11 Apr The World’s Most Influential Thinkers TALK at Google
Google wanted to put all of the world’s most influential thinkers, creators, makers and doers in the same room, to share what they have to say, so Talks at Google was created. The Talks at Google program brings authors, innovators, scientists, actors, actresses, artists, filmmakers, musicians, and keynote speakers of all kinds to Google for talks centering on their work. Interested Google employees receive an e-mail each time a scientist, an artist, a politician, an actor, a business leader, a cast from a Broadway show, an investor, or any expert are coming to give a talk at a Google office. The Talks is one of the company’s most beloved perks and a staple of their unique culture. It was started in 2006 by Googlers who noticed that some pretty interesting people were walking through the hallways, and thought, “how about we sit down and talk to them?” They invited anyone at Google to attend, recorded the talks and put them on YouTube so that, following Google’s mission, the talks would be universally accessible and useful.
Eleven years later, there have been more than 4,000 Talks at Google events. It started with talks from Googlers themselves, then expanded to authors and experts from all around the world with different backgrounds. The talks are hosted by Googler volunteers in offices around the world, with about 12 talks happening each week. Rachael O’Meara is just one of the Googler volunteers who organized a Talk. She brought in Freddie Ravel to the Mountainview Campus. “Google gave me the unique opportunity to share a talent with the world. I brought in Freddie Ravel, a grammy nominate musician, who parallels music and business. He was fantastic.”
Just to name a few, some of the other favorites at Google have been:
- Headspace co-founder Andy Puddicombe shares how anyone can meditate—even if that means just sitting quietly for ten seconds.
- Chris Anderson, curator of the TED Conference, discusses TED’s evolution to “a media organization devoted to sharing ideas,” how to make a story come to life on stage, and the importance of nurturing curiosity.
- Behavioral economist Dan Ariely discusses why a canoe is the best place to test your long-term compatibility, and shares insights and advice for relationship-seekers in the age of dating apps.
- Iconic fashion designer Diane von Fürstenberg shares a timeline of her life (and her unique sense of humor), sprinkled with personal anecdotes from her early days in Belgium and her rise to fashion fame.
- Legendary feminist activist, author and journalist Gloria Steinem discusses her eighth book “My Life on the Road,” the ancient cultures that most inspire her and technology’s influence on human interaction.
- Actress, writer, comedian and producer Tina Fey brings her comedic chops to Google to discuss her book “Bossypants,” and insights from her experience as a woman in Hollywood.
These keynote speakers, business experts, scientists, and countless other Talks at Google including 800 guests in 2017 alone, can be found on Youtube.
Rachael O’Meara is Sr Program Manager at Google and the author of Pause