I love innovation and ideas, and thus always wanted to attend the TED Conference in the flesh... But until such a day, I'll take heart in the fact that the organizers put all the previous presentations online.
They are all fascinating and thought-provoking. The Ze Frank talk about creativity is a popular favorite, as are the ones from Hans Rosling about statistics and global poverty. But one that is an absolute must-see is the one by Dan Dennett on ants, terrorists, and the mighty power of memes:
Highly recommended... although I disagree a little with the parallels to Guns, Germs, and Steel. I particularly liked how he summed up the meaning of life and the secret of happiness in one sentence:Find something more important than you are, and dedicate your life to it. -- Dan Dennett
Compelling... but I prefer my personal philosophy three times better, because it has three times as many sentences (inspired by Dawkins):Whether you're an atheist or a believer, the meaning of life is the never-ending quest for purpose. We are the only mortals who see the world not as it is, but as it could be, and then create it. Thus, we're here to ask that ultimate question "Why am I here?" and never be long satisfied with our answers. -- Bex
Coming to terms with that has helped me sleep soundly at night... and occasionally in the afternoon. ;-)