5 TED Talks about going all in

TED talks can make us laugh, cry, reflect and become inspired by the strength and per­sever­ance of our fel­low humans. In cel­eb­ra­tion of this year’s TEDx­Can­berra theme ALL IN, here are five inspir­ing talks about amaz­ing people who have taken the plunge and gone ALL IN to pur­sue a dream, shake up the sys­tem, tell a story, and even save the planet.

Joe Gebbia: How Airbnb designs for trust

In this humor­ous TED Talk, Joe Gebbia shares with the audi­ence how his exper­i­ence of host­ing a stranger in his house led him to the bril­liant and intriguing con­cept that is Airbnb. Grow­ing up, we are hard­wired to believe that strangers are dan­ger­ous, and yet as one of the largest accom­mod­a­tion pro­viders in the world, Airbnb’s 640,000 (and count­ing) hosts some­how take the risk every day and let strangers into their most intim­ate spaces. In his talk, Joe proves that through the power of good design and a little bit of trust, friend­ships and com­munit­ies amongst strangers can be formed.

Amanda Palmer: The art of ask­ing


Some­times, the hardest thing to do is ask. In her incred­ible 2013 TED talk, musi­cian Amanda Palmer tells the story of how her former job as a street per­former helped her dis­cover how incred­ibly power­ful pro­found human con­nec­tions are. In what many saw as a con­tro­ver­sial move, Amanda decided to give away her music for free and crowd­source everything else that her band The Grand Theft Orches­tra needed (from a place to sleep, a neti pot, to a pub­lic space to per­form). “It’s not easy… ask­ing makes you vul­ner­able [but] it’s about a few people lov­ing you up close,” Amanda says. In her final remarks, she encour­ages the audi­ence to learn to trust, and ask without shame.

Ben Saun­ders: To the South Pole and back – the hardest 105 days of my life

In his TED Talk, arc­tic explorer Ben Saun­ders provides an insight­ful telling of the four-month, 400 mile Artic jour­ney that he and team­mate Tarka L’Herpiniere suc­cess­fully com­pleted in 2014. Incred­ibly, the two explorers were not shaken by the pro­spect of months of extreme weather con­di­tions and the fact that five people had already died in the pro­cess of attempt­ing this exped­i­tion. Reflect­ing on his jour­ney, Ben real­ised that humans are able to achieve incred­ible things through sheer determ­in­a­tion, pas­sion, stub­born­ness, and the refusal to quit.

Eman Mohammed: The cour­age to tell a hid­den story


In this short but mov­ing talk, Eman Mohammed shares with the audi­ence the chal­lenges she faces daily for being a female pho­to­journ­al­ist in Palestine. Her pres­ence in a male-dom­in­ated field was unwel­come, and she often received mul­tiple death threats from her col­leagues. How­ever, instead of quit­ting, Eman decided to con­tinue her work and doc­u­ment war from a woman’s per­spect­ive. Her cour­ageous choice to dis­reg­ard gender norms allowed Pakistani women to have a voice, res­ult­ing in some of the most insight­ful pho­to­graphs of the con­flict in Gaza.

Melati and Isa­bel Wijsen: Our cam­paign to ban plastic bags in Bali


Sis­ters and envir­on­mental act­iv­ists Melati and Isa­bel Wijsen are liv­ing proof that kids can and will make a dif­fer­ence in the world. In their 2015 Ted talk, the inspir­ing duo spoke about their relent­less efforts to stop plastic bags from ruin­ing their beloved island home, Bali. From beach clean ups, peti­tions, and even a hun­ger strike, the sis­ters along­side many like-minded kids, suc­cess­fully con­vinced the island’s gov­ernor to com­mit to a plastic-bag free Bali by 2018. The sis­ters urge other young aspir­ing act­iv­ists to take on the chal­lenge and make a dif­fer­ence. As Isa­bel says, “Us kids may only be 25% of the world’s pop­u­la­tion, but we are 100% of the future.”

Published on TEDxCanberra Blog

5 TED Talks about going ALL IN


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