Ideas

TED Blog

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

Meet the new class of TEDGlobal 2017 Fellows! Representing 18 countries — including, for the first time in our program, Somalia, Uruguay, Liberia and Zimbabwe — this class clears a high bar of talent, creativity and eccentricity. Among those selected, you’ll find a Somali computer scientist catalyzing the tech scene in Somalia and Somaliland; a []
Author: TED Staff
Posted: May 23, 2017, 1:00 pm
What’s the best way to find something lost on the ground, like a historical site from a civilization lost to time? For archaeologist Sarah Parcak, the answer’s obvious — from way up above, using satellites, of course. As a space archaeologist, she’s found the lost city of Tanis (of Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost []
Author: Chelsea Catlett
Posted: May 22, 2017, 7:17 pm
Behold, your recap of TED-related news: A new Sundance grant helps indie films get seen. Making a film is hard enough — but getting the film seen by an audience can be just as difficult, especially in this era of non-stop media shifts. To help, Sundance just launched the Creative Distribution Fellowship — and among []
Author: Rebekah Barnett
Posted: May 19, 2017, 5:27 pm
Imagine a world where your car drives itself, your fridge does the grocery shopping, and robots work alongside you. Rapid advances in artificial intelligence are turning that world into a near-future possibility. But what will that future really look like, and how will it change our lives? We spoke with three artificial intelligence experts at []
Author: TED Guest Author
Posted: May 17, 2017, 11:43 am
Nation states are failing miserably on some of the more urgent global challenges of the modern age — especially climate change, predatory capitalism, terrorism and forced migration. Nations are increasingly closed, parochial and outdated, slow to respond to the pressures of a fast changing world. The three and a half long century experiment is rapidly coming []
Author: Helen Walters
Posted: May 9, 2017, 7:11 pm
Behold, your recap of TED-related news: Habitat turns 50! First conceptualized in 1961 as part of architect Moshe Safdie’s thesis at McGill University, Habitat 67 has gone on to inspire several generations of architects. Combining high-rise living with community connection, Habitat’s concrete cluster of homes challenged the contemporary notions of apartment complexes and Brutalist architecture. []
Author: Rebekah Barnett
Posted: May 5, 2017, 9:02 pm
Over the past five days, the TED2017 conference has explored the theme “The Future You.” This has spanned an incredible number of ideas on a huge array of topics. Below, a tour through some of the key themes that emerged — through the week and in the double-stuffed session of day 5. All eyes on []
Author: Kate Torgovnick May
Posted: April 28, 2017, 10:58 pm
In the final session of TED2017, we look ahead to the future we’ll build together. Below, recaps of the talks from Session 11, in chronological order. A design renaissance for our apps. “There’s a hidden goal driving all of our technology, and that goal is the race for our attention.” says Tristan Harris. He would know; he []
Author: Crawford Hunt
Posted: April 28, 2017, 10:53 pm
Author Anne Lamott recently turned 61. So she’s compiled the following list of “every single true thing I know.” A brief recap: All truth is a paradox. “Life is a precious unfathomably beautiful gift, and it is impossible here,” she says. Life is “filled with heartbreaking sweetness and beauty, floods and babies and acne and Mozart, []
Author: Kate Torgovnick May
Posted: April 28, 2017, 9:51 pm
In conversation with TED’s Head Curator Chris Anderson, serial entrepreneur and future-builder Elon Musk discusses his new project digging tunnels under LA, Hyperloop, Tesla, SpaceX and his dreams for what the world could look like. Below, highlights from the conversation. Why are you boring? “We’re trying to dig a hole under LA, and this is to []
Author: Brian Greene
Posted: April 28, 2017, 9:14 pm
During the International Beer Exchange held on Day 2 of TEDFest, a screening event for TEDx’ers in New York City, bottles were lined up side by side like passengers on the subway during morning rush hour. A pale ale from Vail stood tall next to a stout from Kentucky that had been aged in oak []
Author: Kate Torgovnick May
Posted: April 28, 2017, 7:23 pm
TED is about speakers stepping on a stage and sharing an idea in 18 minutes or less. But throughout our annual conference, short films play a vital part in the program too — opening sessions and providing moments of pause, reflection and laughter between talks. The short films shown during the conference are selected by Anyssa []
Author: Kate Torgovnick May
Posted: April 28, 2017, 4:59 pm
On the fourth day of TED, the talks got more personal and packed with takeaways for everyday life. Below, some highlights. Pond scum: a source of wonder. In her ode to the microorganisms we’ve spent a century trying to kill, Anne Madden shared how, in pond scum, scientists found an organism that appears to vaccinate []
Author: Kate Torgovnick May
Posted: April 28, 2017, 4:57 am
The stories we tell define us. In the Thursday-night session of TED2017, a singer, an artist, a poet, an author, two podcasters and Bollywood’s biggest star showed us what our stories mean today — and gave a preview of what they’ll look like in the future. Below, recaps of the talks from Session 10, in chronological order. []
Author: Brian Greene
Posted: April 28, 2017, 4:45 am
“I sell dreams, and I peddle love to millions of people,” says Shah Rukh Khan, Bollywood’s biggest star and the host of the upcoming TED Talks India: Nayi Soch. In a charming, funny, insightful and self-aware talk, Khan traces the movements of his life — and leaves us with hard-earned wisdom. “I’ve been made to understand there []
Author: Brian Greene
Posted: April 28, 2017, 2:59 am
For the ninth session of TED2017, hosted by TED’s Editorial Director Helen Walters and Curation Director Kelly Stoetzel, we look into ourselves with seven speakers who take on subjects ranging from parenting to social interaction and heartbreak, revealing nuggets of wisdom that just might help you lead a better, more fulfilled life. The longest-running study []
Author: Alejandra Vasquez
Posted: April 28, 2017, 2:18 am
“Why do the same coping mechanisms that get us through all kinds of life challenges fail us so miserably when our heart gets broken?” asks psychologist Guy Winch. For the past 20 years, Winch has counseled people of all ages reeling from the blow of a breakup, and in this talk, he explains why heartbreak []
Author: Crawford Hunt
Posted: April 28, 2017, 1:32 am
For Nobel Prize-winning biologist Elizabeth Blackburn, it all began with pond scum. She was curious about chromosomes, and specifically the caps at the ends of chromosomes, known as telomeres, and pond scum provided an ample supply for her research. Her curiosity sent her on a journey that shed light on one of humanity’s biggest, and oldest, []
Author: Rebekah Barnett
Posted: April 28, 2017, 1:09 am
In the eight session of TED2017, hosted by TED’s Head Curator Chris Anderson, eight speakers — and one unforgettable live jetpack demo — showed us that there’s wonder all around us, from the bugs that live in our backyards and on our skin to the dreams that live inside our minds, waiting to be unleashed. Below, []
Author: Alejandra Vasquez
Posted: April 27, 2017, 10:04 pm
This year at TED, Target is all about building bridges and forging strong connections — literally and figuratively. The Commons — an open, airy minimalist structure — is a truly interactive space that allows TED attendees a moment to recharge away (and above) from the hustle and bustle of the conference. Made from sturdy wood []
Author: Chelsea Catlett
Posted: April 27, 2017, 10:02 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.

Once homebound by epilepsy, mental health advocate Sitawa Wafula found her strength in writing about it. Now, she advocates for others who are yet to find their voices, cutting through stigma and exclusion to talk about what it's like to live with the condition.
Posted: May 23, 2017, 3:06 pm
"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.
Posted: May 22, 2017, 3:06 pm
"When black women walk, things change," say T. Morgan Dixon and Vanessa Garrison, the founders of the health nonprofit GirlTrek. They're on a mission to reduce the leading causes of preventable death among black women -- and build communities in the process. How? By getting one million black women and girls to prioritize their self-care, lacing up their shoes and walking in the direction of their healthiest, most fulfilled lives.
Posted: May 19, 2017, 3:03 pm
Teens don't get enough sleep, and it's not because of Snapchat, social lives or hormones -- it's because of public policy, says Wendy Troxel. Drawing from her experience as a sleep researcher, clinician and mother of a teenager, Troxel discusses how early school start times deprive adolescents of sleep during the time of their lives when they need it most.
Posted: May 18, 2017, 2:58 pm
Why are we so deadlocked on climate, and what would it take to overcome the seemingly insurmountable barriers to progress? Policy entrepreneur Ted Halstead proposes a transformative solution based on the conservative principles of free markets and limited government. Learn more about how this carbon dividends plan could trigger an international domino effect towards a more popular, cost-effective and equitable climate solution.
Posted: May 17, 2017, 2:38 pm
In this deeply moving talk, Lucy Kalanithi reflects on life and purpose, sharing the story of her late husband, Paul, a young neurosurgeon who turned to writing after his terminal cancer diagnosis. "Engaging in the full range of experience -- living and dying, love and loss -- is what we get to do," Kalanithi says. "Being human doesn't happen despite suffering -- it happens within it."
Posted: May 16, 2017, 3:01 pm
How can we harness the power of superintelligent AI while also preventing the catastrophe of robotic takeover? As we move closer toward creating all-knowing machines, AI pioneer Stuart Russell is working on something a bit different: robots with uncertainty. Hear his vision for human-compatible AI that can solve problems using common sense, altruism and other human values.
Posted: May 15, 2017, 2:29 pm
"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.
Posted: May 12, 2017, 7:44 pm
Oceanographer Kate Stafford lowers us into the sonically rich depths of the Arctic Ocean, where ice groans, whales sing to communicate over vast distances -- and climate change and human noise threaten to alter the environment in ways we don't understand. Learn more about why this underwater soundscape matters and what we might do to protect it.
Posted: May 12, 2017, 3:04 pm
One night in 2002, a friend gave Jorge Drexler the chorus to a song and challenged him to write the rest of it using a complex, poetic form known as the "Décima." In this fascinating talk, Drexler examines the blended nature of identity, weaving together the history of the Décima with his own quest to write one. He closes the talk with a performance of the resulting song, "La Milonga del Moro Judío." (In Spanish with English subtitles)
Posted: May 10, 2017, 2:46 pm
How can humans be so compassionate and altruistic -- and also so brutal and violent? To understand why we do what we do, neuroscientist Robert Sapolsky looks at extreme context, examining actions on timescales from seconds to millions of years before they occurred. In this fascinating talk, he shares his cutting edge research into the biology that drives our worst and best behaviors.
Posted: May 9, 2017, 3:04 pm
Carolyn Jones spent five years interviewing, photographing and filming nurses across America, traveling to places dealing with some of the nation's biggest public health issues. She shares personal stories of unwavering dedication in this celebration of the everyday heroes who work at the front lines of health care.
Posted: May 8, 2017, 3:02 pm
In the US, most kids have a very long summer break, during which they forget an awful lot of what they learned during the school year. This "summer slump" affects kids from low-income neighborhoods most, setting them back almost three months. TED Fellow Karim Abouelnaga has a plan to reverse this learning loss. Learn how he's helping kids improve their chances for a brighter future.
Posted: May 5, 2017, 2:48 pm
When stress got to be too much for TED Fellow Sangu Delle, he had to confront his own deep prejudice: that men shouldn't take care of their mental health. In a personal talk, Delle shares how he learned to handle anxiety in a society that's uncomfortable with emotions. As he says: "Being honest about how we feel doesn't make us weak -- it makes us human."
Posted: May 4, 2017, 2:57 pm
Hacking, fake news, information bubbles ... all these and more have become part of the vernacular in recent years. But as cyberspace analyst Laura Galante describes in this alarming talk, the real target of anyone looking to influence geopolitics is dastardly simple: it's you.
Posted: May 3, 2017, 2:56 pm
"There are facts, there are opinions, and there are lies," says historian Deborah Lipstadt, telling the remarkable story of her research into Holocaust deniers -- and their deliberate distortion of history. Lipstadt encourages us all to go on the offensive against those who assault the truth and facts. "Truth is not relative," she says.
Posted: May 2, 2017, 3:15 pm
Elon Musk discusses his new project digging tunnels under LA, the latest from Tesla and SpaceX and his motivation for building a future on Mars in conversation with TED's Head Curator, Chris Anderson.
Posted: April 30, 2017, 11:58 pm
Alzheimer's doesn't have to be your brain's destiny, says neuroscientist and author of "Still Alice," Lisa Genova. She shares the latest science investigating the disease -- and some promising research on what each of us can do to build an Alzheimer's-resistant brain.
Posted: April 28, 2017, 5:07 pm
Twenty-three Grand Slam titles later, tennis superstar Serena Williams sits down with journalist Gayle King to share a warm, mischievous conversation about her life, love, wins and losses -- starting with the story of how she accidentally shared her pregnancy news with the world.
Posted: April 27, 2017, 6:50 pm
A single individual is enough for hope to exist, and that individual can be you, says His Holiness Pope Francis in this searing TED Talk delivered directly from Vatican City. In a hopeful message to people of all faiths, to those who have power as well as those who don't, the spiritual leader provides illuminating commentary on the world as we currently find it and calls for equality, solidarity and tenderness to prevail. "Let us help each other, all together, to remember that the 'other' is not a statistic, or a number," he says. "We all need each other."
Posted: April 26, 2017, 1:01 am
We give scientists and engineers great technical training, but we're not as good at teaching ethical decision-making or building character. Take, for example, the environmental crisis that recently unfolded in Flint, Michigan -- and the professionals there who did nothing to fix it. Siddhartha Roy helped prove that Flint's water was contaminated, and he tells a story of science in service to the public good, calling on the next generation of scientists and engineers to dedicate their work to protecting people and the planet.
Posted: April 25, 2017, 3:22 pm
On April 14, 2014, the terrorist organization Boko Haram kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls from the town of Chibok, Nigeria. Around the world, the crime became epitomized by the slogan #BringBackOurGirls -- but in Nigeria, government officials called the crime a hoax, confusing and delaying efforts to rescue the girls. In this powerful talk, journalist Stephanie Busari points to the Chibok tragedy to explain the deadly danger of fake news and what we can do to stop it.
Posted: April 24, 2017, 3:12 pm
Financial literacy isn't a skill -- it's a lifestyle. Take it from Curtis "Wall Street" Carroll. As an incarcerated individual, Carroll knows the power of a dollar. While in prison, he taught himself how to read and trade stocks, and now he shares a simple, powerful message: we all need to be more savvy with our money.
Posted: April 21, 2017, 3:00 pm
Physician David Casarett was tired of hearing hype and half-truths around medical marijuana, so he put on his skeptic's hat and investigated on his own. He comes back with a fascinating report on what we know and what we don't -- and what mainstream medicine could learn from the modern medical marijuana dispensary.
Posted: April 20, 2017, 3:04 pm
When Amy Green's young son was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor, she made up a bedtime story for his siblings to teach them about cancer. What resulted was a video game, "That Dragon, Cancer," which takes players on a journey they can't win. In this beautiful talk about coping with loss, Green brings joy and play to tragedy. "We made a game that's hard to play," she says, "because the hardest moments of our lives change us more than any goal we could ever accomplish."
Posted: April 19, 2017, 2:59 pm
Our universe is strange, wonderful and vast, says astronomer Natasha Hurley-Walker. A spaceship can't carry you into its depths (yet) -- but a radio telescope can. In this mesmerizing talk, Hurley-Walker shows how she probes the mysteries of the universe using special technology that reveals light spectrums we can't see.
Posted: April 18, 2017, 3:02 pm
To design the Bahá'í Temple of South America, architect Siamak Hariri focused on illumination -- from the temple's form, which captures the movement of the sun throughout the day, to the iridescent, luminous stone and glass used to construct it. Join Hariri for a journey through the creative process, as he explores what makes for a sacred experience in a secular world.
Posted: April 17, 2017, 2:48 pm
We teach girls that they can have ambition, but not too much ... to be successful, but not too successful, or they'll threaten men, says author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. In this classic talk that started a worldwide conversation about feminism, Adichie asks that we begin to dream about and plan for a different, fairer world -- of happier men and women who are truer to themselves.
Posted: April 14, 2017, 2:52 pm
TED Fellow Zubaida Bai works with medical professionals, midwives and mothers to bring dignity and low-cost interventions to women's health care. In this quick, inspiring talk, she presents her clean birth kit in a purse, which contains everything a new mother needs for a hygienic birth and a healthy delivery -- no matter where in the world (or how far from a medical clinic) she might be.
Posted: April 13, 2017, 3:06 pm
If Yoda goes into cardiac arrest, will you know what to do? Artist and first-aid enthusiast Todd Scott breaks down what you need to know about using an automated external defibrillator, or AED -- in this galaxy and ones that are far, far away. Prepare to save the life of a Jedi, Chewbacca (he'll need a quick shave first) or someone else in need with some helpful pointers.
Posted: April 12, 2017, 2:56 pm
Conflict is bad; compromise, consensus and collaboration are good -- or so we're told. Lawyer and bioethicist Jonathan Marks challenges this conventional wisdom, showing how governments can jeopardize public health, human rights and the environment when they partner with industry. An important, timely reminder that common good and common ground are not the same thing.
Posted: April 11, 2017, 3:07 pm
We increasingly make decisions based on short-term goals and gains -- an approach that makes the future more uncertain and less safe. How can we learn to think about and plan for a better future in the long term ... like, grandchildren-scale long term? Ari Wallach shares three tactics for thinking beyond the immediate.
Posted: April 10, 2017, 2:58 pm
Giorgia Lupi uses data to tell human stories, adding nuance to numbers. In this charming talk, she shares how we can bring personality to data, visualizing even the mundane details of our daily lives and transforming the abstract and uncountable into something that can be seen, felt and directly reconnected to our lives.
Posted: April 7, 2017, 3:07 pm
Why does race matter so profoundly for health? David R. Williams developed a scale to measure the impact of discrimination on well-being, going beyond traditional measures like income and education to reveal how factors like implicit bias, residential segregation and negative stereotypes create and sustain inequality. In this eye-opening talk, Williams presents evidence for how racism is producing a rigged system -- and offers hopeful examples of programs across the US that are working to dismantle discrimination.
Posted: April 6, 2017, 3:03 pm
We need to talk to kids about the risks they face online, says information security expert Sebastián Bortnik. In this talk, Bortnik discusses the issue of "grooming" -- the sexual predation of children by adults on the internet -- and outlines the conversations we need to start having about technology to keep our kids safe. (In Spanish with English subtitles)
Posted: April 5, 2017, 2:57 pm
At the heart of the Milky Way, there's a supermassive black hole that feeds off a spinning disk of hot gas, sucking up anything that ventures too close -- even light. We can't see it, but its event horizon casts a shadow, and an image of that shadow could help answer some important questions about the universe. Scientists used to think that making such an image would require a telescope the size of Earth -- until Katie Bouman and a team of astronomers came up with a clever alternative. Bouman explains how we can take a picture of the ultimate dark using the Event Horizon Telescope.
Posted: April 4, 2017, 3:10 pm
How can we bridge the gap between left and right to have a wiser, more connected political conversation? Journalist Gretchen Carlson and op-ed columnist David Brooks share insights on the tensions at the heart of American politics today -- and where we can find common ground. Followed by a rousing performance of "America the Beautiful" by Vy Higginsen's Gospel Choir of Harlem.
Posted: April 3, 2017, 9:50 pm
Your boss probably isn't paying you what you're worth -- instead, they're paying you what they think you're worth. Take the time to learn how to shape their thinking. Pricing consultant Casey Brown shares helpful stories and learnings that can help you better communicate your value and get paid for your excellence.
Posted: April 3, 2017, 2:51 pm
Emtithal "Emi" Mahmoud writes poetry of resilience, confronting her experience of escaping the genocide in Darfur in verse. She shares two stirring original poems about refugees, family, joy and sorrow, asking, "Will you witness me?"
Posted: March 31, 2017, 3:12 pm
Sō Percussion creates adventurous compositions with new, unconventional instruments. Performing "Music for Wood and Strings" by Bryce Dessner of The National, the quartet plays custom-made dulcimer-like instruments that combine the sound of an electric guitar with the percussionist's toolkit to create a hypnotic effect.
Posted: March 31, 2017, 12:34 pm
Moshe Szyf is a pioneer in the field of epigenetics, the study of how living things reprogram their genome in response to social factors like stress and lack of food. His research suggests that biochemical signals passed from mothers to offspring tell the child what kind of world they're going to live in, changing the expression of genes. "DNA isn't just a sequence of letters; it's not just a script." Szyf says. "DNA is a dynamic movie in which our experiences are being written."
Posted: March 30, 2017, 3:17 pm
Only one in nine people in the United States gets the care and treatment they need for addiction and substance abuse. A former Director of National Drug Control Policy, Michael Botticelli is working to end this epidemic and treat people with addictions with kindness, compassion and fairness. In a personal, thoughtful talk, he encourages the millions of Americans in recovery today to make their voices heard and confront the stigma associated with substance use disorders.
Posted: March 29, 2017, 3:01 pm
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