TED Talks Daily

TED Talks Daily

www.ted.com/talks
Ideas worth spreading from the TED Conference
Is the world getting better or worse? A look at the numbers | Steven Pinker
Nov 17 • 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…
A librarian’s case against overdue book fines | Dawn Wacek
Nov 15 • 13 min
Libraries have the power to create a better world; they connect communities, promote literacy and spark lifelong learners. But there’s one thing that keeps people away: the fear of overdue book fines. In this thought-provoking talk, librarian Dawn Wacek…
Is civility a sham? | Teresa Bejan
Nov 14 • 13 min
What exactly is civility, and what does it require? In a talk packed with historical insights, political theorist Teresa Bejan explains how civility has been used as both the foundation of tolerant societies and as a way for political partisans to silence…
My journey to thank all the people responsible for my morning coffee | AJ Jacobs
Nov 13 • 15 min
Author AJ Jacobs embarked on a quest with a deceptively simple idea at its heart: to personally thank every person who helped make his morning cup of coffee. More than one thousand “thank yous” later, Jacobs reflects on the globe-trotting journey that…
What to trust in a “post-truth” world | Alex Edmans
Nov 12 • 17 min
Only if you are truly open to the possibility of being wrong can you ever learn, says researcher Alex Edmans. In an insightful talk, he explores how confirmation bias — the tendency to only accept information that supports your personal beliefs — can lead…
What it’s like to be Muslim in America | Dalia Mogahed
Nov 10 • 16 min
When you look at Muslim scholar Dalia Mogahed, what do you see: A woman of faith? A scholar, a mom, a sister? Or an oppressed, brainwashed, potential terrorist? In this personal, powerful talk, Mogahed asks us, in this polarizing time, to fight negative…
The case for a decentralized internet | Tamas Kocsis
Nov 9 • 10 min
Who controls the internet? Increasingly, the answer is large corporations and governments — a trend that’s threatening digital privacy and access to information online, says web developer Tamas Kocsis. In this informative talk, Kocsis breaks down the…
The global goals we’ve made progress on — and the ones we haven’t | Michael Green
Nov 8 • 14 min
“We are living in a world that is tantalizingly close to ensuring that no one need die of hunger or malaria or diarrhea,” says economist Michael Green. To help spur progress, back in 2015 the United Nations drew up a set of 17 goals around important…
How kids can help design cities | Mara Mintzer
Nov 7 • 14 min
Adults tend to think of kids as “future citizens” — their ideas and opinions will matter someday, just not today. But kids make up a quarter of the population, so shouldn’t they have a say in what the world they’ll inherit will look like? Urban planner…
How I accidentally changed the way movies get made | Franklin Leonard
Nov 7 • 16 min
How does Hollywood choose what stories get told on-screen? Too often, it’s groupthink informed by a narrow set of ideas about what sells at the box office. As a producer, Franklin Leonard saw too many great screenplays never get made because they didn’t…
Why I have coffee with people who send me hate mail | Özlem Cekic
Nov 6 • 15 min
Özlem Cekic’s email inbox has been full of hate mail since 2007, when she won a seat in the Danish Parliament — becoming the first female Muslim to do so. At first she just deleted the emails, dismissing them as the work of fanatics, until one day a…
The case for curiosity-driven research | Suzie Sheehy
Nov 5 • 9 min
Seemingly pointless scientific research can lead to extraordinary discoveries, says physicist Suzie Sheehy. In a talk and tech demo, she shows how many of our modern technologies are tied to centuries-old, curiosity-driven experiments — and makes the case…
Science can answer moral questions | Sam Harris
Nov 3 • 23 min
Questions of good and evil, right and wrong are commonly thought unanswerable by science. But Sam Harris argues that science can — and should — be an authority on moral issues, shaping human values and setting out what constitutes a good life.
A memory scientist’s advice on reporting harassment and discrimination | Julia Shaw
Nov 2 • 9 min
How do you turn a memory, especially one of a traumatic event, into hard evidence of a crime? Julia Shaw is working on this challenge, combining tools from memory science and artificial intelligence to change how we report workplace harassment and bias.…
How to let go of being a “good” person — and become a better person | Dolly Chugh
Nov 1 • 11 min
What if your attachment to being a “good” person is holding you back from actually becoming a better person? In this accessible talk, social psychologist Dolly Chugh explains the puzzling psychology of ethical behavior — like why it’s hard to spot your…
How tech companies deceive you into giving up your data and privacy | Finn Lützow-Holm Myrstad
Oct 31 • 12 min
Have you ever actually read the terms and conditions for the apps you use? Finn Lützow-Holm Myrstad and his team at the Norwegian Consumer Council have, and it took them nearly a day and a half to read the terms of all the apps on an average phone. In a…
Is war between China and the US inevitable? | Graham Allison
Oct 30 • 18 min
Taking lessons from a historical pattern called “Thucydides’s Trap,” political scientist Graham Allison shows why a rising China and a dominant United States could be headed towards a violent collision no one wants — and how we can summon the common sense…
What everyday citizens can do to claim power on the internet | Fadi Chehadé and Bryn Freedman
Oct 30 • 8 min
Technology architect Fadi Chehadé helped set up the infrastructure that makes the internet work — essential things like the domain name system and IP address standards. Today he’s focused on finding ways for society to benefit from technology. In a crisp…
How isolation fuels opioid addiction | Rachel Wurzman
Oct 29 • 18 min
What do Tourette syndrome, heroin addiction and social media obsession all have in common? They converge in an area of the brain called the striatum, says neuroscientist Rachel Wurzman — and this critical discovery could reshape our understanding of the…
Chemical scum that dream of distant quasars | David Deutsch
Oct 27 • 19 min
Legendary scientist David Deutsch puts theoretical physics on the back burner to discuss a more urgent matter: the survival of our species. The first step toward solving global warming, he says, is to admit that we have a problem.
How will we survive when the population hits 10 billion? | Charles C. Mann
Oct 26 • 12 min
By 2050, an estimated 10 billion people will live on earth. How are we going to provide everybody with basic needs while also avoiding the worst impacts of climate change? In a talk packed with wit and wisdom, science journalist Charles C. Mann breaks…
My quest to defy gravity and fly | Elizabeth Streb
Oct 25 • 9 min
Over the course of her fearless career, extreme action specialist Elizabeth Streb has pushed the limits of the human body. She’s jumped through broken glass, toppled from great heights and built gizmos to provide a boost along the way. Backed by footage…
How revenge porn turns lives upside down | Darieth Chisolm
Oct 24 • 10 min
What can you do if you’re the victim of revenge porn or cyberbullying? Shockingly little, says journalist and activist Darieth Chisolm, who found herself living the nightmare scenario of having explicit photos taken without her knowledge or consent posted…
How we can help young people build a better future | Henrietta Fore
Oct 24 • 14 min
A massive generation of young people is about to inherit the world, and it’s the duty of everyone to give them a fighting chance for their futures, says UNICEF executive director Henrietta Fore. In this forward-looking talk, she explores the crises facing…
How nationalism and globalism can coexist | Wanis Kabbaj
Oct 23 • 12 min
Why do we have to choose between nationalism and globalism, between loving our countries and caring for the world? In a talk with lessons for avowed nationalists and globalists alike, Wanis Kabbaj explains how we can challenge this polarizing, binary…
How conscious investors can turn up the heat and make companies change | Vinay Shandal
Oct 22 • 13 min
In a talk that’s equal parts funny and urgent, consultant Vinay Shandal shares stories of the world’s top activist investors, showing how individuals and institutions can take a page from their playbook and put pressure on companies to drive positive…
Your elusive creative genius | Elizabeth Gilbert
Oct 20 • 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.
What does the universe sound like? A musical tour | Matt Russo
Oct 19 • 16 min
Is outer space really the silent and lifeless place it’s often depicted to be? Perhaps not. Astrophysicist and musician Matt Russo takes us on a journey through the cosmos, revealing the hidden rhythms and harmonies of planetary orbits. The universe is…
The pharmacy of the future? Personalized pills, 3D printed at home | Daniel Kraft
Oct 18 • 12 min
We need to change how we prescribe drugs, says physician Daniel Kraft: too often, medications are dosed incorrectly, cause toxic side effects or just don’t work. In a talk and concept demo, Kraft shares his vision for a future of personalized medication,…
5 transformational policies for a prosperous and sustainable world | Johan Rockström
Oct 17 • 12 min
In a talk about how we can build a robust future without wrecking the planet, sustainability expert Johan Rockström debuts the Earth3 model — a new methodology that combines the UN Sustainable Development Goals with the nine planetary boundaries, beyond…
The key to a better malaria vaccine | Faith Osier
Oct 16 • 7 min
The malaria vaccine was invented more than a century ago — yet each year, hundreds of thousands of people still die from the disease. How can we improve this vital vaccine? In this informative talk, immunologist and TED Fellow Faith Osier shows how she’s…
Why we have an emotional connection to robots | Kate Darling
Oct 16 • 11 min
We’re far from developing robots that feel emotions, but we already have feelings towards them, says robot ethicist Kate Darling, and an instinct like that can have consequences. Learn more about how we’re biologically hardwired to project intent and life…
Let’s protect the oceans like national parks | David Lang
Oct 15 • 12 min
You don’t have to be a scientist to help protect the world’s oceans, says underwater drone expert and TED Fellow David Lang — in fact, ordinary citizens have pulled together to save the planet’s natural treasures many times in history. Lang asks us to…
How whistle-blowers shape history | Kelly Richmond Pope
Oct 12 • 12 min
Fraud researcher and documentary filmmaker Kelly Richmond Pope shares lessons from some of the most high-profile whistle-blowers of the past, explaining how they’ve shared information that has shaped society — and why they need our trust and protection.
What baby boomers can learn from millennials at work — and vice versa | Chip Conley
Oct 11 • 12 min
For the first time ever, we have five generations in the workplace at the same time, says entrepreneur Chip Conley. What would happen if we got intentional about how we all work together? In this accessible talk, Conley shows how age diversity makes…
What Americans agree on when it comes to health | Rebecca Onie
Oct 10 • 12 min
We may not be as deeply divided as we think — at least when it comes to health, says Rebecca Onie. In a talk that cuts through the noise, Onie shares research that shows how, even across economic, political and racial divides, Americans agree on what they…
3 ways to create a space that moves you, from a Broadway set designer | David Korins
Oct 9 • 10 min
You don’t have to work on Broadway to design a set, says creative director David Korins — you can be the set designer of any space in your life. Sharing insights from his work on hits like “Hamilton” and “Dear Evan Hansen,” Korins offers a three-step…
How cryptocurrency can help startups get investment capital | Ashwini Anburajan
Oct 9 • 6 min
We’re living in a golden era of innovation, says entrepreneur Ashwini Anburajan — but venture capital hasn’t evolved to keep up, and startups aren’t getting the funding they need to grow. In this quick talk, she shares the story of how her company became…
How I climbed a 3,000-foot vertical cliff — without ropes | Alex Honnold
Oct 8 • 11 min
Imagine being by yourself in the dead center of a 3,000-foot vertical cliff — without a rope to catch you if you fall. For professional rock climber Alex Honnold, this dizzying scene marked the culmination of a decade-long dream. In a hair-raising talk,…
The secrets of spider venom | Michel Dugon
Oct 5 • 12 min
Spider venom can stop your heart within minutes, cause unimaginable pain — and potentially save your life, says zoologist Michel Dugon. As a tarantula crawls up and down his arm, Dugon explains the medical properties of this potent toxin and how it might…
3 ways to be a better ally in the workplace | Melinda Epler
Oct 4 • 9 min
We’re taught to believe that hard work and dedication will lead to success, but that’s not always the case. Gender, race, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexual orientation are among the many factors that affect our chances, says writer and advocate…
Why being respectful to your coworkers is good for business | Christine Porath
Oct 3 • 15 min
Looking to get ahead in your career? Start by being respectful to your coworkers, says leadership researcher Christine Porath. In this science-backed talk, she shares surprising insights about the costs of rudeness and shows how little acts of respect can…
What doctors should know about gender identity | Kristie Overstreet
Oct 2 • 14 min
Kristie Overstreet is on a mission to ensure that the transgender community gets their health care needs met. In this informative, myth-busting talk, she provides a primer for understanding gender identity and invites us to shift how we view transgender…
How we can make energy more affordable for low-income families | DeAndrea Salvador
Oct 2 • 5 min
Every month, millions of Americans face an impossible choice: pay for energy to power their homes, or pay for basic needs like food and medicine. TED Fellow DeAndrea Salvador is working to reduce energy costs so that no one has to make this kind of…
3 lessons on decision-making from a poker champion | Liv Boeree
Oct 1 • 6 min
Is it better to be lucky or good? Should we trust our gut feelings or rely on probabilities and careful analysis when making important decisions? In this quick talk, professional poker player Liv Boeree shares three strategies she’s learned from the game…
How to speak up for yourself | Adam Galinsky
Sep 28 • 15 min
Speaking up is hard to do, even when you know you should. Learn how to assert yourself, navigate tricky social situations and expand your personal power with sage guidance from social psychologist Adam Galinsky.
How to build a thriving music scene in your city | Elizabeth Cawein
Sep 27 • 9 min
How does a city become known as a “music city”? Publicist Elizabeth Cawein explains how thriving music scenes make cities healthier and happier and shares ideas for bolstering your local music scene — and showing off your city’s talent to the world.
What happened when we tested thousands of abandoned rape kits in Detroit | Kym Worthy
Sep 26 • 19 min
In 2009, 11,341 untested rape kits — some dating back to the 1980s — were found in an abandoned warehouse once used by the Detroit police to store evidence. When this scandal was uncovered, prosecutor Kym Worthy set a plan into action to get justice for…
How police and the public can create safer neighborhoods together | Tracie Keesee
Sep 25 • 9 min
We all want to be safe, and our safety is intertwined, says Tracie Keesee, cofounder of the Center for Policing Equity. Sharing lessons she’s learned from 25 years as a police officer, Keesee reflects on the public safety challenges faced by both the…
I grew up in the Westboro Baptist Church. Here’s why I left | Megan Phelps-Roper
Sep 24 • 15 min
What’s it like to grow up within a group of people who exult in demonizing … everyone else? Megan Phelps-Roper shares details of life inside America’s most controversial church and describes how conversations on Twitter were key to her decision to leave…
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…
Why you don’t like the sound of your own voice | Rébecca Kleinberger
Aug 7 • 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…
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…