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  • Still Points North: One Alaskan Childhood, One Grown-up World, One Long Journey Home
    Still Points North: One Alaskan Childhood, One Grown-up World, One Long Journey Home
    by Leigh Newman

    Can't wait! 

  • Einstein's God: Conversations About Science and the Human Spirit
    Einstein's God: Conversations About Science and the Human Spirit
    by Krista Tippett
  • The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone---Especially Ourselves
    The (Honest) Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone---Especially Ourselves
    by Dan Ariely
  • Marriage Rules: A Manual for the Married and the Coupled Up
    Marriage Rules: A Manual for the Married and the Coupled Up
    by Harriet Lerner
  • Rhythm And Repose
    Rhythm And Repose

    Tender and beautiful. 

  • Boys & Girls
    Boys & Girls
    by Alabama Shakes

    Love this album! So happy when I saw BrainPicker post this on her site! 

  • City of Refuge
    City of Refuge
    by Abigail Washburn

    Pure magic!

  • Some Nights
    Some Nights
    by Fun.
  • She Ain't Me
    She Ain't Me
    by Carrie Rodriguez

    I'm such a fan. 

  • I'm Your Man
    I'm Your Man
    by Leonard Cohen

    Take this Waltz is on my top ten list of all songs!

  • Babel
    by Mumford & Sons
  • Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey (Original UK Unedited Edition)
    Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey (Original UK Unedited Edition)

    So totally addicted to this series! Absolutely amazing!

  • Zen: Vendetta / Cabal / Ratking [Blu-ray]
    Zen: Vendetta / Cabal / Ratking [Blu-ray]
    starring Rufus Sewell

    Based on your recommendations from a recent blog post! It's another wonderful BBC mystery series! 

  • The Good Wife: The First Season
    The Good Wife: The First Season
    starring Julianna Margulies, Chris Noth, Josh Charles, Matt Czuchry, Archie Panjabi

    One of the best shows on TV. Juiliana Marguiles is incredible. 

  • Doc Martin: Collection - Series 1-4
    Doc Martin: Collection - Series 1-4
    starring Martin Clunes, Caroline Catz, Lia Williams, Stephanie Cole, Ian McNeice

daring new ideas from TED 2013

It was so exciting to attend TED this year (keyword -  attend). Last year I spent the week in "speaker panic mode" which looks like lots of little anxiety attacks and a few tearful moments locked in the hotel room watching Law & Order reruns. This year I got to relax and receive. I was blown away.

As we head into the weekend I thought I'd share a few daring talks with you. 

Ron Finley: A guerilla gardner in South Central LA 

Powerful quotes: 

"Growing your own food is like printing your own money."

"Drive-thrus are killing more people than drive-bys."

"When kids grow kale, kids eat kale."

Amanda Palmer's "The Art of Asking for Help"

Powerful quotes:

"And my eyes would say, 'Thank you. I see you.' And their eyes would say, 'Nobody ever sees me. Thank you.'"

"And this hurt in a really familiar way. And people saying, "You're not allowed anymore to ask for that kind of help," really reminded me of the people in their cars yelling, "Get a job." Because they weren't with us on the sidewalk, and they couldn't see the exchange that was happening between me and my crowd, an exchange that was very fair to us but alien to them."

"But the perfect tools aren't going to help us if we can't face each other and give and receive fearlessly, but, more important, to ask without shame."

Onstage at TED2013, Sugata Mitra made his bold TED Prize wish: Help me design the School in the Cloud, a learning lab in India, where children can explore and learn from each other -- using resources and mentoring from the cloud. Hear his inspiring vision for Self Organized Learning Environments (SOLE), and learn more at

I love this quote. I know this to be true from not only from the new neuroscience research, but my own research on shame. It took my breath away:

"The reptilian part of our brain, which sits in the center of our brain, when it's threatened, it shuts down everything else, it shuts down the prefrontal cortex, the parts which learn, it shuts all of that down.

Punishment and examinations are seen as threats. We take our children, we make them shut their brains down, and then we say, "Perform."

Why did they create a system like that? Because it was needed. There was an age in the Age of Empires when you needed those people who can survive under threat. When you're standing in a trench all alone, if you could have survived, you're okay, you've passed. If you didn't, you failed.

But the Age of Empires is gone. What happens to creativity in our age? We need to shift that balance back from threat to pleasure."

Congrats to Sugata! 

I'd love to know what you think about these ideas. I'm sure we won't all agree with every point, but what makes them daring is their conversation-starting power! There are a couple of talks that haven't posted yet. I'll share them with you when they do. Have a great weekend. 

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Reader Comments (22)

Thank you. This post is like
a lovely serving of TED... presented
with your impressions and insights.
I love TED... this makes a nice reminder
of why~
Thank you! I just watched Ron Finley and I'm blown away. He's smart, savvy and charismatic. And he made me laugh. I needed some inspiration today and this was it!
03.8.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa
I've watched and re-watched Amanda's several times this week. She challenges and even terrifies me. I love the intensity of connections she makes.
03.8.2013 | Unregistered CommenterCheri Gregory
Thank you so much for posting these links. I found your TEDtalk through a blog link last year and my views on vulnerability are so different now. I especially enjoyed the Amanda Palmer presentation, not because of her contributions to the music world, but because of her reminder that there is something special about asking for help, asking for an expression of human contact. I have forgotten that most people do want to help. I want to help people and would fall off my chair if someone asked for genuine help. The truth is ... people are asking, we just have to have eyes that are open, Keep spreading the word on all that is good, encouraging and that which leads us to hope.
03.8.2013 | Unregistered CommenterWendi
I so LOVED the talk on the educational system. I have thought this way for years {thinking the system is obsolete...not doing intelligent research or anything :) }, and finally someone has a solution! Awesome. Thanks for sharing these. {I also loved Amanda's talk. Whew...that is definitely being open to vulnerability.}
03.8.2013 | Unregistered CommenterSusan Hill
I wish you were able to speak at the conference since it was just this week I started watching Ted and bounce upon some amazing work. I was even more amazed when I listened to you speak about vulnerability and i was like wow, this is so me, it was like euphoria. I was coming out of myself and realized you were speaking to me, as with most people who listened. At first I thought wow great, at first you reminded me of my girlfriend who is also a researcher . I listened again and took something from it. I also google you, listened to your Ted 2012 about Shame, and listened to a couple of your interviews. My gf thought I was obsessed (it reminded me of u get when you are lost in your work). I don't think she understood my new found glory. Things that you spoke about were too similar to my thoughts and actions so the next best thing to do was to search for your date of birth. When I did I sighed and said to myself this makes sense. We are both Scorpios.

Im not sure how deep you are into Astrology but what you spoke about vulnerability, it just made a whole lot of sense now!!

As like me and most people, I associated being vulnerable to weakness BUT it was what I crave in my relationships, weird huh. Even if I did get vulnerable it would be like a what the hell moment.
I learned quickly not to make a second or third mistake, because the first cut is the deepest. If im hurt I would hide or speak my mind, depending on who it is. I always think before speaking, and I usually wondered, if people really knew what I was thinking they wouldn't have asked me certain questions. I have an innate ability to read people, im part of that knowing things deeper in order to understand it. I can detect selfishness/insecurity even from the deepest of hearts who tries to hide their soul. Even though im in Accounting, I think/know I would like to be a therapist/investigator (I'm still figuring things out at 29). But there is so much I want to do.

I want you to understand that you opened up a new door for me, to be able to do things I've always wanted to do.

So thank you from my heart and my birth land. Jamaica
03.8.2013 | Unregistered CommenterGrace Aitcheson
Thank you! I shared your FB post this morning to save the link & watch the talks as my morning allowed. I have finished all three -- thinking I must be the last person to see Amanda Palmer's video -- and am just moved, touched, inspired as I almost always am after watching a TED. Thank you for sharing, for being a source I trust & for being a force of positivity in my world & in so the worlds of so many.
03.8.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKia
Ron Finley made me cry. In a good way. What an inspiration.
03.8.2013 | Unregistered CommenterLorie
Simply LOVE the talk by Amanda Palmer. Her gritty honesty is soooo refreshing! We absolutely need to cultivate the beautiful art of learning to ask! (In a culture prizing radical independence, I don't think it is the easiest task....but Amanda is an awesome example.)
03.8.2013 | Unregistered CommenterChris PM
This is so great Brene!
I watched Amanda Palmer's Ted Talk earlier this week and thought of you, and yours!!
Loved it.
03.8.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnita
Thank you for sharing the Amanda Palmer talk. My sister and I were just having a conversation around asking for help, as she recently broke her leg. She was all stressed out about how she was going to manage, but then admitted that she didn't want help because she felt guilty asking for it. I tried to go deeper with her, but I shy away from coaching my family so I didn't go there.

Anyway, thanks for sharing.
03.8.2013 | Unregistered CommenterTheresa
Thank you for sharing these. Cried my way through all 3 of them.

As a homeschooling mom, the last one was more affirming than you can know.

03.8.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKelly
Thank you so much for this Brené. I happened to see the video of Amanda Palmer the other day - so incredibly powerful.

I had thought she said, reaching out with the flower, "I see you, thank you" and that the man said, "you see me, thank you" {funny how our minds can involuntarily edit things!} and this phrase, along with the massively, positively world-changing premise of her talk has been flowing through my mind for days.

It was an especially powerful a talk for me since I had just had the experience of trying to offer some ebooks for 40c on Amazon Kindle and discovering the system wouldn't let me go less that 99c {it's a corporate, big costs etc, totally understandable}.

I also have an Etsy shop and as a seller with Etsy I'm empowered to give items away, connect fully with individuals and so on. I think Amanda's wild notion is a big idea gathering momentum, thankfully.

Can't wait to watch the other Ted Talks you've chosen for us, thank you Brené!
03.9.2013 | Unregistered CommenterPeta Love
I loved Sugata Mitra’s SOLE (Self Organized Learning Environment). About 6 years ago I had a few dreams wherein I was shown about Multiple Intelligences (although at the time of the dream I had no idea that's what it was called). After telling a friend about it she introduced me to someone who was able to put a name to what I saw/felt/heard in the dreams. My passion since that time has been to establish an environment that would identify, at an individual level, "how" children learn and then facilitate that environment so they would naturally learn using their natural giftings. I'm not a degreed teacher. Knowing this type of learning is impossible in public and even most private schools I've recently started experimenting with my granddaughter after school and on weekends. Needless to say I was blown away as I listened to Sugata's wish; his wish is literally a dream come true for this "cloud gran". I've already downloaded the toolkit and plan to use it, integrating it into my own dreams in hopes of starting a whole new revolution in learning...even in home based schools...
03.9.2013 | Unregistered CommenterSandee Wichkoski
What a gift! Thank you, thank you for taking the time to post these little gems. It is a bright spot in my world to receive an email reminder of all the greatness in the world with your lovely insights wrapped beautifully around them.
With gratitude!
If I may humbly add to this list of "Daring Greatly" talks from this year's TED, I believe that the presentation by Shane Koyczan is incredibly powerful, touching, beautiful and vulnerable: I highly recommend watching it, even more so if you have been a victim of bullying at some point in your life (as I was).
03.9.2013 | Unregistered CommenterCaroline
Thanks very much for sharing these TED tips. The Sugata Mitra video on learning was spot on! I work in a Universtity (for three more weeks, then I will leave), and I think we are in great need for some kind of reformation here.

Thanks and regards from Sweden
03.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterOla

I have forever tried to live into this SPIRIT of; asking, thinking, looking, trying and seeing. Receiving the gifts of the giver often have been "yes" but more profoundly the "no(s)" have strengthen my understanding to ask a different question, another person or to do the same thing at another time or in another place.

I want to bring you here to PHOENIX. I have planned a conference that has been taking years to complete due to funding and life's circumstances and yet the intensity of your message to be vulnerable and authentic is the very thing WE need. Many people laugh AT me for asking for the impossible especially in light of your growing commitments and fame. I keep the hope alive and learn from the lessons of NO...

When the timing is right Brene, we will meet and together WE will give flowers away for free as we see not only each other but the impact of your work and my desire to bring it to here.

Long live creativity and may it be in me! (and us!)
03.10.2013 | Unregistered CommenterFin
These talks were indeed thought-provoking. Easy to see why they captured your attention. Thanks so much for sharing, Brené. I was left with feelings of connectivity. It’s in our DNA, as you explained. Ron Finley’s garden projects were born out of hobby and care. Amanda Palmer discovered profound connection. Sugata Mitra is driven by compassion. All three connected. All three arguably demonstrated caring, connection, courage, and compassion – they all have it. No matter how far we evolve there’s no escaping the need for human connection – at least in our lifetimes – in my opinion!

Ron’s garden projects are timely and needed, especially at a time when 1/3 of the U.S. population is considered clinically obese. This is a full blown medical epidemic that is weighing on all of us. Loved his talk, his acts, and his dreams. Truly inspirational. We need to get the message out and act.

Amanda Palmer is THE "north star" in the sky that you reference Brené!! I may never get to that level of vulnerability, but I am walking toward it - briskly. Amanda gave me plenty to think about. Never underestimate the power of connection. Amanda definitely reinforces that message.

What Sugata suggests or wishes is no doubt visionary, yet eerily grounded with evidence – that the way we learn is changing. We don’t even know what we don’t even know – and that is what scares me. No matter how advanced we become, you cannot manufacture or read about love or connection to understand it, you have to feel it. It may originate as a thought but it’s the act itself which produces the emotion. To lose that is to lose our connection with each other. What are the ramifications of separating emotions from knowledge? That may be poorly worded. That’s what I was thinking. Mobile technologies have simplified our lives. They’re also desensitizing how we connect. There is plenty of emerging research coming out on the effects of the brain and the internet – the way we process information. Computers are changing how we socialize. History will determine if it’s for the better good of our human race.
Thank you for your posts from Ted, I am a huge fan of Amanda Palmer's and even sport a tattoo of an ampersand on my right wrist as an homage to some of her lyrics..."I'm not going to live my life on one side of an ampersand and I'm not the girl you think I am." Palmer's bravery, courage, and authenticity serve as a light in a world of supposed to be's, beige walls, cubicles, and overproduced art. I am an educator as well, and cannot wait until more teachers and parents begin letting children attach themselves to ideas and let them mature them and create. We are in an era of re-definition and it is exciting, and it is okay if things don't look the same and feel the same, with fear removed we can finally let our souls find their way through the maze. Scary? Yes! Exciting? Yes! Life altering? I hope so! Thank you for being a participant in the revolution of thought and such an authentic agent of change.
03.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterChelsea
So excited to see you on TV again. Ring those bells if you must, but know that you are completely awesome in my world!
03.14.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKathy Mercure
Thank you for these links Brené, simply love their courage.
03.14.2013 | Unregistered CommenterAngie Arciero

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