1. Juan Enriquez: Will our kids be a different species?
Juan asks in this compelling TEDtalk ‘can we upgrade ourselves?’ His answer immediately puts humankind in perspective. So far, there have been 29 upgrades of humanoids. Multiple versions co-existed. And he convincingly argues that this may be the case today. He wants us to ask ourselves ‘are we really all identical?’ New evidence suggests we are not and that big differences are coming into our horizon. Juan explores trends of current technology and brain evolution to give us a taste of what may be coming our reality and which big questions we face today.
Read more in his book Homo Evolutis.
2. Brené Brown: The power of vulnerability
Brené tells us a story about expanding our perception in a way that could change our lives forever. She starts of by speaking about connection, the ability to feel connected, as one of the most fundamental aspect of our lives. Yet, the stories we tell ourselves are filled with fear of dis-connection, which Brenë calls shame. Shame, she tells us, is universal, everyone has it. However, there are huge differences as to how different people relate to shame. In this funny TEDtalk she shows us how we repeatedly numb our vulnerability, and with it, our lives, and she shows us a healthier way to relate with difficult emotions.
3. Jane McGonigal: The game that can give you 10 extra years of life
Jane is a gamer. And she is not just any gamer, Jane has a mission to help the world by playing games, one game at a time. Games, Jane tells us, have many beneficial effects ranging from better health to better family relations. In this fascinating talk she tells us a story about how she got out of a depression by approaching her situation as a game she could beat. She shares with us this approach and convincingly argues that it can help to add 10 years to our lives, better our health and save the world. This geeky and fun talk shows us the hidden power behind games and how to harness it.
Read more in her book Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change The World
4. Alain de Botton: A kinder, gentler philosophy of success
We often hear that success is a choice, that it is right around the corner and is for everybody to grasp. Alain confronts us with the assumptions that are often underlying these thoughts. These assumptions, he conveys to us, are often propagated by media outlets selling the story of success. However, there is a direct correlation between a society that tells you are capable of achieving your wildest dreams and low self-esteem. Because if you are directly responsible for your success then this also implies you are responsible for your failure. And because the chances that you actually fulfill these ideas of success are rather slim, the universe seems to randomly shoot people down, you end up with a lot of thoughts that it was your own fault. In this talk Alain creates room for us to ponder how we can live our lives when we are kinder towards ourselves and others.
Read more in his book Status Anxiety
5. Daphne Koller: What we’re learning from online education
Daphne shows the world how an outdated education system can be outperformed in many ways by something new. She tells us revolutions happen when a dire need meets a sudden possibility. Her www.coursera.org is such a possibility. Coursera is an educational system that brings the best professors and course materials into everybodies home for free. Yes, that is right, free lectures, free material and free grading while offering certificates that work outside in the real world. Daphne knows these tools have been around for some time but her goal is to truly revolutionize them, changing them to what truly works as opposed to mere extensions of our current education system. Watch the talk and start a course at Coursera!
6. Pam Warhurst: How we can eat our landscapes
Do you eat? Yes? Then you just joined a movement called incredible edible. Food, Pam tells us, is what unites people across cultures, languages, age and profession. This is why she started an experiment to see how she could change communities unused land into something productive. She talks about the start and the effects of communal vegetable gardens and about the power of propaganda gardening. This talk shows us incredible ways how a small change like bringing food back into the center of our existence can have big impacts. Watch this talk and help turn our communities into paradise!
Learn more about Incredible Edible here
7. Scilla Elworthy: Fighting with non-violence
Scilla wants to know how to deal with violence in a non-violence way. Violence, she tells us, is used in three different ways. Political violence to intimidate, physical violence to terrorize and emotional violence to undermine. Yet, answering these forces with more violence often fails. How then, can we respond? Scilla tells us about Nelson Mandela and Aung San Suu Kyi and their commitment to non-violence. She tells us the first step to deflate the tension is our own inner mastery, letting go of fear and using anger as fuel. Learn more about the philosophy of non-violence and watch this talk!
Learn more about non-violence tactics in Gene Sharp’s book From Dictatorship to Democracy: A Conceptual Framework for Liberation
8. Wade Davis: The worldwide web of belief and ritual
In this amazing talk full of fire and passion Wade takes us to some of the worlds remote regions and their people. He shows us their myths and rituals and infers from these stories our shared human brilliance and ingenuity. A kaleidoscope of human perspectives that is vital for our survival as a species is a diversity quickly being lost. Join Wade in this powerful talk and break free from our own cultural shackles.
Read more in his book The Wayfinders: Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in the Modern World