TED Talks: five of the most memorable

TED talks words from the wisest

It began in 1984 as a technology, entertainment and design conference. More than three decades and over 2,100 talks later, the ‘TED’ global community has broadened its horizons and become a source of must-see/must-share speeches. Today it explores “Ideas worth spreading”, as its slogan goes, on topics from science to business via global culture, in more than 100 languages. With TED 2016 taking place in Vancouver from 15-19 February, Director takes a timely look back at five of the most memorable.

The first ever TED Talk

TED talk by MIT Media Lab founder Nicholas NegroponteTitle Five predictions

Who MIT Media Lab founder Nicholas Negroponte

When February 1984

Views 874,181*

Best quote “Let me talk about how you might input information [in the future]. And my favourite example is always fingers. I’m very interested in touch-sensitive displays. High-tech, high-touch.”

The most moving TED Talk

TED talk by Matthew O’Reilly, emergency medical technician on Long Island, New YorkTitle “Am I dying?” The honest answer

Who Matthew O’Reilly, emergency medical technician on Long Island, New York

When July 2014

Views 1,690,490

Best quote “I once believed what you see in the movies – when you’re in those last moments, it’s strictly terror. I’ve come to realise, regardless of circumstances, it’s generally met with peace and acceptance. It’s… the littlest things you brought into the world that give you peace in those final moments.”

The most viewed TED Talk

TED talk by English author, speaker and international adviser on education in the arts, Sir Ken RobinsonTitle Do schools kill creativity?

Who English author, speaker and international adviser on education in the arts, Sir Ken Robinson

When February 2006

Views 36,831,926

Best quote “My contention is that creativity is as important now in education as literacy, and we should treat it with the same status.”

The most radical TED Talk

TED Talk by Entrepreneur, CEO, writer and keynote speaker, Margaret HeffernanTitle Why it’s time to forget the pecking order at work

Who Entrepreneur, CEO, writer and keynote speaker, Margaret Heffernan

When May 2015

Views 1,523,489

Best quote “If the only way the most productive can be successful is by suppressing the productivity of the rest, then we badly need to find a better way to work and a richer way to live.”

The most ‘out there’ TED Talk

Aomawa Shields, astronomerTitle How we’ll find life on other planets

Who Aomawa Shields, astronomer

When March 2015

Views 372,322

Best quote “Trying to measure the atmospheric composition of an exoplanet passing in front of its host star is hard – like trying to see a fruit fly pass in front of a car’s headlight. Now imagine the car is 100 trillion miles away, and you want to know the precise colour of that fly.”



• See talks from Ted 2016 at UK cinemas. For more information, visit cineworld.co.uk/films/ted-2016-dream

*at time of writing

About author

Nick Scott

Nick Scott

A former editor-in-chief of The Rake and deputy editor of the Australian edition of GQ, Nick has had features published in titles including Esquire, The Guardian, Observer Sport Monthly and Rolling Stone Australia and is a contributing editor to Director magazine. He has interviewed celebrities including Hugh Jackman, Daniel Craig and Elle Macpherson, as well as business people including Sir Richard Branson, Charles Middleton and Nick Giles and Michael Hayman MBE.

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