Favour­ite TED Talks from the crew

Do you remem­ber the most inspir­ing TED talk you’ve ever seen? One that changed your per­spect­ive? There are thou­sands of talks on thou­sands of top­ics, but we asked the crew to pick just one of their favour­ites for this post.

Ben Dun­lap: The life-long learner

Steph­en Collins, Cre­at­ive Cata­lyst

Ben Dunlap’s talk from TED2007 was one of the first TED Talks I ever saw. It’s set the stand­ard for me ever since.

More than any­thing else, it’s an amaz­ing piece of storytelling about the curi­ous links between his own life as an edu­cat­or, and the life of San­dor Tesz­ler, Holo­caust sur­viv­or, and phil­an­throp­ist. It appeals to me because of the con­stant thread through the talk that speaks to a need for curi­os­ity in our lives, and the imper­at­ive to nev­er stop learn­ing or seek­ing new exper­i­ences.

I’ve spent hours talk­ing about this talk over the years, and had the priv­ilege to meet some of Ben’s staff from Wof­ford Col­lege at TED 2011. Their love for him as a boss, edu­cat­or, and per­son speaks power­fully to the influ­ence of this man.

Mar­ina Abramović: An art made of trust, vul­ner­ab­il­ity and con­nec­tion

Court­nee Leigh, Pro­duc­tion Lead

I nev­er had a strong con­nec­tion to art in my youth. There was no time for art or often play. When I was 18 I traveled to Europe and real­ised that it was free to go to gal­ler­ies, and I began to look at art. Now, twice that age, I real­ise mak­ing a choice to exper­i­ence art com­pletely affected the devel­op­ment of my adult iden­tity and still helps me make sense of the world, sad­ness and loss.

In this talk, Mar­ina says; “We are always doing things we like in our life, this is why you are not chan­ging”. This thought is why I can deal with hard­ship. Because chal­lenges and fail­ures have taught me rigour and built my char­ac­ter.

Since the first time I learned about Mar­ina in a per­form­ance art class I have been fas­cin­ated by her work, and the reac­tions it can cre­ate in an audi­ence.

Arthur Ben­jamin: A per­form­ance of “math­em­a­gic”

[ted id=199]
Brody Han­nan, Part­ner Man­ager

I remem­ber when I first saw Arthur Benjamin’s Math­em­a­gic. I was quite good at maths in high school, but it was always con­sidered a bit of a ‘nerdy’ sub­ject, and that there wasn’t any­thing cool about it.

Watch­ing Arthur square a five digit num­ber in his head with a mat­ter of seconds – and turn­ing it into such a per­form­ance – was some­thing I’d nev­er seen someone do with maths before. I think he’s the begin­ning of when I knew I wanted to become a sci­ence com­mu­nic­at­or.

Ron Fin­ley: A guer­il­la garden­er in South Cent­ral LA

Kath­ar­ine Pier­ce, Presen­ter Lead 

I nev­er knew veget­ables could be edgy until I saw Ron Finley’s talk on help­ing to stop food deserts in South Cent­ral LA.

When Ron talks about his love for garden­ing, it’s like poetry – his prose is a hor­ti­cul­tur­ists hip hop anthem.

Liv­ing in Can­ber­ra, it’s hard to com­pre­hend that some people in ‘first world coun­tries’ don’t have access to fresh and healthy food.

I’ve seen a few of these ‘guer­ril­la gar­dens’ pop­ping up across our city and they’re such a great idea.

A lot of the garden­ers I know often have more pro­duce than they can deal with. If you were able to share this with your neigh­bours, how awe­some would that be?

Ima­gine, corn to the left of you, tomato’s to the right…

I can’t wait to one day have my own verge, where I can share the fruits (and veget­ables) of my labour with the com­munity.

Eman Mohammed: The cour­age to tell a hid­den story

Olympia Yar­ger, Part­ner Lead

I star­ted fol­low­ing Eman on Face­book, I found her via My Stealthy Freedom. A page where women around the world post pic­tures of them­selves without their hij­ab.

Emans work is equally as power­ful and con­front­ing. Her talk is short, frank and determ­ined. It’s a shot of inspir­a­tion that really drives me.

Hans Rosling: The Best Stats You’ve Ever Seen

[ted id=92]

Ingrid Toman­ovits, Exec­ut­ive Pro­du­cer

This is the first TED Talk I ever saw. My brother showed it to me after he saw it on a train­ing course, and it blew me away. I couldn’t believe I was watch­ing some­thing about stats and not only was I still awake, but I was almost as excited as Hans!

My curi­os­ity was sparked – what was this TED thing? What oth­er talks were there? I had to know more, and I was hooked.

Tai­ye Selasi: Don’t ask where I’m from, ask where I’m a loc­al

Shi­an Buultjens, Volun­teer Lead 

I often get asked and ask people where they’re from; in the hope their short­hand respon­se will col­or my under­stand­ing of them. Rarely does this ques­tion achieve any­thing, but for super­fi­cial sat­is­fac­tion and the fram­ing of an intro­duc­tion.

As Tai­ye Selasi so beau­ti­fully con­struc­ted, and an opin­ion I echo: our iden­tity is our exper­i­ence; and per­haps the bet­ter ques­tion to be ask­ing is: Where are you a loc­al of? Repla­cing the lan­guage of Nation­al­ity to the lan­guage of loc­al­ity- where real life occurs: our rituals, rela­tion­ships, and restric­tions.

My exper­i­ence, like Taiye’s, has made me find it hard to believe we can come from such an eph­em­er­al con­cept: ‘coun­try’. I believe your exper­i­ence is where you’re from; and where you’re from is a mul­ti-loc­al, many-layered buf­fet of ideas, val­ues and prac­tices.

In my quest for elo­quent frame­works that help us describe ourselves, I highly recom­mend mar­in­at­ing in this eleg­antly struc­tured thes­is. The intent behind the ques­tion is what’s import­ant and acknow­ledges the com­plex­ity of human exper­i­ence. A con­ver­sa­tion that brings us closer togeth­er.

So, where are you a loc­al of? Let’s try and pitch that instead..!

Simon Sinek: How great lead­ers inspire action

Natassja Hoog­stad Hay, Com­mu­nic­a­tions Lead 

An oldie and a good­ie. I love Simon Sinek’s talk from 2009 because of its sim­ple mes­sage – that you should always start with ‘why’. He uses relat­able examples includ­ing Apple, the Wright Broth­ers and Mar­tin Luther King to demon­strate the point that it’s beliefs that appeal to emo­tions that inspire action.

There’s some­thing charm­ing about the ret­ro note­pad and pen as visu­al aids that sup­port the sim­pli­city of the mes­sage.

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