Top 5 TED Talks – May 2020

  1. Which country does the most good for the world? | Simon Anholt: Simon Anholt in this talk asks a very pertinent question – What kind of country would you want to live in? Is it is rich country, a happy country or a country that does good for the world? Not surprisingly, these factors are all interconnected.  Doing good for the world is more rewarding than you may believe and what is true for countries is likely true for individuals too. Go watch this talk and then take a moment to check where your country lies on the scale. No, I am not going to link the list here. 🙂
  • 5 ways to listen better | Julian Treasure: Despite endless sessions on active listening at the workplace and being aware of the importance of listening, I have to admit I am not an expert at this. I get distracted, I lose the thread midway while listening to talks at conferences (now webinars) and so on. I have been actively working on becoming a better listener and this helped. I do think with more conversations moving to calls, it is more important than ever to really ‘listen’.  
  • Hunting for dinosaurs showed me our place in the universe | Kenneth Lacovara: Let me just quote from the end of the talk and not spoil it with words of my own. All I want to say is that in a time where perspectives can be warped, this talk is a blessing.  “Why study the ancient past? Because it gives us perspective and humility. The dinosaurs died in the world’s fifth mass extinction, snuffed out in a cosmic accident through no fault of their own. They didn’t see it coming, and they didn’t have a choice. We, on the other hand, do have a choice. And the nature of the fossil record tells us that our place on this planet is both precarious and potentially fleeting. Right now, our species is propagating an environmental disaster of geological proportions that is so broad and so severe, it can rightly be called the sixth extinction. Only unlike the dinosaurs, we can see it coming. And unlike the dinosaurs, we can do something about it. That choice is ours.” 
  • Strange answers to the psychopath test | Jon Ronson: I have seen this before but it popped up on my playlist so I watched it again. I have over the years heard of multiple diagnoses gone wrong. Yes, it is much harder to prove that you are sane than to prove that you are crazy. I do still believe in the study of psychology, but am acutely aware of how wrong it can go. We’ve all heard stories like these – right from ancient queens being declared crazy to modern day prisoners. It’s enough to give someone goosebumps.
  • The clues to a great story | Andrew Stanton: I have always been fascinated by storytelling and have figured that the best storytellers are often people you unknowingly gravitate towards. The common thread to my favorite story tellers is the ability to evoke wonder, make me laugh and transport me to a moment outside of the one I am in. I, unfortunately, do not consider myself the best of storytellers and thus resort to watching talks like these that may give the secret to how. While I am not sure if I took away the how, this talk does point out some basic secrets that make for a great story.   

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