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10 TED Talks to Watch This Summer

28 Jun

10 TED Talks to Watch This Summer

Posted By: 
Kimberly White

TED Talks Blog

Summer is in full swing, and at CMASAS, we know that our online high school students deserve a break from studying. We also know that our students are exceptional individuals on the path towards achieving excellence and that dreams and goals don't take a summer holiday. That's why we'll be sharing fun resources throughout the summer to help students keep their minds sharp and their hearts inspired.

TED Talks are a fun, entertaining and easy way to learn new things and glean a different perspective from bright minds. Supplement Netflix marathons and binge-watching reruns with these hilarious, wise and witty talks. Neuroscientists, authors, comedians and models — these talented individuals can be your teachers this summer.

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1. Cameron Russell: Looks aren’t everything. Believe me, I’m a model.

Cameron Russell has modeled for brands like Victoria’s Secret and Chanel since she was barely 16 years old. In this talk Russell fearlessly reflects on the modeling industry and her views on beauty, saying that “being fearless means being honest.” Russell hopes that listeners will be empowered to acknowledge the many issues our society faces in regards to image. “Image is powerful, but it’s also superficial,” she says.

2. Ankit Shah: “Bringing Community Back Offline”

Ankit Shah explains why we are so riveted with online interactions and how our online existence can quickly become inauthentic and lonely. “Slowly but surely I become the person the Internet wants me to be," he says. "So instead of going to parties because I’m actually enjoying them I’ll go to the ones where I feel alienated because that’s where the best pictures are taken.” He talks about the importance of creating community offline and discovering a larger world than what the Internet has to offer.

3. Maurice Ashley: “Working backward to solve problems”

Maurice Ashley, a chess grandmaster, explains how to use Retrograde Analysis to solve problems and achieve one’s goals. “To look ahead, it pays to look backwards,” he says. Retrograde Analysis is used in fields like law, science, insurance and the stock market and can be simply used in daily life.

4. Adora Svitak: “What Adults Can Learn From Kids”

Adora Svitak explains how adults often say that children are irrational and irresponsible. “Who’s to say that certain types of irrational thinking aren’t exactly what the world needs,” she says. Kids can dream, believe in possibilities, and not be hindered limitations, bringing a level of optimism that the world truly needs. “Learning between grownups and kids should be reciprocal.”

5. David Christian: “The History of Our World in 18 Minutes”

Historian David Christian uses creative illustrations and simple explanations to narrate the complete history of the universe, beginning with the Big Bang all the way to the creation of the Internet. He speaks of the complexity of humans and how learning about our history is a powerful thing. “What big history can do is show us the nature of our complexity and fragility and the dangers that face us but is can also show us our power with collective learning,” he says.

6. Sophie Scott: “Why We Laugh”

This talk will definitely make you laugh. Neuroscientist, Sophie Scott describes why we laugh psychologically, how laughter effects our bodies, and why laughter is good for human interactions. Laughter is “an enormously behaviorally contagious effect,” says Scott. “You can catch laughter from someone else.”

7. Bel Pesce: “5 Ways to Kill Your Dreams”

In this inspiring talk, Pesce illustrates five myths we easily believe about the journey towards achieving our dreams. These myths include things like believing in overnight success and believing that other people will have the answers for you. Yet Pesce explains that each step towards achieving a goal matters. “If every step becomes something to learn or something to celebrate, you will for sure enjoy the journey,” she says.

8. Elizabeth Gilbert: “Your Elusive Creative Genius”

Elizabeth Gilbert, author of “Eat, Pray, Love,” speaks on how as a society we tend to put pressure on creative people and our own creative selves and often fear the struggles that come with acting creatively. Gilbert asks if we are ok with continuing to believe that creativity comes with anguish and suffering? Or should we instead allow the greatest creative minds in our society to not be afraid to create? Gilbert leaves listeners with methods for managing the inherent emotional risks of creativity and dares everyone to discover their own genius.

9. Kelly McGonigal: “How to Make Stress Your Friend”

Health Psychologist, Kelly McGonigal speaks on how stress effects our bodies and physical health. But it’s actually the belief that stress is harmful to our bodies that is more harmful than the stress itself. “When you change your mind about stress, you can change your body’s response to stress,” McGonigal says. With the right mindset and a few simple tools that McGonigal shares, stress can become a friend and a tool for achieving success.

10. Charlie Todd: “The Shared Experience of Absurdity”

Charlie Todd moved to New York City to pursue a career in acting and decided to turn the public places of the city into his stage. With an improv group called Improv Everywhere, Todd and others create funny, harmless pranks that make the people around them stop and smile. “As kids we’re taught to play and we’re never given a reason why we should play, it’s just acceptable that play is a good thing,” says Todd.