playlist

On generosity

It’s the giving season. And thus, we give you these great talks on the hows, whys and whats of generosity.

  1. 10:58
    Michael Norton How to buy happiness

    At TEDxCambridge, Michael Norton shares fascinating research on how money can indeed buy happiness — when you don't spend it on yourself. Listen for surprising data on the many ways pro-social spending can benefit you, your work, and (of course) other people.

  2. 7:35
    Joy Sun Should you donate differently?

    Technology allows us to give cash directly to the poorest people on the planet. Should we do it? In this thought-provoking talk, veteran aid worker Joy Sun explores two ways to help the poor.

  3. 25:00
    Bill and Melinda Gates Why giving away our wealth has been the most satisfying thing we've done

    In 1993, Bill and Melinda Gates took a walk on the beach and made a big decision: to give their Microsoft wealth back to society. In conversation with Chris Anderson, the couple talks about their work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, as well as their marriage, their children, their failures and the satisfaction of giving most of their money away.

  4. 13:47
    Amanda Palmer The art of asking

    Don't make people pay for music, says Amanda Palmer: Let them. In a passionate talk that begins in her days as a street performer (drop a dollar in the hat for the Eight-Foot Bride!), she examines the new relationship between artist and fan.

  5. 12:21
    Abigail Marsh Why some people are more altruistic than others

    Why do some people do selfless things, helping other people even at risk to their own well-being? Psychology researcher Abigail Marsh studies the motivations of people who do extremely altruistic acts, like donating a kidney to a complete stranger. Are their brains just different?

  6. 13:07
    Clay Shirky How cognitive surplus will change the world

    Clay Shirky looks at "cognitive surplus" — the shared, online work we do with our spare brain cycles. While we're busy editing Wikipedia, posting to Ushahidi (and yes, making LOLcats), we're building a better, more cooperative world.

  7. 18:54
    Dan Pallotta The way we think about charity is dead wrong

    Activist and fundraiser Dan Pallotta calls out the double standard that drives our broken relationship to charities. Too many nonprofits, he says, are rewarded for how little they spend — not for what they get done. Instead of equating frugality with morality, he asks us to start rewarding charities for their big goals and big accomplishments (even if that comes with big expenses). In this bold talk, he says: Let's change the way we think about changing the world.

  8. 4:07
    Mark Bezos A life lesson from a volunteer firefighter

    Volunteer firefighter Mark Bezos tells a story of an act of heroism that didn't go quite as expected — but that taught him a big lesson: Don't wait to be a hero.