Sam Richards – A Radical Experiment in Empathy

This is a powerful presentation about stepping into someone else’s shoes. The moment you do that, all of a sudden many things that seemed weird before start to make sense. Conflicts seem to be unavoidable yet each side has its own views justified. Beneath the civilized humanity surface lies the same old barbaric force, driving us to obtain a better life at the cost of many others that we conveniently overlook. In the name of goodness, evil practices are allowed.

Richards is not giving a solution to any of these, but rather he invites us to step into the shoes of others to see their little worlds. Then perhaps, something might click in the end.

TEDxPSU – Sam Richards – A Radical Experiment in Empathy
http://www.ted.com/talks/sam_richards_a_radical_experiment_in_empathy.html

Caroline Casey: Looking past limits

Caroline Casey is a very inspirational woman. I usually don’t spend time watching talks of this kind, but this time she somehow touched and moved me with her words. This video makes me think a little bit about what I am doing and if there is more.

Caroline Casey has dedicated the past decade of her life to changing how global society views people with disabilities. In 2000, she rode 1,000 kilometers across India on an elephant to raise funds for Sight Savers. Then, as founding CEO of Kanchi in Dublin, she developed a set of best practices (based on ISO 9000 quality standards) for businesses, to help them see “disabled” workers as an asset as opposed to a liability. Hundreds of companies have adopted the standards, changing their policies and attitudes.

David Brooks: The social animal

I am really captured by this quote: “Emotions are the foundations of reason, because they tell us what to value.” – David Brooks

Simply put, your gut feeling drives your reasoning. When we are trying to have an open mind to reason, it’s actually very difficult until we can change our feeling/perspective toward the subject. That means in an open minded discussion, conveying the underlying feeling is the primary goal.

Brooks also talks about many other things. Don’t miss out on this video!

Tapping into the findings of his latest book, NYTimes columnist David Brooks unpacks new insights into human nature from the cognitive sciences — insights with massive implications for economics and politics as well as our own self-knowledge. In a talk full of humor, he shows how you can’t hope to understand humans as separate individuals making choices based on their conscious awareness.

David Brooks: The social animal
http://www.ted.com/talks/david_brooks_the_social_animal.html

The future of education

Think about wikipedia and video lessons. Now, the power of that is simple: students can study at their own pace at their own time, thus can actually have interactions with the teacher and their peers at school on perhaps more in-depth discussions. Also with the fun testing games and reward system, the students are more motivated to keep trying without embarrassment. All the learning stats and scores already in the system can be analyzed and plotted into meaningful graphs for the teachers or coaches, the teachers can then decide if they need to intervene and how. Take a look and I hope you will get inspired by it. There is definitely a lot we can do to improve the education system globally.

Here is a little info from TED on Salman Khan, the founder of Khan Academy.

Salman Khan is the founder and faculty of the Khan Academy (www.khanacademy.org)– a not-for-profit organization with the mission of providing a free world-class education to anyone, anywhere. It now consists of self-paced software and, with over 1 million unique students per month, the most-used educational video repository on the Internet (over 30 million lessons delivered to-date). All 2000+ video tutorials, covering everything from basic addition to advanced calculus, physics, chemistry and biology, have been made by Salman.

Prior to the Khan Academy, Salman was a senior analyst at a hedge fund and had also worked in technology and venture capital. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, an M.Eng and B.S. in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT, and a B.S. in mathematics from MIT.

Salman Khan: Let’s use video to reinvent education
http://www.ted.com/talks/salman_khan_let_s_use_video_to_reinvent_education.html

Wael Ghonim: Inside the Egyptian revolution

Wael Ghonim is an Internet activist and computer engineer, Google’s Middle East and North Africa Marketing Manager. As “ElShaheeed,” he started up an influential Facebook page that galvanized voices of protest in Egypt. In early 2011, he was detained by the Egyptian government for 11 days — when freed after international pressure, he revealed his identity, and became a leading fugure in the youth revolution that forced Hosni Mubarak from power.

However though, as he said, he is not the hero, but rather everyone of us. Everyone can participate in the Egyptian revolution thanks to the power of the internet. With his facebook page, people all over the world sent in pictures and ideas about the regime, things were exposed, the truth has been told. The people are now in the know, they are in control.

And this, is an amazing use of the internet! 😉

Wael Ghonim: Inside the Egyptian revolution
http://www.ted.com/talks/wael_ghonim_inside_the_egyptian_revolution.html