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The Top 5 Global Development TED Talks You Should Watch Right Now

Looking for a more productive way to spend your coffee break? Explore these five TED Talks about global development that will leave you educated and entertained — and all in less than 20 minutes.

Truly Sustainable Economic Development  

Ernesto Sirolli at TEDxEQChCC

Running Time: 18 Minutes


In this funny and passionate talk, Ernesto Sirolli challenges development practitioners, donors and governments to listen more closely to the needs of the communities that they are trying to help. He shares stories of his own development projects and how through many successes and failures, he saw that the key to success is a grassroots, agency-restoring approach. If you only have a few minutes left on your break, this is the video to watch.

How Not to Be Ignorant About the World

Hans and Ola Rosling at TEDSalon Berlin 2014

Running Time: 19 Minutes

Hans Rosling is somewhat of a TED darling— and has given several visually stunning and data-driven talks over the past decade. In his most recent talk, he tests his audience’s knowledge on the state of poverty. After confirming his assumption that most people have serious misconceptions about global economic realities, he brings in his son, who teaches us new ways of thinking about global development.

How Open Data is Changing International Aid

Sanjay Pradhan at TED Global 2012

Running Time: 14 Minutes

In this innovative talk, Sanjay Pradhan, VP of the World Bank Institute, discusses how new technologies and data platforms affect how information about aid is disseminated. Not just for data nerds, this talk has implications for everyone from donors concerned about the efficacy of their aid, to practitioners and researchers who now have more chances than ever to share best practices and hold one another accountable.

Learning From a Barefoot Movement

Bunker Roy at TEDGlobal 2011

Running Time: 19 Minutes

Bunker Roy is the founder of the Barefoot College, a school in Rajasthan, India that will change the way you think about education in rural areas. This talk itself is a case study in the importance of investing in women, educational programs and grassroots solutions to development problems.

Development as Dignity    

Dapo Oyewole at Tedxikoyi

Policy adviser and Yale World Fellow, Dapo Oyewole

Running Time: 13 Minutes

Often times, conversations about development only focus on one or two measures of poverty. In this talk, Dapo Oyewole, discusses how development programs that fail to address human dignity and liberty can never truly transform lives. At FXB, we have always taken a holistic approach to development and love to share stories from the field that illustrate why integrated solutions are essential.

What’s your favorite development TED Talk? Comment below or tweet at @FXBUSA with others we may have missed!

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