At one level, there is no such thing as “the best TED talk”. When the best thinkers in the world share a soundbite of insight the results are extraordinary, and there’s a reason that TED conferences are almost always sold out and the online archive one of the most visited educational websites in the world. But how would you define “the best” of these talks? It really depends on what inspired, touched, informed and changed you, and that would be different for each individual.
You could, of course, go with the list of most viewed TED talks. Ken Robinson tops that list, and it’s hard to argue that over 14 million could be wrong (his first and second TED talks would make my top 10, along with most of Hans Rosling’s, and talks on filter bubbles, pasta sauce and the paradox of choice).
Or you could ask your cleverest friend which TED videos they’ve enjoyed most. TED did this, and asked 26 interesting people (some celebrities, some musicians, some business people, some clever people) to select some of their best – here are the lists:
Finally, you can browse TED’s playlists – the best talks on key issues. A nice way to spend a weekend.
However you do it, make sure you pop past TED.com fairly regularly. Which are your favourites (and why)? I’d love to know.