Everyone has heard of TED talks, right? Well in case you haven’t… let me tell you how awesome they are. TED’s slogan is “ideas worth spreading” and they hold conferences where presenters share their ideas from all over the world and even here at Aston University. People who have taken the stage (or red circle) include: Bill Gates, Stefan Sagmeister, Bill Clinton and Jeff Bezos. Not only do you learn things from these presentations, they are extremely motivating and entertaining and all accessible from your device free at cost. 

Here are 10 videos I have found interesting and perhaps you might too…

1. Why we all need to practice emotional first aid

Guy makes a case about practising emotional hygiene: “Oh, you’re feeling depressed? Just shake it off; it’s all in your head.” Can you imagine saying that to somebody with a broken leg: “Oh, just walk it off; it’s all in your leg.”. He talks about protecting your self-esteem and battling negative thinking – one I know we are all victims of time to time.  

2. Do schools kill creativity?

Sir Ken Worthy claims that we are educating people out of their creative capacities to ultimately use one side of the brain. He tells the audience why we need to rethink the fundamental principles on which we teach kids.

3. How Airbnb designs for trust

Joe Gebbia, the co-founder of Airbnb, speaks about the concept of trust and how this belief has manifested online creating over 4.5 million listings since 2008. He speaks how his business, through the power of design, has transformed perceptions and influenced behaviour.

4. Your body language may shape who you are

Our non-conscious minds control our non-verbal behaviours such as tone of voice, facial expressions and body language but it not only influences others around us but ourselves too. Amy speaks to the audience on how our behaviour affects our outcomes and tells us to ” not fake it till we make it, but to fake it till we become it”.

5. Why our screens make us less happy 

You will be shocked by the amount of time screens rob us of our time. Psychologist Adam Alter presents a bar chart showing how our personal time is shrinking because of how intricate these tech companies are becoming – are all the apps which we consume, enrich our lives? He reveals that we spend 3 times longer on the apps that don’t make us happy.

6. I Am Not A Monster: Schizophrenia

Cecilia is the chief executive officer (CEO) of the soon to launch non-profit Students With Schizophrenia which is the only non-profit in the United States focused on empowering college students with schizophrenia. She explains what schizophrenia is and presents why we need to change the face of schizophrenia – it’s the mental illness that is shied away from, because talking about it makes people feel uncomfortable.

7. A simple way to break a bad habit  

 

Psychiatrist Judson Brewson talks about positive and negative reinforcement and how bad habits are formed through emotional triggers – no one experiences a negative feeling when they eat chocolate right? He teaches us how mindfulness can help us see clearly what we get when we get caught up in behaviours, good and bad.

8. Are China and the US doomed to conflict? 

 

China and the United States have had a rocky relationship since the 1500s and in most cases, has resulted in war. The former Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd, speaks about how the future relationship between the two superpowers not only needs to be rescued using our ‘heads’ but also with our ‘hearts’.

9. Can we build AI without losing control over it? 

Technophobia; a fear of technology. Not everyone has a phobia of technology, especially our generation, but what about artificial intelligence (AI)? What happens when we build machines that are smarter than we are? Sam Harris explans that we haven’t yet grappled with the problems associated with creating something that may treat us the way we treat ants.

10. The skill of self-confidence

Dr. Ivan Joseph explains why confidence is the not just the most important skill in athletics but in our lives. “There’s enough people that are telling people we can’t do it, that we’re not good enough. Why do we want to tell ourselves that?”