“It’s vitally important to help each other. No, we can’t walk in each other’s shoes, but we can walk side-by-side and support each other,” says Michele Sullivan, President of Caterpillar Foundation. Such are words of wisdom and to add to it, encouragement and empowerment. TED is a platform which offers a voice, a stand to its speakers to address their ideas, big or small and talks about issues that the audience may or may not have prior knowledge about. TEDWomen and TEDxWomen have took the internet by storm with powerful and bold female speakers like Sheryl Sandberg, Elizabeth Gilbert, Manal al-Sharif among others who have voiced their opinions and experiences. If you’re looking for knowledge, inspiration and some entertainment TED will undoubtedly be a good start. Listed below are 7 of them to begin with.
1. Maysoon Zayid – I got 99 problems … Palsy is just one.
Maysoon Zayid, an actor, comedian and writer has cerebral palsy but she doesn’t complain about it. Instead she heartwarmingly and hilariously inspires women to move ahead in their lives and to keep going on until you succeed. Well, in Zayid’s words, if she “can can, you can can!”
2. Sheryl Sandberg – Why we have too few women leaders
Sheryl Sandberg, the Facebook COO, delivered a talk on the comparatively lower number of female leaders in the workface in respect to men. She came up with 3 powerful messages to help and guide the women who aim to build up their empire and leave a mark on the corporate world.
3. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – We should all be feminists
Feminism, an ideology which is struggling so hard amidst social media trolls and threats, and wrongful understanding. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a Nigerian novelist, spoke at a TEDx event on why people should choose feminism while reflecting back on her past experiences. Her TEDx talk on “We should all be feminists” was adapted into a book of the same name.
4. Eve Ensler – Embrace your inner girl
Eve Ensler, a playwright and activist who wrote the groundbreaking play The Vagina Monologues, gave a 20 minute talk on how people have been trained to not be girls and let go of their inner girl. Her TED talk focused on accepting vulnerability, compassion and the inner girl, which lives inside each person regardless of their gender.
5. Brené Brown – The power of vulnerability
Brené Brown is a research professor at the University of Houston, who talked about the importance of vulnerability in both men and women and its benefits in her TED talk “The power of vulnerability”. She engages her audience through her limitless humour and believes in the abandonment of the shields we put up in front of us in order to escape vulnerability.
6. Monica Lewinsky – The Price of Shame
Cyber bullying, trolling and threats seem to have become the “new normal” today. Monica Lewinsky, an American activist, addresses the power of the online media and how it snatched away her privacy in a matter of seconds, and her further encounters of cyber bullying and slut shaming. She reflects back on her personal experiences and highlights the necessity of proper understanding of Freedom of Expression in her TED talk.
7. Sarah Kay – If I Should Have a Daughter
Sarah Kay, an American poet, amazed the audience with her powerful poems, “If I Should Have a Daughter” and “Hiroshima”, and delivered an inspiring TED talk on the role of Arts.