At the start of the year, I (Emily Jones, JR Communications Department) was horrified when I looked at how much time I spent online, just looking at, well, less than non-life changing things; things that seemed to drain my brain cells rather than get them moving. It seems that sometimes we forget that our down time on the internet can be used to invest in ourselves. So often we just see it as a resource for relaxation, a way to wind down instead of gearing up. One of the ways to combat the zombie-ness I was finding myself in, was to start watching TED talks. At first, it sounded less than exciting, but then I found myself watching one after the other after the other, spiraling into TED talk euphoria.  It didn't feel like I was hopping around the internet stashing random facts in my head, it felt like I was building a base of valuable information, based on subjects I liked- and I was getting the information from experts, not just a link from a website for an article written by someone five years younger than me.

If you want to take the ''TED talk challenge" but don't know where to start, here are a few favorites from our Justice Rising team:

What I saw in the war

Janine di Giovanni

Reporter Janine di Giovanni has been to the worst places on Earth to bring back stories from Bosnia, Sierra Leone and most recently Syria. She tells stories of human moments within large conflicts -- and explores that shocking transition when a familiar city street becomes a bombed-our battleground.


The music of a war child

Emmanuel Jal

For five years, young Emmanuel Jal fought as a child soldier in the Sudan. Rescued by an aid worker, he's become an international hi-hop star and an activist for kids in war zones. In words and lyrics, he tells the story of his amazing life.


Let's help refugees thrive, not just survive

Melissa Fleming

50 million people in the world today have been forcefully displaced from their home - a level not seen since WWII. Right now, more than 3 million Syria refugees are seeking shelter in neighboring countries. In Lebanon, half of these refugees are children; only 20% are in school.


Why we have too few women leaders

Sheryl Sandberg

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg looks at why a smaller percentage of women than men reach the top of their professions -- and offers 3 powerful pieces of advice to women for the C- suite.

If we want a better world, we must work to see women raised up into places of leadership.


The Power Of Vulnerability 

Brené Brown 

Brene Brown studies human connection -- our ability to empathize, belong, love. In a poignant, funny talk at TEDxHouston, she shares a deep insight from her research, on that sent her on a personal question to know herself as well as to understand humanity. A talk to share.


How to Start A Movement 

Derek Sivers

Derek Sivers on Ted (Transcript): Let's watch a movement happen, start to finish, in under 3 minutes and dissect some lessons: A leader needs the guts to stand alone and look ridiculous. But what he's doing is so simple, it's almost instructional. This is key. You must be easy to follow!

This could easily be one of the shortest TED talks you'll ever watch, not to mention, it's highly amusing! Basically, you have no good reason not to watch it.


Do Schools Kill Creativity?

Sir Ken Robinson

It's no wonder this a record breaker, being named the most watched TED talk yet!

If you want to watch a TED speaker that has you genuinely laughing and also speaks in a revolutionary way on something that affects you and literally EVERYONE you know, you need to watch Sir Ken Robinson's talk on education. 

Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity.