TED Talks Daily

TED Talks Daily

www.ted.com/talks
Want TED Talks on the go? Every weekday, this feed brings you our latest talks in audio format. Hear thought-provoking ideas on every subject imaginable — from Artificial Intelligence to Zoology, and everything in between — given by the world’s lead
How I became part sea urchin | Catherine Mohr
Sep 21 • 6 min
As a young scientist, Catherine Mohr was on her dream scuba trip — when she put her hand right down on a spiny sea urchin. While a school of sharks circled above. What happened next? More than you can possibly imagine. Settle in for this fabulous story…
Why museums are returning cultural treasures | Chip Colwell
Sep 20 • 13 min
Archaeologist and curator Chip Colwell collects artifacts for his museum, but he also returns them to where they came from. In a thought-provoking talk, he shares how some museums are confronting their legacies of stealing spiritual objects and pillaging…
How we could teach our bodies to heal faster | Kaitlyn Sadtler
Sep 20 • 4 min
What if we could help our bodies heal faster and without scars, like Wolverine in X-Men? TED Fellow Kaitlyn Sadtler is working to make this dream a reality by developing new biomaterials that could change how our immune system responds to injuries. In…
Why the hospital of the future will be your own home | Niels van Namen
Sep 19 • 11 min
Nobody likes going to the hospital, whether it’s because of the logistical challenges of getting there, the astronomical costs of procedures or the alarming risks of complications like antibiotic-resistant bacteria. But what if we could get the lifesaving…
The press trampled on my privacy. Here’s how I took back my story | Kate Stone
Sep 18 • 6 min
After a horrific accident put her in the tabloid headlines, Kate Stone found a way to take control of her narrative — and help prevent others from losing their privacy, too. Learn how she reclaimed her story in this personal talk infused with humor and…
Why we choke under pressure — and how to avoid it | Sian Leah Beilock
Sep 18 • 15 min
When the pressure is on, why do we sometimes fail to live up to our potential? Cognitive scientist and Barnard College president Sian Leah Beilock reveals what happens in your brain and body when you choke in stressful situations, sharing psychological…
Your fingerprints reveal more than you think | Simona Francese
Sep 17 • 10 min
Our fingerprints are what make us unique — but they’re also home to a world of information hidden in molecules that reveal our actions, lifestyles and routines. In this riveting talk, chemist Simona Francese shows how she studies these microscopic traces…
3 ways to make better decisions — by thinking like a computer | Tom Griffiths
Sep 14 • 11 min
If you ever struggle to make decisions, here’s a talk for you. Cognitive scientist Tom Griffiths shows how we can apply the logic of computers to untangle tricky human problems, sharing three practical strategies for making better decisions — on…
How to create a world where no one dies waiting for a transplant | Luhan Yang
Sep 13 • 13 min
For nearly half a century, scientists have been trying to create a process for transplanting animal organs into humans, a theoretical dream that could help the hundreds of thousands of people in need of a lifesaving transplant. But the risks, specifically…
How I’m using LEGO to teach Arabic | Ghada Wali
Sep 13 • 8 min
After a visit to a European library in search of Arabic and Middle Eastern texts turned up only titles about fear, terrorism and destruction, Ghada Wali resolved to represent her culture in a fun, accessible way. The result: a colorful, engaging project…
What are the most important moral problems of our time? | Will MacAskill
Sep 12 • 11 min
Of all the problems facing humanity, which should we focus on solving first? In a compelling talk about how to make the world better, moral philosopher Will MacAskill provides a framework for answering this question based on the philosophy of “effective…
Did the global response to 9/11 make us safer? | Benedetta Berti
Sep 11 • 7 min
If we want sustainable, long-term security to be the norm in the world, it’s time to radically rethink how we can achieve it, says TED Fellow and conflict researcher Benedetta Berti. In an eye-opening talk, Berti explains how building a safer world has a…
A new way to fund health care for the most vulnerable | Andrew Bastawrous
Sep 10 • 11 min
In 2011, eye surgeon and TED Fellow Andrew Bastawrous developed a smartphone app that brings quality eye care to remote communities, helping people avoid losing their sight to curable or preventable conditions. Along the way, he noticed a problem: strict…
How AI could compose a personalized soundtrack to your life | Pierre Barreau
Sep 10 • 8 min
Meet AIVA, an artificial intelligence that has been trained in the art of music composition by reading more than 30,000 of history’s greatest scores. In a mesmerizing talk and demo, Pierre Barreau plays compositions created by AIVA and shares his dream:…
A love letter to realism in a time of grief | Mark Pollock and Simone George
Sep 7 • 19 min
When faced with life’s toughest circumstances, how should we respond: as an optimist, a realist or something else? In an unforgettable talk, explorer Mark Pollock and human rights lawyer Simone George explore the tension between acceptance and hope in…
Let’s launch a satellite to track a threatening greenhouse gas | Fred Krupp
Sep 6 • 8 min
When we talk about greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide gets the most attention — but methane, which often escapes unseen from pipes and wells, has a far greater immediate impact on global warming. Environmentalist Fred Krupp has an idea to fix the problem:…
3 ways businesses can fight sex trafficking | Nikki Clifton
Sep 6 • 12 min
Sex buying doesn’t just happen late at night on street corners in the shady part of town — it also happens online, in the middle of the workday, using company equipment and resources. With this problem comes an opportunity, says attorney Nikki Clifton,…
What commercialization is doing to cannabis | Ben Cort
Sep 5 • 16 min
In 2012, Colorado legalized cannabis and added to what has fast become a multibillion-dollar global industry for all things weed-related: from vape pens to brownies and beyond. But to say that we’ve legalized marijuana is subtly misleading — what we’ve…
How data is helping us unravel the mysteries of the brain | Steve McCarroll
Sep 4 • 17 min
Geneticist Steve McCarroll wants to make an atlas of all the cells in the human body so that we can understand in precise detail how specific genes work, especially in the brain. In this fascinating talk, he shares his team’s progress — including their…
The new American Dream | Courtney E. Martin
Sep 3 • 15 min
For the first time in history, the majority of American parents don’t think their kids will be better off than they were. This shouldn’t be a cause for alarm, says journalist Courtney E. Martin. Rather, it’s an opportunity to define a new approach to work…
Let’s get honest about our money problems | Tammy Lally
Aug 31 • 12 min
Struggling to budget and manage finances is common — but talking honestly and openly about it isn’t. Why do we hide our problems around money? In this thoughtful, personal talk, author Tammy Lally encourages us to break free of “money shame” and shows us…
A new way to think about the transition to motherhood | Alexandra Sacks
Aug 30 • 6 min
When a baby is born, so is a mother — but the natural (and sometimes unsteady) process of transition to motherhood is often silenced by shame or misdiagnosed as postpartum depression. In this quick, informative talk, reproductive psychiatrist Alexandra…
How I went from child refugee to international model | Halima Aden
Aug 30 • 7 min
Halima Aden made history when she became the first hijab-wearing model on the cover of Vogue magazine. Now she returns to Kenya’s Kakuma Refugee Camp — where she was born and lived until the age of seven — to share an inspiring message about what she’s…
How China is (and isn’t) fighting pollution and climate change | Angel Hsu
Aug 29 • 12 min
China is the world’s biggest polluter — and now one of its largest producers of clean energy. Which way will China go in the future, and how will it affect the global environment? Data scientist Angel Hsu describes how the most populous country on earth…
A rare galaxy that’s challenging our understanding of the universe | Burçin Mutlu-Pakdil
Aug 28 • 4 min
What’s it like to discover a galaxy — and have it named after you? Astrophysicist and TED Fellow Burçin Mutlu-Pakdil lets us know in this quick talk about her team’s surprising discovery of a mysterious new galaxy type.
How art can shape America’s conversation about freedom | Dread Scott
Aug 27 • 4 min
In this quick talk, visual artist Dread Scott tells the story of one of his most transgressive art installations, which drew national attention for its controversial use of the American flag and led to a landmark First Amendment case in the US Supreme…
Don’t fear superintelligent AI | Grady Booch
Aug 24 • 10 min
New tech spawns new anxieties, says scientist and philosopher Grady Booch, but we don’t need to be afraid an all-powerful, unfeeling AI. Booch allays our worst (sci-fi induced) fears about superintelligent computers by explaining how we’ll teach, not…
Don’t fail fast — fail mindfully | Leticia Gasca
Aug 23 • 12 min
We celebrate bold entrepreneurs whose ingenuity led them to success, but what happens to those who fail? Far too often, they bury their stories out of shame or humiliation — and miss out on a valuable opportunity for growth, says author and entrepreneur…
How to get serious about diversity and inclusion in the workplace | Janet Stovall
Aug 22 • 11 min
Imagine a workplace where people of all colors and races are able to climb every rung of the corporate ladder — and where the lessons we learn about diversity at work actually transform the things we do, think and say outside the office. How do we get…
To transform child welfare, take race out of the equation | Jessica Pryce
Aug 21 • 7 min
In this eye-opening talk about the impact of race and neighborhood on foster-care decisions, social worker Jessica Pryce shares a promising solution to help child welfare agencies make bias-free assessments about when to remove children from their…
Why the “wrong side of the tracks” is usually the east side of cities | Stephen DeBerry
Aug 21 • 6 min
What do communities on the social, economic and environmental margins have in common? For one thing, they tend to be on the east sides of cities. In this short talk about a surprising insight, anthropologist and venture capitalist Stephen DeBerry explains…
How women in rural India turned courage into capital | Chetna Gala Sinha
Aug 20 • 14 min
When bankers refused to serve her neighbors in rural India, Chetna Gala Sinha did the next best thing: she opened a bank of her own, the first ever for and by women in the country. In this inspiring talk, she shares stories of the women who encouraged her…
How urban spaces can preserve history and build community | Walter Hood
Aug 17 • 14 min
Can public spaces both reclaim the past and embrace the future? Landscape architect Walter Hood has explored this question over the course of an iconic career, with projects ranging from Lafayette Square Park in San Francisco to the upcoming International…
How cancer cells communicate — and how we can slow them down | Hasini Jayatilaka
Aug 16 • 10 min
When cancer cells are closely packed together in a tumor, they’re able to communicate with each other and coordinate their movement throughout the body. What if we could interrupt this process? In this accessible talk about cutting-edge science, Hasini…
What a scrapyard in Ghana can teach us about innovation | DK Osseo-Asare
Aug 16 • 14 min
In Agbogbloshie, a community in Accra, Ghana, people descend on a scrapyard to mine electronic waste for recyclable materials. Without formal training, these urban miners often teach themselves the workings of electronics by taking them apart and putting…
Why I fight for the education of refugee girls (like me) | Mary Maker
Aug 15 • 16 min
After fleeing war-torn South Sudan as a child, Mary Maker found security and hope in the school at Kenya’s Kakuma Refugee Camp. Now a teacher of young refugees herself, she sees education as an essential tool for rebuilding lives — and empowering a…
The little risks you can take to increase your luck | Tina Seelig
Aug 14 • 11 min
Luck is rarely a lightning strike, isolated and dramatic — it’s much more like the wind, blowing constantly. Catching more of it is easy but not obvious. In this insightful talk, Stanford engineering school professor Tina Seelig shares three unexpected…
How teachers can help kids find their political voices | Sydney Chaffee
Aug 14 • 16 min
Social justice belongs in our schools, says educator Sydney Chaffee. In a bold talk, she shows how teaching students to engage in activism helps them build important academic and life skills — and asks us to rethink how we can use education to help kids…
How AI can save our humanity | Kai-Fu Lee
Aug 13 • 14 min
AI is massively transforming our world, but there’s one thing it cannot do: love. In a visionary talk, computer scientist Kai-Fu Lee details how the US and China are driving a deep learning revolution — and shares a blueprint for how humans can thrive in…
Who belongs in a city? | OluTimehin Adegbeye
Aug 10 • 12 min
Underneath every shiny new megacity, there’s often a story of communities displaced. In this moving, poetic talk, OluTimehin Adegbeye details how government land grabs are destroying the lives of thousands who live in the coastal communities of Lagos,…
A doctor’s case for medical marijuana | David Casarett
Aug 9 • 15 min
Physician David Casarett was tired of hearing hype and half-truths around medical marijuana, so he put on his skeptic’s hat and investigated on his own. He comes back with a fascinating report on what we know and what we don’t — and what mainstream…
Want to be more creative? Go for a walk | Marily Oppezzo
Aug 8 • 5 min
When trying to come up with a new idea, we all have times when we get stuck. But according to research by behavioral and learning scientist Marily Oppezzo, getting up and going for a walk might be all it takes to get your creative juices flowing. In this…
The gift and power of emotional courage | Susan David
Aug 6 • 16 min
Psychologist Susan David shares how the way we deal with our emotions shapes everything that matters: our actions, careers, relationships, health and happiness. In this deeply moving, humorous and potentially life-changing talk, she challenges a culture…
Why I’m done trying to be “man enough” | Justin Baldoni
Aug 3 • 18 min
Justin Baldoni wants to start a dialogue with men about redefining masculinity — to figure out ways to be not just good men but good humans. In a warm, personal talk, he shares his effort to reconcile who he is with who the world tells him a man should…
The revolutionary power of diverse thought | Elif Shafak
Aug 2 • 21 min
“From populist demagogues, we will learn the indispensability of democracy,” says novelist Elif Shafak. “From isolationists, we will learn the need for global solidarity. And from tribalists, we will learn the beauty of cosmopolitanism.” A native of…
There’s more to life than being happy | Emily Esfahani Smith
Jul 31 • 12 min
Our culture is obsessed with happiness, but what if there’s a more fulfilling path? Happiness comes and goes, says writer Emily Esfahani Smith, but having meaning in life — serving something beyond yourself and developing the best within you — gives you…
A black man goes undercover in the alt-right | Theo E.J. Wilson
Jul 30 • 18 min
In an unmissable talk about race and politics in America, Theo E.J. Wilson tells the story of becoming Lucius25, white supremacist lurker, and the unexpected compassion and surprising perspective he found from engaging with people he disagrees with. He…
Get comfortable with being uncomfortable | Luvvie Ajayi
Jul 27 • 10 min
Luvvie Ajayi isn’t afraid to speak her mind or to be the one dissenting voice in a crowd, and neither should you. “Your silence serves no one,” says the writer, activist and self-proclaimed professional troublemaker. In this bright, uplifting talk, Ajayi…
You may be accidentally investing in cigarette companies | Bronwyn King
Jul 26 • 14 min
Tobacco causes more than seven million deaths every year — and many of us are far more complicit in the problem than we realize. In a bold talk, oncologist Dr. Bronwyn King tells the story of how she uncovered the deep ties between the tobacco industry…
How boredom can lead to your most brilliant ideas | Manoush Zomorodi
Jul 25 • 16 min
Do you sometimes have your most creative ideas while folding laundry, washing dishes or doing nothing in particular? It’s because when your body goes on autopilot, your brain gets busy forming new neural connections that connect ideas and solve problems.…
How to stop swiping and find your person on dating apps | Christina Wallace
Jul 24 • 5 min
Let’s face it, online dating can suck. So many potential people, so much time wasted — is it even worth it? Podcaster and entrepreneur Christina Wallace thinks so, if you do it right. In a funny, practical talk, Wallace shares how she used her MBA skill…
How AI is making it easier to diagnose disease | Pratik Shah
Jul 24 • 4 min
Today’s AI algorithms require tens of thousands of expensive medical images to detect a patient’s disease. What if we could drastically reduce the amount of data needed to train an AI, making diagnoses low-cost and more effective? TED Fellow Pratik Shah…
Why doctors are offering free tax prep in their waiting rooms | Lucy Marcil
Jul 23 • 4 min
More than 90 percent of children in the US see a doctor at least once a year, which means countless hours spent in waiting rooms for parents. What if those hours could be used for something productive — like saving money? Through her organization…
How to train employees to have difficult conversations | Tamekia MizLadi Smith
Jul 20 • 8 min
It’s time to invest in face-to-face training that empowers employees to have difficult conversations, says Tamekia MizLadi Smith. In a witty, provocative talk, Smith shares a workplace training program called “I’m G.R.A.C.E.D.” that will inspire bosses…
Where are all the aliens? | Stephen Webb
Jul 19 • 13 min
The universe is incredibly old, astoundingly vast and populated by trillions of planets — so where are all the aliens? Astronomer Stephen Webb has an explanation: we’re alone in the universe. In a mind-expanding talk, he spells out the remarkable barriers…
What the Russian Revolution would have looked like on social media | Mikhail Zygar
Jul 18 • 4 min
History is written by the victors, as the saying goes — but what would it look like if it was written by everyone? Journalist and TED Fellow Mikhail Zygar is on a mission to show us with Project1917, a “social network for dead people” that posts the real…
What your smart devices know (and share) about you | Kashmir Hill and Surya Mattu
Jul 18 • 9 min
Once your smart devices can talk to you, who else are they talking to? Kashmir Hill and Surya Mattu wanted to find out — so they outfitted Hill’s apartment with 18 different internet-connected devices and built a special router to track how often they…
The power of diversity within yourself | Rebeca Hwang
Jul 17 • 9 min
Rebeca Hwang has spent a lifetime juggling identities — Korean heritage, Argentinian upbringing, education in the United States — and for a long time she had difficulty finding a place in the world to call home. Yet along with these challenges came a…
The mission to create a searchable database of Earth’s surface | Will Marshall
Jul 16 • 6 min
What if you could search the surface of the Earth the same way you search the internet? Will Marshall and his team at Planet use the world’s largest fleet of satellites to image the entire Earth every day. Now they’re moving on to a new project: using AI…
How to have better political conversations | Robb Willer
Jul 13 • 12 min
Robb Willer studies the forces that unite and divide us. As a social psychologist, he researches how moral values — typically a source of division — can also be used to bring people together. Willer shares compelling insights on how we might bridge the…
An honest look at the personal finance crisis | Elizabeth White
Jul 12 • 18 min
Millions of baby boomers are moving into their senior years with empty pockets and declining choices to earn a living. And right behind them is a younger generation facing the same challenges. In this deeply personal talk, author Elizabeth White opens up…
A new way to monitor vital signs (that can see through walls) | Dina Katabi
Jul 12 • 13 min
At MIT, Dina Katabi and her team are working on a bold new way to monitor patients’ vital signs in a hospital (or even at home), without wearables or bulky, beeping devices. Bonus: it can see through walls. In a mind-blowing talk and demo, Katabi previews…
How to build synthetic DNA and send it across the internet | Dan Gibson
Jul 11 • 15 min
Biologist Dan Gibson edits and programs DNA, just like coders program a computer. But his “code” creates life, giving scientists the power to convert digital information into biological material like proteins and vaccines. Now he’s on to a new project:…
How we study the microbes living in your gut | Dan Knights
Jul 10 • 9 min
There are about a hundred trillion microbes living inside your gut — protecting you from infection, aiding digestion and regulating your immune system. As our bodies have adapted to life in modern society, we’ve started to lose some of our normal…
How farming could employ Africa’s young workforce — and help build peace | Kola Masha
Jul 10 • 10 min
Africa’s youth is coming of age rapidly, but job growth on the continent isn’t keeping up. The result: financial insecurity and, in some cases, a turn towards insurgent groups. In a passionate talk, agricultural entrepreneur Kola Masha details his plan to…
The rapid growth of the Chinese internet — and where it’s headed | Gary Liu
Jul 9 • 12 min
The Chinese internet has grown at a staggering pace — it now has more users than the combined populations of the US, UK, Russia, Germany, France and Canada. Even with its imperfections, the lives of once-forgotten populations have been irrevocably…
A crash course in organic chemistry | Jakob Magolan
Jul 6 • 15 min
Jakob Magolan is here to change your perception of organic chemistry. In an accessible talk packed with striking graphics, he teaches us the basics while breaking the stereotype that organic chemistry is something to be afraid of.
A new way to remove CO2 from the atmosphere | Jennifer Wilcox
Jul 5 • 14 min
Our planet has a carbon problem — if we don’t start removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, we’ll grow hotter, faster. Chemical engineer Jennifer Wilcox previews some amazing technology to scrub carbon from the air, using chemical reactions that…
Hamilton vs. Madison and the birth of American partisanship | Noah Feldman
Jul 4 • 14 min
The divisiveness plaguing American politics today is nothing new, says constitutional law scholar Noah Feldman. In fact, it dates back to the early days of the republic, when a dispute between Alexander Hamilton and James Madison led the two Founding…
How we’re saving one of Earth’s last wild places | Steve Boyes
Jul 3 • 9 min
Navigating territorial hippos and active minefields, TED Fellow Steve Boyes and a team of scientists have been traveling through the Okavango Delta, Africa’s largest remaining wetland wilderness, to explore and protect this near-pristine habitat against…
Why teens confess to crimes they didn’t commit | Lindsay Malloy
Jul 3 • 14 min
Why do juveniles falsely confess to crimes? What makes them more vulnerable than adults to this shocking, counterintuitive phenomenon? Through the lens of Brendan Dassey’s interrogation and confession (as featured in Netflix’s “Making a Murderer”…
The tiny creature that secretly powers the planet | Penny Chisholm
Jul 2 • 16 min
Oceanographer Penny Chisholm introduces us to an amazing little being: Prochlorococcus, the most abundant photosynthetic species on the planet. A marine microbe that has existed for millions of years, Prochlorococcus wasn’t discovered until the mid-1980s…
How autonomous flying taxis could change the way you travel | Rodin Lyasoff
Jun 29 • 8 min
Flight is about to get a lot more personal, says aviation entrepreneur Rodin Lyasoff. In this visionary talk, he imagines a new golden age of air travel in which small, autonomous air taxis allow us to bypass traffic jams and fundamentally transform how…
The agony of opioid withdrawal — and what doctors should tell patients about it | Travis Rieder
Jun 28 • 14 min
The United States accounts for five percent of the world’s population but consumes almost 70 percent of the total global opioid supply, creating an epidemic that has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths each year. How did we get here, and what can we…
The story of ‘Oumuamua, the first visitor from another star system | Karen J. Meech
Jun 27 • 13 min
In October 2017, astrobiologist Karen J. Meech got the call every astronomer waits for: NASA had spotted the very first visitor from another star system. The interstellar comet — a half-mile-long object eventually named `Oumuamua, from the Hawaiian for…
Bridges should be beautiful | Ian Firth
Jun 27 • 14 min
Bridges need to be functional, safe and durable, but they should also be elegant and beautiful, says structural engineer Ian Firth. In this mesmerizing tour of bridges old and new, Firth explores the potential for innovation and variety in this essential…
The symbols of systemic racism — and how to take away their power | Paul Rucker
Jun 26 • 7 min
Multidisciplinary artist and TED Fellow Paul Rucker is unstitching the legacy of systemic racism in the United States. A collector of artifacts connected to the history of slavery — from branding irons and shackles to postcards depicting lynchings —…
What if we eliminated one of the world’s oldest diseases? | Caroline Harper
Jun 26 • 10 min
Thousands of years ago, ancient Nubians drew pictures on tomb walls of a terrible disease that turns the eyelids inside out and causes blindness. This disease, trachoma, is still a scourge in many parts of the world today — but it’s also completely…
How we can design timeless cities for our collective future | Vishaan Chakrabarti
Jun 25 • 13 min
There’s a creeping sameness in many of our newest urban buildings and streetscapes, says architect Vishaan Chakrabarti. And this physical homogeneity — the result of regulations, mass production, safety issues and cost considerations, among other factors…
The nightmare videos of children’s YouTube — and what’s wrong with the internet today | James Bridle
Jun 22 • 16 min
Writer and artist James Bridle uncovers a dark, strange corner of the internet, where unknown people or groups on YouTube hack the brains of young children in return for advertising revenue. From “surprise egg” reveals and the “Finger Family Song” to…
Why you should love gross science | Anna Rothschild
Jun 21 • 13 min
What can we learn from the slimy, smelly side of life? In this playful talk, science journalist Anna Rothschild shows us the hidden wisdom of “gross stuff” and explains why avoiding the creepy underbelly of nature, medicine and technology closes us off to…
How Netflix changed entertainment — and where it’s headed | Reed Hastings
Jun 21 • 20 min
Netflix changed the world of entertainment — first with DVD-by-mail, then with streaming media and then again with sensational original shows like “Orange Is the New Black” and “Stranger Things” — but not without taking its fair share of risks. In…
How we can bring mental health support to refugees | Essam Daod
Jun 20 • 5 min
The global refugee crisis is a mental health catastrophe, leaving millions in need of psychological support to overcome the traumas of dislocation and conflict. To undo the damage, child psychiatrist and TED Fellow Essam Daod has been working in camps,…
Technology that knows what you’re feeling | Poppy Crum
Jun 19 • 12 min
What happens when technology knows more about us than we do? Poppy Crum studies how we express emotions — and she suggests the end of the poker face is near, as new tech makes it easy to see the signals that give away how we’re feeling. In a talk and…
The surprising science of alpha males | Frans de Waal
Jun 18 • 15 min
In this fascinating look at the “alpha male,” primatologist Frans de Waal explores the privileges and costs of power while drawing surprising parallels between how humans and primates choose their leaders. His research reveals some of the unexpected…
Four billion years of evolution in six minutes | Prosanta Chakrabarty
Jun 15 • 5 min
Did humans evolve from monkeys or from fish? In this enlightening talk, ichthyologist and TED Fellow Prosanta Chakrabarty dispels some hardwired myths about evolution, encouraging us to remember that we’re a small part of a complex, four-billion-year…
How I’m bringing queer pride to my rural village | Katlego Kolanyane-Kesupile
Jun 14 • 5 min
In a poetic, personal talk, TED Fellow Katlego Kolanyane-Kesupile examines the connection between her modern queer lifestyle and her childhood upbringing in a rural village in Botswana. “In a time where being brown, queer, African and seen as worthy of…
The incredible potential of flexible, soft robots | Giada Gerboni
Jun 14 • 9 min
Robots are designed for speed and precision — but their rigidity has often limited how they’re used. In this illuminating talk, biomedical engineer Giada Gerboni shares the latest developments in “soft robotics,” an emerging field that aims to create…
How to get empowered, not overpowered, by AI | Max Tegmark
Jun 13 • 17 min
Many artificial intelligence researchers expect AI to outsmart humans at all tasks and jobs within decades, enabling a future where we’re restricted only by the laws of physics, not the limits of our intelligence. MIT physicist and AI researcher Max…
What we’ll learn about the brain in the next century | Sam Rodriques
Jun 12 • 13 min
In this imaginative talk, neuroengineer Sam Rodriques takes us on a thrilling tour of the next 100 years in brain science. He envisions strange (and sometimes frightening) innovations that may be the key to understanding and treating brain disease — like…
The journey through loss and grief | Jason B. Rosenthal
Jun 12 • 14 min
In her brutally honest, ironically funny and widely read meditation on death, “You May Want to Marry My Husband,” the late author and filmmaker Amy Krouse Rosenthal gave her husband Jason very public permission to move on and find happiness. A year after…
Why the secret to success is setting the right goals | John Doerr
Jun 11 • 11 min
Our leaders and institutions are failing us, but it’s not always because they’re bad or unethical, says venture capitalist John Doerr — often, it’s simply because they’re leading us toward the wrong objectives. In this practical talk, Doerr shows us how…
The discoveries awaiting us in the ocean’s twilight zone | Heidi M. Sosik
Jun 8 • 10 min
What will we find in the twilight zone: the vast, mysterious, virtually unexplored realm hundreds of meters below the ocean’s surface? Heidi M. Sosik of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution wants to find out. In this wonder-filled talk, she shares her…
Inside the fight against Russia’s fake news empire | Olga Yurkova
Jun 7 • 5 min
When facts are false, decisions are wrong, says editor and TED Fellow Olga Yurkova. To stop the spread of fake news, she and a group of journalists launched StopFake.org, which exposes biased or inaccurate reporting in order to rebuild the trust we’ve…
Let’s turn the high seas into the world’s largest nature reserve | Enric Sala
Jun 6 • 13 min
What if we could save the fishing industry and protect the ocean at the same time? Marine ecologist Enric Sala shares his bold plan to safeguard the high seas — some of the last wild places on earth, which fall outside the jurisdiction of any single…
How technology can fight extremism and online harassment | Yasmin Green
Jun 6 • 13 min
Can technology make people safer from threats like violent extremism, censorship and persecution? In this illuminating talk, technologist Yasmin Green details programs pioneered at Jigsaw (a unit within Alphabet Inc., the collection of companies that also…
What if we replaced politicians with randomly selected people? | Brett Hennig
Jun 5 • 9 min
If you think democracy is broken, here’s an idea: let’s replace politicians with randomly selected people. Author and activist Brett Hennig presents a compelling case for sortition democracy, or random selection of government officials — a system with…
The critical role librarians play in the opioid crisis | Chera Kowalski
Jun 5 • 12 min
Public libraries have always been about more than just books — and their mission of community support has taken on new urgency during the current opioid epidemic. After witnessing overdoses at her library in Philadelphia, Chera Kowalski learned how to…
Why theater is essential to democracy | Oskar Eustis
Jun 4 • 13 min
Truth comes from the collision of different ideas, and theater plays an essential role in showing us that truth, says legendary artistic director Oskar Eustis. In this powerful talk, Eustis outlines his plan to reach (and listen to) people in places…
How we can turn the cold of outer space into a renewable resource | Aaswath Raman
Jun 1 • 13 min
What if we could use the cold darkness of outer space to cool buildings on earth? In this mind-blowing talk, physicist Aaswath Raman details the technology he’s developing to harness “night-sky cooling” — a natural phenomenon where infrared light escapes…
How vultures can help solve crimes | Lauren Pharr
May 31 • 10 min
Can a bird that symbolizes death help the living catch criminals? In this informative and accessible talk, forensic anthropologist Lauren Pharr shows us how vultures impact crime scenes — and the assistance they can provide to detectives investigating…
What gardening taught me about life | tobacco brown
May 31 • 6 min
Gardens are mirrors of our lives, says environmental artist tobacco brown, and we must cultivate them with care to harvest their full beauty. Drawing on her experience bringing natural public art installations to cities around the world, brown reveals…
How we’ll become cyborgs and extend human potential | Hugh Herr
May 30 • 15 min
Humans will soon have new bodies that forever blur the line between the natural and synthetic worlds, says bionics designer Hugh Herr. In an unforgettable talk, he details “NeuroEmbodied Design,” a methodology for creating cyborg function that he’s…
A teen scientist’s invention to help wounds heal | Anushka Naiknaware
May 29 • 6 min
Working out of her garage, Anushka Naiknaware designed a sensor that tracks wound healing, becoming the youngest winner (at age 13) of the Google Science Fair. Her clever invention addresses the global challenge of chronic wounds, which don’t heal…
This simple test can help kids hear better | Susan Emmett
May 29 • 5 min
Children who live in rural areas can have a hard time getting to the doctor — much less to an audiologist’s clinic for expensive, complex tests to check their hearing. The result for too many kids is hearing loss caused by ear infections and other curable…
How to talk to veterans about war | Wes Moore
May 28 • 14 min
Wes Moore joined the US Army to pay for college, but the experience became core to who he is. In this heartfelt talk, the paratrooper and captain — who went on to write ”The Other Wes Moore” — explains the shock of returning home from Afghanistan. He…
Comics belong in the classroom | Gene Luen Yang
May 25 • 10 min
Comic books and graphic novels belong in every teacher’s toolkit, says cartoonist and educator Gene Luen Yang. Set against the backdrop of his own witty, colorful drawings, Yang explores the history of comics in American education — and reveals some…
How to start a conversation about suicide | Jeremy Forbes
May 24 • 12 min
Is there someone in your life dealing with anxiety, depression or thoughts of suicide — but is too ashamed to talk about it? Jeremy Forbes saw this happening around him, and now he’s on a mission to teach people how to start a conversation about it. In…
How to turn a group of strangers into a team | Amy Edmondson
May 24 • 13 min
Business school professor Amy Edmondson studies “teaming,” where people come together quickly (and often temporarily) to solve new, urgent or unusual problems. Recalling stories of teamwork on the fly, such as the incredible rescue of 33 miners trapped…
How I made friends with reality | Emily Levine
May 23 • 15 min
With her signature wit and wisdom, Emily Levine meets her ultimate challenge as a comedian/philosopher: she makes dying funny. In this personal talk, she takes us on her journey to make friends with reality — and peace with death. Life is an enormous…
The shocking danger of mountaintop removal — and why it must end | Michael Hendryx
May 22 • 13 min
Research investigator Michael Hendryx studies mountaintop removal, an explosive type of surface coal mining used in Appalachia that comes with unexpected health hazards. In this data-packed talk, Hendryx presents his research and tells the story of the…
What it’s like to be the child of immigrants | Michael Rain
May 22 • 8 min
Michael Rain is on a mission to tell the stories of first-generation immigrants, who have strong ties both to the countries they grew up in and their countries of origin. In a personal talk, he breaks down the mischaracterizations and limited narratives…
Where joy hides and how to find it | Ingrid Fetell Lee
May 21 • 13 min
Cherry blossoms and rainbows, bubbles and googly eyes: Why do some things seem to create such universal joy? In this captivating talk, Ingrid Fetell Lee reveals the surprisingly tangible roots of joy and shows how we all can find — and create — more of it…
Why fascism is so tempting — and how your data could power it | Yuval Noah Harari
May 18 • 18 min
In a profound talk about technology and power, author and historian Yuval Noah Harari explains the important difference between fascism and nationalism — and what the consolidation of our data means for the future of democracy. Appearing as a hologram…
How Pakistani women are taking the internet back | Nighat Dad
May 17 • 5 min
TED Fellow Nighat Dad studies online harassment, especially as it relates to patriarchal cultures like the one in her small village in Pakistan. She tells the story of how she set up Pakistan’s first cyber harassment helpline, offering support to women…
The age-old sharing economies of Africa — and why we should scale them | Robert Neuwirth
May 17 • 9 min
From rides to homes and beyond, we’re sharing everything these days, with the help of digital tools. But as modern and high-tech as the sharing economy seems, it’s been alive in Africa for centuries, according to author Robert Neuwirth. He shares…
Scientists must be free to learn, to speak and to challenge | Kirsty Duncan
May 16 • 13 min
“You do not mess with something so fundamental, so precious, as science,” says Kirsty Duncan, Canada’s first Minister of Science. In a heartfelt, inspiring talk about pushing boundaries, she makes the case that researchers must be free to present…
The problem with all-stars | WorkLife with Adam Grant
May 15 • 33 min
The Butler Bulldogs have a habit of shocking college basketball fans by beating top teams with far more talent. How do they do it? Adam Grant joins the team to talk about why stars are overrated and role players are underrated — and how humility can go…
The doctors, nurses and aid workers rebuilding Syria | Rola Hallam
May 15 • 7 min
Local humanitarians are beacons of light in the darkness of war, says humanitarian aid entrepreneur and TED Fellow Rola Hallam. She’s working to help responders on the ground in devastated communities like Syria, where the destruction of health care is…
A healthy economy should be designed to thrive, not grow | Kate Raworth
May 14 • 15 min
What would a sustainable, universally beneficial economy look like? “Like a doughnut,” says Oxford economist Kate Raworth. In a stellar, eye-opening talk, she explains how we can move countries out of the hole — where people are falling short on life’s…
The truth about unwanted arousal | Emily Nagoski
May 11 • 15 min
Sex educator Emily Nagoski breaks down one of the most dangerous myths about sex and introduces us to the science behind arousal nonconcordance: when there’s a disconnect between physical response and the experience of pleasure and desire. Talking about…
What it’s like to be a transgender dad | LB Hannahs
May 10 • 13 min
LB Hannahs candidly shares the experience of parenting as a genderqueer individual — and what it can teach us about authenticity and advocacy. “Authenticity doesn’t mean ‘comfortable.’ It means managing and negotiating the discomfort of everyday life,”…
Confessions of a depressed comic | Kevin Breel
May 9 • 11 min
Kevin Breel didn’t look like a depressed kid: team captain, at every party, funny and confident. But he tells the story of the night he realized that — to save his own life — he needed to say four simple words.
A playful solution to the housing crisis | Sarah Murray
May 8 • 10 min
Frustrated by her lack of self-determination in the housing market, Sarah Murray created a computer game that allows home buyers to design a house and have it delivered to them in modular components that can be assembled on-site. Learn how her effort is…
How Baltimore called a ceasefire | Erricka Bridgeford
May 8 • 11 min
In one day, in one city, in one neighborhood — what if everyone put their guns down? Erricka Bridgeford is a peacemaker who wants to stop the murders and violence in her hometown of Baltimore. So she helped organize the Baltimore Ceasefire, a grassroots…
What it takes to be racially literate | Priya Vulchi and Winona Guo
May 7 • 12 min
Over the last year, Priya Vulchi and Winona Guo traveled to all 50 US states, collecting personal stories about race and intersectionality. Now they’re on a mission to equip every American with the tools to understand, navigate and improve a world…
How to build (and rebuild) trust | Frances Frei
May 4 • 15 min
Trust is the foundation for everything we do. But what do we do when it’s broken? In an eye-opening talk, Harvard Business School professor Frances Frei gives a crash course in trust: how to build it, maintain it and rebuild it — something she worked on…
Why you don’t like the sound of your own voice | Rébecca Kleinberger
May 3 • 12 min
Your voice is indistinguishable from how other people see you, but your relationship with it is far from obvious. Rébecca Kleinberger studies how we use and understand our voices and the voices of others. She explains why you may not like the sound of…
To design better tech, understand context | Tania Douglas
May 3 • 8 min
What good is a sophisticated piece of medical equipment to people in Africa if it can’t handle the climate there? Biomedical engineer Tania Douglas shares stories of how we’re often blinded to real needs in our pursuit of technology — and how a deeper…
It’s time for the law to protect victims of gender violence | Laura L. Dunn
May 2 • 6 min
To make accountability the norm after gender violence in the United States, we need to change tactics, says victims’ rights attorney and TED Fellow Laura L. Dunn. Instead of going institution by institution, fighting for reform, we need to go to the…
How a male contraceptive pill could work | John Amory
May 1 • 6 min
Andrologist John Amory is developing innovative male contraception that gives men a new option for taking responsibility to prevent unintended pregnancy. He details the science in development — and why the world needs a male pill.
Why tech needs the humanities | Eric Berridge
May 1 • 11 min
If you want to build a team of innovative problem-solvers, you should value the humanities just as much as the sciences, says entrepreneur Eric Berridge. He shares why tech companies should look beyond STEM graduates for new hires — and how people with…
Is the world getting better or worse? A look at the numbers | Steven Pinker
Apr 30 • 18 min
Was 2017 really the “worst year ever,” as some would have us believe? In his analysis of recent data on homicide, war, poverty, pollution and more, psychologist Steven Pinker finds that we’re doing better now in every one of them when compared with 30…
How I turn negative online comments into positive offline conversations | Dylan Marron
Apr 27 • 10 min
Digital creator Dylan Marron has racked up millions of views for projects like “Every Single Word” and “Sitting in Bathrooms With Trans People” — but he’s found that the flip side of success online is internet hate. Over time, he’s developed an unexpected…
What I’ve learned about parenting as a stay-at-home dad | Glen Henry
Apr 26 • 10 min
Glen Henry got his superpowers through fatherhood. After leaving behind a job he hated and a manager he didn’t get along with, he went to work for an equally demanding boss: his kids. He shares how he went from thinking he knew it all about being a…
How work kept me going during my cancer treatment | Sarah Donnelly
Apr 26 • 11 min
When lawyer Sarah Donnelly was diagnosed with breast cancer, she turned to her friends and family for support — but she also found meaning, focus and stability in her work. In a personal talk about why and how she stayed on the job, she shares her…
A woman’s fury holds lifetimes of wisdom | Tracee Ellis Ross
Apr 25 • 10 min
The global collection of women’s experiences can no longer be ignored, says actress and activist Tracee Ellis Ross. In a candid, fearless talk, she delivers invitations to a better future to both men and women.
Visions of Africa’s future, from African filmmakers | Dayo Ogunyemi
Apr 24 • 11 min
By expanding boundaries, exploring possibilities and conveying truth, films have helped change Africa’s reality (even before “Black Panther”). Dayo Ogunyemi invites us to imagine Africa’s future through the lens of inspiring filmmakers from across the…
War and what comes after | Clemantine Wamariya
Apr 24 • 12 min
Clemantine Wamariya was six years old when the Rwandan Civil War forced her and her sister to flee their home in Kigali, leaving their parents and everything they knew behind. In this deeply personal talk, she tells the story of how she became a refugee,…
SpaceX’s plan to fly you across the globe in 30 minutes | Gwynne Shotwell
Apr 23 • 21 min
What’s up at SpaceX? Engineer Gwynne Shotwell was employee number seven at Elon Musk’s pioneering aerospace company and is now its president. In conversation with TED curator Chris Anderson, she discusses SpaceX’s race to put people into orbit and the…
A Parkland teacher’s homework for us all | Diane Wolk-Rogers
Apr 20 • 15 min
Diane Wolk-Rogers teaches history at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, site of a horrific school shooting on Valentine’s Day 2018. How can we end this senseless violence? In a stirring talk, Wolk-Rogers offers three ways Americans…
Why it’s worth listening to people you disagree with | Zachary R. Wood
Apr 19 • 11 min
We get stronger, not weaker, by engaging with ideas and people we disagree with, says Zachary R. Wood. In an important talk about finding common ground, Wood makes the case that we can build empathy and gain understanding by engaging tactfully and…
The “dead zone” of the Gulf of Mexico | Nancy Rabalais
Apr 18 • 12 min
Ocean expert Nancy Rabalais tracks the ominously named “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico — where there isn’t enough oxygen in the water to support life. The Gulf has the second largest dead zone in the world; on top of killing fish and crustaceans, it’s…
How to love criticism | WorkLife with Adam Grant
Mar 22 • 34 min
What if you could tell your co-workers what you really think of them? At the world’s most successful hedge fund, everyone is rated and ranked constantly — in front of everyone. They’ve figured out how to embrace negative feedback, and they swear it’s…
How (and why) Russia hacked the US election | Laura Galante
Feb 19 • 9 min
Hacking, fake news, information bubbles … all these and more have become part of the vernacular in recent years. But as cyberspace analyst Laura Galante describes in this alarming talk, the real target of anyone looking to influence geopolitics is…
We need to talk about an injustice | Bryan Stevenson
Jan 15 • 23 min
In an engaging and personal talk — with cameo appearances from his grandmother and Rosa Parks — human rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson shares some hard truths about America’s justice system, starting with a massive imbalance along racial lines: a third of…
Your elusive creative genius | Elizabeth Gilbert
Jan 1 • 19 min
Elizabeth Gilbert muses on the impossible things we expect from artists and geniuses — and shares the radical idea that, instead of the rare person “being” a genius, all of us “have” a genius. It’s a funny, personal and surprisingly moving talk.
The single biggest reason why startups succeed | Bill Gross
Dec 29, 2017 • 6 min
Bill Gross has founded a lot of startups, and incubated many others — and he got curious about why some succeeded and others failed. So he gathered data from hundreds of companies, his own and other people’s, and ranked each company on five key factors.…
The untapped genius that could change science for the better | Jedidah Isler
Dec 28, 2017 • 13 min
Jedidah Isler dreamt of becoming an astrophysicist since she was a young girl, but the odds were against her: At that time, only 18 black women in the United States had ever earned a PhD in a physics-related discipline. In this personal talk, she shares…
Strange answers to the psychopath test | Jon Ronson
Dec 27, 2017 • 18 min
Is there a definitive line that divides crazy from sane? With a hair-raising delivery, Jon Ronson, author of The Psychopath Test, illuminates the gray areas between the two. (With live-mixed sound by Julian Treasure and animation by Evan Grant.)
How to make hard choices | Ruth Chang
Dec 26, 2017 • 14 min
Here’s a talk that could literally change your life. Which career should I pursue? Should I break up — or get married?! Where should I live? Big decisions like these can be agonizingly difficult. But that’s because we think about them the wrong way, says…
What makes a good life? Lessons from the longest study on happiness | Robert Waldinger
Dec 25, 2017 • 12 min
What keeps us happy and healthy as we go through life? If you think it’s fame and money, you’re not alone – but, according to psychiatrist Robert Waldinger, you’re mistaken. As the director of a 75-year-old study on adult development, Waldinger has…
How frustration can make us more creative | Tim Harford
Dec 22, 2017 • 15 min
Challenges and problems can derail your creative process … or they can make you more creative than ever. In the surprising story behind the best-selling solo piano album of all time, Tim Harford may just convince you of the advantages of having to work…
How to speak so that people want to listen | Julian Treasure
Nov 24, 2017 • 9 min
Have you ever felt like you’re talking, but nobody is listening? Here’s Julian Treasure to help. In this useful talk, the sound expert demonstrates the how-to’s of powerful speaking — from some handy vocal exercises to tips on how to speak with empathy. A…
10 ways to have a better conversation | Celeste Headlee
Nov 23, 2017 • 11 min
When your job hinges on how well you talk to people, you learn a lot about how to have conversations — and that most of us don’t converse very well. Celeste Headlee has worked as a radio host for decades, and she knows the ingredients of a great…
The gospel of doubt | Casey Gerald
Jul 7, 2017 • 18 min
What do you do when your firmly held beliefs turn out not to be true? When Casey Gerald’s religion failed him, he searched for something new to believe in — in business, in government, in philanthropy — but found only false saviors. In this moving talk,…
My year of living biblically | AJ Jacobs
Jul 6, 2017 • 17 min
Author, philosopher, prankster and journalist AJ Jacobs talks about the year he spent living biblically — following the rules in the Bible as literally as possible.
Don’t ask where I’m from, ask where I’m a local | Taiye Selasi
Jul 5, 2017 • 16 min
When someone asks you where you’re from … do you sometimes not know how to answer? Writer Taiye Selasi speaks on behalf of “multi-local” people, who feel at home in the town where they grew up, the city they live now and maybe another place or two. “How…
Everyone around you has a story the world needs to hear | Dave Isay
Jul 4, 2017 • 21 min
Dave Isay opened the first StoryCorps booth in New York’s Grand Central Terminal in 2003 with the intention of creating a quiet place where a person could honor someone who mattered to them by listening to their story. Since then, StoryCorps has evolved…
Never, ever give up | Diana Nyad
Jul 3, 2017 • 15 min
In the pitch-black night, stung by jellyfish, choking on salt water, singing to herself, hallucinating … Diana Nyad just kept on swimming. And that’s how she finally achieved her lifetime goal as an athlete: an extreme 100-mile swim from Cuba to Florida —…
The unheard story of David and Goliath | Malcolm Gladwell
Jun 30, 2017 • 15 min
It’s a classic underdog tale: David, a young shepherd armed only with a sling, beats Goliath, the mighty warrior. The story has transcended its biblical origins to become a common shorthand for unlikely victory. But, asks Malcolm Gladwell, is that really…
The danger of a single story | Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Jun 29, 2017 • 18 min
Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice — and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a…
Why I love a country that once betrayed me | George Takei
Jun 28, 2017 • 15 min
When he was a child, George Takei and his family were forced into an internment camp for Japanese-Americans, as a “security” measure during World War II. 70 years later, Takei looks back at how the camp shaped his surprising, personal definition of…
Why some of us don’t have one true calling | Emilie Wapnick
Jun 27, 2017 • 12 min
What do you want to be when you grow up? Well, if you’re not sure you want to do just one thing for the rest of your life, you’re not alone. In this illuminating talk, writer and artist Emilie Wapnick describes the kind of people she calls…
The boiling river of the Amazon | Andrés Ruzo
Jun 26, 2017 • 15 min
When Andrés Ruzo was a young boy in Peru, his grandfather told him a story with an odd detail: There is a river, deep in the Amazon, which boils as if a fire burns below it. Twelve years later, after training as a geoscientist, he set out on a journey…