There is nothing in the world better than a TED talk. Brilliant people talking about the most fascinating things. This is a great way to stretch your brain; learn about a career you'd never thought of or always wondered about; and gain a deeper understanding of issues going on the world. There are thousands of talks on thousands of subjects -- everything from science and technology, sociology, psychology, the environment, economics, racism, poverty, sex, LGBTQ issues, art, politics...there are even great TED Youth talks and TED education talks.
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Just a few recommended talks. Check back often for more. (Click on the title to jump to the TED talk.)
Artist iO Tillett Wright has photographed 2,000 people who consider themselves somewhere on the LGBTQ spectrum and asked many of them: Can you assign a percentage to how gay or straight you are? Most people, it turns out, consider themselves to exist in the gray areas of sexuality, not 100% gay or straight. Which presents a real problem when it comes to discrimination: Where do you draw the line? (Filmed at TEDxWomen.)
In this powerful talk, P.W. Singer shows how the widespread use of robots in war is changing the realities of combat. He shows us scenarios straight out of science fiction — that now may not be so fictitious.
On Linda Cliatt-Wayman’s first day as principal at a failing high school in North Philadelphia, she was determined to lay down the law. But she soon realized the job was more complex than she thought. With palpable passion, she shares the three principles that helped her turn around three schools labeled “low-performing and persistently dangerous.” Her fearless determination to lead — and to love the students, no matter what — is a model for leaders in all fields.
Writer Andrew Solomon has spent his career telling stories of the hardships of others. Now he turns inward, bringing us into a childhood of adversity, while also spinning tales of the courageous people he's met in the years since. In a moving, heartfelt and at times downright funny talk, Solomon gives a powerful call to action to forge meaning from our biggest struggles.
Marshe, I picked this for you!
Elaine, this has your name on it!