Listening to TED Talks can be a good way to take in a wide range of ideas and perspectives (Getty Images/izusek)
As social and technological disruptors continue to impact the accounting profession, CPAs need to stay ahead of the challenges and identify new opportunities for growth. From the ethics of artificial intelligence to climate change—and why accountants will help to solve it—here are a few TED Talks that are worth putting on your watch list.
FINANCIAL INCLUSION, THE GREAT DIGITAL DIVIDE AND OTHER THOUGHTS ON THE FUTURE OF MONEY
By Ajay Banga
The Mastercard CEO talks about bridging the gap between people in countries where micro businesses operate with cash only and the digital economy elsewhere in the world. Mastercard has been working with the Gates Foundation on financial inclusion in these countries, helping citizens gain access to services such as insurance, credit and investment.
WHAT COVID-19 MEANS FOR THE FUTURE OF COMMERCE, CAPITALISM AND CASH
By Dan Schulman
In this uncharacteristically long (49 minute) talk, the PayPal CEO presents his premise: capitalism needs an upgrade and that upgrade starts by paying adequate wages so people can invest in their own futures. Companies need to cultivate trust, he says, so they can recover and rebuild post-pandemic and create a more inclusive, ethical economy.
3 KINDS OF BIAS THAT SHAPE YOUR WORLDVIEW
By J. Marshall Shepherd
We keep hearing about the issue of bias in artificial intelligence, but what about the bias that lives within us? In this talk, meteorologist J. Marshall Shepherd explains how confirmation bias, the Dunning-Kruger effect and cognitive dissonance shape what we think we know and shares ideas about how we can replace our biases with something more valuable and powerful. Spoiler: That something is knowledge.
HOW NFTS ARE BUILDING THE INTERNET OF THE FUTURE
By Kayvon Tehranian
NFTs are the building blocks of the internet of the future, says technologist Kayvon Tehranian, who is the CEO of Foundation, a platform that allows creators to monetize their work. He argues that information wants to be free and that NFTs, digital assets that represent a certificate of ownership on the internet, put power and economic control back into creators' hands instead of the tech platforms. Smart contracts built into NFTs let royalties flow back to the creators instantly.
WHY ACCOUNTANTS WILL SOLVE CLIMATE CHANGE
By Kenneth Van den Bergh
Just as we need financial accountants to manage our monetary budgets, we need carbon accountants to help us manage our carbon budgets, says entrepreneur Kenneth Van den Bergh. Investors and governments are now putting their money into greener companies; he argues that this is what carbon accounting can expedite. But it needs more work; with financial accounting, there are clear rules and standards, while carbon accounting still lacks such rules and most companies still don’t reveal their carbon footprints.
HOW TO GET EVERYONE TO CARE ABOUT A GREEN ECONOMY
By Angela Francis
Climate advocate and economist, Angela Francis, discusses how we can get people to push the environment higher on their priority lists in this 11-minute talk. Her answer: we don’t. Instead, we get them to care about improving their own lives, a notion she illustrates using examples from her home country, the UK.
THE ART OF STRESS-FREE PRODUCTIVITY
By Dave Allen
This 22-minute talk offers stories and tips on how to move forward. “Getting things done is not about getting things done,” says Allen. It’s about appropriate engagement. Things are only on your mind because you still have thinking to do about them. He offers three key principles for people to follow to achieve productivity through what he refers to as paradoxes. The key issue is the lack of psychic bandwidth to think.
6 BIG ETHICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT THE FUTURE OF AI
By Genevieve Bell
Australian ethical AI expert Genevieve Bell says that AI is not “the Terminator”, it’s all around us—in buildings, in elevators and elsewhere. We're not creating a single AI, she says, we’re making the possibilities for many. She presents six questions that should frame our approach to taking AI to scale.
STAY IN THE KNOW
Check out CPA Canada’s new podcast series on how CPAs can future-proof the accounting profession, make time to read these seven business books and watch these films that shine a light on some of the big issues facing the accounting world today. Plus, see what lies ahead for CPAs and the industry with CPA Canada’s Foresight: Reimaging the Profession resources.