Niels Diffrient: Rethinking the way we sit down

TED2002

Niels Diffrient: Rethinking the way we sit down


Design legend Niels Diffrient talks about his life in industrial design (and the reason he became a designer instead of a jet pilot). He details his quest to completely rethink the office chair starting from one fundamental data set: the human body.

Margaret Wertheim: The beautiful math of coral

TED2009

Margaret Wertheim: The beautiful math of coral


Margaret Wertheim leads a project to re-create the creatures of the coral reefs using a crochet technique invented by a mathematician -- celebrating the amazements of the reef, and deep-diving into the hyperbolic geometry underlying coral creation.

Tim Ferriss: Smash fear, learn anything

EG 2008

Tim Ferriss: Smash fear, learn anything


From the EG conference: Productivity guru Tim Ferriss' fun, encouraging anecdotes show how one simple question -- "What's the worst that could happen?" -- is all you need to learn to do anything.

Gregory Stock: To upgrade is human

TED2003

Gregory Stock: To upgrade is human


In this prophetic 2003 talk -- just days before Dolly the sheep was stuffed -- biotech ethicist Gregory Stock looked forward to new, more meaningful (and controversial) technologies, like customizable babies, whose adoption might drive human evolution.

Shai Agassi: A new ecosystem for electric cars

TED2009

Shai Agassi: A new ecosystem for electric cars


Forget about the hybrid auto -- Shai Agassi says it's electric cars or bust if we want to impact emissions. His company, Better Place, has a radical plan to take entire countries oil-free by 2020.

Renny Gleeson: Our antisocial phone tricks

TED2009

Renny Gleeson: Our antisocial phone tricks


In this funny (and actually poignant) 3-minute talk, social strategist Renny Gleeson breaks down our always-on social world -- where the experience we're having right now is less interesting than what we'll tweet about it later.

Emily Levine: A theory of everything

TED2002

Emily Levine: A theory of everything


Philosopher-comedian Emily Levine talks (hilariously) about science, math, society and the way everything connects. She's a brilliant trickster, poking holes in our fixed ideas and bringing hidden truths to light. Settle in and let her ping your brain.

Bonnie Bassler: How bacteria "talk"

TED2009

Bonnie Bassler: How bacteria "talk"


Bonnie Bassler discovered that bacteria "talk" to each other, using a chemical language that lets them coordinate defense and mount attacks. The find has stunning implications for medicine, industry -- and our understanding of ourselves.

Bruce Bueno de Mesquita: A prediction for the future of Iran

TED2009

Bruce Bueno de Mesquita: A prediction for the future of Iran


Bruce Bueno de Mesquita uses mathematical analysis to predict (very often correctly) such messy human events as war, political power shifts, Intifada ... After a crisp explanation of how he does it, he offers three predictions on the future of Iran.

Nathaniel Kahn: Scenes from "My Architect"

TED2002

Nathaniel Kahn: Scenes from "My Architect"


Nathaniel Kahn shares clips from his documentary "My Architect," about his quest to understand his father, the legendary architect Louis Kahn. It's a film with meaning to anyone who seeks to understand the relationship between art and love.

P.W. Singer: Military robots and the future of war

TED2009

P.W. Singer: Military robots and the future of war


In this powerful talk, P.W. Singer shows how the widespread use of robots in war is changing the realities of combat. He shows us scenarios straight out of science fiction -- that now may not be so fictitious.

Ueli Gegenschatz: Extreme wingsuit flying

TED2009

Ueli Gegenschatz: Extreme wingsuit flying


Wingsuit jumping is the leading edge of extreme sports -- an exhilarating feat of almost unbelievable daring, where skydivers soar through canyons at over 100MPH. Ueli Gegenschatz talks about how (and why) he does it, and shows jawdropping film.

Jacek Utko: Can design save newspapers?

TED2009

Jacek Utko: Can design save newspapers?


Jacek Utko is an extraordinary Polish newspaper designer whose redesigns for papers in Eastern Europe not only win awards, but increase circulation by up to 100%. Can good design save the newspaper? It just might.

C.K. Williams: Poetry of youth and age

TED2001

C.K. Williams: Poetry of youth and age


Poet C.K. Williams reads his work at TED2001. As he colors scenes of childhood resentments, college loves, odd neighbors and the literal death of youth, he reminds us of the unique challenges of living.

Nathan Wolfe: The jungle search for viruses

TED2009

Nathan Wolfe: The jungle search for viruses


Virus hunter Nathan Wolfe is outwitting the next pandemic by staying two steps ahead: discovering deadly new viruses where they first emerge -- passing from animals to humans among poor subsistence hunters in Africa -- before they claim millions of lives.

John Wooden: The difference between winning and succeeding

TED2001

John Wooden: The difference between winning and succeeding


With profound simplicity, Coach John Wooden redefines success and urges us all to pursue the best in ourselves. In this inspiring talk he shares the advice he gave his players at UCLA, quotes poetry and remembers his father's wisdom.

David Pogue: Cool tricks your phone can do

EG 2008

David Pogue: Cool tricks your phone can do


In this engaging talk from the EG'08 conference, New York Times tech columnist David Pogue rounds up some handy cell phone tools and services that can boost your productivity and lower your bills (and your blood pressure).

Jacqueline Novogratz: An escape from poverty

TED2009

Jacqueline Novogratz: An escape from poverty


Jacqueline Novogratz tells a moving story of an encounter in a Nairobi slum with Jane, a former prostitute, whose dreams of escaping poverty, of becoming a doctor and of getting married were fulfilled in an unexpected way.

Kamal Meattle: How to grow fresh air

TED2009

Kamal Meattle: How to grow fresh air


Researcher Kamal Meattle shows how an arrangement of three common houseplants, used in specific spots in a home or office building, can result in measurably cleaner indoor air.

Bruce McCall: What is retro-futurism?

Serious Play 2008

Bruce McCall: What is retro-futurism?


Bruce McCall paints a retro-future that never happened -- full of flying cars, polo-playing tanks and the RMS Tyrannic, "The Biggest Thing in All the World." At Serious Play '08, he narrates a brisk and funny slideshow of his faux-nostalgic art.

Dan Ariely: Our buggy moral code

TED2009

Dan Ariely: Our buggy moral code


Behavioral economist Dan Ariely studies the bugs in our moral code: the hidden reasons we think it's OK to cheat or steal (sometimes). Clever studies help make his point that we're predictably irrational -- and can be influenced in ways we can't grasp.

Dan Dennett: Cute, sexy, sweet, funny

TED2009

Dan Dennett: Cute, sexy, sweet, funny


Why are babies cute? Why is cake sweet? Philosopher Dan Dennett has answers you wouldn't expect, as he shares evolution's counterintuitive reasoning on cute, sweet and sexy things (plus a new theory from Matthew Hurley on why jokes are funny).

Tim Berners-Lee: The next web

TED2009

Tim Berners-Lee: The next web


20 years ago, Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web. For his next project, he's building a web for open, linked data that could do for numbers what the Web did for words, pictures, video: unlock our data and reframe the way we use it together.

Stuart Brown: Play is more than just fun

Serious Play 2008

Stuart Brown: Play is more than just fun


A pioneer in research on play, Dr. Stuart Brown says humor, games, roughhousing, flirtation and fantasy are more than just fun. Plenty of play in childhood makes for happy, smart adults -- and keeping it up can make us smarter at any age.

Aimee Mullins: My 12 pairs of legs

TED2009

Aimee Mullins: My 12 pairs of legs


Athlete, actor and activist Aimee Mullins talks about her prosthetic legs -- she's got a dozen amazing pairs -- and the superpowers they grant her: speed, beauty, an extra 6 inches of height ... Quite simply, she redefines what the body can be.