James Patten: The best computer interface? Maybe ... your hands

TED Fellows Retreat 2013

James Patten: The best computer interface? Maybe ... your hands

August 20, 2013


"The computer is an incredibly powerful means of creative expression," says designer and TED Fellow James Patten. But right now, we interact with computers, mainly, by typing and tapping. In this nifty talk and demo, Patten imagines a more visceral, physical way to bring your thoughts and ideas to life in the digital world, taking the computer interface off the screen and putting it into your hands.

Elizabeth Gilbert: Success, failure and the drive to keep creating

TED2014

Elizabeth Gilbert: Success, failure and the drive to keep creating

March 19, 2014


Elizabeth Gilbert was once an "unpublished diner waitress," devastated by rejection letters. And yet, in the wake of the success of 'Eat, Pray, Love,' she found herself identifying strongly with her former self. With beautiful insight, Gilbert reflects on why success can be as disorienting as failure and offers a simple -- though hard -- way to carry on, regardless of outcomes.

Will Marshall: Tiny satellites show us the Earth as it changes in near-real-time

TED2014

Will Marshall: Tiny satellites show us the Earth as it changes in near-real-time

March 20, 2014


Satellite imaging has revolutionized our knowledge of the Earth, with detailed images of nearly every street corner readily available online. But Planet Labs' Will Marshall says we can do better and go faster -- by getting smaller. He introduces his tiny satellites -- no bigger than 10 by 10 by 30 centimeters -- that, when launched in a cluster, provide high-res images of the entire planet, updated daily.

Hamish Jolly: A shark-deterrent wetsuit (and it's not what you think)

TEDxPerth

Hamish Jolly: A shark-deterrent wetsuit (and it's not what you think)

October 14, 2013


Hamish Jolly, an ocean swimmer in Australia, wanted a wetsuit that would deter a curious shark from mistaking him for a potential source of nourishment. (Which, statistically, is rare, but certainly a fate worth avoiding.) Working with a team of scientists, he and his friends came up with a fresh approach — not a shark cage, not a suit of chain-mail, but a sleek suit that taps our growing understanding of shark vision.

Michel Laberge: How synchronized hammer strikes could generate nuclear fusion

TED2014

Michel Laberge: How synchronized hammer strikes could generate nuclear fusion

March 20, 2014


Our energy future depends on nuclear fusion, says Michel Laberge. The plasma physicist runs a small company with a big idea for a new type of nuclear reactor that could produce clean, cheap energy. His secret recipe? High speeds, scorching temperatures and crushing pressure. In this hopeful talk, he explains how nuclear fusion might be just around the corner.

Sarah Lewis: Embrace the near win

TED2014

Sarah Lewis: Embrace the near win

March 20, 2014


At her first museum job, art historian Sarah Lewis noticed something important about an artist she was studying: Not every artwork was a total masterpiece. She asks us to consider the role of the almost-failure, the near win, in our own lives. In our pursuit of success and mastery, is it actually our near wins that push us forward?

Matthew Carter: My life in typefaces

TED2014

Matthew Carter: My life in typefaces

March 18, 2014


Pick up a book, magazine or screen, and more than likely you'll come across some typography designed by Matthew Carter. In this charming talk, the man behind typefaces such as Verdana, Georgia and Bell Centennial (designed just for phone books -- remember them?), takes us on a spin through a career focused on the very last pixel of each letter of a font.

Jeremy Kasdin: The flower-shaped starshade that might help us detect Earth-like planets

TED2014

Jeremy Kasdin: The flower-shaped starshade that might help us detect Earth-like planets

March 19, 2014


Astronomers believe that every star in the galaxy has a planet, one fifth of which might harbor life. Only we haven't seen any of them -- yet. Jeremy Kasdin and his team are looking to change that with the design and engineering of an extraordinary piece of equipment: a flower petal-shaped "starshade" positioned 50,000 km from a telescope to enable imaging of planets about distant stars. It is, he says, the "coolest possible science."

Jennifer Senior: For parents, happiness is a very high bar

TED2014

Jennifer Senior: For parents, happiness is a very high bar

March 21, 2014


The parenting section of the bookstore is overwhelming—it's "a giant, candy-colored monument to our collective panic," as writer Jennifer Senior puts it. Why is parenthood filled with so much anxiety? Because the goal of modern, middle-class parents—to raise happy children—is so elusive. In this honest talk, she offers some kinder and more achievable aims.

David Brooks: Should you live for your résumé ... or your eulogy?

TED2014

David Brooks: Should you live for your résumé ... or your eulogy?

March 19, 2014


Within each of us are two selves, suggests David Brooks in this meditative short talk: the self who craves success, who builds a résumé, and the self who seeks connection, community, love -- the values that make for a great eulogy. (Joseph Soloveitchik has called these selves "Adam I" and "Adam II.") Brooks asks: Can we balance these two selves?

Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly: Be passionate. Be courageous. Be your best.

TED2014

Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly: Be passionate. Be courageous. Be your best.

March 21, 2014


On January 8, 2011, Congresswoman Gabby Giffords was shot in the head while meeting constituents in her home town of Tucson, Arizona. Her husband, the astronaut Mark Kelly, immediately flew to be by her side. In this emotional conversation with Pat Mitchell, the pair describe their lives both before and after the accident -- and describe their views on responsible gun ownership.

David Sengeh: The sore problem of prosthetic limbs

TED2014

David Sengeh: The sore problem of prosthetic limbs

March 17, 2014


What drove David Sengeh to create a more comfortable prosthetic limb? He grew up in Sierra Leone, and too many of the people he loves are missing limbs after the brutal civil war there. When he noticed that people who had prosthetics weren’t actually wearing them, the TED Fellow set out to discover why — and to solve the problem with his team from the MIT Media Lab.

Louie Schwartzberg: Hidden miracles of the natural world

TED2014

Louie Schwartzberg: Hidden miracles of the natural world

March 19, 2014


We live in a world of unseeable beauty, so subtle and delicate that it is imperceptible to the human eye. To bring this invisible world to light, filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg bends the boundaries of time and space with high-speed cameras, time lapses and microscopes. At TED2014, he shares highlights from his latest project, a 3D film titled "Mysteries of the Unseen World," which slows down, speeds up, and magnifies the astonishing wonders of nature.

Amanda Burden: How public spaces make cities work

TED2014

Amanda Burden: How public spaces make cities work

March 20, 2014


More than 8 million people are crowded together to live in New York City. What makes it possible? In part, it’s the city’s great public spaces — from tiny pocket parks to long waterfront promenades — where people can stroll and play. Amanda Burden helped plan some of the city’s newest public spaces, drawing on her experience as, surprisingly, an animal behaviorist. She shares the unexpected challenges of planning parks people love -- and why it's important.

Christopher Emdin: Teach teachers how to create magic

TED@NYC

Christopher Emdin: Teach teachers how to create magic

October 8, 2013


What do rap shows, barbershop banter and Sunday services have in common? As Christopher Emdin says, they all hold the secret magic to enthrall and teach at the same time — and it’s a skill we often don't teach to educators. A longtime teacher himself, now a science advocate and cofounder of Science Genius B.A.T.T.L.E.S. with the GZA of the Wu-Tang Clan, Emdin offers a vision to make the classroom come alive.

Bill and Melinda Gates: Why giving away our wealth has been the most satisfying thing we've done

TED2014

Bill and Melinda Gates: Why giving away our wealth has been the most satisfying thing we've done

March 18, 2014


In 1993, Bill and Melinda Gates took a walk on the beach and made a big decision: to give their Microsoft wealth back to society. In conversation with Chris Anderson, the couple talks about their work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, as well as their marriage, their children, their failures and the satisfaction of giving most of their money away.

Allan Adams: The discovery that could rewrite physics

TED2014

Allan Adams: The discovery that could rewrite physics

March 18, 2014


On March 17, 2014, a group of physicists announced a thrilling discovery: the “smoking gun” data for the idea of an inflationary universe, a clue to the Big Bang. For non-physicists, what does it mean? TED asked Allan Adams to briefly explain the results, in this improvised talk illustrated by Randall Munroe of xkcd.

TED staff: It's TED, the Musical

TED in the Field

TED staff: It's TED, the Musical

April 1, 2014


Do you have a TED Talk inside, just bursting to come out? Take this tongue-in-cheek musical journey to “Give Your Talk.” A musical love letter to our speakers -- written, directed and performed by the TED staff.

Geena Rocero: Why I must come out

TED2014

Geena Rocero: Why I must come out

March 19, 2014


When fashion model Geena Rocero first saw a photo of herself in a bikini, "I thought ... you have arrived!" As she reveals, that’s because she was born with the gender assignment “boy.” In this moving talk, Rocero tells the story of becoming who she always knew she was.

Lawrence Lessig: The unstoppable walk to political reform

TED2014

Lawrence Lessig: The unstoppable walk to political reform

March 20, 2014


Seven years ago, Internet activist Aaron Swartz convinced Lawrence Lessig to take up the fight for political reform. A year after Swartz's tragic death, Lessig continues his campaign to free US politics from the stranglehold of corruption. In this fiery, deeply personal talk, he calls for all citizens to engage, and offers a heartfelt reminder to never give up hope.

Hugh Herr: The new bionics that let us run, climb and dance

TED2014

Hugh Herr: The new bionics that let us run, climb and dance

March 12, 2014


Hugh Herr is building the next generation of bionic limbs, robotic prosthetics inspired by nature's own designs. Herr lost both legs in a climbing accident 30 years ago; now, as the head of the MIT Media Lab’s Biomechatronics group, he shows his incredible technology in a talk that's both technical and deeply personal — with the help of ballroom dancer Adrianne Haslet-Davis, who lost her left leg in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, and performs again for the first time on the TED stage.

Del Harvey: The strangeness of scale at Twitter

TED2014

Del Harvey: The strangeness of scale at Twitter

March 12, 2014


When hundreds of thousands of tweets are fired every second, a one-in-a-million chance -- including unlikely-sounding scenarios that could harm users -- happens about 500 times a day. For Del Harvey, who heads Twitter’s Trust and Safety Team, these odds aren’t good. The security maven spends her days thinking about how to prevent worst-case scenarios while giving voice to people around the globe. With deadpan humor, she offers a window into how she keeps 240 million users safe.

Jennifer Golbeck: The curly fry conundrum: Why social media “likes” say more than you might think

TEDxMidAtlantic 2013

Jennifer Golbeck: The curly fry conundrum: Why social media “likes” say more than you might think

October 1, 2013


Do you like curly fries? Have you Liked them on Facebook? Watch this talk to find out the surprising things Facebook (and others) can guess about you from your random Likes and Shares. Computer scientist Jennifer Golbeck explains how this came about, how some applications of the technology are not so cute -- and why she thinks we should return the control of information to its rightful owners.

Bran Ferren: To create for the ages, let's combine art and engineering

TED2014

Bran Ferren: To create for the ages, let's combine art and engineering

March 18, 2014


When Bran Ferren was just 9, his parents took him to see the Pantheon in Rome — and it changed everything. In that moment, he began to understand how the tools of science and engineering become more powerful when combined with art, with design and beauty. Ever since, he's been searching for a convincing modern-day equivalent to Rome's masterpiece. Stay tuned to the end of the talk for his unexpected suggestion.

Ed Yong: Zombie roaches and other parasite tales

TED2014

Ed Yong: Zombie roaches and other parasite tales

March 20, 2014


In this fascinating, hilarious and ever-so-slightly creepy talk, science writer Ed Yong tells the story of his favorite parasites -- animals and organisms that live on the bodeis (and brains!) of other organisms, causing them to do their bidding. Do humans have them too? Maybe ...

Ziauddin Yousafzai: My daughter, Malala

TED2014

Ziauddin Yousafzai: My daughter, Malala

March 17, 2014


Pakistani educator Ziauddin Yousafzai reminds the world of a simple truth that many don’t want to hear: Women and men deserve equal opportunities for education, autonomy, an independent identity. He tells stories from his own life and the life of his daughter, Malala, who was shot by the Taliban in 2012 simply for daring to go to school. "Why is my daughter so strong?” Yousafzai asks. “Because I didn’t clip her wings."

Larry Page: Where’s Google going next?

TED2014

Larry Page: Where’s Google going next?

March 20, 2014


Onstage at TED2014, Charlie Rose interviews Google CEO Larry Page about his far-off vision for the company. It includes aerial bikeways and internet balloons … and then it gets even more interesting, as Page talks through the company’s recent acquisition of Deep Mind, an AI that is learning some surprising things.

Richard Ledgett: The NSA responds to Edward Snowden’s TED Talk

TED2014

Richard Ledgett: The NSA responds to Edward Snowden’s TED Talk

March 20, 2014


After a surprise appearance by Edward Snowden at TED2014, Chris Anderson said: "If the NSA wants to respond, please do." And yes, they did. Appearing by video, NSA deputy director Richard Ledgett answers Anderson’s questions about the balance between security and protecting privacy.

Chris Hadfield: What I learned from going blind in space

TED2014

Chris Hadfield: What I learned from going blind in space

March 18, 2014


There's an astronaut saying: In space, “there is no problem so bad that you can’t make it worse.” So how do you deal with the complexity, the sheer pressure, of dealing with dangerous and scary situations? Retired colonel Chris Hadfield paints a vivid portrait of how to be prepared for the worst in space (and life) -- and it starts with walking into a spider’s web. Watch for a special space-y performance.

Edward Snowden: Here's how we take back the Internet

TED2014

Edward Snowden: Here's how we take back the Internet

March 18, 2014


Appearing by telepresence robot, Edward Snowden speaks at TED2014 about surveillance and Internet freedom. The right to data privacy, he suggests, is not a partisan issue, but requires a fundamental rethink of the role of the internet in our lives — and the laws that protect it. "Your rights matter,” he says, "because you never know when you're going to need them." Chris Anderson interviews, with special guest Tim Berners-Lee.