"Ideas worth spreading." That's the tagline for TED, the nonprofit organization behind wildly successful TED Talks. The engaging, brief, and free talks cover a wide range of topics—not only Technology, Entertainment, and Design, but also education, business, science, tech, creativity, and many more.
We're fans of ideas as well, and so inspired by TED's mission, we've curated a list of some fascinating TED Talks in order to stimulate innovative thinking and encourage creativity. Whether you’re in innovation inspiring the greatest new ideas, or in marketing helping position the world’s top products, you're sure to find these TED Talks useful. Even if you can't watch them all right now, bookmark this post—then the next time you run into a mental roadblock or need a motivating spark, come back and watch another video.
How Boredom Can Lead to Your Most Brilliant Ideas | Manoush Zomorodi
Have you ever thought your phone was a distraction? Or maybe you feel like it’s helping you do more in less time. Manoush Zomorodi ran an experiment addressing our increased use of phones and how younger generations might not know what boredom feels like—which could be problematic.
Life Lessons from an Ad Man | Rory Sutherland
This hilarious TED Talk by Rory Sutherland offers insight into changing the frame used to look at a product, rather than changing the product itself. It’s definitely from the perspective of a professional advertiser, but he offers examples of how a simple change in framing can lead to a change in perceived value—something that is often overlooked when analyzing products.
The Human Insights Missing from Big Data | Tricia Wang
Have you ever heard the term “thick data?” Tricia Wang makes a case for thick data and human insights—not just trends from a stat sheet. With examples from the likes of Nokia and Netflix, it’s hard not to agree with her. This TED Talk goes hand-in-hand with our post Why Real Consumer Insights are More Important Than Big Data.
How to Find a Wonderful Idea | OK Go
Known for making uniquely extravagant music videos to capture their audiences’ attention, OK Go shares their thinking process—or lack thereof—for coming up with new ideas. You’ll also witness two of those fascinating music videos as they play along live.
The Future We’re Building—And Boring | Elon Musk
What would an innovation playlist be without Elon Musk? The man is a futuristic genius, thinking 40 years ahead of the rest of us. He knows the future is sustainable energy, electric cars and solar roof panels, he has the most interesting boring company that’s working on transportation tunnels underneath Los Angeles that reach speeds of 130 mph, and he wants to start a city on Mars. I could listen to him talk about his vision of the future for days.
These are just a few selections from the vast library accessible at TED.com. It's an incredible resource for inspiration, so if you like what you see, I encourage you to visit often—especially anytime you need a creative jolt to jumpstart your thinking.
Tyler Thompson is a Creative Process Designer and Facilitator at Ideas To Go, an innovation agency that works with Fortune 500 companies in ideation and concept development to incorporate the voice of the consumer.