TED Talks

I've been asked a lot of about the TED Talks I used, and other TED Talks that I would recommend. This page provides you with details on both of those things.

The Talks I used

Shonda Rhimes: My Year of Saying Yes to Everything - [Yes]

Amanda Palmer: The Art of Asking - [Asking]

Graham Hill: Less stuff, more happiness - [less: post-MYoT]

Dan Phillips: Creative houses from reclaimed stuff - [less: post-MYoT]

Nigel Marsh: How to make work-life balance work   -  [balance]

Daniel Goleman on compassion   -  [compassion]

Chade-Meng Tan: Everyday compassion at Google   -  [compassion]

Karen Armstrong: Let’s revive the Golden Rule   -  [compassion]

Joachim de Posada: Don't eat the marshmallow!   -  [time]

Philip Zimbardo: The psychology of time   -  [time]

Eve Ensler: happiness in body and soul   -  [vulnerability]

Brené Brown: Listening to shame   -  [vulnerability]

Brené Brown: The power of vulnerability   -  [vulnerability]

Kathryn Schulz: Don't regret, regret   -  [wrong]

Kathryn Schulz on being wrong   -  [wrong]

Sheena Iyengar on the art of choosing   -  [choice]

Barry Schwartz on the paradox of choice    -  [choice]

Alain de Botton: A kindler, gentler philosophy of success   -  [choice]

Joshua Foer: Feats of memory anyone can do   -  [remembering]

Daniel Kahneman: The riddle of experience vs memory   -  [remembering]

David Logan on tribal leadership   -  [leadership]

Barry Schwartz on our loss of wisdom    -  [leadership]

Susan Cain: The power of introverts   -  [starting a movement]

Seth Godin on the tribes we lead   -  [starting a movement]

Derek Sivers: How to start a movement   -  [starting a movement]

Lakshmi Pratury on letter-writing   -  [letters]

Peter Saul: Let's talk about dying

Chimamanda Adichie: The danger of a single story   -  [preconceptions]

Derek Sivers: Weird, or just different?   -  [preconceptions]

Bill Strickland makes change with a slideshow   -  [preconceptions]

Shawn Achor: The happy secret to better work   -  [more happiness]

Ric Elias: 3 things I learned while my plane crashed   -  [more happiness]

Nic Marks: The Happy Planet Index   -  [more happiness]

Graham Hill: Why I'm a weekday vegetarian   -  [less meat]

Sandra Fisher-Martins: The right to understand   -  [simplicity]

Alan Siegel: Let's simplify legal jargon!   -  [simplicity]

John Maeda on the simple life   -  [simplicity]

Rory Sutherland: Sweat the small stuff   -  [simplicity]

Sunni Brown: Doodlers, unite!

Carl Honore praises slowness   -  [slowing down]

Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action   -  [drive]

Tony Robbins asks why we do what we do   -  [drive]

JD Schramm: Break the silence for suicide survivors

Dean Ornish on the world's killer diet   -  [Asian diet]

Neil Pasricha: The 3 A's of awesome   -  [living the 3 A's]

Julian Treasure: 5 ways to listen better   -  [better listening]

Laura Trice suggests we all say thank you   -  [thanks, praise and mindfulness]

Mark Bezos: a life lesson from a volunteer firefighter   -  [thanks, praise and mindfulness]

Jessi Arrington: Wearing nothing new   -  [fashion]

Concept Talks

Ze Frank's web playroom

Richard St. John's 8 secrets of success

Matthew Childs' 9 life lessons from rock climbing

Elizabeth Gilbert on nurturing creativity

Derek Sivers: Keep your goals to yourself

Dan Dennett on dangerous memes

Caroline Casey: Looking past limits

Adam Savage's obsessions

Matt Cutts: Try something new for 30 days

A. J. Jacobs' Year of Living Biblically

Other Talks that have inspired or amused

Below is a list of talks, in no particular order, that fall into the category of inspirational but not applicable for my Year of TED. While I may not have used them directly in this project, they have undoubtedly influenced me over the years.

Randy Pausch's final lecture - although technically not a TED talk (it is a curated talk) this is a truly inspiring presentation that made me want to be a better person. I recommend that everyone watch this, and yes you may cry at a number of points.


Don Norman on 3 ways good design makes you happy - love the enthusiasm of this presentation.

Aimee Mullins and her 12 pairs of legs - Aimee has a number of talks, this one is very uplifting.

Jill Bolte Taylor's stroke of insight - incredibly fascinating human body stuff.

Any Hans Rosling presentation - ok so this might mark me as a nerd, but the data availability and visualisation from Hans' talks is great, and his Gapminder site/app is fantastic.

Jonathan Harris collects stories and Jonathan Harris: the Web's secret stories - really interesting projects.

Dean Kamen: The emotion behind invention - makes you appreciate what you have, very touching.

Kelli Anderson: Design to change reality - some really fantastic designs and wonderful design concepts.


Susan Cain: The power of introverts - please watch this talk, if you watch no other talk this year watch this one. I've talked about it in a post, it is a little bit of a game changer.

Bryan Stevenson: We need to talk about an injustice - this is such a passionate talk about the inequity of the US legal system for African-Americans, it is likely to make you sad and angry.

Shane Koyczan: To This Day ... for the bullied and beautiful - just watch this, it is something very special.

Leslie Morgan Steiner: Why domestic violence victims don't leave - if you are fortunate enough to have never experienced this sort of thing in your life, read this - it will help you understand.

JD Schramm: Break the silence for suicide survivors - everyone should watch this, it's only a few minutes out of your life but something that as a society I think we need to change.

Jamie Oliver's TED Prize wish: Teach every child about food - Jamie is usually enthusiastic but this is obviously something he is extremely passionate about, and with good reason given some of the things he talks about.

Aaron Huey: America's native prisoners of war - I studied American History at uni, and did a bit about the native Americans but I had no idea about this. At the same time, as an Australian I don't think we can judge, because life and lifestyle outcomes for indigenous Australians are not that much better.

Becky Blanton: The year I was homeless - this talk just proves that you should never judge people, that seemingly innocuous life decisions can lead down a path that the person didn't anticipate. It also shows that how we judge and treat the invisible people in our society just reinforces their situation.

Dave Meslin: The antidote to apathy - I really tried to work this one into an activity, but in the end it was a little too involved, definitely worth a watch.

Tim Harford: Trial, error and the God complex - fascinating, something everyone should watch and be aware of. We could really alter the world with some of these lessons.

Jok Church: A circle of caring - this one really made me think about whether there are people in my life that I need to think about rediscovering and paying back (in a good way).

Jonathan Drori on what we think we know - we look for evidence that reinforces our models, race, politics etc. and it is difficult to shift preconceptions and our mental models from childhood. This goes into education and how fiddling with mental models can help learning.

Sendhil Mullainathan: Solving social problems with a nudge - this is a talk about how to ensure that you get over the line with a project. Often so much goes into developing and planning, but simple failures in the final communication can lead to failure, how do we improve this?

Ken Robinson says schools kill creativity - wonderful presentation about how the way we educate children is not conducive to creativity (has the most views of all talks so that says something).

Richard Dawkins on militant atheism - shocking that I would pick this one, I'm sure. Don't necessarily support it completely, but there is a lot of merit in it.

Philip Zimbardo shows how people become monsters - this is a really fascinating talk, very worthwhile watching as you learn how easily this could happen.


Jane McGonigal: Gaming can make a better world - really interesting talk about how games affect us and how these skills might be used to save world problems.


Rives on 4 a.m. - just very entertaining.