Top 10 TED Talks from TED2015

| 3 min read

We have the technology for humans to colonise Mars. It’s possible to recreate an entire conversation using the data gleaned from the movement of a nearby chip packet. And Monica Lewinsky is back with a message to cyber bullies – your trolling claims lives.

TED Talks have achieved global fame (or notoriety, depending on your perspective) for packaging up big ideas into 18-minute presentations. If you like your information delivered concisely and by experts in their field, then you’re probably already a TED fan. Whether you’re new to TED or a long-time consumer of their talks, here are 10 of our favourites from TED 2015.


  1. Monica Lewinsky has been laying low for nearly 20 years. Now in her 40s, when she stepped on stage to deliver her TED talk – The Price of Shame – the audience were on tenterhooks. She looked nervous but determined, and proceeded to give an exceptionally impressive talk on what it was like to be ‘patient zero’ right at the start of the internet shaming trend, and why she has decided to speak out in a bid to help other vulnerable young people. Unsurprisingly, she received a standing ovation.

Watch it here

  1. We loved Dame Stephanie Shirley’s no-nonsense talk about her experience in the extremely male-dominated field of IT. As a pioneer business owner in the 60s and 70s, she’s seen it all, and had a lot to share with the audience about how far women have come in the workplace and as entrepreneurs – and how far they still have to go, including why she occasionally resorts to calling herself ‘Steve’. Why do ambitious women have flat heads? You’ll have to listen to her talk to find out.

Watch it here


  1. If you have an interest in architecture, design and sustainability – or just love the beauty of intricate craftsmanship – then you need to watch Elora Hardy’s talk about the glorious work her company is doing in keeping the tradition of bamboo construction techniques alive in Bali.

Watch it here

  1. Who doesn’t love an on-stage demonstration and a bit of audience participation? Especially when it’s someone showing us how one person can use their brain to control another’s arm movements. You’re just going to have to watch Greg Gage’s eye-opening talk to see what we mean.

Watch it here


  1. Theaster Gates was appalled by the decline of his neighbourhood and decided to do something about it – one creative space at a time. His talk celebrates the power of the individual to create change, and the benefits of a vibrant community that values imagination, beauty and art.

Watch it here

  1. It started with a simple premise – give two people the space to talk, and record the conversation for posterity. Dave Isay’s small idea has gone on to have big ambitions, and the story of StoryCorps will renew your faith in humanity and power of storytelling to connect, inspire, and heal.

Watch it here


  1. Alice Goffman spoke from the heart in her talk outlining the different life paths available to white college kids versus their African American counterparts. Her stirring tale of injustice ended on a hopeful note – but it’s clear that a lot needs to change if the US is to move forward.

Watch it here

  1. If you’ve ever felt unable to forgive someone for what they’ve done to you, watching this talk by Anand Giridharadas might help you see past your anger to reach a place of healing.

Watch it here

  1. Listening to Clint Smith’s poetic talk about growing up as a person who is black in America might just give you an insight as to what it’s like – and why things need to change.

Watch it here


  1. You didn’t know you cared about city flag design, but you do. Roman Mars explains why in his funny talk.

Watch it here

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Andrea O’Driscoll is a freelance copywriter who writes frequently for The Copy Collective in a style that doesn’t even hint at the toddler scribbling on the floor beside her.

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