playlist

Where do ideas come from?

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
    Steven Johnson Where good ideas come from

    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. 19:09
    Elizabeth Gilbert Your elusive creative genius

    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
    Derek Sivers How to start a movement

    With help from some surprising footage, Derek Sivers explains how movements really get started. (Hint: it takes two.)

  4. 17:01
    Seth Godin How to get your ideas to spread

    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.

  5. 22:52
    Amy Tan Where does creativity hide?

    Novelist Amy Tan digs deep into the creative process, looking for hints of how hers evolved.

  6. 15:25
    Adam Grant The surprising habits of original thinkers

    How do creative people come up with great ideas? Organizational psychologist Adam Grant studies "originals": thinkers who dream up new ideas and take action to put them into the world. In this talk, learn three unexpected habits of originals — including embracing failure. "The greatest originals are the ones who fail the most, because they’re the ones who try the most," Grant says. "You need a lot of bad ideas in order to get a few good ones."

  7. 16:26
    Matt Ridley When ideas have sex

    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.

  8. 9:42
    Kirby Ferguson Embrace the remix

    Nothing is original, says Kirby Ferguson, creator of Everything is a Remix. From Bob Dylan to Steve Jobs, he says our most celebrated creators borrow, steal and transform.

  9. 17:20
    Julie Burstein 4 lessons in creativity

    Radio host Julie Burstein talks with creative people for a living — and shares four lessons about how to create in the face of challenge, self-doubt and loss. Hear insights from filmmaker Mira Nair, writer Richard Ford, sculptor Richard Serra and photographer Joel Meyerowitz.