Few things are as inspiring as a great speaker who finds a way to hold your attention and then sparks your inner genius.
The world of ideas is full of potential, especially when those ideas are shared in a vast arena, where millions of people can evaluate them, modify them or apply them.
This is the mission of the organization known as TED. Have you heard of it?
TED is an acronym that stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design. It began as a conference in Monterey, California, about 20 years ago. The conference was organized to bring people together from those three areas of human activity, but became so successful that it branched out into a much wider sphere.
At the conference each year, some of the world's most original thinkers are invited to give their best talk in under 18 minutes.
Bill Clinton, Richard Branson, Bono, Jane Goodall, Al Gore, Bill Gates, and Burt Rutan are just some of the speakers who have showcased their talents at the TED conference.
What's amazing about TED is that it makes the best performances available to the public for free through its web site http://www.ted.com/.
You can literally sit for hours and listen to these innovative leaders in their respective fields.
TED is owned by a non-profit foundation, The Sapling Foundation, whose purpose is to foster the spread of ideas to challenge some of the most important global issues and to find ways to create a better future.
The site is organized by themes like "Tales of Invention", "What's Next in Tech?", "A Greener Future", "How the Mind Works" and "What Makes Us Happy?"
TED believes powerful ideas can change the world.
As the web site says...
* An idea can be created out of nothing except an inspired imagination.
* An idea weighs nothing.
* It can be transferred across the world at the speed of light for virtually zero cost.
* And yet an idea, when received by a prepared mind, can have extraordinary impact.
* It can reshape that mind's view of the world.
* It can dramatically alter the behavior of the mind's owner.
* It can cause the mind to pass on the idea to others. "
If you're looking for inspiration, TED is one of the best places to start.
Photo credit: www.pdphoto.org