Written by Jillian Tempesta
Out there on the internet, waiting for you now, are 1,800 talks from TED alone. When you add TEDx talks from 130+ countries, that’s tens of thousands of speakers with distinct ideas and experiences. TED offers an intuitive search system (are you in the mood for “funny” or “courageous”?) and NPR’s Guy Raz emcees the engaging TED Radio Hour, but that’s still a lot of data.
Netflix and your best friend both have this figured out– they know your taste. Once you watch a few movies together, they help you navigate. That’s what I’ll try to do for you here: take a TEDxOC talk, pull out the underlying theme, and point you towards a few more you might enjoy. I promise not to get Netflix-specific with categories, so if you’re looking for Visually Striking Buddy Cop Musicals from the 1980s, you might have to browse TED for yourself.
LANGUAGE: Poet Ali (video coming soon)
Poet Ali spoke about the language of experience. He asked questions in Farsi and Spanish, delighting certain listeners while alienating others. Then he moved on to “languages” we all share: grief, shame, belonging, joy. These talks explore language, spoken and unspoken.
- Could your language affect your ability to save money? Keith Chen found a crazy pattern: cultures whose languages lack a future tense are better at planning for the future.
- Amy Cuddy explains how your body language shapes who you are with funny examples from public figures and posture shifts proven to change testosterone and cortisol levels.
Extra credit: The language of food on Twitter reveals regional patterns that could tell us more about lifestyle and culture.
EDUCATION: Gregory Washington (video coming soon)
“In 2007, WiFi was a misspelled word and 4G was a space in the parking lot,” joked Gregory Washington, whose talk questioned schools that don’t prep students for jobs that don’t exist yet. His solution? To integrate art and science. These talks explore creativity at work and in school.
- Ken Robertson argues that we should create an education system that nurtures creativity and educates the whole child so they can face the future.
- From Natalie Nixon, 7 rules for improvising at work and making the workplaces we already have more dynamic.
Extra credit: Like TEDxTeenChallenge, LA2050 invites innovators to pitch ideas that will build the LA of the future. Read about the creative projects that competed for $100,000 grants here.
SELF-DISCOVERY: Ronald Jue (video coming soon)
Ronald Jue’s talk explored family, expectation, and forging your own path. “Audacity can help us transcend the moment,” he encouraged audience members. Jue’s willingness to take risks led him to Buddhism and a truer sense of self. These talks turn the lens inward.
- Personality tests, philosophy, neuroscience: Julian Baggini asks whether there is a “real you”.
- Brené Brown confronts shame– the fear of disconnection– and how it changed her understanding of people.
Extra credit: Novelist Ruth Ozeki is the first practicing Zen Buddhist priest to be shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Her novel Tale for the Time Being features time-slipping stories of a found diary, a Japanese teen, and a Buddhist nun.
What TED talk parallels did our speakers ignite for you? Did any of them remind you of a book (or article or movie or TV show)? Let us know how you connected the dots at TEDxOrangeCoast!