first, a really excellent talk from the TED (Technology/Entertainment/Design), a annual conference held in Monterey, CA which brings together the “world’s greatest thinkers and doers,” who are challenged to speak for 18 minutes (no more, no less) on pretty much anything that strikes their fancy. Each year there is a theme, like “Passion” or “Rethinking Poverty,” which really gives these individuals lots of leeway in their subject-matter. Some of my other favorites are:

  • Clifford Stoll, a textbook example of the “mad scientist” archetype, the talk is fittingly called, “18 minutes with an agile mind.”
  • Dave Eggers, on his non-profit pirate/superhero/time travel emporiums and tutoring centers, 826 Valencia.
  • Isabel Allende, on passion, world poverty, and feminism.

To be honest, these are pretty much all the talks I’ve seen, there are literally hundreds available, and they all seem to be amazing. Check them out.


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