The whole wide world: Today’s TEDTalks playlist of fan favorites

(It’s the last day of TED’s annual two-week break; we’ve been posting playlists from the TEDTalks archive.)

TED fans have spoken! Over the past two weeks, each new TEDTalks playlist has sparked debate, discussion and recommendations among our Facebook fans and via email. Our final playlist is a collection of fan-favorite TEDTalks about the wider world, society, curiosity, humanity …

J.J. Abrams, creator of Lost, talks about his “mystery box” — the symbol for all the unanswered questions that drive us forward:

  • Barry Schwartz talks about freedom of choice — and whether having more choice makes us more free:

  • William Kamkwamba tells a simple, inspiring story of creation: “How I harnessed the wind.”

  • Isabel Allende tells the stories of passionate, activist women changing the world:

  • And Chris Abani, in a powerful talk, muses on humanity and “ubuntu”: the only way for me to be human is for you to reflect my humanity back at me.

  • Watch these other fan favorites:

    Jamie Oliver’s TED Prize wish: Teach every child about food
    Sir Ken Robinson says, “Bring on the learning revolution!”

    We’d love to hear more fan favorites. Add your suggestions to the comments below, join the conversation on Facebook, or email with the subject PLAYLIST: FAN. (Jog your memory with the TEDTalks spreadsheet.)

    And look for fresh TEDTalks starting August 16.

    Curator of this playlist: Rachel Tobias