The 6 Most Incredible TED Talks You Need to Hear

Think of it as Life School, with all the inspiration and none of the homework.

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Sheryl Sandberg: Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders

Before Lean In, Sandberg shared her words of wisdom on women and leadership positions in her immensely popular TED talk. Consider this a primer.

In a talk that went viral—it's had nearly 6 million views—the model takes a critical look at how women are shaped by others' perceptions of them, and how those perceptions impact happiness. She also takes a hard look at privilege, and has a refreshingly honest take: "When I was writing this talk, I found it very difficult to strike an honest balance, because on the one hand, I felt very uncomfortable to come out here and say, 'Look I've received all these benefits from a deck stacked in my favor,' and it also felt really uncomfortable to follow that up with, 'and it doesn't always make me happy.' But mostly it was difficult to unpack a legacy of gender and racial oppression when I am one of the biggest beneficiaries."

The Americanah author shared her story of immigrating to the U.S. and the problems that arise when you believe in a singular framework of the world. "Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign, but stories can also be used to empower," she says.

The writer and domestic violence awareness advocate tackles the one question every person always asks when it comes to domestic abuse: "Why does she stay?" Steiner not only delves into the psychology of the victim, but also tackles how we understand and frame domestic abuse. "I don't look like a typical domestic abuse survivor. I have a BA from Harvard College, an MBA from Wharton Business School," she says. "I never once thought of myself as a battered wife. Instead I was a very strong woman in love with a deeply troubled man, and I was the only person on earth who could help Connor face his demons."

What is feminism and why does the younger generation eschew the word? Courtney Martin explores the three problems her generation has with the term—and how it's being redefined.

The co-author of Half the Sky (along with New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof) gives a voice to the number of women being oppressed globally—and what it'll take to change that.

Samantha Leal
Samantha Leal

I'm Sam, the senior editor at I love shining a light on awesome people doing things that matter, cool products and hacks for everyday life, and advice you'll actually use. I'm pretty much always looking for the perfect GIF for any situation. When I'm not trolling the internet, I can be found dancing like a weirdo or napping like it's my job. Right now, I'm probably eating or drinking something filled with sugar or booze. (Sorry, mom.)