Richard Resnick: Welcome to the genomic revolution

TEDxBoston 2011

Richard Resnick: Welcome to the genomic revolution

July 6, 2011


In this accessible talk from TEDxBoston, Richard Resnick shows how cheap and fast genome sequencing is about to turn health care (and insurance, and politics) upside down. (Filmed at TEDxBoston.)

Kate Hartman: The art of wearable communication

TED2011

Kate Hartman: The art of wearable communication

March 2, 2011


Artist Kate Hartman uses wearable electronics to explore how we communicate, with ourselves and with the world. In this quirky and thought-provoking talk, she shows the "Talk to Yourself Hat", the "Inflatable Heart", the "Glacier Embracing Suit", and other unexpected devices.

Misha Glenny: Hire the hackers!

TEDGlobal 2011

Misha Glenny: Hire the hackers!

July 13, 2011


Despite multibillion-dollar investments in cybersecurity, one of its root problems has been largely ignored: who are the people who write malicious code? Underworld investigator Misha Glenny profiles several convicted coders from around the world and reaches a startling conclusion.

Yasheng Huang: Does democracy stifle economic growth?

TEDGlobal 2011

Yasheng Huang: Does democracy stifle economic growth?

July 12, 2011


Economist Yasheng Huang compares China to India, and asks how China's authoritarian rule contributed to its astonishing economic growth -- leading to a big question: Is democracy actually holding India back? Huang's answer may surprise you.

Raghava KK: Shake up your story

TEDGlobal 2011

Raghava KK: Shake up your story

July 12, 2011


Artist Raghava KK demos his new children's book for iPad with a fun feature: when you shake it, the story -- and your perspective -- changes. In this charming short talk, he invites all of us to shake up our perspective a little bit.

Lee Cronin: Making matter come alive

TEDGlobal 2011

Lee Cronin: Making matter come alive

July 13, 2011


Before life existed on Earth, there was just matter, inorganic dead "stuff." How improbable is it that life arose? And -- could it use a different type of chemistry? Using an elegant definition of life (anything that can evolve), chemist Lee Cronin is exploring this question by attempting to create a fully inorganic cell using a "Lego kit" of inorganic molecules -- no carbon -- that can assemble, replicate and compete.

Edward Tenner: Unintended consequences

TED2011

Edward Tenner: Unintended consequences

March 2, 2011


Every new invention changes the world -- in ways both intentional and unexpected. Historian Edward Tenner tells stories that illustrate the under-appreciated gap between our ability to innovate and our ability to foresee the consequences.

Joan Halifax: Compassion and the true meaning of empathy

TEDWomen 2010

Joan Halifax: Compassion and the true meaning of empathy

December 3, 2010


Buddhist roshi Joan Halifax works with people at the last stage of life (in hospice and on death row). She shares what she's learned about compassion in the face of death and dying, and a deep insight into the nature of empathy.

Skylar Tibbits: Can we make things that make themselves?

TED2011

Skylar Tibbits: Can we make things that make themselves?

February 24, 2011


MIT researcher Skylar Tibbits works on self-assembly -- the idea that instead of building something (a chair, a skyscraper), we can create materials that build themselves, much the way a strand of DNA zips itself together. It's a big concept at early stages; Tibbits shows us three in-the-lab projects that hint at what a self-assembling future might look like.

Julia Bacha: Pay attention to nonviolence

TEDGlobal 2011

Julia Bacha: Pay attention to nonviolence

July 13, 2011


In 2003, the Palestinian village of Budrus mounted a 10-month-long nonviolent protest to stop a barrier being built across their olive groves. Did you hear about it? Didn't think so. Brazilian filmmaker Julia Bacha asks why we only pay attention to violence in the Israel-Palestine conflict -- and not to the nonviolent leaders who may one day bring peace.

Svante Pääbo: DNA clues to our inner neanderthal

TEDGlobal 2011

Svante Pääbo: DNA clues to our inner neanderthal

July 14, 2011


Sharing the results of a massive, worldwide study, geneticist Svante Pääbo shows the DNA proof that early humans mated with Neanderthals after we moved out of Africa. (Yes, many of us have Neanderthal DNA.) He also shows how a tiny bone from a baby finger was enough to identify a whole new humanoid species.

Dan Ariely: Beware conflicts of interest

TED2011

Dan Ariely: Beware conflicts of interest

March 1, 2011


In this short talk, psychologist Dan Ariely tells two personal stories that explore scientific conflict of interest: How the pursuit of knowledge and insight can be affected, consciously or not, by shortsighted personal goals. When we're thinking about the big questions, he reminds us, let's be aware of our all-too-human brains.

Marco Tempest: The magic of truth and lies (and iPods)

TEDGlobal 2011

Marco Tempest: The magic of truth and lies (and iPods)

July 14, 2011


Using three iPods like magical props, Marco Tempest spins a clever, surprisingly heartfelt meditation on truth and lies, art and emotion.

Lucianne Walkowicz: Finding planets around other stars

TEDGlobal 2011

Lucianne Walkowicz: Finding planets around other stars

July 11, 2011


How do we find planets -- even habitable planets -- around other stars? By looking for tiny dimming as a planet passes in front of its sun, TED Fellow Lucianne Walkowicz and the Kepler mission have found some 1,200 potential new planetary systems. With new techniques, they may even find ones with the right conditions for life.

Jeremy Gilley: One day of peace

TEDGlobal 2011

Jeremy Gilley: One day of peace

July 15, 2011


Here's a crazy idea: Persuade the world to try living in peace for just one day, every September 21. In this energetic, honest talk, Jeremy Gilley tells the story of how this crazy idea became real -- real enough to help millions of kids in war-torn regions.

Dyan deNapoli: The great penguin rescue

TEDxBoston 2011

Dyan deNapoli: The great penguin rescue

June 28, 2011


A personal story, a collective triumph: Dyan deNapoli tells the story of the world's largest volunteer animal rescue, which saved more than 40,000 penguins after an oil spill off the coast of South Africa. How does a job this big get done? Penguin by penguin by penguin ... (Filmed at TEDxBoston.)

Alex Steffen: The shareable future of cities

TEDGlobal 2011

Alex Steffen: The shareable future of cities

July 12, 2011


How can cities help save the future? Alex Steffen shows some cool neighborhood-based green projects that expand our access to things we want and need -- while reducing the time we spend in cars.

Philip Zimbardo: The demise of guys?

TED2011

Philip Zimbardo: The demise of guys?

March 1, 2011


Psychologist Philip Zimbardo asks, "Why are boys struggling?" He shares some stats (lower graduation rates, greater worries about intimacy and relationships) and suggests a few reasons -- and challenges the TED community to think about solutions.

Eve Ensler: Suddenly, my body

TEDWomen 2010

Eve Ensler: Suddenly, my body

December 4, 2010


Poet, writer, activist Eve Ensler lived in her head. In this powerful talk from TEDWomen, she talks about her lifelong disconnection from her body -- and how two shocking events helped her to connect with the reality, the physicality of being human.

Jessica Green: Are we filtering the wrong microbes?

TEDGlobal 2011

Jessica Green: Are we filtering the wrong microbes?

July 14, 2011


Should we keep the outdoors out of hospitals? Ecologist and TED Fellow Jessica Green has found that mechanical ventilation does get rid of many types of microbes, but the wrong kinds: the ones left in the hospital are much more likely to be pathogens.

Mark Pagel: How language transformed humanity

TEDGlobal 2011

Mark Pagel: How language transformed humanity

July 13, 2011


Biologist Mark Pagel shares an intriguing theory about why humans evolved our complex system of language. He suggests that language is a piece of "social technology" that allowed early human tribes to access a powerful new tool: cooperation.

Harald Haas: Wireless data from every light bulb

TEDGlobal 2011

Harald Haas: Wireless data from every light bulb

July 13, 2011


What if every light bulb in the world could also transmit data? At TEDGlobal, Harald Haas demonstrates, for the first time, a device that could do exactly that. By flickering the light from a single LED, a change too quick for the human eye to detect, he can transmit far more data than a cellular tower -- and do it in a way that's more efficient, secure and widespread.

Adam Ostrow: After your final status update

TEDGlobal 2011

Adam Ostrow: After your final status update

July 11, 2011


Many of us have a social media presence -- a virtual personality made up of status updates, tweets and connections, stored in the cloud. Adam Ostrow asks a big question: What happens to that personality after you've died? Could it ... live on?

Julian Treasure: 5 ways to listen better

TEDGlobal 2011

Julian Treasure: 5 ways to listen better

July 11, 2011


In our louder and louder world, says sound expert Julian Treasure, "We are losing our listening." In this short, fascinating talk, Treasure shares five ways to re-tune your ears for conscious listening -- to other people and the world around you.

Josette Sheeran: Ending hunger now

TEDGlobal 2011

Josette Sheeran: Ending hunger now

July 14, 2011


Josette Sheeran, the head of the UN's World Food Program, talks about why, in a world with enough food for everyone, people still go hungry, still die of starvation, still use food as a weapon of war. Her vision: "Food is one issue that cannot be solved person by person. We have to stand together."

Paul Bloom: The origins of pleasure

TEDGlobal 2011

Paul Bloom: The origins of pleasure

July 13, 2011


Why do we like an original painting better than a forgery? Psychologist Paul Bloom argues that human beings are essentialists -- that our beliefs about the history of an object change how we experience it, not simply as an illusion, but as a deep feature of what pleasure (and pain) is.

Geoffrey West: The surprising math of cities and corporations

TEDGlobal 2011

Geoffrey West: The surprising math of cities and corporations

July 12, 2011


Physicist Geoffrey West has found that simple, mathematical laws govern the properties of cities -- that wealth, crime rate, walking speed and many other aspects of a city can be deduced from a single number: the city's population. In this mind-bending talk from TEDGlobal he shows how it works and how similar laws hold for organisms and corporations.

Rory Stewart: Time to end the war in Afghanistan

TEDGlobal 2011

Rory Stewart: Time to end the war in Afghanistan

July 15, 2011


British MP Rory Stewart walked across Afghanistan after 9/11, talking with citizens and warlords alike. Now, a decade later, he asks: Why are Western and coalition forces still fighting there? He shares lessons from past military interventions that worked -- Bosnia, for instance -- and shows that humility and local expertise are the keys to success.

Markus Fischer: A robot that flies like a bird

TEDGlobal 2011

Markus Fischer: A robot that flies like a bird

July 15, 2011


Plenty of robots can fly -- but none can fly like a real bird. That is, until Markus Fischer and his team at Festo built SmartBird, a large, lightweight robot, modeled on a seagull, that flies by flapping its wings. A soaring demo fresh from TEDGlobal 2011.

Kevin Slavin: How algorithms shape our world

TEDGlobal 2011

Kevin Slavin: How algorithms shape our world

July 13, 2011


Kevin Slavin argues that we're living in a world designed for -- and increasingly controlled by -- algorithms. In this riveting talk from TEDGlobal, he shows how these complex computer programs determine: espionage tactics, stock prices, movie scripts, and architecture. And he warns that we are writing code we can't understand, with implications we can't control.