Sunday, April 3, 2011

TED: a discovery leads to a challenge

Have you discovered the TED website? If you have never heard of TED (and I was right there a few months ago), then you are in for some amazing discovery. What are you interested in? Technology, Culture, Economics, Business, Entertainment? All these and more are covered at the TED conferences. TED gives people from all areas of the world approximately 15 minutes to share their passion, past, story, hope, or dream.

Patricia Ryan had an amazing talk titled, "Don't insist on English."  Language is fused with culture.  I cannot even count the times I have heard someone unable to adequately translate something from one language into another. For instance, the Hebrew word "Shalom." One author took paragraphs to try and explain the concept, that does not neatly translate into English. So many terms are so intrinsically intertwined with the culture the language thrives within, that any other word fails to replace it. Yet another language dies every 14 days. Have you seen the statistics on the languages of the world? Check out what National Geographic has on Endangered World languages.    

Speaking of cultures, Wade Davis had an intriguing talk on Endangered Cultures.

Other Talks:

Hans Rosling and the Magic Washing Machine. (favorite quote, "If you have democracy, people will vote for washing machines.")

 Melinda French Gates What non profits can learn from Coca Cola. "At TEDxChange, Melinda Gates makes a provocative case for nonprofits taking a cue from corporations such as Coca-Cola, whose plugged-in, global network of marketers and distributors ensures that every remote village wants -- and can get -- a Coke. Why shouldn't this work for condoms, sanitation, vaccinations too?"

Okay so now it's your turn. Check out TED. Watch a few talks that peak your interest. It just might change your view on something.

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