Friday, July 20, 2012

TED Talks

They’re inspiring, funny, deep, ingenious, creative, and imaginative. Coming from educators, entrepreneurs, doctors, comedians, and people from all walks of life TED talks are interesting, recorded presentations about everything from health to technology to magic tricks. The perfect cure for boredom, TED Talks will expand your mind, while keeping you entertained.

Student Program Coordinator Joel Lubrano loves to spend his down time watching different TED talks. "Any time you give an expert in a particular field twenty minutes to discuss their passion, that talk cannot help but be intriguing and thought-provoking. Their passion for the topic resonates through their talk and never fails to captivate the audience. I have seen talks on everything from education to procrastination to astronomy. Every speaker brings their own charm and flair to the TED Talks stage, and I always come away enlightened with a new array of knowledge."

The concept of TED began in 1984 as a conference that brought people together from the worlds of Technology, Entertainment, and Design to present and talk about “ideas worth sharing.” Since then, TED has expanded to include more annual conferences, a global conference, a TED talks website and more.

Here at The Study, we’ve been watching a lot of TED Talks. Whether you’re interested in science or comedy, education or religion, there are talks for everybody. Their one common theme? Each speaker has an idea worth sharing. To find one that you’ll love visit To help you start, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorites!

Arielle Parker, Marketing Intern:

“David Kelley: How to build your creative confidence”
Ever had a creative idea or thought and been criticized for it? Ever designed something and been told it wasn’t good enough? In this TED talk, David Kelley, founder of legendary design firm IDEO expresses to the audience how to regain confidence that many people lose from being criticized. Kelley believes people opt-out of thinking they are creative when other people make judgments on them. “If only people could stick with the process of creating something and not listen to others, then they can do amazing things and can realize just how creative they truly are,” he exclaimed. Kelley has been studying this fear of judgment that most people have for quite a while and discusses his theory on how to overcome that fear.

“Alanna Shaikh: How I'm preparing to get Alzheimer's
Alanna Shaikh expresses how she will prepare herself for the number six most common killer in the United States: Alzheimer’s. Shaikh, a global health expert, tells the audience how her father has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and he is not alone. “There are nearly 35 million people globally who are suffering from some type of dementia. And by 2030 this number will double,” stated Shaikh. Since Alzheimer’s is a hereditary disease, Shaikh explains how she is methodically and happily preparing herself for when it is her turn.

Nicole Brown, Marketing Intern:

“Jane McGonigal: The game that can give you 10 extra years of life”
In her talk, Jane McGonigal, a game designer, begins by promising to extend the life of anybody who is watching by 7.5 minutes. Between that promise and the title of this talk, I was immediately intrigued. She begins by speaking of her bout with depression following a severe concussion and how she used a game that she invented, SuperBetter, to get through it. By making every task part of a game, she was able to take small steps and conquer small tasks every day until those small successes started to really add up and banish her depression. Based on her personal experience and research that she did because of it, she developed “SuperBetter” activities to build up your resilience—physical, mental, emotional, and social. By completing one activity for each type of resilience during her talk, you will have increased your life span by 7.5 minutes. This talk motivated me to make the small changes in my life that McGonigal suggested in order to become a stronger, happier person.

“Doctor Mike Evans: 23 and ½ Hours: What is the single best thing we can do for our health?”
In this talk, Dr. Evans begins by discussing all of the health problems that can be fixed by one miracle cure before reveling what it is: exercise, specifically 30 minutes a day. Naturally, we all know that exercise is good for us, but I was surprised at the large impact that just 30 minutes a day of even low-stress exercise can have on your health. Dr. Evans definitely convinced me that exercise is worth making the time for!

Alex Newby, Marketing Intern:

“Steve Jobs: How to live before you die”
In his commencement speech for Stanford University Class of 2005, Apple creator Steve Jobs talks about his life experiences and gives students practical advice on making the most of their new beginning. For one of the world’s most successful men, Steve overcame obstacles that I never realized he had faced. As a UK senior, I found Steve’s talk inspiring. 

“Charlie Todd: The shared experience of absurdity”
This is one of the funniest videos I’ve come across on TED Talks! The founder of Improv Everywhere, Charlie Todd and his group are responsible for those hilarious videos of large crowds of improvers confusing random people on the streets. According to Charlie, “One of the points of Improv Everywhere is to cause a scene in a public place that is a positive experience for other people. It’s a prank, but it’s a prank that gives somebody a great story to tell.” By showing clips of his famous pranks, Charlie goes through the story of how he turned his comedy dreams into reality.

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