10 TED Talks That Influenced My Worldview

Recently I’ve been working on an ambitious side project: creating my-own personal encyclopedia. This document is not intended for anyone else. It’s just for me to use as a reference in the future. At first, the idea may sound absurd but already I can feel a wave of benefit.

Gathering old notebooks, scraps of paper with ideas and facts scribbled down. I get the feeling that this goal is one of those continuous types of goals that will never arrive. Its the journey of learning that counts.

Be careful what you learn for it becomes what you know.

With that in mind, here’s a short list of the 10 TED Talks that have had the most impact on my thoughts over the last few years!

1. Paul Stamets: 6 ways mushrooms can save the world

Paul Stamets is a renowned naturalist and mycologist (mushroom scientist). Every word he speaks reveals more about the vibrant world of fungi. A fascinating man and scientist.

2. The emergent genius of ant colonies

Deborah Gordon shares what she’s been learning about ant biology, information flow and organizational design. Answering questions such as: How do ants communicate information? How does command structure work with no central leadership?

3. Kevin Kelly: How technology evolves

I read Kevin Kelly’s book “What Technology Wants” in 2013 and it had a huge impact on my views of technology from an evolutionary context. This talk touches on many of the ideas he discussed in the book.


4. An Internet without screens might look like this…

Tea Uglow reveals what the internet can be like without using screens. Interfaces in the future will be more integrated with our senses until they become completely second nature.

5. Implants & Technology — The Future of Healthcare? Kevin Warwick

Kevin Warwick is the most important figure in the biohacking movement. He is a professor who has been working on becoming a cyborg for most of his career…

6. Oded Shoseyov: How we’re harnessing nature’s hidden superpowers

7. Why city flags may be the worst-designed thing you’ve never noticed

Roman Mars runs a great podcast about design called 99% Invisible. In this talk he shares the ins and outs of what makes a great flag and how small decisions in design can influence the greater world.

8. This computer will grow your food in the future

Caleb Harper and the Open Agriculture Initiative at the MIT Media Lab are working on some revolutionary new food systems.

9. How to fight desertification and reverse climate change

In this classic TED talk, Allan Savory discusses nutrient cycling and desertification of agricultural systems. For me this talk was very formative and it began my resolve to help create more sustainable agricultural systems.

10. This country isn’t just carbon neutral — it’s carbon negative

The Prime Minister of Bhutan shares their countries resolve to remain carbon neutral for the rest of time. This presentation demonstrates how smaller countries perceive climate change and how they are helping solve the problem. What happens when a metric of happiness is prioritized over economic growth?

Thanks for reading!

This list was fun to put together.