Amy Tan did her 18 minutes on TEDTalk and I found within it new imagery for creativity. The talk was also humorous (particularly the metaphor of the uncertainty principle). What it comes down to for Ms Tan is that ambiguity and uncertainty are the wellspring of creativity.
Mena Trott spent her 18 minutes talking about blogs.
Jonathan Harris has two talks posted under Words About Words. The first deals with the programs he has written to extract information from the internet, such as We Feel Fine, in which the program captures all “I feel” statements and extrapolates location, gender, and weather. The information can then be viewed collectively and drilled down to individual statements. The visual effect of the program is interesting…the world’s emotions over several hours represented by color and movement.
Harris’ second talk, a year later, again talks about collecting stories. If you only have time for one from Harris, I recommend this one.
Then there is Carmen Agra Deedy. This is a funny woman and she tells stories!
I know that the Technology Entertainment & Design talks are, well, on the left side of things, but there is wisdom in the words of others and opportunities to learn. I chose these because they were apolitical and on topic. Head over to http://www.ted.com for more.