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10 Days of TED: Creativity and Business

The number of outstanding talks on ted.com can be overwhelming, and quite frankly, a full time job to try and keep up with. As professionals though, it is our job to set aside time to seek out inspiration and new ideas.  We've done some of the heavy lifting for you here.

Sifting through a plethora of talks - some we liked, some not so much - we've come to 10 days worth of inspiring, thought-provoking, and fundamentally essential talks that we think everyone can benefit from. Whether an employee, a small business owner or a top CEO, the videos below are guaranteed to teach you something new as well as remind you of some best practices we may have strayed away from over the years. 

Day 1

Radjou's discussion of Frugal Innovation is inspiring for any person, no matter their industry. From affordable health care in China to banking and energy technology in Kenya, Redjou cites a number of examples of people using their limited resources to improve the world. With an end goal of eliminating this man-made distinction between "South" and "North", he makes a plea for people from all regions to pool their ingenuity and do more with less.

Day 2  

This fast paced and comical talk explains the key to success. Work harder, faster and more intellectually simply by being happy? Seems easier said than done but Shawn Achor explains the science behind it and easy changes you can implement in your day-to-day life to make it happen. 

Day 3

Ken Robinson is spot on in his discussion about the hierarchy of school subjects and undervaluing of kids who don't fit the preconceived mold set forth by the university system. His stance that school systems world-wide are stuck in the era of industrialism and that a shift desperately needs to be made to work for our future is not only compelling but almost impossible to argue with. It's not an either/or attitude from Robinson on literacy and the sciences versus the arts, it is a firm belief that we need both. 

Day 4

With one of the most watched TED Talks, Amy Cuddy not only reminds us to examine our posture, but explains the science behind why we should change it. There's something to the old adage "fake it 'til you make it" and posing is key. 

Day 5

This short TED Talk is packed full of essential tips on how to be someone people want to listen to. After reminding us of the bad habits most fall into at one point or another, Julian Treasure points out four traits of effective speakers.  Bonus? Learn some fun voice exercises while you're at it. 

Day 6

Elizabeth Gilbert delivers a thought-provoking speech on the creative process and the concept of "having a genius" versus "being a genius". Taking a look at historical perspectives she provides an interesting point of view on how to work through the challenges that many creatives face. 

Day 7

In this short but sweet talk, Manwani makes a call to action for businesses, large and small, to be the change they wish to see in the world. Claiming our old ways of viewing capitalism are not enough, Manwani suggests that a certain level of social responsibility must be upheld by companies in addition to simply making a profit. 

Day 8

Day 8's video was not embeddable, click the link provided to watch on ted.com. Kelly McGonigal's How to make stress your friend has us rethinking stress. Stress-related conditions have seemingly had a steep increase in recent years and it doesn't seem like all that stress is suddenly going to disappear.  It's time for people to re-think stress and channel it into something good. 

Day 9

Don Tapscott provides a much-watch talk about the blockchain.  This is relevant for business owners and everyday people alike as it is the wave of the future and will change the way we do business world-wide. Tapscott gives several specific examples of how it is already being used for good as well as the great potential it has should we utilize it. 

Day 10

Head of TED, Chris Anderson, gives a few brief points on public speaking and the power of idea.  The perfect talk to wrap up our 10 days of TED talks - Anderson brings us full circle to what it's all about - sharing ideas and being someone worth listening to.