With this article it is our pleasure to begin an ongoing series of spotlights on the TEDTalks. 

These short video talks, available online at no charge, are delivered at a conference held twice yearly by a nonprofit devoted to “ideas worth spreading.” The conferences “bring together the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes or less).” 

It is our opinion that there is little else to rival TED online for provocative, inspiring, breathtaking, and just outright amazing content. Furthermore, the beauty of these video talks is how they blur generational lines. Unlike entertainment media, TED takes the position that what matters is brilliance, not demographics, and if you present it, they will come. Links to TEDTalks are perfect to send to younger family members, old friends, and anyone who could use a little wonder in her day.

Here is a way to attend a graduate-level lecture in your pajamas—a window on worlds we would love to explore and a way to end the day with something other than concerns in your head. Many of us like to listen to a “Tedster” on headphones just before we drift off to sleep. Who knows what those ideas do to our brains during REM? One thing is certain—they can only help.

Over the coming months, we’ll call your attention to TED with particular emphasis on the ladies who have taken the stage, but we won’t be blindly chauvinistic. One of the best parts of being human is being fascinated by how people unlike us can bring answers to questions we didn’t even know we had.  

We look forward to discovering those answers together, and we invite you to suggest any TEDTalks you’d like us to bring to readers like you. There are more than eleven hundred of them to choose from. Do you have a favorite? Have any of these Talks moved you? Please tell us in comments.

Featured  first on our site is a TEDTalk by architect Liz Diller.

 Liz Diller founded Diller Scofidio + Renfro with her husband, Ricardo Scofidio, in 1979.  Together they were the first recipients of a MacArthur Prize in the field of architecture.  She is as much a philosopher and theorist as she is an architect, and with her partners she has crossed the border into the place where design detonates into sea change. She is a professor at Princeton University and is reputed to work from 4 a.m. to 9 p.m. on most days. In 2007 she was voted, by Crain’s magazine, one of the most powerful women in New York.

In truth, her ideas have been some of the most powerful and groundbreaking the world has ever seen. Here she speaks of democratic spaces that look backward and forward.  The 99 percent look to her without even knowing it.  She has grace and a social conscience—all while believing the imagination is where the lifeboats are.

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