Psychologist Barry Schwartz takes aim at a central tenet of western societies: freedom of choice. In Schwartz's estimation, choice has made us not freer but more paralyzed, not happier but more dissatisfied.
Performer and web toymaker Ze Frank delivers a hilarious nerdcore standup routine, then tells us what he's seriously passionate about: helping people create and interact using simple, addictive web tools.
Julia Sweeney (God Said, "Ha!") performs the first 15 minutes of her 2006 solo show Letting Go of God. When two young Mormon missionaries knock on her door one day, it touches off a quest to completely rethink her own beliefs.
James Nachtwey: My wish: Let my photographs bear witness
March 8, 2007
Accepting his 2007 TED Prize, war photographer James Nachtwey shows his life’s work and asks TED to help him continue telling the story with innovative, exciting uses of news photography in the digital era.
E.O. Wilson: My wish: Build the Encyclopedia of Life
March 8, 2007
As E.O. Wilson accepts his 2007 TED Prize, he makes a plea on behalf of all creatures that we learn more about our biosphere -- and build a networked encyclopedia of all the world's knowledge about life.
Dean Kamen: Luke, a new prosthetic arm for soldiers
March 9, 2007
Inventor Dean Kamen previews the prosthetic arm he’s developing at the request of the US Department of Defense. His quiet commitment to using technology to solve problems -- while honoring the human spirit -- has never been more clear.
Iqbal Quadir tells how his experiences as a kid in poor Bangladesh, and later as a banker in New York, led him to start a mobile phone operator connecting 80 million rural Bangladeshi -- and to become a champion of bottom-up development.
Biologist Sheila Patek talks about her work measuring the feeding strike of the mantis shrimp, one of the fastest movements in the animal world, using video cameras recording at 20,000 frames per second.
Susan Savage-Rumbaugh: The gentle genius of bonobos
February 2, 2004
Savage-Rumbaugh's work with bonobo apes, which can understand spoken language and learn tasks by watching, forces the audience to rethink how much of what a species can do is determined by biology -- and how much by cultural exposure.
Sasa Vucinic: Why we should invest in a free press
July 14, 2005
A free press -- papers, magazines, radio, TV, blogs -- is the backbone of any true democracy (and a vital watchdog on business). Sasa Vucinic, a journalist from Belgrade, talks about his new fund, which supports media by selling "free press bonds."
Journalist Carl Honore believes the Western world's emphasis on speed erodes health, productivity and quality of life. But there's a backlash brewing, as everyday people start putting the brakes on their all-too-modern lives.
Chris Anderson, then the editor of Wired, explores the four key stages of any viable technology: setting the right price, gaining market share, displacing an established technology and, finally, becoming ubiquitous.
Pastor Rick Warren, author of The Purpose-Driven Life, reflects on his own crisis of purpose in the wake of his book's wild success. He explains his belief that God's intention is for each of us to use our talents and influence to do good.
Why do people succeed? Is it because they're smart? Or are they just lucky? Neither. Analyst Richard St. John condenses years of interviews into an unmissable 3-minute slideshow on the real secrets of success.
With stunning photos and stories, National Geographic Explorer Wade Davis celebrates the extraordinary diversity of the world's indigenous cultures, which are disappearing from the planet at an alarming rate.
Eve Ensler, creator of "The Vagina Monologues," shares how a discussion about menopause with her friends led to talking about all sorts of sexual acts onstage, waging a global campaign to end violence toward women and finding her own happiness.
In this deceptively casual talk, Charles Leadbeater weaves a tight argument that innovation isn't just for professionals anymore. Passionate amateurs, using new tools, are creating products and paradigms that companies can't.