Oldest TED Talks in World

9 Oldest TED Talks in World

It will not be an understatement to say that TED Talks raised an entire generation. Most young people and teenagers in the 80s, 90s, and so on started their day with an inspiring TED talk. TED Talks have been a source of unconventional education for three decades now.  

TED, which stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design, started in 1984 as a conference uniting these fields. After a brief pause, it was revived in 1990 and grew into an annual event in California. Under Chris Anderson‘s leadership, TED expanded globally and introduced TED Talks online. 

It also launched programs like TED Fellows and TEDx events to promote innovation and accessibility. With over a billion views, TED has become a thriving community celebrating and sharing inspiring ideas.

Though TED Talks have been available since 1984, some of the oldest Ted Talks on the internet are from the year 2006. Following are the oldest Ted talks on the internet. Let’s dive in!

9. Cameron Sinclair – My Wish: A Call For Open-Source Architecture

Year: 2006
Views: 1,376,120

Cameron SinclairPhoto Source: LinkedIn

In this captivating TED Talk, architect Cameron Sinclair shares his experiences in humanitarian design, demonstrating how innovative, sustainable solutions can transform lives. From Kosovo’s housing crisis to HIV/AIDS in Africa, Sinclair’s organization harnesses the power of design to address systemic issues. 

Engaging communities and emphasizing local empowerment, their projects range from inflatable hemp houses to mobile health clinics. Whether in disaster-stricken areas or everyday challenges, Sinclair’s message is clear: Design has the potential to create a better future, one community at a time.

Did You Know?

Cameron Sinclair was awarded the prestigious TED Prize in 2006 and named the RISD Emerging Designer of the Year in 2005.

8. Rick Warren – A Life of Purpose

Year: 2006
Views: 4,346,141 

Rick WarrenPhoto Source: Christian Headlines

In this captivating TED Talk, Rick Warren shares their personal journey of discovering purpose beyond materialism. They explore the universal longing for meaning and caution against blindly following ideologies without critical examination.

Through their own experiences of unexpected success, the speaker questions the true purpose behind achievements and highlights the transformative power of using resources for the greater good. They emphasize the importance of environmental preservation and stewardship.

By sharing heartfelt anecdotes, Rick Warren inspires us to seek fulfillment through acts of kindness and selflessness. They challenge conventional notions of success and remind us that true significance lies in what we contribute to the world, not in what we accumulate. This thought-provoking talk encourages us to uncover our own purpose and find meaning beyond the material realm.

Did You Know?

Rick Warren, the pastor of Saddleback Church, practices extreme philanthropy by “reverse tithing” and giving 90% of his income to his church.

7. Dan Dennett – Let’s Teach Religion — All Religion — In Schools

Year: 2006
Views: 4,274,984 

Dan DennettPhoto Source: Open Culture

In this thought-provoking TED Talk, renowned philosopher Dan Dennett draws a captivating parallel between the intricate design of cows and the evolution of religions. He argues that just as cows have been shaped by natural selection and human intervention, religions have evolved and been redesigned over millennia. 

Dennett proposes a radical policy: comprehensive education on world religions for all children. By fostering understanding and tolerance, he believes that informed consent and democratic values can flourish. With a nod to human dominance and the power of culture, Dennett highlights the profound impact of religion and the need to examine it critically. 

Ultimately, he urges us to embrace the beauty of evolution and recognize the potential for intelligent design within our shared human journey.

Did You Know?

Daniel Dennett’s theory suggests that our brains do not store elaborate pictures in short-term memory, as it consumes valuable computing power and is not necessary for our functioning.

6. Julia Sweeney – Letting Go of God

Year: 2006
Views: 4,859,302

Julia SweeneyPhoto Source: Wikipedia

This TED Talk revolves around a series of personal anecdotes shared by the speaker, Julie, highlighting moments of discovery and reflection in her life. She recounts incidents from her childhood, including her seventh birthday, the realization of the age of reason, the revelation about Santa Claus, and the surprising truth about her birthdate. 

Julie shares her encounter with Mormon missionaries and their unconventional story of Lehi and the Nephites, which prompts her to question their beliefs. Throughout the talk, Julie humorously reflects on the lessons she learned from these experiences and the importance of self-discovery, questioning assumptions, and finding one’s own path in life.

Did You Know?

Julia Sweeney, in addition to her comedy and acting career, is also a published author with books like “It’s Pat!: My Life Exposed,” “God Said, ‘Ha!'” and “If It’s Not One Thing, It’s Your Mother.”

5. Hans Rosling – The Best Stats You’ve Ever Seen

Year: 2006
Views: 15,586,283

Hans RoslingPhoto Source: TED Talk

In this TED talk, Hans Rosling shares his experience teaching global development to Swedish students and their lack of knowledge about the world. He uses a pretest to demonstrate that the students scored lower than chimpanzees in identifying countries with the highest child mortality rates. 

He then presents data visualizations showing the changes in fertility rates, life expectancy, and income distribution worldwide. The data challenges preconceived notions and highlights the progress made in countries like China, Vietnam, and Bangladesh. The speaker emphasizes the need to use data effectively and contextualize improvements on a detailed level.

Did You Know?

Hans Rosling, the Professor of International Health at Karolinska Institutet, co-founded the Gapminder Foundation and developed the Trendalyzer software system.

4. Al Gore – Averting The Climate Crisis

Year: 2006
Views: 3,703,867

Al GorePhoto Source: People

In this TED Talk, former Vice President Al Gore reflects on his post-political life and shares amusing anecdotes about his transition from the White House to everyday life. He humorously highlights the challenges he faced, such as flying without a motorcade and the comical misunderstandings that arose, like being mistakenly associated with opening a low-cost family restaurant. 

Gore then shifts the focus to the climate crisis and urges the audience to take action. He emphasizes the importance of individual and collective efforts in reducing carbon emissions, embracing sustainable practices, and advocating for policy changes. 

Gore concludes by calling for a mass persuasion campaign and bipartisan cooperation to address the pressing issue of climate change.

Did You Know?

Al Gore, along with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 for his efforts in raising awareness about climate change and advocating for measures to address it.

3.  David Pogue – Simplicity Sells

Year: 2006
Views: 2,020,090

David PoguePhoto Source: CBS News

In this TED talk, Pogue discusses the frustrations people face with technology and the increasing complexity of software and hardware interfaces. He shares humorous anecdotes about user experiences and emphasizes the importance of simplicity and intelligence in design. 

Pogue highlights examples from companies like Apple and Palm that have embraced simplicity and criticizes Microsoft for some of its interface design choices. The talk includes humorous elements, musical interludes, and Pogue’s satirical “Bill Gates song.”

Did You Know?

David Pogue has won six Emmy awards for his work on CBS Sunday Morning and is a best-selling “how-to” author with over 120 titles and 3 million copies in print.

2. Majora Carter – Greening The Ghetto

Year: 2006
Views: 3,069,361

Majora CarterPhoto Source: Lanthorn

Being one of the oldest  TED talks in the world, this lets you discover the inspiring story of Majora Carter, a tenacious advocate for environmental justice in the South Bronx. Despite daunting challenges like pollution, poverty, and neglect, Majora spearheaded transformative initiatives. 

She transformed a neglected street end into a stunning waterfront park, sparked a Greenway movement, and created green job opportunities. Majora’s endeavors exemplify the potential of sustainable development to benefit the entire community. Her remarkable journey is a powerful reminder of our collective responsibility to shape a better future.

Did You Know?

Majora Carter has eight honorary PhDs and received prestigious awards, including Goldman Sachs, Business Insider, and News Corp recognition.

1. Sir Ken Robinson – Do Schools Kill Creativity?

Year: 2006
Views: 75,165,952

Sir Ken RobinsonPhoto Source: TED Talk

This is the oldest Ted Talk in the world that is available on the internet. In a captivating and thought-provoking TED talk, Sir Ken Robinson challenges our conventional notions of education and creativity. With infectious enthusiasm, he unveils a world where human creativity knows no bounds, urging us to recognize its immense value. 

Amidst the unpredictable nature of our future, Sir Ken spotlights the astonishing potential of children, their innate ability to innovate, and their fearless embrace of mistakes. With a daring proposition, he argues that creativity should be revered on par with literacy, revolutionizing our education system. Critiquing its current shortcomings, he laments how society unwittingly extinguishes the flames of imagination in young minds. 

Yet, he beckons us to envision a future where intelligence is celebrated in its myriad forms, embracing the fluid and diverse nature of human ingenuity. As the winds of change sweep across education’s horizon, Sir Ken implores us to prepare our students for a world that cherishes creativity and the audacity of originality.

Did You Know?

Sir Ken Robinson was recognized as a top business thinker by Time/Fortune/CNN and Fast Company magazine. He’s also on the prestigious Thinkers50 list.


With the widespread use of the internet, TED Talks from 2006 represents the dawn of a transformative movement, inspiring millions worldwide with ideas. TED’s legacy of sharing knowledge and fostering innovation continues to shape the world. 

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