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