Are you in need of some inspiration for your business? Or perhaps another way of looking at some of the biggest challenges facing the world?
Chris Anderson knows a thing or two about inspiring ideas, given he is the curator of TED, the non-profit organisation that is dedicated to sharing powerful ideas through its talks.
Anderson recently shared the five TED Talks that he learnt the most from.
“Stand by for some slightly quirky choices,” Anderson told Quora.
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Presented by scientist David Deutsch, this TED Talk goes beyond theoretical physics and explores how humans as a species can survive global warming.
“Deutsch helped convince me that knowledge is far more than just a weird evolutionary trick invented by one of earth’s species,” says Anderson.
More than a decade ago, professor in new media and writer Clay Shirky discussed how the growth of the web would drive more fluid, open and cooperative creation of content.
“Shirky spoke about how the web was enabling new models that should encourage institutions to ‘let go’ and allow others to do some of their work for them. I think it helped convince us that we should be willing to risk giving away our best talks for free online,” Anderson says.
In this talk, cognitive psychologist Nancy Etcoff explores the science of pursuing happiness only to conclude with this point: “say to yourself what you would be. Then do what you have to do.”
Anderson says it had a huge impact on him.
“I think [it]actually made me happier,” he says.
Human rights lawyers Bryan Stevenson tackles a highly sensitive socio-political issue in this talk that is still a major problem in the US: the disproportionate number of black people in jail.
“Our system isn’t just being shaped in these ways that seem to be distorting around race, they’re also distorted by poverty. We have a system of justice in this country that treats you much better if you’re rich and guilty than if you’re poor and innocent,” says Stevenson.
Anderson says Stevenson was “unbelievably compelling”.
“He won the longest standing ovation in TED’s history. And I haven’t been able to get him and his cause out of my mind ever since,” says Anderson.
This TED Talk by Steven Pinker and Rebecca Newberger Goldstein is brought to life by animation.
“It was given as a Socratic dialog. They reach the conclusion that pure reason has shaped history profoundly, though it sometimes takes hundreds of years. If the world bought into this view, we’d do a much better job of listening to each other,” says Anderson.