10 Talks That Will Change How You think

Bobby McFerrin: Demonstrates the Power of the Pentatonic Scale

Bobby McFerrin demonstrates the power of the pentatonic scale, using audience participation, at the event “Notes & Neurons: In Search of the Common Chorus”.

Elizabeth Gilbert: Your elusive creative genius

“Eat, Pray, Love” author Elizabeth Gilbert muses on the impossible things we expect from artists and geniuses — and shares the radical idea that, instead of the rare person “being” a genius, all of us “have” a genius. It’s a funny, personal and surprisingly moving talk.

Hyeonseo Lee: My escape from North Korea

As a child growing up in North Korea, Hyeonseo Lee thought her country was “the best on the planet.” It wasn’t until the famine of the 90s that she began to wonder. She escaped the country at 14, to begin a life in hiding, as a refugee in China. Hers is a harrowing, personal tale of survival and hope — and a powerful reminder of those who face constant danger, even when the border is far behind.

Jill Bolte Taylor: My stroke of insight

Jill Bolte Taylor had an opportunity few brain scientists would wish for: One morning, she realized she was having a massive stroke. As it happened — as she felt her brain functions slip away one by one, speech, movement, understanding — she studied and remembered every moment. This is a powerful story about how our brains define us and connect us to the world and to one another.

Hans Rosling: Debunking Third-World Myths with the best stats you’ve ever seen

You’ve never seen data presented like this. With the drama and urgency of a sportscaster, statistics guru Hans Rosling debunks myths about the so-called “developing world.”

Rory Sutherland: Life lessons from an ad man

Advertising adds value to a product by changing our perception, rather than the product itself. Rory Sutherland makes the daring assertion that a change in perceived value can be just as satisfying as what we consider real value — and his conclusion has interesting consequences for how we look at life.

Apollo Robbins: The art of misdirection

Hailed as the greatest pickpocket in the world, Apollo Robbins studies the quirks of human behavior as he steals your watch. In a hilarious demonstration, Robbins samples the buffet of the TEDGlobal 2013 audience, showing how the flaws in our perception make it possible to swipe a wallet and leave it on its owner’s shoulder while they remain clueless.

Sarah Kay: If I should have a daughter …

“If I should have a daughter, instead of Mom, she’s gonna call me Point B … ” began spoken word poet Sarah Kay, in a talk that inspired two standing ovations at TED2011. She tells the story of her metamorphosis — from a wide-eyed teenager soaking in verse at New York’s Bowery Poetry Club to a teacher connecting kids with the power of self-expression through Project V.O.I.C.E. — and gives two breathtaking performances of “B” and “Hiroshima.”

Mike Rowe: Learning from dirty jobs

Mike Rowe the host of “Dirty Jobs,” tells some compelling (and horrifying) real-life job stories. Listen for his insights and observations about the nature of hard work, and how its been unjustifiably degraded in society today.

Amy Cuddy: Your body language shapes who you are

Body language affects how others see us, but it may also change how we see ourselves. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy shows how “power posing” — standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident — can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, and might even have an impact on our chances for success.

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