October 11, 2014 LONDON UK
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TEDxTeen 2012

The Wisdom of Not Knowing


Filmed by Kevin Slack - Edited by Greg Titian

In an age of global warming, debt crises, and cyber wars, it might seem that what we don’t know is threatening. Every day, we realize how much we don’t know, from big (95% of the universe is dark energy or dark matter) to small—all those twists and turns we’ve experienced on our own life pathways.

Yet it’s in those dark spots, those roads not taken yet, where we make our discoveries—staring through a telescope or a camera, holding protest signs or a pen to paper. How do we know what’s going to happen?

When we don’t let our “others have failed—I’m too young—the problem’s too big” sort of knowledge become a roadblock to dreams, we can change the world. Call it the magical properties of not knowing…the unstoppable power of ideas.

So, is not knowing such a bad thing? Sometimes, it may be the wisest thing of all.

Adora Svitak, 13-year-old Author, Teacher, Speaker, Activist, TEDxRedmond Curator