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Some TED Talks you might want to watch…

I was fortunate to attend the TED conference last week in Long Beach and saw some awe-inspiring talks. If you’re not familiar, TED (which stands for Technology, Education and Design) is a conference that gathers together leading visionaries, intellectuals, artists, experts in many fields to give great, candid talks on their work. Well produced videos of these talks are published on TED.com. If you have the time, I’d encourage you to check them out. All the videos aren’t up there yet but should be shortly. Below are my highlights from this year.

Two talks really brought out the transformative nature of the Internet to bring online communities together – one to produce revolution, the other a work of art:

  • Wadah Khanfar, Director General of Al Jazeera — spoke about the historic changes occurring in the Arab world and the power of social media to empower a society.
  • Eric Whitacre — talked about his virtual choir experience – “Human beings will go to almost ANY lenghth to try to connect to each other.”  The talk isn’t posted yet but here’s a YouTube of one of the performances.

I was blow away by a few artists:

  • Sarah Kay — showed off the power, intensity and beauty of her spoken word poetry.
  • Jason Mraz — a singer-songwriter with diverse stylistic influences. He rocks.
  • Beatrice Coron — a mind-blowing papercutting artist.
  • Janet Echelmon — a whole new kind of spatial art.

Always amazing to learn about the cutting edge of science:

  • Ed Boyden — this man is a few years away from programming our brains and building The Matrix.
  • Fiorenzo Omenetto – The power to change the world (really) through the medium of silk.
  • Dr Anthony Atala – using a 3D printer for making organs.
  • Deb Roy – some crazy stuff on data visualization, acquiring human speech, and what if every moment of our lives was recorded

As well as be humbled by folks committed to changing our world

  • JR – amazing artist that uses publicly posted photography to change the way people look at their communities.  “I can’t save the world, but maybe I can change the world. Can art change the world?”
  • Salman Khan – The amazing Khan academy for online teaching.
  • Wael Ghonim — the Google executive in the middle of the Egyptian revolution.

Other talks I also love:

  • Morgan Spurlock – Funny & entertaining look at product placement & brand marketing.
  • Damon Horowitz — short personal story of philosophy & its impact on a young felon in prison.
  • Philip Zimbardo — short talk on the demise of boys

One Response to “Some TED Talks you might want to watch…”

  1. June 20th, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    Josh B says:

    That’s pretty cool that you got to attend the conference in person – that’s not an easy invite to get. If people haven’t seen TED talks yet, they’re missing out. I check out the site pretty much daily to see which new talks they’ve posted. I don’t remember their names, but the little girl who plays the violin was amazing and so was the guy who played ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ on the ukelele. Check em out!

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