Category Archives: TEDtalk

Monday TED-spiration: Nurturing Creativity

I have a confession. I’ve never read Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat,Pray, Love. I’ve never had any urge to read her story of finding herself following the breakdown of her marriage. I will confess, I begrudgingly sat through the movie adaptation of the book and it didn’t rate for me. While I can’t explain why I’m yet to be drawn to read Gilbert’s best seller, her TED talk on nurturing creativity is one of my favourite TED talks.


What is your fail-safe activity for nurturing your creativity? How do you stay fresh and driven by your ideas?

Yours in creative nurturing,


The Orangutan Saviour

Willie Smits, a conservationist who has devoted his life to the orangutan, gave a powerful TED Talk where he describes his work restoring the rainforest and saves the lives of countless orangutans.

He expresses the horrific ecological barbarity resulting from the palm oil and timber industries as a result of greed. It’s saddening to hear of the human race brutally killing or selling orangutans – sentient beings who share approximately 97.8% of our DNA.

It’s great there are still people out there fighting to save orangutans from near extinction.

You too can make a difference – yes you can adopt an orangutan! :) There are other ways to help by choosing not to buy products with palm oil as an ingredient and choosing recycled papers when you print.

Willie Smits truly is a hero. Take the time to listen to his TED Talk so you can open your mind to what’s going on out there.

Yours in Conservation,
Amber van Sloten

What adults can learn from children

In this TED talk Adora Svitak, American child prodigy and published author reminds us of what we can learn as adults, from children. She reminds us that when we were children we had crazy ideas of doing and achieving anything we could imagine. Then as adults we look at these ideas as impossible or too hard to achieve, but aren’t some of the best ideas the ones that seem impossible. She reminds us to take the time to really look at some of those far out there, creative ideas and look at the possibility that they are achievable. To take the time to look at the possibilities through a child’s eyes, rather then as an adult. After all a you have to dream it first, before you can make it a reality.

There have been some truly inspiring children out there and Adora is one who inspired me to look at not only my ideas differently, but the ideas from children as well.

You can learn more about Adora and her thoughts by checking out her blog at

Yours in inspiration,

Five ways to listen better

In this concise TED talk, Julian Treasure addresses the concern that we are losing our hearing. He suggests that conscious listening creates understanding, and without understanding we can’t achieve complete communication and peaceful relationships.

He provides us with 5 easy tricks for improving our listening skills. One of these is using the acronym RASA: Receive, Appreciate, Summarise and Ask.

Yours in listening and learning,


Rebecca MacKinnon – Let’s Take back the Internet

In this powerful talk from TEDGlobal, Rebecca MacKinnon describes the expanding struggle for freedom and control in cyberspace, and asks: How do we design the next phase of the Internet with accountability and freedom at its core, rather than control? She believes the internet is headed for a “Magna Carta” moment when citizens around the world demand that their governments protect free speech and their right to connection.

Rebecca MacKinnon looks at issues of censorship, privacy, free expression and governance (or lack of) in the digital networks, platforms and services on which we are all increasingly dependent.

Yours in the Internet
Angie Rapisarda

TED talk: Try something new for 30 days

What’s that one thing that you’ve always wanted to do but for one reason or the other, never have? That’s the question Matt Cutts asks in this TED Talk I selected to share with the Brio Group team this week called “Try something new for 30 days“.

Matt’s approach to this? Just try it for 30 days!

During the talk, Matt explains how by doing these 30 day challenges, he discovered more about himself and did things that he never thought he could achieve. He also explains how through breaking the cycle of monotony (that we all invariably get ourselves into week in and week out) by including his 30 day challenges into his life, he remembers every moment. He recalls exactly where he was and what he was doing when he looks back on his challenges. An example that he presented was his 30 day photography challenge where he took one photo each day for 30 days. He can still look back on all of those photos today and remember exactly where he was and what he was doing that day.

This approach to all those “I’d love to do that!” things really hit home with me. I am the type of person who is either always too busy or can’t find the time to apply myself to all of those things I always say I’d love to do but never get the chance. Following this idea is a great way to tackle those “Gee, I wish I had the time” things and bite them off in small, manageable chunks that I can apply myself completely to, one at a time, for 30 days.

It’s a short talk, compared to some of the other TED Talk presenters that we watch each week, but the humor and his enthusiasm for trying something new for 30 days really stuck with me.

Check out the TED Talk below and you’ll see what I mean!

What are you going to try for 30 days?

Yours in TED Talks that inspire,


TEDtalk: The hidden power of smiling

I’m sure you would have heard the expression, “he/she has an infectious smile.” It’s true! A smile can also be referred to as being contagious. I’m not sure either ‘infectious’ or ‘contagious’ creates a positive emotion as they are usually associated with disease! I prefer to think of a smile as ‘inspiring’.

What I didn’t realise is that a simple smile can be so healthy for all of us and those around us. In this TEDtalk Ron Gutman explains a few unknown truths about smiling.

Did you know that smiling can…

  • increase your life expectancy?
  • make you more attractive to others?
  • create the same endorphins as when you eat chocolate?
  • give you the same feeling as having lots of money?
  • change the way you would react to certain situations?

The human body never ceases to amaze me. One of the studies that Ron mentions was where a subject had an MRI scan of brain activity in a normal state when they smiled and then the same subject had botox injected into the muscles that are used to smile to inhibit smiling. The MRI scan was done again but showed a different response. This shows that even though we may be thinking clearly, without smiling we may not be thinking as clearly as we think!

Let’s try an experiment: Why don’t you try smiling at some strangers you pass in the street, crossing the road, in the elevator, on the train and see how they react. Do they react with a smile back? Do you feel good about yourself?

I would love to hear your results. Leave a facebook comment below for us all to experience the results.

Yours in keep on smiling,