Six TED Talks to Give You a Break From COVID-19 News

The constant stream of coronavirus-related news is critical to keeping people around the world informed. Nevertheless, this endless flow of statistics can cause one to feel overwhelmed with anxiety as social distancing measures drag on indefinitely. 

In mid-March, OpenEyes started a #TEDTuesday campaign to highlight inspirational and insightful TED Talks that are especially pertinent during quarantine. The motivation behind this initiative is our commitment to “ideas worth spreading.” We are a proud sponsor of two TEDx events in the DC-area: TEDxTysons and TEDxFoggyBottom. The latter of which was set to take place on April 18, 2020, but was unfortunately postponed due to the pandemic. 

This week, we’d like to provide you with a brief getaway from the press briefings, expert interviews, and other COVID-19 news. Here are six talks — ranging from growing robots to CIA identity transformations — from the 2019 events organized by the aforementioned TEDx organizations: 

  1. How to Make Education Fun for Everyone Alan Fishel is the inventor, founder, and president of LearningPlunge. 
  2. Screen Time: Is It Really All Bad? Florence Breslin, MS, CCRP shares an update on the research studying the effects of screen time on children. 
  3. Why Robots Must Be Grown, Not Assembled Robert Shepherd is an associate professor at Cornell University’s Organic Robotics Lab (ORL), which uses synthetic adaptation of natural physiology to improve machine function and autonomy. 
  4. The Secret to Great Science? Fail. After her thesis failed, Dr. Maryam Zaringhalam, a molecular biologist, shares her experience with failure and resilience. 
  5. Deception, Illusion, & Espionage: An Unlikely Recipe for Success Jonna Mendez, the former Chief of Disguise for the CIA, discusses the process of creating identity transformations for U.S. covert agents.
  6. Disrupting the School to Prison Pipeline Dr. Benjamin Williams explains restorative justice and how the school system can be a tool for empowering young men of color. 

We hope these inspiring and innovative talks provide some much-needed entertainment during quarantine, and possibly encourage you to think outside the box to create meaningful solutions to everyday problems. 

As exemplified in each of the TED Talks we share, a mindset of constantly pushing the boundaries to effect positive change is a core component of OpenEyes’ mission. Whether designing a product or supporting our community, we apply our passion for curiosity to everything we do. 

Do you have a favorite TED Talk you’d like us to share? Let us know by replying to our #TEDTuesday posts on either Twitter or LinkedIn!

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