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TuneIn | Society and Culture
May 24, 2021
The real-life superheroes helping Syrian refugees | Feras Fayyad
Society has a set of stories it tells itself about who refugees are and what they look like, says documentarian and TED Fellow Feras Fayyad. With his films, he's on a mission to separate the facts about refugees from fiction, as a form of resistance -- for himself, his daughter and the millions of other Syrian refugees across the world. A harrowing account, a quest to end injustice and a testament to the power of storytelling.
May 24, 2021
A feminist reimagining of Kenya's public transport | Naomi Mwaura
Kenya's minibuses -- known as "matatus" -- offer a convenient, affordable and colorful way for people to get around. But they also pose safety risks and accessibility issues for many of their passengers, especially women. Bringing a feminist perspective, activist and TED Fellow Naomi Mwaura calls for a revolution in public transportation by making routes transparent, protecting passengers from harassment and paving a career path for women in the industry.
May 7, 2021
What's your happiness score? | Dominic Price
How do you rediscover a happier, more purpose-driven (and less productivity-obsessed) self in the wake of the pandemic? Quiz yourself alongside work futurist Dominic Price as he lays out a simple yet insightful four-part guide to assessing your life in ways that can help you reconnect with what's really important.
Apr 1, 2021
An honest history of an ancient and "nasty" word | Kate Lister
With candor and cunning, sex historian Kate Lister chronicles the curious journey of an ancient, honest word with innocent origins and a now-scandalous connotation in this uproarious love letter to etymology, queens, cows and all things "cunt." (This talk contains mature language.)
Mar 31, 2021
Language around gender and identity evolves (and always has) | Archie Crowley
Dictionaries and grammar "rules" don't have the final word on language -- and believing they do can harm more than help, especially for the trans community. Sociolinguist Archie Crowley deconstructs three common myths around language, demonstrating how it's a fluid system that naturally evolves in the direction of inclusion.
Mar 15, 2021
What if mental health workers responded to emergency calls? | Leslie Herod
When you report an emergency in the US, police, firefighters or paramedics answer the call. What if mental health professionals responded, too? Colorado State Representative Leslie Herod shares a straightforward and research-backed approach that brings heart and humanity to criminal justice rather than unnecessary fines and arrests -- and keeps crises from escalating into traumatic, or even deadly, events.
Mar 9, 2021
Love, sorrow and the emotions that power climate action | Knut Ivar Bjørlykhaug
Picture your favorite place in nature. How would you feel if it disappeared tomorrow? In this love letter to the planet, social worker and environmental activist Knut Ivar Bjørlykhaug invites us to confront the deep, difficult emotions -- love, sorrow and even rage -- born from climate-driven ecological loss in order to act in service of our collective home.
Feb 23, 2021
Why there's no such thing as objective reality | Greg Anderson
In the grand scheme of history, modern reality is a bizarre exception when compared to the worlds of ancient, precolonial and Indigenous civilizations, where myths ruled and gods roamed, says historian Greg Anderson. So why do Westerners today think they're right about reality and everybody else is wrong? Anderson tears into the fabric of objective reality to reveal the many universes that lie beyond -- and encourages a healthy reimagining of what other possible ways of being human could look like.
Feb 5, 2021
How to get everyone to care about a green economy | Angela Francis
How do you get the environment to the top of everyone's priority list? You can't, says climate advocate Angela Francis -- but you can get them to care about improving their lives. In this pragmatic talk, she shares her playbook for helping even the most skeptical among us see the benefits of a greener economy on their health, wealth and well-being.
Jan 5, 2021
3 ways companies can support grieving employees | Tilak Mandadi
When we experience loss, grief travels with us everywhere -- even work. What can companies do to support grieving employees? Sharing his own story of unimaginable heartbreak, Tilak Mandadi offers three ways organizations can cultivate a culture of workplace empathy, creating an environment that encourages community, productivity and joy. (This talk contains mature content.)
Dec 16, 2020
Who counts as a speaker of a language? | Anna Babel
Backed by research and personal anecdotes, Spanish professor Anna Babel reveals the intricate relationship between language and culture, showing how social categories and underlying biases influence the way we hear, regard and, ultimately, judge each other. A talk that will leave you questioning your assumptions about what it really means to speak a language.
Sep 14, 2020
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 society -- and challenges us to think twice the next time we dismiss someone for the sake of politics.
Jul 15, 2020
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.
Jun 25, 2020
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, transportation and agriculture, offer a cheaper alternative to fossil fuels and nuclear energy and create millions of new jobs. Stay tuned for a lively debate about geoengineering and hear Gore's thoughts about how humanity can create a clean, prosperous future through a focused global effort and a generation of young people committed to change. (This virtual conversation, hosted by head of TED Chris Anderson, was recorded June 23, 2020.)
Jun 23, 2020
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 multidisciplinary approach to reject cultural obsessions with romanticized history and prevent this nostalgia from perpetuating past oppressions.
Jun 18, 2020
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 people at all levels of society -- from schools and social media to policing and criminal justice -- and discusses how creating points of friction can help us actively interrupt and address this troubling problem.
Jun 15, 2020
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.
Jun 10, 2020
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 transformed her city by taking the risks necessary to bring about dramatic change -- and shows how you can find power in your dissatisfaction.
Jun 9, 2020
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 personal beliefs. Learn how you can actively use this awareness to uproot injustice and inequality in the world -- and replace it with love. (This virtual interview, hosted by TED's current affairs curator Whitney Pennington Rodgers and speaker development curator Cloe Shasha, was recorded June 9, 2020.)
Jun 3, 2020
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 King and Anthony D. Romero discuss dismantling the systems of oppression and racism responsible for tragedies like the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and far too many others -- and explore how the US can start to live up to its ideals. (This discussion, hosted by head of TED Chris Anderson and current affairs curator Whitney Pennington Rodgers, was recorded on June 3, 2020.)
May 22, 2020
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.
Apr 28, 2020
The injustice of "policing for profit" -- and how to end it | Dick M. Carpenter II
Many countries have an active, centuries-old law that allows government agencies to take your things -- your house, your car, your business -- without ever convicting you of a crime. Law researcher Dick M. Carpenter II exposes how this practice of civil forfeiture threatens your rights and creates a huge monetary incentive for law enforcement to pocket your possessions -- and he lays out a path to end "policing for profit" once and for all.
Apr 16, 2020
Racism has a cost for everyone | Heather C. McGhee
Racism makes our economy worse -- and not just in ways that harm people of color, says public policy expert Heather C. McGhee. From her research and travels across the US, McGhee shares startling insights into how racism fuels bad policymaking and drains our economic potential -- and offers a crucial rethink on what we can do to create a more prosperous nation for all. "Our fates are linked," she says. "It costs us so much to remain divided."
Apr 6, 2020
In uncertain times, think like a mother | Yifat Susskind
There's a simple and powerful way to confront the world's most pressing crises, says women's rights activist Yifat Susskind: think like a mother. As she puts it: "When you think like a mother, you prioritize the needs of the many, not the whims of the few." Follow along as she shares moving stories of people around the world who embody this mindset -- and shows how it can also help you see beyond suffering and act to build a better world.
Mar 24, 2020
How to be your best self in times of crisis | Susan David
"Life's beauty is inseparable from its fragility," says psychologist Susan David. In a special virtual conversation, she shares wisdom on how to build resilience, courage and joy in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Responding to listeners' questions from across the globe, she offers ways to talk to your children about their emotions, keep focus during the crisis and help those working on the front lines. (This virtual conversation is part of the TED Connects series, hosted by head of TED Chris Anderson and current affairs curator Whitney Pennington Rodgers. Recorded March 23, 2020)
Mar 18, 2020
Without farmers, you'd be hungry, naked and sober | Eric Sannerud
Farmers keep us fed and our economies stable, but in the US they're retiring faster than they're being replaced. Take a crash course in agricultural policy with Eric Sannerud to see why this problem can't be solved by simply buying from your local farmer's market -- and learn how you can use your vote to create a better future for farmers.
Mar 12, 2020
Why it's so hard to talk about the N-word | Elizabeth Stordeur Pryor
Historian Elizabeth Stordeur Pryor leads a thoughtful and history-backed examination of one of the most divisive words in the English language: the N-word. Drawing from personal experience, she explains how reflecting on our points of encounter with the word can help promote productive discussions and, ultimately, create a framework that reshapes education around the complicated history of racism in the US.
Mar 9, 2020
The gender-fluid history of the Philippines | France Villarta
In much of the world, gender is viewed as binary: man or woman, each assigned characteristics and traits designated by biological sex. But that's not the case everywhere, says France Villarta. In a talk that's part cultural love letter, part history lesson, he details the legacy of gender fluidity and inclusivity in his native Philippines -- and emphasizes the universal beauty of all people, regardless of society's labels.
Feb 26, 2020
3 ways to uproot a culture of corruption | Wanjira Mathai
Corruption is a constant threat in Kenya, says social entrepreneur Wanjira Mathai -- and to stop it there (or anywhere else), we need to intervene early. Following the legacy of her mother, political activist and Nobel Prize recipient Wangari Maathai, Mathai shares three strategies to uproot a culture of corruption by teaching children and young people about leadership, purpose and integrity.
Feb 3, 2020
The real story of Rosa Parks -- and why we need to confront myths about Black history | David Ikard
Black history taught in US schools is often watered-down, riddled with inaccuracies and stripped of its context and rich, full-bodied historical figures. Equipped with the real story of Rosa Parks, professor David Ikard highlights how making the realities of race more benign and digestible harms us all -- and emphasizes the power and importance of historical accuracy.
Jan 27, 2020
How the magic of kindness helped me survive the Holocaust | Werner Reich
Holocaust survivor Werner Reich recounts his harrowing adolescence as a prisoner transported between concentration camps -- and shares how a small, kind act can inspire a lifetime of compassion. "If you ever know somebody who needs help, if you know somebody who is scared, be kind to them," he says. "If you do it at the right time, it will enter their heart, and it will be with them wherever they go, forever."
Jan 17, 2020
Why can't we talk about periods? | Jen Gunter
"It shouldn't be an act of feminism to know how your body works," says gynecologist and author Jen Gunter. In this revelatory talk, she explains how menstrual shame silences and represses -- and leads to the spread of harmful misinformation and the mismanagement of pain. Declaring the era of the menstrual taboos over, she delivers a clear, much-needed lesson on the once-mysterious mechanics of the uterus.
Jan 14, 2020
How guest worker visas could transform the US immigration system | David J. Bier
The United States can create a more humane immigration system; in fact, it's been done before, says policy analyst David J. Bier. Pointing to the historical success of the US guest worker program, which allows foreign workers to legally enter and work in the country, Bier shows why expanding the program to Central Americans could alleviate the border crisis and provide new opportunities for immigrants.
Jan 14, 2020
The perks of being a pirate | Tom Nash
In this deeply charming and humorous talk, DJ and self-professed pirate Tom Nash meditates on how facing adversity due to disability invited patience, ambition and pragmatism into his life in enlightening, unexpected ways. "We all have unique weaknesses," he says. "If we're honest about what they are, we can learn how to best take advantage of them."
Jan 10, 2020
Climate change will displace millions. Here's how we prepare | Colette Pichon Battle
Scientists predict climate change will displace more than 180 million people by 2100 -- a crisis of "climate migration" the world isn't ready for, says disaster recovery lawyer and Louisiana native Colette Pichon Battle. In this passionate, lyrical talk, she urges us to radically restructure the economic and social systems that are driving climate migration -- and caused it in the first place -- and shares how we can cultivate collective resilience, better prepare before disaster strikes and advance human rights for all.
Dec 18, 2019
What we're getting wrong in the fight to end hunger | Jasmine Crowe
In a world that's wasting more food than ever before, why do one in nine people still go to bed hungry each night? Social entrepreneur Jasmine Crowe calls for a radical transformation to our fight to end global hunger -- challenging us to rethink our routine approaches to addressing food insecurity and sharing how we can use technology to gather unused food and deliver it directly to people in need.
Dec 10, 2019
Why I protest for climate justice | Jane Fonda
At age 81, actor and activist Jane Fonda is putting herself on the line for the planet -- literally. In a video interview with TEDWomen curator Pat Mitchell, Fonda speaks about getting arrested multiple times during Fire Drill Fridays, the weekly climate demonstrations she leads in Washington, DC -- and discusses why civil disobedience is becoming a new normal in the age of climate change.
Dec 6, 2019
The profound power of an authentic apology | Eve Ensler
Genuine apology goes beyond remorse, says legendary playwright Eve Ensler. In this frank, wrenching talk, she shares how she transformed her own experience of abuse into wisdom on what wrongdoers can do and say to truly repent -- and offers a four-step roadmap to help begin the process. (This talk contains mature content.)
Nov 21, 2019
How to save a language from extinction | Daniel Bögre Udell
As many as 3,000 languages could disappear within the next 80 years, all but silencing entire cultures. In this quick talk, language activist Daniel Bögre Udell shows how people around the world are finding new ways to revive ancestral languages and rebuild their traditions -- and encourages us all to investigate the tongues of our ancestors. "Reclaiming your language and embracing your culture is a powerful way to be yourself," he says.
Nov 19, 2019
3 questions we should ask about nuclear weapons | Emma Belcher
There are more than 10,000 nuclear weapons in existence today, each one capable of causing immense destruction. Why don't we talk about this threat as much as some other major issues? In this practical talk, nuclear security expert Emma Belcher shares three questions you can ask your elected officials to gain a better understanding of nuclear weapons and the measures we need to stay safe.
Nov 13, 2019
How can we support the emotional well-being of teachers? | Sydney Jensen
Teachers emotionally support our kids -- but who's supporting our teachers? In this eye-opening talk, educator Sydney Jensen explores how teachers are at risk of "secondary trauma" -- the idea that they absorb the emotional weight of their students' experiences -- and shows how schools can get creative in supporting everyone's mental health and wellness.
Oct 14, 2019
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 trend. "Humans are not playthings of cosmic forces," he says. "We are users of cosmic forces."
Oct 9, 2019
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 isn't about kids and borders," he says. "It's about us. This is about who we are, who we the people are, as a nation and as individuals."
Oct 8, 2019
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 an environmental revolution -- and transition industry towards getting all of its plastic from recycled materials, not from fossil fuels.
Oct 7, 2019
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 is shifting our understanding of the origin-of-life puzzle.
Oct 1, 2019
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 power into action to save local agriculture from collapse and transform the food industry from the bottom up.
Sep 25, 2019
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 crowdsourced genealogy databases can shed light not only on the past but also on the future.
Sep 24, 2019
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 a lifetime.
Sep 5, 2019
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 rabbit hole of online propaganda and misinformation -- and learn we can start to make the internet less toxic.
Aug 23, 2019
What ping-pong taught me about life | Pico Iyer
Growing up in England, Pico Iyer was taught that the point of a game was to win. Now, some 50 years later, he's realized that competition can be "more like an act of love." In this charming, subtly profound talk, he explores what regular games of ping-pong in his neighborhood in Japan have revealed about the riddle of winning -- and shows why not knowing who's won can feel like the ultimate victory.
Aug 22, 2019
The power to think ahead in a reckless age | Bina Venkataraman
In a forward-looking talk, author Bina Venkataraman answers a pivotal question of our time: How can we secure our future and do right by future generations? She parses the mistakes we make when imagining the future of our lives, businesses and communities, revealing how we can reclaim our innate foresight. What emerges is a surprising case for hope -- and a path to becoming the "good ancestors" we long to be.
Jul 11, 2019
How we're honoring people overlooked by history | Amy Padnani
Since its founding in 1851, the "New York Times" has published thousands of obituaries -- for heads of state, famous celebrities, even the inventor of the sock puppet. But only a small percentage of them chronicle the lives of women and people of color. In this insightful talk, "Times" editor Amy Padnani shares the story behind "Overlooked," the project she's leading to recognize people from history whose deaths were ignored -- and refocus society's lens on who is considered important.
Jun 28, 2019
The next big thing is coming from the Bronx, again | Jon Gray
"The hood is good," says Jon Gray of the Bronx, New York-based creative collective Ghetto Gastro. Working at the intersection of food, design and art, Gray and his team honor the soul and history of their community while applying their unbridled creativity and expansive imagination to unexpected, otherworldly collaborations. Learn more about how they're creating and investing in their home borough -- bringing the Bronx to the world and vice versa.
Jun 19, 2019
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 after life is interrupted?
Jun 12, 2019
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 evolutionary advantage," he says. "[It's] a powerful and healthy force in your life."
Jun 11, 2019
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.
Jun 5, 2019
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 "weavers" -- Brooks lays out his vision for a cultural revolution that empowers us all to lead lives of greater meaning, purpose and joy.
May 30, 2019
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 broader, more nuanced view of the generation. "Millennials are not a monolith," she says.
May 23, 2019
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 possibility," she says. "Who we see thriving in the world teaches us how to see ourselves, how to think about our own value, how to dream about our futures."
May 17, 2019
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. "While love is an instinct and an emotion, the ability to love better is a skill we can all build and improve on over time," she says.
Apr 30, 2019
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 new ideas, propel action and melt fear.
Apr 12, 2019
3 lessons on starting a movement from a self-defense trailblazer | Rana Abdelhamid
At 16, Rana Abdelhamid started teaching self-defense to women and girls in her neighborhood. Almost 10 years later, these community classes have grown into Malikah: a global grassroots network creating safety, power and solidarity for all women. How did she do it? Abdelhamid shares three ingredients for building a movement from the ground up.
Apr 1, 2019
How centuries of sci-fi sparked spaceflight | Alexander MacDonald
Long before we had rocket scientists, the idea of spaceflight traveled from mind to mind across generations. With great visuals, TED Fellow and NASA economist Alexander MacDonald shows how 300 years of sci-fi tales -- from Edgar Allan Poe to Jules Verne to H.G. Wells and beyond -- sparked a culture of space exploration. A fascinating look at how stories become reality, featuring a goose machine sent to the Moon.
Mar 28, 2019
A short history of trans people's long fight for equality | Samy Nour Younes
Transgender activist and TED Resident Samy Nour Younes shares the remarkable, centuries-old history of the trans community, filled with courageous stories, inspiring triumphs -- and a fight for civil rights that's been raging for a long time. "Imagine how the conversation would shift if we acknowledge just how long trans people have been demanding equality," he says.
Mar 14, 2019
Our dangerous obsession with perfectionism is getting worse | Thomas Curran
Social psychologist Thomas Curran explores how the pressure to be perfect -- in our social media feeds, in school, at work -- is driving a rise in mental illness, especially among young people. Learn more about the causes of this phenomenon and how we can create a culture that celebrates the joys of imperfection.
Feb 22, 2019
How to overcome apathy and find your power | Dolores Huerta
"Sí, se puede!" -- "Yes, we can!" It's the rallying cry Dolores Huerta came up with as a young activist in the 1970s, and she's lived by it in her tireless pursuit of civil rights ever since. With her signature wit and humor, Huerta reflects on her life's work, offering inspiration for anybody trying to overcome apathy, get involved and find their own power.
Feb 14, 2019
A love story about the power of art as organizing | Aja Monet and phillip agnew
In a lyrical talk full of radical imagination, poet Aja Monet and community organizer phillip agnew share the story of how they fell in love and what they've learned about the powerful connection between great social movements and meaningful art. Journey to Smoke Signals Studio in Miami, their home and community art space where they're creating a refuge for neighbors and creators -- and imagining a new answer to distraction, anger and anxiety.
Feb 13, 2019
3 ways to practice civility | Steven Petrow
What does it mean to be civil? Journalist Steven Petrow looks for answers in the original meaning of the word, showing why civility shouldn't be dismissed as conversation-stifling political correctness or censorship. Learn three ways we can each work to be more civil -- and start talking about our differences with respect.
Jan 31, 2019
An astronaut's story of curiosity, perspective and change | Leland Melvin
What job is best for a young man who's been a tennis ace, a cross-country traveler, a chemistry nerd and an NFL draftee? How about ... astronaut? Leland Melvin tells the story of the challenges he's accepted and the opportunities he's seized -- and how they led him to the International Space Station and a whole new perspective of life on earth. (Contains mature content)
Jan 31, 2019
The way we think about biological sex is wrong | Emily Quinn
Did you know that almost 150 million people worldwide are born intersex -- with biology that doesn't fit the standard definition of male or female? (That's as many as the population of Russia.) At age 10, Emily Quinn found out she was intersex, and in this wise, funny talk, she shares eye-opening lessons from a life spent navigating society's thoughtless expectations, doctors who demanded she get unnecessary surgery -- and advocating for herself and the incredible variety that humans come in. (Contains mature content)
Jan 28, 2019
The power of women's anger | Soraya Chemaly
Anger is a powerful emotion -- it warns us of threat, insult, indignity and harm. But across the world, girls and women are taught that their anger is better left unvoiced, says author Soraya Chemaly. Why is that, and what might we lose in this silence? In a provocative, thoughtful talk, Chemaly explores the dangerous lie that anger isn't feminine, showing how women's rage is justified, healthy and a potential catalyst for change.
Jan 22, 2019
How to transform sinking cities into landscapes that fight floods | Kotchakorn Voraakhom
From London to Tokyo, climate change is causing cities to sink -- and our modern concrete infrastructure is making us even more vulnerable to severe flooding, says landscape architect and TED Fellow Kotchakorn Voraakhom. But what if we could design cities to help fight floods? In this inspiring talk, Voraakhom shows how she developed a massive park in Bangkok that can hold a million gallons of rainwater, calling for more climate change solutions that connect cities back to nature.
Jan 17, 2019
Embrace your raw, strange magic | Casey Gerald
The way we're taught to live has got to change, says author Casey Gerald. Too often, we hide parts of ourselves in order to fit in, win praise, be accepted. But at what cost? In this inspiring talk, Gerald shares the personal sacrifices he made to attain success in the upper echelons of American society -- and shows why it's time for us to have the courage to live in the raw, strange magic of ourselves.
Jan 16, 2019
How empowering women and girls can help stop global warming | Katharine Wilkinson
If we really want to address climate change, we need to make gender equity a reality, says writer and environmentalist Katharine Wilkinson. As part of Project Drawdown, Wilkinson has helped scour humanity's wisdom for solutions to draw down heat-trapping, climate-changing emissions: obvious things like renewable energy and sustainable diets and not so obvious ones, like the education and empowerment of women. In this informative, bold talk, she shares three key ways that equity for women and girls can help stop global warming. "Drawing down emissions depends on rising up," Wilkinson says.
Jan 14, 2019
3 ways to build a happy marriage and avoid divorce | George Blair-West
Choosing to marry and share your life with someone is one of the most important decisions you can make in life. But with divorce rates approaching fifty percent in some parts of the world, it's clear we could use some help picking a partner. In an actionable, eye-opening talk, psychiatrist George Blair-West shares three keys to preventing divorce -- and spotting potential problems while you're still dating.
Dec 18, 2018
How I unlearned dangerous lessons about masculinity | Eldra Jackson
In a powerful talk, educator Eldra Jackson III shares how he unlearned dangerous lessons about masculinity through Inside Circle, an organization that leads group therapy for incarcerated men. Now he's helping others heal by creating a new image of what it means to be a whole, healthy man. "The challenge is to eradicate this cycle of emotional illiteracy and groupthink," he says.
Dec 5, 2018
How to motivate people to do good for others | Erez Yoeli
How can we get people to do more good: to go to the polls, give to charity, conserve resources or just generally act better towards others? MIT research scientist Erez Yoeli shares a simple checklist for harnessing the power of reputations -- or our collective desire to be seen as generous and kind instead of selfish -- to motivate people to act in the interest of others. Learn more about how small changes to your approach to getting people to do good could yield surprising results.
Nov 30, 2018
Me Too is a movement, not a moment | Tarana Burke
In 2006, Tarana Burke was consumed by a desire to do something about the sexual violence she saw in her community. She took out a piece of paper, wrote "Me Too" across the top and laid out an action plan for a movement centered on the power of empathy between survivors. More than a decade later, she reflects on what has since become a global movement -- and makes a powerful call to dismantle the power and privilege that are building blocks of sexual violence. "We owe future generations nothing less than a world free of sexual violence," she says. "I believe we can build that world."
Nov 13, 2018
My journey to thank all the people responsible for my morning coffee | A.J. Jacobs
Author A.J. 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 ensued -- and shares the life-altering wisdom he picked up along the way. "I discovered that my coffee would not be possible without hundreds of people I take for granted," Jacobs says.
Nov 2, 2018
A memory scientist's advice on reporting harassment and discrimination | Julia Shaw
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. She shares three lessons to apply if you've been harassed or discriminated against -- and introduces Spot: a free, anonymous, online reporting tool that helps empower victims.
Oct 24, 2018
How revenge porn turns lives upside down | Darieth Chisolm
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 online. She describes how she's working to help victims and outlines the current state of legislation aimed at punishing perpetrators.
Oct 24, 2018
How we can help young people build a better future | Henrietta Fore
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 them and details an ambitious new global initiative, Generation Unlimited, which aims to ensure every young person is in school, training or employed by 2030.
Oct 8, 2018
How I climbed a 3,000-foot vertical cliff -- without ropes | Alex Honnold
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, he tells the story of how he summited Yosemite's El Capitan, completing one of the most dangerous free solo climbs ever.
Oct 1, 2018
3 lessons on decision-making from a poker champion | Liv Boeree
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 and how we can apply them to real life.
Sep 26, 2018
What happened when we tested thousands of abandoned rape kits in Detroit | Kym Worthy
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 the thousands of victims affected. In this powerful, eye-opening talk, Worthy explains how her office helped develop an innovative program to track and test these kits -- and calls for a national effort to help solve the problem of stockpiled rape kits.
Sep 20, 2018
Why museums are returning cultural treasures | Chip Colwell
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 ancient graves -- and how they're bridging divides with communities who are demanding the return of their cultural treasures.
Sep 18, 2018
The press trampled on my privacy. Here's how I took back my story | Kate Stone
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 courage.
Sep 12, 2018
What are the most important moral problems of our time? | Will MacAskill
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 altruism" -- and shares ideas for taking on three pressing global issues.
Aug 30, 2018
How I went from child refugee to international model | Halima Aden
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 learned on the path from child refugee to international model.
Aug 21, 2018
Why the "wrong side of the tracks" is usually the east side of cities | Stephen DeBerry
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 both environmental and man-made factors have led to disparity by design in cities from East Palo Alto, California to East Jerusalem and beyond -- and suggests some elegant solutions to fix it.
Aug 20, 2018
How women in rural India turned courage into capital | Chetna Gala Sinha
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 and continue to push her to come up with solutions for those denied traditional financial backing.
Aug 17, 2018
How urban spaces can preserve history and build community | Walter Hood
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 Oakland to the upcoming International African American Museum in Charleston, South Carolina. In this inspiring talk packed with images of his work, Hood shares the five simple concepts that guide his approach to creating spaces that illuminate shared memories and force us to look at one another in a different way.
Jul 24, 2018
How to stop swiping and find your person on dating apps | Christina Wallace
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 set to invent a "zero date" approach and get off swipe-based apps -- and how you can, too.
Jul 12, 2018
An honest look at the personal finance crisis | Elizabeth White
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 an honest conversation about financial trouble and offers practical advice for how to live a richly textured life on a limited income.
Jun 14, 2018
How I'm bringing queer pride to my rural village | Katlego Kolanyane-Kesupile
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 space means being everything but rural, I fear that we're erasing the very struggles that got us to where we are now," she says. "Indigenizing my queerness means bridging the many exceptional parts of myself."
May 31, 2018
What gardening taught me about life | tobacco brown
Gardens are mirrors of our lives, says environmental artist tobacco brown, and we must cultivate them with care to harvest their full beauty. Drawing on her experience bringing natural public art installations to cities around the world, brown reveals what gardening can teach us about creating lives of compassion, connection and grace.
May 23, 2018
How I made friends with reality | Emily Levine
With her signature wit and wisdom, Emily Levine meets her ultimate challenge as a comedian/philosopher: she makes dying funny. In this personal talk, she takes us on her journey to make friends with reality -- and peace with death. Life is an enormous gift, Levine says: "You enrich it as best you can, and then you give it back."
May 11, 2018
The truth about unwanted arousal | Emily Nagoski
Sex educator Emily Nagoski breaks down one of the most dangerous myths about sex and introduces us to the science behind arousal nonconcordance: when there's a disconnect between physical response and the experience of pleasure and desire. Talking about such intimate, private moments can feel awkward or difficult, yet in this straightforward talk Nagoski urges all of us to share this crucial information with someone -- judges, lawyers, partners, kids. "With every brave conversation we have, we make the world that little bit better," says Nagoski. (This talk contains mature content.)
Apr 19, 2018
Why it's worth listening to people you disagree with | Zachary R. Wood
We get stronger, not weaker, by engaging with ideas and people we disagree with, says Zachary R. Wood. In an important talk about finding common ground, Wood makes the case that we can build empathy and gain understanding by engaging tactfully and thoughtfully with controversial ideas and unfamiliar perspectives. "Tuning out opposing viewpoints doesn't make them go away," Wood says. "To achieve progress in the face of adversity, we need a genuine commitment to gaining a deeper understanding of humanity."
Apr 12, 2018
The most powerful woman you've never heard of | T. Morgan Dixon and Vanessa Garrison
Everyone's heard of Martin Luther King Jr. But do you know the woman Dr. King called "the architect of the civil rights movement," Septima Clark? The teacher of some of the generation's most legendary activists -- like Rosa Parks, Diane Nash, Fannie Lou Hamer and thousands more -- Clark laid out a blueprint for change-making that has stood the test of time. Now T. Morgan Dixon and Vanessa Garrison, the cofounders of GirlTrek, are taking a page from Clark's playbook to launch a health revolution in the US -- and get one million women walking for justice. (This ambitious idea is part of the Audacious Project, TED's initiative to inspire and fund global change.)
Apr 11, 2018
How language shapes the way we think | Lera Boroditsky
There are about 7,000 languages spoken around the world -- and they all have different sounds, vocabularies and structures. But do they shape the way we think? Cognitive scientist Lera Boroditsky shares examples of language -- from an Aboriginal community in Australia that uses cardinal directions instead of left and right to the multiple words for blue in Russian -- that suggest the answer is a resounding yes. "The beauty of linguistic diversity is that it reveals to us just how ingenious and how flexible the human mind is," Boroditsky says. "Human minds have invented not one cognitive universe, but 7,000."
Apr 4, 2018
To eliminate waste, we need to rediscover thrift | Andrew Dent
There's no such thing as throwing something away, says Andrew Dent -- when you toss a used food container, broken toy or old pair of socks into the trash, those things inevitably end up in ever-growing landfills. But we can get smarter about the way we make, and remake, our products. Dent shares exciting examples of thrift -- the idea of using and reusing what you need so you don't have to purchase anything new -- as well as advances in material science, like electronics made of nanocellulose and enzymes that can help make plastic infinitely recyclable.
Mar 29, 2018
Why I choose humanism over faith | Leo Igwe
As a humanist, Leo Igwe doesn't believe in divine intervention -- but he does believe in the power of human beings to alleviate suffering, cure disease, preserve the planet and turn situations of poverty into prosperity. In this bold talk, Igwe shares how humanism can free Africans from damaging superstitions and give them the power to rebuild the continent.
Mar 15, 2018
The Great Migration and the power of a single decision | Isabel Wilkerson
Sometimes, a single decision can change the course of history. Join journalist and author Isabel Wilkerson as she tells the story of the Great Migration, the outpouring of six million African Americans from the Jim Crow South to cities in the North and West between World War I and the 1970s. This was the first time in American history that the lowest caste people signaled they had options and were willing to take them -- and the first time they had a chance to choose for themselves what they would do with their innate talents, Wilkerson explains. "These people, by their actions, were able to do what the powers that be, North and South, could not or would not do," she says. "They freed themselves."
Mar 9, 2018
The best way to help is often just to listen | Sophie Andrews
A 24-hour helpline in the UK known as Samaritans helped Sophie Andrews become a survivor of abuse rather than a victim. Now she's paying the favor back as the founder of The Silver Line, a helpline that supports lonely and isolated older people. In a powerful, personal talk, she shares why the simple act of listening (instead of giving advice) is often the best way to help someone in need.
Mar 2, 2018
How we became sisters | Felice Belle and Jennifer Murphy
Poets Felice Belle and Jennifer Murphy perform excerpts from their play "Other Women," which is created and directed by Monica L. Williams. In a captivating journey, they weave together stories full of laughter, loyalty, tragedy and heartbreak, recalling the moments that made them sisters.
Feb 27, 2018
Be humble -- and other lessons from the philosophy of water | Raymond Tang
How do we find fulfillment in a world that's constantly changing? Raymond Tang struggled with this question until he came across the ancient Chinese philosophy of the Tao Te Ching. In it, he found a passage comparing goodness to water, an idea he's now applying to his everyday life. In this charming talk, he shares three lessons he's learned so far from the "philosophy of water." "What would water do?" Tang asks. "This simple and powerful question ... has changed my life for the better."
Feb 5, 2018
How to fix a broken heart | Guy Winch
At some point in our lives, almost every one of us will have our heart broken. Imagine how different things would be if we paid more attention to this unique emotional pain. Psychologist Guy Winch reveals how recovering from heartbreak starts with a determination to fight our instincts to idealize and search for answers that aren't there -- and offers a toolkit on how to, eventually, move on. Our hearts might sometimes be broken, but we don't have to break with them.
Feb 1, 2018
Black life at the intersection of birth and death | Mwende "FreeQuency" Katwiwa
"It is the artist's job to unearth stories that people try to bury with shovels of complacency and time," says poet and freedom fighter Mwende "FreeQuency" Katwiwa. Performing her poem "The Joys of Motherhood," Katwiwa explores the experience of Black mothers in America and discusses the impact of the Movement for Black Lives -- because, she says, it's impossible to separate the two.
Jan 30, 2018
The gift and power of emotional courage | Susan David
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 that prizes positivity over emotional truth and discusses the powerful strategies of emotional agility. A talk to share.
Jan 11, 2018
How record collectors find lost music and preserve our cultural heritage | Alexis Charpentier
For generations, record collectors have played a vital role in the preservation of musical and cultural heritage by "digging" for obscure music created by overlooked artists. Alexis Charpentier shares his love of records -- and stories of how collectors have given forgotten music a second chance at being heard. Learn more about the culture of record digging (and, maybe, pick up a new hobby) with this fun, refreshing talk.
Dec 21, 2017
"Good" and "bad" are incomplete stories we tell ourselves | Heather Lanier
Heather Lanier's daughter Fiona has Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome, a genetic condition that results in developmental delays -- but that doesn't make her tragic, angelic or any of the other stereotypes about kids like her. In this talk about the beautiful, complicated, joyful and hard journey of raising a rare girl, Lanier questions our assumptions about what makes a life "good" or "bad," challenging us to stop fixating on solutions for whatever we deem not normal, and instead to take life as it comes.
Dec 18, 2017
The history of human emotions | Tiffany Watt Smith
The words we use to describe our emotions affect how we feel, says historian Tiffany Watt Smith, and they've often changed (sometimes very dramatically) in response to new cultural expectations and ideas. Take nostalgia, for instance: first defined in 1688 as an illness and considered deadly, today it's seen as a much less serious affliction. In this fascinating talk about the history of emotions, learn more about how the language we use to describe how we feel continues to evolve -- and pick up some new words used in different cultures to capture those fleeting feelings in words.
Dec 7, 2017
How urban agriculture is transforming Detroit | Devita Davison
There's something amazing growing in the city of Detroit: healthy, accessible, delicious, fresh food. In a spirited talk, fearless farmer Devita Davison explains how features of Detroit's decay actually make it an ideal spot for urban agriculture. Join Davison for a walk through neighborhoods in transformation as she shares stories of opportunity and hope. "These aren't plots of land where we're just growing tomatoes and carrots," Davison says. "We're building social cohesion as well as providing healthy, fresh food."
Dec 4, 2017
Why I'm done trying to be "man enough" | Justin Baldoni
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 be. And he has a challenge for men: "See if you can use the same qualities that you feel make you a man to go deeper," Baldoni says. "Your strength, your bravery, your toughness: Are you brave enough to be vulnerable? Are you strong enough to be sensitive? Are you confident enough to listen to the women in your life?"
Nov 22, 2017
An interview with the Queen of Creole Cuisine | Leah Chase and Pat Mitchell
Leah Chase's New Orleans restaurant Dooky Chase changed the course of American history over gumbo and fried chicken. During the civil rights movement, it was a place where white and black people came together, where activists planned protests and where the police entered but did not disturb -- and it continues to operate in the same spirit today. In conversation with TEDWomen Curator Pat Mitchell, the 94-year old Queen of Creole Cuisine shares her wisdom from a lifetime of activism, speaking up and cooking.
Nov 22, 2017
How can groups make good decisions? | Mariano Sigman and Dan Ariely
We all know that when we make decisions in groups, they don't always go right -- and sometimes they go very wrong. How can groups make good decisions? With his colleague Dan Ariely, neuroscientist Mariano Sigman has been inquiring into how we interact to reach decisions by performing experiments with live crowds around the world. In this fun, fact-filled explainer, he shares some intriguing results -- as well as some implications for how it might impact our political system. In a time when people seem to be more polarized than ever, Sigman says, better understanding how groups interact and reach conclusions might spark interesting new ways to construct a healthier democracy.
Nov 14, 2017
The Housing First approach to homelessness | Lloyd Pendleton
What do you think would happen if you invited an individual with mental health issues who had been homeless for many years to move directly from the street into housing? Loyd Pendleton shares how he went from skeptic to believer in the Housing First approach to homelessness -- providing the displaced with short-term assistance to find permanent housing quickly and without conditions -- and how it led to a 91 percent reduction in chronic homelessness over a ten-year period in Utah.
Nov 14, 2017
How to talk (and listen) to transgender people | Jackson Bird
Gender should be the least remarkable thing about someone, but transgender people are still too often misunderstood. To help those who are scared to ask questions or nervous about saying the wrong thing, Jackson Bird shares a few ways to think about trans issues. And in this funny, frank talk, he clears up a few misconceptions about pronouns, transitioning, bathrooms and more.
Nov 9, 2017
The biggest risks facing cities -- and some solutions | Robert Muggah
With fantastic new maps that show interactive, visual representations of urban fragility, Robert Muggah articulates an ancient but resurging idea: cities shouldn't just be the center of economics -- they should also be the foundation of our political lives. Looking around the world, from Syria to Singapore to Seoul and beyond, Muggah submits six principles for how we can build more resilient cities. "Cities are where the future happens first. They're open, creative, dynamic, democratic, cosmopolitan, sexy," Muggah says. "They're the perfect antidote to reactionary nationalism."
Nov 9, 2017
We should aim for perfection -- and stop fearing failure | Jon Bowers
Sometimes trying your best isn't enough; when the situation demands it, you need to be perfect. For Jon Bowers, who runs a training facility for professional delivery drivers, the stakes are high -- 100 people in the US die every day in car accidents -- and it's perfection, or "a willingness to do what is difficult to achieve what is right," that he looks to achieve. He explains why we should all be equally diligent about striving toward perfection in everything we do, even if it means failing along the way.
Oct 20, 2017
The powerful stories that shaped Africa | Gus Casely-Hayford
In the vast sweep of history, even an empire can be forgotten. In this wide-ranging talk, Gus Casely-Hayford shares origin stories of Africa that are too often unwritten, lost, unshared. Travel to Great Zimbabwe, the ancient city whose mysterious origins and advanced architecture continue to confound archeologists. Or to the age of Mansa Musa, the ruler of the Mali Empire whose vast wealth built the legendary libraries of Timbuktu. And consider which other history lessons we might unwittingly overlook.
Oct 13, 2017
The revolutionary power of diverse thought | Elif Shafak
"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 Turkey, Shafak has experienced firsthand the devastation that a loss of diversity can bring -- and she knows the revolutionary power of plurality in response to authoritarianism. In this passionate, personal talk, she reminds us that there are no binaries, in politics, emotions and our identities. "One should never, ever remain silent for fear of complexity," Shafak says.
Oct 2, 2017
Lessons from the longest study on human development | Helen Pearson
For the past 70 years, scientists in Britain have been studying thousands of children through their lives to find out why some end up happy and healthy while others struggle. It's the longest-running study of human development in the world, and it's produced some of the best-studied people on the planet while changing the way we live, learn and parent. Reviewing this remarkable research, science journalist Helen Pearson shares some important findings and simple truths about life and good parenting.
Sep 28, 2017
The warmth and wisdom of mud buildings | Anna Heringer
"There are a lot of resources given by nature for free -- all we need is our sensitivity to see them and our creativity to use them," says architect Anna Heringer. Heringer uses low-tech materials like mud and bamboo to create structures from China to Switzerland, Bangladesh and beyond. Visit an awe-inspiring school, an elegant office and cozy social spaces -- all built from natural materials -- in this delightful talk.
Sep 26, 2017
Why people of different faiths are painting their houses of worship yellow | Nabila Alibhai
Divisions along religious lines are deepening, and we're doubting more and more how much we have in common. How can we stand boldly and visibly together? Inspired by an idea from her collaborator Yazmany Arboleda, place-maker Nabila Alibhai and her colleagues created "Colour in Faith," a social practice art project that unites people of different religions by getting them to paint each other's houses of worship yellow, in a show of solidarity. "We've proven that the human family can come together and send a message far brighter and more powerful than the voices of those that wish to do us harm," Alibhai says.
Sep 12, 2017
There's more to life than being happy | Emily Esfahani Smith
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 something to hold onto. Learn more about the difference between being happy and having meaning as Smith offers four pillars of a meaningful life.
Sep 5, 2017
A smog vacuum cleaner and other magical city designs | Daan Roosegaarde
Daan Roosegaarde uses technology and creative thinking to produce imaginative, earth-friendly designs. He presents his latest projects -- from a bike path in Eindhoven, where he reinterpreted "The Starry Night" to get people thinking about green energy, to Beijing, where he developed a smog vacuum cleaner to purify the air in local parks, to a dance floor that generates electricity to power a DJ booth. Check out Roosegaarde's vision for a future where creativity is our true capital.
Sep 1, 2017
Dare to refuse the origin myths that claim who you are | Chetan Bhatt
We all have origin stories and identity myths, our tribal narratives that give us a sense of security and belonging. But sometimes our small-group identities can keep us from connecting with humanity as a whole -- and even keep us from seeing others as human. In a powerful talk about how we understand who we are, Chetan Bhatt challenges us to think creatively about each other and our future. As he puts it: it's time to change the question from "Where are you from?" to "Where are you going?"
Aug 15, 2017
How boredom can lead to your most brilliant ideas | Manoush Zomorodi
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. Learn to love being bored as Manoush Zomorodi explains the connection between spacing out and creativity.
Aug 10, 2017
You owe it to yourself to experience a total solar eclipse | David Baron
On August 21, 2017, the moon's shadow raced from Oregon to South Carolina in what some consider to be the most awe-inspiring spectacle in all of nature: a total solar eclipse. Umbraphile David Baron chases these rare events across the globe, and in this ode to the bliss of seeing the solar corona, he explains why you owe it to yourself to witness one, too.
Jul 26, 2017
How a handful of tech companies control billions of minds every day | Tristan Harris
A handful of people working at a handful of tech companies steer the thoughts of billions of people every day, says design thinker Tristan Harris. From Facebook notifications to Snapstreaks to YouTube autoplays, they're all competing for one thing: your attention. Harris shares how these companies prey on our psychology for their own profit and calls for a design renaissance in which our tech instead encourages us to live out the timeline we want.
Jul 21, 2017
How I fail at being disabled | Susan Robinson
Born with a genetic visual impairment that has no correction or cure, Susan Robinson is legally blind (or partially sighted, as she prefers it) and entitled to a label she hates: "disabled." In this funny and personal talk, she digs at our hidden biases by explaining five ways she flips expectations of disability upside down.
Jul 11, 2017
How we can face the future without fear, together | Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks
It's a fateful moment in history. We've seen divisive elections, divided societies and the growth of extremism -- all fueled by anxiety and uncertainty. "Is there something we can do, each of us, to be able to face the future without fear?" asks Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks. In this electrifying talk, the spiritual leader gives us three specific ways we can move from the politics of "me" to the politics of "all of us, together."
Jun 22, 2017
A celebration of natural hair | Cheyenne Cochrane
Cheyenne Cochrane explores the role that hair texture has played in the history of being black in America -- from the heat straightening products of the post-Civil War era to the thousands of women today who have decided to stop chasing a conventional beauty standard and start embracing their natural hair. "This is about more than a hairstyle," Cochrane says. "It's about being brave enough not to fold under the pressure of others' expectations."
Jun 12, 2017
Why you should define your fears instead of your goals | Tim Ferriss
The hard choices -- what we most fear doing, asking, saying -- are very often exactly what we need to do. How can we overcome self-paralysis and take action? Tim Ferriss encourages us to fully envision and write down our fears in detail, in a simple but powerful exercise he calls "fear-setting." Learn more about how this practice can help you thrive in high-stress environments and separate what you can control from what you cannot.
Jun 5, 2017
How to see past your own perspective and find truth | Michael Patrick Lynch
The more we read and watch online, the harder it becomes to tell the difference between what's real and what's fake. It's as if we know more but understand less, says philosopher Michael Patrick Lynch. In this talk, he dares us to take active steps to burst our filter bubbles and participate in the common reality that actually underpins everything.
May 22, 2017
Poverty isn't a lack of character; it's a lack of cash | Rutger Bregman
"Ideas can and do change the world," says historian Rutger Bregman, sharing his case for a provocative one: guaranteed basic income. Learn more about the idea's 500-year history and a forgotten modern experiment where it actually worked -- and imagine how much energy and talent we would unleash if we got rid of poverty once and for all.
May 11, 2017
Thoughts on humanity, fame and love | Shah Rukh Khan
"I sell dreams, and I peddle love to millions of people," says Shah Rukh Khan, Bollywood's biggest star. In this charming, funny talk, Khan traces the arc of his life, showcases a few of his famous dance moves and shares hard-earned wisdom from a life spent in the spotlight.