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John O’Leary welcomes TED Talk curator Chris Anderson on the Live Inspired Podcast to share how infectious generosity is the ultimate idea worth spreading.

As the curator of TED for more than twenty years, Chris Anderson has seen first-hand how the world’s boldest thinkers have shared their most uplifting ideas and the ways in which ideas can spread.

In his recent book Infectious Generosity released earlier this week, Chris explores how simple, ordinary, and seemingly unremarkable acts of human kindness have the potential to impact the lives of millions.

Today, Chris guides us in how to cultivate a generous mindset, how to embark on our own generous acts—whether gifts of money, time, talent, connection, or kindness—and how to prime them to have self-replicating (and even world-changing!) impact.

My friends, whether you give with open hands or seek the inspiration to make a difference, this conversation is for you.

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  • “Working for something that’s bigger than you are carries so much joy and possibility.”
  • Global Soul: Attending an international school 7,000 feet in the Himalayas with peers from nearly 40 different countries, Chris learned that what someone looks like or where they came from isn’t what shapes how you think of them.
  • “Don’t put all of your sense of self worth into a business. Ever.” Before the internet, Chris built an incredibly successful business model called Future Publishing that published more than 140 monthly special interest magazines… until the dot-com bubble burst.
  • TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, but today it spans a multitude of worldwide communities and initiatives exploring everything from science and business to education, arts and global issues. Learn more about TED here.
  • “You can give away something really valuable for free to millions of people. And every one of those gifts carries with it the most important currency of the modern era, which is reputation.” – Chris Anderson on TED’s continued success
  • In his latest book Infectious Generosity, Chris is on a mission to make “good” not boring.
  • “One of the most important forms of generosity in our moment is bridging.” In reference to Daryl Davis’ story, Chris encourages us to stand up and find something to respect with someone you disagree with.
  • “If perfection is your filter you’ll end up seeing nothing good, and you’ll end up doing nothing good.” Calling him “exhibit A for hope in the modern era,” Chris sees YouTube sensation Mr. Beast making generosity as something that be fun, cool and beautiful.
  • “In giving you will end up with two additional companions: meaning and happiness.”
  • Get a copy of Chris Anderson’s latest book Infectious Generosity here.

Did you enjoy hearing from the Head of TED?

You’ll love the TED Speakers playlist! It’s been an honor to welcome dozens of TED speakers to the Live Inspired Podcast. Hear from Brené Brown, Shawn Achor, Natalie Nixon and numerous other thinkers, doers and idea-generators on our TED Speakers playlist.


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  1. Q. What is the best book you’ve ever read?
    A. How the Mind Worksby Steven Pinker.
  2. Q. What is a characteristic or trait that you possessed as a child that you wish you still exhibited today?
    A. Curiosity.
  3. Q. Your house is on fire, all living things and people are out. You have the opportunity to run in and grab one item. What would it be?
    A. Photo albums.
  4. Q. You are sitting on a bench overlooking a gorgeous beach. You have the opportunity to have a long conversation with anyone living or dead. Who would it be?
    A. Marie Curie, one of the great early scientists who discovered radioactivity which actually killed her in the end.
  5. Q. What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
    A. As an entrepreneur, the power of passion.
  6. Q. What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
    A. It's going to be okay. It's not expected of you that you'd lead a perfect life.
  7. Q. It’s been said that all great people can have their lives summed up in one sentence. How do you want yours to read?
    A. He had a ton of crazy dreams and just occasionally they came true.