Alternatives to TED Talks in 2014

I’m a huge fan of TED Talks.  However, TED is not the only game in town for watching great speakers with great ideas.  Here are some other free options:

1. 99u

Comment: I attend this excellent conference every year. It is nearly identical to TED and even features many of the same speakers.  Compared to TED’s broader mandate, 99u is a bit more focused on design, creativity, entrepreneurship, and personal development.

2. Big Think

Comment: These are very short videos – typically under 5 minutes – focused on leadership and delivered by high powered executives and creative luminaries.

3. Business Innovation Factory (BIF)

Comment: Similar to TED albeit more innovation focused though you find social themes there too.

4. Capture Your Flag

Comment: Leadership interviews parsed into 2-minute segments (which can be irritating if you want to watch whole thing at once).

5. Creative Mornings

Comment: Creative Mornings is what would happen if TED loosened the reigns completely.  Very raw. Some great videos and some very rough ones.  The link above sorts by popularity to bring the best stuff to the top.

6. The Do Lectures

Comment:  Just like TED only with a hippie vibe and focused on personal development / inspiration. Talks are typically 20 to 30 minutes long.

7. Gel Conference

Comment: TED-like videos with some of the same speakers – albeit more focused on creativity, entrepreneurship, and customer experience.

8. Google Talks

Comment: Google hosts artists, authors, political candidates, chefs, … you name it.  These are longer talks, typically 45 minutes to 1 hour.

9. IdeaCity

Comment:  Just like TED in pretty much every way.

10. Ignite

Comment: 5 minute talks (20 slides, 15 seconds per slide).  Quality variation is huge so sort by most popular.

11. INK Talks

Comment: India’s version of TED (in fact, they are partnered with TED).

12. The Moth

Comment: Personal storytelling at its very best. The Moth is all about people vulnerably sharing the pivotal moments in their lives. Funny and inspiring.

13. PetchKucha

Comment: 20 slides x 20 seconds per slide (just like Ignite).  Quality variation is huge so sort by most popular.

14. PopTech

Comment: The breadth, depth, and style of the talks are identical to TED – though the organization claims to be more outcome focused than its more well known cousin.

15. The RSA

Comment: 20 minute talks focused on burning social / societal issues.  They are also the brilliant minds behind the RSAnimate videos which transform TED (and other talks) into animated storyboards.

16. Stanford eCorner

Comment: Outstanding videos on entrepreneurship – typically 45 mins to 1 hour long.


There are also countless free and paid MOOCs with excellent content, including: Khan Academy, EdX, Coursera, Udacity, etc.


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