TED as a modern symbol of hope

TED2010 Bill Gates ©Suzie Katz  #9094_R

Image by Suzie Katz via Flickr

If you watch the news on any given day, it is plagued with problem after problem and can become quite depressing.  I had to stop watching the news because I, a normally paranoid person, was becoming even more afraid of facing the world on a daily basis.  Of course there are problems all over the world and life can be quite depressing, but instead of showing us the same problems every day, why not show us what we can do about it or what is being done about it?

According to the political outlooks, the future of the world is pretty grim.  Some countries are in debt, people are starving to death, global warming is becoming more evident everyday, species are becoming extinct and horrid crimes continue to occur worldwide.  We look to the government to help us out of these crises.  However, there are not many politicians that I hear about who are actually able to inspire their people these days.  It seems like many people don’t trust the politicians anymore and if they are failing to provide the solutions and give us hope, who should we turn to next?

That is where TED comes in.

If you have not yet heard of TED, it is a nonprofit who’s slogan is “Ideas Worth Spreading.”  It started as a conference of experts in the 1980s, but now has become a worldwide flow of inspirational ideas, specifically through their online videos.  The videos feature speakers who have given presentations at the many TED conferences throughout the world, throughout the years.  The speakers are sometimes well known names globally such as Bill Gates, Bill Clinton or Al Gore while others are well known in their own fields as some of the most brilliant and innovative minds today.  The topics range from music to space technology, social media to urbanization.  It covers a wide range of subjects and most speeches are accompanied by a visual presentation as well which helps the layman understand the more complex scientific jargon.  They also help evoke the emotions that both fascinate you and touch you.

So what can a website full of speeches do to give us hope?

The ideas they develop in their speeches are just what we need to turn this world around.  They present ideas you may have dreamt about, but never thought possible in this modern day.  But TED has drawn the interest of many activists, philanthropists and businessmen.  These are the very people who have the finances and/or the audiences to make these innovative ideas happen.  The efforts of the governments may be thwarted by red tape or financial burdens, but the individuals who believe in the ideas they see in these speeches have the means and the freedom to do something about it.  These are the forward-thinkers of our global society and they are ready to make the changes that are long overdue.

Since I was introduced to TED (big thank you to Brian H. for sharing the vids on FB) a couple months ago, I have found myself going there for inspiration and motivation on an almost daily basis.  I’m noticing a change in myself in that I am more aware of what’s going on in the world than I was when I was watching the news.  I am learning and understanding more about science, culture and life than I ever did at university.  I feel more creative and productive in my own life.  I desire to travel even more than before based on pictures or stories I’ve seen on TED.  Most importantly, I have a stronger desire to help because TED makes me believe that I can actually make a difference.

If you are a TED fan, feel free to comment with how TED has changed you and what your most loved TEDtalk is.

If you have not seen the videos yet, I encourage you to do so.  Go and be moved.  The spread of these educational ideas can only make the world a better place, one innovative idea at a time.

For those who are new to TED, I leave you with a sample of some of their most popular talks:

*Disclaimer – I am not a member of TED nor in any way affiliated with it, I am merely a fan and supporter of what they can do for society.*


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