is or how "well" I'm doing it. As a friend of my family put it, the very idea of a competition in any sort of field of art is as ridiculous as having a "loving" competition. No one can judge the extent of someone's love for any field or how well they communicate it. I didn't take this to heart, and it drove me into a mental hospital. I only pray that others will heed Liz's inspiring words before they find themselves in a similar place. I am a perfect example of an artist who put too much faith in myself rather than my "genius" as she put it; my God as I would prefer to put it. Ole to Liz for her inspiring words, and Ole to all those artists out there who doubt themselves and their work. Keep at it.
  • thumb
    Feb 27 2011: I have, since always, an allergy to meetings. This Fried's talk ( http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/jason_fried_why_work_doesn_t_happen_at_work.html ) led me to organize new kind of meetings: standing meetings. If you have to stand during a meeting... the meeting will take al lot less time.
  • Feb 27 2011: About 18 months ago I saw Johnny Lee’s Wii Mote Hack’s at a fortuitous time. We had grant money to spend on technology to change our Detroit Charter Schools archaic ed- tech environment. I bought everything Johnny said was needed, downloaded his software and put together a presentation for my school. They were going to purchase a few SMART Boards. Instead we now have Wii mote Interactive White Boards in all 40 classrooms in our school. We also had money left over for three mobile labs, a set of student response systems per grade level, and document cameras for all classrooms that teach Math and Science.

    I have gone on to share Ted Talks with other teachers including Sugata Mitra shows how kids teach themselves. This inspired the use of Skype, using computers in project based group work, and for myself, I try to take a “Granny cloud” approach to teaching, offering encouragement wherever and whenever I can.
    Sharing TED Talks with my middle school students has had a profound impact on them as well. Living in Detroit can be discouraging in the best of times, but TED Talks give us hope; hope that innovative, insightful, compassionate, people are finding workable positive solutions to the world’s problems. I can only hope that the inspiration they seem to derive from the talks has a lasting impact motivating them into action. It is still too early to tell.

    Thank you for creating and sharing this forum. I treasure it.
    • thumb
      Feb 27 2011: Wow. Someone who has actually successfully implemented more than one idea from TED in their daily work (as opposed to just experimenting with it or doing something similar to it).

      The world needs more people like you!
  • thumb
    Feb 26 2011: Inspiring TED talks change the way I teach.
    Ali Carr-Chell caused me to design my classes more actively and increased my tolerance to noise and movement.
    Dan Meyer and Conrad Wolfram reinforced me to change the way statistics are taught in my department.
    Sugta Mitra inspired me to have one lesson totally based on student-driven learning, and has also helped me change the way research methods are taught in my department.

    And Barton Seaver caused me to decrease the animal protein portions in our family meals.
  • Feb 25 2011: Ken Robinson and Temple Grandin have profoundly influenced my life. They encouraged me to step out write a book on literacy and begin Pedia Learning. Our goal at Pedia Learning is to educate the whole child: physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual. Currently we are focused on literacy, the foundation of all academic pursuit. We publish books and curriculum that promote the respect of all types of learners, engaging student's strengths while strengthening their weaknesses.
    As an educator my reading methods classes did not prepare me to teach real students who thought differently from me. My sons, who were born engineers, could not read after finishing their kindergarten and first grade phonics program. Rather than labeling them with a disability, I saw their gifts and began to search for answers. I discovered reading centers around our country successfully teach children with "reading disabilities" simply by systematically teaching them the keys to unlock the English code. In this material I found the solutions to my own spelling difficulties and recognized its importance to logical-literal thinkers. With this systematic teaching they soared.
    Their younger sister is kinesthetic, She thinks while moving. I have learned to incorporate kinesthetic activities into teaching reading, while developing the auditory connections and teaching the logical system to our language. Because of Ken Robinson she is now happily enrolled in an intense gymnastics school and I value her learning there as much as her book work.
    In addition to writing, and beginning Pedia Learning, I have taught Logic of English classes for parents and teachers. Countless people come up to tell me "I wish someone had taught me this way in school. I thought there was something wrong with me."
    Ken Robinson's talks are so influential because they touch a deep chord within all of us. He encouraged me to step out to try to change education and make a difference in people's lives.
  • Feb 24 2011: I'm new to TED. I found it a couple of weeks ago and I've spent a good few nights staying up late listening and digesting the amazing things people are sharing here. I'm a creative innovator but I live in a small UK city that seems to be a creative dead zone.

    TED talks have given me permission.

    Permission to believe in myself, permission to believe in my ideas and permission to believe I can make a difference in the world.

    Having watched so many talks it is difficult to choose one that has influenced me more than others but right now i'm working out what tribe I want to lead having listened to Seth Godin's 2009 talk on 'the tribes we lead'.

    I look forward to reading about how others of you have been influenced.

    Peace.

    James
  • Feb 24 2011: Alain De Botton's talk about success have really changed how I'll plan out my future. I have been worrying a lot about how to "succeed" in life, thinking mostly about what carrier to choose, which one is most prestigious and so forth. But everything he said really resonated with me and I decided to dig a little deeper when thinking about my life. I especially like the line, "the funny thing about success is that we think we know what it means". I was just intensely agreeing with everything he said! It was like all those vague thoughts I had before became clear and coherent. Really what I needed to hear. I plan on reading some of his books later. :)
  • thumb
    Feb 24 2011: In earlier comment I covered exactly 2000 characters ( allowance in this post ) to pass the first part, the inspiration. I realize this thread is searching for action. I wanted to point out the first actions from my side. I am creator of a not yet known project that is a display system that uses web technology -- it's meant to be for public and semi-public spaces such as a commuity. A lot of people say that this project is called Digital Signage. But I always felt that "Digital Signage" view was biased towards the world of panels being used for propaganda.

    I am using a lot of energy to point out that this is not digital signage. The use of panels in public and semi-public spaces, using a social function, should not be called digital signage, I feel. And it is a difficult endeavor -- it's important to press the same note again and again, but also I had great problems because of the communication, the cases, let's say in Benjamin Zander's words, the impulses. The notes ( or communication and cases of uses ) needs to show a story that sticks and people can digest. That is where the connection with TED is helping:

    TED is helping me to explain this project better. When I created the project before knowing TED I had a technological view -- I knew the general direction but failed to tell the story that relates to life. Now, after TED, I am able to explain to the world that we can insert social panels in walls everywhere to make the world a better place to live -- these are not to be ad/corporation/broadcast controlled. This is to be made by locals, to share art, to share love, to share inspiration. In a way, like TED does online, but to do that in physical locations.

    I also seen many projects displayed at TED talking about that. A lot more mature projects and things that scaled already -- like the hole in the wall, and also social robots made by MIT. Also the lovely robot from the lovely MarylinMonrobot can be used in social spaces to educate people.
    • thumb
      Feb 24 2011: I empathise with your frustrations. For my project, what used to take me two hours to explain, including how it worked technically, I have broken down to seven different elevator pitches of 60 seconds and now contains nothing of how it works. I choose which elevator pitch I use depending on what angle I think the recipient of the pitch can appreciate the problem. Good luck and look forward to seeing your TED talk on your project in the future.
  • Feb 24 2011: There are so many ways that TED talks have impacted me, I'm not even sure where to begin. I teach ESL to adults in Israel. As part of their learning, they are often assigned a talk to listen to and we sometimes use them in class. One day I assigned one of my student's Shimon Schocken talk about biking with juvenile delinquents here. Of course, being a cyclist himself, he knew him and he cycles with him, and he even arranged for me to meet him, as I told him he is one of my local heros. The William Ury one about another way of looking at peace is the middle east is another fabulous learning piece for my students and always leads to great conversation and pretty decent language, as they speak emotionally and aren't focused on rules. Lots of other student stories as well. Personally, both Brene Brown's and Hedy Schleifer's talks took me to some very cool and introspective places-as a middle aged single woman living alone in a very strange culture and country. I watch both of them when I need a lift or a gentle reminder about what is important in life.
    TED just rocks my world. Some days I get home so late I am just plain too tired to feed my body-but never too tired to have my daily TED dose and feed my soul. Thanks you guys-keep them coming.
  • thumb
    Feb 24 2011: TED talks have an impact on me every day. And through me, both personally and on social media, hundreds of others are likewise touched.

    I've watched all or parts of more than 200 talks. Each one has offered something special: sparked a thought, generated an action, touched an emotion, initiated a thought process, inspired, amused, entertained, charmed, challenged... the list goes on...

    Some of my favourites (for a diversity of reasons) are:

    All of those by:

    Aimee Mullins
    Jacqueline Novogratz
    Eve Ensler
    Hans Rosling

    Plus:
    Adora Svitak: What adults can learn from kids
    Researcher Storyteller Brene Brown Tells Story About Connection
    Cindy Gallop: Make Love Not Porn
    Deborah Scranton On Her "War Tapes"
    Eddi Reader On "What You've Got"
    Elizabeth Gilbert On Nurturing Creativity
    Elizabeth Pisani Speaks on AIDS Research
    Helen Fisher On Love
    Isabel Allende Tells Tales of Passion In A Riveting TED Talk
    Iyeko Performs At TEDxAtlantic
    Jane McGonigal: Gaming can make a better world
    Jessica Jackley on Poverty, Money...and Love
    Jill Sobule Sings To Al Gore
    Julia Sweeney On Letting Go Of God
    Julia Sweeney, Comic Actor, on the Facts of Life
    Karen Armstrong On The Charter of Compassion
    Jewish Author Lesley Hazelton Reads The Quran Slowly
    Liza Donnelly on How Humor Can Empower Women
    Mena Trott On Blogs
    Natalie Merchant Sings From Her New Album
    Natasha Tsakos Is WOW! In "Upwake"
    Rachel Sussman Shows Photographs Of The World's Oldest Life Forms
    Roz Savage: Why I'm rowing across the Pacific
    Sarah Jones As A One-Woman Global Village
    Sheena Matheiken on The Uniform Project
    Sheryl Sandberg on Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders
    Stacey Kramer on How Terrifying News Became a Priceless Gift
    Sue Gardner on The People's Encyclopedia
    Suheir Hammad Performs Poems of War, Peace, Women & Power
    Sunitha Krishnan’s Fight Against Sex Slavery
    Taryn Simon Photographs Secret Sites
    Temple Grandin: The world needs all kinds of minds
    Women’s Advocate Zainab Salbi Talks Women, War, and Peace

    :)
  • Feb 24 2011: Sir Ken Robinson is my favorite! For years I have bemoaned the education system and my children's places in it. Since listening to his talk, I've gotten off my couch and done something about it. Two of my children have been moved to charter schools. I've become an effective avocate for them and next week I will be speaking before our state legislature on proposed reforms that are detrimental to the charterschool system in New Mexico. I wouldn't have seen myself in this position a few years ago. Sir Ken inspires!
  • thumb
    Feb 24 2011: In august 2007, I received this email form you.
    Dear TEDizens, I'm pleased to tell you that today we're premiering the first online talks… Over the coming months we'll continue to release ever more of these talks. These represent just the tip of the iceberg...
    All best, Chris Anderson, TED Curator, 
Emeka Okafor, Conference Director

    To access such a wealth of knowledge without the need to travel to the conference was great, This welcomed way into the energy and foresight of TED speakers was information based, and sometimes inspirational.
    Then one day, I viewed: Eddi Reader
    I was completely taken, I found myself shaking and sobbing over the unbalance of what was given to me versus what I had actually given back. As executive producer of five Cirque du Soleil shows and of ‘Ulalena in Hawaii, I felt these isolated efforts were not enough. Suddenly TED became "emotion based".

    Your choice to link us all through WHAT YOU’VE GOT was pivotal . It moved me from emotion to action, and has had long lasting staying power, especially during the recent economic downturn and loss of friend and family to sickness.
    I am now involved with many projects helping others doing things that count.

    TED talks kept the promise, the “iceberg” is revealed and it stands as “what matters the most”. Let’s not let it melt.
  • Feb 24 2011: Favourite talks and why:
    TED India is by far the best collection I've heard so far - I think because the projects are resounding in how impossible, how many barriers, how small they began, and how far they've come.

    All my favourite talks are funny. The reason I loved TED from the moment I started was that I realized the best insight was carried across with humour.

    JK Rowling's "Best of the Web" talk was what got me onto TED. I have rewatched that talk over 10 times fully and sent it to all my best friends who would entertain watching my link. It's still to date the only talk that's made me cry. It's the talk that has completely touched me - in the poetic delivery, and in the depth of nuanced insight. It was a talk that expressed my two most important values in ways I had never heard anyone else manage to encapsulate together - not just the idea of failure, but the idea of utterly feeling rock bottom and building up again. Also of being grateful every day when you are reminded of how many are so much worse off for no justifiable reason. So kudos to TED for putting that one on.

    Most importantly, TED creates community - in an inclusive way. To say you like TED is to declare that you love learning, that you're curious, and hopefully open. It is not a badge of stature you can buy like an LV, but a badge that others respect you for and are drawn to you unconditionally because you put the time, belief, and passion into watching those videos and being touched. To say you like TED doesn't mean you exclude those who haven't heard, or aren't interested. But it creates a common lingo for those who are - eyes light up, and instantly you know someone else is gets fired up with interesting conversations. TED helps connect strangers who are committed to ideas. That makes the world a smaller and more understanding place. :-)
  • Feb 24 2011: The Elizabeth Gilbert talk on Creativity rocked my world! Her application of ways ancient cultures perceived creatives and artists was inspiring and empowering. I love the idea of having my creative "outside" of me. Taking power over my creativity and that "genius" that guides me, and telling it what I need sometimes. It takes some of the pressure off and now when someone says "you're a genius" for something I've created, I silently thank MY genius for its part and for sticking with me. On days/weeks when I'm struggling with my creativity or at odds with my genius...or flat feel like my genius does not exist, I listen to her talk. It's like a mediation to bring me back to a place of comfort and inspiration and be receptive to my genius and my passion. I am hearing her speak in person tonight in NYC and I'm so excited and so thankful for the difference she has made in my thinking and doing!
  • thumb
    Feb 24 2011: Not only has it been a great learning experience to watch TED talks but I have been very much influenced by the talks to keep a multi-disciplinary eye on what is going on around me. I should say that at the university I tend to get focused on a specific subject, yet everyday TED talks remind me to step back a little and view things from a wider perspective. I believe this to be a very useful attribute of the whole TED experience.
  • Feb 24 2011: TED has helped me in my teaching - it's given me material to perk the curiosity of children. TED has amazing ideas, but more then that, the passion in TED. I love how alive, insightful, articulate, different, FUNNY, the speakers are. It fires me up with the hope that there are so many people who make a difference in the world.

    As a teacher to young students, what TED has given me is what I want to give to students. The talks have introduced me to worlds I didn't know about, perspectives, ideas, inventions, movements - humans thrive on that. And my own excitement about these discoveries is carried over to my kids, who are just as awe-stricken by the pictures they see, the 3D computers, the glowing fish. Then they ask me a billion questions I cannot answer. I don't know what impact I have had - if any - on my students. But I would like to think that even if they forget me, they are instilled with those experiences of excitement, awe, and wonder at the possibilities of the world.

    I've always loved the concepts behind TED, so to see TED, and to have access to it is a conviction for me to spread my love of ideas, of learning, of listening, of trying new things. It has given me the opportunity to approach a TEDster to promote doing TED for youth, and then subsequently to do TEDxYouth Day for Hong Kong. It's given me the opportunity to reach out to, and work with student leaders, and with adults who want to work with student leaders.

    More than anything, TED has provided the inspiration for me to pursue my passion of building spaces for dialogue, and platforms for cooperation, and bridges - linking adults with youth, people across cultures, the rich and the poor, and those who have ideas and those who want to do something.

    At first my friends got sick of me talking about TED (I could relate everything to a TED talk/comment) - and now they're the ones telling me about new TED talks. It's reawakened people's passion for learning.
  • Feb 24 2011: Daily, I look forward to listening to newly posted TED talks. I'm a TEDster for sure!! The talks from women who have studied, researched, lived and can tell us and teach us are my favourite. The TED Women talk that impressed me the most was the one where the mother-daughter doctors were interviewed. They care for hundreds of people daily in a hospital in...I can't remember the exact place-a place where the standard of living is low and there is no system of health care! THAT talk was very inspiring and I applaud and admire those women! Thank you so much TED Talks.
    TEDster Daniella
  • thumb
    Feb 24 2011: One thing: TED helps to improve my English. So far I don't need subtitles any more to listen most talks in TED. As long as it becomes your passion, learning is no longer a try.
  • Feb 24 2011: I have been influenced by many TED videos, but only one talk directly changed my behaviour. Graham Hill's talk "Why I'm a weekday vegetarian" made so much sense to me that I decided to try it out. Once a staunch carnivore, I now only eat meat when someone else prepares it or at a restaurant. His talk challenged me to try new recipes, become more adventurous about food, and has saved me quite a bit of money, which is always important as a student. Many thanks!
  • thumb
    Feb 24 2011: Inspiration !! All TED talks inspired me to do many things. I started blogging to benefit students. My mind sprouted with many new ideas to benefit the society. I loved myself even when I failed. TED talks motivates me, helps me in learning, makes me more informative. TED talks influences me to do good things which benefits the society. Love the TED talks. Our friends grouped together to do TEDxSalem event, and we did it. We learned through TED talks. Its makes us mature enough to face the world, also makes aware of what we lack. It brings out the inherent potential of an individual like me. It shapes us to become a leader.

    Hats off to TED Talks!!!
  • thumb
    Feb 24 2011: TED talks have a great impact and some of them are amazing. Sir Ken Robinson's talks on education, Nic Marks on happy planet, cameron herald's talk on raising kids to be entrepreneurs, Dan gilbert's talk, Sheena Iyengar's talk on making good choices - are some of the talks that I often listen to. This is the most inetresting platform one can ever create to share and diseminate information and ideas.

    Besides listening to them with keen interest I use them in my School extensively for students and teachers alike to know all that one can !
  • Feb 24 2011: Most influential talk so far? Your own talk "How web video powers global innovation". The message was simple but profound.

    I am a gardener - I have not been educated to a particularly high level but the internet gives me opportunity to learn using structures that could not have been anticipated by my educators. I come from a generation that is comfortable with the written word and Wikipedia has given me access to my current topics of interest, "linear algebra", "Bayesian inference" and "statistical parametric mapping". Videos of TED talks have inspired me to pursue a casual interest in neuroscience. Video is not simply a part of this process, it doesn't replace the written word, it augments. I am pursuing these topics with enthusiasm where, without video, I would already have lost interest.
  • thumb
    Feb 24 2011: Sometime around this time last year, I got a chance to watch the talk Kiran Sethi gave in India at TEDx. It had a great impact on me which made me decide to work with others in Taiwan to start our own Design for Change in Taiwan. After a few months of working together, I had to drop out of the event due to some reasons. However, it didn't stop me from loving the idea that Kiran is trying to promote. I soon brought this idea to the classes I was teaching at the university in that semester. I have to say that it didn't just change my life, but also broadened some of my students' perspective about the life in other places. Because of this, I later became a volunteer at the latest TEDxTaipei event and brought many of my students along too. TED has given me much on what's actually going on in the whole world. As an educator myself, I believe this is something that we should try to deliver, for the better world we will live in. Ever since then, I use TED talks in my lessons from time to time.

    Last semester, I asked my students to work on the I CAN project. They all did a great job, but there's one particularly awesome. We Chinese don't usually say "I love you" to our family or friends. But this group, they chose this topic to ask those around them to call their loved ones and say "I love you". The video after their editing was fantastic. It brought tears to us. The participants were their classmates and teachers. They all hesitated to say the sentence, but they all did in the end. This is the impact that TED has given me, and the influence around me is still growing. My students and I are now hoping we will have our own TEDxSoochow University soon.
  • thumb
    Feb 24 2011: I would say all TED talks have something to teach us if we listen carefully. For me though one of the talks that shifted my way of thinking was Doris Kearns Goodwin's talk on learning from past presidents, focused on Abraham Lincoln. Since I have quite some dreams of my own that I hope to achieve this talk shifted my thinking from being afraid to try to actually start working my way towards my dreams. So yes, I will definitely say that TED talks can change your life and the way you think.
  • thumb
    Feb 24 2011: YES, A LOT.

    i first(since 2003) watched many talks related to saving the planet&humanity; then i happily realized "i'm not alone" i'm not the only (passionately) crazy person in the world! Law of the FEW are at work...

    Much LOVE&Thanks!
  • thumb
    Feb 24 2011: It would be VERY difficult to choose just one or two talks that struck a nail.. TED is all about different ideas and experiences and sharing them with people. Every human being is going to get something out of every talk. I do more or less.

    It's really the highlight of my morning before I start writing. Wondering what new things I'm going to learn.

    Anyway, one that really got me was... "Becky Blanton: The year I was homeless". Mostly because I was a homeless writer, eating out of dumpsters and under some crippling depression myself. Seeing how she pulled her own self out of it made me realize I could change my reality too.

    About a year and a half later, I'm beginning to film my first feature film (http://wolfenfilms.com/films/ddrmovie/). How crazy is that? I was ready to just give up on life itself. I really have to thank good friends and TED for saving my life, in a way.

    Maybe one day I can tell my story at TED and help some people too. Never give up, it's not your choice to check out early.

    Thanks TED, keep doing what you're doing. And I'll keep watching
  • Feb 24 2011: A few years back a friend of mine emailed Jill Bolte-Taylors talk to me. I have since become a huge fan of the entire site and have watched and re-watched many of the TedTalks. Some of my favorites include Sir Ken Robinson, James Cameron, JJ Abrams, Coach John Wooden, Johnny Lee, and Jaime Oliver. I had joined the One Campaign prior to seeing any of the TedTalks. The fact that Ted was the birthplace of this idea and has been the birthplace of many more ideas is a testament to how well this site is doing. I recently well back to college after a career in the outsourcing industry and I am pursuing what I thought was only a childhood dream because of Sir Ken's talk. I appreciate everything that Ted does and look forward to many more talks in the years ahead.
  • Feb 24 2011: TED really influences so much for me! My children and I watch the talks and have fantastic conversations and it always leads to independent reading and research on the topic. I must say I regularly re-watch Sir Ken Robinson's 2006 talk and recommend it to families at every opportunity. I watch it when I lose faith in allowing my children's creativity to flourish or I lose faith in encouraging them to look at creative opportunities as well as or over income opportunities. My whole family's life is richer with TED for we can engage with speakers we wouldn't have encountered otherwise. Thanks so much.
  • thumb
    Feb 24 2011: Watching the exhilarating talk by Ueli Gegenschatz from TED2009 was enough to convince me that this world is home to some truly special, amazing individuals - driven to test not only their personal limits but also those reinforced by society at large. Human Flight!! Seeing the magical soaring and gliding achieved by Ueli and his friends in their “wingsuits” was the most amazing visual and emotional roller coaster of my life. The humble manner in which Mr Gegenschatz guided viewers through his experiences only enforced the amazing temperament and attitude of this pioneer.

    Searching the internet for more news on the sport of wingsuit flying lead to my discovery of his untimely death; wracked by shock and sadness I wasn’t sure what I could take from the experience..... But now with time I’ve realised we should all be doing what we are passionate about, and innovate in each of our fields – pushing away the mental and physical boundaries that keep us stagnant. Fear and anxiety are part of the challenge; don’t let them stop you pursuing your dreams. Just take a leap of faith – you may be surprised and find yourself soaring through the clouds!
  • Feb 24 2011: The talk by Chimamanda Adichie on The Dangers of a Single Story - that a single story creates stereotypes and obscures the true depth of things - really changed the way I see the world. I would watch it again and again to the the point where every time I am about to form an opinion about someone, I stop to think if I am biased.

    Ted talks might not have inspired me to do great and wonderful things, but it has definitely made me a better person.
  • thumb
    Feb 24 2011: There are two types of TED talks that inspire me. There are ones that influences my career as a Professor - anything by Hans Rosling. I am a professor of health policy and his work has inspired me to take a sabbatical and turn my attention to studying poverty.

    On a personal level - I was just overwhelmed by the talk by Aimee Mullins and her 12 pairs of legs. It is incredibly overwhelming and humbling.
  • thumb
    Feb 24 2011: The biggest bang for my buck “Derek Sivers: Weird, or just different” is my pick. A three minute talk literally changed my belief system on how I look at things. His talk is like that song you can’t stop humming in the back of your head, a constant reminder for me to look at things in a different light. Thanks Derek!
  • thumb
    Feb 23 2011: The Jill Bolte talk was the first one I ever saw and it hooked my on TED. It was a very inspiring and touching talk. The talk which changed my life though was Sir Ken Robinson's first TED Talk on do schools kill creativity. I grew up in the failing school system on the 1960s in England and could relate to everything he said. It touched a raw nerve with me. It has inspired me to want to be a more active part of TED and the world in which I live. Because of the talk by Ken Robinson I was able to validate my life as far as my education is concerned. I was one of those who struggled with the standard school system but excelled when I discovered my creative talents as a writer and actor and a designer. Thank you TED and Sir Ken.
  • Feb 23 2011: Apart from the inspiration and knowledge that I get, the presentation techniques of the very best talks have helped me many times when giving own presentations. The 18 minute format is something that I try to convince everybody to adopt (and often with everybody) and the personal, often vulnerable, way of sharing your passion, has proven to be a powerful way of engaging and persuading.
  • Mar 2 2011: Almost no time left, I have a lesson in 15 minitutes, but i want to say that due to TED I am getting envolved into something I feel I belong to . Thank you very much!!!
  • thumb
    Mar 2 2011: I've started a company on the basis of Louise Fresco's ideas on "feeding the whole world". I literally drew the keywords out of this talk, made them the core of my company, and now we're tripling crop yields amongst poor subsistence farmers in Central Africa.

    Keywords: mild mechanisation; investing in basic post-harvest infrastructures and processes; the mild use of fertilizers which is a sad must on Africa's heavily depleted soils; and respecting the need to really make staple crops abundantly available to everyone.

    This talk was simple and convincing, especially because it came from a person with decades of field experience. Her views gave me a push and once and for all made me decide that organic farming is good for highly developed countries, but not yet for communities of subsistence farmers. She made me make up my mind.
  • thumb
    Mar 2 2011: I continue to be inspired, in one way or another, by every single TED that I view. Embracing the vast difference that exists within each message creates a unique perspective of the comprehensive challenges our world must face. The ability to see hope in the humble messages of people who are living life only for others gives me strength and direction. Collectively, TED has created a window of truth and doorway to a better tomorrow.
  • Mar 2 2011: After hearing a TEDx talk in Austin by fireman and author, Rip Esselstyn, last year, I immediately became a vegan. This was a huge change for me. Before then l ate a typical American diet which included lots of sugar, meat, All that changed after hearing his talk.
  • thumb
    Mar 2 2011: The TED talks about ageing and medical technology have really made me ask myself how long I expect to live an active life, and what that means for career and financial planning.
  • Mar 1 2011: Randy Pausch's Last Lecture sticks in the mind and genuinely affected how I see and do things. Also Nigel Marsh's Work Life Balance talk rang several bells. I guess it' having the courage to act on some of the ideas put forward.
  • Mar 1 2011: The speech by Paul Stamets about how mushrooms could improve the world inspired me to study and grow mushrooms and address the local community representatives and the Dutch Mycologist organisation about the inconsistent regulations concerning these beautiful species. It is forbidden to pick any kind of mushrooms and bring them home because of these local regulations. In some regions picking as little as 3 mushrooms could result in a fine of more than a hundred Euro. Even the Mycologist' organisation needs to ask permission and it can take 2 weeks before such is granted to pick them for research purposes. The regulations started as the myth that picking caused the heavy decline of species, now debunked, yet the regulations remain. I'd like to see more education and less mycophobia so that we too can make use of the potential solutions given by Paul Stamets.
  • thumb
    Feb 28 2011: I am different in so many ways. I think more purposefully. I act more compassionately. I feel more globally connected. I see more between the lines. I take action more often. I also have many more friends who care enough about people and the planet to take action toward compassionate change. When something challenging comes up or if I have to be in a situation that's a bit out of my element I'll search TEDTalks to see what has been presented here. TEDTalks and TEDActive have provided a platform that has helped me become more whole. EVERY single talk and person I've met through TED has added something meaningful to my life. While I don't always agree with the message, I treasure the person delivering it. Thank you Chris, thank you so much for expanding TED beyond what it was so it could find a way into our lives.
  • Feb 27 2011: Chris: Out of love for the TED format, I was inspired to create VideoTalks.org. So powerful were your talks as well as the talks on other sites, that I felt it my personal mission to create a robust site linking to 58 video talks, lectures, debates, etc., websites and share that magic with as many people as I could (and continue) to reach. I found the Internet simply lacked such a directory. I am always amazed at the relatively small numbers of people who even know about talks sites. That said, I would like to see TED do more to educate many more people about talks sites. I am still waiting to see a TED speaker walk out on the stage and say, "Our shortcoming is keeping this wonderful gift in a small box . . . " Thank you Chris for all that TED has done to inspire me and so many other people! Jim Melfi, Founder, VideoTalks.org.
  • Feb 26 2011: Ted talks show a diverse array of great people having found their purpose in life (making life better for others), and we, as individuals, should do the same to make a difference however small. Aspiring to that kind of greatness is contagious.
  • Feb 26 2011: I think I have seen the future in this website. I think that TED has opened my eyes to the directions where mankind is headed. I think it gave me new hope for the human race, which I was sure was on its way out.
  • thumb
    Feb 26 2011: TED talks were the reason to start our own organization for non formal education. It actually inspired us to create our own programs for developing life skills, and they empowered us to be different, to believe in our product, and to start a business that motivates us to grow. But not just that, TED talks do have an impact on our private lives, and they show how can we live full, simple, green and friendly life.
  • thumb
    Feb 25 2011: By seeing so many people who have a "life's work" it's helped shape me into a person who wants change the world.
  • thumb
    Feb 25 2011: Of all the TEDtalks many have influenced my thinking and perspective.

    What has most influenced me from TED at large is how the TED brand has touched and influenced the way people percieve ideas and how they can be shared and ultimately brought to life.

    The mechanics and succes strategy in activating video in TEDtalks, licensing the TEDx formats and open translation of content in itself has been a major source of inspiration.

    It has changed my behaviour and business practices and how I spend my time contributing.

    TED has touched many because it is cool, innovative and understandable for many yet tackles huge challenges much bigger than most can have.
  • thumb
    Feb 25 2011: Yes! Every time I learn something it changes my behavior - sometimes in a small way, sometimes in a big way, but always a change and, hopefully, an improvement.
  • Feb 25 2011: Like others, Sir Ken Robinson's talk was the first TEDtalk I've been watched, but this is not my best influenced talk.

    As we know, TED have lots of talks about technology, social problems, and more 'heavy' problems around the world, but it have many emotionally inspired talks.
    Especially, Rives' talk does. His talks are sometimes ingenious, sometimes moving, and funny at all.
    Moreover, his talks sometimes moving emotionally without any translations! (I think one of this reason is that he is poet)

    ps. I'll be an associated webcast member at TED2011. I hope there will be a moment of inspiration, but I'm at South Korea, that means I'll watch the webcast at 4:00 am, as Rives said :)
  • thumb
    Feb 25 2011: First of all, TED as a whole gives me the opportunity to do something useful with the profession I've learned and studied: translating.

    I am living abroad due to my husband's job and translating for TED is something I can take with me wherever we might go in the future.

    There are two talks that really had an impact on how I perceive my family.

    Zainab Salbi's talk gave me a deeper understanding of what my grandmothers had experienced during and after WWII and I am very sad that I cannot talk with them about this anymore as they both passed away several years ago.

    Elif Shafak's talk was very important for me as a writer, but also as a parent. My daughters go to an international school here in Moscow and listening to Elif Shafak talking about her childhood, attending international schools, really helped me to better understand my children.
  • Feb 25 2011: Hey Chris...you yourself, kill me with envy and your TED team /talks just does my never ending post-mortem.....and am able to watch/experience it without any audio/video accessories....lol (and sure this QUESTION...again, .... it had to be YOURS) How does one narrate the ECSTACY of CRYING & LAUGHING out loud from every cell in your body & enduring life?
    One TED WISH has been forever growing inside me with the help of all TED talks; comments from so many ted-addicts energise me to voice the same, maybe it’s being INSANE
    A note of some portion of a comment.....
    Students, they must be taught, simply fundamentals of communication and critical thinking. If a student is able to form and communicate ideas effectively as well as understand outside ideas and analyze them then what other skill could possibly be necessary for someone to teach themselves anything they could need in the future.....
    “TED talks must become a part of the secondary school curriculum” needless to say anymore on how expressive, investigative and focused the children be cultivated into their realm of choice with or without help/influence and guidance galore.
    20 min of wisdom made compulsory for the parliamentarians of all governments to give them insight into the real time, the needs and focus of the progressive path (broadcasted live on local TV to monitor any sleeping attendees...ha ha )
    Hope my teachers had had the privilege of TED & now TED Conversations (OH LORD!) nostalgic moment for their passion & love for teaching despite being poorly paid, would have done wonders to learn & nurture myself.
    Contributions from the rest are elaborate, exclusive and deliver the most of all individuals just appreciative of online self learning and their urge to want to contribute to the habit.
    TED you make us feel & take us to the reality of “HEAVEN on EARTH” my dream to die watching a TED talk, in a trance & transfer from one realm to another.
    “Thank you from all of my heart” would be a very small token..
  • Feb 24 2011: can't even remember how i first found out about TED, it was Sir Ken Robinson's talk on creativity and education. this is no exaggeration, i have watched the clip at least 75 times and each time it resonates so deeply. my compassion for those folks who 'have to move to think' has greatly increased, and i wish i had understood that thought when one of my own children was in gradeschool. i will be forever grateful to Mrs. Brown, the second grade teacher in Idaho Falls, Idaho who did understand that, and let my child move about in the class room, handing out papers, erasing the chalk board, gathering papers, stapling packets, removing staples, etc..... think i'll go watch the clip again, it's been 2-3 months since i last watched it......
  • thumb
    Feb 24 2011: Hard to pick one when so many are / have been so inspirational. That's what drove me to translate many of them to make them accessible to French speakers, especially my own students, colleages and French whou would have missed so much othewise.

    Vic Muniz has captivated many of my pupils with his art and the simple sincerity ha has when he talks about it, and Chris Anderson's web video powers global innovation has cheered up many tired teachers along with Sugata Mitra's hole in the wall computers.

    But one really comes tomy own mind first : Ze Frank's web playroom. His unique way of connecting people like a fascecious yet tender hub ; I keep sending the link to people I know whenever they are down or highly-strung.
  • thumb
    Feb 24 2011: It's difficult for me to articulate how TEDtalks have influenced me. The best way I can describe it, is that when ever I watch TEDtalks I feel as though I've been injected with a vibrant infectious energy. It's the kind of infectious ambition that pushes me to go a little bit further, to try new things, to fail and rejoice in my failure, to learn from it and improve for next time. It inspires me to innovate, to be creative, to try new things, to learn new things. It entrenches my belief to make a significant difference in this world more and more every time I watch a new episode, and the most glorious thing is that there are thousands of ways to achieve that.

    TEDtalks reminds me that I am not alone in my desire to improve the world. That there are connections and individuals who have the same ambitions as myself. It reminds me that the best way to create, to be the artist, to truly and really be proud of my life, is to take the first ludicrous step, and follow it with the second, and then when I trip on the third, stand up again, and keep going.

    Lastly (and perhaps...egotistically), TEDtalks makes me want to live a life where I am worthy of giving a TEDtalk. Not because of the prestige or fame that would come with it, but for the recognition that I have accomplished good, and for the opportunity to inspire others as I was inspired myself.
  • thumb
    Feb 24 2011: Just watching Sir Ken Robinson share his insight of trying to spark creativity into children, and the dearth of information about the world as visualized by Hans Rosling has only served to pique my interest to rise up and attempt to do what is best to address those concerns if governments and higher authorities will not intervene.

    I guess watching TEDTalks online served as the best source of inspiration and knowledge for me to empower and motivate others. When TEDx was announced, it gave me hope of being an active contributor to TED rather than a consumer of TED's content. Watching TEDTalks and seeing other TEDx events have encouraged me to apply to TEDGlobal 2011, so that I can help to educate and share the impact of what American higher education is doing in the Middle East as I am the end result of the venture between the Middle East and the U.S.

    I may have only just graduated from Carnegie Mellon here in Qatar, but I'm proud of what TED has done to inform and educate me beyond the confines of academia. In addition, TED has also helped to better shape me as a citizen for improving the welfare of those who may not be receiving the best of what others get.
  • thumb
    Feb 24 2011: I had the pleasure of attending TEDHouston last year. What an incredible experience it was. To be surround by people who had their brains open to the forthcoming knowledge, what ever it turned out to be! People were there to learn, gather information, and meet other people with different interest.
    Recently I found out that 5 years ago I suffered a stroke. I knew it was a stroke at the time, but nobody, including doctors at the hospital knew what was wrong. The stroke occurred in the Cerebellum, specifically the motor function area. I started have spastic seizures one night, vomiting, vertigo, and violent muscle spasms. If I tried to speak, my whole body would start to spasm. I was convinced that I was having a stroke, but couldn't get the message through to my husband who is a nurse! The doctors at the hospital ran only one test. A drug test. The test came back clean. .They were convinced that I had overdosed on something. Because there was no loss of muscles function on either side of my body they decided it couldn't be a stroke. No other test such as MRI, PET, Xrays were preformed.
    Since then I experience myoclonic seizures everyday.
    I had a Standing MRI done a month ago, and the findings were clear. I had suffered a stroke at some point in the last few years.
    I had already seen the remarkable talk by the neuroscientist who suffered a stroke and was able to remember and document her story. This is what helped me get through the experience. I was trying to pay attention to my failing brain, any way I could.
    I was so lucky; the location of the stroke should have killed me dead. But, some how I survived long enough to be vindicated!
    TED is on the verge of becoming a cult. Followers will go to the end of the earth to hear intelligent people speak. In a world where intelligent seems to be lacking, TED is a reminder that there still are smart people out there trying to change the world for the better.
    Thank you Chris for starting such an amazing revolution!
  • thumb
    Feb 24 2011: Anytime I get a chance to watch Sir/ Ken Robinson talk I am astounded and inspired by what he has to say. I have been working on alternative education in my own little way for years helping others learn through their passions and this has been extremely helpful. Sir Ken has only increased my passion and drive to continue to do this type of work. I have been able to show people, teachers, counselors, and anyone his talks and then talk about what my plans are and they see it. Without Sir Ken's talks it is a much greater leap to make for people to truly believe that learning without 4 walls and without traditional "testing" can be done. With the help of Sir Ken's discussions I am able to influence how people think about and act on education. His talks also give me the daily strength to continue to tell people that they are not "stupid" and that they can achieve alot if only they could learn in a way that was meaningful for them. Thank you Sir Ken for making things clear and for speaking your mind
  • thumb
    Feb 24 2011: I am an addict. A TED addict. My addiction has gone up and down during the years and began somewhere in 2006/2007. I have seen many talks and many talk several times (despite having Tony Robbins voice saying: "Get a freaking life" in my head). I can remember when started uploading one new talk every weekday. It felt like someone had decided that I would have my birthday every week. What TED has done for me, is that it has opened up a well of inspiration, motivation and has become a tool for me to connect to people. When I recommend TEDtalks to someone that does no know of TED yet, I always look forward to hear back from them since I know it will be a success. Many of the talks put words to feelings, thoughts or behavior that you are not aware of and opens up the world, and makes you look at it in a new perspective.

    I could give many examples of this but will focus on two of many talks that I go back to when I need to be cheered up.
    The first is: "Willard Wigan: Hold your breath for micro-sculpture" that shows how you can motivate yourself to do the extraordinary. This talk made me applaud and laugh, even though I watching it alone.

    The other talk is one that shows how far TED can reach, and how much hope it can give.

    "William Kamkwamba on building a windmill" A true feelgood story.

    My strongest appreciation goes out too all those involved in TED, speakers, translators and organizers.
  • thumb
    Feb 24 2011: I am creator of a not yet known project that is a display system that uses web technology -- it's meant to be used in public and semi-public spaces such as a community. A lot of people say that this project is called Digital Signage. But I always felt that "Digital Signage" view was biased towards the world of panels being used for propaganda or very controlled panels such as communication in airports.

    Now I am using a lot of energy to point out that this is not digital signage. And that the use of panels in public and semi-public spaces, whe it uses the social function, should not be called digital signage. And it is a difficult endeavor -- it's important to press the same note again and again, but also I had great problems because of the communication and the early use cases of the system. To say in Benjamin Zander's words, these impulses. The notes ( of communication ) needs to show a story that sticks and to allow people to digest. That is where the connection with TED happens:

    TED is helping me to explain this project in new ways that creates a great connection with life. And by using TED talks as references, I can also help people to understand the scope of certain ideas -- how these ideas connects with works and existing projects from others. When I created the project before knowing TED, it was pretty much my technological view with a feeling and touch of a general direction, a good direction. But then I know I was failing to tell the story and how it relates to our life. Now, after passing this TED portal, I am able to explain to the world that we can insert social panels in walls everywhere. And that we can make our community space a better place to live with less control of however wants to manipulate others. A system that is not centralized but distributed. A catalyst system that values ideas an actions from locals, where we can share art, love, and inspiration; and not by selecting a few but embracing however wants to learn.
  • thumb
    Feb 24 2011: Chris,
    It was a link sent to me of Jill Bolte Taylor's talk that first introduced me to TED. 13 months later I was at TEDPalmSprings in 2009. And while watching talks is unbelievably wonderful, it was attending my first TED conference that really changed my life. How...actually something quite simple. I opened up and truly listened to people younger than myself. Not just the talks, the interactions outside on the lawns and in the breezeways and yes, even in the bars. I found optimism that changed the way I looked at the larger world and what I can contribute to in my small corner of the world. As the commercial ends...."meeting TEDsters....priceless".
  • thumb
    Feb 24 2011: I absolutely love TED talks; it is a fantastic way to share quick slices of life and fits in perfectly with a busy life! I hope that they continue and would like to know about visiting a talk myself one day.
  • Feb 24 2011: Watching a lot of TEDtalks has broadened my perspective and made me more open, self-reliant and active in engaging everyone I could possibly reach out to, to join all of us, tedsters in this remarkable journey. But I never knew I'd find it possible to share an exact vision with anyone, something I felt but never really visualized until I saw John Hardy's " My green school dream." It's surreal to see a place where you actually see yourself in. I am currently finishing my masters in Korea and I hope to educate everyone around me about the power of ideas to transform lives and make an impact. Few years from now, I am postive I'll be heading to Bali to teach at the Green School, and eventually learn ways to establish one in Philippines to introduce something revolutionary in educating our youth. Thanks TED for bringing us all together towards a common goal.
  • Feb 24 2011: A couple of years ago, a writer friend introduced me to TED with Elizabeth Gilbert and there followed an intense few weeks of devouring TEDtalks, from the amazing Jill Bolte to the inspirational Marjora Carter. I then came across Rob Hopkins' talk on peak oil and the Transition movement, which made perfect sense to me. I followed the links to the organisation, and within a couple of months I went to the UK Transition conference, and was completely gripped by this new world I had stepped into. I found a local group in south London and now spend my Sundays digging in a community garden. We're all a bunch of apartment-dwellers and have a huge mountain of gardening knowledge to absorb and ridiculous ambitions - but we're having a lovely time! The latest development is that I've been attending talks by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Peak Oil in the Houses of Parliament!  I'm learning so much - and I never fail to be awestruck by the place itself - history drips off the walls and you can almost see knights with swords clunking by!  So Mr Anderson, sir, I would say that yes, Tedtalks have been life-changing for me: newly inspired, newly political and surprisingly hopeful for the future.  Bravo, I say, and bravo again!
  • thumb
    Feb 24 2011: I had a chance to feel TED impact in a way a bit different than others. Friends and family sent me the links to the site and I always ignored. Not being superior to TED just ignoring because I had no idea and I was not expecting links to feed my life in new exciting ways. Then somehow, one day I started watching. The interesting thing is that because I am late in the game, I had a lot of amazing talks. The fact that I started watching top talks in a row created effects I was not aware I would have at this point. As Sugata Mitra said in his talk "this sent shivers on my spine ". I had that a lot.

    It's now about 90 talks I watched in a period of a few months I can say. The thing is that TED is covering a lot of topics using the inspirational function and this changes everything. It's funny and sometimes it's also weird, it's like one of the speakers said in a talk that what you see can be true, and yet the opposite can also be true. Which also aligns with the talk that says that things are up site down -- the evolutionary function. TED is making me change something, and this could be bad or good to my life -- I don't know yet. The thing is that we sometimes have to live in this weird world, and it's not for everyone to jump outside of it. TED gave me a light and yet a sort of sadness but I know the outcome is a good energy. I am 36 years old today and after about 90 TED talks I can say tht things are connecting to a point I will coordinate action. We all know what we have to do but we never do -- TED talks are catalysts to action. Thank you my friends. Obrigado
  • thumb
    Feb 24 2011: I had a chance to feel TED impact in a way a bit different than others. Friends and family sent me the links to the site and I always ignored. Not being superior to TED just ignoring because I had no idea and I was not expecting links to feed my life in new exciting ways. Then somehow, one day I started watching. The interesting thing is that because I am late in the game, I had a lot of amazing talks. The fact that I started watching amazing talks in a row created effects I was not aware I would have at my age. As Sugata Mitra said in his talk "this sent shivers on my spine " . I had that a lot.

    It's now about 90 talks I watched in a period of a few months I can say. I totally realized ted conversations kind of model to come up, also some other things -- I believe in a sort of mind map system for talks. The thing is that TED is covering a lot of topics using the inspirational function and this changes everything. It's funny sometimes it's weird, it's like one of the speakers said in a talk that what you see can be true, and yet the opposite can also be true. Which also aligns with the talk that says that things are up site down -- the evolutionary function. TED is making me change something, and this could be bad or good to my life, The thing is that we sometimes have to live in this weird world, and it's not for everyone to jump outside of it -- the world of experts as said in TED talks, the world that schools are blocking kid's evolution right? I am struggling to jump from that world and yet be in a condition I can help out a bit to make this bell-normal world a bit more real the way it should be, not the fake way most people life. TED gave me a light and yet a sort of sadness but I know the outcome is a good energy. I am 36 years old today and after about 90 TED talks I can say tht things are connecting to a point I will coordinate better action.We all know what we have to do but we never do -- TED talks are catalysts to action. Thank you my friends. Obrigado
  • thumb
    Feb 24 2011: I had a chance to feel TED impact in a way a bit different than others. Friends and family sent me the links to the site and I always ignored. Not being superior to TED just ignoring because I had no idea and I was not expecting links to feed my life in new exciting ways. Then somehow, one day I started watching. The interesting thing is that because I am late in the game, I had a lot of amazing talks. The fact that I started watching amazing talks in a row created effects I was not aware I would have at my age. As Sugata Mitra said in his talk "this sent shivers on my spine " . I had that a lot.

    It's now about 90 talks I watched in a period of a few months I can say. I totally realized ted conversations kind of model to come up, also some other things -- I believe in a sort of mind map system for talks. The thing is that TED is covering a lot of topics using the inspirational function and this changes everything. It's funny sometimes it's weird, it's like one of the speakers said in a talk that what you see can be true, and yet the opposite can also be true. Which also aligns with the talk that says that things are up site down -- the evolutionary function. TED is making me change something, and this could be bad or good to my life, The thing is that we sometimes have to live in this weird world, and it's not for everyone to jump outside of it -- the world of experts as said in TED talks, the world that schools are blocking kid's evolution right? I am struggling to jump from that world and yet be in a condition I can help out a bit to make this bell-normal world a bit more real the way it should be, not the fake way most people life. TED gave me a light and yet a sort of sadness but I know the outcome is a good energy. I am 36 years old today and after about 90 TED talks I can say tht things are connecting to a point I will coordinate better action.We all know what we have to do but we never do -- TED talks are catalysts to action. Thank you my friends. Obrigado.
  • Feb 24 2011: The talk that has really influenced me was given by Brene Brown. The subject of vulnerability and everything else she discussed really hit home, and at a time when I desperately needed to hear it. I have since bought her most recent book and am planning on using it for a paper I'm writing for grad school.
  • thumb
    Feb 24 2011: TED talks bring ideas to a wide audience of people on very important topics to make the world a better living place. From the time I began listening to TED talks online, I began having a different point of view on how things are and how we should make things better. The cutting edge ideas in science, education and all areas are really wonderful, and make me think how I could apply those in everyday life. This is the place where I found ingenious and beautiful talks! Thank you all for brilliant talks and ideas!
  • thumb
    Feb 24 2011: The 'anti-clockwise' technique for tying shoe laces has to be the closest TED has come (or ever should) to a secret handshake. It has become a sweet daily reminder of the value of challenging convention, and is emblematic of the extreme range of unexpected delights at TED. And Dan Gilbert caught me at just the right time. Thank you Chris!
  • thumb
    Feb 24 2011: I would never have had the nerve to make my own presentation to my peers without the support of Sir Ken Robinson and Brene Brown. Their talks helped me to find my authenticity as a teacher, and they gave me the confidence to speak to others about how I feel. There are so many great talks that inspire me (especially Chris Anderson and Sugata Mitra), but these two gave me the strength to speak out about my role as a teacher.
  • Feb 24 2011: TED talks are amazing and I share them often. One of the most life changing ones was from Randy Pausch on achieving your childhood dreams. He really made me realize that we need to hold onto what motivates and energizes us because these are the things that we were designed to do in life. Randy's TED talk encouraged me to make my own dreams real. Now I'm working with gifted adults around the world to help them find and live their life passions. Thanks!
  • thumb
    Feb 24 2011: What a great question. I love the talks and believe I benefit from those I watch but actually changed me now there's something it might be hard to measure. My all time fave - so far - Benjamin Zander, reminded me that to do something you care about and to let others see how much you care is a good thing. I have learnt many other things from watching the talks. If we can say a measure of learning is that we do things differently, then I think I do. I may be kinder in fact. i often follow comments and conversation leading on from talks and I am occasionally startled at the levels of "pickiness". By which I mean binary thinking, that is, if one person is right then a second person must be completely wrong, rather than engaging in the possibility of multiple truths or even, dear me, multiple errors.
  • thumb
    Feb 24 2011: In my case, I'm thinking more of a series of ideas that have made an impact rather than just one. An ambitious team of dreamers at Florida State University are planning our very first TEDx event for one month from Friday and we've received an overwhelming interest from our Tallahassee community, our students, and our faculty/staff. We've been moved to create a space where 100 of us can share and care together - something that is so hard to effectively pull off at a 40,000 person university. Our campus-community wants this. Really, we need this.

    At Florida State, TED Talks are shown in classes, in staff meetings, and in student organization gatherings, largely because we've been given a vehicle to inspire and create through having a glimpse into the lives of people like Jill Bolte Taylor, Chimamanda Adichie, and Birke Baehr.

    Has a TED Talk influenced me? Heck yes. The pressing question, to me, is - have TED Talks influenced your community?
  • thumb
    Feb 23 2011: Well there are three that quickly come to mind about impact:
    http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/dan_gilbert_asks_why_are_we_happy.html
    This talk by Dan Gilbert not only forced me to rethink what happiness is but it also shifted my opinion about it. The correlation he made between happiness and acceptance really blew my mind and just allowed me to start a whole new philosophical train of thought about the human desire for happiness

    http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/sugata_mitra_the_child_driven_education.html
    This brilliant (and more recent) talk by Sugata Mitra created an excitement within me that no other talk has created within and has perhaps been a major factor my decision to become an educator. I just absolutely love how his study seems to reaffirm the amazing potential each individual has and how the internet can be used as a major facilitator of said potential through arousing curiosity.

    http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/jill_bolte_taylor_s_powerful_stroke_of_insight.html
    This has to be the TED talk that had the most emotional impact on me. Just the vivid description of such a personal event really connected to me, but how she used it to connect psychology and philosophy (or spirituality) was what created the lasting impact.

    Although those may be my big three, I feel that every one of the brilliant talks on this sight will leave a lasting impact by expanding on subjects touched upon in my education. Just about every concept or idea discussed in the talks I've viewed I have been able to connect with something that I have recently learned in school and as such it further ingrained said concept into my mind. I just wish these would be used more in the educational process to better bring to reality things discussed only in the classrooms. To show students how the things they are learning are being applied to the world around them.
    • thumb
      Feb 23 2011: Jill Bolte was the first TED Talk I ever saw, a friend of mine posted it on Facebook and I was hooked. I agree about the emotional factor, it was an amazing story she told, with houmour and grace.
  • thumb
    Feb 23 2011: Many Ted Talks have been a source of relief to me. Twenty five years ago I came up with a system design and a business model intended to save the world that was pretty "off the wall". Many Ted speakers have presented information that have given me hope that my design may be on the right track. These include, in no particular order, Barry Schwartz, Dan Pink, Dan Ariely, Karen Armstrong, and Alain de Botton. These speakers have served as inspiration and to lend credence to my definition of "The Problem". I guess I feel I've had a pragmatic solution to the world's woes designed for twenty five years and now take heart that others see the the problem it solves is real. Finding the right early adopter remains the challenge.
    • thumb
      Feb 23 2011: This sounds really interesting. Save the world? System design? I don't see the idea,though. Guess that would be because English is my second language and sometimes I don't follow as well as I should.
      Where can I read more? Best regards! Helena
      • thumb
        Feb 23 2011: I write a blog to document my thoughts related to the idea. http://blog.kahatika.com
        Some ideas are best spread through a different mechanism than mass media. Whilst my Blog hints of a pragmatic solution it's pretty difficult to work it out, even reading every post. I'm sorry if that is frustrating for you. The idea I call Kahatika will more than likely be spread through Connector -> Early adopter then the design of the system takes over and spreads via conventional business supply chains. The solution involves an incredibly simple pragmatic software solution the Intellectual Property of which I want owned and delivered through a "Not for Profit". There is potentially a lot of money that will be generated by the implementation of this idea and the last thing I want is for it to be corrupted by pressures that come from that process. More importantly I don't want to be corrupted by that process. Thanks for your interest Helena.
  • Feb 23 2011: Scott Stratten and "Keep Going Until We Stop"Stop. Made me re-assess how I allocate time between my family and my business...awesome speech.
    Also, Derek Sivers - "how to start a movement" - helped me to accept that I'm not crazy in my current free speech project! Always inspirational Derek, and a gentleman. Old school. Thank you. I am speaking at TEDx Aberdeen University 19th March, because of your kick.
  • thumb
    Feb 23 2011: Chris Anderson's talk about the decline in the quality of online advertising got me to push our ad agency to create an initiative called "Civility Please", which hopes to reverse the decline in civility in our society via the daily decisions we all make. The video we created to illustrate our point was a great exercise in developing an "Ad Worth Spreading", but the feeling of starting something worthwhile is what will have the lasting influence on me.
  • thumb
    Feb 23 2011: I heard about TED from a TED presenter, and soon afterwards watched Ed Wilson's TED prize speech for the Encyclopedia of Life. A few months later I jumped on a plane and came to work on the project.. Since then I've organized TEDxWoodsHole and met some incredible people in the process.
    Thanks Chris!
  • Feb 23 2011: I have always been extremely sceptical regarding the value of education - I had never had an experience where what I was being taught related to real world requirements.
    I returned to further education in my late 20s and the experience, while valuable in many ways, was a challenge as I had to find real world context for myself. I imagine other, younger, students on the course would have struggled to get a job as their portfolio wouldn't have any visible relevance to what employers would expect.
    However, having spent 8 years in a job, that wasn't the best, I saw Sir Ken Robinson's first TED talk. It gave me the confidence to consider going into Higher Education as here was someone who was clearly an expert and yet he was articulating everything that I felt was wrong with the way I had been taught in the past.
    I am now almost 40 and six months into a Masters of Design course at Dundee University's Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and couldn't be happier.
    Sir KR's talk, and subsequent others, were definitely a catalyst in me putting faith, and my livelihood, back into full-time Education. Couldn't have been done without support from my wife though.
  • thumb
    Feb 23 2011: In 2009, my life and business were spinning out of control. I didn't have the energy or the money to go to TED (Active). I didn't think I could focus, absorb, interact and appreciate it as I had in previous years. I didn't have time or the desire, but I knew it had been so powerful in past years that I literally dragged my ass out to Palm Springs. The sessions were what I needed, and for so many reasons. The speakers and prize winners were incredible. I lost myself in the experience listening to Sylvia Earle, Jose Antonio Abreu, Elizabeth Gilbert, Bill Gates and so many others. Performers like Herbie Hancock, Gamelanx and others simply blew me away. The session titles were reboot, reimagine, rethink...The people I met and relationships that started. It wasn't just about the talks or the event. My spirits were lifted and I began to remember what it was all about. After 16 years of agency life, I really think I had forgotten....

    The last day of the event, after lunch, I found myself wandering around the pool area thinking about everything that had happened and I knew my life had changed. I had no idea what that meant or what I would do next. As I drove home things became clear. I called my staff of some 130 plus folks into a room and told them I was giving the agency away and closing the doors in 40 days. I chose not to sell as I knew that would mean years of indentured servitude. Things began to change overnight. I found my smile, I found my life.

    When I went to TED 2010, I felt like I had to give back. TED wasn't about personal growth was it? I knew I had to do something and when I heard about TEDx, I knew that was my "element". I've looked back, who wouldn't, but always with a smile knowing I did the right thing. Standing on the TEDxSanDiego stage, I knew I had done the right thing. As I hear the stories of folks from TEDxSanDiego and how they were moved to do something, I know I was right. Onward to TEDxSanDiego2011 and now TEDxYouth@SanDiego.

    Thanks Chris
  • Feb 23 2011: I watch Gary Vaynerchuk everytime I need to get motivated to sell my iOS app.
    I'm also currently going through the list found here: http://theeducatedentrepreneur.wordpress.com/2010/04/28/10-ted-talks-for-entrepreneurs/

    I really want to speak at a TED and influence people the same way I have been influenced
  • thumb
    Feb 23 2011: Everyday, in ways I may not be aware.

    I created Augmata Hive, which would have never happened unless great organizations like TED and Google existed.