For visionaries, imagineers and social entrepreneurs, TED talks play a crucial role in inspiring greatness.

These are some of our favorite TED talks

 

On Being Wrong – Kathryn Schulz – Most of us will do anything to avoid being wrong. But what if we’re wrong about that? “Wrongologist” and author of Being Wrong, Adventures on the Margin of Error Kathryn Schulz makes a compelling case for not just admitting but embracing our fallibility.

Bring on the Learning Revolution – In this poignant, funny follow-up to his fabled 2006 talk, Sir Ken Robinson makes the case for a radical shift from standardized schools to personalized learning — creating conditions where kids’ natural talents can flourish.

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

A New Way to fight Corruption – Shaffi Mather explains why he left his first career to become a social entrepreneur, providing life-saving transportation with his company 1298 for Ambulance. Now, he has a new idea and plans to begin a company to fight the booming business of corruption in public service, eliminating it one bribe at a time.

On Connecting the World – Hector Ruiz, the executive chair of AMD, wants to give Internet access to everyone. His two passions are children and education. In this talk, he shares his extraordinary life story and describes AMD’s 50×15 initiative that calls for connecting 50 percent of the world by 2015.

The Birth of a Word – MIT researcher Deb Roy wanted to understand how his infant son learned language — so he wired up his house with videocameras to catch every moment (with exceptions) of his son’s life, then parsed 90,000 hours of home video to watch “gaaaa” slowly turn into “water.” Astonishing, data-rich research with deep implications for how we learn. See Deb Roy’s company Bluefin.

The Child Driven Education – Education scientist Sugata Mitra tackles one of the greatest problems of education — the best teachers and schools don’t exist where they’re needed most. In a series of real-life experiments from New Delhi to South Africa to Italy, he gave kids self-supervised access to the web and saw results that could revolutionize how we think about teaching.

Math Class needs a Makeover –
Today’s math curriculum is teaching students to expect — and excel at — paint-by-numbers classwork, robbing kids of a skill more important than solving problems: formulating them. At TEDxNYED, Dan Meyer shows classroom-tested math exercises that prompt students to stop and think.

Smash Fear, Learn Anything – Tim Ferriss – One simple question — “What’s the worst that could happen?” — is all you need to learn to do anything.

Stroke of Genuis – Jill Bolte Taylor got a research opportunity few brain scientists would wish for: She had a massive stroke, and watched as her brain functions — motion, speech, self-awareness — shut down one by one. An astonishing story.

Unintended Consequences – Every new invention changes the world — in ways both intentional and unexpected. Historian Edward Tenner tells stories that illustrate the under-appreciated gap between our ability to innovate and our ability to foresee the consequences.

African Fractals – ‘I am a mathematician, and I would like to stand on your roof.’ That is how Ron Eglash greeted many African families he met while researching the fractal patterns he’d noticed in villages across the continent.

When Ideas have sex – At TEDGlobal 2010, author Matt Ridley shows how, throughout history, the engine of human progress has been the meeting and mating of ideas to make new ideas. It’s not important how clever individuals are, he says; what really matters is how smart the collective brain is.

The Generosity Experiment – In this inspiring talk at the NextGen:Charity conference, Sasha Dichter of the Acumen Fund shares the results of his month-long “Generosity Experiment” where he said “yes” to every request for help.