Pico Iyer has spent more than 30 years tracking movement and stillness — and the way criss-crossing cultures have changed the world, our imagination and all our relationships.

Why you should listen

In twelve books, covering everything from Revolutionary Cuba to the XIVth Dalai Lama, Islamic mysticism to our lives in airports, Pico Iyer has worked to chronicle the accelerating changes in our outer world, which sometimes make steadiness and rootedness in our inner world more urgent than ever. In his TED Book, The Art of Stillness, he draws upon travels from North Korea to Iran to remind us how to remain focused and sane in an age of frenzied distraction. As he writes in the book, "Almost everybody I know has this sense of overdosing on information and getting dizzy living at post-human speeds ... All of us instinctively feel that something inside us is crying out for more spaciousness and stillness to offset the exhilarations of this movement and the fun and diversion of the modern world."

What others say

“As a guide to far-flung places, Pico Iyer can hardly be surpassed.” — The New Yorker

Pico Iyer’s TED talks

More news and ideas from Pico Iyer

Live from TEDSummit 2016

Experiences: Notes from Session 6 of TEDSummit

June 30, 2016

Bodacious beats: Kenyan musician, producer and DJ, “Blinky Bill” Sellanga simultaneously brought the house down and the TED audience to their feet with a lively, genre-bending musical performance. “My, oh my,” he sings: “What a wonderful feeling.” Sexual assault, social media and justice. One night, walking home from London’s Tube, Ione Wells was followed home, grabbed from behind, […]

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Pico Iyer inspires Oprah to have “the biggest aha of my life”

March 6, 2015

On this weekend’s episode of Super Soul Sunday, Oprah Winfrey asks TED Books author Pico Iyer to explain more precisely what he means by the word ‘stillness.’ It’s not so much about meditation, he says. “It’s sanity and it’s balance, and it’s a chance to put things in perspective,” he says. Like so many others, […]

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