Inspiring TED Talks on creativity

Inspiring TED Talks on creativity vintage television with bad signal
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    What makes someone creative? Is it something innate or learned? How does creativity manifest itself?

    What is the source of your inspiration? Do you find yourself inspired by nature or do you get ideas from people around you? Do you feel that you are born with certain talents or skills, or do you learn them through experience? Are you able to create new things without being told what to do? Can you think outside the box?

    Since its inception in 1984, the TED Talks have been an international phenomena. These short (usually less than 20 minutes in length), talks are given by leading thought leaders and innovators from different fields.

    Here are some of our favorite inspirational TED talks on creativity.

    Inspiring TED Talks On Creativity microphone

    David Kelley: How to Build Your Creative Confidence

    David Kelley, founder of the legendary design firm IDEO, believes that creativity is something you either have or don't have. He says that there are no degrees of creativity; anyone can be creative. However, he explains that most people lack confidence in their abilities to create. In fact, according to Kelley, some people actually believe that their ideas are ugly, awful, and meaningless. They see themselves as "left-brainers," and they use excuses like "I'm too old" or "I'm too young."

    Kelley argues that there is nothing wrong with being left-brained. Rather, it's about giving yourself permission to explore different ways of thinking. If you're afraid to try, you'll never know how good you could become. You might just find that you're capable of doing things that you didn't think possible.

    Stefan Sagmeister: The Power of Time Off

    Every seven years, Stefan Sagmeister closes his New York- based design firm Sagmeister&Walsh for one year to reenergise his creativity. In his TED Talk, he shares what he learned while taking off, including why it’s important to take breaks from our creative process.

    Sagmeister is a master of the visual language of typography and graphic design. He has been called “the most influential designer in America today” by The Wall Street Journal and “one of the world’s greatest designers” by Fast Company Magazine. His work has appeared on everything from the cover of Time magazine to the packaging of Starbucks coffee.

    Tim Brown: Tales of Creativity and Play

    Tim Brown, also from IDECO, shares his thoughts about creativity and playfulness. He stresses that we are born into a world where there are no rules, and that it takes discipline to develop our ability to think creatively. In fact, he says that many adults struggle with creativity because they've lost touch with childhood play.

    Brown explains that children play without rules, often inventing games that don't exist. They're free to explore, experiment, and fail. And while adults tend to focus on what they want to achieve, kids spend most of their time just playing. This helps them become comfortable with uncertainty and failure, which makes it easier to take risks and try out new ideas.

    Brown believes that learning to play well is essential to being creative. He cites the example of the legendary inventor Thomas Edison, who learned to draw by copying pictures in books. He didn't know anything about perspective, light, or composition, but he quickly figured things out by experimenting. His approach allowed him to discover new ways of seeing the world around us.

    Brown argues that the same principles apply to solving problems. When we're stuck, we can use construction play to break down complex issues into smaller parts. We can play with different scenarios to see how each one might work. Then, once we've identified the best option, we can start building something real.

    Elizabeth Gilbert: Your elusive creative genius

    In her TED Talk, author Elizabeth Gilbert discusses how she learned to stop thinking about being a writer and start just writing. She explains why it took her nearly 20 years to figure out what she wanted to write about, and reveals the surprising reason behind her decision to give up on her dream career.

    Gilbert says that while she had always been interested in creativity, she didn't understand what it meant to "be" a creative person—until one day, when she realised that everyone around her expected her to become a famous artist.

    She describes how she struggled against this expectation, and eventually gave up trying to live up to society's expectations. Instead, she embraced the fact that she was already a creative person, and began to focus on creating great art rather than becoming famous.

    Adam Grant: The Surprising Habits of Original Thinkers

    Adam Grant is one of the world’s leading experts on innovation. He teaches us how to make our work better, faster, and cheaper. And now he wants to teach us about the minds behind some of history’s greatest inventions.

    In his enlightening talk, Adam explains the three key habits of innovators — the traits of people who are never satisfied with what came before and who constantly generate new ways of doing things.

    He outlines the three habits of original thinkers, showing why we tend to repeat old patterns and why it’s important to break those patterns and embrace uncertainty.

    And he shares practical tips on how to get out of your comfort zone and think differently.

    Standout quote: “The best way to avoid getting stuck is to fail fast and often.”

    Final Thoughts

    We hope you've enjoyed these talks and shared them with your friends.

    Looking for more TED inspiration on Creativity? Visit for more must-watch TED Talks.

    Owen is a business consultant with extensive experience in corporate affairs, external relations, strategy, marketing and engagement. He consults with clients to understand the challenges they face and create solutions to overcome. Owen holds an MBA, Master of Business, Bachelor of Business, Diploma of Investor Relations, and certifications in corporate innovation, digital marketing, and product management.

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