Based on TEDTalks from the world’s most remarkable minds, the TED Radio Hour is a podcast co-produced by NPR and TED that take listeners on a journey through fascinating ideas, astonishing inventions, and new ways to think and create. TEDTalks Based on TEDTalks from the world’s most remarkable minds, the TED Radio Hour is a podcast co-produced by NPR and TED that take listeners on a journey through fascinating ideas, astonishing inventions, and new ways to think and create.
In this episode, Press Play, TED speakers describe how forms of amusement — from tossing a ball to video games — can make us smarter, saner and more collaborative. It was originally broadcast on March 27, 2015.
Neuroscientist Jeff Mogil who reveals how playing a game can make you more empathetic.
Primatologist Isabel Behncke Izquierdo who explains how bonobos learn by constantly playing, and how that play can offer insights into human laughter, creativity and our capacity for wonder and exploration.
As the governor of Plymouth Colony for more than 30 years, Bradford oversaw the development of what could be considered one of America’s first entrepreneurial ventures. An impressive leader, Bradford leveraged his clarity of vision and accuracy of decisions that lead to the Colony’s impressive growth despite adverse conditions.
But he wasn’t alone in his accomplishments: the members of Plymouth Colony also embraced an entrepreneurial attitude. Had that not happened, Bradford could not have succeeded. To paraphrase a popular leadership proverb: without followers, you’re just someone out for a walk.
In that spirit I prepared the list below of 8 entrepreneurial insights learned from the Plymouth Colony Pilgrims:
1. Have Vision: It took tremendous ability to envision life in the New World and the confidence to venture forth into the unknown. Similarly, in her noteworthy TED Talk, The secret structure of great talks, Nancy Duarte discovered that great leaders define “what is” and “what could be.”
2. Embrace Ambiguity: The Pilgrims had no idea what to expect when they departed for the New World they and, when they did arrive, they were 200 miles off course. Yet they didn’t let that stop them from venturing forth into the unknown with determination and drive. Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone and approach a challenge from an unfamiliar perspective.
3. Confront Adversity: The Pilgrims endured an almost endless array of hardships and challenges during and after their 66 day sailing. During the first winter 45 out of 102 settlers died! Yet, they persevered and made the most of what they had. It is often through challenging times we discover a strength inside ourselves that might have otherwise been dormant.
4. Take Risks: Imagine how history might have been different if the Pilgrims had not taken a risk and boarded the Mayflower? I might not even be sitting here writing this blog post. Consider the thoughts of former hockey great Wayne Gretzky who is credited as saying “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” Although he has no connection to the Pilgrims, his words are exceptionally relevant.
5. Celebrate Community: This idea is the most thematically related to Thanksgiving — after all, it is the reason the holiday is celebrated. Although the way we give thanks is different from the Pilgrims’ experience, the goal is the same: gather with friends and family to celebrate the achievements while embracing gratitude for everything you have, not what you don’t.
6. Leverage Partnerships: The Pilgrims were not fully prepared to flourish in their new home. Had they not signed treaties with Native Americans like Samoset (a member of the Abenaki tribe), Squanto (a member of the Pawtuxet tribe), and Massasoit (the leader of the Wampanoag), the Pilgrims very well might not have survived that first winter.
Founded in 1984 TED is an annual conference of ideas intended to unite leading thinkers and doers from the worlds of technology, entertainment and design. During each conference speakers share their thoughts in 18 minutes sessions. For those not part of the limited in-person audience, TED has made videos of more than 1,900 talks available online.
The collection of presentations is nothing short of infectious. And I mean that literally: at the February 2009 conference in Long Beach, CA Bill Gates released a jar of mosquitoes, emphasizing that people in developed countries are not concerned enough with the impact of malaria in the developing world.
Another talk of particular interest to me as an educator and lifelong learner was given by Sir Ken Robinson at the February 2006 conference in Monterey, CA. Robinson — who earned a PhD for research into drama and theatre in education — is a British creativity expert who challenges the way we educate ourselves.
Recognizing that formal education is unequally focused on linear, quantitative subjects, Robinson proposes a radical re-imagining of our school system that more effectively cultivates creativity and acknowledges multiple types of intelligence.
I can relate to this as I’ve always been one to “think different” (as the famous Apple advertising slogan once encouraged us to do). Specifically, I test poorly on standardized tests: my brain just isn’t wired that way. This is a significant concern as I draw closer to applying for PhD programs.
I need to find an effective and, given my present circumstance, outrageously affordable way to elevate my GRE scores to ensure my application is viewed competitively by admissions committees. (Perhaps at a later date I will discuss my thoughts on the highly questionable financial stranglehold ETS — Educational Testing Service — has on the high education process).
I couldn’t resist the urge to share this video. Although the talk occurred more than three years ago the ideas seem timeless and more relevant than ever. My two favorite lines from Robinson’s talk are:
“We don’t grow into creativity, we grow out of it. Or rather we get educated out of it.”
“Creativity now is as important in education as literacy, and we should treat it with the same status.”
Truer words were never spoken! Additionally, I also found these comments particularly insightful — especially since they reflect my views on education and seem to validate my desire for an interdisciplinary doctoral program:
“We know three things about intelligence:
One, it’s diverse, we think about the world in all the ways we experience it. We think visually, we think in sound, we think kinesthetically. We think in abstract terms, we think in movement.
Secondly, intelligence is dynamic. If you look at the interactions of a human brain, as we heard yesterday from a number of presentations, intelligence is wonderfully interactive. The brain isn’t divided into compartments. In fact, creativity, which I define as the process of having original ideas that have value, more often than not comes about through the interaction of different disciplinary ways of seeing things…
And the third thing about intelligence is, it’s distinct.”