Pope Francis gives surprise TED talk and tells world’s leaders to be more humble

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Pope Francis has given a surprise TED talk in which he told the world’s leaders to ‘act humbly’.

The pontiff spoke for 18 minutes in a video that was filmed in Vatican City and broadcast at the annual TED conference in Vancouver, Canada.

Speaking in Italian from behind a desk, he said: ‘The more powerful you are, the more your actions will have an impact on people, the more responsible you are to act humbly.

‘If you don’t, your power will ruin you, and you will ruin the other.’

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His comments, subtitled in more than 20 languages, echoed his previous statements on the plight of immigrants and other vulnerable people.

The Pope urged solidarity to overcome a ‘culture of waste’ that had affected not only food but people cast aside by economic systems that rely increasingly on automation.

‘How wonderful would it be if the growth of scientific and technological innovation would come along with more equality and social inclusion,’ he said.

The Pope said world leaders had a responsibility to look after others.

‘You will end up hurting yourself and those around you, if you don’t connect your power with humility and tenderness,’ he said.

‘Through humility and concrete love, on the other hand, power – the highest, the strongest one – becomes a service, a force for good.’

He spoke about how many people ‘seem to believe that a happy future is something impossible to achieve’.

But he said such concerns could be ‘overcome when we do not lock our door to the outside world’.

TED’s international curator, Bruno Giussani, said it took more than a year and several discussions with the Vatican to organise the Pope’s speech.

It was filmed in a room at the Domus Sanctae Marthae, the guesthouse where the Pope lives in Vatican City.

TED talk lectures have been viewed cumulatively more than 4.6 billion times since going online in 2006.

This year’s conference will also feature talks from tennis player Serena Williams and entrepreneur Elon Musk. Past TED speakers include former US president Bill Clinton and Microsoft founder Bill Gates.

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