TED Talk

March 19, 2019
Can beauty open our hearts to difficult conversations? | Titus Kaphar

Can beauty open our hearts to difficult conversations? | Titus Kaphar

An artwork's color or composition can pull you in -- and put you on the path to having important and difficult conversations, says artist Titus Kaphar. In this stunning talk, he reflects on his artistic evolution and takes us on a tour of his career -- from "The Jerome Project,"...

How the pandemic will shape the near future | Bill Gates

How the pandemic will shape the near future | Bill Gates

Bill Gates talks best (and worst) case scenarios for the coronavirus pandemic in the months ahead, explaining the challenges of reducing virus transmission, providing an update on promising vaccine candidates, offering his thoughts on reopening and even taking a moment to address conspiracy...

The courage to live with radical uncertainty | Shekinah Elmore

The courage to live with radical uncertainty | Shekinah Elmore

When your future is uncertain, how do you keep moving forward? In this courageous talk, oncologist and cancer survivor Shekinah Elmore shares how she embraced life after a rare genetic diagnosis -- and explains why she believes doctors have a duty to help their patients learn to live with radical...

What foods did your ancestors love? | Aparna Pallavi

What foods did your ancestors love? | Aparna Pallavi

Around the world, Indigenous food cultures vanish because of industrialized agriculture and a shifting, Western-influenced concept of the ideal diet. Food researcher Aparna Pallavi explores why once-essential culinary traditions disappear from people's lives and memories almost without notice...

Stop being a bystander in your own life | Tracy Edwards

Stop being a bystander in your own life | Tracy Edwards

"Life doesn't go from A to B -- it's messy," says sailing legend Tracy Edwards. In this inspiring talk, she tells how she went from teenage misfit to skipper of the first all-female crew in the toughest race on the seas -- and how she now helps young people around the world...

The trials, tribulations and timeline of a COVID-19 vaccine | Jerome Kim

The trials, tribulations and timeline of a COVID-19 vaccine | Jerome Kim

Developing a vaccine usually takes five to 10 years, costs about a billion dollars and has a failure rate of 93 percent. Under the pressure of the coronavirus pandemic, scientists are being asked to speed that timeline up to 12 to 18 months, says Jerome Kim, director general of the International...

How we can build sustainable, equitable cities after the pandemic | Vishaan Chakrabarti

How we can build sustainable, equitable cities after the pandemic | Vishaan Chakrabarti

Cities are engines of culture, commerce, knowledge and community, but they're also centers of inequality and poverty. As the world rebuilds from the coronavirus pandemic, can we transform cities into bastions of equity and sustainability? Architect and educator Vishaan Chakrabarti discusses a...

How women will lead us to freedom, justice and peace | H.E. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

How women will lead us to freedom, justice and peace | H.E. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

"I was the first woman president of an African nation, and I do believe more countries ought to try that," says H.E. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Nobel laureate and former president of Liberia. Telling the story of how Liberian women helped rebuild their country after years of civil war,...

The beauty and complexity of finding common ground | Matt Trombley

The beauty and complexity of finding common ground | Matt Trombley

How can we disagree with one another, respectfully and productively? In this thoughtful talk, team builder Matt Trombley reflects on "agonism" -- the tendency to take a rigid stance on issues -- and shares why finding aspects of agreement can be the first step in resolving conflict....

How Dolly Parton led me to an epiphany | Jad Abumrad

How Dolly Parton led me to an epiphany | Jad Abumrad

How do you end a story? Host of "Radiolab" Jad Abumrad tells how his search for an answer led him home to the mountains of Tennessee, where he met an unexpected teacher: Dolly Parton.

The new urgency of climate change | Al Gore

The new urgency of climate change | Al Gore

The coronavirus brought much of the world to a standstill, dropping carbon emissions by five percent. Al Gore says keeping those rates down is now up to us. In this illuminating interview, he discusses how the steadily declining cost of wind and solar energy will transform manufacturing,...

The case to infect volunteers with COVID-19 to accelerate vaccine testing | Nir Eyal

The case to infect volunteers with COVID-19 to accelerate vaccine testing | Nir Eyal

Conventional vaccine testing is a slow, years-long process. As thousands of people continue to die each day from COVID-19, bioethicist Nir Eyal proposes a radical idea that could dramatically accelerate the vaccine development timeline: "human challenge trials," in which scientists would...

How to support and celebrate living artists | Swizz Beatz

How to support and celebrate living artists | Swizz Beatz

Legendary hip-hop producer Swizz Beatz is on a mission to revolutionize the way artists do business. In this glorious talk, he shares some of the ways he's helping fellow creatives thrive, including a roving art fair that gives artists 100 percent of their sales, a new commission system for...

A vision for the future of Afghanistan | Ashraf Ghani

A vision for the future of Afghanistan | Ashraf Ghani

Offering a vision of Afghanistan that goes beyond what's often depicted in the media, President Ashraf Ghani shares his thoughts on peacemaking, the true cost of war, the nation's COVID-19 response strategy and the sweeping economic and social reforms happening throughout the country....

Why is colonialism (still) romanticized? | Farish Ahmad-Noor

Why is colonialism (still) romanticized? | Farish Ahmad-Noor

Colonialism remains an inescapable blight on the present, lingering in the toxic, internalized mythologies and stereotypes that have outlived the regimes that created them, says historian Farish Ahmad-Noor. Examining why these prejudices and narratives persist (and sometimes thrive), he suggests a...

How digital innovation can fight pandemics and strengthen democracy | Audrey Tang

How digital innovation can fight pandemics and strengthen democracy | Audrey Tang

Can technology create a democracy that's fast, fair ... and even fun? Digital minister Audrey Tang shares how Taiwan avoided a COVID-19 shutdown in early 2020 through innovations like developing apps to map mask availability, crowdsourcing ideas that could become laws and creating a...

A path to higher education and employment for refugees | Chrystina Russell

A path to higher education and employment for refugees | Chrystina Russell

Out of the more than 70 million displaced people worldwide, only three percent have access to higher education. The Global Education Movement (GEM) is on a mission to change that with the first large-scale initiative of its kind to help refugee learners get bachelor's degrees and create...

How racial bias works -- and how to disrupt it | Jennifer L. Eberhardt

How racial bias works -- and how to disrupt it | Jennifer L. Eberhardt

Our brains create categories to make sense of the world, recognize patterns and make quick decisions. But this ability to categorize also exacts a heavy toll in the form of unconscious bias. In this powerful talk, psychologist Jennifer L. Eberhardt explores how our biases unfairly target Black...

The new science of personalized vaccines | Ofer Levy

The new science of personalized vaccines | Ofer Levy

At the intersection of precision medicine and vaccinology lies a revolutionary scientific pursuit: personalized vaccines. Infectious disease specialist Ofer Levy introduces this promising medical approach, in which tailored inoculations will enable effective immunization of the most vulnerable...

A dose of reality about generic drugs | Katherine Eban

A dose of reality about generic drugs | Katherine Eban

Investigative journalist Katherine Eban set out to report on a seemingly straightforward question: Are generic drugs really identical to their brand-name counterparts? The answer sparked a decade of interviews, meetings with whistleblowers, on-the-ground reporting across four continents and digging...

The alliances needed to rebuild the developing world | Achim Steiner

The alliances needed to rebuild the developing world | Achim Steiner

Developing countries need strong alliances between the public and private sectors to rebuild after COVID-19, says Achim Steiner, administrator for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). From building virus tracking systems to supporting clean energy projects and expanding health care,...

My secret to staying focused under pressure | Russell Wilson

My secret to staying focused under pressure | Russell Wilson

Athletes train their bodies to run faster, jump higher, throw farther -- so why don't they train their minds, too? Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson talks about the power of "neutral thinking," which helps him thrive under pressure (both on the field and off) -- and shows...

3 secrets of resilient people | Lucy Hone

3 secrets of resilient people | Lucy Hone

Everyone experiences loss, but how do you cope with the tough moments that follow? Resilience researcher Lucy Hone shares three hard-won strategies for developing the capacity to brave adversity, overcome struggle and face whatever may come head-on with fortitude and grace.

How drawing can set you free | Shantell Martin

How drawing can set you free | Shantell Martin

Who are you? To answer this question, artist Shantell Martin followed her pen. In this brilliantly visual talk featuring her signature freestyle line work -- drawn across everything from the screens of Times Square to the bodies of New York City Ballet dancers -- Martin shares how she found freedom...

What tech companies know about your kids | Veronica Barassi

What tech companies know about your kids | Veronica Barassi

The digital platforms you and your family use every day -- from online games to education apps and medical portals -- may be collecting and selling your children's data, says anthropologist Veronica Barassi. Sharing her eye-opening research, Barassi urges parents to look twice at digital terms...

How to turn your dissatisfaction into action | Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr

How to turn your dissatisfaction into action | Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr

After the devastating rebel invasion of Freetown in 1999 and the Ebola epidemic in 2014, Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, mayor of the city, refused to be paralyzed by her frustration with the status quo. Instead, she used her anger as a catalyst for action. In this inspiring talk, she shares how she...

The difference between being "not racist" and antiracist | Ibram X. Kendi

The difference between being "not racist" and antiracist | Ibram X. Kendi

There is no such thing as being "not racist," says author and historian Ibram X. Kendi. In this vital conversation, he defines the transformative concept of antiracism to help us more clearly recognize, take responsibility for and reject prejudices in our public policies, workplaces and...

We need to green the economy while restarting it | Nigel Topping

We need to green the economy while restarting it | Nigel Topping

Nigel Topping has a cool job: he's the UK's High Level Climate Action Champion for COP26, the UN's climate change conference taking place in 2021. In this wide-ranging interview, Topping discusses his work with scientists, businesses and cities to drive action on climate change and...

How flags unite (and divide) us | Michael Green

How flags unite (and divide) us | Michael Green

Flags are one of the simplest yet most powerful pieces of design ever conceived. They can make us swell with pride, burn with hatred -- and even inspire people to die or kill in their name, says vexillologist Michael Green. Take a brief walk through history as Green explores the symbolic fervor...

The ACLU's call to defund the police | Anthony D. Romero

The ACLU's call to defund the police | Anthony D. Romero

"We need to defund the budgets of police departments. It's the only way we're going to take power back," says Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Calling for allies to get involved in the efforts to dismantle systemic racism,...

The US needs a radical revolution of values | Dr. Bernice King

The US needs a radical revolution of values | Dr. Bernice King

To cultivate a society grounded in equity and love, we must uproot systems of oppression and violence towards Black communities, says Dr. Bernice Albertine King, community builder and daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In a time of mourning and protest, King calls for a revolution of values,...

How to channel your presence and energy into ending injustice | Rashad Robinson

How to channel your presence and energy into ending injustice | Rashad Robinson

The presence and visibility of a movement can often lead us to believe that progress is inevitable. But building power and changing the system requires more than conversations and retweets, says Rashad Robinson, the president of Color Of Change. To create material change in the racist systems that...

The bill has come due for the US's history of racism | Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff

The bill has come due for the US's history of racism | Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff

The bill has come due for the unpaid debts the United States owes its Black residents, says Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff, CEO of the Center for Policing Equity (CPE). But we're not going to get to where we need to go just by reforming law enforcement. In addition to the work that CPE is known for --...

The economic benefits of climate action  | Marcelo Mena

The economic benefits of climate action | Marcelo Mena

Marcelo Mena, the former environment minister of Chile, is on a mission to create a zero-emission economy in his country by 2050. In a conversation about climate action, he discusses how the COVID-19 pandemic is changing Chile's ambitious plan to tackle climate change -- and explains why the...

5 steps to remove yourself from drama at work | Anastasia Penright

5 steps to remove yourself from drama at work | Anastasia Penright

No matter your industry, you've experienced drama at work. In this funny and all-too-relatable talk, community leader Anastasia Penright outlines five steps you can follow to better coexist with your coworkers and focus on what's really important.

The path to ending systemic racism in the US | Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff, Rashad Robinson, Dr. Bernice King, Anthony D. Romero

The path to ending systemic racism in the US | Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff, Rashad Robinson, Dr. Bernice King, Anthony D. Romero

In a time of mourning and anger over the ongoing violence inflicted on Black communities by police in the US and the lack of accountability from national leadership, what is the path forward? Sharing urgent insights into this historic moment, Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff, Rashad Robinson, Dr. Bernice...

How tech companies can help combat the pandemic and reshape public health | Karen DeSalvo

How tech companies can help combat the pandemic and reshape public health | Karen DeSalvo

Karen DeSalvo, the chief health officer at Google, explains the partnership between big tech and public health in slowing the spread of COVID-19 -- and discusses a new contact tracing technology recently rolled out by Google and Apple that aims to ease the burden on health workers and provide...

The link between climate change, health and poverty | Cheryl Holder

The link between climate change, health and poverty | Cheryl Holder

For the poor and vulnerable, the health impacts of climate change are already here, says physician Cheryl Holder. Unseasonably hot temperatures, disease-carrying mosquitoes and climate gentrification threaten those with existing health conditions, while wealthier people move to higher ground. In an...

How to quickly scale up contact tracing across the US | Joia Mukherjee

How to quickly scale up contact tracing across the US | Joia Mukherjee

Contact tracing -- the process of identifying people who may have been exposed to the coronavirus in order to slow its spread -- is a fundamental tool in the fight against COVID-19. How can we scale this critical work across the entire United States? Joia Mukherjee, chief medical officer of...

How to support witnesses of harassment and build healthier workplaces | Julia Shaw

How to support witnesses of harassment and build healthier workplaces | Julia Shaw

What makes you speak up -- or not -- when you see something you know is wrong? Memory scientist Julia Shaw explains the psychology of those who witness workplace discrimination and harassment -- and shares actionable steps companies can take to support and amplify their voices.

The true cost of financial dependence | Estelle Gibson

The true cost of financial dependence | Estelle Gibson

Giving up control of your finances -- voluntarily or otherwise -- can leave you powerless and, in some cases, confined to a cycle of abuse. In this personal talk, accountant Estelle Gibson shares her own story of recovering from financial dependence and provides actionable advice to empower others...

What COVID-19 means for the future of commerce, capitalism and cash | Dan Schulman

What COVID-19 means for the future of commerce, capitalism and cash | Dan Schulman

Capitalism needs an upgrade, says PayPal CEO Dan Schulman, and it starts with paying people enough to actually invest in their futures. He discusses why companies need to cultivate trust to recover and rebuild after the COVID-19 pandemic -- and how we can use this defining moment to create a more...

My story of love and loss as a transracial adoptee | Sara Jones

My story of love and loss as a transracial adoptee | Sara Jones

A mysterious tattoo on her forearm was all that linked Sara Jones, adopted as a child by white parents, to her South Korean origins. Searching for her birth family taught her that transracial adoption stories often frame new lives abroad as strokes of luck that call for endless gratitude, obscuring...

Autofocusing reading glasses of the future | Nitish Padmanaban

Autofocusing reading glasses of the future | Nitish Padmanaban

As you age, you gradually lose the ability to refocus your eyes -- a phenomenon as old as humanity itself -- leading to a reliance on bifocals, contacts and procedures like LASIK surgery. Electrical engineer Nitish Padmanaban offers a glimpse of cutting-edge tech that's truly a sight for sore...

How to raise kids who can overcome anxiety | Anne Marie Albano

How to raise kids who can overcome anxiety | Anne Marie Albano

Growing up means facing new challenges -- but for some kids, uncertain situations lead to anxiety that parents often seek to soothe. Psychologist Anne Marie Albano explains how constantly rushing to fix a child's problems can perpetuate a lifelong cycle of dependence and resentment -- and...

The secret weapon against pandemics | Georges C. Benjamin

The secret weapon against pandemics | Georges C. Benjamin

The coronavirus pandemic won't be the last crisis to test public health systems worldwide, says physician and health policy leader Georges C. Benjamin. He details what's needed to lead us out of the pandemic and prevent future ones -- including a robust governmental health entity equipped...

A COVID-19 "exit" strategy to end lockdown and reopen the economy | Uri Alon

A COVID-19 "exit" strategy to end lockdown and reopen the economy | Uri Alon

How can we return to work without spurring a second surge of coronavirus infection? Biologist Uri Alon shares a thought-provoking strategy: four days at work followed by 10 days of lockdown, a cycle that would exploit a weakness in the virus's biology and potentially cut its reproductive rate...

Let's make the world wild again | Kristine Tompkins

Let's make the world wild again | Kristine Tompkins

Earth, humanity and nature are inextricably interconnected. To restore us all back to health, we need to "rewild" the world, says environmental activist Kristine Tompkins. Tracing her life from Patagonia CEO to passionate conservationist, she shares how she has helped to establish...

How the US can address the tragedy of veteran suicide | Charles P. Smith

How the US can address the tragedy of veteran suicide | Charles P. Smith

Veterans in the United States take their own lives at an alarming rate. Suggesting new ways to prioritize mental health in the military, veterans advocate Charles P. Smith offers a data-driven plan to help prevent suicide and ensure service members get proper care before, during and after active duty.

How to meaningfully reconnect with those who have dementia | Anne Basting

How to meaningfully reconnect with those who have dementia | Anne Basting

By incorporating art and creativity into elder care settings, gerontologist Anne Basting helps families reconnect with loved ones who have dementia. In this moving talk, she shares how asking "beautiful questions" -- questions that don't have a right or wrong answer -- opens up a...

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