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.

Andras Forgacs: Leather and meat without killing animals

TEDGlobal 2013

Andras Forgacs: Leather and meat without killing animals

June 13, 2013


By 2050, it will take 100 billion land animals to provide the world's population with meat, dairy, eggs and leather goods. Maintaining this herd will take a huge, potentially unsustainable toll on the planet. What if there were a different way? In this eye-opening talk, tissue engineering advocate Andras Forgacs argues that biofabricating meat and leather is a civilized way to move past killing animals for hamburgers and handbags.

Eric Berlow and Sean Gourley: Mapping ideas worth spreading

TED2013

Eric Berlow and Sean Gourley: Mapping ideas worth spreading

February 28, 2013


What do 24,000 ideas look like? Ecologist Eric Berlow and physicist Sean Gourley apply algorithms to the entire archive of TEDx Talks, taking us on a stimulating visual tour to show how ideas connect globally.

Marla Spivak: Why bees are disappearing

TEDGlobal 2013

Marla Spivak: Why bees are disappearing

June 12, 2013


Honeybees have thrived for 50 million years, each colony 40 to 50,000 individuals coordinated in amazing harmony. So why, seven years ago, did colonies start dying en masse? Marla Spivak reveals four reasons which are interacting with tragic consequences. This is not simply a problem because bees pollinate a third of the world’s crops. Could this incredible species be holding up a mirror for us?

Apollo Robbins: The art of misdirection

TEDGlobal 2013

Apollo Robbins: The art of misdirection

June 12, 2013


Hailed as the greatest pickpocket in the world, Apollo Robbins studies the quirks of human behavior as he steals your watch. In a hilarious demonstration, Robbins samples the buffet of the TEDGlobal 2013 audience, showing how the flaws in our perception make it possible to swipe a wallet and leave it on its owner’s shoulder while they remain clueless.

James Lyne: Everyday cybercrime -- and what you can do about it

TED2013

James Lyne: Everyday cybercrime -- and what you can do about it

February 28, 2013


How do you pick up a malicious online virus, the kind of malware that snoops on your data and taps your bank account? Often, it's through simple things you do each day without thinking twice. James Lyne reminds us that it's not only the NSA that's watching us, but ever-more-sophisticated cybercriminals, who exploit both weak code and trusting human nature.

Sonia Shah: 3 reasons we still haven’t gotten rid of malaria

TEDGlobal 2013

Sonia Shah: 3 reasons we still haven’t gotten rid of malaria

June 22, 2013


We’ve known how to cure malaria since the 1600s, so why does the disease still kill hundreds of thousands every year? It’s more than just a problem of medicine, says journalist Sonia Shah. A look into the history of malaria reveals three big-picture challenges to its eradication. Photos: Adam Nadel.

Ron McCallum: How technology allowed me to read

TEDxSydney

Ron McCallum: How technology allowed me to read

July 8, 2013


Months after he was born, in 1948, Ron McCallum became blind. In this charming, moving talk, he shows how he is able to read -- and celebrates the progression of clever tools and adaptive computer technologies that make it possible. With their help, and that of generous volunteers, he's become a lawyer, an academic, and, most of all, a voracious reader. Welcome to the blind reading revolution. (Filmed at TEDxSydney.)

Jake Barton: The museum of you

TEDSalon NY2013

Jake Barton: The museum of you

May 16, 2013


A third of the world watched live as the World Trade Center collapsed on September 11, 2001; a third more heard about it within 24 hours. (Do you remember where you were?) So exhibits at the soon-to-open 9/11 Memorial Museum will reflect the diversity of the world's experiences of that day. In a moving talk, designer Jake Barton gives a peek at some of those installations, as well as several other projects that aim to make the observer an active participant in the exhibit.

George Monbiot: For more wonder, rewild the world

TEDGlobal 2013

George Monbiot: For more wonder, rewild the world

July 8, 2013


Wolves were once native to the US' Yellowstone National Park -- until hunting wiped them out. But when, in 1995, the wolves began to come back (thanks to an aggressive management program), something interesting happened: the rest of the park began to find a new, more healthful balance. In a bold thought experiment, George Monbiot imagines a wilder world in which humans work to restore the complex, lost natural food chains that once surrounded us.

Kelly McGonigal: How to make stress your friend

TEDGlobal 2013

Kelly McGonigal: How to make stress your friend

June 11, 2013


Stress. It makes your heart pound, your breathing quicken and your forehead sweat. But while stress has been made into a public health enemy, new research suggests that stress may only be bad for you if you believe that to be the case. Psychologist Kelly McGonigal urges us to see stress as a positive, and introduces us to an unsung mechanism for stress reduction: reaching out to others.

Alexa Meade: Your body is my canvas

TEDGlobal 2013

Alexa Meade: Your body is my canvas

June 13, 2013


Alexa Meade takes an innovative approach to art. Not for her a life of sketching and stretching canvases. Instead, she selects a topic and then paints it--literally. She covers everything in a scene--people, chairs, food, you name it--in a mask of paint that mimics what's below it. In this eye-opening talk Meade shows off photographs of some of the more outlandish results, and shares a new project involving people, paint and milk.

Steve Ramirez and Xu Liu: A mouse. A laser beam. A manipulated memory.

TEDxBoston 2013

Steve Ramirez and Xu Liu: A mouse. A laser beam. A manipulated memory.

June 25, 2013


Can we edit the content of our memories? It’s a sci-fi-tinged question that Steve Ramirez and Xu Liu are asking in their lab at MIT. Essentially, the pair shoot a laser beam into the brain of a living mouse to activate and manipulate its memory. In this unexpectedly amusing talk they share not only how, but -- more importantly -- why they do this. (Filmed at TEDxBoston.)

May El-Khalil: Making peace is a marathon

TEDGlobal 2013

May El-Khalil: Making peace is a marathon

June 22, 2013


In Lebanon there is one gunshot a year that isn’t part of a scene of routine violence: The opening sound of the Beirut International Marathon. In a moving talk, marathon founder May El-Khalil explains why she believed a 26.2-mile running event could bring together a country divided for decades by politics and religion, even if for one day a year.

Adam Spencer: Why I fell in love with monster prime numbers

TED2013

Adam Spencer: Why I fell in love with monster prime numbers

February 27, 2013


They're millions of digits long, and it takes an army of mathematicians and machines to hunt them down -- what's not to love about monster primes? Adam Spencer, comedian and lifelong math geek, shares his passion for these odd numbers, and for the mysterious magic of math.

Russell Foster: Why do we sleep?

TEDGlobal 2013

Russell Foster: Why do we sleep?

June 13, 2013


Russell Foster is a circadian neuroscientist: He studies the sleep cycles of the brain. And he asks: What do we know about sleep? Not a lot, it turns out, for something we do with one-third of our lives. In this talk, Foster shares three popular theories about why we sleep, busts some myths about how much sleep we need at different ages -- and hints at some bold new uses of sleep as a predictor of mental health.