Watching TED Talks is my day job, so I did a quick tally and it turns out I watched at least 252 TED Talks this year. They covered topics far and wide, and come from the main TED stage, TEDx stages around the world and other TED programs, like TED Salon and TED-Ed.
I have such breadth of random knowledge now that it’s a shame there are no parties anymore, because I keep thinking I will be amazing at cocktail chatter.
On my Instagram Stories, I asked y’all to ask me anything about my TED-viewing experience. Since InstaStories don’t last — they disappear after 24 hours — here’s how I answered:
In no particular order…
Sarah Kay‘s original ‘If I Had a Daughter’
Brene Brown‘s breakout TEDx
James Howard Kunstler
What was your favorite celebrity TED talk?
I consider psychotherapist Esther Perel a pretty big celebrity these days, so if you haven’t watched her original TED talk, its central ideas will make you think.
The most surprisingly practical TED Talk?
I loved and laughed with Brian Little, on personality.
What was the most valuable thing you learned among the TED Talks you watched?
Actually just last week I watched Lori Gottlieb’s talk from TEDxDupont 2019. She makes a point that will stay with me: That most of our life struggles boil down to two themes — freedom or change. But something we neglect to think through in our quest for change is that it requires an unshedding, an unbecoming — that to grow and change, we must also experience some loss and grief.
The most applicable TED talk?
In 2020, anything about getting better sleep helps. Sleep researcher Matt Walker breaks down some basics.
What’s a talk you wish teenagers would watch?
Tristan Harris, who presents an important intro to the attention economy and the danger of all our social platforms.
What’s a good entry point?
Sir Ken Robinson’s is one of the most popular talks from all time. It’s delightful, thought-provoking and well worth your time.
Which one made you want to drink?