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Playlist: Where do ideas come from?

5 talks · 1h 13m · Curated by TED

Where do ideas come from? (5 talks)

How does the metaphorical lightbulb go off? Is it a flash of genius? The power of crowds? These heady talks explore the nature of ideas themselves: Where they come from, how they evolve, and how each of us can nurture them.

  • 1.
    17:45
    Now playing
    People often credit their ideas to individual "Eureka!" moments. But Steven Johnson shows how history tells a different story. His fascinating tour takes us from the "liquid networks" of London's coffee houses to Charles Darwin's long, slow hunch to today's high-velocity web.
  • 2.
    19:28
    Now playing
    Elizabeth Gilbert muses on the impossible things we expect from artists and geniuses — and shares the radical idea that, instead of the rare person "being" a genius, all of us "have" a genius. It's a funny, personal and surprisingly moving talk.
  • 3.
    3:09
    Now playing
    With help from some surprising footage, Derek Sivers explains how movements really get started. (Hint: it takes two.)
  • 4.
    16:26
    Now playing
    At TEDGlobal 2010, author Matt Ridley shows how, throughout history, the engine of human progress has been the meeting and mating of ideas to make new ideas. It's not important how clever individuals are, he says; what really matters is how smart the collective brain is.
  • 5.
    17:01
    Now playing
    In a world of too many options and too little time, our obvious choice is to just ignore the ordinary stuff. Marketing guru Seth Godin spells out why, when it comes to getting our attention, bad or bizarre ideas are more successful than boring ones.