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These 7 TED Talks Demonstrate The Relationship Between Education And Entrepreneurship


, Forbes,

If you’re an entrepreneur or an educator, you may want to learn how education and entrepreneurship can and should connect on a global scale. There are various articles and resources that can help you learn about both fields. However, one concrete learning resource that keeps on giving in all areas of education, entrepreneurship, inspiration, and information are TED Talks.

TED Talks are a series of short discussions based on a variety of topics, and they attract some of the most innovative, creative, and entertaining minds from across the globe.

These short presentations include relevant topics such as business, leadership, learning, innovation, entrepreneurship, business strategies, technology, and humanity.

Although the connection between education and entrepreneurship does not always appear in plain sight, there are many ways these two areas come together.

For those who may be interested in learning more about the intersection of education and entrepreneurship, you should find the following seven TED Talks inspirational, entertaining and filled with insight.

1. “Let’s Raise Kids To Be Entrepreneurs,” by Cameron Herold

Cameron Herold has been an entrepreneur since childhood. In this talk, he brings to light the entrepreneurial spirit that parents and teachers should recognize at home and in school. He stresses the importance to foster youth so they can thrive through their natural entrepreneurial talents. If you notice your child is bored in school, has a hard time focusing, or if there is a struggle to fit in with peers, your child might be an entrepreneur. In his talk, he makes a case for parenting and education that could help young entrepreneurs flourish from an early age into adulthood.

2. “Meet A Young Entrepreneur, Cartoonist, Designer, Activist,” by Maya Penn

Maya Penn presented her TED talk at the age of 13 in 2010. Before she arrives on stage, Penn opens the talk with her own animated video. She talks about her love of art, illustration, animation, and how she began her first company at the young age of 8-years-old. Penn also shares how important it is to think about responsibility to both her customers and to the planet. Her story is a strong and inspiring fit for any classroom of young students. This talk can bring awareness to the entrepreneurial endeavors and accomplishments youth can have at any age when given the chance.

3. “How To Learn? From Mistakes,” by Diana Laufenberg

In this inspiring TED Talk for teachers and entrepreneurs, Diana Laufenberg shares three surprising trends she learned on her journey as an educator. She includes critical notables about learning from mistakes, and the views that some educators take on failure. Laufenberg talks about her work at a rural Kansas school district, where she was teaching her favorite subject, American government to high school seniors. In her second year in Kansas, she went outside of the typical boundaries and the norms of education by changing her teaching methods. Taking a risk herself, she provided her students with authentic experiences that allowed them to take charge of their own learning. To kick off this type of teaching, on a given project, she didn’t tell her students what to do or how to do it. Rather, she posed a problem for her classroom, and let the students run with it. Watch this talk to see the importance of mistakes and failure. When given the chance to make mistakes, students will learn and grow-primarily if we listen to them, and provide a safe space for them to fail.

4. “Bring On The Learning Revolution,” by Sir Ken Robinson

Known for his brilliance in education, innovation, learning, and creativity, this humor-filled but serious TED Talk focuses as a follow up to his famous 2006 TED talk, “Do Schools Kill Creativity?” In this recent talk, Sir Ken Robinson calls for a significant shift in the current education system from traditional school teaching to personalized learning. In turn, he believes we need to create conditions where kids’ natural gifts and talents can flourish. And, to his strong point about schools today, he believes our current system has set up youth to become workers who listen, rather than thinkers and creators. In his famous quote, “We are educating people out of their creativity,” Robinson shares a critical message that should resonate across the world. It’s time to revolutionize the education system to include and provide the tools for creatives, thinkers, and innovators. Robinson also stresses that the education system should provide youth with the right environment to encourage growth for natural curiosity, creativity, interests, and talents.

5. “Every Kid Needs A Champion,” by the late Rita Pierson

Rita Pierson spent her life in the classroom. She was an advocate and a teacher for 40 years. When Pierson heard a colleague say, “They don’t pay me to like the kids,” Pierson stated, “Kids don’t learn from people they don’t like.” This statement was monumental in the education field, and is also applicable to business. In this humorous but quite serious TED Talk, Pierson shares an exceptional call for educators to believe in their students, create relationships, and connect with them on a human level. Pierson claimed that when kids have at least one champion in their lives, it could make a world of a difference. She also shares her advice for making the most of these incredible teacher and student relationships that can last a lifetime. Just as every student needs a tribe, entrepreneurs need support as well. Enjoy this talk to understand how kids think, and how you can make a difference in the lives of others through the classroom or the boardroom. Likability is a common factor in all relationships, whether in business or personal life.

6. “Why Schools Should Teach Entrepreneurship,” by Linda Zhang

Linda Zhang talks about her history as a child growing up in an entrepreneurial environment. Zhang is an innovator who asks us to pause, reflect and rethink the high-school education experience. She has led the effort to partner Australia’s leading startup incubator for students. Generation Entrepreneur focuses on inspiring entrepreneurship for high school students, encouraging them to go out and change the world. The organization is also involved with city councils, universities and high schools around the country. They provide youth with the necessary resources and skills to support their endeavors. Zhang challenges schools to go outside of the common textbook, and let youth discover their hidden learning potentials. How? The organization encourages students to build practical solutions for real-world problems they’re passionate about solving. Watch this TED Talk to learn more about how they’re changing the education ecosystem.

7. “Grit: The Power Of Passion and Perseverance,” by Angela Lee Duckworth

In one of the most popular TED Talks, Duckworth shares her experiences when she left a grand career in consulting, and took on a new endeavor: teaching math to 7th-grade students in a New York public school. During this time in the classroom, she noticed that IQ wasn’t the only thing that separated successful students from those who were struggling in school. In this eye-opening TED Talk, she shares her most critical theory of “grit,” as a predictor of achievement. This talk can inspire educators and entrepreneurs everywhere. The concept of grit has become mainstream, and the curious nature of this topic continues to draw people into the conversation. How does grit play a role in the lives of students, entrepreneurs, and teachers? Watch this talk to see if you see a spark of grit in a child you may know.


Robyn Shulman is a certified K-9 teacher, and the Senior Editor for 51Talk, China. She is also the founder of EdNews Daily, a resource for teachers, parents, edtech entrepreneurs and startups.


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