Jack Canfield Jack Canfield author. speaker. motivator.

Affectionately known as "America's #1 Success Coach," Jack Canfield is the originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and a leading authority in the areas of self-esteem, achievement motivation, and peak performance. [www.jackcanfield.com]

 
Arianna Huffington Arianna Huffington political powerhouse. media mogul. author.

Arianna Huffington is the co-founder and Editor in Chief of the Huffington Post and the author of twelve books. [www.huffingtonpost.com]

 
Seth Godin Seth Godin author. speaker. linchpin.

Seth Godin is a prominent author, blogger and speaker. [www.squidoo.com/linchpin]

 
Krishna Kaur Krishna Kaur yogi. philanthropist. dynamic teacher.

Krishna Kaur is the founder of YOGA for Youth, a program that takes yoga, meditation, and stimulating discussions on the philosophy of yoga to urban youth. [www.yogaforyouth.org]

 
Norman Lear Norman Lear producer. philanthropist. tv legend.

Norman Lear has enjoyed a long career in television and film. He is also a political and social activist and philanthropist. [www.normanlear.com]

 
Leilani Münter Leilani Münter race car driver. activist. carbon free girl.

Leilani Münter is a professional race car driver and an environmental activist who uses her voice in the number one spectator sport in America as a catalyst for change. [www.leilanimunter.com]

 
Kevin Bales Kevin Bales Freedom Fighter. Philanthropist. Game Changer.

By going undercover to meet slaves and slaveholders, Kevin Bales exposed modern slavery's penetration into the global economy. He co-founded Free the Slaves, which has helped to liberate thousands of slaves. [www.freetheslaves.net]

 
Sophie Chiche Sophie Chiche mom. big dreamer. lady in red.

Sophie Chiche, lifebyme.com founder and curator, enjoys asking deep questions and living a life of meaning. Today she's launching Shape House, an urban sweat lodge, a place to melt away fears and fat. [www.shapehousela.com]

 
Mastin Kipp Mastin Kipp Writer. Entrepreneur. Daily Lover.

Entrepreneur and writer Mastin Kipp founded TheDailyLove.com, which merges pop culture with inspiration, and co-founded The Love Yourself Company, an apparel company that has started a global self-esteem movement. [www.TheDailyLove.com]

 
Liz Phair Liz Phair singer. musician. crier.

Liz Phair is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. [www.lizphair.com]

 
Desmond Tutu Desmond Tutu archbishop. author. peaceful leader.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu is Chairman of The Elders, a group of world leaders who address some of the world's most pressing problems. He works energetically for human-rights and in his ministry. [www.tutu.org]

 
Zainab Salbi Zainab Salbi author. ceo. humanitarian.

Zainab Salbi is the founder and CEO of Women for Women International, a group dedicated to helping women survivors of war rebuild their lives. [www.womenforwomen.org]

 
Sean Stephenson Sean Stephenson speaker. psychotherapist. life embracer.

Despite his physical challenges, Sean Stephenson has taken a stand for a quality of life that has inspired millions of people around the world. He's a professional speaker, psychotherapist, and author. [www.timetostand.com]

 
Kia Miller Kia Miller yogi. meditator. teacher.

Kia Miller teaches Yoga at Yoga Works in Los Angeles, leads teacher trainings, and runs retreats and workshops on meditation, chakras, pranayam, and mantras, and other practices. [www.kiamiller.com]

 
Simon Mainwaring Simon Mainwaring creator. writer. idea geek.

Simon Mainwaring is an ex-Nike/Wieden creative, former Worldwide Creative Director at Motorola/Ogilvy, branding/advertising writer, author/speaker/blogger, Australian, idea geek. [www.simonmainwaring.com]

 
Shannon Bindler Shannon Bindler Strategist. Writer. Life Coach.

Shannon Bindler is a style editor, life coach, and the co-founder of Get Up Girl, an empowerment company that inspires women to shine. [www.getupgirl.com]

 
Mathieu Bitton Mathieu Bitton Designer. Art Director. Passionate Creator.

Grammy-nominated art director/designer/photographer Mathieu Bitton has designed over 450 CDs and movie posters. He's a renowned collector of and authority on black films and their soundtracks. [www.candytangerine.com]

 
Jorge Perez Jorge Perez Agent. Producer. Photography Enthusiast.

Opus Reps founder and agent-producer Jorge Perez travels the world producing photo shoots with great photographers and celebrities. He's also very involved with Meals on Wheels in Los Angeles. www.opusreps.com

 

clarity

Richard Wurman Richard Wurman ted inventor. smithonian awardee. brilliant quester.

Richard Wurman, creator of the TED conferences, wrote over 80 books on subjects he had difficulty understanding. His books come from his desire to know, rather than from already knowing. [www.TED.com]

richard_wurman_feature

I must say I’m a whore for flattery. When someone flatters me, it’s a moment of interest. I’m not proud of that, but it’s honest. I have no filter between my brain and my mouth, so I don’t censor very much. I am the reflection of my thoughts. People are constantly editing what they say. Most people try to seem smart and impress others. I think that’s the human condition.

We’ve been told that every problem can be solved. If we work hard at it, we can solve it. So when we can’t solve something, we end up telling ourselves it’s our own fault. The problem is that there are a number of issues that can’t be solved. It’s actually freeing to know that we don’t have to feel guilty when a problem can’t be solved. Instead, we can let go of the situation and move on with life.

Understanding how ignorant we are isn’t a negative thing. At university, I had a couple of great mentors. One gave me permission to be interested in the things I didn’t understand. Today, I embrace my ignorance. It’s freeing to know I can work out clarity while traveling this path I’m on. All my life projects have come not from my expertise, but from seeking out things I don’t understand or don’t know how to do, because that’s what interests me.

Lately, I’ve been looking at the notion of innovation. Innovation has become an overused, meaningless word, often used by companies when they make an improvement, which is not the same as being innovative. I’ve been thinking about what makes us truly innovative.

Some innovations come from need. Others come from a single person envisioning something new. Innovation often comes from adding. However, I’ve come to realize that innovation can also come from subtracting. The innovation behind the TED conference in 1984 was subtracting things. I subtracted the dress code, and panels. I took away the lectern so speeches couldn’t be read. Instead of having every conference be about one thing, I made every conference a theatre piece about the connections between three things: technology, entertainment, and design.

Recently, I’ve been looking at what else I can subtract. I’ve decided to subtract presentations and the audience. No films or slides. No screen. The result is a new type of meeting: improvised conversations. I’ll pair people and throw a premise their way. They’ll start an improvised conversation. Rather than showing up to tell others what to do, we can better come to the truth when we’re responding to someone else during a conversation.

Coming up with new ideas, seeing something in a way never seen before, is what makes every day interesting. People’s lives are made up of moments. Moments when we think of something we hadn’t thought before, moments when we hear or read something that hadn’t occurred to us, moments when some piece of information we hadn’t understood is unexpectedly clarified.

Life is a journey towards clarity.

– Richard Wurman

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