I love watching the TED conferences. I often imagine myself on that stage, taking one deep breath and talking as fast as I can for 18 minutes. When I am finally invited to present, it will be for my work as an architect who revolutionized the problem of providing temporary housing in the wake of a natural disaster.
Until that day comes, here are some of my favorite TED talks. I’ve included the year of the talk for context. For example, Jeff Han demos his multi-touch interface in 2006. The first iPhone was introduced January 9, 2007.
Do Schools Kill Creativity? (2006)
Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity.
Jeff Han demos his breakthrough touchscreen. (2006)Jeff Han shows off a cheap, scalable multi-touch and pressure-sensitive computer screen interface that may spell the end of point-and-click.
Blaise Aguera y Arcas demos Photosynth (2007)Blaise Aguera y Arcas leads a dazzling demo of Photosynth, software that could transform the way we look at digital images. Using still photos culled from the Web, Photosynth builds breathtaking dreamscapes and lets us navigate them.
J.J. Abrams - J.J. Abrams’ Mystery Box (2008)J.J. Abrams traces his love for the unseen mystery –- a passion that’s evident in his films and TV shows, including Cloverfield, Lost and Alias — back to its magical beginnings.
Derek Sivers: How to start a movement (2010)With help from some surprising footage, Derek Sivers explains how movements really get started. (Hint: it takes two.)
Blaise Aguera y Arcas demos augmented-reality maps (2010)In a demo that drew gasps at TED2010, Blaise Aguera y Arcas demos new augmented-reality mapping technology from Microsoft.
Bobby McFerrin hacks your brain with music (2009)In this fun, 3-min performance from the World Science Festival, musician Bobby McFerrin uses the pentatonic scale to reveal one surprising result of the way our brains are wired.
Jamie Oliver’s TED Prize Wish (2010)Sharing powerful stories from his anti-obesity project in Huntington, W. Va., TED Prize winner Jamie Oliver makes the case for an all-out assault on our ignorance of food.
The Design Genius of Charles and Ray Eames (2007)The legendary design team Charles and Ray Eames made films, houses and classic midcentury modern furniture. Eames Demetrios, their grandson, shows rarely seen films and archival footage in a lively, loving tribute to their creative process.
RIchard St. John’s 8 Secrets of Success (2005)Why do people succeed? Is it because they’re smart? Or are they just lucky? Neither. Analyst Richard St. John condenses years of interviews into an unmissable 3-minute slideshow on the real secrets of success.