Grab your headphones and prepare to be inspired.

TED began in 1984 as a conference combining elements of technology, entertainment and design. Today, the organisation, based in the US, is devoted to the general spreading of ideas, usually in the form of short (eighteen minutes or less) and powerful talks given by expert speakers. From business to creativity and science to fashion, there are now over 2,500 talks archived on the site. Here, we round up ten that you should not miss. Grab your headphones and prepare to be inspired.

1. Tom Gruber
How AI can enhance our memory, work and social lives

Posted August 2017

It can be difficult for us mere mortals to get our heads around artificial intelligence and its myriad possibilities. But this energising talk by the co-creator of Siri makes accessible the idea that AI can collaborate, rather than compete, with us in the spheres of creativity, productivity and cognitive function.

2. Cameron Russell
Looks aren’t everything. Believe me, I’m a model.

Posted October 2012

She is exquisitely beautiful and has walked the catwalks for Victoria’s Secret and Chanel but Cameron Russell has her head firmly screwed on, as proved by her excellent talk on image, prejudice and the global fashion industry.

3. Ken Robinson
Do schools kill creativity?

Posted February 2006

British educationalist Sir Ken Robinson makes the case for building an education system that nurtures, rather than undermines, creativity and acknowledges the different ways in which children display intelligence. Creativity, he argues, is as important as literacy and should be awarded the same status in schools.

4. Billie Jean King
This tennis icon paved the way for women in sports

Posted May 2015

Tennis legend Billie Jean King is a pioneer of women’s tennis. In this gripping conversation, she recalls the historic Battle of the Sexes match she played (and won) against Bobby Riggs in 1973. “If I lose,” she thought at the time, “it’s going to put women back 50 years at least.”

5. Elon Musk
The future we’re building – and boring

Posted April 2017

The visionary CEO of Tesla Motors outlines his mind-blowing plans to wage war on traffic. Right now, he says, traffic is among the most soul-destroying things we face. It affects people in every part of the world and takes away too much of our lives. The solution? Dig a hole under LA (and hopefully other cities thereafter) that will create an incredible system of 3D tunnels underground to alleviate congestion.

6. Arianna Huffington
How to succeed? Get more sleep

Posted January 2011

It is possible, argues the co-founder of The Huffington Post, to sleep your way to increased productivity and better decisions. Sleep deprivation should not be the badge of honour that it has become. A great night’s sleep gives you crucial access to the bigger picture – so give yourself permission to snooze.

7. Graham Hill
Less stuff, more happiness

Posted March 2011
If you and your belongings take up less space, argues upbeat writer and designer Graham Hill, you’ll have a greater shot at happiness. Want an easier life? Follow these three rules: edit ruthlessly; small is sexy; choose multifunctional spaces and housewares.

8. Amy Cuddy
Your body language shapes who you are

Posted June 2012

Social psychologist Amy Cuddy speaks up in this talk for body language. She argues that a powerful pose can truly change your life and teaches listeners how important it is to adopt one in stressful situations, thereby convincing others of your confidence and intent. “Fake it till you become it” is her compelling mantra.

9. Mark Bittman
What’s wrong with what we eat

Posted December 2007

Here the New York Times food writer, bestselling author and television personality, Mark Bittman, humorously makes serious points about our culinary habits (too much meat, too few plants, too much fast food and not enough that’s been cooked at home) – and how they are putting the planet at risk.

10. Susan Cain
The power of introverts

Posted March 2012

A former Wall Street lawyer and self-described introvert, Susan Cain says it’s time to stop minding if you are less outgoing than those around you. The world should encourage and celebrate introverts – interesting examples of which from history include Dr Seuss, Darwin and Ghandi – for their extraordinary talents and contributions.

September 2017