The TED Talks We Can’t Stop Talking About

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by Lauren Solnosky

Since 1984, TED has been sharing ideas and spreading them like wildfire, usually in the form of short powerful “talks.” Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you have probably seen one or two (or fifty) with a speaker standing, usually on a bright red carpet, with the letters T-E-D spelled out boldly somewhere on stage. TED talks have become so popular they are viewed online over two-million times per day, with TEDx events organized all over the world and taking place on average eight times daily. And we can’t argue with their appeal. There is something addictive about the way new ideas are shared, entwined in personal and emotionally powerful stories told by each presenter.

In the office, we often pass around ideas, articles, product news, and videos – and TED talks are always a popular share. So, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorites and hope you find them as inspiring and powerful as we do.

Julian Treasure: 5 Ways to Listen Better – In Julian Treasure’s talk from 2011, the sound consultant dives into how we listen, and why we’re so bad at it. “We spend roughly 60 percent of our communication time listening, but we’re not very good at it. We retain just 25 percent of what we hear.” Lucky for us, Julian shares 5 simple exercises designed to help us all become better listeners today.

Tim Urban: Inside the Mind of a Master Procrastinator – In this hilarious talk from 2016, Tim Urban shares his relationship with the Procrastination Monkey, who he just can’t seem to shake. If you have ever pulled an all-nighter to complete a project, or put off doing your laundry until you’re out of clean underwear, this TED talk is for you.

Robert Waldinger: What Makes a Good Life? Lessons From the Longest Study on Happiness – In his 2015 TEDx talk, Robert Waldinger shares the findings from a 75-year-old study on adult development and gives viewers access to unprecedented data on true happiness and satisfaction. This talk will give you practical tips and tools to build a long, fulfilling and happy life.

Brené Brown: The Power of Vulnerability – Research professor Brené Brown has spent more than a decade studying empathy, courage, authenticity, and vulnerability. In one of TED’s most-watched talks, Brown shares her quest to become self-aware and how to be courageous in the face of vulnerability.

Carolyn Porco: This is Saturn – In this mind-bending planetary talk from 2007, Carolyn Porco takes us on a journey to understand our place in the universe through images of Saturn and its largest moon, Titan. Porco shares the first images from a surface in the outer solar system and the impact such discoveries could mean for our future.

Mona Patel: See Problems As Opportunities – We may be slightly biased, but it’s no surprise our favorite and most talked about TED talk in the office is from one of our own. In her 2015 TEDx talk, our CEO Mona Patel shares how to see problems as opportunities, shift from “can’t” to “can” and the impact that reframing your mindset can have on creativity.

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