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…
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Exposing what life looks like in Afghanistan after a 20-year US occupation and the Taliban's stunning and rapid takeover, TED Fellow and documentary photographer Kiana Hayeri captures harrowing glimpses and multifaceted realities of a war-torn country. Through the lens of her camera, she documents devastation and deferred dreams -- but also resilient hope and spirit.
The pandemic brought into sharp focus the crisis in caregiving in the United States, which woefully under provides support for parents. Activist and Girls Who Code founder Reshma Saujani has a proposal to address that -- something she calls the Marshall Plan for Moms -- and she unpacks how it aims to build radically different systems in order to empower working parents. (This conversation, hosted by TED current affairs curator Whitney Pennington Rodgers, was part of an exclusive TED Membership event on March 23, 2022. Visit ted.com/membership to become a TED Member.)
Imagine seeking safety abroad and instead being detained and forced to defend yourself in a high-stakes legal battle — alone. Law professor César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández explains how the asylum process in the US became warped into what we know today and poses a question that could lead the country out of its labyrinthian policies: In place of investing in more steel doors and barbed wire, what if immigration law was infused with support and justice?
Could DAOs, or "decentralized autonomous organizations", be the key to building the next great city? Experimental urbanist Scott Fitsimones shares how these mission-driven, blockchain-governed, collectively owned organizations could increase the speed and efficiency of building cities (among many other applications) -- all while pooling decision-making power in a radically collaborative way. Hear about how he started a "crypto co-op" that bought 40 acres of land in Wyoming and learn more about the potential for DAOs to get things done in the future.
Your closet is likely full of all kinds of materials -- leather, cotton, nylon and polyester, to name a few -- that contribute to fashion's sustainability crisis. Biomaterials investigator Dan Widmaier explains how we could look to nature for sustainable replacements for these much-used materials and introduces a leather alternative made from mushrooms that looks great and doesn't harm the environment. "We can make fashion sustainable, and we're going to do it with science," Widmaier says.
What if the commonly accepted narratives about the foundation of civilization are all wrong? Drawing on groundbreaking research, archaeologist David Wengrow challenges traditional thinking about the social evolution of humanity -- from the invention of agriculture to the formation of cities and class systems -- and explains how rethinking history can radically change our perspective on inequality and modern life.
Forget home economics and standardized tests, education visionary Trish Millines Dziko has a much more engaging and fulfilling way for students to develop real-world skills. Get schooled by Dziko as she shares how project-based learning can transform public education and unlock genius for the next generation of critical thinkers, problem solvers, ideators and leaders.
Have you had your daily dose of fun? It's not just enjoyable, it's also essential for your health and happiness, says science journalist Catherine Price. She proposes a new definition of fun -- what she calls "true fun" -- and shares easy, evidence-backed ways to weave playfulness, flow and connection into your everyday life.
Music can amplify social issues and inspire people to care about new (and sometimes unexpected) topics. But can it take something as dire as climate change and make it mainstream? With artists MyVerse and Kristen Warren as an inspiring opening act, social entrepreneur Samir Ibrahim suggests hip-hop and its stars can help us move from talking about the problem to rapping about (and acting on) solutions.
The deadliest severe weather phenomenon is something you might not realize: extreme heat. Eleni Myrivili, chief heat officer of the city of Athens, Greece, explains that extreme heat and heat waves are often overlooked because they're not as dramatic as flooding or hurricanes – and breaks down three approaches to keep cities cool in a time of rapid global temperature rise. "Cranking up the air conditioner is just not going to cut it," she says.
With his art, photographer Platon seeks to strip away assumptions and leave viewers with a window into his subject's character, filling our eyes with wonder and curiosity. Sharing extraordinary stories of what it's like to photograph some of the world's most prominent figures -- from Michelle Obama and Pussy Riot to Vladimir Putin and Muhammad Ali -- Platon captures the disarming power of empathy and human connection.
Why do we often wait so long to recognize each other's gifts? Why are the truest compliments for the people we love often said only after they're no longer around to hear and savor them? Andrea Driessen makes the case for writing eulogies for the living, sharing the power of "grace notes" to offer connection on a deeper level and dispel any regrets of waiting until a loved one's death to appreciate their presence in your life.
From the return of nomadic living to a climate-disrupted world, author and global strategist Parag Khanna has some predictions for humanity. Get a fascinating glimpse at the future as he tackles an urgent question: Where on Earth will eight billion humans live in the uncertain times ahead? (This conversation, hosted by TED current affairs curator Whitney Pennington Rodgers, was part of an exclusive TED Membership event. Visit ted.com/membership to become a TED Member.)
"Climate doom-ism," or a pessimistic outlook on the future of the planet, rivals climate denialism in holding up the fight against climate change, says activist Zahra Biabani. Illuminating how hope combats inaction, she takes us inside the world of eco-friendly content on TikTok -- and shows that we all have what it takes to make real change.
The universe that we know, with its luminous stars and orbiting planets, is largely made up of elements we can't actually see -- like dark energy and dark matter -- and therefore don't fully understand. Theoretical physicist Chanda Prescod-Weinstein takes us inside the search for this cosmos-shaping invisible matter and explains how, with the help of a new generation of telescopes, we could be closer to demystifying it than ever before. "The universe is more queer and fantastical than it looks to the naked eye," she says. (If you want to hear more from Prescod-Weinstein, check out her episode on "The TED Interview" podcast.)
As the saying goes, less is more. The same can be said about words. Listen as Politico and Axios co-founder Jim VandeHei shares what he's learned leading two media companies -- and how to radically rethink the way you write to keep people's attention in a distracted digital world.
Sharing his experience of being held captive in a Taliban prison for 105 days, humanitarian Safi Rauf talks about his life's mission to get food, medicine and other critical supplies to Afghans in need -- and urges the world to bolster aid and establish a peaceful presence in the country during these extraordinarily difficult times. (This talk was recorded on April 12, 2022)
What would Immanuel Kant say about a fender bender? In a surprisingly funny trip through the teachings of some of history's great philosophers, TV writer and producer Michael Schur (from hit shows like "The Office" and "The Good Place") talks through how to confront life's moral dilemmas -- and shows how understanding ethical theories can help you make better, kinder decisions.
Where did all the lumps and bumps on buildings go? When did city architecture become so ... dull? Here to talk about why cities need inspiring architecture, designer Thomas Heatherwick offers us a visually stimulating path out of the doldrums of urban monotony -- so cities are filled with soulful buildings that people cherish for centuries.
During the Soviet Union era, therapy was often used as a tool of political oppression. Since then, Russia has seen major reforms in mental health care -- but stigmas and distrust for the practice still live on. Psychologist and TED Fellow Olga Kitaina shares the current state of therapy in Russia (where tarot card readers and astrologers sometimes pass as psychoanalysts) and outlines her solution for getting people the professional help they need.
A blank spot on a digital map can signal much more than a gap in data -- it can mean something is being intentionally hidden. Sharing the remarkable discovery of massive alleged detention camps in Xinjiang, China, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Alison Killing shows how governments can obscure human rights abuses by limiting journalist access on the ground -- and calls for more reliable open-source data (like satellite and social media imagery) to shine a light on the world's darkest places.
The world needs clean power, but decarbonization calls for a massive increase in the mining and extraction of minerals like lithium, graphite and cobalt. Environmental peacemaking expert Olivia Lazard sheds light on the scramble for these precious mineral resources -- and how the countries that control their supply chains (including China and Russia) could find themselves at the center of the new global stage. Learn why Lazard thinks planetary security depends on our ability to de-escalate resource competition and avoid the same mistakes that led to the climate crisis.
How does a nation reconcile when its identity is at odds with its policies? Ali Noorani traces the arc of the US immigration debate to show a safer and more compassionate way forward, highlighting why centering human dignity creates lasting bonds and healthier communities.
From nourishing our foods to storing massive amounts of carbon, soil is teeming with diverse microbial life that could slow global warming. Climate change scientist Jane Zelikova calls for agricultural practices that protect Earth's soil by growing climate-adapted crops that don't mess with the microbes. "Soils are the literal foundation of life on this planet -- the reason that we eat and the climate solution just waiting to be unlocked," she says.
Before entering the world of financial journalism, Gillian Tett was a cultural anthropologist who studied how the past influences our present thoughts and behaviors. In an entertaining talk, she shows how you can use an anthropological outlook to see the world with fresh eyes and welcome new and different cultural truths into your life.
Famed for enormous black-and-white portraits that are pasted on surfaces ranging from the Louvre to the US-Mexico border wall, multimedia artist JR continues to tackle ambitious projects. In this powerfully moving talk, he shares how he made a giant mural on the courtyard floor of a maximum security prison -- with the help of guards and prisoners alike -- and ended up with much more than a compelling image.
SpaceX's Starship launch vehicle has the potential to explore the solar system in a bold, new -- and super-sized -- way. Planetary scientist Jennifer Heldmann talks about how reusable, large-scale spacecraft like Starship could help humanity achieve its next galactic leaps and usher in a new era of space exploration, from investigating the solar system's many ocean worlds to launching bigger telescopes that can see deeper into the universe.
Our lives depend on curbing climate change, but so many priorities seem to be in competition. What's the most urgent thing humanity can do right now? Social entrepreneur James Irungu Mwangi tells us why Africa could be the ideal home for scaling the latest and most ambitious climate technologies -- including in places like Kenya's Hell's Gate National Park, which could become part of what he calls the "Great Carbon Valley."
Today, there are many ways to conceive a child, thanks to assisted reproductive technologies like IVF and egg-freezing. But the law lags behind these advancements, says attorney Ellen Trachman, troubling parents-to-be with stranger-than-fiction mix-ups and baffling lawsuits. Trachman makes the case for legality to reflect the realities of reproductive innovation -- and prompts you to reconsider what could happen to your own genetic material.
We can all play a role in the climate movement by tapping into our skills, resources and networks in ways that bring us satisfaction, says climate leader Ayana Elizabeth Johnson. She suggests drawing a Venn diagram to map these questions: What are you good at? What is the work that needs doing? And what brings you joy? Where your answers intersect is where you should put your climate action effort. "Averting climate catastrophe: this is the work of our lifetimes," Johnson says.
Black history in the US is rich, profound -- and at risk of being lost forever, if not for the monumental efforts of Julieanna L. Richardson. As the founder of The HistoryMakers -- the largest national archive of African American video-oral history -- Richardson shares some of the unknown and incredible legacies of Black America, highlighting the importance of documenting and preserving the past for future generations.
Nobody really knows how much it would cost to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Yet historian Yuval Noah Harari's analysis, based on the work of scientists and economists, indicates that humanity might avert catastrophe by investing the equivalent of just two percent of global GDP into climate solutions. He makes the case that preventing ecological cataclysm will not require the major global disruptions many fear and explains that we already have the resources we need -- it's just a matter of shifting our priorities.
Fathers have a profound impact on their children's lives, yet an estimated ten million kids in the US see their dads less than once a month. Through his advocacy and mental health center, therapist Charles C. Daniels, Jr. empowers fathers to be more present by providing mentorship and community, so they learn to forgive their own shortcomings and, most importantly, learn how to reconnect with their kids.
Sex is as much mental as it is physical -- and imagination is the most powerful tool we have to expand our personal agency and capacity for pleasure, says sexual wellness storyteller Gina Gutierrez. The founder of audio-erotica company Dipsea, Gutierrez creates immersive audio stories designed to open up space to explore your desires and fantasies on your terms. She shares some tips to inspire your sexual imagination and bring joy, confidence and empowerment into your life.
Over the last decade, humanitarian organizations have digitized many of their systems, from registering refugees with biometric IDs to transporting cargo via drones. This has helped deliver aid around the world, but it's also brought new risks to the people it's meant to protect. Tech and human rights ethicist Aarathi Krishnan points to the dangers of digitization -- like sensitive data getting into the hands of the wrong people -- and lays out five ethical principles to help inform humanitarian tech innovation.
How does music shape us? Digital ethnomusicologist and TED Fellow Kyra Gaunt studies how Black girls can preserve the integrity of their own voices while listening, dancing and singing to pop songs largely engineered by men, often with lyrics that express anti-Black, patriarchal sentiments. In a quick, incisive talk, she shows how Black girls can disrupt the stereotypes and stigmas buried within this music and chart their own revolution in sound.
As the line between the physical and digital worlds blur, so does the line between real-world and virtual sports. Reframing our understanding of competition, data-driven technologist James Hodge explains how far esports (like virtual Formula 1 race car driving) have come in replicating the conditions of physical sports, making elite competition more accessible than ever before. "This really is the new era for play -- and it's open to everyone," he says.
"The world is a living tapestry ... As the weave of life is torn apart in one place, the threads unravel in another," says author and physics professor Vandana Singh, acknowledging humanity's interconnectedness with the planet -- and the uncertain future we face if we don't protect it. Reading an excerpt from her latest work of speculative fiction, Singh shares a hopeful vision for Earth's renewal.
A curious, quiet revolution of sound has taken over the internet. Physiologist Craig Richard explains the soothing brain science of Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR), tracking its rise in popularity and why this fascinating phenomenon is so relaxing to millions of people around the world.
Growing up in the public eye, multi-hyphenate creator Bryce Dallas Howard experienced the familiar pressure to share her life with the world on social media. But with her mother's steadfast guidance, Howard learned to set personal boundaries and savor the beauty of private moments. In this personal talk, she draws on three generations of family wisdom to remind us that "a private life makes a public life worth living."
In the multitude of metaverses that exist there are infinite possibilities for inclusivity and creativity. Inviting us to craft our own digital universes, Minecraft's game director Agnes Larsson shares how the experience of building and sharing metaverses can foster dialogue, friendship and trust -- pointing to the meaningful impact virtual worlds can have on the real world.
How do you navigate life's growing number of transitions with meaning, purpose and skill? Writer Bruce Feiler offers a powerful way to handle uncertain, painful and confusing times -- or "lifequakes", as he calls them. Learn how to equip yourself with the essential tools and mindset to ride out (and rewrite) the toughest chapters of your life story, and turn unease and upheaval into growth and renewal.
What if you could control digital devices using just the power of thought? That's the incredible promise behind the Stentrode -- an implantable brain-computer interface that collects and wirelessly transmits information directly from the brain, without the need for open surgery. Neurotech entrepreneur Tom Oxley describes the intricacies of this breakthrough technology, which is currently enrolling participants in human trials, as well as how it could help restore dignity to those with disabilities -- and transform the future of communication.
Social entrepreneur Bernhard Kowatsch shares real-life examples of how a business approach focused on accelerating tech (like a blockchain-supported way to bring food to refugees or a machine that fortifies flour at small mills in Africa) can help make an impact on big, seemingly intractable problems. "Innovation and technology can create so much good in the world, and together we can solve the world's biggest challenges," he says.
The recent leak of the US Supreme Court's draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade -- the nearly 50-year-old ruling to legalize abortion nationwide -- has left many wondering what happens next for reproductive rights in the country. In a thoughtful, at times contentious conversation between legal historian Mary Ziegler, activist Loretta J. Ross, legal scholar Erika Bachiochi and journalist Joshua Prager, a diverse panel of speakers explores what a reversal of Roe v. Wade would really mean and share their ideas for a path forward for reproductive rights in the US. (This conversation, hosted by TED current affairs curator Whitney Pennington Rodgers, was part of an exclusive TED Membership event on May 19, 2022. Visit ted.com/membership to become a TED Member.)
Life is a constant state of both joy and sorrow, dark and light, bitter and sweet. In a meditative conversation, author Susan Cain explores how being attuned to the bittersweetness of life -- and being fully present for both the happy times and the sad times -- helps us navigate love and loss and connect to the "insane beauty" of the world. (This conversation, hosted by TED current affairs curator Whitney Pennington Rodgers, was part of an exclusive TED Membership event. Visit ted.com/membership to become a TED Member.)
Whether it's dandelions blooming in your backyard or purslane sprouting from the sidewalk, vegan forager Alexis Nikole Nelson is on a mission to show how freely growing flora could make its way to your plate. With contagious enthusiasm and a live cooking demo, she explains the benefits of expanding your palate to include "wild" foods that are delicious, nutritious and planet-friendly -- and gives three tips for helping others go from skeptical to confident in their own food adventures.
Even with public trust at an all-time low, Wikipedia continues to maintain people's confidence. How do they do it? Former CEO of Wikimedia Foundation Katherine Maher delves into the transparent, adaptable and community-building ways the online encyclopedia brings free and reliable information to the public -- while also accounting for bias and difference of opinion. "The seeds of our disagreement can actually become the roots of our common purpose," she says.
Air travel opens our eyes to the world, but it also comes at a high cost to the environment. Piloting us into a future of green aviation, innovator Ryah Whalen shares three ways to lower the industry's carbon footprint through smarter designs, eco-friendly fuel and new technology -- so we can continue to explore the planet without hurting it.