TED: Ideas Worth Spreading

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to “the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world. So we’re building here a clearinghouse that offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world’s most influential thinkers, and also a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other.”

TED started out in 1984 as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, and Design. Since then, its scope has expanded to include Business, Science, and Global Issues.

TED makes the best talks and performances from TED and partners available to the world, for free. Visitors can access a diverse range of talks and presentations, searchable by topic. More than 900 TEDTalks are now available, with more added each week.

All of the talks are subtitled in English, and many are subtitled in various languages. These videos are released under a Creative Commons license, so they can be freely shared and reposted.

Many of the talks are short and succinct, between 5-20 minutes. You’ll definitely disagree with some of them, as many of the topics that I’ve run across have a decidedly liberal bias. However, the most popular TED talks tend to be uncontroversial.

One of their most famous talks is Steve Jobs: How to live before you die. In another popular talk titled “Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity,” Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity.

Other speakers have included Julian Assange (Wikileaks), Robert Ballard (oceanographer), Tim Berners-Lee (WWW inventor), Jeff Bezos (Wikipedia), Bono (singer/humanitarian), James Cameron (film director), Bill Gates (Microsoft), Frank Gehry (architect), Billy Graham (minister), David Macaulay (author/illustrator), Dean Ornish (preventive medicine), Tony Robbins (motivational speaker), Adam Savage (MythBusters), Jimmy Wales (Wikipedia), Rick Warren (pastor), and Will Wright (SimCity).

The award-winning TEDTalks video site is entertaining, thought-provoking, and worth a visit. Click here: http://www.ted.com

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