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Seven inspiring TED Talks for media women

From the future of news to wellbeing and mindfulness, here are seven TED Talks every media woman should know about.

By Tatiana Carter

The roster of TED presenters has changed drastically since its foundation in 1984. What started as the convergence between technology, entertainment, and design soon transformed into a worldwide community and viral video phenomenon. 

Scientists, philosophers, musicians, business and religious leaders, philanthropists, and people from across the globe have presented on TED’s stage. With millions of views, these speakers have become an emotional and intellectual touchpoint for many. 

For women across the media industry, TED offers valuable career and personal advice on an accessible platform. Whether you are looking to negotiate a pay raise, change careers, or even find a newfound purpose in life, TED might have the answers. 

From the future of news to wellbeing and mindfulness, here are seven inspiring TED Talks every media woman should know about:


#HoldTheLine: The battle for truth

Veteran Philippine journalist Maria Ressa was recently awarded the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts to safeguard freedom of expression through journalism. In February 2021, Ms Ressa gave a TED Talk on her never-ending passion and determination to seek the truth. She talks about her life-changing experiences handling key issues in her social news network, Rappler, and the problems that face the Philippines today.


How you can help transform the internet into a place of trust

Dr Claire Wardle is a leading expert on user generated content, verification and misinformation. In her TED Talk, she explores the new challenges of our polluted online environment and maps out a plan to transform the internet into a place of trust — with the help of everyday users.


The power of women’s anger

Across the world, women and girls are taught their anger is better left unvoiced. Writer and activist Soraya Chemaly has found that cultural and systemic disadvantages teach women to silence their anger – not use it to their advantage. A thoughtful conversation for media women who may experience the dangerous suggestion that their anger isn’t feminine. 


The Future of Storytelling

One of Hollywood’s powerbrokers, Shonda Rhimes, talks about the future of media networks, how she’s using her narrative-building skills as a force for good, an intriguing concept known as “Amish summers” and much more, in conversation with Cyndi Stivers, director of the TED Residency.

Ms Rhimes is a television titan known for shows including Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy


It’s OK to feel overwhelmed. Here’s what to do next.

Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, reflects on how to stay present, accept grief when it comes, and how to trust in the strength of the human spirit. For those feeling anxious and fearful during the Covid-19 pandemic, this TED Talk explores hope and understanding.


Embrace the near win

At her first museum job, art historian Sarah Lewis noticed something important about an artist she was studying: Not every artwork was a total masterpiece. By discovering the power of the almost-failure and the near-win in our own lives – Ms Lewis argues that it’s the near wins that push people forward. 

In pursuit of success and mastery, perhaps it’s the imperfections that cause the most change.


The danger of a single story

Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice — and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.

Do you have a favourite TED Talk you want us to share? Tag us on Twitter @WIM_Aus!

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