TED Talk

March 19, 2019
How we use astrophysics to study earthbound problems | Federica Bianco

How we use astrophysics to study earthbound problems | Federica Bianco

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

A free world needs political cartoons | Patrick Chappatte

A free world needs political cartoons | Patrick Chappatte

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

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

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

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

What streaming means for the future of entertainment | Emmett Shear

What streaming means for the future of entertainment | Emmett Shear

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

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

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

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

Community-powered criminal justice reform | Raj Jayadev

Community-powered criminal justice reform | Raj Jayadev

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

What reading slowly taught me about writing | Jacqueline Woodson

What reading slowly taught me about writing | Jacqueline Woodson

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

How deepfakes undermine truth and threaten democracy | Danielle Citron

How deepfakes undermine truth and threaten democracy | Danielle Citron

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why you should be a climate activist | Luisa Neubauer

Why you should be a climate activist | Luisa Neubauer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What I learned about freedom after escaping North Korea | Yeonmi Park

What I learned about freedom after escaping North Korea | Yeonmi Park

"North Korea is unimaginable," says human rights activist Yeonmi Park, who escaped the country at the age of 13. Sharing the harrowing story of her childhood, she reflects on the fragility of freedom -- and shows how change can be achieved even in the world's darkest places.

How I help people understand vitiligo | Lee Thomas

How I help people understand vitiligo | Lee Thomas

TV news anchor Lee Thomas thought his career was over after he was diagnosed with vitiligo, an autoimmune disorder that left large patches of his skin without pigment and led to derision and stares. In a captivating talk, he shares how he discovered a way to counter misunderstanding and fear around...

Can we choose to fall out of love? | Dessa

Can we choose to fall out of love? | Dessa

What's the best way to get over heartbreak? Rapper and writer Dessa came up with an unconventional approach after a chance viewing of Helen Fisher's TED Talk about the brains of the lovestruck. In a wryly funny talk, she describes how she worked with a neuroscientist to try to get her...

Emergency medicine for our climate fever | Kelly Wanser

Emergency medicine for our climate fever | Kelly Wanser

As we recklessly warm the planet by pumping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, some industrial emissions also produce particles that reflect sunshine back into space, putting a check on global warming that we're only starting to understand. Climate activist Kelly Wanser asks: Can we...

How climate change affects your mental health | Britt Wray

How climate change affects your mental health | Britt Wray

"For all that's ever been said about climate change, we haven't heard nearly enough about the psychological impacts of living in a warming world," says science writer Britt Wray. In this quick talk, she explores how climate change is threatening our well-being -- mental, social...

How the West can adapt to a rising Asia | Kishore Mahbubani

How the West can adapt to a rising Asia | Kishore Mahbubani

As Asian economies and governments continue to gain power, the West needs to find ways to adapt to the new global order, says author and diplomat Kishore Mahbubani. In an insightful look at international politics, Mahbubani shares a three-part strategy that Western governments can use to recover...

What ping-pong taught me about life | Pico Iyer

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...

The power to think ahead in a reckless age | Bina Venkataraman

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...

Family, hope and resilience on the migrant trail | Jon Lowenstein

Family, hope and resilience on the migrant trail | Jon Lowenstein

For the past 20 years, photographer and TED Fellow Jon Lowenstein has documented the migrant journey from Latin America to the United States, one of the largest transnational migrations in world history. Sharing photos from his decade-long project "Shadow Lives USA," Lowenstein takes us...

How craving attention makes you less creative | Joseph Gordon-Levitt

How craving attention makes you less creative | Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Joseph Gordon-Levitt has gotten more than his fair share of attention from his acting career. But as social media exploded over the past decade, he got addicted like the rest of us -- trying to gain followers and likes only to be left feeling inadequate and less creative. In a refreshingly honest...

When do kids start to care about other people's opinions?  | Sara Valencia Botto

When do kids start to care about other people's opinions? | Sara Valencia Botto

Drawing on her research into early childhood development, psychologist Sara Valencia Botto investigates when (and how) children begin to change their behaviors in the presence of others -- and explores what it means for the values we communicate in daily interactions. (Watch for cute footage of...

What's at the bottom of the ocean -- and how we're getting there | Victor Vescovo

What's at the bottom of the ocean -- and how we're getting there | Victor Vescovo

Victor Vescovo is leading the first-ever manned expedition to the deepest point of each of the world's five oceans. In conversation with TED science curator David Biello, Vescovo discusses the technology that's powering the explorations -- a titanium submersible designed to withstand...

"You Have the Rite" | Marc Bamuthi Joseph

"You Have the Rite" | Marc Bamuthi Joseph

In a breathtaking, jazz-inflected spoken-word performance, TED Fellow Marc Bamuthi Joseph shares a Black father's tender and wrenching internal reflection on the pride and terror of seeing his son enter adulthood.

The human skills we need in an unpredictable world | Margaret Heffernan

The human skills we need in an unpredictable world | Margaret Heffernan

The more we rely on technology to make us efficient, the fewer skills we have to confront the unexpected, says writer and entrepreneur Margaret Heffernan. She shares why we need less tech and more messy human skills -- imagination, humility, bravery -- to solve problems in business, government and...

What it was like to grow up under China's one-child policy | Nanfu Wang

What it was like to grow up under China's one-child policy | Nanfu Wang

China's one-child policy ended in 2015, but we're just beginning to understand what it was like to live under the program, says TED Fellow and documentary filmmaker Nanfu Wang. With footage from her film "One Child Nation," she shares untold stories that reveal the policy's...

How policewomen make communities safer | Ivonne Roman

How policewomen make communities safer | Ivonne Roman

Less than 13 percent of police officers in the United States are women -- despite their proven effectiveness in diffusing violent situations and reducing the use of force. Drawing on more than two decades of experience as a police officer and chief, TED Fellow Ivonne Roman shares how a simple...

Why governments should prioritize well-being | Nicola Sturgeon

Why governments should prioritize well-being | Nicola Sturgeon

In 2018, Scotland, Iceland and New Zealand established the network of Wellbeing Economy Governments to challenge the acceptance of GDP as the ultimate measure of a country's success. In this visionary talk, First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon explains the far-reaching implications of a...

The new political story that could change everything | George Monbiot

The new political story that could change everything | George Monbiot

To get out of the mess we're in, we need a new story that explains the present and guides the future, says author George Monbiot. Drawing on findings from psychology, neuroscience and evolutionary biology, he offers a new vision for society built around our fundamental capacity for altruism...

An urgent call to protect the world's "Third Pole" | Tshering Tobgay

An urgent call to protect the world's "Third Pole" | Tshering Tobgay

The Hindu Kush Himalaya region is the world's third-largest repository of ice, after the North and South Poles -- and if current melting rates continue, two-thirds of its glaciers could be gone by the end of this century. What will happen if we let them melt away? Environmentalist and former...

The real relationship between your age and your chance of success | Albert-László Barabási

The real relationship between your age and your chance of success | Albert-László Barabási

Backed by mathematical analysis, network theorist Albert-László Barabási explores the hidden mechanisms that drive success -- no matter your field -- and uncovers an intriguing connection between your age and your chance of making it big.

How to use family dinner to teach politics | Hajer Sharief

How to use family dinner to teach politics | Hajer Sharief

Everyone should participate in decision-making and politics -- and it starts at home, says activist Hajer Sharief. She introduces a simple yet transformative idea: that parents can teach their children about political agency by giving them a say in how their households are run, in the form of...

The architectural wonder of impermanent cities | Rahul Mehrotra

The architectural wonder of impermanent cities | Rahul Mehrotra

Every 12 years, a megacity springs up in India for the Kumbh Mela religious festival -- what's built in ten weeks is completely disassembled in one. What can we learn from this fully functioning, temporary settlement? In a visionary talk, urban designer Rahul Mehrotra explores the benefits of...

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...

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