Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan's TED message: Love is the future

"I truly believe that humanity is a lot like me," Shah Rukh Khan told the crowd assembled for his highly anticipated talk at TED 2017 in Vancouver.

"[Humanity] is an aging movie star."

In his talk, Khan drew parallels between his own meteoric rise to Bollywood fame and the explosive growth of technology and human innovation within his lifetime — as well as the existential crisis both have created.

In this new hyper-connected world, Khan said, it can be hard to know what is real, and how to be honest about oneself.

"Humanity, like me, was becoming an overexposed prima donna," Khan said with charming self-deprecation — a tone that permeated much of his talk.

Khan addressed the TED 2017 theme of "the future you" head on, saying the most important thing humanity can do for its future is to use its capacity for love to the fullest.

"I truly believe the future you has to be a you that loves," Khan said. "Otherwise, it will cease to flourish. It will perish in its own self-absorbtion."

Bringing TED to India

Khan told CBC News he was nervous to be giving the talk in the presence of such luminaries as Elon Musk and Serena Williams, feeling somewhat out of place.

"I'm just an actor," he said. "I'm nobody more important than that."

But it's no coincidence Khan is speaking at the main TED 2017 event in Vancouver. Khan is set to host a new TV program, "TED Talks India: Nayi soch," that will bring the TED format to Indian airwaves for the first time.

"Nayi soch," Khan says, translates roughly as "new way to think." He hopes the series will encourage Indians across the country to share their innovative ideas.

"There's so many people in the interior of India, in smaller towns and villages who are ... innovating, experimenting and inventing stuff that doesn't come to the fore," Khan said.

"[But] when you watch a great soccer player, you want to be a soccer player," Khan continued. "You watch some singer and you say, I wish I could sing like this person. So I think when you hear of all the things that are presented and brought forth in a TED program, I think there will be more thinkers, more innovators, and I think our country needs it."

With files from Lisa Johnson.