TED Talk

March 19, 2019
Can light stop the coronavirus? | David Brenner

Can light stop the coronavirus? | David Brenner

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

Give yourself permission to be creative | Ethan Hawke

Give yourself permission to be creative | Ethan Hawke

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

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

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

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

How to connect while apart | Eric Yuan

How to connect while apart | Eric Yuan

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

The new invisible workforce | Mary L. Gray

The new invisible workforce | Mary L. Gray

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

A comprehensive, neighborhood-based response to COVID-19 | Kwame Owusu-Kesse

A comprehensive, neighborhood-based response to COVID-19 | Kwame Owusu-Kesse

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

New ways to understand life in a pandemic | Aaron Maniam

New ways to understand life in a pandemic | Aaron Maniam

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How to use love to repair social inequality | Chloé Valdary

How to use love to repair social inequality | Chloé Valdary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A blueprint for reparations in the US | William "Sandy" Darity

A blueprint for reparations in the US | William "Sandy" Darity

With clarity and insight, economist and author William "Sandy" Darity discusses how the grievous injustice of slavery in the US led to the immense wealth gap that currently exists between Black and white Americans. He explains how reparations for descendants of enslaved people would work...

The invisible life hidden beneath Antarctica's ice | Ariel Waldman

The invisible life hidden beneath Antarctica's ice | Ariel Waldman

In this tour of the microscopic world, explorer and artist Ariel Waldman introduces the charismatic creatures lurking beneath Antarctica's massive ice sheet, the largest on earth. From "cuddly" water bears to geometric algae made of glass, Waldman shows how this seemingly barren...

Why violence clusters in cities -- and how to reduce it | Thomas Abt

Why violence clusters in cities -- and how to reduce it | Thomas Abt

Reducing violence in cities in the US isn't the impossible, intractable challenge many believe it to be, says crime researcher and educator Thomas Abt. He explains how urban violence is "sticky" -- meaning that it clusters among a surprisingly small number of people and places -- and...

What happens when biology becomes technology? | Christina Agapakis

What happens when biology becomes technology? | Christina Agapakis

"We've been promised a future of chrome -- but what if the future is fleshy?" asks biological designer Christina Agapakis. In this awe-inspiring talk, Agapakis details her work in synthetic biology -- a multidisciplinary area of research that pokes holes in the line between...

Activism, changemakers and hope for the future | Malala Yousafzai

Activism, changemakers and hope for the future | Malala Yousafzai

Education activist (and recent Oxford graduate) Malala Yousafzai reflects on the defining moments of her life, how she balances passion with personhood and where the world finds itself during the COVID-19 crisis. With humor and humility, she shares her dreams of seeing social progress in her...

How to disrupt philanthropy in response to crisis | Darren Walker

How to disrupt philanthropy in response to crisis | Darren Walker

If we want to build back better after the pandemic, we must reconsider philanthropy and create a new kind of capitalism that's rooted in generosity and accountability, says Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation. In this vital conversation, Walker calls for citizens and corporations...

How museums help communities heal | Honor Harger

How museums help communities heal | Honor Harger

While on lockdown, the galleries of Singapore's iconic ArtScience Museum were empty -- but online, the museum was abuzz. Honor Harger shares how they're engaging deeply with its visitors through streamed talks, performances and workshops that investigate the COVID-19 landscape and uplift...

Every day you live, you impact the planet | Jane Goodall

Every day you live, you impact the planet | Jane Goodall

Legendary primatologist Jane Goodall says that humanity's survival depends on conservation of the natural world. In conversation with head of TED Chris Anderson, she tells the story of her formative days working with chimpanzees, how she transformed from a revered naturalist into a dedicated...

A friendly, autonomous robot that delivers your food | Ali Kashani

A friendly, autonomous robot that delivers your food | Ali Kashani

Meet the friendly robot that could deliver your next burrito. Ali Kashani introduces us to Postmates' autonomous delivery robot and explains how it could help reduce carbon emissions and free up valuable real estate in cities everywhere. Learn more about how it was specially designed to...

The transformative role of art during the pandemic | Anne Pasternak

The transformative role of art during the pandemic | Anne Pasternak

Museums are vessels of memory, knowledge, inspiration and dreams. Anne Pasternak, director of the Brooklyn Museum, makes the case for cultural institutions to take a leading role in supporting the world's recovery from COVID-19 -- and shows how, in times of turmoil and disruption, the arts...

The future of digital communication and privacy | Will Cathcart

The future of digital communication and privacy | Will Cathcart

People send 100 billion WhatsApp messages every day -- and they're all encrypted to protect them from potentially curious entities like companies, governments and even WhatsApp itself. With our increased reliance on digital communication tools during the COVID-19 pandemic, our fundamental...

The COVID-19 crisis is a chance to do capitalism differently | Mariana Mazzucato

The COVID-19 crisis is a chance to do capitalism differently | Mariana Mazzucato

In the face of three simultaneous crises -- health, the economy and climate -- do we have a chance to do capitalism differently? Economist Mariana Mazzucato explains why we shouldn't try to go back to normal after the pandemic but should instead rethink how governments work together with...

Africa is a sleeping giant -- I'm trying to wake it up | Adeola Fayehun

Africa is a sleeping giant -- I'm trying to wake it up | Adeola Fayehun

"Africa is like a sleeping giant," says journalist and satirist Adeola Fayehun at the beginning of this hilarious, incisive talk. "The truth is I am trying to wake up this giant. That's why I air the dirty laundry of those in charge." Follow along as she roasts corrupt...

Scenes from a Black trans life | D-L Stewart

Scenes from a Black trans life | D-L Stewart

At the crossroads of life and livelihood, scholar D-L Stewart invites us into scenes from his own life as he resists and reflects on the dehumanizing narratives that shape the Black trans experience in the US. With each word of his captivating and poetic dissection, Stewart emphasizes the magnitude...

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

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

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

How the pandemic will shape the near future | Bill Gates

How the pandemic will shape the near future | Bill Gates

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

The courage to live with radical uncertainty | Shekinah Elmore

The courage to live with radical uncertainty | Shekinah Elmore

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

What foods did your ancestors love? | Aparna Pallavi

What foods did your ancestors love? | Aparna Pallavi

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

Stop being a bystander in your own life | Tracy Edwards

Stop being a bystander in your own life | Tracy Edwards

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

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

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

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

3 ways we can redesign cities for equity and inclusion | Vishaan Chakrabarti

3 ways we can redesign cities for equity and inclusion | Vishaan Chakrabarti

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

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

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

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

The beauty and complexity of finding common ground | Matt Trombley

The beauty and complexity of finding common ground | Matt Trombley

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

How Dolly Parton led me to an epiphany | Jad Abumrad

How Dolly Parton led me to an epiphany | Jad Abumrad

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

The new urgency of climate change | Al Gore

The new urgency of climate change | Al Gore

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

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

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

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

How to support and celebrate living artists | Swizz Beatz

How to support and celebrate living artists | Swizz Beatz

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

A vision for the future of Afghanistan | Ashraf Ghani

A vision for the future of Afghanistan | Ashraf Ghani

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The new science of personalized vaccines | Ofer Levy

The new science of personalized vaccines | Ofer Levy

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

A dose of reality about generic drugs | Katherine Eban

A dose of reality about generic drugs | Katherine Eban

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

The alliances needed to rebuild the developing world | Achim Steiner

The alliances needed to rebuild the developing world | Achim Steiner

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

My secret to staying focused under pressure | Russell Wilson

My secret to staying focused under pressure | Russell Wilson

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

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