UC Observer logo
UCObserver on SoundCloud UCObserver on YouTube UCObserver on Facebook UCObserver on Twitter UCObserver's RSS Feeds

TEDTalks

Celebrity isn’t at the centre of this podcast; ideas themselves are the draw

By Lisa Van de Ven

Established in 1984, the TED conference series originated as a place to bring together people from three distinct fields: technology, entertainment and design. But the conference grew in scope and popularity, becoming an experience unto itself. The speakers were at the top of their fields, the topics unique and the ticket prices exorbitant.   

But TED has become more accessible these days with the TEDTalks podcast series. Featuring the best speakers from the TED conferences and partner events, the podcasts allows anyone who’s interested the chance to experience the lectures first-hand. And today TED explores a lot more than technology, entertainment and design, covering fields as diverse as architecture, health, science, psychology and religion. 

Sometimes the speakers themselves are well known, but most of the time the people onstage aren’t household names. Celebrity isn’t at the centre of TED; the ideas themselves are the draw. 

The scope of the talks can run the gamut. Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the bestselling memoir Eat, Pray, Love, talks about creativity, exploring the difference between being a genius and having genius. “Keep showing up,” she says, even when those moments of brilliance don’t. Anthropologist and writer Wade Davis explains why westerners shouldn’t consider our society more progressive than any other. 

The points presented are often inspiring and unexpected, and TED speakers are passionate and engaging tour guides. More times than not, you’ll reach the end of the podcast feeling that much smarter than when you began. 

Lisa Van de Ven is a freelance writer in Toronto.
Readers’ advisory: The discussion below is moderated by The UC Observer and facilitated by Intense Debate (ID), an online commentary system. The Observer reserves the right to edit or reject any comment it deems to be inappropriate. Approved comments may be further edited for length, clarity and accuracy, and published in the print edition of the magazine. Please note: readers do not need to sign up with ID to post their comments on ucobserver.org. We require only your user name and e-mail address. Your comments will be posted from Monday to Friday between 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Join the discussion today!
Promotional Image

Editorials

David Wilson%

Observations

by David Wilson

A perfect send-off

Promotional Image

Video

ObserverDocs: My Year of Living Spiritually

by Observer Staff

Anne Bokma left the Dutch Reformed Church as a young adult and eventually became a member of the United Church and then the Unitarian Universalists. Having long explored the "spiritual but not religious" (SBNR) demographic as a writer, she decided to immerse herself in SBNR practices for 12 months to find both enlightenment and entertainment.

Promotional Image

Society

November 2017

Trump country

by David Macfarlane

A northern Alabama county voted almost unanimously for Donald Trump in 2016. One year later, the writer, together with photographer Nigel Dickson, travels there to try to understand why.

Faith

November 2017

Involuntary pilgrim

by David Giuliano

The return of a tumour sets David Giuliano on a path he calls his ‘Camino de Cancer’

Faith

October 2017

A tale of two cancers

by Catherine Gordon

One year after the writer discovered she had breast cancer, her sister in California received the same diagnosis. They both recovered, but their experiences were worlds apart.

Society

November 2017

Trump country

by David Macfarlane

A northern Alabama county voted almost unanimously for Donald Trump in 2016. One year later, the writer, together with photographer Nigel Dickson, travels there to try to understand why.

Faith

November 2017

Involuntary pilgrim

by David Giuliano

The return of a tumour sets David Giuliano on a path he calls his ‘Camino de Cancer’

Faith

November 2017

Grey matter

by Trisha Elliott

Is consciousness just a function of the brain — or something more?

Promotional Image