Video Archives

A centenerian’s perspective on the current economic crisis, what we remember, and what your life is for. This happens to be a commercial that flashes the Coca~Cola symbol a couple of times, but I still think it’s a wonderful 90-second perspective re-set. From Spain, with subtitles.

“Thousands in this world have lived without love. None have lived without water.”

Businesses and the economy are systems, just as life on earth is a system. In an Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore and Nancy Duarte awakened a sense of urgency about how we are damaging one part of that system. In this TED talk, Sylvia Earle and Nancy Duarte show us how we’re damaging another crucial part, and why the next ten years are crucial. View this moving TED Prize talk. Then act.

A wise person knows how to make the exception to every rule. A wise person knows how to use moral rules to serve other people, not to manipulate them. A wise person is like a jazz musician, using the notes on the page, but dancing around them, inventing combinations that are appropriate for the situation and the people at hand. A wise person is made, not born. Wisdom requires experience. You don’t need to be brilliant to be wise — but without wisdom, brilliance isn’t enough. It’s as likely to get you into trouble as anything else. — Barry Schwartz, author of the Paradox of Choice, in another great talk from TED 2009, on wisdom, and the dangers of not allowing people to learn it and exercise it

In his presentation last week at TED, Bill Gates talked about two of the most important issues he’s working on. I highly recommend listening to all 20 minutes, and especially the last half on education. I found the parallels between having a good manager and a good teacher interesting. In case you don’t have time for all 20 minutes now, here are a few points to whet your appetite.

o If you are low-income in the US, you are more likely to go to prison than to college.

o If you count those who drop out before their senior year, the high school drop-out rate in the US is 30%, 50% for those from low-income families.

o A good teacher (in the top quartile) raises student test scores so much, that if we had only top quartile teachers in the US, we would surpass Japan’s scores within two years, and blow the world away by the fourth year.

o We do not reward or seek out those factors creating a top quality education. Teachers are rewarded instead for tenure and their own degree of higher education. You’ll need to see the presentation to view the graph showing the impact of that Master’s degree on teaching quality.

Life Can Be Beautiful

I am working with an inspiring start-up, Abilicorp, that is helping disabled people advance their careers and surmount the obstacles they face in staying successfully, sustainably employed. This music video by D-PAN (Deaf Performing Artists Network) of Christina Aguliera’s “Beautiful” is a reminder of how we can make life more beautiful for everyone by discarding the labels, often unconsciously-assigned, that obscure our view of reality. Focusing on achievements and performance is good advice not just for business, but for life as well.

Enjoy this beautiful video. And then consider how you can make this world more beautiful too.

What would happen if just 1% of the time our nation spends watching television were spent instead on creating social network content? In his Web 2.0 keynote, Clay Shirky discusses the approximately 100 million hours spent developing all of Wikipedia. This is the same amount of time that people in the U.S. spend, each and every week-end, watching just the advertisements on television. See Clay Shirky‘s conjectures on how we are beginning to shift the uses of surplus time in the U.S.