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  • Writer's pictureQhansa D.

My Favorite "Freethink" Videos (2020)

This blog post is written on April 20, 2020. So, if Freethink will be uploading other amazing videos in the future, all I can say that those videos wouldn't be on this blog post. So, you should visit their website

I found Freethink on YouTube since I was searching for an answer: Should I become a Generalist or a Specialist?

Next, I found this video called "Generalist vs. Specialist: Which Is Better?" at the top of the YouTube search result.

"In his book "Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World," authored by David Epstein, defines generalists and specialists in terms of how people accomplish their goals.

The book posits that in many fields, being a generalist is a more desirable and likely path to achieving success. After all, how many Mozarts and Tiger Woods are there in any given generation? Let's look at the difference between generalist vs. specialist.

Generalists dabble in many areas, also called "sampling," and they possess a range of knowledge. On the other hand, specialists devote hours of focus, time, and energy into just one talent. A generalist himself, Epstein says you have to give yourself permission to fail, to choose the wrong pursuit, or to work in a job that's not your ultimate dream career. These small failures are actually major learning experiences that will help you inch closer to greatness."

After I watched the video, I realized that Freethink is NOT an Ordinary YouTube Channel. Freethink is a platform for the people and ideas that are changing our world. Their award-winning videos, podcasts, articles, and events introduce the next generation of leaders to stories of entrepreneurs, innovators, artists, and activists who are thinking differently and making a difference. They partner with major brands, foundations, and non-profits to help them tell incredible stories at the intersection of innovation and impact.

Then, I decided to watch all of their videos on Youtube from the oldest video (August 15, 2016) until the latest video (April 16, 2020). Honestly, I was touched and impressed even by watching those videos only.

So, these are My Favorite Videos from Freethink:

Wrong Thinking

Will Robots Take Our Jobs? | Freethink Wrong

"We've always feared technology will kill jobs. Since the dawn of the industrial revolution, fear of automation has been on the rise. From weaving machines to cars to computers, cries about robots coming to take our jobs keep getting louder. But if the robots are taking our jobs—and they are!—then why do there seem to be even more jobs than ever?"

Creating The Impossible

How to Change the World

"Do you want to change the world? Olivia Leland, founder and CEO of Co-Impact, shares 3 lessons learned from organizations, philanthropists, and social change leaders that move the world forward."

Roundtrip Flights to Space | Freethink's The New Space Race

"Jeff Greason and his company XCOR are working on a spacecraft prototype to do exactly that. Hunkered down in the Mojave Desert, XCOR's team of aerospace engineers are striving to take more people to space in six months than NASA did in 30 years."

Leslie Dewan on Learning from Failure

"Dr. Leslie Dewan, CEO of nuclear power startup Transatomic, discusses the importance of entrepreneurs' ability to bounce back and learn from failure."

3D-Printed Bionic Hands are Changing Kids' Lives | Freethink Superhuman

"Powered by 3D printer technology, people are making prosthetics at a fraction of the cost. Watch this episode of "Superhuman" for the story of how e-NABLE, an online network of volunteers, has created 3,000 bionic hands for people in need (mostly kids) across 90 countries."

How Afghanistan's First Female Tech CEO is Empowering Women | Freethink

"Roya Mahboob became one of Afghanistan's first female tech CEOs. But Roya and her female employees have been subject to stalking, harassment, and even death threats from the Taliban. Fearing for her safety she has moved to New York. However, she's far from finished. Roya has started the Digital Citizen Fund to teach young girls in the Middle East digital literacy. Her hope is that through the program, girls will be empowered to realize their full potential. Roya's story deserves to be told. Share this video."

A White Cop and Black Barber Team Up to Bring Peace to Their City | Freethink Crossing the Divide

"In the wake of the Michael Brown shooting and the resulting unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, Shaun "Lucky" Corbett wanted to do his part to ease tensions in his own community. A barber in Charlotte, Shaun, reached out to his local police department to explore how he could help encourage and build stronger bonds between officers and the city. Shaun teamed up with Officer Rob Dance to start a mentoring program to encourage cooperation and understanding. And, so far, the program has been successful in opening up a productive and important dialogue between the police force and the community."

Meet the World's First Bionic Drummer

"Rock musician Jason Barnes lost his arm to an electrical transformer. Now he's become the world's first bionic drummer. In this documentary, we follow him and Gil Weinberg, a professor at Georgia Tech and inventor of experimental musical instruments and musical robots. Gil and Jason are working together on increasingly advanced musical prosthetics to help Jason and potentially other amputee musicians and people with disabilities regain - and surpass - their original capabilities."

"Collaborative" Robots Are Taking Our Jobs, But It Might Be a Good Thing

"The fear of a cobot taking your job is real. But it won't be the end of the world as we know it if there is a robotic uprising in the workforce. In fact, it could be a good thing. It might even allow us to retire early, like Tanja Hester, the author of "Work Optional," who we interview in this video. Instead of completely replacing jobs, think of robots taking on the duties nobody really wants, anyway. Cobots can take on tasks that aren't well-suited for the human body, like working in assembly lines. A cobot that's already helping to meet one of our most basic human needs is the FarmBot, developed by Rory Aronson. It's helping households grow their own fruits and veggies. Collaborative robots like these may force us to change our perception of the sort of work we deem worthy of human minds and hands."

How Teenagers in Baltimore are Using Code to Stop Overdose Deaths | Freethink DIY Science

"In Baltimore, Maryland--sometimes called the heroin capital of the U.S.--a group of teenagers have developed an app that can track bad batches of drugs and alert nearby users. This helps drug users know when potentially lethal combinations of heroin and fentanyl are being distributed in their community. The so-called Bad Batch Boys believe that giving the information to the people that need it most has the potential to save countless lives."

Bringing Jobs Back to Coal Country | Freethink Stand Together

"People in Appalachia have been struggling for years - but this non-profit sees an opportunity to invest in the community. Coalfield is creating new businesses and training workers with the skills they need to succeed and thrive. They've helped start six new businesses and trained hundreds of displaced workers to start new careers and while helping diversify the region's economy away from coal."

The Alzheimer's Detecting Helmet | Freethink DIY Science

"One of the biggest factors in successfully treating Alzheimer's is early detection. But how do you do that before there are any symptoms? That's what two college students are determined to figure out. Chris Look and Dhruv Patel were engineering students at the University of Maryland and also had family members who had struggled with Alzheimer's. Using DIY science and tools like 3D-printing and OpenBCI's EEG headset, they created a headset that uses A.I. and machine learning to help diagnose Alzheimer's faster and earlier than conventional tools. Now, these college students are creating a startup - Synapto - to bring their device to the market. If successful, it could help treat patients for Alzheimer's earlier and at lower cost - helping mitigate the worst effects of dementia for more people."

An Address for Every Place on Earth: Chris Sheldrick of What3Words Interview on Geolocation & GIS

"We take addresses for granted - but billions of people and places don't have them, and it's a big problem. Whether it's voting, disaster relief, or pinpointing a spot on festival grounds, not having an address makes things that should be simple difficult. Enter What3Words co-founder Chris Sheldrick, who coordinated events in the music industry where he was frustrated by address-related problems. He created What3Words, a method of dividing the entire world into 3 meter-by-3 meter squares using a set of three common words as global addresses. It's being used everywhere from Mongolia to South Africa for everything from emergency services to pizza delivery. In this interview, Chris Sheldrick describes the problem, how he came up with the idea, and how you can find ways to change the world on your own."

Teen Moms Breaking the Cycle of Poverty | Freethink Catalysts

"Hope House is helping teenage single moms in Denver learn life skills, develop positive relationships - and break the cycle of generational poverty. Hope House of Colorado began when the founder, Lisa Steven, realized there was no place for teenage single mothers experiencing abuse in the Denver area. A former teen mom herself, she realized that young women in the same situation were often experiencing trauma and violence, and needed a safe place where they could raise their kids while getting the skills to be self-sufficient long term. Hope House provides classes so that residents can find better-paying jobs to support their families long term. Equally importantly, they foster a community with long term healthy relationships and a safe place for children and mothers to flourish."

Could We End Earthquake and Hurricane Deaths? | Freethink

"Earthquakes and hurricanes kill thousands of people a year - but they don't have to. Elizabeth Hausler, the founder of Build Change, has spent years identifying the barriers to safe housing worldwide. Here, she shares how we can overcome them. When we think about what kills people in natural disasters, we might think of floods, fires, or car accidents. But, surprisingly, most people worldwide die from collapsing buildings and falling masonry. The difference between natural disaster survival and death, especially in developing countries, is often access to safe housing. While many programs have sought to build earthquake-proof or hurricane-proof houses, often they are not built with the needs of local people in mind. Elizabeth Hausler's organization, Build Change, is listening to them, using innovative virtual reality technology to help align their visions, and providing incentives to ensure that local builders construct and reinforce hurricane-proof homes that the owners love. Hopefully, the next time a natural disaster strikes, survival rates will increase, and disaster recovery will not set communities back so far."

Investing in Families to Escape Poverty

"Getting families out of poverty isn't a mystery: here's what works, and how the non-profit Family Independence Initiative is empowering more people to do it. Millions of Americans are in poverty - and endure negative stereotypes about the working poor. People assume they must be in poverty because they are not good with money, when often the opposite is true. So what keeps them from escaping poverty? Family Independence Initiative (or FII) is a non-profit organization that has studied that, and found that many people do escape poverty - but within 5 years, they fall back into it. They've found that what ultimately makes people get out of poverty for good is two things. The power of community--having social capital and a network of people able to support you. The second is enough money to overcome the incidental barriers that can snowball into larger negative consequences. From the overdue bill that accrues late fees and means you can't make rent, to a car repair that keeps you from working or your kids from getting to school, obstacles that never block better-off people can keep generations of people behind."

NYC's Whale Population is Making a Comeback

"In 2011, only five humpback whales were seen breaching the waters around New York City - dismal numbers for a whale population that once thrived in the area. This year, whale sightings have already reached over 375 unique sightings of various species. Substantial efforts to curtail whaling around the world, as well as legislation to clean up our oceans, have both contributed to the rebounding numbers of the whale population. And citizen scientists are helping document the fruit of these labors. Gotham Whale is a unique initiative that encourages sightseers on the whale watching tours in New York Harbor to participate in research and data collection."

How Urban Farming Saved a Dallas Community

"In an impoverished community in South Dallas, urban farming is growing not only fresh food but new opportunities for residents. The community of Bonton suffers daily from the effects of urban poverty, such as a lack of access to fresh, healthy food that's affordable. In fact, it takes a three-hour, roundtrip bus ride just to reach the nearest grocery store. Daron Babcock was drawn to this downtrodden community, where he now oversees one of the largest urban farms in the United States. And Bonton Farms doesn't just offer produce to the community but also jobs, nutrition programs, cooking classes, and more."

Education Breakthroughs

What Will Schools Look Like in the Future?

"Everyone wants America's education system to do better. Ex-Googler Max Ventilla has a radical idea for how to make it work more like a social network. Ventilla's AltSchool is building a highly-personalized education experience that gets better and cheaper as more students use it."

A School Made for Homeless Children | Freethink Catalysts

"The forgotten victims of homelessness are the children. Positive Tomorrows is a new school giving them the individualized education, supplies, and family support they need to succeed. When you think of homelessness, you typically don't picture homeless children. However, every year, approximately 2.5 million children experience homelessness. Homeless children can't learn when they don't know where their next meal is coming from or where they're going to sleep that night. They often struggle in public schools where they feel out of place, or unable to keep up because of their difficult circumstances that cause them to fall behind. Positive Tomorrows is a new, small school in Oklahoma that is built just for the needs of homeless children and homeless families."

How to Drive Student Engagement? Unleash a Swarm.

"In a school-wide effort to boost student engagement, our favorite middle school principal, Hamish Brewer, and his team of educators are sorting students into their very own academic houses. Inspired by J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series, more and more schools across the U.S. are adopting the traditional house system to improve academic performance, student behavior, and more. Throughout the school year, houses become enthralled in team building activities and friendly competition, using a point system to reward positive behaviors and accomplishments. Bringing students from different grade levels together, the community-centric nature of academic houses also has the power to reduce bullying and create a sense of belonging in schools."

How To Teach Kids to Read in as Little as 50 Days

"1 in 10 people in the world today can't read. Pratham's innovative approach is helping kids in developing countries learn to read in as little as 50 days. Pratham's methodology centers around teaching children based on their level rather than their age or grade. It began in India, where most kids are in school - but many aren't able to read at grade level. The success of the core approach - teaching kids at their level and not neglecting those who have fallen behind - has lead to increased reading in Indian states from Jammu and Kashmir to Tamil Nadu. It's now being used in 14 other countries around the world. Could it end up teaching hundreds of millions of kids to read? And with millions more citizens able to read, could it help developing countries prosper?"

Turning a Construction Site Into a Classroom

"unCommon Construction offers a unique alternative to your typical internship for high school students. Their program allows participating students to build a house in a semester, while developing the soft skills necessary for entering the workforce. The paid internship for high school students also offers scholarship using percentage of the proceeds from each sold house. Students learn how to take measurements, read blueprints, and use a variety of tools. They also pick up skills that are essential to hireability such as communication, responsibility, and critical thinking. Every student deserves a chance to reach their full potential, and that's exactly what unCommon Construction is enabling."

The Lost Art of Apprenticeship | Freethink Catalysts

"The Master's Apprentice is a non-profit that recruits young people from rough backgrounds - and gives them the skills to find quality careers in the Trades. "There's a huge gap between youth looking for an opportunity...and businesses looking for quality employees." It's been a problem for a long time. Urban youth without college educations find few opportunities, and often get stuck in menial jobs. On the other hand, many companies and small businesses can't find skilled workers for good jobs. The training for them seems to have skipped a generation. The Master's Apprentice is reviving an old idea - apprenticeship - to train urban youth from rough upbringings for rewarding careers. They're recruiting and paying them while they study vocational education in carpentry, HVAC, masonry, and electrical work - and general life skills they may never have gotten in disadvantaged neighborhoods and broken homes. It's a career path they might never have considered, but it's providing opportunity and a pathway into the middle class for kids who grew up in poverty."

Open Source Textbooks Save Students $1 Billion

"A growing emphasis on the importance of higher education is constantly placed on the minds of young students, but their ability to realize these opportunities is often hampered by insurmountable expenses. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that from 1977 to 2015 the cost of textbooks rose over three times the rate of inflation, totaling a 1,041% increase. OpenStax recognizes this fundamental problem and is leading the charge in the open educational resources movement by providing free textbooks to students. Since 2012, OpenStax has saved nine million students over $830 million, and their impact is growing exponentially."

Offering Prisoners a Second Chance Through Education | Freethink Stand Together

"68% of people released from prison return within three years. But less than 1% of graduates from Hudson Link for Higher Education in Prison ever return. By offering college degree programs, their mission is to give people the tools to turn their lives around and give back to their communities when released."

Learning to Code in Prison

"Over 55% of formerly incarcerated people end up back behind bars. The Last Mile is on a mission to break this cycle of recidivism, using coding. The organization provides opportunities for incarcerated individuals to spend their prison sentences acquiring marketable skills. And it's working - some are even landing a job before they're released."

Stopping Gang Violence with Love | Freethink Catalysts

"'Society gave up on us' - but this community didn't. Meet UTEC, a non-profit organization helping hardened gang members walk a better path in Lowell, Massachusetts. UTEC - or United Teen Equality Center - is a non-profit dedicated to stopping gang violence. Obviously, it's not easy - in Lowell, MA there are over 25 gangs operating, and many gang members have been in prison multiple times. Thankfully, the streetworkers of UTEC are up to the task. They're not waiting for young gang members to walk into their offices - they're going out in the streets, to hospitals, prisons, and even morgues to try and intervene and stop the cycle of violence before it claims more lives."

This Restaurant Gives At-Risk Youth a Second Chance | Freethink Stand Together

"Chef Chad Houser was a rising star in the Dallas restaurant scene, but after volunteering with kids in the criminal justice system, he felt a calling to do more. He gave up his job to start Cafe Momentum, a restaurant staffed by kids from the criminal justice system. They're given year-long paid internships where they are taught the skills to succeed in restaurants and society. It's his way of trying to fix the problems with the criminal justice system. And it works - while about half of the kids released from jail in Texas end up back there within a year, 85% of the kids who come through Cafe Momentum never go back."

Meet the Baltimore Teacher Using Dirt Bikes to Teach STEM Education | Freethink

"Baltimore's kids are obsessed with dirt bikes. Some people think it's a problem, but teacher Brittany Young is using dirt bikes to get kids into engineering and STEM education. Her organization, B-360 Baltimore, aims to use dirt bike culture to help end the cycle of poverty, disrupt the prison pipeline, and bring together communities — while giving dirt bikes a better reputation."


How to Resolve Difficult Conflicts | Freethink Crossing the Divide

"Have you ever found yourself in an argument that was so frustrating that no resolution felt possible? Harvard's top negotiation expert, Dr. Daniel Shapiro, says it's not what we're arguing about, that's the problem, it's how we're arguing. Dr. Shapiro is the author of Negotiating the Nonnegotiable and has committed his career to give people a framework for resolving their most emotionally-charged conflicts. As political and cultural tensions continue to heighten in the U.S. and around the world, we asked Dr. Shapiro how we can move forward. And he has three insights that could forge a path toward understanding."

The Key to Good Teamwork

"A recent study found that companies promoting group collaboration were 5 times more likely to be high performing. With so much riding on successful collaboration, team building should be a priority for any business leader. Working from home can make it even harder to communicate and collaborate with coworkers. And when circumstances change quickly, teams can be unexpectedly forced to figure it out. Team-building experts Mary and David Sherwin found that one of the most common reasons teams struggle in the workplace is that they have a fundamental communication disconnect. So they developed a simple team-building exercise that enables employees to get on the same page before starting new projects. It's called Team words, and it's helping businesses tackle communication challenges head-on."

The Unknown Facts

Hackers Leak Thousands of Coronavirus Research Papers

"The lack of universal access to coronavirus research articles has become a cause for concern, especially for medical communities in the developing world. Articles are oftentimes priced upwards of $50 each. Many have begun to ask why potentially life-saving research is being hidden behind these pricey paywalls. Seeing this as a monumental concern, a modern-day Robin Hood who goes by "Shrine" on Reddit broke through the paywalls to open up access to the bounty of coronavirus research online. Shrine illegally downloaded and shared over 5,000 coronavirus research papers on Reddit. While his work is obviously illegal, Shrine believes the practice of barring access to valuable information is what's truly unethical."

These 34 videos that I shared with you are only a glimpse of the total of Freethink contents. I hope you can get (at least) an inspiration from these videos.


"Everybody Can Be A Better Person, Including You! :)"

See you next time and have a great day!


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