Mariana Mazzucato: Government -- investor, risk-taker, innovator

TEDGlobal 2013

Mariana Mazzucato: Government -- investor, risk-taker, innovator

June 26, 2013


Why doesn’t the government just get out of the way and let the private sector -- the “real revolutionaries” -- innovate? It’s rhetoric you hear everywhere, and Mariana Mazzucato wants to dispel it. In an energetic talk, she shows how the state -- which many see as a slow, hunkering behemoth -- is really one of our most exciting risk-takers and market-shapers.

Xavier Vilalta: Architecture at home in its community

TEDGlobal 2013

Xavier Vilalta: Architecture at home in its community

June 11, 2013


When TED Fellow Xavier Vilalta was commissioned to create a multistory shopping mall in Addis Ababa, he panicked. Other centers represented everything he hated about contemporary architecture: wasteful, glass towers requiring tons of energy whose design had absolutely nothing to do with Africa. In this charming talk, Vilalta shows how he champions an alternative approach: to harness nature, reference design tradition and create beautiful, modern, iconic buildings fit for a community.

Gian Giudice: Why our universe might exist on a knife-edge

TEDxCERN

Gian Giudice: Why our universe might exist on a knife-edge

May 3, 2013


The biggest surprise of discovering the Higgs boson? That there were no surprises. Gian Giudice talks us through a problem in theoretical physics: what if the Higgs field exists in an ultra-dense state that could mean the collapse of all atomic matter? With wit and charm, Giudice outlines a grim fate -- and why we shouldn't start worrying just yet.

Parul Sehgal: An ode to envy

TEDSalon NY2013

Parul Sehgal: An ode to envy

July 25, 2013


What is jealousy? What drives it, and why do we secretly love it? No study has ever been able to capture its “loneliness, longevity, grim thrill” -- that is, says Parul Sehgal, except for fiction. In an eloquent meditation she scours pages from literature to show how jealousy is not so different from a quest for knowledge.

Charles Robertson: Africa's next boom

TEDGlobal 2013

Charles Robertson: Africa's next boom

June 13, 2013


The past decade has seen slow and steady economic growth across the continent of Africa. But economist Charles Robertson has a bold thesis: Africa's about to boom. He talks through a few of the indicators -- from rising education levels to expanded global investment (and not just from China) -- that lead him to predict rapid growth for a billion people, sooner than you may think.

Steve Howard: Let's go all-in on selling sustainability

TEDGlobal 2013

Steve Howard: Let's go all-in on selling sustainability

June 14, 2013


The big blue buildings of Ikea have sprouted solar panels and wind turbines; inside, shelves are stocked with LED lighting and recycled cotton. Why? Because as Steve Howard puts it: “Sustainability has gone from a nice-to-do to a must-do.” Howard, the chief sustainability officer at the furniture megastore, talks about his quest to sell eco-friendly materials and practices -- both internally and to worldwide customers -- and lays a challenge for other global giants.

Hetain Patel: Who am I? Think again

TEDGlobal 2013

Hetain Patel: Who am I? Think again

June 11, 2013


How do we decide who we are? Hetain Patel's surprising performance plays with identity, language and accent -- and challenges you to think deeper than surface appearances. A delightful meditation on self, with performer Yuyu Rau, and inspired by Bruce Lee.

Alessandro Acquisti: What will a future without secrets look like?

TEDGlobal 2013

Alessandro Acquisti: What will a future without secrets look like?

June 14, 2013


The line between public and private has blurred in the past decade, both online and in real life, and Alessandro Acquisti is here to explain what this means and why it matters. In this thought-provoking, slightly chilling talk, he shares details of recent and ongoing research -- including a project that shows how easy it is to match a photograph of a stranger with their sensitive personal information.

Amanda Bennett: We need a heroic narrative for death

TEDMED 2013

Amanda Bennett: We need a heroic narrative for death

April 18, 2013


Amanda Bennett and her husband were passionate and full of life all throughout their lives together -- and up until the final days, too. Bennett gives a sweet yet powerful talk on why, for the loved ones of the dying, having hope for a happy ending shouldn't warrant a diagnosis of "denial." She calls for a more heroic narrative for death -- to match the ones we have in life.

Iwan Baan: Ingenious homes in unexpected places

TEDCity2.0

Iwan Baan: Ingenious homes in unexpected places

September 28, 2013


In the center of Caracas, Venezuela, stands the 45-story "Tower of David," an unfinished, abandoned skyscraper. But about eight years ago, people started moving in. Photographer Iwan Baan shows how people build homes in unlikely places, touring us through the family apartments of Torre David, a city on the water in Nigeria, and an underground village in China. Glorious images celebrate humanity's ability to survive and make a home -- anywhere.

Molly Stevens: A new way to grow bone

TEDGlobal 2013

Molly Stevens: A new way to grow bone

June 27, 2013


What does it take to regrow bone in mass quantities? Typical bone regeneration -- wherein bone is taken from a patient’s hip and grafted onto damaged bone elsewhere in the body -- is limited and can cause great pain just a few years after operation. In an informative talk, Molly Stevens introduces a new stem cell application that harnesses bone’s innate ability to regenerate and produces vast quantities of bone tissue painlessly.

Jeff Speck: The walkable city

TEDCity2.0

Jeff Speck: The walkable city

September 20, 2013


How do we solve the problem of the suburbs? Urbanist Jeff Speck shows how we can free ourselves from dependence on the car -- which he calls "a gas-belching, time-wasting, life-threatening prosthetic device" -- by making our cities more walkable and more pleasant for more people.

Dambisa Moyo: Is China the new idol for emerging economies?

TEDGlobal 2013

Dambisa Moyo: Is China the new idol for emerging economies?

June 13, 2013


The developed world holds up the ideals of capitalism, democracy and political rights for all. Those in emerging markets often don't have that luxury. In this powerful talk, economist Dambisa Moyo makes the case that the west can't afford to rest on its laurels and imagine others will blindly follow. Instead, a different model, embodied by China, is increasingly appealing. A call for open-minded political and economic cooperation in the name of transforming the world.

Andrew Fitzgerald: Adventures in Twitter fiction

TEDSalon NY2013

Andrew Fitzgerald: Adventures in Twitter fiction

July 15, 2013


In the 1930s, broadcast radio introduced an entirely new form of storytelling; today, micro-blogging platforms like Twitter are changing the scene again. Andrew Fitzgerald takes a look at the (aptly) short but fascinating history of new forms of creative experimentation in fiction and storytelling.

Gary Slutkin: Let's treat violence like a contagious disease

TEDMED 2013

Gary Slutkin: Let's treat violence like a contagious disease

April 17, 2013


Physician Gary Slutkin spent a decade fighting tuberculosis, cholera and AIDS epidemics in Africa. When he returned to the United States, he thought he'd escape brutal epidemic deaths. But then he began to look more carefully at gun violence, noting that its spread followed the patterns of infectious diseases. A mind-flipping look at a problem that too many communities have accepted as a given. We've reversed the impact of so many diseases, says Slutkin, and we can do the same with violence. (Filmed at TEDMED.)

Trita Parsi: Iran and Israel: Peace is possible

TEDGlobal 2013

Trita Parsi: Iran and Israel: Peace is possible

June 26, 2013


Iran and Israel: two nations with tense relations that seem existentially at odds. But for all their antagonistic rhetoric, there is a recent hidden history of collaboration, even friendship. In an informative talk, Trita Parsi shows how an unlikely strategic alliance in the past could mean peace in the future for these two feuding countries.

Janette Sadik-Khan: New York's streets? Not so mean any more

TEDCity2.0

Janette Sadik-Khan: New York's streets? Not so mean any more

September 20, 2013


In this funny and thought-provoking talk, Janette Sadik-Khan, transportation commissioner of New York City, shares projects that have reshaped street life in the 5 boroughs, including pedestrian zones in Times Square, high-performance buses and a 6,000-cycle-strong bike share. Her mantra: Do bold experiments that are cheap to try out.

Michael Porter: Why business can be good at solving social problems

TEDGlobal 2013

Michael Porter: Why business can be good at solving social problems

June 14, 2013


Why do we turn to nonprofits, NGOs and governments to solve society's biggest problems? Michael Porter admits he's biased, as a business school professor, but he wants you to hear his case for letting business try to solve massive problems like climate change and access to water. Why? Because when business solves a problem, it makes a profit -- which lets that solution grow.

Michael Sandel: Why we shouldn't trust markets with our civic life

TEDGlobal 2013

Michael Sandel: Why we shouldn't trust markets with our civic life

June 14, 2013


In the past three decades, says Michael Sandel, the US has drifted from a market economy to a market society; it's fair to say that an American's experience of shared civic life depends on how much money they have. (Three key examples: access to education, access to justice, political influence.) In a talk and audience discussion, Sandel asks us to think honestly on this question: In our current democracy, is too much for sale?

Jason Pontin: Can technology solve our big problems?

TED2013

Jason Pontin: Can technology solve our big problems?

February 28, 2013


In 1969, Buzz Aldrin’s historical step onto the moon leapt mankind into an era of technological possibility. The awesome power of technology was to be used to solve all of our big problems. Fast forward to present day, and what's happened? Are mobile apps all we have to show for ourselves? Journalist Jason Pontin looks closely at the challenges we face to using technology effectively ... for problems that really matter.

Fabian Oefner: Psychedelic science

TEDGlobal 2013

Fabian Oefner: Psychedelic science

June 12, 2013


Swiss artist and photographer Fabian Oefner is on a mission to make eye-catching art from everyday science. In this charming talk, he shows off some recent psychedelic images, including photographs of crystals as they interact with soundwaves. And, in a live demo, he shows what really happens when you mix paint with magnetic liquid--or when you set fire to whiskey.

Amy Webb: How I hacked online dating

TEDSalon NY2013

Amy Webb: How I hacked online dating

April 11, 2013


Amy Webb was having no luck with online dating. The dates she liked didn't write her back, and her own profile attracted crickets (and worse). So, as any fan of data would do: she started making a spreadsheet. Hear the story of how she went on to hack her online dating life -- with frustrating, funny and life-changing results.

Kelli Swazey: Life that doesn't end with death

TEDMED 2013

Kelli Swazey: Life that doesn't end with death

April 17, 2013


In Tana Toraja, weddings and births aren’t the social gatherings that knit society together. In this part of Indonesia, big, raucous funerals form the center of social life. Anthropologist Kelli Swazey takes a look at this culture, in which the bodies of dead relatives are cared for even years after they have passed. While it sounds strange to Western sensibilities, she says, this could actually be a truer reflection of the fact that relationships with loved ones don’t simply end when breathing does. (Filmed at TEDMED.)

Malcolm Gladwell: The unheard story of David and Goliath

TEDSalon NY2013

Malcolm Gladwell: The unheard story of David and Goliath

September 19, 2013


It's a classic underdog tale: David, a young shepherd armed only with a sling, beats Goliath, the mighty warrior. The story has transcended its biblical origins to become a common shorthand for unlikely victory. But, asks Malcolm Gladwell, is that really what the David and Goliath story is about?

Kevin Breel: Confessions of a depressed comic

TEDxKids@Ambleside

Kevin Breel: Confessions of a depressed comic

May 5, 2013


Kevin Breel didn't look like a depressed kid: team captain, at every party, funny and confident. But he tells the story of the night he realized that -- to save his own life -- he needed to say four simple words.

Onora O'Neill: What we don't understand about trust

TEDxHousesOfParliament

Onora O'Neill: What we don't understand about trust

June 25, 2013


Trust is on the decline, and we need to rebuild it. That’s a commonly heard suggestion for making a better world … but, says philosopher Onora O’Neill, we don’t really understand what we're suggesting. She flips the question, showing us that our three most common ideas about trust are actually misdirected. (Filmed at TEDxHousesofParliament.)

James Flynn: Why our IQ levels are higher than our grandparents'

TED2013

James Flynn: Why our IQ levels are higher than our grandparents'

March 1, 2013


It's called the "Flynn effect" -- the fact that each generation scores higher on an IQ test than the generation before it. Are we actually getting smarter, or just thinking differently? In this fast-paced spin through the cognitive history of the 20th century, moral philosopher James Flynn suggests that changes in the way we think have had surprising (and not always positive) consequences.

Stuart Firestein: The pursuit of ignorance

TED2013

Stuart Firestein: The pursuit of ignorance

February 28, 2013


What does real scientific work look like? As neuroscientist Stuart Firestein jokes: It looks a lot less like the scientific method and a lot more like "farting around … in the dark." In this witty talk, Firestein gets to the heart of science as it is really practiced and suggests that we should value what we don’t know -- or “high-quality ignorance” -- just as much as what we know.

Elizabeth Loftus: The fiction of memory

TEDGlobal 2013

Elizabeth Loftus: The fiction of memory

June 11, 2013


Psychologist Elizabeth Loftus studies memories. More precisely, she studies false memories, when people either remember things that didn't happen or remember them differently from the way they really were. It's more common than you might think, and Loftus shares some startling stories and statistics, and raises some important ethical questions we should all remember to consider.

Benjamin Barber: Why mayors should rule the world

TEDGlobal 2013

Benjamin Barber: Why mayors should rule the world

June 21, 2013


It often seems like federal-level politicians care more about creating gridlock than solving the world's problems. So who's actually getting bold things done? City mayors. So, political theorist Benjamin Barber suggests: Let's give them more control over global policy. Barber shows how these "urban homeboys" are solving pressing problems on their own turf -- and maybe in the world.