In Style + Design

Five Of The Most Viewed TEDx Talks Of All-Time

A meeting of minds, a sharing of ideas; TEDxSydney is one largest and most respected TEDx events in the world. At its core, it’s about bringing together a diverse cross-section of voices from all spectrums to share their stories and ideas with a live audience.

The TEDxSydney stage has been graced by an incredible line-up of public speakers over the last ten years, each exploring a topic close to their hearts. Arts, science, medicine, pollution, acting, design, sexuality… you name it, someone has probably shared an idea about it.

Though the 2020 event has been postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak, there’s no reason to miss out on your dose of inspiration. After all, some talks transcend the auditorium – and now is the perfect time to expand your mind.

From school-teacher-turned-mathematics-hero Eddie Woo to comedian and performer Jordan Raskopolous, these are some of the most viewed TEDx talks of the last decade.

Mathematics is the sense you never knew you had – Eddie Woo

tedx talks

Image: TEDx Talks / YouTube

Eddie Woo has developed a near cult-like following here in Australia. Described by many as ‘the maths teacher you always wanted to have’, his innovative Wootube lessons have helped make maths not only easier for students to understand but a lot more fun.

Woo’s 2018 TEDxSydney talk Mathematics is the sense you never knew you had, in which he declared that “mathematics is a sense, just like sight and touch” has been viewed online over 750,000 times, proving it was definitely an idea worth sharing.

More than just finding answers to simple equations, Woo spoke of how mathematics can lead to a whole new way of seeing the world. Using examples of geometry echoed in river deltas, lightning bolts and even blood vessels within our own bodies, he has opened many of our eyes and minds to how beautiful mathematics and the world around us can be.

A cure for aging – David Sinclair

tedx talks

Image: TEDx Talks / YouTube

If you could turn back time, if you could find a way, would you do it? Australian geneticist and entrepreneur David Sinclair explored this very idea in his 2013 talk A cure for aging. Since discovering a molecular cause for aging at the Massachusetts Institute in Boston back in the mid-90s, he has devoted his life to understanding every aspect of the aging process.

More than just delving into the reasons why we grow old and age as we do, his research is exploring the potential uses this knowledge can have to help us treat and prevent rare and common diseases. It’s a fascinating discussion with wide-ranging implications.

Living with high functioning anxiety – Jordan Raskopoulos

tedx talks

Image: TEDx Talks / YouTube

One third of musical comedy trio the ‘Axis of Awesome’, Jordan Raskopoulos is used to living life in the spotlight – singing, performing and making people laugh is what she does best. What you may not realise is she actually suffers from an anxiety disorder.

Though a fun, confident and engaging performer on stage, Raskopoulos when she walks out of the limelight can appear shy and lost for words.

Her highly relatable 2017 TEDxSydney talk Living with high functioning anxiety revealed what it’s like to live with high functioning anxiety, the stigmas that often surround discussing mental health, and ways people in a similar situation can manage anxieties in their daily lives.

The thing is, I stutter – Megan Washington

Image: TEDx Talks / YouTube

Megan Washington is one of Australia’s most recognisable singer/songwriters, a gifted artist with the ability to silence a room with just the power of her voice alone. What you may not realise though is she also speaks with a stutter, which has affected her ability to speak since childhood.

Washington’s honest and endearing talk The thing is, I stutter about overcoming her fear of sharing her secret with the world, the difficulties of a stutter in the public eye, and the challenge of meeting another stutterer when nobody knows you have one, is well worth watching.

Bonus points for the hauntingly beautiful rendition of her song ‘To Or Not Let Go’.

The fear of fat: The real elephant in the room – Kelli Jean Drinkwater

Image: TEDx Talks / YouTube

There’s one simple, three-letter word feared above almost all others – the word fat. Billion-dollar industries thrive on the enduring fear of it, yet the word itself does not have to define a person nor the world in which they live.

Artist and activist Kelli Jean Drinkwater uses her inspirational talk The fear of fat – The real elephant in the room to explore the complex relationship we all have with body size, the fears and insecurities that keep many of us from living our lives, and how body politics can be the antidote to body-shaming culture.

If you’re itching to embark on a journey of knowledge, it all starts with a single idea.

(Lead image: Halans / Flickr) 

Published 02 April, 2020