The Best Of TED on 'Story'

In the run up to TEDxEaling 2012, we will be sharing the very best TED talks on story, creativity and imagination. Updated three times a week.

Elizabeth Gilbert muses on the impossible things we expect from artists and geniuses -- and shares the radical idea that, instead of the rare person "being" a genius, all of us "have" a genius.  CLICK HERE

Why do people succeed? Is it because they're smart? Or are they just lucky? Neither. Analyst Richard St. John condenses years of interviews into an unmissable 3-minute slideshow on the real secrets of success. WATCH HERE

J.J. Abrams traces his love for the unseen mystery – a passion that’s evident in his films and TV shows, including Cloverfield, Lost and Alias -- back to its magical beginnings. CLICK HERE

''Puppets always have to try to be alive," says Adrian Kohler of the Handspring Puppet Company, a gloriously ambitious troupe of human and wooden actors. CLICK HERE


Filmmaker Andrew Stanton ("Toy Story," "WALL-E") shares what he knows about storytelling -- starting at the end and working back to the beginning. CLICK HERE

"Secrets can take many forms -- they can be shocking, or silly, or soulful." Frank Warren, the founder of, shares some of the half-million secrets that strangers have mailed him on postcards. CLICK HERE


When Tracy Chevalier looks at paintings, she imagines the stories behind them: --She shares three stories inspired by portraits, including the one that led to her best-selling novel "Girl With a Pearl Earring." CLICK HERE

Listening to stories widens the imagination; telling them lets us leap over cultural walls, embrace different experiences, feel what others feel. CLICK HERE



Using animation, projections and her own moving shadow, Miwa Matreyek performs a gorgeous, meditative piece about inner and outer discovery --Take a quiet 10 minutes and dive in. CLICK HERE


In this intriguing talk from TEDxMidAtlantic, Tyler Cowen asks us to step away from thinking of our lives -- and our messy, complicated irrational world -- in terms of a simple narrative. CLICK HERE

With scissors and paper, artist Béatrice Coron creates intricate worlds, cities and countries, heavens and hells. She describes her creative process and the way her stories develop from snips and slices. CLICK HERE

Nothing is original, says Kirby Ferguson, creator of Everything is a Remix. From Bob Dylan to Steve Jobs, he says our most celebrated creators borrow, steal and transform. CLICK HERE

The photo director for National Geographic, David Griffin knows the power of photography to connect us to our world. In a talk filled with glorious images, he talks about how we all use photos to tell our stories. CLICK HERE

Two Pilobolus dancers perform "Symbiosis." Does it trace the birth of a relationship? Or the co-evolution of symbiotic species? CLICK HERE


Google Labs' Ngram Viewer is an addicting tool that lets you search for words and ideas in a database of 5 million books from across centuries-- Erez Lieberman Aiden and Jean-Baptiste Michel show us how it works. CLICK HERE

James Cameron reveals his childhood fascination with the fantastic - and how it ultimately drove the success of his blockbuster hits "Aliens," "The Terminator," "Titanic" and "Avatar." CLICK HERE

Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice -- and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding. CLICK HERE

Movable Type's Mena Trott, talks about the early days of blogging, when she realized that giving regular people the power to share our lives online is the key to building a friendlier, more connected world. CLICK HERE

Jill Bolte Taylor got a research opportunity few brain scientists would wish for: She had a massive stroke, and watched as her brain functions -- motion, speech, self-awareness -- shut down one by one. Astonishing Story. CLICK HERE

Sir Ken Robinson makes the case for a radical shift from standardized schools to personalized learning -- creating conditions where kids' natural talents can flourish. CLICK HERE

Jonathan Harris discusses his latest projects, which involve collecting stories: his own, strangers', and stories collected from the Internet, including his amazing "We Feel Fine." CLICK HERE

Marco Tempest spins a beautiful story of what magic is, how it entertains us and how it highlights our humanity -- all while working extraordinary illusions with his hands and an augmented reality machine.  CLICK HERE

Natasha Tsakos presents part of her one-woman, multimedia show, "Upwake." As the character Zero, she blends dream and reality with an inventive virtual world projected around her in 3D animation and electric sound. CLICK HERE

Novelist Amy Tan digs deep into the creative process: looking for hints of how hers evolved. CLICK HERE

Hollywood/Bollywood director Shekhar Kapur pinpoints his source of creativity: sheer, utter panic. He shares a powerful way to unleash your inner storyteller. CLICK HERE



Joe Sabia investigates new ways to tell stories -- meshing viral video and new display technologies with old-fashioned narrative. CLICK HERE


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