Ideas

TED Blog

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

Documentary filmmakers Beverly and Dereck Joubert have worked to conserve wildlife in Africa for more than 30 years. Last year, I visited the Jouberts in one of the Great Plains safari camps and preserves they founded: Great Plains Conservation, launched a few years ago in Botswana and Kenya. You can read about my 2016 visit and []
Author: Pat Mitchell
Posted: August 10, 2017, 9:24 pm
Please enjoy your roundup of TED-related news: This one’s for the boys. Mark Ronson takes a break from making music to have some fun in Charli XCX’s video for “Boys.” You’ll find him (suavely) combing his hair, amid scenes of other male celebs, such as Wiz Khalifa, Riz Ahmed and Joe Jonas having a pillow []
Author: Rebekah Barnett
Posted: August 9, 2017, 4:25 pm
When great minds meet, everybody benefits. So, when meetings are good, they’re great. But if they’re bad (as most office meetings are, be honest with yourself), they’re anything but beneficial. You may say to yourself, or quietly argue to this article during your sad desk lunch: “But I am doing work. I’m sitting and talking []
Author: Chelsea Catlett
Posted: August 8, 2017, 7:48 pm
Five mini-documentary films captivated the TEDWomen 2016 audience — directed, written and produced by female filmmakers whose work embodies today’s best and most innovative storytelling. In a partnership between Lifetime and Chicken & Egg Pictures, these short films are artful in the ways their storytelling catalyzes social change and the TEDWomen 2016 theme, “It’s About []
Author: Chelsea Catlett
Posted: July 31, 2017, 9:23 pm
Please enjoy your roundup of TED-related news: Prosthetics that feel more natural. A study in Science Robotics lays out a surgical technique developed by Shriya Srinivasan, Hugh Herr and others that may help prosthetics feel more like natural limbs. During an amputation, the muscle pairs that allow our brains to sense how much force is []
Author: Rebekah Barnett
Posted: July 21, 2017, 9:39 pm
What if one person could change the world? What if we could harness our collective talent, insight and wisdom? And what if, together, we could spark a movement with positive impact far into the future? For a third year, UPS has partnered with TED to bring experts in business, logistics, design and technology to the stage []
Author: Brian Greene
Posted: July 21, 2017, 6:48 pm
Last year, TED and Audible co-produced a new audio series that invited speakers to share ideas—anonymously. Our goal was to make room for an entirely new trove of ideas: those that could only be broadcast publicly if the speaker’s identity remained private. The series debuted with a number of powerful stories, and we learned a []
Author: Anna Phelan
Posted: July 21, 2017, 12:54 pm
The intimacy of listening: Producer Cloe Shasha shares a few surprising insights that her team learned while producing TED and Audible's audio series, "Sincerely, X."
Author: Cloe Shasha
Posted: July 20, 2017, 10:35 pm
TEDGlobal 2017 kicks off August 27–30, 2017, in Arusha, Tanzania. Ten years after the last TEDGlobal in Arusha, we’ll again gather a community from across the continent and around the world to explore ideas that may propel Africa’s next leap — in business, politics and justice, creativity and entrepreneurship, science and tech. Today, we’re thrilled []
Author: TED Staff
Posted: July 20, 2017, 6:53 pm
There’s no doubt that the speakers we invite to TEDWomen each year have amazing stories to tell. And many of them are published authors (or about to be!) whose work is worth exploring beyond their brief moments in the TED spotlight. So, if you’re looking for some inspiring, instructive and provocative books to add to your []
Author: Pat Mitchell
Posted: July 19, 2017, 11:57 pm
TED is looking for early-career, visionary thinkers from around the world to join the Fellows program at the upcoming TED2018 conference in Vancouver, British Columbia. Do you have an original approach to your work that’s worth sharing with the world? Are you working to uplift and empower your local community through innovative science, art or []
Author: TED Staff
Posted: July 18, 2017, 1:00 pm
TED.com is about to go quiet for two weeks. No new TED Talks will be posted on the web until Monday, July 10, 2017, while most of the TED staff takes our annual two-week vacation. Yes, we all (or almost all) go on vacation at the same time. No, we don’t all go to the same place. We’ve been doing it this []
Author: Emily McManus
Posted: June 23, 2017, 11:30 am
It’s been a few years since the TED Talks video page was last updated, but a new design begins rolling out this week. The update aims to provide a more straightforward viewing experience for mobile devices, improve performance, and surface more ideas we think you'll like.
Author: Aaron Weyenberg
Posted: June 22, 2017, 2:38 pm
Cross-posted from TEDWomen curator Pat Mitchell’s blog on the Huffington Post. Last month, the Black Lives Matter movement was awarded the Sydney Peace Prize, a global prize that honors those who pursue “peace with justice.” Past honorees include South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Irish President Mary Robinson. The prize “recognizes the vital contributions of []
Author: Pat Mitchell
Posted: June 18, 2017, 4:22 pm
TED Radio Hour started in 2013, and while I’ve only been working on the show for about a year, it’s one of my favorite parts of my job. We work with an incredibly creative team over at NPR, and helping them weave different ideas into a narrative each week adds a whole new dimension to []
Author: Anna Phelan
Posted: June 16, 2017, 11:35 pm
As usual, the TED community has lots of news to share this week. Below, some highlights. Surface-level brain stimulation. The delivery of an electric current to the part of the brain involved in movement control, known as deep brain stimulation, is sometimes used to treat people with Parkinson’s disease, depression, epilepsy and obsessive compulsive disorder. []
Author: Rebekah Barnett
Posted: June 16, 2017, 9:46 pm
On August 27, an extraordinary group of people will gather in Arusha, Tanzania, for TEDGlobal 2017, a four-day TED Conference for “those with a genuine interest in the betterment of the continent,” says curator Emeka Okafor. As Okafor puts it: “Africa has an opportunity to reframe the future of work, cultural production, entrepreneurship, agribusiness. We []
Author: TED Staff
Posted: June 13, 2017, 3:06 pm
Picture this: Three kids are given a LEGO set with the pieces to build a fire department. All of them want to build as many new toys as possible. The first kid goes straight for the easy wins. He puts a tiny red hat on a tiny minifig: presto, a firefighter! In this way, he []
Author: Nadia Goodman
Posted: June 9, 2017, 3:07 pm
Behold, your recap of TED-related news: The truth about couples. Ever wonder what goes on in couples therapy? You may want to tune in to Esther Perel’s new podcast “Where Should We Begin?” Each episode invites the reader to listen to a real session with a real couple working out real issues, from a Christian []
Author: Julia Dickerson
Posted: June 2, 2017, 9:04 pm
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

TED Talks Daily (SD video)

TED is a nonprofit devoted to ideas worth spreading. On this video feed, you'll find TED Talks 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.

More than half of the world's population already lives in cities, and another 2.5 billion people are projected to move to urban areas by 2050. The way we build new cities will be at the heart of so much that matters, from climate change to economic vitality to our very well-being and sense of connectedness. Peter Calthorpe is already at work planning the cities of the future and advocating for community design that's focused on human interaction. He shares seven universal principles for solving sprawl and building smarter, more sustainable cities.
Posted: August 17, 2017, 2:53 pm
When Richard J. Berry, the mayor of Albuquerque, saw a man on a street corner holding a cardboard sign that read "Want a job," he decided to take him (and others in his situation) up on it. He and his staff started a citywide initiative to help the homeless by giving them day jobs and a place to sleep -- and the results were incredible. Find out how your city can replicate Albuquerque's model with this frank and optimistic talk.
Posted: August 17, 2017, 2:00 pm
It's been a weird 100 years for artists and creators, says musician and entrepreneur Jack Conte. The traditional ways we've turned art into money (like record sales) have been broken by the internet, leaving musicians, writers and artists wondering how to make a living. With Patreon, Conte has created a way for artists on the internet to get paid by their fans. Could payment platforms like this change what it means to be an artist in the digital age?
Posted: August 16, 2017, 3:00 pm
Harvard Law professor Ronald Sullivan fights to free wrongfully convicted people from jail -- in fact, he has freed some 6,000 innocent people over the course of his career. He shares heartbreaking stories of how (and why) people end up being put in jail for something they didn't do, and the consequences in their lives and the lives of others. Watch this essential talk about the duty we all have to make the world a bit more fair every day, however we can.
Posted: August 15, 2017, 7:36 pm
Do you sometimes have your most creative ideas while folding laundry, washing dishes or doing nothing in particular? It's because when your body goes on autopilot, your brain gets busy forming new neural connections that connect ideas and solve problems. Learn to love being bored as Manoush Zomorodi explains the connection between spacing out and creativity.
Posted: August 15, 2017, 3:00 pm
When artist Damon Davis went to join the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, after police killed Michael Brown in 2014, he found not only anger but also a sense of love for self and community. His documentary "Whose Streets?" tells the story of the protests from the perspective of the activists who showed up to challenge those who use power to spread fear and hate.
Posted: August 14, 2017, 2:59 pm
Behold the microscopic jungle in and around you: tiny organisms living on your cheeks, under your sofa and in the soil in your backyard. We have an adversarial relationship with these microbes -- we sanitize, exterminate and disinfect them -- but according to microbiologist Anne Madden, they're sources of new technologies and medicines waiting to be discovered. These microscopic alchemists aren't gross, Madden says -- they're the future.
Posted: August 11, 2017, 2:54 pm
Movement artists Jon Boogz and Lil Buck debut "Honor thy mother," a delicate, powerful performance of spoken word, violin and dance that draws on the tormented relationship between nature and humanity.
Posted: August 11, 2017, 10:56 am
On August 21, 2017, the moon's shadow will race from Oregon to South Carolina in what some consider to be the most awe-inspiring spectacle in all of nature: a total solar eclipse. Umbraphile David Baron chases these rare events across the globe, and in this ode to the bliss of seeing the solar corona, he explains why you owe it to yourself to witness one, too.
Posted: August 10, 2017, 2:37 pm
It's not the passage of time that makes it so hard to get older. It's ageism, a prejudice that pits us against our future selves -- and each other. Ashton Applewhite urges us to dismantle the dread and mobilize against the last socially acceptable prejudice. "Aging is not a problem to be fixed or a disease to be cured," she says. "It is a natural, powerful, lifelong process that unites us all."
Posted: August 9, 2017, 2:50 pm
Anjan Chatterjee uses tools from evolutionary psychology and cognitive neuroscience to study one of nature's most captivating concepts: beauty. Learn more about the science behind why certain configurations of line, color and form excite us in this fascinating, deep look inside your brain.
Posted: August 8, 2017, 2:40 pm
How smart can our machines make us? Tom Gruber, co-creator of Siri, wants to make "humanistic AI" that augments and collaborates with us instead of competing with (or replacing) us. He shares his vision for a future where AI helps us achieve superhuman performance in perception, creativity and cognitive function -- from turbocharging our design skills to helping us remember everything we've ever read and the name of everyone we've ever met. "We are in the middle of a renaissance in AI," Gruber says. "Every time a machine gets smarter, we get smarter."
Posted: August 7, 2017, 2:39 pm
Ten years ago, researchers thought that getting a computer to tell the difference between a cat and a dog would be almost impossible. Today, computer vision systems do it with greater than 99 percent accuracy. How? Joseph Redmon works on the YOLO (You Only Look Once) system, an open-source method of object detection that can identify objects in images and video -- from zebras to stop signs -- with lightning-quick speed. In a remarkable live demo, Redmon shows off this important step forward for applications like self-driving cars, robotics and even cancer detection.
Posted: August 4, 2017, 3:16 pm
Meet Françoise Mouly, The New Yorker's art director. For the past 24 years, she's helped decide what appears on the magazine's famous cover, from the black-on-black depiction of the Twin Towers the week after 9/11 to a recent, Russia-influenced riff on the magazine's mascot, Eustace Tilley. In this visual retrospective, Mouly considers how a simple drawing can cut through the torrent of images that we see every day and elegantly capture the feeling (and the sensibility) of a moment in time.
Posted: August 3, 2017, 2:24 pm
In 2002, the Colombian guerrilla movement known as the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) kidnapped Ingrid Betancourt in the middle of her presidential campaign. For the next six years, Betancourt was held hostage in jungle prison camps where she was ravaged by malaria, fleas, hunger and human cruelty until her rescue by the Colombian government. In this deeply personal talk, the politician turned writer explains what it's like to live in a perpetual state of fear -- and how her faith sustained her. (In Spanish with English subtitles.)
Posted: August 2, 2017, 3:17 pm
Artist Titus Kaphar makes paintings and sculptures that wrestle with the struggles of the past while speaking to the diversity and advances of the present. In an unforgettable live workshop, Kaphar takes a brush full of white paint to a replica of a 17th-century Frans Hals painting, obscuring parts of the composition and bringing its hidden story into view. There's a narrative coded in art like this, Kaphar says. What happens when we shift our focus and confront unspoken truths?
Posted: August 1, 2017, 3:01 pm
That science fiction future where robots can do what people and animals do may be closer than you think. Marc Raibert, founder of Boston Dynamics, is developing advanced robots that can gallop like a cheetah, negotiate 10 inches of snow, walk upright on two legs and even open doors and deliver packages. Join Raibert for a live demo of SpotMini, a nimble robot that maps the space around it, handles objects, climbs stairs -- and could soon be helping you out around the house.
Posted: July 31, 2017, 3:08 pm
Corals in the Pacific Ocean have been dying at an alarming rate, particularly from bleaching brought on by increased water temperatures. But it's not too late to act, says TED Fellow Kristen Marhaver. She points to the Caribbean -- given time, stable temperatures and strong protection, corals there have shown the ability to survive and recover from trauma. Marhaver reminds us why we need to keep working to protect the precious corals we have left. "Corals have always been playing the long game," she says, "and now so are we."
Posted: July 28, 2017, 2:51 pm
Do your kidneys have a sense of smell? Turns out, the same tiny scent detectors found in your nose are also found in some pretty unexpected places -- like your muscles, kidneys and even your lungs. In this quick talk (filled with weird facts), physiologist Jennifer Pluznick explains why they're there and what they do.
Posted: July 27, 2017, 2:52 pm
A handful of people working at a handful of tech companies steer the thoughts of billions of people every day, says design thinker Tristan Harris. From Facebook notifications to Snapstreaks to YouTube autoplays, they're all competing for one thing: your attention. Harris shares how these companies prey on our psychology for their own profit and calls for a design renaissance in which our tech instead encourages us to live out the timeline we want.
Posted: July 26, 2017, 3:02 pm
Jimmy Lin is developing technologies to catch cancer months to years before current methods. He shares a breakthrough technique that looks for small signals of cancer's presence via a simple blood test, detecting the recurrence of some forms of the disease 100 days earlier than traditional methods. It could be a ray of hope in a fight where early detection makes all the difference.
Posted: July 25, 2017, 2:53 pm
Loneliness doesn't always stem from being alone. For architect Grace Kim, loneliness is a function of how socially connected we feel to the people around us -- and it's often the result of the homes we live in. She shares an age-old antidote to isolation: cohousing, a way of living where people choose to share space with their neighbors, get to know them, and look after them. Rethink your home and how you live in it with this eye-opening talk.
Posted: July 24, 2017, 2:52 pm
Born with a genetic visual impairment that has no correction or cure, Susan Robinson is legally blind (or partially sighted, as she prefers it) and entitled to a label she hates: "disabled." In this funny and personal talk, she digs at our hidden biases by explaining five ways she flips expectations of disability upside down.
Posted: July 21, 2017, 2:57 pm
The divisiveness plaguing American politics today is nothing new, says constitutional law scholar Noah Feldman. In fact, it dates back to the early days of the republic, when a dispute between Alexander Hamilton and James Madison led the two Founding Fathers to cut ties and form the country's first political parties. Join Feldman for some fascinating history of American factionalism -- and a hopeful reminder about how the Constitution has proven itself to be greater than partisanship.
Posted: July 20, 2017, 2:55 pm
Why do so many companies make bad decisions, even with access to unprecedented amounts of data? With stories from Nokia to Netflix to the oracles of ancient Greece, Tricia Wang demystifies big data and identifies its pitfalls, suggesting that we focus instead on "thick data" -- precious, unquantifiable insights from actual people -- to make the right business decisions and thrive in the unknown.
Posted: July 19, 2017, 3:02 pm
Right now, billions of neurons in your brain are working together to generate a conscious experience -- and not just any conscious experience, your experience of the world around you and of yourself within it. How does this happen? According to neuroscientist Anil Seth, we're all hallucinating all the time; when we agree about our hallucinations, we call it "reality." Join Seth for a delightfully disorienting talk that may leave you questioning the very nature of your existence.
Posted: July 18, 2017, 3:00 pm
Climate change is real, case closed. But there's still a lot we don't understand about it, and the more we know the better chance we have to slow it down. One still-unknown factor: How might clouds play a part? There's a small hope that they could buy us some time to fix things ... or they could make global warming worse. Climate scientist Kate Marvel takes us through the science of clouds and what it might take for Earth to break its own fever.
Posted: July 17, 2017, 3:05 pm
What are our screens and devices doing to us? Psychologist Adam Alter studies how much time screens steal from us and how they're getting away with it. He shares why all those hours you spend staring at your smartphone, tablet or computer might be making you miserable -- and what you can do about it.
Posted: July 14, 2017, 2:58 pm
Rivers are one of nature's most powerful forces -- they bulldoze mountains and carve up the earth, and their courses are constantly moving. Understanding how they form and how they'll change is important for those that call their banks and deltas home. In this visual-packed talk, geoscientist Liz Hajek shows us how rocks deposited by ancient rivers can be used as a time machine to study the history of the earth, so we can figure out how to more sustainably live on it today.
Posted: July 13, 2017, 2:45 pm
You can kick Jorge Ramos out of your press conference (as Donald Trump infamously did in 2015), but you can never silence him. A reporter for more than 30 years, Ramos believes that a journalist's responsibility is to question and challenge those in power. In this compelling talk -- which earned him a standing ovation midway through -- Ramos explains why, in certain circumstances, he believes journalists must take sides. (In Spanish with English subtitles.)
Posted: July 12, 2017, 2:56 pm
It's a fateful moment in history. We've seen divisive elections, divided societies and the growth of extremism -- all fueled by anxiety and uncertainty. "Is there something we can do, each of us, to be able to face the future without fear?" asks Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks. In this electrifying talk, the spiritual leader gives us three specific ways we can move from the politics of "me" to the politics of "all of us, together."
Posted: July 11, 2017, 2:54 pm
Inventor Manu Prakash turns everyday materials into powerful scientific devices, from paper microscopes to a clever new mosquito tracker. From the TED Fellows stage, he demos Paperfuge, a hand-powered centrifuge inspired by a spinning toy that costs 20 cents to make and can do the work of a $1,000 machine, no electricity required.
Posted: July 10, 2017, 2:51 pm
"We have seen advances in every aspect of our lives -- except our humanity," says Luma Mufleh, a Jordanian immigrant and Muslim of Syrian descent who founded the first accredited school for refugees in the United States. Mufleh shares stories of hope and resilience, explaining how she's helping young people from war-torn countries navigate the difficult process of building new homes. Get inspired to make a personal difference in the lives of refugees with this powerful talk.
Posted: June 23, 2017, 2:40 pm
Cheyenne Cochrane explores the role that hair texture has played in the history of being black in America -- from the heat straightening products of the post-Civil War era to the thousands of women today who have decided to stop chasing a conventional beauty standard and start embracing their natural hair. "This is about more than a hairstyle," Cochrane says. "It's about being brave enough not to fold under the pressure of others' expectations."
Posted: June 22, 2017, 3:03 pm
Sinéad Burke is acutely aware of details that are practically invisible to many of us. At 105 centimeters (or 3' 5") tall, the designed world -- from the height of a lock to the range of available shoe sizes -- often inhibits her ability to do things for herself. Here she tells us what it's like to navigate the world as a little person and asks: "Who are we not designing for?"
Posted: June 21, 2017, 3:03 pm
Sixty-five million people were displaced from their homes by conflict and disaster in 2016. It's not just a crisis; it's a test of who we are and what we stand for, says David Miliband -- and each of us has a personal responsibility to help solve it. In this must-watch talk, Miliband gives us specific, tangible ways to help refugees and turn empathy and altruism into action.
Posted: June 20, 2017, 3:39 am
Anab Jain brings the future to life, creating experiences where people can touch, see and feel the potential of the world we're creating. Do we want a world where intelligent machines patrol our streets, for instance, or where our genetic heritage determines our health care? Jain's projects show why it's important to fight for the world we want. Catch a glimpse of possible futures in this eye-opening talk.
Posted: June 19, 2017, 3:05 pm