TED Talks That’ll “Sterr” your Curiosity

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Written by Cole Sterr

 

I love everything about TED Talks. The world of TED is a global community that is devoted to spreading ideas in the form of powerful talks that cover many topics including religion, social justice, science, comedy, sexual assault, feminism, current events, politics, technology, and even things like pooping! Below is a list of just a few of my favorite TED talks that’ll “sterr” your curiosity (see what I did there?) and help spark more interesting conversations that’ll make you a more interesting person to be around. Take a study break by watching one of these talks and enjoy!

 

The Muslim on the Airplane

In this talk, Syrian-American poet Amal Kassir encourages viewers to ask people what their name is in order to bridge the gap between groups of people that live in fear of the other. As one of my favorite TED Talks, Kassir instills hope in the viewer, mobilizing the world to recognize who people are beyond preconceived notions and stereotypical identities.

 

We Need to Talk About an Injustice

Human rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson stresses the racial imbalance in this powerful talk that critiques the United States justice system. By calling out the absurd amount of incarcerated black males in this country that was (and still is) a result of systemic prejudice, Stevenson emphasizes the need for justice and even proposes that what we need to combat poverty is not more money or wealth, but rather, justice. His talk will leave you pondering the hard truths of race relations in America.

 

When Black Women Walk, Things Change

Did you know that everyday in America 137 black women die from a preventable disease? That means a black woman dies every 11 minutes in our country. Alarmed by this statistic, Vanessa Garrison and T. Morgan Dixon decided to start their organization GirlTrek that would empower black women and girls to simply go for a walk everyday to combat the negative health history among the black women population. When these women started walking, however, things started changing. That abandoned building on the block was funded to be rebuilt and sidewalks and green space were advocated for in their neighborhoods. Watch this talk and see how black women have walked and revolutionized their health and communities.

 

”Locker Room talk.” Says Who?

Activist and media personality Alexis Jones spends her days travelling across the country educating male athletes in locker rooms about the importance of respecting women. Her locker room curriculum, known as ProtectHer, has transformed the mindsets of young men and empowered them to better respect and treat the women in their lives. She’s convinced these young men that their “locker room talk” and “cool-to-bang-chicks” mentality can be stopped by the same people who’ve perpetuated the problem.

 

What Does the Future Hold? 11 Quirky Characters

In this entertaining and laugh-out-loud talk, Sarah Jones adopts the personas of 11 different people. From a fiery Latina to a 90 year old grandmother, Jones answers questions such as “How many of your organs have been 3D printed?” and “They’ve discovered a cure for cancer and not baldness. What’s with that?” to entertain her audience and show off her acting skills.

 

Color Blind or Color Brave?

Want to know how to make a business or company more successful? According to Finance Executive Mellody Hobson, the answer is diversity. In this engaging and thought-provoking talk, Hobson speaks about the importance of embracing race relation discussions and the need for more diverse groups of people so that companies can function more efficiently and represent society more equally.

 

How Adaptive Clothing Empowers People with Disabilities

After giving birth to a son with muscular dystrophy, fashion designer Mindy Scheier started offering simple solutions to clothing that people with physical disabilities had trouble wearing. From an internal hemming system on the sleeves of shirts to magnetic buttons, Scheier has rebranded the fashion industry with her simple solutions and given a voice to the underrepresented, physically-handicapped population.

 

It’s Time to Reclaim Religion

Rabbi Sharon Brous speaks of the importance of reinventing religions of the world that are stuck in a routine that is “devoid of life, devoid of vision, and devoid of soul.” Brous convinces and empowers her audience with the importance of innovating religion with four main commitments to revolutionizing this problem that’ll provide people with a sense of purpose, hope, and resources to make use of the time that we humans have here on earth.

 

Why the Future Worth Building Includes Everyone

Pope Francis offers an insightful and emotionally-moving talk that stresses the importance of including everyone while moving forward in the future as a society. Even if you aren’t religious, this TED Talk will open your eyes to what the future holds when everyone is accounted for and may even tug at your emotions a little bit (like it did for me).

 

The Surprisingly Charming Science of Your Gut

Do you like having the poop talk? Are you fascinated by pooping in general? Well, if you are, this TED Talk will come in handy! In a charming and entertaining talk, doctor Giulia Enders talks us through the surprisingly complex make-up of our gut and how it relates to our brain and mental health. She even goes on to say that through her years of studying the colon and its relationship to the brain, it has positively changed her perception of cleanliness, making her a more appreciative person.

 

My son was a Columbine Shooter. This is my story

In an intimate and honest talk, Sue Klebold, mother of the notorious Columbine shooter and student Dylan Klebold, tells her story of the aftermath of the infamous shooting that happened on April 20, 1999 at Columbine High School in Columbine, Colorado. She offers her journey through grief, depression, and motherhood, becoming an advocate for mental health awareness. Klebold also includes sincere apologies to the families her son had greatly affected and her path to forgiving herself as to what she could have done differently as a mother while raising her son.

 

I grew up in the Westboro Baptist Church. Here’s why I left.

There’s no question that the Westboro Baptist Church is a strict and very controversial religious group within the United States. Former member of the Westboro Baptist Church Megan Phelps-Roper discusses her experience growing up in the church from holding “God hates gays” signs to protesting U.S. military veteran funerals. Surprisingly, her conversations on Twitter about her experiences influenced her decision to leave it. Watch this talk and be amazed at her bravery of leaving her family and jumpstarting a need to engage with people of other ideologies.

 

These are just a few of my favorite TED Talks, and if you aren’t intrigued by any of them, try watching the 2600 other options to “sterr” your curiosity by clicking here. Immerse yourself in the world of TED and get educated, get engaged, get curious, and get inspired.