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HUNDRED


Best speakers of all time


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2014


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http://www.ted.com TED Conferences LLC 250 Hudson St. Suite 1002 New York, NY 10013 212.346.9333 Tel. 212.227.6397 Fax. Designed by Marcus Whittle. TED is a small non-profit organisation devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. Along with the annual TED Conference in Long Beach, California, and the TEDGlobal conferences, TED includes the award-winning TEDTalks video site, the Open Translation Program, the new TEDx community program, this year’s TEDIndia Conference and the annual TED Prize.

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CONTENTS BUSINESS & ART & DESIGN ECONOMICS

EDUCATION

HEALTH & PERSONAL GROWTH

Chimamanda Adichie.................1

Malcolm Gladwell...................109

Jamie Oliver...............................141

Dan Buettner........................... 169

William McDonough.................. 5

Johanna Blakley.......................113

Salman Khan........................... 145

Tony Robbins........................... 173

J. J. Abrams................................. 9

Richard Branson.......................117

Dave Eggers............................149

Nigel Marsh.............................. 177

David Blaine................................13

Tim Jackson..............................121

José Antonio Abreu...............153

Eduardo Dolhun.......................181

Edward Burtynsky..................... 17

Amory Lovins...........................125

Richard Baraniuk.....................157

Aubrey de Grey.......................185

David Carson..............................21

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.............129

Bill Gates....................................161

Robert Fischell........................ 189

Cameron Carpenter................ 25

Larry Page.................................133

Nicholas Negroponte............165

Stefan Sagmeister.................. 193

Frank Gehry...............................29

Iqbal Quadir..............................137

Anders Ynnerman.................. 197

Seth Godin.................................33 Herbie Hancock........................37 Chris Jordan...............................41 Mathieu Lehanneur................. 45 Ross Lovegrove........................49 John Maeda.............................. 53 Vik Munizg.................................57 James Nachtwey...................... 61 Jehane Noujaim.......................65 Plan B..........................................69 Joshua Prince-Ramus............. 73 Franco Sacchi........................... 77 Paula Scher.................................81 Philippe Starck......................... 85 Anna Deavere Smith...............89 Ed Ulbriche.WW........................93 Stephan Van Dam....................97 John Q. Walker.........................101 Benjamin Zander.....................105

Rupert Murdoch, chair & CEO, The News Corporation “Thank you a thousand times for inviting me to your wonderful TED conference. I regret not only that I was not at every moment of it, but especially that I missed all the previous ones! It was a great and stimulating experience as well as a lot of fun.”


RELIGION & PSYCHOLOGY PHILOSOPHY

SOCIAL SCIENCES SCIENCE & & GLOBAL TECHNOLOGY ISSUES

Daniel H. Pink..........................201

David Christian........................221

Stephen Hawking..................253

Steven Pinker.......................... 315

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi......205

Alain de Botton......................225

Richard Dawkins....................257

Larry Lessig..............................319

Temple Grandin.....................209

Rick Warren............................ 229

Brian Greene........................... 261

Nicholas Christakis............... 323

Jim Fallon................................. 213

Karen Armstrong................... 233

Chris Anderson......................265

James Balog........................... 327

Pamela Meyer..........................217

Jonathan Haidt.......................237

Steven Cowley.......................269

Bono.......................................... 331

Stephen Petranek.................. 241

Christopher deCharms.........273

Bill Clinton............................... 335

Sir Martin Rees.......................245

David Deutsch........................277

Eve Ensler................................339

Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev.... 249

Antony Garrett Lisi................. 281

Peter Gabriel...........................343

Pranav Mistry..........................285

Al Gore..................................... 347

Bertrand Piccard................... 289

Bjarke Ingels............................351

Marcus du Sautoy..................293

William Kamkwamba............ 355

George Smoot....................... 297

James Howard Kunstler...... 359

Jim Stolze.................................291

Bjørn Lomborg........................363

Jill Tarter.................................. 295

Jacqueline Novogratz.......... 367

Dennis van Engelsdorp....... 299

Deborah Scranton.................. 371

Romulus Whitaker................. 303

Clay Shirky...............................375

Curtis Wong............................ 307

Cameron Sinclair....................379

Jonathan Zittrain......................311

Neil Turok................................ 383

Nicholas Negroponte, director emeritus & co-founder, MIT Media Lab “At each TED conference something important happens to me: a new business, a new friend. I return exhilarated.”


Malcolm Gladwell is the author of five New York Times

bestsellers — The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers, What the Dog Saw, and now, his latest, David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits and the Art of Battling Giants. He has been named one of the 100 most influential people by TIME magazine and one of the Foreign Policy’s Top Global Thinkers.

Credentials •

Staff writer for The New Yorker

Author, The Tipping Point, Blink, Outliers, What the Dog Saw and David and Goliath

He has explored how ideas spread in the Tipping Point, decision making in Blink, and the roots of success in Outliers. With his latest book, David and Goliath, he examines our understanding of the advantages of disadvantages, arguing that we have underestimated the value of adversity and over-estimated the value of privilege.

Member of the Order of Canada

Honourary doctorate of letters, University of Toronto

Former science and medicine writer for The Washington Post

He has been a staff writer for The New Yorker since 1996. He has won a national magazine award and been honored by the American Psychological Society and the American Sociological Society. He was previously a reporter for The Washington Post.

Winner, National Magazine Award

Malcolm is an extraordinary speaker: always on target, aware of the context and the concerns of the audience, informative and practical, poised, eloquent and warm and funny. He has an unsurpassed ability to be both entertaining and challenging.

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Malcolm Gladwell Biography

Malcolm Gladwell, author “It was INCREDIBLE. I had a wonderful time and met a thousand fascinating people.”

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Dan Dennett, philosopher “TED moments have been echoing in my brain ever since I left Monterey. A wonderful experience.�

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Majora Carter, executive director, Sustainable South Bronx “What an amazing opportunity you gave me. I won’t waste it.”

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Malcolm Gladwell We Can Learn From Spaghetti Sauce

I think I was supposed to talk about my new book, which is called “Blink,” and it’s about snap judgments and first impressions. And it comes out in January, and I hope you all buy it in triplicate. But I was thinking about this, and I realized that although my new book makes me happy, and I think would make my mother happy, it’s not really about happiness. So I decided instead, I would talk about someone who I think has done as much to make Americans happy as perhaps anyone over the last 20 years, a man who is a great personal hero of mine: someone by the name of Howard Moskowitz, who is most famous for reinventing spaghetti sauce. Howard’s about this high, and he’s round, and he’s in his 60s, and he has big huge glasses and thinning grey hair, and he has a kind of wonderful exuberance and vitality, and he has a parrot, and he loves the opera, and he’s a great aficionado of medieval history. And by profession, he’s a psychophysicist. Now, I should tell you that I have no idea what psychophysics is, although at some point in my life, I dated a girl for two years who was getting her doctorate in psychophysics. Which should tell you something about that relationship. (Laughter) As far as I know, psychophysics is about measuring things. And Howard is very interested in measuring things. And he graduated with his doctorate from Harvard, and he set up a little consulting shop in White Plains, New York. And one of his first clients was -- this is many years ago, back in the early ‘70s -- one of his first clients was Pepsi. And Pepsi came to Howard and they said, “You know, there’s this new thing called aspartame, and we would like to make Diet Pepsi. We’d like you to figure out how much aspartame we should put in each can of Diet Pepsi, in order to have the perfect drink.” Right? Now that sounds like an incredibly straightforward question to answer, and that’s what Howard thought. Because Pepsi told him, “Look, we’re working with a band between eight and 12 percent. Anything below eight percent sweetness is not sweet enough; anything above 12 percent sweetness is too sweet. We want to know: what’s the sweet spot between eight and 12?” Now, if I gave you this problem to do, you would all say, it’s very simple. What we do is you make up a big experimental batch of Pepsi, at every degree of sweetness -eight percent, 8.1, 8.2, 8.3, all the way up to 12 -- and we try this out with thousands of people, and we plot the results on a curve, and we take the most popular concentration. Right? Really simple. Howard does the experiment, and he gets the data back, and he plots it on a curve, and all of a sudden he realizes it’s not a nice bell curve. In fact, the data doesn’t make any sense. It’s a mess. It’s all over the place. Now, most people in that business, in the world of testing food and such, are not dismayed when the data comes back a mess. They think, well, you know, figuring out what people think about cola’s not that easy. You know, maybe we made an error somewhere along the way. You know, let’s just make an educated guess, and they simply point and they go for 10 percent, right in the middle. Howard is not so easily placated. Howard is a man of a certain degree of intellectual standards. And this was not good enough for him, and this question bedeviled him for years. And he would think it through and say, what was wrong? Why could we not make sense of this experiment with Diet Pepsi? And one day, he was sitting in a diner in White Plains, about to go trying to dream up some work for Nescafe. And suddenly, like a bolt of lightning, the answer came to him. And that is, that when they analyzed the Diet Pepsi data, they were asking the APepsi, and they should have been looking for the perfect Pepsis. Trust me. This was an enormous revelation. This was one of the most brilliant breakthroughs in all of food science. And Howard immediately went on the road, and he would go to conferences around the country, and he would stand up and he would say, “You had been looking for the perfect Pepsi. You’re wrong. You should be looking for the perfect Pepsis.” And people would look at him with a blank look, and they would say, “What are you talking about? This is craziness.” And they would say, you know, “Move! Next!” Tried to get business, nobody would hire him -- he was obsessed, though, and he talked about it and talked about it and talked about it. Howard loves the Yiddish expression “To a worm in horseradish, the world is horseradish.” This was his horseradish. (Laughter) He was obsessed with it!

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“Truly an amazing experience.” Joshua Prince-Ramus, architect

And finally, he had a breakthrough. Vlasic Pickles came to him, and they said, “Mr. Moskowitz -Doctor Moskowitz -- we want to make the perfect pickle.” And he said, “There is no perfect pickle; there are only perfect pickles.” And he came back to them and he said, “You don’t just need to improve your regular; you need to create zesty.” And that’s where we got zesty pickles. Then the next person came to him, and that was Campbell’s Soup. And this was even more important. In fact, Campbell’s Soup is where Howard made his reputation. Campbell’s made Prego, and Prego, in the early ‘80s, was struggling next to Ragu, which was the dominant spaghetti sauce of the ‘70s and ‘80s. Now in the industry -- I don’t know whether you care about this, or how much time I have to go into this. But it was, technically speaking -- this is an aside -- Prego is a better tomato sauce than Ragu. The quality of the tomato paste is much better; the spice mix is far superior; it adheres to the pasta in a much more pleasing way. In fact, they would do the famous bowl test back in the ‘70s with Ragu and Prego. You’d have a plate of spaghetti, and you would pour it on, right? And the Ragu would all go to the bottom, and the Prego would sit on top. That’s called “adherence.” And, anyway, despite the fact that they were far superior in adherence, and the quality of their tomato paste, Prego was struggling. So they came to Howard, and they said, fix us. And Howard looked at their product line, and he said, what you have is a dead tomato society. So he said, this is what I want to do. And he got together with the Campbell’s soup kitchen, and he made 45 varieties of spaghetti sauce. And he varied them according to every conceivable way that you can vary tomato sauce: by sweetness, by level of garlic, by tartness, by sourness, by tomatoey-ness, by visible solids -- my favorite term in the spaghetti sauce business. (Laughter) Every conceivable way you can vary spaghetti sauce, he varied spaghetti sauce. And then he took this whole raft of 45 spaghetti sauces, and he went on the road. He went to New York; he went to Chicago; he went to Jacksonville; he went to Los Angeles. And he brought in people by the truckload. Into big halls. And he sat them down for two hours, and he gave them, over the course of that two hours, ten bowls. Ten small bowls of pasta, with a different spaghetti sauce on each one. And after they ate each bowl, they had to rate, from 0 to 100, how good they thought the spaghetti sauce was. At the end of that process, after doing it for months and months, he had a mountain of data about how the American people feel about spaghetti sauce. And then he analyzed the data. Now, did he look for the most popular brand variety of spaghetti sauce? No! Howard doesn’t believe that there is such a thing. Instead, he looked at the data, and he said, let’s see if we can group all these different data points into clusters. Let’s see if they congregate around certain ideas. And sure enough, if you sit down, and you analyze all this data on spaghetti sauce, you realize that all Americans fall into one of three groups. There are people who like their spaghetti sauce plain; there are people who like their spaghetti sauce spicy; and there are people who like it extra chunky.

“It was INCREDIBLE. I had a wonderful time and met a thousand fascinating people.” 114


And of those three facts, the third one was the most significant, because at the time, in the early 1980s, if you went to a supermarket, you would not find extra-chunky spaghetti sauce. And Prego turned to Howard, and they said, “You telling me that one third of Americans crave extra-chunky spaghetti sauce and yet no one is servicing their needs?” And he said yes! (Laughter) And Prego then went back, and completely reformulated their spaghetti sauce, and came out with a line of extra chunky that immediately and completely took over the spaghetti sauce business in this country. And over the next 10 years, they made 600 million dollars off their line of extra-chunky sauces. And everyone else in the industry looked at what Howard had done, and they said, “Oh my god! We’ve been thinking all wrong!” And that’s when you started to get seven different kinds of vinegar, and 14 different kinds of mustard, and 71 different kinds of olive oil -- and then eventually even Ragu hired Howard, and Howard did the exact same thing for Ragu that he did for Prego. And today, if you go to the supermarket, a really good one, and you look at how many Ragus there are -- do you know how many they are? 36! In six varieties: Cheese, Light, Robusto, Rich & Hearty, Old World Traditional, Extra-Chunky Garden. (Laughter) That’s Howard’s doing. That is Howard’s gift to the American people.

“I came to the TED conference with the idea that I wanted to serve a really unique audience in an impactful way; but honestly I gained more than I could ever imagine personally from my attendance. I met so many people ... just phenomenal human beings who had a true social or contribution focus. I developed a lot of friends out of the group and learned an enormous amount.” Tony Robbins, motivator 115


Richard Dawkins, biologist “I wish I’d started coming earlier.”

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Stefan Sagmeister (born 1962 in Bregenz, Austria) is a New York-based graphic designer and typographer. He has his own design firm, Sagmeister Inc in New York City. He has designed album covers for Lou Reed, OK Go, The Rolling Stones, David Byrne, Aerosmith and Pat Metheny. Sagmeister studied graphic design at the University of Applied Arts Vienna. He later received a Fulbright scholarship to study at the Pratt Institute in New York. He began his design career at the age of 15 at “Alphorn”, an Austrian Youth magazine, which is named after the traditional Alpine musical instrument. In 1991, he moved to Hong Kong to work the Leo Burnett’s Hong Kong Design Group. In 1993, he returned to New York to work Tibor Kalman’s M&Co design firm. His tenure there was short lived, as Kalman soon decided to retire from the design business to edit Colors magazine for the Benetton Group in Rome. He then proceeded to form the New York based Sagmeister Inc. in 1993 and has since designed branding, graphics, and packaging for clients as diverse as the Rolling Stones, HBO, the Guggenheim Museum and Time Warner. Sagmeister Inc. has employed designers including Martin Woodtli, and Hjalti Karlsson

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and Jan Wilker, who later formed Karlssonwilker. Sagmeister is a long-standing artistic collaborator with musicians David Byrne and Lou Reed. He is the author of the design monograph “Made You Look” which was published by Booth-Clibborn editions. Solo shows on Sagmeister Inc’s work have been mounted in Zurich, Vienna, New York, Berlin, Japan, Osaka, Prague, Cologne, and Seoul. He teaches in the graduate department of the School of Visual Arts in New York and has been appointed as the Frank Stanton Chair at the Cooper Union School of Art, New York. He has received a Grammy Award in 2005 in Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package category for art directing Once in a Lifetime box set by Talking Heads. He would also work on the 2008 David Byrne and Brian Eno album Everything That Happens Will Happen Today.


Stefan Sagmeister Biography His motto is “Design that needed guts from the creator and still carries the ghost of these guts in the final execution.” Sagmeister goes on a year-long sabbatical around every 7 years, where he does not take work from clients. He has just returned from one in Bali, Indonesia, he is resolute about this, even if the work is tempting, and has displayed this by declining an offer to design a poster for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. Sagmeister spends the year experimenting with personal work and refreshing himself as a designer. www.sagmeister.com

Bill Gates, Microsoft “I wasn’t prepared for this conference to be so profound. The combined IQ of the attendees is incredible.”

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Stefan Sagmeister The power of time off

I run a design studio in New York. Every seven years I close it for one year to pursue some little experiments, things that are always difficult to accomplish during the regular working year. In that year we are not available for any of our clients. We are totally closed. And as you can imagine, it is a lovely and very energetic time. I originally had opened the studio in New York to combine my two loves, music and design. And we created videos and packaging for many musicians that you know. And for even more that you’ve never heard of. As I realized, just like with many many things in my life that I actually love, I adapt to it. And I get, over time, bored by them. And for sure, in our case, our work started to look the same. You see here a glass eye in a die cut of a book. Quite the similar idea, then, a perfume packaged in a book, in a die cut. So I decided to close it down for one year. Also is the knowledge that right now we spend about in the first 25 years of our lives learning. Then there is another 40 years that’s really reserved for working. And then tacked on at the end of it are about 15 years for retirement. And I thought it might be helpful to basically cut off five of those retirement years and intersperse them in between those working years. (Applause) That’s clearly enjoyable for myself. But probably even more important is that the work that comes out of these years flows back into the company, and into society at large, rather than just benefiting a grandchild or two. There is a fellow TEDster who spoke two years ago, Jonathan Haidt, who defined his work into three different levels. And they rang very true for me. I can see my work as a job. I do it for money. I likely already look forward to the weekend, on Thursdays. And I probably will need a hobby as a leveling mechanism. In a career I’m definitely more engaged. But at the same time there will be periods when I think is all that really hard work really worth my while? While in the third one, in the calling, very much likely I would do it also if I wouldn’t be financially compensated for it. I am not a religious person myself, but I did look for nature. I had spent my first sabbatical in New York City. Looked for something different for the second one. Europe and the U.S. didn’t really feel enticing because I knew them too well. So Asia it was. The most beautiful landscapes I had seen in Asia were Sri Lanka and Bali. Sri Lanka still had the civil war going on. So Bali it was. It’s a wonderful, very craft-oriented society. I arrived there in September 2008, and pretty much started to work right away. There is wonderful inspiration coming from the area itself. However the first thing that I needed was mosquito repellent typography because they were definitely around heavily. And then I needed some sort of way to be able to get back to all the wild dogs that surround my house, and attacked me during my morning walks. So we created this series of 99 portraits on tee shirts. Every single dog on one tee shirt. As a little retaliation with a just ever so slightly menacing message (Laughter) on the back of the shirt. (Laughter) Just before I left New York I decided I could actually renovate my studio. And then just leave it all to them. And I don’t have to do anything. So I looked for furniture. And it turned out that all the furniture that I really liked, I couldn’t afford. And all the stuff I could afford, I didn’t like. So one of the things that we pursued in Bali was pieces of furniture. This one, of course, still works with the wild dogs. It’s not quite finished yet. And I think by the time this lamp came about, (Laughter) I had finally made piece with those dogs. (Laughter)

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“Words are inadequate to express my appreciation for the invitation to participate at the TED conference. It was one of the highlights of my entire life.” Billy Graham, evangelist

Then there is a coffee table. I also did a coffee table. It’s called Be Here Now. It includes 330 compasses. And we had custom espresso cups made that hide a magnet inside, and make those compasses go crazy, always centering on them. Then this is a fairly talkative, verbose kind of chair. I also start meditating for the first time in my life in Bali. And at the same time, I’m extremely aware how boring it is to hear about other people’s happinesses. So I will not really go too far into it. Many of you will know this TEDster, Danny Gilbert, whose book, actually I got it through the TED book club. I think it took me four years to finally read it, while on sabbatical. And I was pleased to see that he actually wrote the book while he was on sabbatical. And I’ll show you a couple of people that did well by pursuing sabbaticals. This is Ferran Adria. Many people think he is right now the best chef in the world with his restaurant north of Barcelona, elBulli. His restaurant is open seven months every year. He closes it down for five months to experiment with a full kitchen staff. His latest numbers are fairly impressive. He can seat, throughout the year, he can seat 8,000 people. And he has 2.2 million requests for reservations. If I look at my cycle, seven years, one year sabbatical, it’s 12.5 percent of my time. And if I look at companies that are actually more successful than mine, 3M, since the 1930s is giving all their engineers 15 percent to pursue whatever they want. There is some good successes. Scotch tape came out of this program, as well as Art Fry developed sticky notes from during his personal time for 3M. Google, of course, very famously gives 20 percent for their software engineers to pursue their own personal projects. Anybody in here has actually ever conducted a sabbatical? That’s about five percent of everybody. So I’m not sure if you saw your neighbor putting their hand up. Talk to them about if it was successful or not. I’ve found that finding out about what I’m going to like in the future, my very best way is to talk to people who have actually done it much better than myself envisioning it. When I had the idea of doing one, the process was I made the decision and I put it into my daily planner book. And then I told as many, many people as I possibly could about it so that there was no way that I could chicken out later on. (Laughter)

“It was our first time. It was like drinking from a firehose.” Jay Dedman, ANT

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In the beginning, on the first sabbatical, it was rather disastrous. I had thought that I should do this without any plan, that this vacuum of time somehow would be wonderful and enticing for idea generation. It was not. I just, without a plan, I just reacted to little requests, not work requests, those I all said no to, but other little requests. Sending mail to Japanese design magazines and things like that. So I became my own intern. (Laughter) And I very quickly made a list of the things I was interested in, put them in a hierarchy, divided them into chunks of time and then made a plan, very much like in grade school. What does it say here? Monday eight to nine: story writing. Nine to ten: future thinking. Was not very successful. And so on and so forth. And that actually, specifically as a starting point of the first sabbatical, worked really well for me. What came out of it? I really got close to design again. I had fun. Financially, seen over the long term, it was actually successful. Because of the improved quality, we could ask for higher prices. And probably most importantly, basically everything we’ve done in the seven years following the first sabbatical came out of thinking of that one single year. And I’ll show you a couple of projects that came out of the seven years following that sabbatical. One of the strands of thinking I was involved in was that sameness is so incredibly overrated. This whole idea that everything needs to be exactly the same works for a very very few strand of companies, and not for everybody else. We were asked to design an identity for Casa de Musica, the Rem Koolhaas-built music center in Porto, in Portugal. And even though I desired to do an identity that doesn’t use the architecture, I failed at that. And mostly also because I realized out of a Rem Koolhaas presentation to the city of Porto where he talked about a conglomeration of various layers of meaning. Which I understood after I translated it from architecture speech in to regular English, basically as logo making. And I understood that the building itself was a logo. So then it became quite easy. We put a mask on it, looked at it deep down in the ground, checked it out from all sides, west, north, south, east, top and bottom. Colored them in a very particular way by having a friend of mine write a piece of software, the Casa de Musica Logo Generator. That’s connected to a scanner. You put any image in there, like that Beethoven image. And the software, in a second, will give you the Casa de Musica Beethoven logo. Which, when you actually have to design a Beethoven poster, comes in handy because the visual information of the logo and the actual poster, is exactly the same. So it will always fits together, conceptually, of course. If Zappa’s music is performed, it gets its own logo. Or Philip Glass or Lou Reed or the Chemical Brothers who all performed there, get their own Casa de Musica logo. It works the same internally with the president or the musical director, whose Casa de Musica portraits wind up on their business cards. There is a full-blown orchestra living inside the building. It has a more transparent identity. The truck they go on tour with. Or there’s a smaller contemporary orchestra, 12 people that remixes its own title. And one of the handy things that came about was that you could take the logo type and create advertising out of it. Like this Donna Toney poster, or Chopin, or Mozart, or La Monte Young. You can take the shape and make typography out of it. You can grow it underneath the skin. You can have a poster for a family event in front of the house, or a rave underneath the house, or a weekly program as well as educational services. Second insight. So far, until that point I had been mostly involved or used the language of design for promotional purposes, which was fine with me. On one hand I have nothing against selling. My parents are both sales people. But I did feel that I spent so much time learning this language, why do I only promote with it? There must be something else. And the whole series of work came out of it.

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Some of you might have seen it. I showed some of it at earlier TEDs before, under the title “Things I’ve Learned In My Life So Far”. I’ll just show two now. This is a whole wall of bananas at different ripenesses on the opening day in this gallery in New York. It says, “Self confidence produces fine results.” This is after a week. After two weeks, three weeks, four weeks, five weeks. And you see the self confidence almost comes back, but not quite. These are some pictures visitors sent to me. (Laughter) And then the city of Amsterdam gave us a plaza and asked us to do something. We used the stone plates as a grid for our little piece. We got 250 thousand coins from the central bank, at different darknesses. So we got brand new ones, shiny ones, medium ones, and very old, dark ones. And with the help of 100 volunteers, over a week, created this fairly floral typography that spelled, “Obsessions make my life worse and my work better.” And the idea of course was to make the type so precious that as an audience you would be in between, “Should I really take as much money as I can? Or should I leave the piece intact as it is right now?” While we built all this up during that week, with the hundred volunteers, a good number of the neighbors surrounding the plaza got very close to it and quite loved it. So when it was finally done, and in the first night a guy came with big plastic bags and scooped up as many coins as he could possibly carry, one of the neighbors called the police. And the Amsterdam police in all their wisdom, came, saw, and they wanted to protect the artwork. And they swept it all up and put it into custody at police headquarters. (Laughter) I think you see, you see them sweeping. You see them sweeping right here. That’s the police, getting rid of it all. So after eight hours that’s pretty much all that was left of the whole thing. (Laughter) We are also working on the start of a bigger project in Bali. It’s a movie about happiness. And here we asked some nearby pigs to do the titles for us. They weren’t quite slick enough. So we asked the goose to do it again, and hoped she would do somehow, a more elegant or pretty job. And I think she overdid it. Just a bit too ornamental. And my studio is very close to the monkey forest. And the monkeys in that monkey forest looked, actually, fairly happy. So we asked those guys to do it again. They did a fine job, but had a couple of readability problems. So of course whatever you don’t really do yourself doesn’t really get done properly. That film we’ll be working on for the next two years. So It’s going to be a while. And of course you might think that doing a film on happiness might not really be worthwhile, then you can of course always go and see this guy. Video: (Laughter) And I’m happy I’m alive. I’m happy I’m alive. I’m happy I’m alive. Stefan Sagmeister: Thank you. (Applause) ©2008 TED

“What an amazing opportunity you gave me. I won’t waste it.” Majora Carter, executive director, Sustainable South Bronx

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Tony Robbins, motivator “I came to the TED conference with the idea that I wanted to serve a really unique audience in an impactful way; but honestly I gained more than I could ever imagine personally from my attendance. I met so many people ... just phenomenal human beings who had a true social or contribution focus. I developed a lot of friends out of the group and learned an enormous amount.�

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