Were a child to exit the formal education system entirely, there is an argument that five well chosen Ted Talks a day could help them to cover a lot of ground. Indeed, had Alain de Botton not got there first, Ted might legitimately have appropriated the ‘School of Life’ moniker.
Here are a few favourites that we feel are particularly (although far from uniquely) relevant to older teenagers. Should you be of a mind to vet them before sharing, we hope you will enjoy them as much as we do. Author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s beautiful reminder of the danger of viewing life through a single lens, or actor Maisie Williams’ amusing and uplifting take on talent are twenty minutes of time very well-spent.
- The danger of a single story by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – In one of the most watched Ted Talks of all time, Nigerian writer Chimamanda Adichie sets out her theory that all of life is reduced when we only have the ability to view it through one prism.
- Don’t strive to be famous, strive to be talented by Maisie Williams – You don’t have to be a Game of Thrones fan to be delighted by the wonderful world view of actress, entrepreneur and activist Maisie Williams. It turns out that being a star in the world’s most popular TV show is probably the smallest of her achievements.
- How to speak so that people want to listen” by Julian Treasure – It’s a vital skill and Julian Treasure has a very good way of telling you how to do it right. Watch and learn.
- The disarming case to act right now on climate change by Greta Thunberg – Because surprisingly large numbers of people still haven’t seen this. No matter your views on pre-adolescent activism, Greta Thunberg’s simple eloquence and bravery make this a must-watch.
- To this day… For the bullied and the beautiful by Shane Koyczan – Unique, unusual and delightful. Recommended for anyone who has ever suffered from self-doubt. Or for anyone who ever wanted to help someone who does.
- Looks aren’t everything. Believe me, I’m a model by Cameron Russell – I resisted watching this one for a long time, not least because male friends seemed to be the only ones recommending it to me. I was wrong to wait so long. Engaging, humorous and true in such an obvious way that you wonder why no-one said it before. They probably did but no-one listened because they were a model…