Graham Hill: Less stuff, more happiness

Bio from ted.com:

Graham Hill (@GHill) founded the eco-blog and vlog TreeHugger.com, to help, as he says, “push sustainability into the mainstream,” with a design-forward style and an international, wide-ranging team committed to transforming complex issues into everyday concepts. It’s been called “the Green CNN.” The TreeHugger team was even asked to join the Discovery Communications network as a part of their Planet Green initiative, and Hill now makes appearances on the green-oriented cable channel.

Before Treehugger, Hill studied architecture and design (his side business is making those cool ceramic Greek cups). His other company, ExceptionLab, is devoted to creating sustainable prototypes — think lamps made from recycled blinds and ultra-mod planters that are also air filters.

Hill is the author of Weekday Vegetarian, available as a TED Book on Amazon and Apple’s iBooks.

See all the entries in the Life Edited contest on TreeHugger >>

“You should be allowed to be a modern city dweller and still care about the environment.”

Graham Hill

About the talk:

Writer and designer Graham Hill asks: Can having less stuff, in less room, lead to more happiness? He makes the case for taking up less space, and lays out three rules for editing your life.

My view:

Short, but effective talk. Love the message.

ratiing: -> 5/6

Shawn Achor @ ted.com

ted bio:

Shawn Achor is the winner of over a dozen distinguished teaching awards at Harvard University, where he delivered lectures on positive psychology in the most popular class at Harvard.

He is the CEO of Good Think Inc., a Cambridge-based consulting firm which researches positive outliers — people who are well above average — to understand where human potential, success and happiness intersect. Based on his research and 12 years of experience at Harvard, he clearly and humorously describes to organizations how to increase happiness and meaning, raise success rates and profitability, and create positive transformations that ripple into more successful cultures. He is also the author of The Happiness Advantage.

His talk:

We believe that we should work to be happy, but could that be backwards? In this fast-moving and entertaining talk from TEDxBloomington, psychologist Shawn Achor argues that actually happiness inspires productivity.

My grade: 6/6

Michael Tilson Thomas: Music and emotion through time

ted.com bio:

As a conductor, Michael Tilson Thomas might be best known for his interpretation of the emotionally charged music of Gustav Mahler. But his legacy won’t stop at his Grammy-winning recordings of the complete Mahler symphony cycle with his home orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony. He’s also the founder of the New World Symphony, an orchestra that helps to educate young and gifted musicians as obsessed with their craft as he. Since its establishment in 1987, New World Symphony has launched the careers of more than 700 young musicians, and in its new Miami Beach concert hall designed by Frank Gehry, it’s bringing well-played classical music to a truly popular audience.
He’s the guest conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra — and the artistic director of the YouTube Symphony Orchestra (YTSO), a 96-member ensemble selected from online video auditions. Tilson Thomas conducted the YTSO at Carnegie Hall in 2009 and in 2011 in Sydney, Australia. And he’s the creator of the Keeping Score education program for public schools, which uses PBS TV, web, radio and DVDs, and a K-12 curriculum to make classical music more accessible. In 2010, Tilson Thomas was awarded the National Medal of Arts, the highest award given to artists by the US government.
——–
Talk:
In this epic overview, Michael Tilson Thomas traces the development of classical music through the development of written notation, the record, and the re-mix.

 

My grade:  5/6

Rory Sutherland: Perspective is everything

ted.com – bio

From unlikely beginnings as a classics teacher to his current job as Vice Chairman of Ogilvy Group, Rory Sutherland has created his own brand of the Cinderella story. He joined Ogilvy & Mather’s planning department in 1988, and became a junior copywriter, working on Microsoft’s account in its pre-Windows days. An early fan of the Internet, he was among the first in the traditional ad world to see the potential in these relatively unknown technologies.

An immediate understanding of the possibilities of digital technology and the Internet powered Sutherland’s meteoric rise. He continues to provide insight into advertising in the age of the Internet and social media through his blog at Campaign’s Brand Republic site, his column “The Wiki Man” at The Spectator and his busy Twitter account.

“Rory is the original advocate of ‘360-degree branding,’ a persuasive and charismatic speaker and has a tremendous knack for making ideas come to life in an easily digestible way. He has been walking the walk longer than anyone.”

Gary Leih, Ogilvy Group Chairman

The circumstances of our lives may matter less than how we see them, says Rory Sutherland. At TEDxAthens, he makes a compelling case for how reframing is the key to happiness.

 

My rating:  5/6

Elizabeth Gilbert on nurturing creativity

From ted.com:

Elizabeth Gilbert faced down a ­premidlife crisis by doing what we all secretly dream of – running off for a year. Her travels through Italy, India and Indonesia resulted in the megabestselling and deeply beloved memoir Eat, Pray, Love, about her process of finding herself by leaving home.

She’s a longtime magazine writer – covering music and politics for Spin and GQ – as well as a novelist and short-story writer. Her books include the story collection Pilgrims, the novel Stern Men (about lobster fishermen in Maine) and a biography of the woodsman Eustace Conway, called The Last American Man. Her work has been the basis for one movie so far (Coyote Ugly, based on her own memoir, in this magazine article, of working at the famously raunchy bar), and now it looks as if Eat, Pray, Love is on the same track, with the part of Gilbert reportedly to be played by Julia Roberts. Not bad for a year off.

Gilbert also owns and runs the import shop Two Buttons in Frenchtown, New Jersey.

Elizabeth Gilbert muses on the impossible things we expect from artists and geniuses — and shares the radical idea that, instead of the rare person “being” a genius, all of us “have” a genius. It’s a funny, personal and surprisingly moving talk.