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Why TED talks will change the world…

January 20, 2011

There’s this organization called TED. I am borrowing the description from their site, because they describe themselves better than I do:

TED is a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. The annual TED conferences, in Long Beach/Palm Springs and Oxford, bring together the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes).

On, we make the best talks and performances from TED and partners available to the world, for free. More than 700 TEDTalks are now available, with more added each week. All of the talks are subtitled in English, and many are subtitled in various languages. These videos are released under a Creative Commons license, so they can be freely shared and reposted.

Anyways. That’s what TED is all about, and I firmly believe that they’re changing the world.

Why? Because people crave substance. In a generation where our lives are filled with so much noise, we need media that gives us something to think about. My generation (myself included, a lot of the time) will spend years of our lives watching sitcoms, flipping mindlessly through facebook pictures, “surfing” the internet (what does that even mean?)…without ever enriching our lives.

TED talks change that. They’re harnessing the biggest audience that has ever existed (2 billion people now have consistent access to the internet) and are providing an outlet for passionate, dedicated people with incredible knowledge and expertise in their field to share messages with substance.

If every university student divided the time they normally spend on mindnumbing social media sites and spent half watching TED talks – any TED talk – instead, the world would change. If we were inspired to do great and significant things like the TED presenters do, we’d stop wasting our lives. What I love about TED is that it is so inclusive. Every field of study has representation and there is a place for every interest. What there is no place for is ignorance and indifference. That’s the kind of media we need to spend our lives watching.

My favorite TED talk: Hans Rosling on Statistics (Themes: public health, stats, UN health data, etc)

I’ll be posting more as I watch them. Less Facebook! More TED!

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