// 09.21.2020

7 ted talks that will teach you about connection.

Connection has become a word synonymous with the pandemic. As our normal means of connecting have been strained and sometimes lost, kindling new connections or reinforcing existing ones have become more important than ever. People have prioritized connecting with family and friends, with customers, with themselves, with the outdoors and with teams. Connection has always been part of the human psyche, but people have woken up to just how valuable it is. It’s uplifting to see.

Here at B. Amsterdam, we believe in the power of connection, the power of people coming together to make an impact and create meaningful relationships. So, to carry on the positive momentum behind connection, here are seven TED Talks that speak of it in all its glory.

1. How to create meaningful connections while apart.

Priya Parker is a facilitator, strategic adviser, podcast host and author of The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why it Matters. In short, she’s devoted to creating meaning in life through coming together. Her recent TED conversation, streamed amid the pandemic from the seat of her car, focuses on how to meaningfully connect with people in separated times, even if you’re not physically with them.

And for Priya, meaning doesn’t come simply from creating connections that look good – hosting a daily virtual team check-in doesn’t guarantee your co-workers feel connected. As Priya says, “we don’t necessarily need to gather more, we need to gather better”. Watch it here.

2. The Power of Vulnerability.

2011 may seem a while ago, but the ideas in this talk are timeless. Brené Brown is a research professor who has spent over twenty years studying human emotions such as courage, vulnerability, shame and empathy.

In her TED talk with nearly fourteen million views, she homes in on why she believes so adamantly in connection, why vulnerability is needed to really connect with people and how feeling unworthy can get in the way of it all. A humbling talk with ideas that can be applied in all walks of business and life. Be moved here.

2. How to connect while apart.

Eric Yuan is the CEO of Zoom, a company that has experienced unprecedented growth during the pandemic. They’ve been used for everything and anything in recent months, from meetings and conferences to virtual birthdays and yoga classes. So, TED decided to talk to him.

Yuan gives thought-provoking insights into enabling millions to work from home, the challenges of exponential, overnight growth, adapting for new use cases and more. He also touches on his visions for the future, which he thinks will include virtual handshakes. A perspective on connection from the giants of connection. Be inspired here.

4. 10 ways to have better conversations.

Radio hosts are some of the best talkers, and Celeste Headlee has been one for decades. In this telling, witty talk, she outlines ten principles for better conversation, everything from being genuinely present to putting aside your own opinions. These are essential tools for anyone wanting to leave a conversation feeling like they’ve truly connected.

And if you think you’ve heard the tips and tricks for good conversation before, Celeste isn’t quite convinced by many of the common myths surrounding meaningful conversation. Learn here.

5. Simple effective tech to connect communities in crisis.

The idea that the world is more connected than ever before is true, but it’s also misleading. It’s a view developed countries have; where Teslas are seen daily and where people are more excited about 6G than they are 5G. In reality, however, many communities are still cut off from the most basic resources such as electricity and health care.

In this talk, activist, marketer and co-organizer of Code for Venezuela, Johanna Figueira speaks about bringing leveraging tech to solve Venezuela’s need for information and supplies, and how tech can help disconnected communities worldwide. Tech up here.

6. What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness.

The entrepreneurial world is obsessed with impressive funding rounds, founder success and ambitious ideas. This isn’t inherently bad, but being overly preoccupied with these narratives can skew your view on what really matters.

In this enlightening, must-watch talk, psychiatrist Robert Waldinger uses a mountain of evidence from an astonishing study to reveal the true source of a meaningful life. If there’s one talk to persuade you that a happy life isn’t about fame and money, this is it. Find out here.

7. 5 ways to create stronger connections.

As we rely more and more on technology to work, especially in an increasingly remote environment, it’s harder to create and maintain authentic connections. Starting an inspiring conversation with someone at the coffee machine is rarer than it used to be.

Fortunately, Robert Reffkin has five simple, easy-to-apply ideas specifically for work, including handwriting letters and notes. Seems archaic, but it works. And if you’re short on time, Reffkin packs it all in in three minutes. Connect here.


Next read: 10 startups thriving in tough times.