Talks to inspire you

RECENTLY, I have been watching videos from the TED Channel (youtube.com/user/TEDtalksDirector). Just a bit of a background, TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) “is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas” through their conferences, which features topics like science, business, global issues, art, among many others. For some us, we do not have the resources or opportunity to attend their conferences, which features amazing speakers.

Fortunately, TED made the videos available to the general public on their YouTube channel. I would like to share to you guys some of my favorite videos:

The Heartbreaking Text That Inspired a Crisis Help Line | Nancy Lublin
Length: 9 minutes and 39 seconds
Quotable quote: “The next message (from a troubled texter) comes a month later, ‘I just got out of the hospital, I was diagnosed as bipolar, and I think I’m gonna be ok.’”

In her talk, DoSomething.org CEO Nancy Lublin tells us the story of how a text from a young woman crying out for help to them inspired the organization to establish a Crisis Text Line. The text line served as a venue for young people to pour out their pain.

Since they started the text line, they have helped a lot of young people get out of depression and seek help. She also shared how data allowed them to improve their assistance and response to the texter. They also made the data available to the public, especially to families, schools, and law enforcement, for them to be more prepared and better handle crises.

How I Stopped the Taliban from Shutting Down My School | Sakena Yacoobi
Length: 17:03
Quotable quote: “We cannot only train women [and] forget about the men because the men are the real person who is giving the woman the hardest time. So we start training men because the men should know the potential of women…and how much these women can do the same job as they are doing.”

Yacoobi’s story is fascinating and inspiring. Despite the seriousness of the topic, Yacoobi, who hails from Afghanistan, was still able to put smiles on the faces of the audiences and make them laugh with her experiences. She shared as to how she was threatened by the Taliban because she was educating girls. She also shared how young rebel soldiers asked her to educate them; now these men protect her and also educate others.

Maysoon Zayid: I got 99 problems… palsy is just one
Length: 14:13
Quotable quote: “I got 99 problems and palsy is just one!”

Zayid’s talk is one of those talks that make you laugh and cry in one seating. The stand-up comedian has Cerebral Palsy and it did not stop her from achieving her dreams. She shares how she managed to push through the hardships in life with the help and support of her parents paired with her “I can do it” attitude. Her disability did not stop her from becoming a stand-up comedian, philanthropist, and an advocate for the disabled.

Monica Lewinsky: The price of shame
Length: 22:30
Quotable quote: “We talk a lot about our right to freedom of expression but we need to talk more about our responsibility to freedom of expression. We all want to be heard but let’s acknowledge the difference between speaking up with intention and speaking up for attention.”

Some of you might have known Monica Lewinsky as the White House intern who had an affair with former US President Bill Clinton. The affair became public and was caught in a media storm. The scandal nearly destroyed her life. Now she is back in the public eye advocating against cyber-bullying. In her talk she tackles how social media has become a dangerous tool to humiliate and hurt others. She pointed out the gravity of public humiliation now is far greater as compared to when she was still in her 20s. The eye-opening video is a must watch.

How Germs Travel on Planes — And How We Can Stop Them | Raymond Wang
Length: 6:28
Quotable quote: “Before it used to be you had to take an airplane out of service for one to two months, spend tens of thousands of man hours, spend millions of dollars to try and change something. But now, we are able to install something essentially overnight and see result immediately.”

Raymond Wang is 17 years old and has developed an effective and cost-efficient solution to make the air we breathe on planes cleaner. He invented a device, which is “a small, fin-shaped device that increases fresh airflow in airplanes and redirects pathogen-laden air out of circulation.” Based on his simulations, the device reduced pathogen inhalation by 55 times and improves fresh air delivery by 190%.


Talks to Inspire You was published in Sun.Star Davao on January 28, 2015.


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