Kio Stark: Why you should talk to strangers
Kio Stark - Stranger enthusiast
Kio Stark explores the myriad ways encounters with strangers impact our lives. Full bio
And, in some ways, they are.
or what the day is like.
documenting my experiences
really beautiful was going on.
waiting for the light to change,
in the street on the storm drain,
standing next to me.
and sort of an old-man hat,
I stepped back onto the sidewalk.
so happy that he'd saved me.
my existence as a person
that strangers are dangerous by default,
that they might hurt us.
because we have no context.
and making choices,
I say that to her,
but as a woman, particularly,
on the street has the best intentions.
and it's good to learn when not to be,
we have to be afraid.
for learning about them.
about people as individuals.
who travels frequently
as a real, individual person.
other people see you that way, too.
has to do with intimacy.
a little counterintuitive,
can lead to a feeling
that has emotional resonance and meaning.
of the storm drain by the old man,
on my train on the way to work.
that people often feel more comfortable
about their inner selves with strangers
and their families --
more understood by strangers.
with great lament.
better than spouses!"
these interactions can be;
as much as we need our friends
so well with strangers?
it's a quick interaction.
you're never going to see again, right?
it gets more interesting.
to people we're close to.
that your friend or your spouse
that you want to leave early.
to start from scratch.
how we feel about them;
understand us a little better.
that talking to strangers matters,
we tend to follow.
depending on what country you're in,
between civility and privacy.
towards each other on the street.
from a distance.
they'll look away,
not to interact at all.
to talking to strangers,
miss their stop on the bus
that they need to get around.
shuffling of bags
that you need to get past,
culture of hospitality.
for a sip of water.
to invite you home for coffee.
most clearly when they're broken,
what the right thing to do is.
is where the action is.
I really want you to do this. OK?
or in the hallway here, smile.
that you both might see and comment on,
and see if starts a conversation.
fabulous shoes right now,
as far as giving compliments goes.
about their awesome shoes.
the dogs and babies principle.
to talk to someone on the street;
they're going to respond.
to their dog or their baby.
I talked about of feeling understood.
or, "Where does he live?"
disclosure with disclosure,
you're making beautiful interruptions
of your daily life
you're missing out on all of that.
more time teaching ourselves?
that make us so suspicious of each other.
About the speaker:Kio Stark - Stranger enthusiast
Kio Stark explores the myriad ways encounters with strangers impact our lives.
Why you should listen
Kio Stark has always talked to strangers. She started documenting her experiences when she realized that not everyone shares this predilection. She's done extensive research into the emotional and political dimensions of stranger interactions and the complex dynamics how people relate to each other in public places.
Her novel Follow Me Down began as a series of true vignettes about strangers placed in the fictional context of a woman unraveling the eerie history of a lost letter misdelivered to her door.
Stark did doctoral work at Yale University’s American Studies program, where she thought a lot about the history of science and medicine, urban studies, art, and race -- and then dropped out. Because she also taught graduate courses at NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program, numberless people consulted her about whether or not to go back to school. Those conversations inspired Don't Go Back to School, a handbook for independent learners.
Stark is the author of the TED Book When Strangers Meet, in which she argues for the pleasures and transformative possibilities of talking to people you don’t know.
Beyond strangers, Stark's abiding fixations include the invisibility of technology; how people learn; practices of generosity and mutual aid; the culture, infrastructure and ephemera of cities; mythology and fairy tales; and advocating for independent learning, data literacy, social justice and feminism. Fiction writers get to dive down wonderful rabbit holes, and some of her favorites have been the forging and stealing of art, secret societies, the daily lives of medical examiners, the physics of elementary particles, bridge design, the history of maps, the mechanisms of wrongful conviction and psychoanalysis.
When not writing books, Stark has worked in journalism, interactive advertising, community research and game design. She writes, teaches and speaks around the world about stranger interactions, independent learning and how people relate to technology. She also consults for startups and large companies helping them think about stranger interactions among their users and audiences.
Kio Stark | Speaker | TED.com