June 22, 2017

In the mood for a little inspiration from someone incredibly qualified in their field? Wanting to do some good in the world or simply in your own home? TED Talks can be that catalyst for change. From beatboxing to gender equality, these are the must-watch TED talks you haven't seen.

1. Sally Kohn: Don't Like Clickbait? Don't Click

“Clicking is a public act,” says Sally Kohn, a regular CNN contributor and liberal media fixture. She’s right. If consumers vote with their wallets, Internet users vote with their clicks, and Kohn pleads with them to stop voting for sensationalized, hyperbolic and vitriolic content. Don’t worry, you can keep watching your favorite cat fashion videos.

2. Tristram Stuart: The Global Food Waste Scandal

Ever wonder what your favorite deli does with the slices of bread on either end of a fresh loaf? Author and environmentalist Tristram Stuart gives a compelling, data-driven talk on the global food waste crisis: its consequences on public health and the environment, the biggest culprits, the sometimes absurd reasons that cause producers to throw away perfectly good food, and most importantly, what consumers can do about it.

3. Sheryl Sandberg: Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders

Gender equality in the workplace has reclaimed its place in the public discourse, and this talk helped restart the conversation. The Facebook COO shines a spotlight on the obstacles facing women in the workplace and offers her advice on how to tackle them. Bonus: the talk is only 15 minutes long, allowing you to participate in any conversation about Sandberg’s book, Lean In, without actually having to read it.

4. Tom Thum: The Orchestra in My Mouth

“I use my mouth in strange ways in exchange for cash,” begins Australian musician Tom Thum. What follows next is 11 minutes of the most mind-blowing beatboxing you’ll ever hear.

5. Jamie Oliver: Teach Every Child About Food

Chef and TV personality Jamie Oliver isn’t just cooking great food, he’s teaching the world about it, starting with children. This talk was recorded around the same time as Oliver’s 2010 television show, Food Revolution, in which he traveled to Huntington, WV, to reform the school lunch program.

6. Brene Brown: The Power of Vulnerability

Social scientist and University of Houston professor Brene Brown weaves a personal narrative to talk about how we can improve ourselves, our relationships and our communities by acknowledging and owning our vulnerabilities.

7. Clint Smith: The Danger of Silence

New Orleans teacher and poet Clint Smith’s talk begins as a personal reflection on times when he failed to speak up for a person or an idea and then crescendos into a raw, precise and powerful free verse poem about the power of voice.

8. Geoffrey Canada: Our Failing Schools. Enough is Enough!

Educator and activist Geoffrey Canada is best known as the president of the Harlem Children’s Zone, a cradle-to-college nonprofit organization devoted to ending cycles of urban poverty through education. In this talk, he reminds us that the solutions to improving our national education systems are blindingly obvious, but that simple solutions aren’t the same as easy ones. From the absurdity of the school calendar to billion-dollar tests whose results come back months too late, Canada targets school reform with his trademark passion, humor and wit.

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