In April, 100 speakers gathered at TEDGlobal in Vancouver to share ideas on the theme, The Age of Amazement. Activists, scientists, and change-makers stood on stage to share stories of their most vulnerable moments: experiences that transformed their lives and the lives of other people; a grieving husband shared lessons in starting life from a clean slate; a humanitarian aid entrepreneur built a hospital in Syria to care for 50,000 displaced children; and a historian encouraged us, as individuals to take an active role in saving democracy.
Our team recently sat around to discuss some of these ideas, and we realized something: when we share the ups and downs of our entrepreneurial journeys, we all become stronger as a result. We also realized that learning about ideas that are radically different from our own helps us stretch our thinking and capabilities. Here are three newly-released talks from TED2018, that we felt captured that notion:
The Doctors, Nurses And Aid Workers Rebuilding Syria by Rola Hallam
We often think we need to have extraordinary skills in order to make a difference, but real change comes when someone has the courage to act on an idea. TED Fellow and Anesthesiologist Rola Hallam is one of these people-she started the world's first crowd-funded hospital in Syria. In devastated countries like Syria, where the destruction of health care is used as a weapon of war, Hallam wanted to ensure displaced children were able to get the care they needed. Hope Hospital opened in 2017 and in one year provided health care to 50,000 children.
While Hallam couldn't be there in person, she recognized the power of humanitarians on ground. "The system needs to change, and change starts with us all sharing a new humanitarian vision, one where you, global citizens with skills, expertise and resources, stand together with the local responders; one where we are all humanitarians, putting the necessary resources in the hands of those who need them most and are best placed to use them effectively and efficiently," she said in her talk.
In a time where the refugee crisis deepens and immigrant children are being separated from their parents under the Trump Administration, Hallam's talk is a powerful reminder that we're all humanitarians. It doesn't matter if we live far away and read the headlines from our desks every day-we can make a difference, and it's important that we do anything we can to help our fellow humans.
The Journey Through Loss And Grief by Jason B. Rosenthal
It's not healthy to live in the past or spend too much time thinking about the future, but sometimes we need to prompt ourselves with questions to understand what we want from life.
So, what would you do if you could start life with a clean slate? That's the confronting question that Jason B. Rosenthal faced when his wife Amy Krouse Rosenthal passed away of cancer. You might be familiar with the story she penned for the New York Times, You May Want to Marry My Husband. Rosenthal was giving her husband public permission to move on.
He poses a question that we can apply to any loss in our lives-"I would like to offer you what I was given: a blank sheet of paper. What will you do with your intentional empty space, with your fresh start?" Jason encourages us to recognize death in our everyday living; to not be afraid of dying, rather to make the most of our time and do the things we enjoy.
Why Fascism Is So Tempting - And How Your Data Could Power It by Yuval Noah Harari
Historian Yuval Noah Harari is well known for his best-selling books, Sapiens and Homo Deus. Harari took the stage as a hologram via Tel Aviv and asked this question of his audience: can we save democracy? He said, "the greatest danger that now faces liberal democracy is that the revolution in information technology will make dictatorships more efficient than democracies." He presents solutions to engineers and non-engineers: how to ensure too much data doesn't get into the hands of a few and how to ensure that as individuals we're not manipulated by those who control our data.
Harari asks us to understand a different perspective on democracy-to save democracy so our data doesn't get turned against us. It's a fascinating talk in the wake of data privacy changes from major tech companies around the world. Harari wants us to be aware of how much of our data is out there and how it's being used.