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The 5 Best Ted Talks for Students of Environmental Studies and Earth Sciences

Working on changing the world is anything but an easy task. And probably the most difficult step to take is the first one. But thousands of domestic and international students take on this endeavour and set out to better the world we live in and ensure that the generations to come will have a healthy environment to pursue their dreams as well.

Students analyse both local and global environmental problems and throughout their study course and programme, learn to formulate the much-required policies and strategies for sustainable development. To give them a little bit of help in their adventure, we have selected here the top 5 best Ted Talks on Environmental Studies and Earth Sciences.

1. How to rethink environmental folklore – Leyla Acaroglu

Most of us want to do the right thing when it comes to the environment. But things aren’t as simple as opting for the paper bag, says sustainability strategist Leyla Acaroglu. A bold call for us to let go of tightly-held green myths and think bigger in order to create systems and products that ease the strain on the planet.

2. How can we make the world a better place by 2030? – Michael Green

Can we end hunger and poverty, halt climate change and achieve gender equality in the next 10 years? The governments of the world think we can. Meeting at the UN in September 2015, they agreed to a new set of Global Goals for the development of the world to 2030. Social progress expert Michael Green invites us to imagine how these goals and their vision for a better world can be achieved.

3. Why I live a zero-waste life – Lauren Singer

Lauren is an Environmental Studies graduate from NYU and former Sustainability Manager at the NYC Department of Environmental Protection, and the amount of trash that she has produced over the past three years can fit inside of a 16 oz. mason jar. Lauren Singer is the author of the Zero Waste blog, Trash is for Tossers and founder of an organic cleaning product company, The Simply Co. Her work has been profiled by New York Magazine, MSNBC, NBC, AOL, CNN, Yahoo, Fox Business, BBC and NPR, among others.

4. Which country does the most good for the world? – Simon Anholt

It’s an unexpected side effect of globalization: problems that once would have stayed local—say, a bank lending out too much money—now have consequences worldwide. But still, countries operate independently, as if alone on the planet. Policy advisor Simon Anholt has dreamed up an unusual scale to get governments thinking outwardly: The Good Country Index.

5. The Earth is full – Paul Gilding

Have we used up all our resources? Have we filled up all the livable space on Earth? Paul Gilding suggests we have, and the possibility of devastating consequences, in a talk that’s equal parts terrifying and, oddly, hopeful.

These videos and descriptions have been selected from TED’s YouTube channel.

7 Speeches That Will Motivate You To Study

Looking for motivation to study? If you’re feeling unspired and unmotivated, here’s a selection of our favourite talks and speeches to keep you going. TedTalks, for those who don’t know, are presentations given by experts and industry leaders. They’re short, fascinating speeches that are easy to follow and understand. There are TedTalks about everything; from understanding schizophrenia, to study tips, to climate change, to economics. When it comes to learning, there are topics on everything from how to learn, the best techniques for learning and motivation. Here are our favourites.

1. Learning How To Learn – Barbara Oakley

Dr. Oakley flunked her way through high school, before enlisting in the U.S. Army immediately after graduation. When she saw how her lack of mathematical and technical savvy severely limited her options she returned to school with a newfound determination to re-tool her brain to master learning.

2. Learning Styles & The Importance of Critical Self-reflection – Tesia Marshik

Teachers are told that in order to be effective educators, they must identify and cater to individual students’ learning styles; it is estimated that around 90% of students believe that they have a specific learning style.

3. Teaching Methods for Inspiring the Students of the Future – Joe Ruhl

Collaboration. Communication. Critical thinking. Creativity. These should be present in all classrooms.

4. The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything – Josh Kaufman

Kaufman specialises in teaching people how to master practical knowledge and skills. In his talk, he shares how having his first child inspired him to approach learning in a whole new way.

5. Techniques to Enhance Learning and Memory – Nancy D. Chiaravalloti

Dr. Chiaravalloti discusses the learning process and techniques that have been shown to improve learning and memory in healthy persons.

6. Why Learning Is Awesome – John Green

Some people learn best in a classroom, but some thrive better in other environments. Either way, we all love to learn, and don’t let bad classroom experiences make you feel otherwise!

7. The Puzzle of Motivation – Dan Pink

Want to feel motivated to study, but can’t seem to get yourself going? Three words for you: watch this video.

7 Young Women Changing the World, Right Now

This short article is a dedication to all the strong young women out there fighting to make the world a better place. All these women have achieved great things in the face of adversity. We believe it is important for women to feel empowered and to use whatever platform they can to speak their mind and be heard.

1. Greta Thunberg (19)

“You are stealing our future”

This fantastic young woman has been all over the news for her dedication to saving the world. She truly is a pioneer in the fight against climate change. A young Swedish activist that has taken the world’s problems on her shoulders, and stood up against governments all over the world. Every Friday, Greta holds a school strike outside the Swedish parliament to protest climate change. Greta, aged only 19, has already travelled the world, made speeches, and met world leaders in her efforts to save our planet.

Click here to read our article, How to Save the World on a Student Budget.

Malala Yousafzai (24)

“One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.”

Malala is the youngest Nobel Laurette, which was awarded for her activism for female educational rights in Pakistan. In 2012, Malala was shot in the head by a member of the Taliban in retaliation to her activism, but she did not let this stop her. Malala is now studying Philosophy, Politics, and Economics at the University of Oxford, England. She’s a true inspiration to young girls all over the world and continues today to fight for female rights.

Emma Gonzalez (22)

“The people in the government who are voted into power are lying to us … And us kids seem to be the only ones who notice and are prepared to call B.S.”

Emma Gonzalez is a survivor of the Stoneman Douglas Highschool shooting in February 2018. Since then, she has been a vocal activist for gun control in America and co-founded the gun control advocacy group, Never Again MSD. Gonzalez made a speech called ‘We Call B.S.’ which went viral last year, and called out politicians funded by the NRA who are not addressing the gun issue.

Yursa Mardini (23)

“I want all refugees to be proud of me. I want to encourage them that even if we are not in our homeland, we can still do great things.”

Yursa is a refugee from Syria who fled for her life with her sister. While on the boat to Lebanon, the engine stopped and Yursa had no other choice than to tread water for three hours until the boat was fixed. Yursa realised the gift she had for swimming and trained to become an Olympian. Yursa competed as a swimmer in the Rio Olympics and has been appointed as a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, where she helps other refugees.

Halima Aden (22)

“There are so many Muslim women that feel like they don’t fit society’s standard of beauty. I just wanted to tell them it’s OK to be different; being different is beautiful, too”

Halima’s modelling contract non-negotiably includes her Hijab. She started off as a Somalian refugee, and now she is redefining beauty standards, and exposing the freedom and empowerment a Hijab provides. Halima is the first-ever Hijabi model to appear on the cover of Vogue Arabia and British Vogue, and the first ever model to don a burqini on the cover of Sports Illustrated. She’s beautiful, and a true inspiration.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (32)

“Leadership starts with our choices.”

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the youngest ever female member of Congress in the United States. Alexandria has built a large social media following and uses it as a platform to hear the voices of young Americans. She came from a poor immigrant family in the Bronx and worked 18-hour shifts as a teenager in order to help support her mother. Ocasio-Cortez has signed the ‘Green New Deal’ to help manage climate change, is an activist for immigrant rights, and is an advocate for raising the minimum wage.

Nadia Murad (29)

“I want to be the last girl in the world with a story like mine.”

Nadia was kidnapped and held prisoner by ISIS for three months and was held as a sex slave. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her efforts towards ending human sex trafficking. She is the founder of the Nadia Initiative, an organization dedicated to helping women and children victimized by genocide, mass atrocities, and human trafficking to heal and rebuild their lives and communities.

Let’s hear it for the strong, powerful, inspirational women in our world today.