11 TED Talks Every 20 Something Should Watch

Kyle Reed // @kylereed

Must Watch Ted Talks

TED talks have grown in popularity. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design, which covers a broad spectrum. TED talks excel best when looking towards the future and providing insight into our ever-changing present.

Springing from the annual TED Talks Conference, the talks are now available online and have attracted a global audience. Consequently, these talks have reached billions. Clearly, the world is rapidly changing, and twenty-somethings have more to prove than ever.

Here are 11 essential TED talks videos every young adult should see.

1. Ken Robinson: How Schools Kill Creativity

This talk by Ken Robinson examines the importance of creativity in the classroom and beyond. Robinson, an educator and author, champions radical thinking.  His talk shows how young people can benefit from tapping into the muse.

2. Sarah Kay: If I Could Have a Daughter

In one of the more popular videos on the site, Kay, a poet and the founder of Project V.O.I.C.E. (Vocal Outreach into Creative Expression), promotes the use of spoken word as a tool for reaching the world. Her talk is an inspiring autobiography about growing up in New York and finding her own voice.

3. Amy Cuddy: Your Body Language Shapes who You Are

Cuddy, a social psychologist, has been involved in research regarding body language. Her talk examines the physical and psychological ramifications of body language and posturing.

4. Meg Jay: Why 30 Is Not the New 20

Meg Jay’s talk caused quite a stir. Everyone had an opinion about her talk. She looks at a person’s 20s as ground zero for many of the habits we form as older adults. From applause to awkward pause, this presentation is definitely essential.

5. Andrew Solomon: Love, No Matter What

Solomon, a writer who covers politics, culture and society, provides a unique addition to TED talks. He delves into the difference between unconditional love and unconditional acceptance.

6. Rita Pierson: Every Kid Needs a Champion

Pierson, an educator and teacher with over 40 years of experience, goes deep into a system that sometimes harms the students it’s supposed to help. Her talk calls for a proactive approach to education rooted in an educator’s connection with their students and vice versa.

 7. Sheryl Sandberg: Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders

Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg, discusses the disparity between successful businessmen and businesswomen. Her talk is essential viewing for young women preparing to enter the business world.

 8. Bryan Stevenson: We Need to Talk About an Injustice

Stevenson, a human rights lawyer, gets very personal in his talk. Discussing racial disparity and a call to justice, Stevenson offers real solutions to the problem of inequality in America.

 9. Elizabeth Gilbert: Your Elusive Creative Genius

Gilbert, author of the memoir Eat, Pray, Love, discusses the importance of maintaining creativity. Gilbert’s talk deals with finding your “inner genius” and how to channel that through all aspects of your life.

 10. Abha Dawesar: Life in the “Digital Now”

Dawesar, a novelist, explores the divide between digital life and life offline. Although we’re inclined towards the digital, Dawesar calls for more of a balance. She recounts a power blackout that ultimately changed the way she viewed technology and our growing dependence on it.

11. Simon Sinek: How Great Leaders Inspire Action

Sinek, a thought leader, delivers this inspiring talk centered around finding the core of the why. Using Apple as his example, Sinek flips the model of what most marketers use to tell a story and calls us to start with why.

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Kyle Reed

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I create websites, conversations, and ideas. Advocate for the 20 somethings. Looking to connect everyone to a mentor. Married to my best friend, Ginny. I like my coffee black and my dog Jack. I currently live in Nashville and work at Sony Music/Provident in Nashville