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Margaret Heffernan: The dangers of “willful blindness”

Margaret Heffernan: The dangers of “willful blindness”

 

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Gayla Benefield was just doing her job — until she uncovered an awful secret about her hometown that meant its mortality rate was 80 times higher than anywhere else in the U.S. But when she tried to tell people about it, she learned an even more shocking truth: People didn’t want to know. In a talk that’s part history lesson, part call-to-action, Margaret Heffernan demonstrates the danger of “willful blindness” and praises ordinary people like Benefield who are willing to speak up. (Filmed at TEDxDanubia.)

The former CEO of five businesses, Margaret Heffernan explores the all-too-human thought patterns — like conflict avoidance and selective blindness — that lead managers and organizations astray.

WHY YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO HER?

How do organizations think? In her book, Willful Blindness, Margaret Heffernan examines why businesses and the people who run them often ignore the obvious — with consequences as dire as the global financial crisis and Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. Heffernan’s third book, Willful Blindness was shortlisted for the Financial Times/GoldmanSachs Best Business Book award in 2011.

Margaret Heffernan began her career in television production, building a track record at the BBC before going on to run the film and television producer trade association, IPPA. In the United States, Heffernan became a serial entrepreneur and CEO in the wild early days of web business and was named one of the Internet’s Top 100 by Silicon Alley Reporter in 1999.

In addition to writing books, Heffernan blogs for the Huffington Post and BNET.com and is a Visiting Professor of Entrepreneurship at Simmons College in Boston and the Executive in Residence at Babson College.

 

Be different to be irreplacable: Martin Boehm

Be different to be irreplacable: Martin Boehm

 

 

Martin shows us how to

“Be different to be irreplaceable.”

Pills that improve morality: Julian Savulescu

Pills that improve morality: Julian Savulescu

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Julian Savulescu is an australian philosopher and bioethicist. He is Uehiro Professor of Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford, Fellow of St Cross College, Oxford, Director of the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, Sir Louis Matheson Distinguished Visiting Professor at Monash University, and Head of the Melbourne–Oxford Stem Cell Collaboration, which is devoted to examining the ethical implications ofcloning and embryonic stem cell research.

In his talk, Julian shows us that technology advanced rapidly but morality did not. Ethics and religions do not have the answers to the questions nowadays, also because the world – thanks to technology – is a completely different one than it was when moral rules were defined and written down. These rules need to be enhanced.

 

Life is a gift

A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives – Jackie Robinson

The need for moral enhancement: Julian Savulescu

The need for moral enhancement: Julian Savulescu

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Julian Savulescu is an australian philosopher and bioethicist. He is Uehiro Professor of Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford, Fellow of St Cross College, Oxford, Director of the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, Sir Louis Matheson Distinguished Visiting Professor at Monash University, and Head of the Melbourne–Oxford Stem Cell Collaboration, which is devoted to examining the ethical implications ofcloning and embryonic stem cell research.

In his talk, Julian shows us that technology advanced rapidly but morality did not. Ethics and religions do not have the answers to the questions nowadays, also because the world – thanks to technology – is a completely different one than it was when moral rules were defined and written down. These rules need to be enhanced.

Pico Iyer: Where is home?

Pico Iyer: Where is home?

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More and more people worldwide are living in countries not considered their own. Writer Pico Iyer — who himself has three or four “origins” — meditates on the meaning of home, the joy of traveling and the serenity of standing still.

Pico Iyer’s travel writing chronicles fascinating (and often jarring) examples of cultural mashups. Now he shows how travel can rescue us from our technological distractions.

WHY YOU SHOULD LISTEN TO HIM?

Acclaimed travel writer Pico Iyer began his career documenting a neglected aspect of travel — the sometimes surreal disconnect between local tradition and imported global pop culture. Since then, he has written ten books, exploring also the cultural consequences of isolation, whether writing about the exiled spiritual leaders of Tibet or the embargoed society of Cuba.

Iyer’s latest focus is on yet another overlooked aspect of travel: how can it help us regain our sense of stillness and focus in a world where our devices and digital networks increasing distract us? As he says: “Almost everybody I know has this sense of overdosing on information and getting dizzy living at post-human speeds. Nearly everybody I know does something to try to remove herself to clear her head and to have enough time and space to think. … All of us instinctively feel that something inside us is crying out for more spaciousness and stillness to offset the exhilarations of this movement and the fun and diversion of the modern world.”

“[Iyer] writes the kind of lyrical, flowing prose that could make Des Moines sound beguiling.”  Los Angeles Times

Any fool can criticize – Dale Carnegie

Ninety Five Percent of people would rather die than think – George Bernard Shaw

Make your own opportunities – George Bernard Shaw

george bernard shaw

 

 

Make your own opportunities – George Bernard Shaw