TED Talk

March 19, 2019
The architectural secrets of the world's ancient wonders | Brandon Clifford

The architectural secrets of the world's ancient wonders | Brandon Clifford

How did ancient civilizations move massive stones to build Stonehenge, the Pyramids and the Easter Island statues? In this quick, delightful talk, TED Fellow Brandon Clifford reveals some architectural secrets of the past and shows how we can use these ingenious techniques to build today. "In...

"A Bird Made of Birds" | Sarah Kay

"A Bird Made of Birds" | Sarah Kay

"The universe has already written the poem you were planning on writing," says Sarah Kay, quoting her friend, poet Kaveh Akbar. Performing "A Bird Made of Birds," she shares how and where she finds poetry. (Kay is also the host of TED's podcast "Sincerely, X."...

The living tech we need to support human life on other planets | Lynn Rothschild

The living tech we need to support human life on other planets | Lynn Rothschild

What would it take to settle Mars? In a talk about the future of space exploration, Lynn Rothschild reviews the immense challenges to living elsewhere in the universe and proposes some bold, creative solutions to making a home off planet Earth -- like "growing" houses out of fungi or...

What almost dying taught me about living | Suleika Jaouad

What almost dying taught me about living | Suleika Jaouad

"The hardest part of my cancer experience began once the cancer was gone," says author Suleika Jaouad. In this fierce, funny, wisdom-packed talk, she challenges us to think beyond the divide between "sick" and "well," asking: How do you begin again and find meaning...

How synthetic biology could wipe out humanity -- and how we can stop it | Rob Reid

How synthetic biology could wipe out humanity -- and how we can stop it | Rob Reid

The world-changing promise of synthetic biology and gene editing has a dark side. In this far-seeing talk, author and entrepreneur Rob Reid reviews the risks of a world where more and more people have access to the tools and tech needed to create a doomsday bug that could wipe out humanity -- and...

5 challenges we could solve by designing new proteins | David Baker

5 challenges we could solve by designing new proteins | David Baker

Proteins are remarkable molecular machines: they digest your food, fire your neurons, power your immune system and so much more. What if we could design new ones, with functions never before seen in nature? In this remarkable glimpse of the future, David Baker shares how his team at the Institute...

The political power of being a good neighbor | Michael Tubbs

The political power of being a good neighbor | Michael Tubbs

Michael Tubbs is the youngest mayor in American history to represent a city with more than 100,000 people -- and his policies are sparking national conversations. In this rousing talk, he shares how growing up amid poverty and violence in Stockton, California shaped his bold vision for change and...

My life as a work of art | Daniel Lismore

My life as a work of art | Daniel Lismore

Daniel Lismore's closet is probably a bit different than yours -- his clothes are constructed out of materials ranging from beer cans and plastic crystals to diamonds, royal silks and 2,000-year-old Roman rings. In this striking talk, Lismore shares the vision behind his elaborate ensembles...

Why we get mad -- and why it's healthy | Ryan Martin

Why we get mad -- and why it's healthy | Ryan Martin

Anger researcher Ryan Martin draws from a career studying what makes people mad to explain some of the cognitive processes behind anger -- and why a healthy dose of it can actually be useful. "Your anger exists in you ... because it offered your ancestors, both human and nonhuman, an...

3 steps to turn everyday get-togethers into transformative gatherings | Priya Parker

3 steps to turn everyday get-togethers into transformative gatherings | Priya Parker

Why do some gatherings take off and others don't? Author Priya Parker shares three easy steps to turn your parties, dinners, meetings and holidays into meaningful, transformative gatherings.

The mysterious microbes living deep inside the earth -- and how they could help humanity | Karen Lloyd

The mysterious microbes living deep inside the earth -- and how they could help humanity | Karen Lloyd

The ground beneath your feet is home to a massive, mysterious world of microbes -- some of which have been in the earth's crust for hundreds of thousands of years. What's it like down there? Take a trip to the volcanoes and hot springs of Costa Rica as microbiologist Karen Lloyd shines a...

The most detailed map of galaxies, black holes and stars ever made | Juna Kollmeier

The most detailed map of galaxies, black holes and stars ever made | Juna Kollmeier

Humans have been studying the stars for thousands of years, but astrophysicist Juna Kollmeier is on a special mission: creating the most detailed 3-D maps of the universe ever made. Journey across the cosmos as she shares her team's work on the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, imaging millions of...

The healing power of reading | Michelle Kuo

The healing power of reading | Michelle Kuo

Reading and writing can be acts of courage that bring us closer to others and ourselves. Author Michelle Kuo shares how teaching reading skills to her students in the Mississippi Delta revealed the bridging power of the written word -- as well as the limitations of its power.

The lies our culture tells us about what matters -- and a better way to live | David Brooks

The lies our culture tells us about what matters -- and a better way to live | David Brooks

Our society is in the midst of a social crisis, says op-ed columnist and author David Brooks: we're trapped in a valley of isolation and fragmentation. How do we find our way out? Based on his travels across the United States -- and his meetings with a range of exceptional people known as...

"Everything happens for a reason" -- and other lies I've loved | Kate Bowler

"Everything happens for a reason" -- and other lies I've loved | Kate Bowler

In life's toughest moments, how do you go on living? Kate Bowler has been exploring this question ever since she was diagnosed with stage IV cancer at age 35. In a profound, heartbreaking and unexpectedly funny talk, she offers some answers -- challenging the idea that "everything happens...

Floating cities, the LEGO House and other architectural forms of the future | Bjarke Ingels

Floating cities, the LEGO House and other architectural forms of the future | Bjarke Ingels

Design gives form to the future, says architect Bjarke Ingels. In this worldwide tour of his team's projects, journey to a waste-to-energy power plant (that doubles as an alpine ski slope) and the LEGO Home of the Brick in Denmark -- and catch a glimpse of cutting-edge flood resilience...

The amazing brains and morphing skin of octopuses and other cephalopods | Roger Hanlon

The amazing brains and morphing skin of octopuses and other cephalopods | Roger Hanlon

Octopus, squid and cuttlefish -- collectively known as cephalopods -- have strange, massive, distributed brains. What do they do with all that neural power? Dive into the ocean with marine biologist Roger Hanlon, who shares astonishing footage of the camouflaging abilities of cephalopods, which can...

The story we tell about millennials -- and who we leave out | Reniqua Allen

The story we tell about millennials -- and who we leave out | Reniqua Allen

Millennials are now the largest, most diverse adult population in the US -- but far too often, they're reduced to the worn-out stereotype of lazy, entitled avocado toast lovers, says author Reniqua Allen. In this revealing talk, she shares overlooked stories of millennials of color, offering a...

What it takes to launch a telescope | Erika Hamden

What it takes to launch a telescope | Erika Hamden

TED Fellow and astronomer Erika Hamden leads the team building FIREBall, a telescope that hangs from a giant balloon at the very edge of space and looks for clues about how stars are created. She takes us inside the roller-coaster, decade-long journey to get the telescope from an idea into orbit --...

How to deconstruct racism, one headline at a time | Baratunde Thurston

How to deconstruct racism, one headline at a time | Baratunde Thurston

Baratunde Thurston explores the phenomenon of white Americans calling the police on black Americans who have committed the crimes of ... eating, walking or generally "living while black." In this profound, thought-provoking and often hilarious talk, he reveals the power of language to...

These bacteria eat plastic | Morgan Vague

These bacteria eat plastic | Morgan Vague

Humans produce 300 million tons of new plastic each year -- yet, despite our best efforts, less than 10 percent of it ends up being recycled. Is there a better way to deal with all this waste? Morgan Vague describes her research with microbiologist Jay Mellies on bacteria that have evolved the...

What prosecutors and incarcerated people can learn from each other | Jarrell Daniels

What prosecutors and incarcerated people can learn from each other | Jarrell Daniels

A few weeks before his release from prison, Jarrell Daniels took a class where incarcerated men learned alongside prosecutors. By simply sitting together and talking, they uncovered surprising truths about the criminal justice system and ideas for how real change happens. Now a scholar and...

My identity is a superpower -- not an obstacle | America Ferrera

My identity is a superpower -- not an obstacle | America Ferrera

Hollywood needs to stop resisting what the world actually looks like, says actor, director and activist America Ferrera. Tracing the contours of her career, she calls for more authentic representation of different cultures in media -- and a shift in how we tell our stories. "Presence creates...

The anti-CEO playbook | Hamdi Ulukaya

The anti-CEO playbook | Hamdi Ulukaya

Profit, money, shareholders: these are the priorities of most companies today. But at what cost? In an appeal to corporate leaders worldwide, Chobani founder Hamdi Ulukaya calls for an end to the business playbook of the past -- and shares his vision for a new, "anti-CEO playbook" that...

The next global agricultural revolution | Bruce Friedrich

The next global agricultural revolution | Bruce Friedrich

Conventional meat production causes harm to our environment and presents risks to global health, but people aren't going to eat less meat unless we give them alternatives that cost the same (or less) and that taste the same (or better). In an eye-opening talk, food innovator and TED Fellow...

Sloths! The strange life of the world's slowest mammal | Lucy Cooke

Sloths! The strange life of the world's slowest mammal | Lucy Cooke

Sloths have been on this planet for more than 40 million years. What's the secret to their success? In a hilarious talk, zoologist Lucy Cooke takes us inside the strange life of the world's slowest mammal and shows what we can learn from their ingenious adaptations.

How to build your confidence -- and spark it in others | Brittany Packnett

How to build your confidence -- and spark it in others | Brittany Packnett

"Confidence is the necessary spark before everything that follows," says educator and activist Brittany Packnett. In an inspiring talk, she shares three ways to crack the code of confidence -- and her dream for a world where revolutionary confidence helps turn our most ambitious dreams...

The difference between healthy and unhealthy love | Katie Hood

The difference between healthy and unhealthy love | Katie Hood

In a talk about understanding and practicing the art of healthy relationships, Katie Hood reveals the five signs you might be in an unhealthy relationship -- with a romantic partner, a friend, a family member -- and shares the things you can do every day to love with respect, kindness and joy....

How AI could become an extension of your mind | Arnav Kapur

How AI could become an extension of your mind | Arnav Kapur

Try talking to yourself without opening your mouth, by simply saying words internally. What if you could search the internet like that -- and get an answer back? In the first live public demo of his new technology, TED Fellow Arnav Kapur introduces AlterEgo: a wearable AI device with the potential...

What you should know about vaping and e-cigarettes | Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin

What you should know about vaping and e-cigarettes | Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin

E-cigarettes and vapes have exploded in popularity in the last decade, especially among youth and young adults -- from 2011 to 2015, e-cigarette use among high school students in the US increased by 900 percent. Biobehavioral scientist Suchitra Krishnan-Sarin explains what you're actually...

Could a tattoo help you stay healthy? | Carson Bruns

Could a tattoo help you stay healthy? | Carson Bruns

Can we make tattoos both beautiful and functional? Nanotechnologist Carson Bruns shares his work creating high-tech tattoos that react to their environment -- like color-changing ink that can tell you when you're getting a sunburn -- and shows exciting ways they can deliver real-time...

Digital humans that look just like us | Doug Roble

Digital humans that look just like us | Doug Roble

In an astonishing talk and tech demo, software researcher Doug Roble debuts "DigiDoug": a real-time, 3-D, digital rendering of his likeness that's accurate down to the scale of pores and wrinkles. Powered by an inertial motion capture suit, deep neural networks and enormous amounts...

Sleep is your superpower | Matt Walker

Sleep is your superpower | Matt Walker

Sleep is your life-support system and Mother Nature's best effort yet at immortality, says sleep scientist Matt Walker. In this deep dive into the science of slumber, Walker shares the wonderfully good things that happen when you get sleep -- and the alarmingly bad things that happen when you...

How your brain's executive function works -- and how to improve it | Sabine Doebel

How your brain's executive function works -- and how to improve it | Sabine Doebel

You use your brain's executive function every day -- it's how you do things like pay attention, plan ahead and control impulses. Can you improve it to change for the better? With highlights from her research on child development, cognitive scientist Sabine Doebel explores the factors that...

The case for having kids | Wajahat Ali

The case for having kids | Wajahat Ali

The global fertility rate, or the number of children per woman, has halved over the last 50 years. What will having fewer babies mean for the future of humanity? In this funny, eye-opening talk, journalist (and self-described exhausted dad) Wajahat Ali examines how the current trend could lead to...

The crisis of leadership -- and a new way forward | Halla Tómasdóttir and Bryn Freedman

The crisis of leadership -- and a new way forward | Halla Tómasdóttir and Bryn Freedman

What should modern leadership look like? Entrepreneur and former Icelandic presidential candidate Halla Tómasdóttir thinks global leaders need to change their ways -- or risk becoming irrelevant. In a conversation with curator Bryn Freedman, she shows how anybody can step up and make a difference,...

How to revive your belief in democracy | Eric Liu

How to revive your belief in democracy | Eric Liu

Civic evangelist Eric Liu shares a powerful way to rekindle the spirit of citizenship and the belief that democracy still works. Join him for a trip to "Civic Saturday" and learn more about how making civic engagement a weekly habit can help build communities based on shared values and a...

Everything around you can become a computer | Ivan Poupyrev

Everything around you can become a computer | Ivan Poupyrev

Designer Ivan Poupyrev wants to integrate technology into everyday objects to make them more useful and fun -- like a jacket you can use to answer phone calls or a houseplant you can play like a keyboard. In a talk and tech demo, he lays out his vision for a physical world that's more deeply...

Mind-blowing stage sculptures that fuse music and technology | Es Devlin

Mind-blowing stage sculptures that fuse music and technology | Es Devlin

It starts with a sketch. Then it evolves into a larger-than-life visual masterpiece, a celebration of human connection. Follow along as legendary artist and designer Es Devlin takes us on a visual tour of her work -- including iconic stage sculptures she's created for Beyoncé, Adele, Kanye...

How supercharged plants could slow climate change | Joanne Chory

How supercharged plants could slow climate change | Joanne Chory

Plants are amazing machines -- for millions of years, they've taken carbon dioxide out of the air and stored it underground, keeping a crucial check on the global climate. Plant geneticist Joanne Chory is working to amplify this special ability: with her colleagues at the Salk Plant Molecular...

Why we ignore obvious problems -- and how to act on them | Michele Wucker

Why we ignore obvious problems -- and how to act on them | Michele Wucker

Why do we often neglect big problems, like the financial crisis and climate change, until it's too late? Policy strategist Michele Wucker urges us to replace the myth of the "black swan" -- that rare, unforeseeable, unavoidable catastrophe -- with the reality of the "gray...

How to recover from activism burnout | Yana Buhrer Tavanier

How to recover from activism burnout | Yana Buhrer Tavanier

When you're feeling burned out as an activist, what's the best way to bounce back? TED Senior Fellow Yana Buhrer Tavanier explores the power of "playtivism" -- the incorporation of play and creativity into movements for social change. See how this versatile approach can spark...

Three ideas. Three contradictions. Or not. | Hannah Gadsby

Three ideas. Three contradictions. Or not. | Hannah Gadsby

Hannah Gadsby's groundbreaking special "Nanette" broke comedy. In a talk about truth and purpose, she shares three ideas and three contradictions. Or not.

Helping others makes us happier -- but it matters how we do it | Elizabeth Dunn

Helping others makes us happier -- but it matters how we do it | Elizabeth Dunn

Research shows that helping others makes us happier. But in her groundbreaking work on generosity and joy, social psychologist Elizabeth Dunn found that there's a catch: it matters how we help. Learn how we can make a greater impact -- and boost our own happiness along the way -- if we make...

The surprising connection between brain injuries and crime | Kim Gorgens

The surprising connection between brain injuries and crime | Kim Gorgens

Here's a shocking statistic: 50 to 80 percent of people in the criminal justice system in the US have had a traumatic brain injury. In the general public, that number is less than five percent. Neuropsychologist Kim Gorgens shares her research into the connection between brain trauma and the...

How generational stereotypes hold us back at work | Leah Georges

How generational stereotypes hold us back at work | Leah Georges

The Silent Generation, baby boomers, Generation X, millennials, Gen Z -- we're all in the workforce together. How are our assumptions about each other holding us back from working and communicating better? Social psychologist Leah Georges shows how we're more similar than different and...

Can we cure genetic diseases by rewriting DNA? | David R. Liu

Can we cure genetic diseases by rewriting DNA? | David R. Liu

In a story of scientific discovery, chemical biologist David R. Liu shares a breakthrough: his lab's development of base editors that can rewrite DNA. This crucial step in genome editing takes the promise of CRISPR to the next level: if CRISPR proteins are molecular scissors, programmed to cut...

A personal air-quality tracker that lets you know what you're breathing | Romain Lacombe

A personal air-quality tracker that lets you know what you're breathing | Romain Lacombe

How often do you think about the air you're breathing? Probably not enough, says entrepreneur and TED Fellow Romain Lacombe. He introduces Flow: a personal air-quality tracker that fits in your hand and monitors pollution levels in real time. See how this device could help you track and...

How hip-hop helps us understand science | Danielle N. Lee

How hip-hop helps us understand science | Danielle N. Lee

In the early 1990s, a scandal rocked evolutionary biology: scientists discovered that songbirds -- once thought to be strictly monogamous -- engaged in what's politely called "extra-pair copulation." In this unforgettable biology lesson on animal infidelity, TED Fellow Danielle N....

Inside the black hole image that made history | Sheperd Doeleman

Inside the black hole image that made history | Sheperd Doeleman

At the center of a galaxy more than 55 million light-years away, there's a supermassive black hole with the mass of several billion suns. And now, for the first time ever, we can see it. Astrophysicist Sheperd Doeleman, head of the Event Horizon Telescope collaboration, speaks with TED's...

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