6 TED Talks to Help You Change the World

Living & Giving

I love a good TED Talk. Whether it’s checking them out on the website or catching snippets during the TED Radio Hour on NPR, I look to these engaging videos to inspire me, educate me on a new topic, and introduce me to new perspectives from some of the smartest folks on the planet.

Whether you volunteer at a community center or are leading a non-profit organization, it’s important that we stay motivated and reminded of the beauty that comes along with making a difference. As such, I’ve rounded up 6 inspirational TED Talks to give us the right amount of motivation as we pursue purposeful living and seek to change the world.

If you have 10 minutes…

I’ve seen this video of Derek Sivers‘ speech several times over the years and the meaning is relevant each and every time. I would suggest this talk for anyone building a cause platform or non-profit. This simple video gives you great insight into creating your community.

If you really care about starting a movement, have the courage to follow and show others how to follow.

In a nutshell, Mark Bezos wants us to know that no act is too small to make an impact. It’s an idea that I take to heart whether I’m paying it forward at the coffee shop or donating books to a local school.

Don’t wait until you make your first million to make a difference in somebody’s life. If you have something to give, give it now.

If you have 15 minutes…

Storytelling is everywhere. No doubt about it. However, Sisonke Msimang reminds us that empathizing with a story is not the same as taking action. When you hear something that triggers a reaction or a desire to make a difference, do it!

Storytellers can help us to dream, but it’s up to all of us to have a plan for justice.

This talk from Linda Cliatt-Wayman moved me to tears. The passion and love for her students comes through in every word she speaks. My main takeaway from her speech is to put my whole heart into any cause that I support. Be a champion for those who need it most and never forget to infuse each act with love.

I do not know all the answers, but what I do know is for those of us who are privileged and have the responsibility of leading a school that serves children in poverty, we must truly lead, and when we are faced with unbelievable challenges, we must stop and ask ourselves, ‘So what. Now what? What are we going to do about it?’

If you have 25 minutes…

Many years ago, I started reading “The Purpose-Driven Life” with a small group at church. Unfortunately, I didn’t finish it then, but it was my introduction to Rick Warren and his work to help us identify the purpose that God has assigned to all of us. During this talk, he brings this idea to life and challenges the audience to use their influence and affluence to serve others.

What do you have that you’ve been given? Talent, background, education,freedom, networks, opportunities, wealth, ideas, creativity. What are you doing with what you’ve been given? That, to me, is the primary question about life.

As a marketer, I am very familiar with Seth Godin and his fantastic work. It’s been the source of several quotes and ideas throughout my career. So, I’m not surprised that one of his talks also motivated me with relation to do-good activities. In this video, he shares the power of tribes in getting ideas to spread like wildfire. This talk will drive you to action and think about how you can start a movement today.

That means that the idea you create, the product you create, the movement you create isn’t for everyone, it’s not a mass thing. That’s not what this is about. What it’s about instead is finding the true believers.

It was so hard to keep this list short and sweet. There are just SO many good TED talks out there, and not just ones focused on this topic. In fact, one day, I’ll work up the nerve to blog about how my life has been changed by Brene Brown’s talk, “The Power of Vulnerability.” In the meantime, check out the videos and let me know what you think.

Are there other TED Talks that you would recommend for do-gooders to watch?



TED talks to change the world

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