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Who is this TED and why is he always talking?

TED is an internationally known organisation that shares short inspirational talks from the worlds most interesting, accomplished and energetic people on every simple topic known to man (and woman). You can hear from a guy who did experiments on a cockroaches leg, to the woman who paints portraits on the actual persons body, to the expert who tells you you’ve been tying your shoelaces wrong this whole time.

No matter what the challenge, the issue, or the dream, there’s a Ted Talk out there that will inspire and empower you to go out there and grab life by the you-know-whats. And its free. Here are a few that we believe are relevant and helpful to young Irish women.

  1. Looks aren’t everything, believe me, I’m a model |Cameron Russell

In a talk that will leave you thinking, former model Cameron Russell tackles the question, Why do girls set such high standards for themselves? She starts off by bluntly stating, “Image is powerful. But also image is superficial.” It’s important for teens to realize that image isn’t everything—and hearing this from a model can be really powerful.

2. The Danger of a Single Story | Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Speaking from her personal experience, novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie discusses the importance of seeking out different points of view when interpreting a story, and the personal growth that can come from this deeper and more nuanced understanding. In this time of “Fake News”, its so important that we take what we read with a pinch of Salt, and assume that what we see is a filtered version of reality.

3. Teach girls bravery, not perfection | Reshma Saujani

We’re raising our girls to be perfect, and we’re raising our boys to be brave, says Reshma Saujani, the founder of Girls Who Code. Saujani has taken up the charge to socialize young girls to take risks and learn to program — two skills they need to move society forward. To truly innovate, we cannot leave behind half of our population, she says. “I need each of you to tell every young woman you know to be comfortable with imperfection.”

4. How do you define yourself? | Lizzie Velasquez

In a time when beauty is defined by supermodels; success, by wealth; and fame, by your number of social media ‘fans’, Lizzie Velasquez asks the question: How do you define yourself?

5. A Teen Just Trying to Figure It Out | Tavi Gevinson

Fifteen-year-old Tavi Gevinson had a hard time finding strong female, teenage role models — so she built a space where they could find each other. At TEDxTeen, she illustrates how the conversations on sites like Rookie, her wildly popular web magazine for and by teen girls, are putting a new, unapologetically uncertain and richly complex face on modern feminism.

If you have a favourite Ted Talk, we’ve missed, please let us know, and we’ll pass it on..

Otherwise you can delve deeper into Ted here.