The University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) recently held its third annual TEDxUniversityofNevada event. Sponsored by UNR’s Online Executive MBA program, this year’s 20 talks featured a dazzling array of speakers ranging from best-selling authors, business executives, non-profit leaders, and professors to various individuals with both inspiring and important stories to share.
After watching all 20 talks live and in person, below are a couple of my favorites as they relate to business and marketing, with the common thread among them being a commitment to continued learning.
TEDx Talk #1: “Engage and Embrace Your Natural Curiosity”
About the speaker: Misha Raiffee is a budding scientist, musician, and STEM educator. She is currently a research fellow at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in biology and mechanical engineering. After her graduation from the Davidson Academy of Nevada at age 15, Misha enrolled at Caltech as a double major in Bioengineering and Business Economics and Management. She has been an Amgen Scholar and Undergraduate Research Fellow at Caltech, a NSF/NEES Undergraduate Research Fellow at the University of Nevada, Reno, is a member of the national engineering honor society Tau Beta Pi, and a recipient of Caltech’s prestigious Deans’ Cup. (Full bio)
Why this talk is worth watching: In this talk, Misha recounts a turning point in her life when she realized it would be up to her to take personal responsibility for her own learning. She talks about why this is important, as well as how you can develop your own curiosity and become a better learner. “To nurture our curiosities we need to challenge ourselves to develop a confidence when we encounter something new,” said Raffiee. “When was the last time you took that curiosity and developed it into a deeper thinking? This deep thinking is what I call natural curiosity.”
TEDx Talk #2: “Living and Working with Childlike Wonder”
About the speaker: Liz Wiseman teaches leadership to executives and emerging leaders around the world. She is the President of the Wiseman Group, a leadership research and development firm headquartered in Silicon Valley, where some of her recent clients include: Apple, Disney, eBay/PayPal, Facebook, GAP, Genentech/Roche, Microsoft, Nike, Salesforce.com, and Twitter. Liz has been listed on the Thinkers50 ranking and named as one of the top 10 leadership thinkers in the world. (Full bio)
Why this talk is worth watching: Liz Wiseman wrote the best-selling book “Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter.” She is a top business consultant with impressive work experience who explains why being curious and approaching the world with “childlike wonder” can actually lead to better learning experiences. “We find that when we’re new, a learner’s advantage kicks in. And in the process of asking, wondering, discovering, we tend to do our best thinking, often outperforming people with experience,” said Wiseman. Her talk is lighthearted and filled with great-advice for today’s busy professionals.
TEDx Talk #3: “Why Credibility is the Foundation of Leadership”
About the speaker: Barry Posner is the Accolti Endowed Professor of Leadership at the Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University (located in the heart of Silicon Valley), where he served for 12 years as Dean of the School. Barry, along with his co-author Jim Kouzes, received the American Society for Training and Development’s highest award for their Distinguished Contribution to Workplace Learning and Performance. He has been named as one of the nation’s top management and leadership educators by the International Management Council, recognized as one of the Top 50 leadership coaches in America. (Full bio)
Why this talk is worth watching: According to Posner, “competency is an asset that depreciates over time. Good enough never is … leaders should be great learners.” Because credibility is the foundation of leadership, “leaders must be honest, competent, forward-looking and inspiring.” In this talk, you’ll learn about some of the latest research about leadership, as well as what the requirements of a successful leader are.
To view the full set of videos from this year’s 2015 event, please click here.