TED TALKS: Ideas you can't ignore

Course Number


Study Group Leader (SGL)

Quinn Rosefsky


This course will take place virtually on Zoom. Participation requires a device (ideally a computer or tablet, rather than a cell phone) with a camera and microphone in good working order and basic familiarity with using Zoom and accessing email.

10-Week Course

Feb. 27 - May 7. No Class April 23.


“TED Talks: Ideas You Can’t Ignore,” is based on a collection of outstanding video talks recorded by TED over the past ten years. For this course, the SGL has selected some of the most compelling TED Talk videos and organized them into five categories: Brain Power & Will Power; Befuddling Situations; Inspiring People and Inspiring Inventions; Essential Knowledge; and Epiphanies. In this discussion-driven course, the goal is to provide fresh insights and knowledge. A sample of actual lecture titles that the class will explore include the following: “How to make hard choices” (Ruth Chang, 2014), “Three myths about corruption” (Afa Raymond, 2013), “A glimpse at Artificial Intelligence” (Maurice Conti, 2016), “What really matters at the end of life” (BJ Miller, 2015), “The effect of playing Monopoly with real money” (Adam Carroll, 2015). These TED talks are worthy of study because the information they contain is salient and fascinating. The charismatic presenters, all of whom have excellent credentials, represent a wide variety of people from around the world. Their lecture style and subject matter easily promote further discussion. Weekly homework, the springboard for class time discussion, consists of watching two short TED videos and reading two targeted articles. Videos will not be shown in class. Because this is not a lecture course, participants’ familiarization with homework is essential.

Group Leadership Style

More facilitated discussion than lecture.

Course Materials

Three to four short articles per week which will be available via our website along with two, 15-18 minute videos to watch in preparation for each class.

There will be 8-10 study questions each week relative to the readings and videos.

Preparation Time

Two hours per week.


Quinn Rosefsky is a retired psychiatrist. He spent the final years of his career working with Native Americans. In retirement since 2012, he has enjoyed creativity (writing and watercolor) and the process of putting together and leading or co-leading multiple BOLLI courses.