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Motivation, Listening, and Learning
Tech Innovators and Entrepreneurs
Science and Renowned Scientists
Miscellaneous Good Stuff

Motivation, Listening, and Learning

View the video online at [www.imfirst.org/stories/]

This website collects student videos – generally three minutes or less – where first-generation students from various colleges offer their personal stories and advice for other first-generation students. One can choose to view the newest videos, the most popular videos, or all the videos. Additionally, there is a collection of short written stories. These videos and stories offer a good way to trigger class discussions about the specific experiences of first-generation students or the general anxieties of all students.

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/tim_harford_how_messy_problems_can_inspire_creativity]

Challenges and problems can derail your creative process ... or they can make you more creative than ever. In the surprising story behind the best-selling solo piano album of all time, Tim Harford may just convince you of the advantages of having to work with a little mess.

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/tony_robbins_asks_why_we_do_what_we_do]

Tony Robbins discusses the "invisible forces" that motivate everyone's actions — and high-fives Al Gore in the front row.

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/bel_pesce_5_ways_to_kill_your_dreams]

All of us want to invent that game-changing product, launch that successful company, write that best-selling book. And yet so few of us actually do it. TED Fellow and Brazilian entrepreneur Bel Pesce breaks down five easy-to-believe myths that ensure your dream projects will never come to fruition.

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/daniel_levitin_how_to_stay_calm_when_you_know_you_ll_be_stressed]

You're not at your best when you're stressed. In fact, your brain has evolved over millennia to release cortisol in stressful situations, inhibiting rational, logical thinking but potentially helping you survive, say, being attacked by a lion. Neuroscientist Daniel Levitin thinks there's a way to avoid making critical mistakes in stressful situations, when your thinking becomes clouded — the pre-mortem. "We all are going to fail now and then," he says. "The idea is to think ahead to what those failures might be."

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/angela_lee_duckworth_the_key_to_success_grit]

Leaving a high-flying job in consulting, Angela Lee Duckworth took a job teaching math to seventh graders in a New York public school. She quickly realized that IQ wasn’t the only thing separating the successful students from those who struggled. Here, she explains her theory of “grit” as a predictor of success.

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/alain_de_botton_a_kinder_gentler_philosophy_of_success]

Alain de Botton examines our ideas of success and failure — and questions the assumptions underlying these two judgments. Is success always earned? Is failure? He makes an eloquent, witty case to move beyond snobbery to find true pleasure in our work.

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/carol_dweck_the_power_of_believing_that_you_can_improve]

Carol Dweck researches “growth mindset” — the idea that we can grow our brain's capacity to learn and to solve problems. In this talk, she describes two ways to think about a problem that’s slightly too hard for you to solve. Are you not smart enough to solve it … or have you just not solved it yet? A great introduction to this influential field.

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/sheena_iyengar_on_the_art_of_choosing]

Sheena Iyengar studies how we make choices — and how we feel about the choices we make. At TEDGlobal, she talks about both trivial choices (Coke v. Pepsi) and profound ones, and shares her groundbreaking research that has uncovered some surprising attitudes about our decisions.

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/sheena_iyengar_choosing_what_to_choose]

We all want customized experiences and products — but when faced with 700 options, consumers freeze up. With fascinating new research, Sheena Iyengar demonstrates how businesses (and others) can improve the experience of choosing.

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/julian_baggini_is_there_a_real_you]

What makes you, you? Is it how you think of yourself, how others think of you, or something else entirely? Philosopher Julian Baggini draws from philosophy and neuroscience to give a surprising answer.

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/sheryl_sandberg_so_we_leaned_in_now_what]

Sheryl Sandberg admits she was terrified to step onto the TED stage in 2010 — because she was going to talk, for the first time, about the lonely experience of being a woman in the top tiers of business. Millions of views (and a best-selling book) later, the Facebook COO talks with the woman who pushed her to give that first talk, Pat Mitchell. Sandberg opens up about the reaction to her ideas and explores the ways that women still struggle with success.

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/diana_nyad_never_ever_give_up]

In the pitch-black night, stung by jellyfish, choking on salt water, singing to herself, hallucinating … Diana Nyad just kept on swimming. And that's how she finally achieved her lifetime goal as an athlete: an extreme 100-mile swim from Cuba to Florida — at age 64. Hear her story.

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/daniel_goldstein_the_battle_between_your_present_and_future_self]

Every day, we make decisions that have good or bad consequences for our future selves. (Can I skip flossing just this one time?) Daniel Goldstein makes tools that help us imagine ourselves over time so that we make smart choices for Future Us.

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_pink_on_motivation]

Career analyst Dan Pink examines the puzzle of motivation, starting with a fact that social scientists know but most managers don't: Traditional rewards aren't always as effective as we think. Listen for illuminating stories — and maybe, a way forward.

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/michelle_obama]

Speaking at a London girls' school, Michelle Obama makes a passionate, personal case for each student to take education seriously. It is this new, brilliant generation, she says, that will close the gap between the world as it is and the world as it should be.

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/susan_cain_the_power_of_introverts]

In a culture where being social and outgoing are prized above all else, it can be difficult, even shameful, to be an introvert. But, as Susan Cain argues in this passionate talk, introverts bring extraordinary talents and abilities to the world, and should be encouraged and celebrated.

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/tom_wujec_got_a_wicked_problem_first_tell_me_how_you_make_toast]

Making toast doesn’t sound very complicated — until someone asks you to draw the process, step by step. Tom Wujec loves asking people and teams to draw how they make toast, because the process reveals unexpected truths about how we can solve our biggest, most complicated problems at work. Learn how to run this exercise yourself, and hear Wujec’s surprising insights from watching thousands of people draw toast.

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/john_green_the_nerd_s_guide_to_learning_everything_online]

Some of us learn best in the classroom and some of us ... well, we don't. But we still love to learn — we just need to find the way that works for us. In this charming, personal talk, author John Green shares the community of learning that he found in online video.

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/julian_treasure_5_ways_to_listen_better]

In our louder and louder world, says sound expert Julian Treasure, "We are losing our listening." In this short, fascinating talk, Treasure shares five ways to re-tune your ears for conscious listening — to other people and the world around you.

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/julian_treasure_how_to_speak_so_that_people_want_to_listen]

Have you ever felt like you're talking, but nobody is listening? Here's Julian Treasure to help. In this useful talk, the sound expert demonstrates the how-tos of powerful speaking — from some handy vocal exercises to tips on how to speak with empathy. A talk that might help the world sound more beautiful.

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/hans_and_ola_rosling_how_not_to_be_ignorant_about_the_world]

How much do you know about the world? Hans Rosling, with his famous charts of global population, health and income data (and an extra-extra-long pointer), demonstrates that you have a high statistical chance of being quite wrong about what you think you know. Play along with his audience quiz — then, from Hans’ son Ola, learn 4 ways to quickly get less ignorant.

Tech Innovators and Entrepreneurs

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/bill_gross_the_single_biggest_reason_why_startups_succeed]

Bill Gross has founded a lot of startups, and incubated many others — and he got curious about why some succeeded and others failed. So he gathered data from hundreds of companies, his own and other people's, and ranked each company on five key factors. He found one factor that stands out from the others — and surprised even him.

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/jason_pontin_can_technology_solve_our_big_problems]

In 1969, Buzz Aldrin’s historic step onto the moon leapt mankind into an era of technological possibility. The awesome power of technology was to be used to solve all of our big problems. Fast forward to present day, and what's happened? Are mobile apps all we have to show for ourselves? Journalist Jason Pontin looks closely at the challenges we face to using technology effectively ... for problems that really matter.

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/sergey_brin_and_larry_page_on_google]

Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin offer a peek inside the Google machine, sharing tidbits about international search patterns, the philanthropic Google Foundation, and the company's dedication to innovation and employee happiness.

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/sergey_brin_why_google_glass]

It's not a demo, more of a philosophical argument: Why did Sergey Brin and his team at Google want to build an eye-mounted camera/computer, codenamed Glass? Onstage at TED2013, Brin calls for a new way of seeing our relationship with our mobile computers — not hunched over a screen but meeting the world heads-up.

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/skylar_tibbits_the_emergence_of_4d_printing]

3D printing has grown in sophistication since the late 1970s; TED Fellow Skylar Tibbits is shaping the next development, which he calls 4D printing, where the fourth dimension is time. This emerging technology will allow us to print objects that then reshape themselves or self-assemble over time. Think: a printed cube that folds before your eyes, or a printed pipe able to sense the need to expand or contract.

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/katherine_kuchenbecker_the_technology_of_touch]

As we move through the world, we have an innate sense of how things feel — the sensations they produce on our skin and how our bodies orient to them. Can technology leverage this? In this fun, fascinating TED-Ed lesson, learn about the field of haptics, and how it could change everything from the way we shop online to how dentists learn the telltale feel of a cavity.

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/elon_musk_the_mind_behind_tesla_spacex_solarcity]

Entrepreneur Elon Musk is a man with many plans. The founder of PayPal, Tesla Motors and SpaceX sits down with TED curator Chris Anderson to share details about his visionary projects, which include a mass-marketed electric car, a solar energy leasing company, and a fully reusable rocket.

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/catarina_mota_play_with_smart_materials]

Ink that conducts electricity; a window that turns from clear to opaque at the flip of a switch; a jelly that makes music. All this stuff exists, and Catarina Mota says: It's time to play with it. Mota leads us on a tour of surprising and cool new materials and suggests that the way we'll figure out what they're good for is to experiment, tinker and have fun.

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/steve_jobs_how_to_live_before_you_die]

At his Stanford University commencement speech, Steve Jobs, CEO and co-founder of Apple and Pixar, urges us to pursue our dreams and see the opportunities in life's setbacks — including death itself.

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/kevin_slavin_how_algorithms_shape_our_world]

We live in a world run by algorithms, computer programs that make decisions or solve problems for us. In this riveting, funny talk, Kevin Slavin shows how modern algorithms determine stock prices, espionage tactics, even the movies you watch. But, he asks: If we depend on complex algorithms to manage our daily decisions — when do we start to lose control?

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/jeff_bezos_gifts_vs_choices]

In this Princeton University graduation address, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos makes the case that our character is reflected not in the gifts we're endowed with at birth, but by the choices we make over the course of a lifetime.

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/bill_gates]

At TED2010, Bill Gates unveils his vision for the world's energy future, describing the need for "miracles" to avoid planetary catastrophe and explaining why he's backing a dramatically different type of nuclear reactor. The necessary goal? Zero carbon emissions globally by 2050.

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/nicholas_negroponte_a_30_year_history_of_the_future]

MIT Media Lab founder Nicholas Negroponte takes you on a journey through the last 30 years of tech. The consummate predictor highlights interfaces and innovations he foresaw in the 1970s and 1980s that were scoffed at then but are ubiquitous today. And he leaves you with one last (absurd? brilliant?) prediction for the coming 30 years.

View the video online at [http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/Black-Girls-Code-Kimberly-Bryan;search%3AKimberly%20Bryant]

TEDxKC 2013: Defy Impossible. Kimberly Bryant founded Black Girls Code to introduce programming and technology to a new generation of coders; coders who will become builders of technological innovation and of their own futures. website: http://blackgirlscode.org/ In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience.

Science and Renowned Scientists

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/e_o_wilson_advice_to_young_scientists]

“The world needs you, badly,” begins celebrated biologist E.O. Wilson in his letter to a young scientist. Previewing his upcoming book, he gives advice collected from a lifetime of experience — reminding us that wonder and creativity are the center of the scientific life. (Filmed at TEDMED.)

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/stephen_hawking_asks_big_questions_about_the_universe]

In keeping with the theme of TED2008, professor Stephen Hawking asks some Big Questions about our universe — How did the universe begin? How did life begin? Are we alone? — and discusses how we might go about answering them.

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/stephen_hawking_asks_big_questions_about_the_universe]

What's it like to be pals with a genius? Physicist Leonard Susskind spins a few stories about his friendship with the legendary Richard Feynman, discussing his unconventional approach to problems both serious and ... less so.

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/jedidah_isler_the_untapped_genius_that_could_change_science_for_the_better]

Jedidah Isler dreamt of becoming an astrophysicist since she was a young girl, but the odds were against her: At that time, only 18 black women in the United States had ever earned a PhD in a physics-related discipline. In this personal talk, she shares the story of how she became the first black woman to earn a PhD in astrophysics from Yale — and her deep belief in the value of diversity to science and other STEM fields. "Do not think for one minute that because you are who you are, you cannot be who you imagine yourself to be," she says. "Hold fast to those dreams and let them carry you into a world you can't even imagine."

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/stuart_firestein_the_pursuit_of_ignorance]

What does real scientific work look like? As neuroscientist Stuart Firestein jokes: It looks a lot less like the scientific method and a lot more like "farting around … in the dark." In this witty talk, Firestein gets to the heart of science as it is really practiced and suggests that we should value what we don’t know — or “high-quality ignorance” — just as much as what we know.

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/freeman_hrabowski_4_pillars_of_college_success_in_science]

At age 12, Freeman Hrabowski marched with Martin Luther King. Now he's president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), where he works to create an environment that helps under-represented students — specifically African-American, Latino and low-income learners — get degrees in math and science. He shares the four pillars of UMBC's approach.

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/ben_goldacre_battling_bad_science]

Every day there are news reports of new health advice, but how can you know if they're right? Doctor and epidemiologist Ben Goldacre shows us, at high speed, the ways evidence can be distorted, from the blindingly obvious nutrition claims to the very subtle tricks of the pharmaceutical industry.

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/how_simple_ideas_lead_to_scientific_discoveries]

Adam Savage walks through two spectacular examples of profound scientific discoveries that came from simple, creative methods anyone could have followed — Eratosthenes' calculation of the Earth's circumference around 200 BC and Hippolyte Fizeau's measurement of the speed of light in 1849.

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/james_watson_on_how_he_discovered_dna]

Nobel laureate James Watson opens TED2005 with the frank and funny story of how he and his research partner, Francis Crick, discovered the structure of DNA.

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/richard_feynman]

In this archival footage from BBC TV, celebrated physicist Richard Feynman explains what fire, magnets, rubber bands (and more) are like at the scale of the jiggling atoms they're made of. This accessible, enchanting conversation in physics reveals a teeming nano-world that's just plain fun to imagine.

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/craig_venter_unveils_synthetic_life]

Craig Venter and team make a historic announcement: they've created the first fully functioning, reproducing cell controlled by synthetic DNA. He explains how they did it and why the achievement marks the beginning of a new era for science.

Careers, Work, and Leadership

View the video online at [http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/Building-a-psychologically-safe-]

The Novartis Professor of Leadership and Management at Harvard Business School is well known for her work on teams.

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/susan_colantuono_the_career_advice_you_probably_didn_t_get]

You’re doing everything right at work, taking all the right advice, but you’re just not moving up. Why? Susan Colantuono shares a simple, surprising piece of advice you might not have heard before quite so plainly. This talk, while aimed at an audience of women, has universal takeaways — for men and women, new grads and midcareer workers.

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/dan_ariely_what_makes_us_feel_good_about_our_work]

What motivates us to work? Contrary to conventional wisdom, it isn't just money. But it's not exactly joy either. It seems that most of us thrive by making constant progress and feeling a sense of purpose. Behavioral economist Dan Ariely presents two eye-opening experiments that reveal our unexpected and nuanced attitudes toward meaning in our work. (Filmed at TEDxRiodelaPlata.)

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/larry_smith_why_you_will_fail_to_have_a_great_career]

In this funny and blunt talk, Larry Smith pulls no punches when he calls out the absurd excuses people invent when they fail to pursue their passions.

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/scott_dinsmore_how_to_find_work_you_love]

Scott Dinsmore quit a job that made him miserable, and spent the next four years wondering how to find work that was joyful and meaningful. He shares what he learned in this deceptively simple talk about finding out what matters to you — and then getting started doing it.

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/sheryl_sandberg_why_we_have_too_few_women_leaders]

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg looks at why a smaller percentage of women than men reach the top of their professions — and offers 3 powerful pieces of advice to women aiming for the C-suite.

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/ruth_chang_how_to_make_hard_choices]

Here's a talk that could literally change your life. Which career should I pursue? Should I break up — or get married?! Where should I live? Big decisions like these can be agonizingly difficult. But that's because we think about them the wrong way, says philosopher Ruth Chang. She offers a powerful new framework for shaping who we truly are.

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/drew_dudley_everyday_leadership]

We have all changed someone’s life — usually without even realizing it. In this funny talk, Drew Dudley calls on all of us to celebrate leadership as the everyday act of improving each other’s lives.

Miscellaneous Good Stuff

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/adora_svitak]

Child prodigy Adora Svitak says the world needs "childish" thinking: bold ideas, wild creativity and especially optimism. Kids' big dreams deserve high expectations, she says, starting with grownups' willingness to learn from children as much as to teach.

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/kathryn_schulz_on_being_wrong]

Most of us will do anything to avoid being wrong. But what if we're wrong about that? "Wrongologist" Kathryn Schulz makes a compelling case for not just admitting but embracing our fallibility.

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/david_christian_big_history]

Backed by stunning illustrations, David Christian narrates a complete history of the universe, from the Big Bang to the Internet, in a riveting 18 minutes. This is "Big History": an enlightening, wide-angle look at complexity, life and humanity, set against our slim share of the cosmic timeline.

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/meg_jay_why_30_is_not_the_new_20]

Clinical psychologist Meg Jay has a bold message for twentysomethings: Contrary to popular belief, your 20s are not a throwaway decade. In this provocative talk, Jay says that just because marriage, work and kids are happening later in life, doesn’t mean you can’t start planning now. She gives 3 pieces of advice for how twentysomethings can re-claim adulthood in the defining decade of their lives.

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_jennings_watson_jeopardy_and_me_the_obsolete_know_it_all]

Trivia whiz Ken Jennings has made a career as a keeper of facts; he holds the longest winning streak in history on the U.S. game show Jeopardy. But in 2011, he played a challenge match against supercomputer Watson — and lost. With humor and humility, Jennings tells us how it felt to have a computer literally beat him at his own game, and also makes the case for good old-fashioned human knowledge. (Filmed at TEDxSeattleU.)

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/matt_killingsworth_want_to_be_happier_stay_in_the_moment]

When are humans most happy? To gather data on this question, Matt Killingsworth built an app, Track Your Happiness, that let people report their feelings in real time. Among the surprising results: We're often happiest when we're lost in the moment. And the flip side: The more our mind wanders, the less happy we can be. (Filmed at TEDxCambridge.)

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/charlie_todd_the_shared_experience_of_absurdity]

Charlie Todd causes bizarre, hilarious, and unexpected public scenes: Seventy synchronized dancers in storefront windows, "ghostbusters" running through the New York Public Library, and the annual no-pants subway ride. His group, Improv Everywhere, uses these scenes to bring people together.

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/rich_benjamin_my_road_trip_through_the_whitest_towns_in_america]

As America becomes more and more multicultural, Rich Benjamin noticed a phenomenon: Some communities were actually getting less diverse. So he got out a map, found the whitest towns in the USA — and moved in. In this funny, honest, human talk, he shares what he learned as a black man in Whitopia.

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/bill_gates_the_next_disaster_we_re_not_ready]

In 2014, the world avoided a global outbreak of Ebola, thanks to thousands of selfless health workers — plus, frankly, some very good luck. In hindsight, we know what we should have done better. So, now's the time, Bill Gates suggests, to put all our good ideas into practice, from scenario planning to vaccine research to health worker training. As he says, "There's no need to panic ... but we need to get going."

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/frederic_kaplan_how_i_built_an_information_time_machine]

Imagine if you could surf Facebook ... from the Middle Ages. Well, it may not be as far off as it sounds. In a fun and interesting talk, researcher and engineer Frederic Kaplan shows off the Venice Time Machine, a project to digitize 80 kilometers of books to create a historical and geographical simulation of Venice across 1000 years. (Filmed at TEDxCaFoscariU.)

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/michael_porter_why_business_can_be_good_at_solving_social_problems]

Why do we turn to nonprofits, NGOs and governments to solve society's biggest problems? Michael Porter admits he's biased, as a business school professor, but he wants you to hear his case for letting business try to solve massive problems like climate change and access to water. Why? Because when business solves a problem, it makes a profit — which lets that solution grow.

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/michael_sandel_why_we_shouldn_t_trust_markets_with_our_civic_life]

In the past three decades, says Michael Sandel, the US has drifted from a market economy to a market society; it's fair to say that an American's experience of shared civic life depends on how much money they have. (Three key examples: access to education, access to justice, political influence.) In a talk and audience discussion, Sandel asks us to think honestly on this question: In our current democracy, is too much for sale?

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/bill_gates_how_state_budgets_are_breaking_us_schools]

America's school systems are funded by the 50 states. In this fiery talk, Bill Gates says that state budgets are riddled with accounting tricks that disguise the true cost of health care and pensions and weighted with worsening deficits — with the financing of education at the losing end.

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/seth_godin_this_is_broken_1]

Why are so many things broken? In a hilarious talk from the 2006 Gel conference, Seth Godin gives a tour of things poorly designed, the 7 reasons why they are that way, and how to fix them.

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/nate_silver_on_race_and_politics]

Nate Silver has data that answers big questions about race in politics. For instance, in the 2008 presidential race, did Obama's skin color actually keep him from getting votes in some parts of the country? Stats and myths collide in this fascinating talk that ends with a remarkable insight.

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/david_macaulay_s_rome_antics]

David Macaulay relives the winding and sometimes surreal journey toward the completion of Rome Antics, his illustrated homage to the historic city.

View the video online at [http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity]

Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity.