Culture

Daryl Hannah, Philippe Starck and Alexis Ohanian pick their favorite TED Talks

11.20 Guest-Curated Playlists

In celebration of our billionth video view, TED reached out to some of our favorite players in the worlds of technology, entertainment and design, asking which TED Talks they find themselves going back to again and again. To see the famous faces who’ve told us so far — from Bill Gates to Barbra Streisand — head to our guest-curated playlist page. Today, Daryl Hannah, Alexis Ohanian of Reddit and Philippe Starck add their selections to the mix.

Daryl Hannah's favorite TED Talks

Daryl Hannah, actor and strong-willed activist, has gathered together the TED Talks she’s found most motivating over the years. Spanning the globe — from the Black Hills of the United States to the underwater crevices of Antarctica — these talks are instructive and informative but, most of all, inspiring. Head to the playlist section to watch her selections »

Alexis Ohanian's favorite TED Talks

Alexis Ohanian changed the shape of the internet as a co-founder of Reddit. Naturally, this TED speaker is fascinated by talks about the global idea flow.

Ohanian writes of picking his favorite talks, “Throughout history, there have always been awesome people with great ideas who never had a chance to share them because of some bullshit reason — they were born in the wrong place at the wrong time or to the wrong gender or race. But finally, we have a platform that is a true level playing field. I fight for Internet freedom because on an open Internet, where all links are created equal, good ideas win. Anyone, anywhere can share an idea that can be seen by millions by the end of the day.

“Stories like William Kamkwamba’s inspire me. (Watch his talk, ‘How I harnessed the wind.’) I had the chance to meet him the year I spoke and was humbled by a young man who learned engineering from old textbooks in a foreign language, and was able to turn scrap metal into a functioning windmill. When he finally got access to a computer with the Internet and Googled windmills, he wondered where the Internet had been the whole time he was teaching himself physics in an old library. Think of all the Williams whose genius we’ve missed out on.

“If we do it right, the Internet will be the platform that allows us to benefit from the ideas of people around the globe. But none of this is guaranteed, and there’s still tremendous work to be done, which is why I’m fascinated by the TED Talks that touch on the issues that hold back and boost our Internet industry.” Head to the playlist section for his picks »

And one more talk Ohanian highly recommends: Christina Xu’s talk from TEDxBoston, “The importance of being awesome”

Philippe Starck's favorite TED Talks

Philippe Starck, who gave the TED Talk “On design and destiny,” is not your ordinary designer. His work ranges from the luxe interiors of boutique hotels to reinventing ordinary objects like the toothbrush. Head to the playlist section, where he’s handpicked talks about science and design — ideas that spur imagination and inspire creativity »

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Stay tuned to the TED Blog tomorrow for playlists from Steve Case, Brandon Boyd of Incubus and Hans Rosling. Special thanks to Mashable and iTunes for helping us share these playlists. Head to iTunes to download these lists as limited-edition podcasts and to Mashable to see their exclusive additional lists from tech and business superstars.

And as always, we want to hear about the talks you love. This week, tweet a favorite playlist — or the name of talk that deeply resonated with you — using the hashtag #topTED.