TED Talk

March 19, 2019
A love story for the coral reef crisis | Ayana Elizabeth Johnson

A love story for the coral reef crisis | Ayana Elizabeth Johnson

Over the course of dozens of scuba diving trips, marine biologist Ayana Elizabeth Johnson fell in love -- with a fish. In this ode to parrotfish, she shares five reasons why these creatures are simply amazing (from their ability to poop white sand to make colorful "wardrobe changes") and...

How a handful of fishing villages sparked a marine conservation revolution | Alasdair Harris

How a handful of fishing villages sparked a marine conservation revolution | Alasdair Harris

We need a radically new approach to ocean conservation, says marine biologist Alasdair Harris. In a visionary talk, he lays out a surprising solution to the problem of overfishing that could both revive marine life and rebuild local fisheries -- all by taking less from the ocean. "When we...

A circular economy for salt that keeps rivers clean | Tina Arrowood

A circular economy for salt that keeps rivers clean | Tina Arrowood

During the winter of 2018-2019, one million tons of salt were applied to icy roads in the state of Pennsylvania alone. The salt from industrial uses like this often ends up in freshwater rivers, making their water undrinkable and contributing to a growing global crisis. How can we better protect...

The psychological impact of child separation at the US-Mexico border | Luis H. Zayas

The psychological impact of child separation at the US-Mexico border | Luis H. Zayas

How does psychological trauma affect children's developing brains? In this powerful talk, social worker Luis H. Zayas discusses his work with refugees and asylum-seeking families at the US-Mexico border. What emerges is a stunning analysis of the long-term impact of the US's controversial...

An app that helps incarcerated people stay connected to their families | Marcus Bullock

An app that helps incarcerated people stay connected to their families | Marcus Bullock

Over his eight-year prison sentence, Marcus Bullock was sustained by his mother's love -- and by the daily letters and photos she sent of life on the outside. Years later, as an entrepreneur, Bullock asked himself: How can I make it easier for all families to stay connected during...

How we can eliminate child sexual abuse material from the internet | Julie Cordua

How we can eliminate child sexual abuse material from the internet | Julie Cordua

Social entrepreneur Julie Cordua works on a problem that isn't easy to talk about: the sexual abuse of children in images and videos on the internet. At Thorn, she's building technology to connect the dots between the tech industry, law enforcement and government -- so we can swiftly end...

After billions of years of monotony, the universe is waking up | David Deutsch

After billions of years of monotony, the universe is waking up | David Deutsch

Theoretical physicist David Deutsch delivers a mind-bending meditation on the "great monotony" -- the idea that nothing novel has appeared in the universe for billions of years -- and shows how humanity's capacity to create explanatory knowledge could be the thing that bucks this...

Revelations from a lifetime of dance | Judith Jamison and members of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Revelations from a lifetime of dance | Judith Jamison and members of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

"Dance can elevate our human experience beyond words," says Judith Jamison, artistic director emerita of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. In between performances of excerpts from Alvin Ailey's classic works "Revelations" and "Cry," Jamison reflects on the...

What Bruce Lee can teach us about living fully | Shannon Lee

What Bruce Lee can teach us about living fully | Shannon Lee

Most of us know Bruce Lee as the famous martial artist and action film star -- but he was also a philosopher who taught "self-actualization": the practice of how to be yourself in the best way possible. In this inspiring talk, Bruce's daughter Shannon Lee takes us inside the mind of...

How we're using DNA tech to help farmers fight crop diseases | Laura Boykin

How we're using DNA tech to help farmers fight crop diseases | Laura Boykin

Nearly 800 million people worldwide depend on cassava for survival -- but this critical food source is under attack by entirely preventable viruses, says computational biologist and TED Senior Fellow Laura Boykin. She takes us to the farms in East Africa where she's working with a diverse team...

A personal plea for humanity at the US-Mexico border | Juan Enriquez

A personal plea for humanity at the US-Mexico border | Juan Enriquez

In this powerful, personal talk, author and academic Juan Enriquez shares stories from inside the immigration crisis at the US-Mexico border, bringing this often-abstract debate back down to earth -- and showing what you can do every day to create a sense of belonging for immigrants. "This...

A radical plan to end plastic waste | Andrew Forrest

A radical plan to end plastic waste | Andrew Forrest

Plastic is an incredible substance for the economy -- and the worst substance possible for the environment, says entrepreneur Andrew Forrest. In a conversation meant to spark debate, Forrest and head of TED Chris Anderson discuss an ambitious plan to get the world's biggest companies to fund...

How we're helping local reporters turn important stories into national news | Gangadhar Patil

How we're helping local reporters turn important stories into national news | Gangadhar Patil

Local reporters are on the front lines of important stories, but their work often goes unnoticed by national and international news outlets. TED Fellow and journalist Gangadhar Patil is working to change that. In this quick talk, he shows how he's connecting grassroots reporters in India with...

The transformative power of video games | Herman Narula

The transformative power of video games | Herman Narula

A full third of the world's population -- 2.6 billion people -- play video games, plugging into massive networks of interaction that have opened up opportunities well beyond entertainment. In a talk about the future of the medium, entrepreneur Herman Narula makes the case for a new...

This ancient rock is changing our theory on the origin of life | Tara Djokic

This ancient rock is changing our theory on the origin of life | Tara Djokic

Exactly when and where did life on Earth begin? Scientists have long thought that it emerged three billion years ago in the ocean -- until astrobiologist Tara Djokic and her team made an unexpected discovery in the western Australian desert. Learn how an ancient rock found near a hot volcanic pool...

Reducing corruption takes a specific kind of investment | Efosa Ojomo

Reducing corruption takes a specific kind of investment | Efosa Ojomo

Traditional thinking on corruption goes like this: if you put good laws in place and enforce them well, then economic development increases and corruption falls. In reality, we have the equation backwards, says innovation researcher Efosa Ojomo. In this compelling talk, he offers new thinking on...

Why language is humanity's greatest invention | David Peterson

Why language is humanity's greatest invention | David Peterson

Civilization rests upon the existence of language, says language creator David Peterson. In a talk that's equal parts passionate and hilarious, he shows how studying, preserving and inventing new languages helps us understand our collective humanity -- and gives a quick lesson on High...

What happens in your brain when you taste food | Camilla Arndal Andersen

What happens in your brain when you taste food | Camilla Arndal Andersen

With fascinating research and hilarious anecdotes, neuroscientist Camilla Arndal Andersen takes us into the lab where she studies people's sense of taste via brain scans. She reveals surprising insights about the way our brains subconsciously experience food -- and shows how this data could...

What the US health care system assumes about you | Mitchell Katz

What the US health care system assumes about you | Mitchell Katz

The US health care system assumes many things about patients: that they can take off from work in the middle of the day, speak English, have a working telephone and a steady supply of food. Because of that, it's failing many of those who are most in need, says Mitchell Katz, CEO of the largest...

How community-led conservation can save wildlife | Moreangels Mbizah

How community-led conservation can save wildlife | Moreangels Mbizah

Conservationist and TED Fellow Moreangels Mbizah studied the famous Cecil the lion until he was shot by a trophy hunter in 2015. She wonders how things could've gone differently, asking: "What if the community that lived next to Cecil was involved in protecting him?" In a quick talk,...

Why you should shop at your local farmers market | Mohammad Modarres

Why you should shop at your local farmers market | Mohammad Modarres

The average farmer in America makes less than 15 cents of every dollar on a product that you purchase at a store. They feed our communities, but farmers often cannot afford the very foods they grow. In this actionable talk, social entrepreneur Mohammad Modarres shows how to put your purchasing...

How we experience time and memory through art | Sarah Sze

How we experience time and memory through art | Sarah Sze

Artist Sarah Sze takes us on a kaleidoscopic journey through her work: immersive installations as tall as buildings, splashed across walls, orbiting through galleries -- blurring the lines between time, memory and space. Explore how we give meaning to objects in this beautiful tour of Sze's...

Creativity builds nations | Muthoni Drummer Queen

Creativity builds nations | Muthoni Drummer Queen

In a hopeful talk followed by an empowering performance, musician and TED Fellow Muthoni Drummer Queen shares how industries like music, film and fashion provide a platform for Africans to broadcast their rich and diverse talents -- and explains how the shared experience of creativity can replace...

How one tree grows 40 different kinds of fruit | Sam Van Aken

How one tree grows 40 different kinds of fruit | Sam Van Aken

Artist Sam Van Aken shares the breathtaking work behind the "Tree of 40 Fruit," an ongoing series of hybridized fruit trees that grow 40 different varieties of peaches, plums, apricots, nectarines and cherries -- all on the same tree. What began as an art project to showcase beautiful,...

A wall won't solve America's border problems | Will Hurd

A wall won't solve America's border problems | Will Hurd

"Building a 30-foot-high concrete structure from sea to shining sea is the most expensive and least effective way to do border security," says Congressman Will Hurd, a Republican from Texas whose district encompasses two times zones and shares an 820-mile border with Mexico. Speaking from...

How we're building the world's largest family tree | Yaniv Erlich

How we're building the world's largest family tree | Yaniv Erlich

Computational geneticist Yaniv Erlich helped build the world's largest family tree -- comprising 13 million people and going back more than 500 years. He shares fascinating patterns that emerged from the work -- about our love lives, our health, even decades-old criminal cases -- and shows how...

How couples can sustain a strong sexual connection for a lifetime | Emily Nagoski

How couples can sustain a strong sexual connection for a lifetime | Emily Nagoski

As a sex educator, Emily Nagoski is often asked: How do couples sustain a strong sexual connection over the long term? In this funny, insightful talk, she shares her answer -- drawing on (somewhat surprising) research to reveal why some couples stop having sex while others keep up a connection for...

Can seaweed help curb global warming? | Tim Flannery

Can seaweed help curb global warming? | Tim Flannery

It's time for planetary-scale interventions to combat climate change -- and environmentalist Tim Flannery thinks seaweed can help. In a bold talk, he shares the epic carbon-capturing potential of seaweed, explaining how oceangoing seaweed farms created on a massive scale could trap all the...

A bold plan to empower 1.6 million out-of-school girls in India | Safeena Husain

A bold plan to empower 1.6 million out-of-school girls in India | Safeena Husain

"Girls' education is the closest thing we have to a silver bullet to help solve some of the world's most difficult problems," says social entrepreneur Safeena Husain. In a visionary talk, she shares her plan to enroll a staggering 1.6 million girls in school over the next five...

"Tumba La Nyama" / "Mulema" | Richard Bona

"Tumba La Nyama" / "Mulema" | Richard Bona

In a mesmerizing performance, multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter Richard Bona weaves beautiful vocal loops into a mesh of sound, powered by his "magic voodoo machine."

We need to track the world's water like we track the weather | Sonaar Luthra

We need to track the world's water like we track the weather | Sonaar Luthra

We need a global weather service for water, says entrepreneur and TED Fellow Sonaar Luthra. In a talk about environmental accountability, Luthra shows how we could forecast water shortages and risks with a global data collection effort -- just like we monitor the movement of storms -- and better...

4 questions you should always ask your doctor | Christer Mjåset

4 questions you should always ask your doctor | Christer Mjåset

"Doctor, is this really necessary?" Backed by startling statistics about overtreatment, neurosurgeon Christer Mjåset explains the power of this and other simple questions in the context of medical treatment and surgery -- and shares how patients can better work with doctors to get the...

This could be why you're depressed or anxious | Johann Hari

This could be why you're depressed or anxious | Johann Hari

In a moving talk, journalist Johann Hari shares fresh insights on the causes of depression and anxiety from experts around the world -- as well as some exciting emerging solutions. "If you're depressed or anxious, you're not weak and you're not crazy -- you're a human being...

How we use astrophysics to study earthbound problems | Federica Bianco

How we use astrophysics to study earthbound problems | Federica Bianco

To study a system as complex as the entire universe, astrophysicists need to be experts at extracting simple solutions from large data sets. What else could they do with this expertise? In an interdisciplinary talk, TED Fellow and astrophysicist Federica Bianco explains how she uses astrophysical...

A free world needs satire | Patrick Chappatte

A free world needs satire | Patrick Chappatte

We need humor like we need the air we breathe, says editorial cartoonist Patrick Chappatte. In a talk illustrated with highlights from a career spent skewering everything from dictators and ideologues to selfies and social media mobs, Chappatte makes a resounding, often hilarious case for the...

How climate change could make our food less nutritious | Kristie Ebi

How climate change could make our food less nutritious | Kristie Ebi

Rising carbon levels in the atmosphere can make plants grow faster, but there's another hidden consequence: they rob plants of the nutrients and vitamins we need to survive. In a talk about global food security, epidemiologist Kristie Ebi explores the potentially massive health consequences of...

What streaming means for the future of entertainment | Emmett Shear

What streaming means for the future of entertainment | Emmett Shear

In a talk and demo, Twitch cofounder Emmett Shear shares his vision for the future of interactive entertainment -- and explains how video game streaming is helping people build communities online. "I am excited for a world where our entertainment could connect us instead of isolating us -- a...

The dirty secret of capitalism -- and a new way forward | Nick Hanauer

The dirty secret of capitalism -- and a new way forward | Nick Hanauer

Rising inequality and growing political instability are the direct result of decades of bad economic theory, says entrepreneur Nick Hanauer. In a visionary talk, he dismantles the mantra that "greed is good" -- an idea he describes as not only morally corrosive, but also scientifically...

Community-powered criminal justice reform | Raj Jayadev

Community-powered criminal justice reform | Raj Jayadev

Community organizer Raj Jayadev wants to transform the US court system through "participatory defense" -- a growing movement that empowers families and community members to impact their loved ones' court cases. He shares the remarkable results of their work -- including more than...

What reading slowly taught me about writing | Jacqueline Woodson

What reading slowly taught me about writing | Jacqueline Woodson

Reading slowly -- with her finger running beneath the words, even when she was taught not to -- has led Jacqueline Woodson to a life of writing books to be savored. In a lyrical talk, she invites us to slow down and appreciate stories that take us places we never thought we'd go and introduce...

How deepfakes undermine truth and threaten democracy | Danielle Citron

How deepfakes undermine truth and threaten democracy | Danielle Citron

The use of deepfake technology to manipulate video and audio for malicious purposes -- whether it's to stoke violence or defame politicians and journalists -- is becoming a real threat. As these tools become more accessible and their products more realistic, how will they shape what we believe...

How your emotions change the shape of your heart | Sandeep Jauhar

How your emotions change the shape of your heart | Sandeep Jauhar

"A record of our emotional life is written on our hearts," says cardiologist and author Sandeep Jauhar. In a stunning talk, he explores the mysterious ways our emotions impact the health of our hearts -- causing them to change shape in response to grief or fear, to literally break in...

A "living drug" that could change the way we treat cancer | Carl June

A "living drug" that could change the way we treat cancer | Carl June

Carl June is the pioneer behind CAR T-cell therapy: a groundbreaking cancer treatment that supercharges part of a patient's own immune system to attack and kill tumors. In a talk about a breakthrough, he shares how three decades of research culminated in a therapy that's eradicated cases...

How we can make racism a solvable problem -- and improve policing | Phillip Atiba Goff

How we can make racism a solvable problem -- and improve policing | Phillip Atiba Goff

When we define racism as behaviors instead of feelings, we can measure it -- and transform it from an impossible problem into a solvable one, says justice scientist Phillip Atiba Goff. In an actionable talk, he shares his work at the Center for Policing Equity, an organization that helps police...

Why you should be a climate activist | Luisa Neubauer

Why you should be a climate activist | Luisa Neubauer

"I dream of a world where geography classes teach about the climate crisis as this one great challenge that was won by people like you and me," says climate activist Luisa Neubauer. With Greta Thunberg, Neubauer helped initiate "Fridays For Future," the momentous international...

Inside the bizarre world of internet trolls and propagandists | Andrew Marantz

Inside the bizarre world of internet trolls and propagandists | Andrew Marantz

Journalist Andrew Marantz spent three years embedded in the world of internet trolls and social media propagandists, seeking out the people who are propelling fringe talking points into the heart of conversation online and trying to understand how they're making their ideas spread. Go down the...

"Stumbling towards intimacy": An improvised TED Talk | Anthony Veneziale

"Stumbling towards intimacy": An improvised TED Talk | Anthony Veneziale

In a hilarious, completely improvised talk, improv master Anthony Veneziale takes to the TED stage for a truly one-of-a-kind performance. Armed with an audience-suggested topic ("stumbling towards intimacy") and a deck of slides he's never seen before, Veneziale crafts a meditation...

How porn changes the way teens think about sex | Emily F. Rothman

How porn changes the way teens think about sex | Emily F. Rothman

"The free, online, mainstream pornography that teenagers are most likely to see is a completely terrible form of sex education," says public health researcher Emily F. Rothman. She shares how her mission to end dating and sexual violence led her to create a pornography literacy program...

What happened when we paired up thousands of strangers to talk politics | Jochen Wegner

What happened when we paired up thousands of strangers to talk politics | Jochen Wegner

In spring 2019, more than 17,000 Europeans from 33 countries signed up to have a political argument with a complete stranger. They were part of "Europe Talks," a project that organizes one-on-one conversations between people who disagree -- sort of like a Tinder for politics. Editor...

A climate change solution that's right under our feet | Asmeret Asefaw Berhe

A climate change solution that's right under our feet | Asmeret Asefaw Berhe

There's two times more carbon in the earth's soil than in all of its vegetation and the atmosphere -- combined. Biogeochemist Asmeret Asefaw Berhe dives into the science of soil and shares how we could use its awesome carbon-trapping power to offset climate change. "[Soil] represents...

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