TED Talk

March 19, 2019
The ancient, earth-friendly wisdom of Mongolian nomads | Khulan Batkhuyag

The ancient, earth-friendly wisdom of Mongolian nomads | Khulan Batkhuyag

There's a lot we can learn from Mongolian nomads about how to survive in the years to come, says environmental activist Khulan Batkhuyag. Taking us on a journey through the country's stunning rural landscape, she shows how Mongolian nomads have survived in remote areas for thousands of...

How humanity can reach the stars | Philip Lubin

How humanity can reach the stars | Philip Lubin

Could we exit our solar system, and enter another? Astrophysicist Philip Lubin discusses the awesome potential of using lasers to propel small spacecraft, enabling humanity's first interstellar missions. Learn how this transformative technology could help us reach Proxima Centauri, the nearest...

Why we must confront hard historical truths | Hasan Kwame Jeffries

Why we must confront hard historical truths | Hasan Kwame Jeffries

To move forward in the United States, we must look back and confront the difficult history that has shaped widespread injustice. Revisiting a significant yet overlooked piece of the past, Hasan Kwame Jeffries emphasizes the need to weave historical context, no matter how painful, into our...

3 secrets to Netflix's success | Reed Hastings

3 secrets to Netflix's success | Reed Hastings

What does it take to cultivate a culture of innovation and reinvention at work? Tracing his journey from math teacher to honesty-seeking executive, Netflix co-CEO Reed Hastings describes three key elements of a successful work culture, sharing how to design a company around inspiration, creativity...

The psychological traits that shape your political beliefs | Dannagal G. Young

The psychological traits that shape your political beliefs | Dannagal G. Young

Social psychologist Dannagal G. Young breaks down the link between our psychology and politics, showing how personality types largely fall into people who prioritize openness and flexibility (liberals) and those who prefer order and certainty (conservatives). Hear why both sets of traits are...

If you adults won't save the world, we will | Xiye Bastida

If you adults won't save the world, we will | Xiye Bastida

In a deeply moving letter to her grandmother, Xiye Bastida reflects on what led her to become a leading voice for global climate activism -- from mobilizing school climate strikes to speaking at the United Nations Climate Summit alongside Greta Thunberg -- and traces her resolve, resilience and...

Secrets of the mind and free will -- revealed by magic tricks | Alice Pailhès

Secrets of the mind and free will -- revealed by magic tricks | Alice Pailhès

Are you in control of your choices? Magic tricks might reveal otherwise, says scientist and illusionist Alice Pailhès. Watch closely as she performs magic tricks that unveil how your brain works, how you can be subtly influenced and what that means for free will and your day-to-day life. Did she...

What role does luck play in your life? | Barry Schwartz

What role does luck play in your life? | Barry Schwartz

Chance plays a far bigger role in life than we're willing to admit, says psychologist Barry Schwartz. Of course, working hard and following the rules can get you far -- but the rest could boil down to simple good fortune. Schwartz examines the overlooked link between luck, merit and success,...

Why do we blame individuals for economic crises? | Liene Ozoliņa

Why do we blame individuals for economic crises? | Liene Ozoliņa

In 2008, the global financial crisis decimated Latvia. As unemployment skyrocketed, the government slashed public funding and raised taxes, while providing relief to the wealthy and large businesses -- all without backlash or protest from struggling citizens. Sociologist Liene Ozoliņa examines how...

You shouldn't have to choose between filling your prescriptions and paying bills | Kiah Williams

You shouldn't have to choose between filling your prescriptions and paying bills | Kiah Williams

As prescription drug costs skyrocket in the US, thousands of people are forced to forgo lifesaving medications -- all while manufacturers and health care facilities systematically destroy perfectly good, surplus pills. Kiah Williams shares how SIRUM -- a nonprofit that delivers unused medications...

The psychology of inequality and political division | Keith Payne

The psychology of inequality and political division | Keith Payne

"If we want to fix our politics, we have to do something about inequality," says social psychologist Keith Payne. Showing how economic inequality changes the way people see and behave towards one another, Payne helps explain the rise of the political polarization that's slicing up...

How to win an argument (at the US Supreme Court, or anywhere) | Neal Katyal

How to win an argument (at the US Supreme Court, or anywhere) | Neal Katyal

The secret to winning an argument isn't grand rhetoric or elegant style, says US Supreme Court litigator Neal Katyal -- it takes more than that. With stories of some of the most impactful cases he's argued before the Court, Katyal shows why the key to crafting a persuasive and successful...

A lesson in turning adversaries into allies | Leah Garcés

A lesson in turning adversaries into allies | Leah Garcés

When you're on opposite sides of an issue, how do you broker peace with your adversaries and work together to solve a problem? Follow along as animal rights activist Leah Garcés recounts three lessons she learned in hatching an ambitious plan to end chicken factory farming with the last person...

What it takes to make change | Jacqueline Novogratz

What it takes to make change | Jacqueline Novogratz

What can you do to build a better world? Sharing stories from her pioneering career dedicated to tackling poverty, Jacqueline Novogratz offers three principles to spark and sustain a moral revolution. Learn how you can commit (or recommit) to creating big, positive change in your lifetime -- and...

Dear Facebook, this is how you're breaking democracy | Yaël Eisenstat

Dear Facebook, this is how you're breaking democracy | Yaël Eisenstat

"Lies are more engaging online than truth," says former CIA analyst, diplomat and Facebook employee Yaël Eisenstat. "As long as [social media] algorithms' goals are to keep us engaged, they will feed us the poison that plays to our worst instincts and human weaknesses." In...

4 steps to ending extreme poverty | Shameran Abed

4 steps to ending extreme poverty | Shameran Abed

At least 400 million people worldwide live in ultra-poverty: a state of severe financial and social vulnerability that robs many of hope and dignity. At BRAC, an international development organization focused on fighting poverty, Shameran Abed and his team have developed a sustainable,...

How do daily habits lead to political violence? | Christiane-Marie Abu Sarah

How do daily habits lead to political violence? | Christiane-Marie Abu Sarah

What drives someone to commit politically motivated violence? The unsettling answer lies in daily habits. Behavioral historian Christiane-Marie Abu Sarah shares startling insights into how seemingly mundane choices can breed polarization that lead to extreme, even deadly, actions -- and explains...

Dignity isn't a privilege. It's a worker's right | Abigail Disney

Dignity isn't a privilege. It's a worker's right | Abigail Disney

What's the purpose of a company? In this bold talk, activist and filmmaker Abigail Disney imagines a world where companies have a moral obligation to place their workers above shareholders, calling on Disney (and all corporations) to offer respect, dignity and a living wage to everyone who...

Why specializing early doesn't always mean career success | David Epstein

Why specializing early doesn't always mean career success | David Epstein

A head start doesn't always ... well, help you get ahead. With examples from sports, technology and economics, journalist David Epstein shares how specializing in a particular skill too early in life may undermine your long-term development -- and explains the benefits of a "sampling...

Nature, folklore and serendipitous photo collaborations | Riitta Ikonen and Karoline Hjorth

Nature, folklore and serendipitous photo collaborations | Riitta Ikonen and Karoline Hjorth

Inspired by Nordic folklore, artists Karoline Hjorth and Riitta Ikonen collaborate with local elders -- farmers, fishermen, cosmologists and more -- to create richly imaginative portraits that explore humanity's connection to nature. Discover their serendipitous artistic practice as they share...

What Saturn's most mysterious moon could teach us about the origins of life  | Elizabeth "Zibi" Turtle

What Saturn's most mysterious moon could teach us about the origins of life | Elizabeth "Zibi" Turtle

NASA's Dragonfly -- a robotic rotorcraft-lander that's designed to hop across the surface of an extraterrestrial body -- is set to voyage deep into the solar system to explore Titan, Saturn's largest moon, in 2026. Planetary scientist Elizabeth "Zibi" Turtle shares how...

How the US medical community fails Black mothers | Wanda Irving

How the US medical community fails Black mothers | Wanda Irving

In the US, Black women are nearly 300 percent more likely to die as a result of childbirth than white women. Sharing appalling statistics on maternal mortality as well as her own tragic story of loss, Wanda Irving explains how racism and bias in health care minimizes and dismisses Black...

What it means to be intersex | Susannah Temko

What it means to be intersex | Susannah Temko

For intersex people -- those born with sex characteristics outside the traditional definitions of female and male -- the stakes to appear "normal" are high. Drawing on her personal experience, Susannah Temko reveals the shame, prejudice and harm faced by the intersex community, as...

The tyranny of merit | Michael Sandel

The tyranny of merit | Michael Sandel

What accounts for our polarized public life, and how can we begin to heal it? Political philosopher Michael Sandel offers a surprising answer: those who have flourished need to look in the mirror. He explores how "meritocratic hubris" leads many to believe their success is their own doing...

How animals and plants are evolving in cities | Menno Schilthuizen

How animals and plants are evolving in cities | Menno Schilthuizen

In cities, evolution occurs constantly, as countless plants, animals and insects adapt to human-made habitats in spectacular ways. Evolutionary biologist Menno Schilthuizen calls on peculiar beings such as fast food-loving mice and self-cooling snails to illustrate the ever-transforming wonders of...

Why we must stop dancing to the sound of our own oppression | Madame Gandhi

Why we must stop dancing to the sound of our own oppression | Madame Gandhi

Popular music is often riddled with misogynistic lyrics that objectify and demean women ... so why are we listening and dancing to it? Performing a sample of her original song "Top Knot Turn Up" and sharing clips from her female-directed music video of "See Me Thru," activist...

Big data, small farms and a tale of two tomatoes | Erin Baumgartner

Big data, small farms and a tale of two tomatoes | Erin Baumgartner

The path to better food is paved with data, says entrepreneur Erin Baumgartner. Drawing from her experience running a farm-to-table business, she outlines her plan to help create a healthier, zero-waste food system that values the quality and taste of small, local farm harvests over factory-farmed...

How doctors can help fix the broken US asylum system | Joseph Shin

How doctors can help fix the broken US asylum system | Joseph Shin

Refugees fleeing persecution endure unimaginable hardships in search of a better life. Physician Joseph Shin explains the essential collaboration of doctors and lawyers working together to help asylum seekers in the United States, sharing promising pathways toward securing the human dignities they...

Art in the age of machine intelligence | Refik Anadol

Art in the age of machine intelligence | Refik Anadol

What does it look like inside the mind of a machine? Inspired by the architectural vision of a futuristic Los Angeles in "Blade Runner," media artist Refik Anadol melds art with artificial intelligence in his studio's collaborations with architects, data scientists, neuroscientists,...

Can we call it a "world map" if it's missing a billion people? | Rebecca Firth

Can we call it a "world map" if it's missing a billion people? | Rebecca Firth

Want to help map the world? Community builder Rebecca Firth explains how the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team (HOT) is using open-source software powered by volunteers to put one billion people on the map in the next five years. (This ambitious plan is a part of the Audacious Project, TED's...

What to do when everything feels broken | Daniel Alexander Jones

What to do when everything feels broken | Daniel Alexander Jones

"Some call me a soul sonic superstar," says Jomama Jones, the alter ego of TED Fellow and theater artist Daniel Alexander Jones. In this stunning talk and performance, Jomama Jones invites us to consider how coming undone can be the first step toward transformation. It's a powerful...

Why rumors about vaccines spread -- and how to rebuild trust | Heidi Larson

Why rumors about vaccines spread -- and how to rebuild trust | Heidi Larson

Why do people distrust vaccines? Anthropologist Heidi Larson explores how medical rumors originate, spread and fuel resistance to vaccines worldwide. While vaccines cannot escape the "political and social turbulence" that surrounds them, she says, the first step to stopping the spread of...

What silence can teach you about sound | Dallas Taylor

What silence can teach you about sound | Dallas Taylor

What can you hear in silence? In this exploration of sound, host of the podcast "Twenty Thousand Hertz" Dallas Taylor tells the story of arguably the most debated musical composition in recent history -- composer John Cage's iconic piece 4'33" -- and invites you to take...

3 questions to ask yourself about US citizenship | Jose Antonio Vargas

3 questions to ask yourself about US citizenship | Jose Antonio Vargas

At age 16, journalist and filmmaker Jose Antonio Vargas found out he was in the United States illegally. Since then, he's been thinking deeply about immigration and what it means to be a US citizen -- whether it's by birth, law or otherwise. In this powerful talk, Vargas calls for a shift...

How to build a resilient future using ancient wisdom | Julia Watson

How to build a resilient future using ancient wisdom | Julia Watson

In her global exploration of Indigenous design systems, architect Julia Watson researches enduring innovations that could help us counter the challenges of climate change. From floating villages to living root bridges that strengthen over time, Watson introduces us to some of these resilient...

Let's scan the whole planet with LiDAR | Chris Fisher

Let's scan the whole planet with LiDAR | Chris Fisher

We have archives of films, newspapers, even seeds -- what if we could make one for the entire surface of the earth? Drawing on his experience mapping an ancient city in the Honduran jungle, archaeologist Chris Fisher makes the case for scanning the whole planet with LiDAR -- a technology that uses...

Can light stop the coronavirus? | David Brenner

Can light stop the coronavirus? | David Brenner

Far-UVC light is a type of ultraviolet light that kills microbes and viruses and, crucially, seems to be safe to use around humans. Radiation scientist David Brenner describes how we could use this light to stop the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19, in hospitals, nursing...

Give yourself permission to be creative | Ethan Hawke

Give yourself permission to be creative | Ethan Hawke

Reflecting on moments that shaped his life, actor Ethan Hawke examines how courageous expression promotes healing and connection with one another -- and invites you to discover your own unabashed creativity. "There is no path till you walk it," he says.

Deep learning, neural networks and the future of AI | Yann LeCun

Deep learning, neural networks and the future of AI | Yann LeCun

Yann LeCun, the chief AI scientist at Facebook, helped develop the deep learning algorithms that power many artificial intelligence systems today. In conversation with head of TED Chris Anderson, LeCun discusses his current research into self-supervised machine learning, how he's trying to...

How to connect while apart | Eric Yuan

How to connect while apart | Eric Yuan

People everywhere are using Zoom to work, take classes, do yoga -- and even get married. The company's CEO and founder Eric Yuan reflects on how they developed the world's most popular video chat software and envisions a digital future that will include things like virtual handshakes and...

COVID-19 unraveled the workforce. Here's how to fix it | Mary L. Gray

COVID-19 unraveled the workforce. Here's how to fix it | Mary L. Gray

"We are living through the tech-enabled unraveling of full-time employment itself," says anthropologist Mary L. Gray. As the pandemic exposes and accelerates the shift to on-demand online labor, Gray takes us inside the jobs being created to solve the problems artificial intelligence...

5 needs that any COVID-19 response should meet | Kwame Owusu-Kesse

5 needs that any COVID-19 response should meet | Kwame Owusu-Kesse

Crisis interventions often focus on a single aspect of a big, complicated problem, failing to address the broader social and economic context. Kwame Owusu-Kesse describes how the Harlem Children's Zone is taking a more holistic approach to the pandemic, weaving together a network of services...

New ways to understand life in a pandemic | Aaron Maniam

New ways to understand life in a pandemic | Aaron Maniam

Poet and policymaker Aaron Maniam describes how the language we use to explain COVID-19 shapes the way we think about it -- whether it's as a "war," a "journey" or, as he suggests, an "ecology." He encourages us to explore a range of imaginative, interlocking...

The fight for civil rights and freedom | John Lewis and Bryan Stevenson

The fight for civil rights and freedom | John Lewis and Bryan Stevenson

Civil rights leader and longtime US congressman John Lewis spent his life fighting for freedom and justice for everyone. In this illuminating conversation with lawyer and activist Bryan Stevenson, Lewis discusses the essential importance of voting, shares encouraging words of wisdom for the...

A call to end the media coverage mass shooters want  | Tom Teves

A call to end the media coverage mass shooters want | Tom Teves

On July 20, 2012, a mass shooting in a movie theater of Aurora, Colorado left the town, and its nation, reeling. To many -- including Tom Teves, who lost his son in the tragedy -- the news coverage that followed focused on all the wrong things. Why did the reporting overwhelmingly fixate on the...

A new stock exchange focused on the long-term | Michelle Greene

A new stock exchange focused on the long-term | Michelle Greene

Investors tend to think in daily and quarterly numbers, leading to a system that can harm the future health of the economy and planet. Michelle Greene explains how the Long-Term Stock Exchange is reimagining public markets by holding companies to forward-thinking standards of diversity and...

How love can help repair social inequality | Chloé Valdary

How love can help repair social inequality | Chloé Valdary

What does Kendrick Lamar have in common with Disney's "Moana"? They recognize our common humanity and show us how to love ourselves and one another, says writer and educator Chloé Valdary. She shares how she uses pop culture to help people develop resilience and advance social change...

What if you could help decide how the government spends public funds? | Shari Davis

What if you could help decide how the government spends public funds? | Shari Davis

What if you could help decide how the government spends public funds in your community? That's the idea behind participatory budgeting, a process that brings local residents and governments together to develop concrete solutions to real problems close to home. In this inspiring call to action,...

Want a more just world? Be an unlikely ally | Nita Mosby Tyler

Want a more just world? Be an unlikely ally | Nita Mosby Tyler

A more equal world starts with you. Citing a formative moment from her own life, equity advocate Nita Mosby Tyler highlights why showing up and fighting for others who face injustices beyond your own lived experience leads to a fairer, more just future for all.

How city mayors are taking action on climate change | Eric Garcetti

How city mayors are taking action on climate change | Eric Garcetti

"If you change your city, you're changing the world," says Eric Garcetti, mayor of Los Angeles and chair of C40 Cities, a network of the world's megacities committed to tackling the climate crisis. He shares tangible ways Los Angeles and other cities across the globe are...

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