SOCIAL SECTOR & DEVELOPMENT

How immigrants voices make democracy stronger. Through her own story of becoming an American citizen, the immigration scholar reveals how her love and dedication to her country turned into a driving force for political change. “We have fought to be here,” she says, calling immigrant voices to action. “It’s our country, too.”

Poverty, money – and love. What do you think of people who live in poverty? Jessica Jackley shares her story of feeling guilt, sympathy and ultimately disconnection from hearing stories about the poor and her role in “helping” them. She teaches us how listening to the human stories provides a completely different perspective. She founded kiva.org as a way to provide micro-loans and re-write the story of poverty.

What non-profits can learn from Coca Cola. Why is it that in countries where getting condoms and vaccinations to rural communities is so hard, everyone has access to coca cola? Melinda Gates shows us the clever and surprising ways that coca cola has been so successful in the developing world, and how non-profits can take a leaf out of their book.

If you want to help someone, shut up and listen! Ernesto Sirolli built his career on an important lesson he learnt while volunteering in Zambia. A poignant, funny talk about why listening is crucial for any kind of development work and why entrepreneurs are the solution to our world’s biggest problems.

The way we think about charity is dead wrong. Rather than rewarding not-for-profits for how little they spend, we should focus our attention on the impact they have and how they are achieving their goals. Dan Pallotta makes a strong case as to why investing in impact towards a cause is not frugal spending, and why the ability to scale organizations with a social cause is crucial for our world’s future.

The quarter-truths and limited plot lines have us convinced that poor people are a problem that needs fixing. What if we recognized that what’s working is the people and what’s broken is our approach?”

This TedTalk explains how important changing the discourse on poverty is. At Human Connections, this is the center of what we do, we don’t help, we fuel our hardworking artisans because we know what they are capable of.

TOURISM, VOLUNTEERISM & STORYTELLING

What If? Get inspired by the stortelling duo, Audrey Scott and Daniel Noll, who chose to leave corporate America for a less traditional career path that has taken them all over the world.  In 2001 they left San Francisco with six suitcases and a one-way ticket to Prague, Czech Republic and no jobs. Everyone asked, “Are you crazy?” Then in 2006, they left again and decided to travel the world to share stories about people from all walks of life, inspiring a movement of respectful travelers.  They live deliberately, abiding by the mantra to never look back one day and wonder What if? 

The danger of a single story: This is one of the most important TED talks we have seen. Through her beautiful examples as a writer, Chimananda teaches lessons about what happens when we tell only one story about a person, group or country. She shows us that to regain a kind of paradise, we need to start telling the whole story.

For more tolerance we need more… tourism? What happens when you create a tour company that crosses the border between two countries in conflict? Aziz Abu Shara shows us how simple interactions and connections with others from another culture make us more tolerant, empathic and socially conscious beings.

What is the reality of volunteerism? In this insightful talk from a past volunteer, Ian makes a case to show why volunteering can often be counterproductive, or at least fail at its intended task, leaving local communities unheard and volunteers as the beneficiaries. A must-watch for anyone intending to volunteer abroad or in their local community.

Tales of Passion. Isabel Allende is a novelist who uses surrealism to make political and social commentary and tell stories of passion. In this funny and moving talk, she reveals that her female protagonists are not made up – they are women from all over the world overcoming adversity with a passionate heart. An eye-opening talk about courage, equality and the power of storytelling.

INSPIRING

What is the secret to a happy and fulfilled life? This 75 year long study shows us that despite socio-economic background, professional “success” or what happens in your life, there is one common denominator to leading a happy life.

Success, Failure & The Drive To Keep Creating: Did you know that extreme success can sometimes feel like extreme failure? Elizabeth Gilbert does! Here, she teaches us how we can regain our drive after either, and what it means to truly find your way “home”.

Why 30 is not the new 20: Did you know that 80% of your life’s most defining moments happen before you turn 35? Before you freak out, watch this powerful video teaching you how to make the most out of this important decade. 

The Power of Vulnerability: Brené Brown studies human connection — our ability to empathize, belong, and love. In an powerful and funny talk, she shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity.

Following Instinct: One moment of instinct to make a decision she didn’t understand changed Amaryllis’ life and shaped her future career. Through her powerful personal journey, she shows us why instincts are to be trusted even when they don’t seem to make logical sense at the time, particularly when you are making difficult choices about your future, and personal and professional goals.

Why Good Leaders Make You Feel Safe: Leaders are not just managers and bosses, they are everyday people that guide others and make them feel safe and recognized. Simon Sinek shows us how we can all be good leaders in our workplace, family home or communities. Forget “survival of the fittest” and learn to adapt this successful and valuable approach to leadership.

The fringe benefits of failure. Ahh JK Rowling, can she do any wrong? In this speech, she shows us why fearing failure can hold us back and failure itself can often be the driving force to achieving great things.