12 TED Talks to Inspire Innovation

Sometimes even the most innovative among us require a recharge. And we’ve found 12 TED Talks that will get your thoughts – and the conversation – moving in the right direction. These inspirational talks are from a variety of experts ranging from best-selling authors to Elon Musk.

Something Borrowed: Creative Genius Unveiled

The Surprising Habits of Original Thinkers

“How do creative people come up with great ideas? Organizational psychologist Adam Grant studies “originals”: thinkers who dream up new ideas and take action to put them into the world. In this talk, learn three unexpected habits of originals — including embracing failure. ‘The greatest originals are the ones who fail the most, because they’re the ones who try the most,’ Grant says. ‘You need a lot of bad ideas in order to get a few good ones.’”

And you need to look for nonconformists. Thing is, the look nothing like what you’d expect!

Where Good Ideas Come From

People often credit their ideas to individual “Eureka!” moments. But Steven Johnson shows how history tells a different story. His fascinating tour takes us from the “liquid networks” of London’s coffee houses to Charles Darwin’s long, slow hunch to today’s high-velocity web.

‘Chance favors the connected mind.’” Keep your thoughts fluid of you’ll end up in a rut, which our next TED Talk explores . . .

Embrace the Remix

Nothing is original, says Kirby Ferguson, creator of Everything is a Remix. From Bob Dylan to Steve Jobs, he says our most celebrated creators borrow, steal and transform. Loss aversion – we feel a strong need to protect what is ours, but does that promote progress? Everyone borrows from other designs in some way, don’t they? Listen and see if you agree that our creativity comes from without, not within.

Your Elusive Genius

“Eat, Pray, Love” author Elizabeth Gilbert muses on the impossible things we expect from artists and geniuses — and shares the radical idea that, instead of the rare person “being” a genius, all of us “have” a genius. It’s a funny, personal and surprisingly moving talk.

When successful or not – continue to show up. The most extraordinary aspects of your life may be on loan to you to be passed along when you’re finished, to someone else.

Creating Ideas to Disrupt Your Company & Your World

The First Secret of Great Design

Habituation isn’t always bad . . . but you need to recognize it to capture potential advances. “As human beings, we get used to “the way things are” really fast. But for designers, the way things are is an opportunity … Could things be better? How? In this funny, breezy talk, the man behind the iPod and the Nest thermostat, Tony Fadell, shares some of his tips for noticing — and driving — change.” One way is by taking imagination seriously.

Design for all 5 Senses

Good design looks great, yes — but why shouldn’t it also feel great, smell great and sound great? Designer Jinsop Lee (a TED Talent Search winner) shares his theory of 5-sense design, with a handy graph and a few examples. His hope: to inspire you to notice great multisensory experiences.” And to laugh a little too.

How to Build a Company Where The Best Ideas Win

“What if you knew what your coworkers really thought about you and what they were really like? Ray Dalio makes the business case for using radical transparency and algorithmic decision-making to create an idea meritocracy where people can speak up and say what they really think — even calling out the boss is fair game. Learn more about how these strategies helped Dalio create one of the world’s most successful hedge funds and how you might harness the power of data-driven group decision-making.”

Can You Replace Your Doctor with Your CEO?

Cortney Rowan, Altitude Strategist, talks about companies that have created an environment structured to get their employees on track to better health. She hones in on an empathy-driven approach to human centered design to get people more healthy. She shares the Department of Defense story.

The Future: Thought Currency

The Era of Open Innovation

Charles Leadbeater weaves a tight argument that innovation isn’t just for professionals anymore. Passionate amateurs, using new tools, are creating products and paradigms that companies can’t. He describes the rising role of serious amateurs (“Pro-Ams,” as he calls them) through the story of the mountain bike,” which grew to account for 65% of bike sales in the US. Who are those passionate individuals in your vertical? Your users. And they have a cognitive surplus to offer – one that’s reshaping the world.

The Future We’re Building – And Boring

Elon Musk’s TED Talk is enlightening as many of his talks are. He shares, “I think it’s important to have a future that is inspiring and appealing. I just think there have to be reasons that you get up in the morning and you want to live. Like, why do you want to live? What’s the point? What inspires you? What do you love about the future? And if we’re not out there, if the future does not include being out there among the stars and being a multi-planet species, I find that it’s incredibly depressing if that’s not the future that we’re going to have.”

When Cars Become Alive

Jeremiah Owyang talks about when powerful Artificial Intelligence technologies combine with self-driving cars that we’re actually creating a “living species” where cars will connect to our digital lives and know everything about us. And products will be able to anticipate what our needs are before we actually need it.

What Would Happen If We Upload Our Brains to Computers?

Meet the “ems” — machines that emulate human brains and can think, feel and work just like the brains they’re copied from. Futurist and social scientist Robin Hanson describes a possible future when ems take over the global economy, running on superfast computers and copying themselves to multitask, leaving humans with only one choice: to retire, forever. Glimpse a strange future as Hanson describes what could happen if robots ruled the earth.

For more on the latest technologies from experts in the field, check out our “Innovation By Design” hangout series.

Where else will innovative thinking take you? Love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Gretchen Hoffman

Posted By: 

Gretchen Hoffman

VP Marketing