Clay Shirky: How social media can make history

TED@State

Clay Shirky: How social media can make history


While news from Iran streams to the world, Clay Shirky shows how Facebook, Twitter and TXTs help citizens in repressive regimes to report on real news, bypassing censors (however briefly). The end of top-down control of news is changing the nature of politics.

Jane Poynter: Life in Biosphere 2

TEDxUSC

Jane Poynter: Life in Biosphere 2


Jane Poynter tells her story of living two years and 20 minutes in Biosphere 2 -- an experience that provoked her to explore how we might sustain life in the harshest of environments.

Richard St. John: Success is a continuous journey

TED2009

Richard St. John: Success is a continuous journey


In his typically candid style, Richard St. John reminds us that success is not a one-way street, but a constant journey. He uses the story of his business' rise and fall to illustrate a valuable lesson -- when we stop trying, we fail.

Robert Full: Learning from the gecko's tail

TED2009

Robert Full: Learning from the gecko's tail


Biologist Robert Full studies the amazing gecko, with its supersticky feet and tenacious climbing skill. But high-speed footage reveals that the gecko's tail harbors perhaps the most surprising talents of all.

Nancy Etcoff: Happiness and its surprises

TED2004

Nancy Etcoff: Happiness and its surprises


Cognitive researcher Nancy Etcoff looks at happiness -- the ways we try to achieve and increase it, the way it's untethered to our real circumstances, and its surprising effect on our bodies.

John La Grou: A plug for smart power outlets

TED2009

John La Grou: A plug for smart power outlets


John La Grou unveils an ingenious new technology that will smarten up the electrical outlets in our homes, using microprocessors and RFID tags. The invention, Safeplug, promises to prevent deadly accidents like house fires -- and to conserve energy.

Kevin Surace: Eco-friendly drywall

TED2009

Kevin Surace: Eco-friendly drywall


Kevin Surace suggests we rethink basic construction materials -- such as the familiar wallboard -- to reduce the huge carbon footprint generated by the manufacturing and construction of our buildings. He introduces EcoRock, a clean, recyclable and energy-efficient drywall created by his team at Serious Materials.

Pete Alcorn: The world in 2200

TED2009

Pete Alcorn: The world in 2200


In this short, optimistic talk from TED2009, Pete Alcorn shares a vision of the world of two centuries from now -- when declining populations and growing opportunity prove Malthus was wrong.

Felix Dennis: Odes to vice and consequences

TED2004

Felix Dennis: Odes to vice and consequences


Media big shot Felix Dennis roars his fiery, funny, sometimes racy original poetry, revisiting haunting memories and hard-won battle scars from a madcap -- yet not too repentant -- life. Best enjoyed with a glass of wine.

Yann Arthus-Bertrand: A wide-angle view of fragile Earth

TED2009

Yann Arthus-Bertrand: A wide-angle view of fragile Earth


In this image-filled talk, Yann Arthus-Bertrand displays his three most recent projects on humanity and our habitat -- stunning aerial photographs in his series "The Earth From Above," personal interviews from around the globe featured in his web project "6 billion Others," and his soon-to-be-released movie, "Home," which documents human impact on the environment through breathtaking video.

Ray Kurzweil: A university for the coming singularity

TED2009

Ray Kurzweil: A university for the coming singularity


Ray Kurzweil's latest graphs show that technology's breakneck advances will only accelerate -- recession or not. He unveils his new project, Singularity University, to study oncoming tech and guide it to benefit humanity.

Liz Coleman: A call to reinvent liberal arts education

TED2009

Liz Coleman: A call to reinvent liberal arts education


Bennington president Liz Coleman delivers a call-to-arms for radical reform in higher education. Bucking the trend to push students toward increasingly narrow areas of study, she proposes a truly cross-disciplinary education -- one that dynamically combines all areas of study to address the great problems of our day.

Kaki King: Playing "Pink Noise" on guitar

TED2008

Kaki King: Playing "Pink Noise" on guitar


Kaki King, the first female on Rolling Stone's "guitar god" list, rocks out to a full live set at TED2008, including her breakout single, "Playing with Pink Noise." Jaw-dropping virtuosity meets a guitar technique that truly stands out.

Jonathan Drori: Why we're storing billions of seeds

TED2009

Jonathan Drori: Why we're storing billions of seeds


In this brief talk from TED U 2009, Jonathan Drori encourages us to save biodiversity -- one seed at a time. Reminding us that plants support human life, he shares the vision of the Millennium Seed Bank, which has stored over 3 billion seeds to date from dwindling yet essential plant species.

Michelle Obama: A plea for education

Elizabeth G. Anderson School

Michelle Obama: A plea for education


Speaking at a London girls' school, Michelle Obama makes a passionate, personal case for each student to take education seriously. It is this new, brilliant generation, she says, that will close the gap between the world as it is and the world as it should be.

Jay Walker: The world's English mania

TED2009

Jay Walker: The world's English mania


Jay Walker explains why two billion people around the world are trying to learn English. He shares photos and spine-tingling audio of Chinese students rehearsing English -- "the world's second language" -- by the thousands.

Joachim de Posada: Don't eat the marshmallow!

TED2009

Joachim de Posada: Don't eat the marshmallow!


In this short talk from TED U, Joachim de Posada shares a landmark experiment on delayed gratification -- and how it can predict future success. With priceless video of kids trying their hardest not to eat the marshmallow.

Yves Behar: A supercharged motorcycle design

TED2009

Yves Behar: A supercharged motorcycle design


Yves Behar and Forrest North unveil Mission One, a sleek, powerful electric motorcycle. They share slides from distant (yet similar) childhoods that show how collaboration kick-started their friendship -- and shared dreams.

Carolyn Porco: Could a Saturn moon harbor life?

TED2009

Carolyn Porco: Could a Saturn moon harbor life?


Carolyn Porco shares exciting new findings from the Cassini spacecraft's recent sweep of one of Saturn's moons, Enceladus. Samples gathered from the moon's icy geysers hint that an ocean under its surface could harbor life.

Mary Roach: 10 things you didn't know about orgasm

TED2009

Mary Roach: 10 things you didn't know about orgasm


"Bonk" author Mary Roach delves into obscure scientific research, some of it centuries old, to make 10 surprising claims about sexual climax, ranging from the bizarre to the hilarious. (This talk is aimed at adults. Viewer discretion advised.)

Dan Ariely: Are we in control of our own decisions?

EG 2008

Dan Ariely: Are we in control of our own decisions?


Behavioral economist Dan Ariely, the author of Predictably Irrational, uses classic visual illusions and his own counterintuitive (and sometimes shocking) research findings to show how we're not as rational as we think when we make decisions.

Ray Anderson: The business logic of sustainability

TED2009

Ray Anderson: The business logic of sustainability


At his carpet company, Ray Anderson has increased sales and doubled profits while turning the traditional "take / make / waste" industrial system on its head. In a gentle, understated way, he shares a powerful vision for sustainable commerce.

Nandan Nilekani: Ideas for India's future

TED2009

Nandan Nilekani: Ideas for India's future


Nandan Nilekani, the visionary co-founder of outsourcing pioneer Infosys, explains four brands of ideas that will determine whether India can continue its recent breakneck progress.

Naturally 7: A full-band beatbox

TED2009

Naturally 7: A full-band beatbox


One-of-a-kind R&B group Naturally 7 beatboxes an orchestra's worth of instruments to groove through their smooth single, "Fly Baby."

Eric Lewis: Chaos and harmony on piano

TED2009

Eric Lewis: Chaos and harmony on piano


Eric Lewis explores the piano's expressive power as he pounds and caresses the keys (and the strings) in a performance during the 2009 TED Prize session. He plays an original song, a tribute to ocean and sky and the vision of the TED Prize winners.

Hans Rosling: Insights on HIV, in stunning data visuals

TED2009

Hans Rosling: Insights on HIV, in stunning data visuals


Hans Rosling unveils data visuals that untangle the complex risk factors of one of the world's deadliest (and most misunderstood) diseases: HIV. By following the data, he suggests a surprising key to ending the epidemic.

Seth Godin: The tribes we lead

TED2009

Seth Godin: The tribes we lead


Seth Godin argues the Internet has ended mass marketing and revived a human social unit from the distant past: tribes. Founded on shared ideas and values, tribes give ordinary people the power to lead and make big change. He urges us to do so.

Louise Fresco: We need to feed the whole world

TED2009

Louise Fresco: We need to feed the whole world


Louise Fresco shows us why we should celebrate mass-produced, supermarket-style white bread. She says environmentally sound mass production will feed the world, yet leave a role for small bakeries and traditional methods.

Al Gore: What comes after An Inconvenient Truth?

TED2009

Al Gore: What comes after An Inconvenient Truth?


At TED2009, Al Gore presents updated slides from around the globe to make the case that worrying climate trends are even worse than scientists predicted, and to make clear his stance on "clean coal."

Tom Shannon: Anti-gravity sculpture

TED2003

Tom Shannon: Anti-gravity sculpture


Tom Shannon shows off his gravity-defying, otherworldly sculpture -- made of simple, earthly materials -- that floats and spins like planets on magnets and suspension wire. It's science-inspired art at its most heavenly.