Ideas

TED Blog

The TED Blog shares interesting news about TED, TED Talks video, the TED Prize and more.

As usual, the TED community has lots of news to share this week. Below, some highlights. A new civic gathering. To cope with political anxiety after the 2016 elections, Eric Liu has started a gathering called Civic Saturday. He explained the event in The Atlantic as “a civic analogue to church: a gathering of friends []
Author: Joseph Isaac
Posted: March 24, 2017, 9:46 pm
Designers solve problems and bring beauty to the world. At TEDNYC Design Lab, a night of talks at TED HQ in New York City hosted by design curator Chee Pearlman with content producer Cloe Shasha, six speakers pulled back the curtain to reveal the hard work and creative process behind great design. Speakers covered a []
Author: Alejandra Vasquez
Posted: March 14, 2017, 11:00 pm
On March 6, TED welcomed its latest class to the TED Residency program. As an in-house incubator for breakthrough ideas, Residents spend four months in the TED office with other exceptional people from all over the map. Each has a project that promises to make a significant contribution to the world, across several different fields. []
Author: TED Staff
Posted: March 14, 2017, 8:26 pm
The speaker lineup for the TED2017 conference features more than 70 thinkers and doers from around the world — including a dozen or so whose unfiltered TED Talks will be broadcast live to movie theater audiences across the U.S. and Canada. Presented with our partner BY Experience, our TED Cinema Experience event series offers three []
Author: TED Staff
Posted: March 13, 2017, 4:00 pm
As usual, the TED community has lots of news to share this week. Below, some highlights. A map to guide conservation. After almost eight years of airborne laser-guided imaging spectroscopy, Greg Asner has finally mapped all 300,000 square miles of the Peruvian Amazon. Highlighting forest types that are reasonably safe and those which are in []
Author: Rebekah Barnett
Posted: March 10, 2017, 10:32 pm
Haz clic para leer este artículo en español > For the first time ever, the annual TED Conference in Vancouver will feature an entire session of Spanish-language TED Talks, a bit of programming we felt called for celebration: We’ll be making the live session available for free online at live.ted.com on Tuesday, April 25, from 2:15 pm to 4:00 pm PT. []
Author: TED Staff
Posted: March 9, 2017, 6:38 pm
Por primera vez, la conferencia de TED en Vancouver presentará un bloque entero de charlas TED en español — una programación que sentimos que merece una celebración! Para celebrarlo, vamos a compartir este bloque por transmisión en vivo de manera abierta y gratuita en live.ted.com el martes, 25 de abril, desde las 2:15 pm y []
Author: Crawford Hunt
Posted: March 9, 2017, 6:32 pm
Meet the co-creator of Siri, the founder of the world’s largest hedge fund, a Nobel-winning researcher who helped discover how we age, the head of the World Bank, and one of the greatest athletes of all time. We’re thrilled to announce the speaker lineup for TED2017, with a mix of illustrious names and the up-and-coming []
Author: TED Staff
Posted: March 9, 2017, 6:13 pm
At TED HQ in New York on Wednesday, TED curator Chris Anderson moderated a lively conversation between Eliot A. Cohen, professor of strategic studies at Johns Hopkins University who served in the State Department during the George W. Bush administration, and Diana Furchtgott-Roth, an economist and Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow who held positions in the []
Author: Daryl Chen
Posted: March 9, 2017, 3:38 am
In conversation with TED curator Chris Anderson at TED HQ in New York on Wednesday, New York Times columnist David Brooks and journalist Gretchen Carlson discussed how and why America has become so polarized — and where we can find common ground. Set between lively renditions of “America the Beautiful” and “Go Down Moses” performed []
Author: Brian Greene
Posted: March 1, 2017, 11:10 pm
Timothy Snyder grew up in America, but as a historian of 20th-century Europe at Yale, he’s spent much of his adult life in, or thinking deeply about, Central and Eastern Europe. And what he sees there — especially in looking at the Europe of the 1920s, ’30s, and ’40s — is a pattern that may []
Author: Emily McManus
Posted: February 24, 2017, 12:35 am
Photographer Angélica Dass captures some of humanity’s truest colors through her portrait project Humanae, a catalogue of human skin color displayed as a simple, captivating collage of Pantone portraits that reflects the deepest shades of brown and black, to the lighter tones of white, pink and everything in between. For Dass, Humanae is more than []
Author: Chelsea Catlett
Posted: February 23, 2017, 7:36 pm
Join us now on Facebook Live for another episode of TED Dialogues, our response to current events, adding insight, context and nuance to the conversations we’re having right now. Join us Thursday, February 23, 2017 at 1–2pm on TED’s Facebook page. Our speakers are two historians who will try to help us make sense of []
Author: TED Staff
Posted: February 22, 2017, 9:23 pm
How do we make sense of the tumult around us? How can we grapple with the confusion and alarm so many of us are feeling? In a special session of talks curated and hosted by Jon Ronson at TED HQ on Wednesday night, six speakers looked not at the ruin that follows hardship but the []
Author: Alejandra Vasquez
Posted: February 17, 2017, 12:53 am
How to explain the stunning political upheaval of 2016 — Brexit in the UK and Donald Trump’s election to the presidency in the US — as well as the current and ongoing atmosphere of division, discontent and disquiet that fills many people’s lives? One simple answer: “We’ve lost our story,” says Jerusalem University historian Yuval []
Author: Daryl Chen
Posted: February 15, 2017, 11:56 pm
Today we confirmed some exciting news about TED’s most ambitious television project yet: a major network series in India hosted by megawatt Bollywood film star Shah Rukh Khan. The program will air on Star India, one of India’s largest media conglomerates and our partner in production. TED Talks India: Nayi Soch, which translates to “new thinking,” marks []
Author: TED Staff
Posted: February 15, 2017, 8:45 pm
Watch: Chris Anderson speaks with the historian Yuval Noah Harari on what’s happening now, and what’s to come during this extraordinary moment in time -- when nationalism is pitted against globalism, while the world is facing a job-loss crisis most of us are not even expecting. A rewarding hour of big ideas about humanity's future.
Author: TED Staff
Posted: February 15, 2017, 6:05 pm
GlobalXplorer, the citizen science platform for archaeology, launched two weeks ago. It’s the culmination of Sarah Parcak’s TED Prize wish and, already, more than 32,000 curious minds from around the world have started their training, learning to spot signs of ancient sites threatened by looters. Working together, the GlobalXplorer community has just finished searching the []
Author: Kate Torgovnick May
Posted: February 15, 2017, 3:51 pm
I was there when Hans Rosling first shook the room at TED, and transformed tiresome medical statistics into an action-packed, live performance about real people’s lives on the line. He’s since been namechecked by Bill Gates. And he outlasted Fidel Castro – twice. Not merely mortally. In an interview on the TED Blog, Hans recounts []
Author: wishnow
Posted: February 11, 2017, 4:59 am
This week’s comment was posted on Sue Klebold’s talk, “My son was a Columbine shooter. This is my story.” Many times, a comment section represents the worst of our collective thoughts, but in this instance, on this platform, there is so much compassion. I was impressed with the level of respect and understanding shown to Sue []
Author: Katie Pierce
Posted: February 8, 2017, 5:50 pm

TEDTalks (video)

TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. On this feed, you'll find TEDTalks video to inspire, intrigue and stir the imagination from some of the world's leading thinkers and doers, speaking from the stage at TED conferences, TEDx events and partner events around the world. This podcast is also available in high-def video and audio-only formats.

Breast milk grows babies' bodies, fuels neurodevelopment, provides essential immunofactors and safeguards against famine and disease -- why, then, does science know more about tomatoes than mother's milk? Katie Hinde shares insights into this complex, life-giving substance and discusses the major gaps scientific research still needs to fill so we can better understand it.
Posted: March 28, 2017, 3:07 pm
From packing peanuts to disposable coffee cups, each year the US alone produces some two billion pounds of Styrofoam -- none of which can be recycled. Frustrated by this waste of resources and landfill space, Ashton Cofer and his science fair teammates developed a heating treatment to break down used Styrofoam into something useful. Check out their original design, which won both the FIRST LEGO League Global Innovation Award and the Scientific American Innovator Award from Google Science Fair.
Posted: March 27, 2017, 3:12 pm
Sometimes it's hard to know what statistics are worthy of trust. But we shouldn't count out stats altogether ... instead, we should learn to look behind them. In this delightful, hilarious talk, data journalist Mona Chalabi shares handy tips to help question, interpret and truly understand what the numbers are saying.
Posted: March 24, 2017, 2:48 pm
Wish you could vote in another country's election? Simon Anholt unveils the Global Vote, an online platform that lets anybody, anywhere in the world, "vote" in the election of any country on earth (with surprising results).
Posted: March 23, 2017, 3:19 pm
In a war, it turns out that violence isn't the biggest killer of civilians. What is? Illness, hunger, poverty -- because war destroys the institutions that keep society running, like utilities, banks, food systems and hospitals. Physician Margaret Bourdeaux proposes a bold approach to post-conflict recovery, setting priorities on what to fix first
Posted: March 22, 2017, 3:17 pm
We all go through challenges -- some you can see, most you can't, says Michele L. Sullivan. In a talk about perspective, Sullivan shares stories full of wit and wisdom and reminds us that we're all part of each other's support systems. "The only shoes you can walk in are your own," she says. "With compassion, courage and understanding, we can walk together, side by side."
Posted: March 21, 2017, 2:55 pm
Critical care doctor Peter Weinstock shows how surgical teams are using a blend of Hollywood special effects and 3D printing to create amazingly lifelike reproductions of real patients -- so they can practice risky surgeries ahead of time. Think: "Operate twice, cut once." Glimpse the future of surgery in this forward-thinking talk.
Posted: March 20, 2017, 2:57 pm
What happens when a mall falls into ruin? Filmmaker Dan Bell guides us through abandoned monoliths of merchandise, providing a surprisingly funny and lyrical commentary on consumerism, youth culture and the inspiration we can find in decay.
Posted: March 17, 2017, 3:51 pm
Grammy-winning Silk Road Ensemble display their eclectic convergence of violin, clarinet, bass, drums and more in this energetic rendition of the traditional Roma tune, "Turceasca."
Posted: March 17, 2017, 2:00 pm
How much energy and brain power do we devote to learning how to spell? Language evolves over time, and with it the way we spell -- is it worth it to spend so much time memorizing rules that are filled with endless exceptions? Literary scholar Karina Galperin suggests that it may be time for an update in the way we think about and record language. (In Spanish with English subtitles.)
Posted: March 16, 2017, 3:00 pm
Why do girls feel empowered to engage in sexual activity but not to enjoy it? For three years, author Peggy Orenstein interviewed girls ages 15 to 20 about their attitudes toward and experiences of sex. She discusses the pleasure that's largely missing from their sexual encounters and calls on us to close the "orgasm gap" by talking candidly with our girls from an early age about sex, bodies, pleasure and intimacy.
Posted: March 15, 2017, 3:00 pm
TED Fellow Carrie Nugent is an asteroid hunter -- part of a group of scientists working to discover and catalog our oldest and most numerous cosmic neighbors. Why keep an eye out for asteroids? In this short, fact-filled talk, Nugent explains how their awesome impacts have shaped our planet, and how finding them at the right time could mean nothing less than saving life on Earth.
Posted: March 14, 2017, 2:38 pm
Here's a question we all have to answer sooner or later: What do you want to happen to your body when you die? Funeral director Caitlin Doughty explores new ways to prepare us for inevitable mortality. In this thoughtful talk, learn more about ideas for burial (like "recomposting" and "conservation burial") that return our bodies back to the earth in an eco-friendly, humble and self-aware way.
Posted: March 13, 2017, 2:59 pm
John Koenig loves finding words that express our unarticulated feelings -- like "lachesism," the hunger for disaster, and "sonder," the realization that everyone else's lives are as complex and unknowable as our own. Here, he meditates on the meaning we assign to words and how these meanings latch onto us.
Posted: March 10, 2017, 4:01 pm
MIT grad student Joy Buolamwini was working with facial analysis software when she noticed a problem: the software didn't detect her face -- because the people who coded the algorithm hadn't taught it to identify a broad range of skin tones and facial structures. Now she's on a mission to fight bias in machine learning, a phenomenon she calls the "coded gaze." It's an eye-opening talk about the need for accountability in coding ... as algorithms take over more and more aspects of our lives.
Posted: March 9, 2017, 4:08 pm
For many centuries (and for many reasons) critically acclaimed creative genius has generally come from a male perspective. As theater director Jude Kelly points out in this passionately reasoned talk, that skew affects how we interpret even non-fictional women's stories and rights. She thinks there's a more useful, more inclusive way to look at the world, and she calls on artists -- women and men -- to paint, draw, write about, film and imagine a gender-equal society.
Posted: March 8, 2017, 3:53 pm
Gutsy girls skateboard, climb trees, clamber around, fall down, scrape their knees, get right back up -- and grow up to be brave women. Learn how to spark a little productive risk-taking and raise confident girls with stories and advice from firefighter, paraglider and all-around adventurer Caroline Paul.
Posted: March 7, 2017, 3:56 pm
What's it like to grow up within a group of people who exult in demonizing ... everyone else? Megan Phelps-Roper shares details of life inside America's most controversial church and describes how conversations on Twitter were key to her decision to leave it. In this extraordinary talk, she shares her personal experience of extreme polarization, along with some sharp ways we can learn to successfully engage across ideological lines.
Posted: March 6, 2017, 4:05 pm
What's haunting Carrie Poppy? Is it ghosts or something worse? In this talk, the investigative journalist narrates her encounter with a spooky feeling you'll want to warn your friends about and explains why we need science to deal with paranormal activity.
Posted: March 3, 2017, 4:38 pm
Singer, songwriter and actress Sara Ramirez is a woman of many talents. Joined by Michael Pemberton on guitar, Ramirez sings of opportunity, wisdom and the highs and lows of life in this live performance of her song, "Rollercoaster."
Posted: March 3, 2017, 11:56 am
To honor and celebrate young lives cut short, Kathy Hull founded the first freestanding pediatric palliative care facility in the United States, the George Mark Children's House. Its mission: to give terminally ill children and their families a peaceful place to say goodbye. She shares stories brimming with wisdom, joy, imagination and heartbreaking loss.
Posted: March 2, 2017, 3:54 pm
Lux Narayan starts his day with scrambled eggs and the question: "Who died today?" Why? By analyzing 2,000 New York Times obituaries over a 20-month period, Narayan gleaned, in just a few words, what achievement looks like over a lifetime. Here he shares what those immortalized in print can teach us about a life well lived.
Posted: March 1, 2017, 4:05 pm
The earth is a big place to keep clean. With Litterati -- an app for users to identify, collect and geotag the world's litter -- TED Resident Jeff Kirschner has created a community that's crowdsource-cleaning the planet. After tracking trash in more than 100 countries, Kirschner hopes to use the data he's collected to work with brands and organizations to stop litter before it reaches the ground.
Posted: February 28, 2017, 4:04 pm
What if you could take a smell selfie, a smelfie? What if you had a lipstick that caused plants to grow where you kiss? Ani Liu explores the intersection of technology and sensory perception, and her work is wedged somewhere between science, design and art. In this swift, smart talk, she shares dreams, wonderings and experiments, asking: What happens when science fiction becomes science fact?
Posted: February 27, 2017, 3:59 pm
Where are all the women and girls in film? Social scientist Stacy Smith analyzes how the media underrepresents and portrays women -- and the potentially destructive effects those portrayals have on viewers. She shares hard data behind gender bias in Hollywood, where on-screen males outnumber females three to one (and behind-the-camera workers fare even worse.)
Posted: February 24, 2017, 3:50 pm
Charity Wayua put her skills as a cancer researcher to use on an unlikely patient: the government of her native Kenya. She shares how she helped her government drastically improve its process for opening up new businesses, a crucial part of economic health and growth, leading to new investments and a World Bank recognition as a top reformer.
Posted: February 23, 2017, 3:49 pm
Meet the "Row-bot," a robot that cleans up pollution and generates the electricity needed to power itself by swallowing dirty water. Roboticist Jonathan Rossiter explains how this special swimming machine, which uses a microbial fuel cell to neutralize algal blooms and oil slicks, could be a precursor to biodegradable, autonomous pollution-fighting robots.
Posted: February 22, 2017, 4:17 pm
Cultural theorist Brittney Cooper examines racism through the lens of time, showing us how historically it has been stolen from people of color, resulting in lost moments of joy and connection, lost years of healthy quality of life and the delay of progress. A candid, thought-provoking take on history and race that may make you reconsider your understanding of time, and your place in it.
Posted: February 21, 2017, 4:08 pm
How do we make sense of today's political divisions? In a wide-ranging conversation full of insight, historian Yuval Harari places our current turmoil in a broader context, against the ongoing disruption of our technology, climate, media -- even our notion of what humanity is for. This is the first of a series of TED Dialogues, seeking a thoughtful response to escalating political divisiveness. Make time (just over an hour) for this fascinating discussion between Harari and TED curator Chris Anderson.
Posted: February 20, 2017, 3:35 pm
New tech spawns new anxieties, says scientist and philosopher Grady Booch, but we don't need to be afraid an all-powerful, unfeeling AI. Booch allays our worst (sci-fi induced) fears about superintelligent computers by explaining how we'll teach, not program, them to share our human values. Rather than worry about an unlikely existential threat, he urges us to consider how artificial intelligence will enhance human life.
Posted: February 17, 2017, 4:09 pm
Why do we jail people for being poor? Today, half a million Americans are in jail only because they can't afford to post bail, and still more are locked up because they can't pay their debt to the court, sometimes for things as minor as unpaid parking tickets. Salil Dudani shares stories from individuals who have experienced debtors' prison in Ferguson, Missouri, challenging us to think differently about how we punish the poor and marginalized.
Posted: February 16, 2017, 4:05 pm
Something is very wrong with the news industry. Trust in the media has hit an all-time low; we're inundated with sensationalist stories, and consistent, high-quality reporting is scarce, says journalist Lara Setrakian. She shares three ways we can fix the news to better inform all of us about the complex issues of our time.
Posted: February 15, 2017, 4:07 pm
Sexting, like anything that's fun, runs its risks -- but a serious violation of privacy shouldn't be one of them. Amy Adele Hasinoff looks at problematic responses to sexting in mass media, law and education, offering practical solutions for how individuals and tech companies can protect sensitive (and, ahem, potentially scandalous) digital files.
Posted: February 14, 2017, 4:03 pm
Guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela combine furiously fast riffs and dazzling rhythms to create a style that draws on both flamenco guitar and heavy metal in this live performance of their song, "The Soundmaker."
Posted: February 14, 2017, 11:57 am
Racism is making people sick -- especially black women and babies, says Miriam Zoila Pérez. The doula turned journalist explores the relationship between race, class and illness and tells us about a radically compassionate prenatal care program that can buffer pregnant women from the stress that people of color face every day.
Posted: February 13, 2017, 4:05 pm
How do parents protect their children and help them feel secure again when their homes are ripped apart by war? In this warm-hearted talk, psychologist Aala El-Khani shares her work supporting -- and learning from -- refugee families affected by the civil war in Syria. She asks: How can we help these loving parents give their kids the warm, secure parenting they most need?
Posted: February 10, 2017, 3:49 pm
Freedom from cars, freedom from sprawl, freedom to walk your city! City planner Jeff Speck shares his "general theory of walkability" -- four planning principles to transform sprawling cities of six-lane highways and 600-foot blocks into safe, walkable oases full of bike lanes and tree-lined streets.
Posted: February 9, 2017, 3:55 pm
What if every home had an early-warning cancer detection system? Researcher Joshua Smith is developing a nanobiotechnology "cancer alarm" that scans for traces of disease in the form of special biomarkers called exosomes. In this forward-thinking talk, he shares his dream for how we might revolutionize cancer detection and, ultimately, save lives.
Posted: February 8, 2017, 3:58 pm
In 1996, Thordis Elva shared a teenage romance with Tom Stranger, an exchange student from Australia. After a school dance, Tom raped Thordis, after which they parted ways for many years. In this extraordinary talk, Elva and Stranger move through a years-long chronology of shame and silence, and invite us to discuss the omnipresent global issue of sexual violence in a new, honest way. For a Q&A with the speakers, visit go.ted.com/thordisandtom.
Posted: February 7, 2017, 11:44 am
What do you get when you give a design tool a digital nervous system? Computers that improve our ability to think and imagine, and robotic systems that come up with (and build) radical new designs for bridges, cars, drones and much more -- all by themselves. Take a tour of the Augmented Age with futurist Maurice Conti and preview a time when robots and humans will work side-by-side to accomplish things neither could do alone.
Posted: February 6, 2017, 3:48 pm
Nagin Cox is a first-generation Martian. As a spacecraft engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Cox works on the team that manages the United States' rovers on Mars. But working a 9-to-5 on another planet -- whose day is 40 minutes longer than Earth's -- has particular, often comical challenges.
Posted: February 3, 2017, 4:06 pm
Sue Klebold is the mother of Dylan Klebold, one of the two shooters who committed the Columbine High School massacre, murdering 12 students and a teacher. She's spent years excavating every detail of her family life, trying to understand what she could have done to prevent her son's violence. In this difficult, jarring talk, Klebold explores the intersection between mental health and violence, advocating for parents and professionals to continue to examine the link between suicidal and homicidal thinking.
Posted: February 2, 2017, 4:02 pm
Working hard but not improving? You're not alone. Eduardo Briceño reveals a simple way to think about getting better at the things you do, whether that's work, parenting or creative hobbies. And he shares some useful techniques so you can keep learning and always feel like you're moving forward.
Posted: February 1, 2017, 4:05 pm
Think you're good at guessing stats? Guess again. Whether we consider ourselves math people or not, our ability to understand and work with numbers is terribly limited, says data visualization expert Alan Smith. In this delightful talk, Smith explores the mismatch between what we know and what we think we know.
Posted: January 31, 2017, 3:39 pm
Sarah Parcak uses satellites orbiting hundreds of miles above Earth to uncover hidden ancient treasures buried beneath our feet. There's a lot to discover; in the Egyptian Delta alone, Parcak estimates we've excavated less than a thousandth of one percent of what's out there. Now, with the 2016 TED Prize and an infectious enthusiasm for archaeology, she's developed an online platform called GlobalXplorer that enables anyone with an internet connection to discover unknown sites and protect what remains of our shared human inheritance.
Posted: January 30, 2017, 3:48 pm