5 TED Talks in 5 MinutesTED Talks have become a breeding ground for ingenuity, passion, ideas and intelligence. A meeting place of the world’s best, bravest and most forward-thinking minds, TED talks offer the entire world the ability to listen and participate in the global conversation on how we better the world. Here, for those who have little time, are 5 Ted talks that offer a powerful punch of inspiration in less than 5 minutes.


Asher Hassan’s Message of Peace from Afghanistan – Asher Hassan

In this short but potent TED talk, Asher Hassan manages to obliterate our image of the now ravaged Pakistan as a place of poverty, misery and Islamic fundamentalism to show a hopeful, resilient and entirely human face to the country. Through a series of striking photographs, showing vendors selling bags, a displaced internal refugee child, spools of brightly colored rainbow spools of thread. Hassan’s subjects are the individuals who get lost in Pakistan sold to us by the media, and the ones who are most affected by our action or inaction in their country.


Selling Condoms in the Congo – Amy Lockwood

Amy Lockwood needs four minutes and seventeen seconds to illustrate an all-too-important phenomenon that causes aid programs to fail: not targeting efforts towards the group, but focusing on the feelings on the donor. In the Congo, sex workers use very few of the free condoms that aid agencies provide but would use the generic, priced ones sold. Lockwood, as a marketing professional, asked herself why. Her talk offers a simple but powerful tweak in the way we approach aid that could make a world of difference.


Photos That Changed the World – Jonathan Klein

The man at the head of Getty Images, the industry’s largest and most quality bank of photography and imagery, gives a short talk on the power of photographs in provoking action. Using iconic images from history like the Hindenburg explosion, ‘Kissing the War Goodbye’ and mass graves of the Holocaust to today’s most controversial photographs, such as torture in Abu Ghraib, military war injuries and slaughtered gorillas lying crucified on bamboo poles, Klein illustrated how a picture can be worth more than a thousand words in an age full of discourse and short on action.


Escaping the Khmer Rouge – Sophal Ear

Not a big ideas talk, but a heartfelt personal story, Sophal Ear speaks of his escape from Cambodia during the country’s horrific political turmoil. Today, Ear leads research on post-conflict countries and assists in the development, reinforcing the fact that refugees are more than statistics, but brave, resilient lives worth saving.


How I Built a Windmill – William Kamkwamba

One of the most inspiring talks on TED, this talk is a Q&A session with William Kamkwamba, from a small village in Malawi. At 14, he saw how to build a windmill in a library book. In his words, “I tried it, and I made it.” Prompted along by TED speaker, William’s unassuming ingenuity in attempting to improve his village’s access to electricity and water is heartwarming and incredible.

– Farahnaz Mohammed

Sources: TED