Since 1990, the annual TED conference has brought the world’s most intelligent, innovative, and inspiring speakers to dazzle audiences on stage. It wasn’t until 16 years later that the talks found their way online for our viewing pleasure. Here are a few of the best TED talks we think everyone should watch.
“The Voices of China’s Workers” by Leslie T. Chang
We’ve all heard the stories of young Chinese girls working at U.S.-owned manufacturing plants for pennies a day. But what we haven’t heard is the workers’ take on the experience. From a wealthy first-world perspective, such conditions indeed seem unfair and even inhumane, but journalist Leslie T. Chang turns this assumption on its head. Chang states that the girls develop confidence and drive upon leaving their villages, traits that press them onward to a successful life. While they can’t afford the fancy gadgets they’re making, they simply don’t want them. Does that justify using shamefully cheap foreign labor? Are Westerners the heroes or villains in this tale? Does Chang’s stance reveal a greater problem at large?