My Top TED Talks

Nurture Creativity From Young!

Artist Raghava KK (India) provides a very interesting proposition to nurturing creativity in children: give them more perspectives. I’d like to propose that this attitude be nurtured in all schools and forms of education, and especially even in adults. Having more perspectives is an excellent way to widen your knowledge, view and attitude towards a subject. Its about taking the effort to see what others see, view a subject from different angles, accepting other people’s accounts or views of it.

If anyone is serious about being more creative, then having this attitude should be intrinsic and automatic. It may require shedding off habits acquired from years of conformity, rigid thinking there’s only one view or one way to “do it right”, and accept that there’s “more than meets the eye”.

Widening your perspectives helps you think up more possibilities from an idea. In fact it helps you pinpoint the idea’s pros and cons and helps you define it more. For instance, we all know that in a school, its teachers who teach and students learn. But what if we can turn this upon its head, and consider a school where students teach and teachers learn?

What are the various perspectives in this radical idea? Some thoughts:

  • Students do more research on a subject before teaching – enhancing knowledge acquisition
  • To Teachers: enjoy student life again, and watching their students be independent thinkers
  • To Administrator: students get paid a salary (or some kind of reward)
  • To Parents: also learn from their children at home
  • Students will enjoy “teaching” and look forward to going to school

In such a scenario, we can see how widening our perspectives from a single idea can lead to multiple possibilities. Oh there will always be naysayers who try and shoot ideas down. That will always happen. But because inventors ignored such people, we are enjoying the fruits today (the phone, the TV, the airplane, the computer, ….)

So start with children. Nurture their ability to see different perspectives. Enjoy the various possibilities they come up with from a single idea. And be sure to have fun!

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Charles Leadbeater on Innovation

“… thirty years later, mountain bike sales and mountain bike equipment account for 65% of bike sales in America. That is US$58 billion. This is a category entirely created by consumers that would not have been created by the mainstream bike market because they couldn’t see the need, the opportunity, they didn’t have the incentive, to innovate.”

In this deceptively casual talk, Charles Leadbeater weaves a tight argument that innovation isn’t just for professionals anymore. Passionate amateurs, using new tools, are creating products and paradigms that companies can’t.

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When ideas have sex (TED Talk by Matt Ridley)

At TEDGlobal 2010, author Matt Ridley shows how, throughout history, the engine of human progress has been the meeting and mating of ideas to make new ideas. It’s not important how clever individuals are, he says; what really matters is how smart the collective brain is.

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Unintended consequences (TED Talk by Edward Tenner)

Every new invention changes the world – in ways both intentional and unexpected. Historian Edward Tenner tells the stories that illustrate the under-appreciated gap between our ability to innovate and our ability to foresee the consequences.

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