I’ve long been obsessed with TED Talks, but lately I’ve been spending more time over on TED exploring. I normally don’t walk away from the 20 minutes I spend watching a video feeling as if I wasted time. Usually, if someone makes it up on the TED (or TEDx) stage, they have something thought-provoking to say.
Lately I’ve been chatting with friends and family quite a bit about these talks, so I thought I’d share a round-up of my top four favorites. Both old and new. My most recent discovery was The Sociology of Gossip by gossip blogger Elaine Lui. VERY thought-provoking. Others include some of my favorite people: Sir Ken Robinson and Jacqueline Novogratz. Finally there is Jeremy Gilley. His energy is contagious, and he is an inspirational activist through-and-through.
What are your favorite talks? Share below!
Do Schools Kill Creativity?
Sir Ken Robinson
The Sociology of Gossip
Elaine Lui (of Lainey Gossip) at TEDx Vancouver
One Day of Peace
Inspiring a Life of Immersion
Photo Courtesy of Fadra Nally
I try not to mix in too much of what I am working on over at Charitable Influence here on TCP – but there is room for crossover on the occasion when something big is brewing.
Today I wanted to share something very important to me that we are working on – a new quarterly online Book Club – featuring books that will challenge your thoughts, and help you to grow!
We just launched our very first selection, The Blue Sweater, by Acumen Fund CEO Jacqueline Novogratz. I wrote about this book, the authors autobiography, back in October and have dropped her name numerous times on this blog. I cannot stress enough how much this book changed my life.
On the philanthropy side, it changed the way I look at global poverty and world issues and challenged the thoughts I had about traditional charity and humanitarian work. It gave me new sense of hope – realistic hope – for the future.
On the “human” side, it displayed the yin and yang of humankind, and tugged on every emotion I carry with me. Most importantly it brought forth a whole new level of compassion that exists not on sympathy, but on an understanding that we are deeply interconnected. And for that I cannot thank the author enough.
This book isn’t just for would-be philanthropists or those working in the nonprofit sector – it is for anyone that seeking to understand humankind in a new light.
Book Club is for CI members only, however, if you are not a blogger please feel free to email me at email@example.com to discuss joining the group!
Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, a holiday that dates as far back as the Roman Empire (though it looked much different back then), and is meant to celebrate love. In my lifetime I have watched this day spark both love and the exact opposite in people. Many believe that Valentine’s Day has turned into a money making extravaganza designed to make chocolate manufacturers and greeting card companies rich.
I’ve come across people who love every little detail about celebrating the holiday and relish in the festivities – and I have come across an equal number, if not more, who don’t seem to think it is an important day and agree with the idea that it is a “man-made” holiday.
Luckily there is another option out there for both those who enjoy that warm feeling of love that Valentine’s Day can bring, and for those who could take it or leave it – tomorrow has been “rebooted” and is now Generosity Day!
What is Generosity Day? According to the group’s page on Causes.com, Generosity Day is: “…one day of sharing love with everyone, of being generous to everyone, to see how it feels and to practice saying ‘Yes.’”
I have heard numerous spiritual teachers and read studies which prove that when you do something kind for another, it automatically makes you feel amazing as well. So why not spend Tuesday, February 14, 2012 being generous with your love, and anything else you can afford to give.
I signed up and am taking the Generosity Day pledge – will you join in?
(Note: It was of no surprise to me to learn that Generosity Day was created by Acumen Fund‘s Chief Innovation Officer Sasha Dichter, and a group of his friends. I have written about Acumen Fund in the past, and its founder Jacqueline Novogratz – I frequently pick up her book The Blue Sweater for both inspiration and encouragement. I’ll say it again – if you are interesting in making a change in the world, you will not regret reading this autobiography)
Living in a country with a total population of 35 million people, it’s hard to imagine what 1 billion looks like. Even the United States doesn’t come close to 1 billion with just over 312 million residents. Most of us already know that much of the worlds population reside in either the small country of India (1.2 billion), or China (1.3 billion), which is about three times the size of India.
Experts predicted that we would hit the 7 billionth inhabitant mark by 2015, but it appears we are a bit ahead of course. Today the world welcomed it’s 7 billionth resident, and according to reports, she was was born in Northern India. This birth represents many things to many different people.
Some feel that the birth of a girl specifically as the 7 billionth resident is important, as it brings the subject of the imbalance between genders into light, specifically in China and India where there is well-documented proof of forced abortions for women expecting daughters. Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad stated, “We must take all necessary steps – political, social, economic and scientific – to end the discrimination against the girl child.”
Discussing how the global number effects us on a smaller scale yesterday, CBC pointed out some of the ramifications of having such a populous planet, which included climate change and the havoc we are wreaking on our natural resources by developing so much of our land. The article states, “In the last 50 years alone, the oceans have become (30 per cent) more acidic, the atmosphere (four per cent) wetter and the earth’s surface warmer (by almost one degree C).”
On a symbolic level, the ‘celebration’ of the 7 billionth inhabitant reminds me of the concept of ‘Global Citizenship’. Though there is no precise definition, I would define a global citizen as one who realizes the interconnectedness of the world, and whose actions and behavior reflect this.
In the memoir The Blue Sweater, Acumen Fund CEO Jacqueline Novogratz touches on this concept quite a bit. Her words describe so well the potential for a world of global citizens, “…each of us can contribute something by thinking – and acting – like a true global citizen. We have only one world for all of us on earth, and the future really is ours to create, in a world we dare to imagine together.”
Though it may seem far fetched to believe that we can all look at each other and see no differences, it is clear that there is some change in thinking happening worldwide, the Occupy Movement and fall of Gaddafi’s 41-year regime are examples. 2011 has brought with it many challenges and changes, and perhaps the concept of a world filled with global citizens is not far off.
Recently I shared an Organization Spotlight focused on Acumen Fund, a global venture fund that seeks out local entrepreneurs who are providing long-term solutions to major problems within undeveloped countries.
I first heard of Acumen Fund CEO Jacqueline Novogratz giving a speech over at TED. I was so intrigued I bought a copy of her memoir, The Blue Sweater: Bridging the Gap Between Rich And Poor in an Interconnected World. This book truly inspired me and allowed me to see the world of philanthropy in a much different light.
The Blue Sweater is part memoir and part practical guide for those looking to enter the world of philanthropy, or for those seeking to make a difference in the world. Novogratz reveals the details of her career switch from a Chase Manhattan employee on Wall Street, to a doe-eyed Non-profit employee working in Rwanda helping small businesses grow.
The trial and errors that Novogratz experienced throughout the years serve as a compelling story, but most important, they lay out the groundwork for Charities and would-be philanthropists, presenting feasible ideas on where to begin to tackling world poverty issues.
Novogratz proves throughout the book that she is an extremely strong woman, her experiences in Africa in particular attest to this. She spent much time in Rwanda helping a small bakery owned by women blossom and grow, and paints a beautiful picture of how the group worked together to thrive.