TED Talks Worth Watching

10 Jun

The annual TED conference is an event where people from various disciplines get together to share knowledge and ideas.

TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from those three worlds. Since then its scope has become ever broader.

The annual conference now brings together the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes).

Last month it was announced that local event planner and overall awesome person Susan Cope had successfully applied to host a TEDx (Independently Organized) event in Buffalo this fall.  As the planning continues and we get closer to the actual event, I’ll post some of my favorite TED presentations and help you get in the mood for an awesome event.

At a point in our national and global history where we face transformational economic and cultural challenges, we need to fundamentally change our consumption patterns, the way we interact and launch a foundational change in our practical wisdom.  These talks tell us why and how.

Capt. Charles Moore of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation first discovered the Great Pacific Garbage Patch — an endless floating waste of plastic trash. Now he’s drawing attention to the growing, choking problem of plastic debris in our seas.  If you don’t know what the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is, here ya go:

It is roughly the size of Texas, containing approximately 3.5 million tons of trash.  Shoes, toys, bags, pacifiers, wrappers, toothbrushes, and bottles too numerous to count are only part of what can be found in this accidental dump floating midway between Hawaii and San Francisco.

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Chris Jordan talking about our anesthesia and lack of cultural outrage about the issues that plague us.  Brilliant design work which accomplishes an educational goal of simplifying statistics.

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Barry Schwartz tells us where we went wrong and encourages us to rediscover our practical wisdom.

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Photographer Brian Skerry shoots life above and below the waves — as he puts it, both the horror and the magic of the ocean. Sharing amazing, intimate shots of undersea creatures, he shows how powerful images can help make change.

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As the world’s attention focuses on the perils of oil exploration, we present Richard Sears’ talk from early February 2010. Sears, an expert in developing new energy resources, talks about our inevitable and necessary move away from oil. Toward … what?

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One Response to “TED Talks Worth Watching”

  1. Gabe June 11, 2010 at 10:22 am #

    Good stuff. I’d be happy with a society run by people like these speakers…maybe a “TEDocracy”

    Though, I have to point out that the last one was a whole lot about nothing. Mr. Sears could learn much by brushing up on the first two laws of thermodynamics. Once we revisit this fundamental basic most people have little clue about, it’s quite apparent that his speech is little more than a faith-based pep talk. Currently there is simply no alternative energy source or carrier that packs the energy density of oil, much less the other popular hydrocarbons. I’ll be damned if we can dream ourselves out of this not-so-little bind we’ve found ourselves in.

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