Two Web Sites Sharing Big, Bold, Innovative Ideas

November 8, 2009 § Leave a comment

Here are two web sites worth seeking out.  Both present videos featuring a wide range of experts on a vast number of subjects.  Their slants are different and, as such, each is worth a visit.

Big Think

Big Think is a global forum connecting people and ideas.”  The organization has conducted video interviews with over 600 experts, from authors and neuroscientists to  members of the military, hedge fund managers and biologists, covering business and economics, science and technology, health and medicine, and politics and policy, to name only a few of the numerous topics.

“We believe that not all information is equal. We believe that expertise is invaluable and should be shared … At Big Think, we put you in contact with the ideas of very smart people.”

I was looking for writing wisdom and advice, so I sought out John Irving, whose interview was posted last Friday.  Next Friday, I’m looking forward to checking in with Paul Auster.  If reading and writing are not your thing, maybe “Five Ways to be Happier Today” with Tal Ben-Shahar, Psychology Lecturer, Harvard University, or “Four Kinds of Male Poker Players: Rational, Angry, Disrespecting, Flirting,” with Annie Duke, Professional Poker Player, will whet your appetite.   Take a look around, whatever the expert advice you’re looking for, you’ll be able to find it on Big Think.

TED: Ideas Worth Spreading

“TED is a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading.”  The organization was established in 1984 as an annual conference held in Long Beach, CA, bringing together people from the worlds of Technology, Entertainment, and Design.  The conference has grown in prestige to the point that the invitation-only waiting list is years long.

As the interest in TED grew, the organization did something innovative and generous – two years ago they made the most popular TED conference talks, and some of those from their partners, available on TED.com, and with them the opportunity to see and hear brilliant, creative people share their ideas to change the world.  Scientists, writers, politicians, educators, entrepreneurs, musicians, researchers, and more, make up the list of presenters of the 450 available talks.

Check out Al Gore, Jill Bolte Taylor, Jacqueline Novogratz, and Oliver Sachs for starters.  Search by themes, speakers, or talks.

I recently watched Dave Eggers, who was one of three recipients of the 2008 TED Prize.  Each winner is given the opportunity to address the TED audience and explain his/her “One Wish to Change the World.”   Eggers  acceptance talk melded a few of my obsessions: reading, writing, and eduction: Dave Eggers Wish: Once Upon a School.  I challenge you to watch this video and not be left with two distinct thoughts:  this guy is amazing; and anything is possible.

Like the ubiquitous YouTube, both Big Think and TED suggest other videos related to your initial search that are just one click away.  Also like YouTube, watcher beware … you may get sucked in and never come out.

Watch and learn.

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