The best TED talks for…

Grazia (UK) - - Contents -

this week­end, Tedxlon­don hosted its big­gest an­nual event at Lon­don’s Royal Fes­ti­val Hall. It’s been a me­te­oric rise for the TED Talks – a se­ries of on­line speeches on ev­ery­thing from science to celebrity, where the world’s lead­ing speak­ers give the ‘talk of their lives’ in 18 min­utes or less. The first talks were posted on 27 June 2006 and they’ve now be­come as much an in­te­gral part of our cul­tural land­scape as nov­els, al­bums or films.

Here, the Grazia team pick out some of their favourite, most in­spi­ra­tional talks – and the best mo­ments to watch them.

Steve Peters: Op­ti­mis­ing the per­for­mance of the hu­man mind best for: Calming down an anx­ious, over­whelmed brain

A psy­chi­a­trist who has worked with the minds of some of the world’s big­gest sport­ing stars and the author of The Chimp Para­dox, Steve Peters talks through the hu­man mind, how it works (with and against us) and how to make it func­tion op­ti­mally, while also be­ing less anx­ious.

James Rhodes: Mu­sic and the in­ner self best for: Find­ing some so­lace

In­ter­na­tion­ally renowned pi­anist Rhodes – whose mem­oir In­stru­men­tal, about the sex­ual abuse he suf­fered as a child and his sal­va­tion in mu­sic, has be­come a huge suc­cess – talks through our re­la­tion­ship with mu­sic. He ar­gues that lis­ten­ing to the right piece helps us un­der­stand our­selves and the dif­fi­cult world around us.

Sarah Jones: What does the fu­ture hold? best for: Deal­ing with that feel­ing of dread about what’s in store

In this im­pro­vi­sa­tion mas­ter­class, Sarah plays 11 di­verse char­ac­ters from the fu­ture – trans­form­ing from one to the other, chameleon-like. Her ‘friends’ an­swer ques­tions from the TED au­di­ence about the world they’re liv­ing in – ev­ery­thing from dat­ing and the mu­sic scene to mi­crochips in the brain and a cure for bald­ness. Funny and re­as­sur­ing.

Thomas Suarez: A 12-year-old app de­vel­oper best for: A mo­ti­va­tional kick up the bum

Be­cause, what could be more mo­ti­vat­ing than see­ing a 12-year-old talk about the in­ter­na­tion­ally used apps he de­signed, pro­grammed and re­leased?

Mary Roach: 10 things you didn’t know about the or­gasm best for: Erm… ed­u­cat­ing your­self

The author of Bonk talks through some of the best and most ob­scure sci­en­tific re­search into our sex lives to ex­pose in­ter­est­ing and en­light­en­ing facts about the Big O. In­clud­ing the woman who reg­u­larly came from brush­ing her teeth…

Ash­ley Graham: Plus-size? More like my size best for: Self-ac­cep­tance

See­ing Ash­ley Graham con­fi­dently strut around the stage full of self-love for ev­ery inch of her body is re­fresh­ing and in­spir­ing. Telling her life story and how she came to love the ‘girl who was pretty for a big girl’ might just make you re­think your cel­lulite.

Chi­ma­manda Ngozi Adichie: The dan­ger of a sin­gle story best for: Cul­tural aware­ness

Bey­oncé’s favourite fem­i­nist, author and thinker de­scribes the im­por­tance of find­ing her own au­then­tic cul­tural voice, and ex­plains how only hear­ing one sin­gle story about an­other per­son or coun­try cre­ates mis­un­der­stand­ing and lim­ited per­spec­tive.

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