Our favorite TED talks about fostering creativity

In recent years, a global program called TED is removing barriers in the sharing of ideas.  It creates new access for regular people across the globe to perspectives that they might never have had the chance to consider otherwise.  As a result, millions are able to to gain a new level of understanding of the human condition.

If you haven’t discovered TED yet, well, don’t feel bad.  It only means that you’ve been busy focused on other things – like maybe caring for your family, working to bring home the bacon, or maybe you’ve gone back to school and your spare time is spent on homework.

As quoted from their website: “TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading.  It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. Along with two annual conferences — the TED Conference in Long Beach and Palm Springs each spring, and the TED Global Conference in Edinburgh UK each summer — TED includes the award-winning TED Talks video site, the Open-Translation Project and TED Conversations, the inspiring TED Fellows and TEDx programs, and the annual TED Prize.”

We especially appreciate these three talks about creativity, education and unconventional thinking and wanted to share them with you.  They lend themselves to sharing with friends and family, and are filled with messages of hope and understanding.  We hope you are enriched by them too!

 TED Talk – Temple Grandin:  The World Needs All Kinds of Minds 

One of the characteristics that often accompany life on the autism spectrum is a heightened sensitivity to surroundings and sensory stimuli.  This is frequently accompanied by an extraordinary perspective of the environment that is different from the average person, and an unconventional method of creative thinking.   In this talk, Temple Grandin shares her own ability to “think in pictures,” and explores the ability of individuals living on the spectrum to analyze and solve problems with unconventional solutions that might not be identified through conventional thought processes.

Diagnosed with autism as a child, Grandin has fast become a familiar name among families living on the spectrum with a number of books on the subject to her name, as well as a biographical movie about her life, which was released in 2010, starring actress Clare Danes.  Her TED talk about why the world needs all kinds of minds is an enlightening reveal of how her own mind works to solve problems productively, and why it’s so important that as a global society, we don’t discount unconventional creative thinkers.  View Clip

TED Talk – Sir Ken Robinson: Schools Kill Creativity

Sir Ken Robinson shares his point of view on the modern model of education and why he believes it destroys creativity.  He believes that there are fundamental flaws
to the current global formula of organizing students by age and gender, as well  as the hierarchy of academic priorities that are prevalent across nearly all modern cultures.  He suggests that the practice of forcing children to focus on academics at the expense of creativity is mistake with long term consequences. Robinson asserts that we must re-examine our approach to education in order to prepare children for a future that is uncertain five years from now much less 50 years from now.  View Clip

TED Talk – Elizabeth Gilbert: Your Elusive Creative Genius

Bestselling author, Elizabeth Gilbert, discusses the fear that accompanies creative genius: fear of failure, but also, once experiencing success, the emptiness and fear of that being all there is – that the creativity has come and gone and the possibility that her greatest success is now behind her.  She talks about the historic notoriety that writers, artists and other creative minds have of being mentally unstable.  She suggests a
healthy way to manage the complex emotions and anxiety that comes with intense
creativity.  By creating a detached attitude about her own creativity, and instead treating it as something divine that comes to her and is channeled through her from somewhere else, much of the fear and anxiety became more manageable. View Clip 

TED is an oasis of inspiration that opens minds.  These online talks offer a singular
opportunity for families living with special needs to learn, contemplate and refresh our minds in the midst of hectic lives that are filled with unconventional hurdles.  TED is accessible – you can listen and learn on your own schedule, wherever you are, 24/7.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on any of these, or other
TED talks you’ve found particularly inspiring.
Please leave a comment!