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10 TED talks to inspire your innovation and creativity

Learn how to inspire your team and innovate within your business by watching the best ted talks we could find on the subject matter
Vanessa Rizzi

/ Last updated on 27th October 2017

If you’re desperately looking for business ideas but can’t seem to find any, you may be looking in the wrong place or may be doing something not-entirely-correct. Ideas don’t just light up like Christmas trees, they are rather the result of collaborative moments where amateur entrepreneurs have found ways to free a collective genius and trigger creativity. These 10 TED talks will illuminate how to become more creative and innovative.

Related: Do you have what it takes to be a good leader?

So free yourself of all strings, and let your group’s entrepreneurial creativity run free towards a new brilliant product! All you need is a few ‘partners in crime’ and lots of willingness to take risks!

Linda Hill – How to manage for collective creativity

In her talk, business professor Linda Hill inspires entrepreneurs to refashion their notions of leadership to achieve innovative results. Using piercing stories from Pixar, Google and Vineet, she illustrates how leaders can be successful if they design a space where diversity and inclusiveness are championed to liberate a collective genius and spark innovation.

Shimpei Takahashi – Play this game to come up with original ideas

Toy developer Shimpei Takahashi jokes around his lean figure to attract Ted’s audience to his creative method for developing new ideas. The secret to the Shiritori game is that there are no rules. Find out how disparate words are connected to one another to come up with new ideas for a project, and without getting lost in the maze that is data analysis.

Tom Wujec – Got a wicked problem? First tell me how you make toast

Ever thought that drawing the process of making a toast could be the key to overcoming complicated issues at work? Whatever your answer is, Tom Wujec shares the logic behind the visual communication of ideas through diagrams and how this feeds into the elaboration of collaborative models that unite individual points of a view into collective solutions.

Joi Ito – Want to innovate? Become a now-ist

‘Deploy or die’ is Joi Ito’s new motto when it comes to utilising whatever means available to achieve imminent goals. What the world needs more of is now-ists. Democratic and innovative individuals who seize tangible low-cost opportunities provided by the internet to develop ground-breaking solutions without being too concerned about future revenues.

Charles Leadbeater – The era of open innovation

The idea of single professionals being the sole forgers of brilliant ideas and products starts to dissipate as Charles Leadbeater begins unravelling his examples during this seventeen-minute talk. In an enlarged sphere of interactive tools and platforms, he explains how users and consumers have also become architects of innovative content.

Larry Lessig – Laws that choke creativity

In a forthright talk, Larry Lessig calls upon an amateur culture to bring us back to doing what we do for the love of it, and not for the cash. Like kids, creators should explore and develop novel ways and tools to bring about innovation, and a platform where the laws of copyright and the ‘no-laws’ of creativity can go hand-in-hand towards productivity.

Tim Brown – Tales of creativity and play

Designer Tim Brown reminisces about childhood play and exploration games to highlight the intrinsic relationship between creativity and learning. Where adults feel secure enough to express their ideas, feelings of embarrassment and conservative thinking fade, leaving space for creativity and learning from others as well as from themselves.

Steven Johnson – Where good ideas come from

We often think that brilliant minds like Darwin, Einstein, and the inventors of the modern GPS were sitting in dark, isolated rooms when they had that ‘Eureka’ moment every entrepreneur dreams of having. Well, guess what? Steven Johnson tells us they were actually having informal talks and exchanges of ideas with peers, and that such ideas were the result of unpredicted, collaborative moments.

David Kelley – How to build your creative confidence

Every so often people are labelled as either creative or analytical with each characteristic seemingly excluding the other. David Kelley however, hints at how creativity is a born-in quality to all. Through his life stories, he suggests ways to strengthen confidence and be creative.

Julie Burstein – Four lessons in creativity

In her inspiring speech, using examples of photography and Japanese raku, Julie Burstein shares her four ideas about the process of creativity. She suggests that we recognise the beauty of a cracked Japanese bowl as a metaphor for life, which, with its ups and downs, gives us many signs of inspiration and creativity every day.

Related: 4 Ways to increase your productivity at work

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