In need of a little new year's inspiration? Broadsheet recommends novelist Isabel Allende's poignant and hilarious talk on passion, writing, beauty and feminism given in Monterey, Calif., at the TED conference last year in March. (It was just posted on the TED site in January 2008.)
It's moving to watch Allende exhort the elite audience of business movers and shakers to become champions for the poorest women in the world, and somehow she manages to make that message fun. Allende's delivery is priceless, so it's really worth catching the whole 18 minutes. But here's one highlight: "I was born in ancient times at the end of the world in a patriarchal, Catholic and conservative family. No wonder that by age five I was a raging feminist, although the term had not reached Chile yet, so nobody knew what the heck was wrong with me. I would soon find out that there was a high price to pay for my freedom and for questioning the patriarchy, but I was happy to pay it because for every blow that I received I was able to deliver two." See Allende deliver those blows here.