Get inspired and start the new year on a happy note with these 10 inspiring TED talks by young people. This post from Inc.com brings to you a thoughtfully selected collection of TED talks that will make you ask “Why should age be a defining factor of success?”
Chances are you’ve watched at least one TED or TEDx talk in your lifetime. Throughout TED’s three core focuses of technology, entertainment, and design, thousands of subject matter experts from all corners of the globe have shared their ideas and expertise with eager audiences since the 1980s.
Some of the most inspiring TED and TEDx talks in recent memory have come, not surprisingly, from Millennials. After all, the Millennial generation is now the largest chunk of our workforce and is tasked with solving our exponentially challenging problems as a society.
Although there’s hundreds of talks to choose from, here’s 10 talks from young people you should watch now as we head into 2016.
1) Why All Young People Should Be Entrepreneurs – Justin Lafazan
19 year old entrepreneur, consultant, author, and speaker Justin Lafazan shares his thoughts on why being an entrepreneur is the best way to solve problems, create opportunities, and be fulfilled in your work.
Through entrepreneurship, you can take part in “lifestyle design” or the ability to control when you work, where you work, what you work on, and who you work with. This way, you can choose a variety of life paths that allow you to find your passions and utilize your skills more effectively than the corporate world.
How do you want to live your life? Lafazan challenges you to think about your answer to this question in a quest to live extraordinarily.
2) Millennials Are Screwed – Stacey Ferreira
At TEDxNYU, Stacey Ferreira rejects the generally accepted notion of older generations that Millennials are screwed. Instead, she discusses communication gaps between Boomers, Gen Xers, and Millennials in order to reveal workplace trends our generation currently faces as a result of these clashes in opinions and inabilities to collaborate.
Ferreira tells us that over 50% of people in the workforce don’t like their jobs. Given the rise in technological capabilities, there will also be less jobs in the future for our growing population to grow into. Therefore, as Millennials, we must become creative about finding ways to find and create work that both makes us fulfilled in our career and leverages our passions.
Are you going to be part of the 50% of people that go to work unfulfilled each day in the future, or are you going to be part of the 50% of people ready to change the world through work you love?
3) Why We Need To Talk About Depression – Kevin Breel
Viewed over 1 million times collectively between the TED and TEDx YouTube channels, Kevin Breel’s talk on depression explores one of the most troubling andunderserved mental illnesses plaguing many of our youth today.
Breel has faced depression his entire life, and in this talk he shares how it follows him through his daily life and, more importantly, how we can help people like him work through their bouts with depression.
Breel’s speech is one of the most moving talks ever given on a TED stage by a teenager. Watch below.
4) Discovering The Storm – Tallia Storm
In 2012, Scottish singer Tallia Storm was discovered by Elton John at 13 years old after a family trip to Hawaii. In this humorous recount of the original meeting between Tallia Storm and Elton John and all the different life experiences that have occurred from being able to perform at one of his concerts.
No matter what your passion is, you need to be prepared for the one moment in which your life can change. Whether it is a music demo or the skills necessary to build a business, when opportunity strikes you must be ready to seize it.
5) Nuclear Power. Saving Lives. – Siouxsie Downs and Conrad Farnsworth
Most people don’t realize that nuclear power doesn’t simply have to be used for be either large energy generators or fuel for atomic bombs. Siouxsie Downs and Conrad Farnsworth talk about molten salt reactors, thorium, and its applications for saving lives.
Through a new closed loop design, Downs and Farnsworth explain a new type of nuclear fusion reactor which we can use to desalinate water, reduce waste in third world countries, and provides an answer to many problems we are currently facing in our global energy crisis.
Downs and Farnsworth are already testing these designs in their labs and share their research with us for the first time at TEDxRapidCity.
6) How One Teenager Unearthed Baseball’s Untold History – Cam Perron
Cam Perron wrote letters to baseball players as a kid in order to get autographs from the players he admired. He soon recognized the unsung heroes of the Negro League, and spent the next couple years helping these players find the recognition they deserved.
From printing out baseball cards for the players who didn’t have cards made to celebrate their careers to getting pensions for players who weren’t receiving their promised support financially and starting events to bring these players back in touch with one another, Perron has brought back the memories and connections of an entirely forgotten league of baseball and important part of American history.
7) What Is The Point, Really? – Catherine Moolenschot
In her second TEDx talk, Catherine shares her thoughts on how to being a “human being” and not a “human doing”. Most of us count our experiences, successes, and livelihood by what we do and not through who we become.
Instead of mindlessly crossing items off a to-do list, in this talks Moolenschot challenges us to think about why we are going after certain goals and how we can learn to appreciate each moment rather than focusing on one accomplishment after another.
By doing this, not only will the success be sweeter at the end, but the journey will be memorable as well.
8) Imagine A Culture Revitalized – Jason Woolf
Starting with song, Jason Woolf talks about the unifying forces of humanity, from gratitude to humility, struggle, and even music. By explaining his personal story and relating it back to audience members of another culture (Woolf is American and spoke at TEDxUCT in South Africa), he begins to explain how to revitalize a culture.
In the last few years, Woolf has worked to amplify the work of traditional song and dance troupes in various South African townships in order to give them ways to make more money and continue to live out their culture. His nonprofit Umbioyozo continues to push this movement today.
9) Why We Should Invest In Space Settlement – Nick Arnett
Nick Arnett has spent his entire life in the community development space. In perhaps his grandest work yet, Arnett is working with a company called Waypaver Labs in order to create the community of legal, financial, technical, scientific, and other experts needed to bring humanity into space sustainably.
In order to settle space by making a colony on the moon, Mars, and beyond, we will have to solve problems like making food supplies, resources, energy, and almost everything else sustainable. These are problems we currently have on Earth as well, so through understanding how to make it to space, we can solve problems we also have here on Earth right now.
Why should you care about space? Arnett answers that here.
10) Why Young People Today Hold More Power Than Ever Before – Jared Kleinert
After studying, interacting with, and befriending literally hundreds of the world’s smartest and most talented Millennials, Jared Kleinert has identified trends among high-performing Millennials that allow them to achieve exponential success and impacting at increasingly younger ages.
When it comes to understanding what makes Millennials “tick”, Kleinert knows more about this subject than almost anyone on the planet. Through our ability as a generation to connect with others and ideas at global scale, collaborate with oneanother unlike ever before, and use entrepreneurial skillsets to solve problems that our social institutions are increasingly slow to answer to, Kleinert explains how we all have power today that only governments, corporations, and the super wealthy had just a few generations prior.