Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I Heart TED.

Lately, I've been on the hunt for novel lunchtime activities at work. Sometimes I read, sometimes I catch up on a guilty reality pleasure via Hulu (Real Housewives, anyone?), and sometimes I just keep working. But when you work full time there are a lot of lunch hours to fill, and it's easy to feel like you're in a rut. Enter my new favorite lunchtime companion, TED.

Many of you are probably already well-acquainted--although I first stumbled upon TED videos last year via some clever friends on Facebook, the group has been in existence since 1984. The non-profit began as a conference designed to bring together thinkers from the fields of technology, entertainment, and design, and has since mushroomed into a powerful forum for forward thinking ideas on everything from gaming to public health. In addition to annual and traveling conferences, they've also begun awarding a TED prize, which this year went to Jamie Oliver for his work in promoting healthy eating and preventing obesity. You can watch his acceptance speech here. The fact that they chose the food-oriented work of a chef as this years winner speaks to the urgent need to change our current food systems, from kitchen counter to factory farm. And the importance of this discussion is represented in numerous videos on the site, covering topics ranging from sustainable seafood to world hunger. Hence, my new favorite lunch buddy, and one I highly recommend you get to know.

Today, I watched a thoughtful and moving talk by Cary Fowler, Executive Director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust, on the importance of preserving biodiversity in our agricultural systems. It's heartbreaking to hear how much we've already lost on this front, but it's heartening to learn that people in the world are crossing borders (thank you Norway) and truly taking care of business to ensure that we don't wind up facing starvation on a global scale. At just 17 minutes long, it's a more than worthwhile investment of your lunchtime. You can watch below or visit www.ted.com and search for other ideas that might float your lunchtime boat. Bon apetit!


  1. If you HEART TED, you should know about TEDx. There will apparently be a TEDx event in Boston next July (http://www.ted.com/tedx)

  2. Yes, they just had a TEDx here last month, but tickets were sold out by the time I heard about it--maybe next year! Thankfully, we can all check out what we missed on line.