TED Talk

March 19, 2019
How a typeface helped launch Apollo | Douglas Thomas

How a typeface helped launch Apollo | Douglas Thomas

When humanity first landed on the moon in 1969, the typeface Futura was right there with them. In this fascinating history of typography, designer Douglas Thomas shares Futura's role in launching the Apollo 11 spacecraft -- and how it became one of the most used fonts in the world.

How we can improve maternal healthcare -- before, during and after pregnancy | Elizabeth Howell

How we can improve maternal healthcare -- before, during and after pregnancy | Elizabeth Howell

Shocking, but true: the United States has the highest rate of deaths for new mothers of any developed country -- and 60 percent of them are preventable. With clarity and urgency, physician Elizabeth Howell explains the causes of maternal mortality and shares ways for hospitals and doctors to make...

A new way to get every child ready for kindergarten | Claudia Miner

A new way to get every child ready for kindergarten | Claudia Miner

Early education is critical to children's success -- but millions of kids in the United States still don't have access to programs that prepare them to thrive in kindergarten and beyond. Enter the UPSTART Project, a plan to bring early learning into the homes of children in underserved...

The fundamental right to seek asylum | Melanie Nezer

The fundamental right to seek asylum | Melanie Nezer

Refugee and immigrants rights attorney Melanie Nezer shares an urgently needed historical perspective on the crisis at the southern US border, showing how citizens can hold their governments accountable for protecting the vulnerable. "A country shows strength through compassion and pragmatism,...

Mentalism, mind reading and the art of getting inside your head | Derren Brown

Mentalism, mind reading and the art of getting inside your head | Derren Brown

"Magic is a great analogy for how we edit reality and form a story -- and then mistake that story for the truth," says psychological illusionist Derren Brown. In a clever talk wrapped around a dazzling mind-reading performance, Brown explores the seductive appeal of finding simple answers...

The fascinating (and dangerous) places scientists aren't exploring | Ella Al-Shamahi

The fascinating (and dangerous) places scientists aren't exploring | Ella Al-Shamahi

We're not doing frontline exploratory science in a huge portion of the world -- the places governments deem too hostile or disputed. What might we be missing because we're not looking? In this fearless, unexpectedly funny talk, paleoanthropologist Ella Al-Shamahi takes us on an expedition...

How film transforms the way we see the world | Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy

How film transforms the way we see the world | Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy

Film has the power to change the way we think about ourselves and our culture. Documentarian and TED Fellow Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy uses it to fight violence against women, turning her camera on the tradition of honor killings in Pakistan. In a stirring talk, she shares how she took her Oscar-winning...

How we're honoring people overlooked by history | Amy Padnani

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,...

Origami robots that reshape and transform themselves | Jamie Paik

Origami robots that reshape and transform themselves | Jamie Paik

Taking design cues from origami, robotician Jamie Paik and her team created "robogamis": folding robots made out super-thin materials that can reshape and transform themselves. In this talk and tech demo, Paik shows how robogamis could adapt to achieve a variety of tasks on earth (or in...

The future of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy | Rick Doblin

The future of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy | Rick Doblin

Could psychedelics help us heal from trauma and mental illnesses? Researcher Rick Doblin has spent the past three decades investigating this question, and the results are promising. In this fascinating dive into the science of psychedelics, he explains how drugs like LSD, psilocybin and MDMA affect...

Grief and love in the animal kingdom | Barbara J. King

Grief and love in the animal kingdom | Barbara J. King

From mourning orcas to distressed elephants, biological anthropologist Barbara J. King has witnessed grief and love across the animal kingdom. In this eye-opening talk, she explains the evidence behind her belief that many animals experience complex emotions, and suggests ways all of us can treat...

3 ways to measure your adaptability -- and how to improve it | Natalie Fratto

3 ways to measure your adaptability -- and how to improve it | Natalie Fratto

When venture investor Natalie Fratto is determining which start-up founder to support, she doesn't just look for intelligence or charisma; she looks for adaptability. In this insightful talk, Fratto shares three ways to measure your "adaptability quotient" -- and shows why your...

A vision for the future of Sierra Leone | Julius Maada Bio

A vision for the future of Sierra Leone | Julius Maada Bio

When Julius Maada Bio first seized political power in Sierra Leone in 1996, he did so to improve the lives of its citizens. But he soon realized that for democracy to flourish, its foundation needs to be built on the will of the people. After arranging an election, he voluntarily gave up power and...

The world's first crowdsourced space traffic monitoring system | Moriba Jah

The world's first crowdsourced space traffic monitoring system | Moriba Jah

"Most of what we send into outer space never comes back," says astrodynamicist and TED Fellow Moriba Jah. In this forward-thinking talk, Jah describes the space highways orbiting earth and how they're mostly populated by space junk. Learn more about his quest to develop and scale the...

How augmented reality is changing activism | Glenn Cantave

How augmented reality is changing activism | Glenn Cantave

Glenn Cantave uses technology to highlight narratives of the oppressed. In a tour of immersive visual projects, he shares his work with the team at Movers and Shakers NYC, a coalition that executes direct action and advocacy campaigns for marginalized communities using virtual reality, augmented...

The next big thing is coming from the Bronx, again | Jon Gray

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...

You are not alone in your loneliness | Jonny Sun

You are not alone in your loneliness | Jonny Sun

Being open and vulnerable with your loneliness, sadness and fear can help you find comfort and feel less alone, says writer and artist Jonny Sun. In an honest talk filled with his signature illustrations, Sun shares how telling stories about feeling like an outsider helped him tap into an...

How to ask for help -- and get a "yes" | Heidi Grant

How to ask for help -- and get a "yes" | Heidi Grant

Asking for help is tough. But to get through life, you have to do it all the time. So how do you get comfortable asking? In this actionable talk, social psychologist Heidi Grant shares four simple rules for asking for help and getting it -- while making the process more rewarding for your helper, too.

Why we need to fight misinformation about vaccines | Ethan Lindenberger

Why we need to fight misinformation about vaccines | Ethan Lindenberger

Ethan Lindenberger never got vaccinated as a kid. So one day, he went on Reddit and asked a simple question: "Where do I go to get vaccinated?" The post went viral, landing Lindenberger in the middle of a heated debate about vaccination and, ultimately, in front of a US Senate committee....

Why kids need to learn about gender and sexuality | Lindsay Amer

Why kids need to learn about gender and sexuality | Lindsay Amer

Lindsay Amer is the creator of "Queer Kid Stuff," an educational video series that breaks down complex ideas around gender and sexuality through songs and metaphors. By giving kids and their families a vocabulary to express themselves, Amer is helping to create more empathetic adults --...

Architectural secrets of the world's ancient wonders | Brandon Clifford

Architectural secrets of the world's ancient wonders | Brandon Clifford

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

"A Bird Made of Birds" | Sarah Kay

"A Bird Made of Birds" | Sarah Kay

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

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

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

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

What almost dying taught me about living | Suleika Jaouad

What almost dying taught me about living | Suleika Jaouad

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The political power of being a good neighbor | Michael Tubbs

The political power of being a good neighbor | Michael Tubbs

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

My life as a work of art | Daniel Lismore

My life as a work of art | Daniel Lismore

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The healing power of reading | Michelle Kuo

The healing power of reading | Michelle Kuo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What it takes to launch a telescope | Erika Hamden

What it takes to launch a telescope | Erika Hamden

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

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

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

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

These bacteria eat plastic | Morgan Vague

These bacteria eat plastic | Morgan Vague

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The anti-CEO playbook | Hamdi Ulukaya

The anti-CEO playbook | Hamdi Ulukaya

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

The next global agricultural revolution | Bruce Friedrich

The next global agricultural revolution | Bruce Friedrich

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The difference between healthy and unhealthy love | Katie Hood

The difference between healthy and unhealthy love | Katie Hood

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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