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Top TED Talks List

Updated on April 17, 2016

About the best TED talk List

Welcome to the Top TED Talks List, Here you will find a list of amazing Talks from the TED conferences, most relating to Design, Creativity and Innovation ranging from 2008 to 2015.

This list is not a complete list but only a select few that i have enjoyed over the years and come back to regularly for inspiration. I will not longer be adding to the list but if you have a favorite that you think should be included here, please let me know and i'll try to add it. But as we all know there just too many great talks on TED.

What is TED

The Technology Entertainment Design Conference TED

The TED conferences or better known as just TED. TED is short for Technology, Entertainment, Design, Its a annual conference held in Long beach, California in the USA. It was founded in 1984 by Richard Saul Wurman and Harry Marks, but is now curated by British journalist and magazine publisher Chris Anderson. Since its begins TED has grown from a technology and design focused conference to a multi disciplinary event and global movement for innovation and change.

The TED conferences is a global set of conferences (TED, TEDGlobal, TEDx, TEDwomen, TEDActive) owned by Sapling Foundation a private non-profit formed to disseminate "ideas worth spreading." Which is also the motto for TED.

TED was originally founded in 1984 as a one-off event but became an annual event held in February from 1990 to 2009 in Monterey, California. TEDs currently home is now in Long Beach and Palm Springs. TED's early emphasis was primarily technology and design, targeting the near by Silicon Valley audience. However since its origins TED has evolved to address a wider range of topics within various research fields, the practice of science, business, social issues and culture. One of the unique aspects of TED is that speakers are given a maximum of 18 minutes to present their ideas in the most innovative and engaging ways possible.

For more about TED see my Hubpage: Technology Entertainment Design = TED

My favourite TED Talk

At the 2008 Serious Play conference, designer Tim Brown talks about the powerful relationship between creative thinking and play.

Tim Brown is founder and the CEO of the innovative design firm IDEO. In this talk Tim explores the relationship between designing and playing.

Tim Brown - Tales of Creativity and Play 2008

David Kelley - How to build your creative confidence 2012

David Kelley is a designer, educator and along with Tim Brown founder of legendary design firm IDEO from Stanford University. David Kelley is also known for coining and starting the movement around "Design Thinking".

Sand Artist Joe Castillo at TED Acitve 2011

Joe Castillo is an Artist, speaker and storyteller with a passion for promoting the visual arts as a way of touching the heart. And most recently he has begin exploring visual story telling as an sand Artist and Sand animation. In 2011 Joe performed at TEDGlobal.

What is Sand animation?

Sand animation also known as "Sand Art" but that can be confused with "Sand Sculpture" the difference is that during sand animation, imagines are created to tell a story. This is achieved by the use of a projector and light box, with the drawing of the images choreographed to music, therefore creating a live animation.

More of Joe's video can be found on his website:

Joe Castillo has also created a tribute to 911 called Never Forget.

Tim Harford: Trial, Error and the God Complex 2011

Tim Harford is an English economist, journalist and columnist for The Financial Times known also as "The Undercover Economist". Tim has authored four economics books including, Adapt: Why Success Always Starts With Failure. His latest book, Messy: Thriving in a Tidy-Minded World September 2016.

In this TED talk Tim highlights how randomness and trial and error can lead to better solutions and uses evolution as a metaphor.

Eddie Obeng - Smart failure for a fast changing world 2012

Edward "Eddie" Obeng is a British organizational theorist, educator, author and a Professor at the School of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, at Henley Business School.

In this talk Eddie Obeng focuses on the rapidly changing world we now live in and how creative output cannot keep up as such he highlights 3 important changes we should understand for improving productivity and to move towards a culture of “smart failure."

Tom Wujec on Wick Problems 2015

Tom Wujec is a designer, filmmakers, author and an adjunct professor at Singularity University and a pioneer in the emerging field of business visualization.

In this talk he used the simple task of making a piece of toast in an exercise on how to start visualizing and solving wick problems.

Linda Hill - How to Manage for collective creativity 2015

Linda Hill is a Professor of Business at the Harvard Business School and 2014, co-authored Collective Genius: The Art and Practice of Leading Innovation. A book that describes how exceptional leaders of innovation in a wide range of industries from information technology to law to design, and covering countries countries such as the US, Europe to the Middle East and Asia. Highlighting the methods of 16 innovative leader.

Business Insider named Collective Genius one of “The 20 Best Business Books” in summer 2014. In this TED talk she highlights the need for collective creativity for problem solving and shares her journey and experience during the writing of the book.


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