Tuesdays with TED: August Edition

What you can do with 30 days, 3 years, and a little wishful thinking

It’s TED time again. One Tuesday a month, the ClearBlog team curates a small, satisfying sampling of talks that we think you may find relevant. Welcome to the August edition.

No matter how old you are or your role in life, it’s likely the last week of August still fills your belly with back-to-school butterflies. You don’t have to be a student, teacher, or parent to experience the nervous anticipation of a new start.

The calendar says it’s time to shake off summer, whether the thermometer agrees or not. After Labor Day, all bets are off. The phrase “beach day” vanishes from the weathercaster’s vernacular and safe sun times get replaced with layering recommendations for the bus stop. Time to turn a new page.

The good news is that come September, we all get a chance to participate in this new beginning — we get a fresh start — however vicariously it may be. So go ahead — splurge. Get yourself a new “back-to-school” notebook, maybe a fresh pen from the supply closet, and spend 25 minutes with three inspiring TEDsters who’ll show you what you can do with 30 days, 3 years, and a little wishful thinking. Enjoy.

Watch: Try something new for 30 days

In this very short talk, technologist Matt Cutts reveals how small, sustainable changes made over the course of 30 days can be transformational. Who knows? You watch a 3-minute TED talk today and you could be summiting Kilimanjaro this time next year. It could happen.

Watch: How to fix a broken education system … without any more money

Admit it. We had you at “without any more money.” In this 14-minute talk, Seema Bansal, partner and director of social impact at Boston Consulting Group, explains how her team was able to implement systemic, large-scale change (think 15,000 schools) using existing budgets and resources. Find out why she says anyone can “move mountains” when given the right levers.

Watch: What adults can learn from kids

According to 12-year-old blogger and published author Adora Svitak, “in order to make anything a reality you have to dream about it first.” The older we get, the more rooted in reality we become and the less likely we are to embrace “childish” ideas. The leaders of tomorrow have something to say and in this entertaining 8-minute talk, Svitak makes a compelling case for why we all have a vested interest in listening.


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