Larry Brilliant: The case for optimism

Skoll World Forum 2007

Larry Brilliant: The case for optimism


We've known about global warming for 50 years and done little about it, says Google.org director Larry Brilliant. In spite of this and other depressing trends, he's optimistic and tells us why. From Skoll World Forum, Oxford, UK, www.skollfoundation.org

Sugata Mitra: Kids can teach themselves

LIFT 2007

Sugata Mitra: Kids can teach themselves


Speaking at LIFT 2007, Sugata Mitra talks about his Hole in the Wall project. Young kids in this project figured out how to use a PC on their own -- and then taught other kids. He asks, what else can children teach themselves?

Norman Foster: My green agenda for architecture

DLD 2007

Norman Foster: My green agenda for architecture


Architect Norman Foster discusses his own work to show how computers can help architects design buildings that are green, beautiful and "basically pollution-free." From the 2007 DLD Conference, Munich; www.dld-conference.com

John Maeda: Designing for simplicity

TED2007

John Maeda: Designing for simplicity


The MIT Media Lab's John Maeda lives at the intersection of technology and art, a place that can get very complicated. Here he talks about paring down to basics.

Vusi Mahlasela: "Woza"

TEDGlobal 2007

Vusi Mahlasela: "Woza"

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After Vusi Mahlasela's 3-song set at TEDGlobal, the audience wouldn't let him go. His encore, "Woza," showcases his brilliant guitar playing and multilingual lyrics.

Zeresenay Alemseged: The search for humanity's roots

TEDGlobal 2007

Zeresenay Alemseged: The search for humanity's roots


Paleoanthropologist Zeresenay Alemseged looks for the roots of humanity in Ethiopia's badlands. Here he talks about finding the oldest skeleton of a humanoid child -- and how Africa holds the clues to our humanity.

Stephen Petranek: 10 ways the world could end

TED2002

Stephen Petranek: 10 ways the world could end


How might the human race end? Stephen Petranek lays out 10 terrible options and the science behind them. Will we be wiped out by an asteroid? Eco-collapse? How about a particle collider gone wild?

Steven Pinker: What our language habits reveal

TEDGlobal 2005

Steven Pinker: What our language habits reveal


In an exclusive preview of his book The Stuff of Thought, Steven Pinker looks at language and how it expresses what goes on in our minds -- and how the words we choose communicate much more than we realize.

Steven Pinker: The surprising decline in violence

TED2007

Steven Pinker: The surprising decline in violence


Steven Pinker charts the decline of violence from Biblical times to the present, and argues that, though it may seem illogical and even obscene, given Iraq and Darfur, we are living in the most peaceful time in our species' existence.

Theo Jansen: My creations, a new form of life

TED2007

Theo Jansen: My creations, a new form of life


Artist Theo Jansen demonstrates the amazingly lifelike kinetic sculptures he builds from plastic tubes and lemonade bottles. His creatures are designed to move -- and even survive -- on their own.

Erin McKean: The joy of lexicography

TED2007

Erin McKean: The joy of lexicography


Is the beloved paper dictionary doomed to extinction? In this infectiously exuberant talk, leading lexicographer Erin McKean looks at the many ways today's print dictionary is poised for transformation.

Andrew Mwenda: Aid for Africa? No thanks.

TEDGlobal 2007

Andrew Mwenda: Aid for Africa? No thanks.


In this provocative talk, journalist Andrew Mwenda asks us to reframe the "African question" -- to look beyond the media's stories of poverty, civil war and helplessness and see the opportunities for creating wealth and happiness throughout the continent.

Vusi Mahlasela: "Thula Mama"

TEDGlobal 2007

Vusi Mahlasela: "Thula Mama"


South African singer-songwriter Vusi Mahlasela dedicates his song, "Thula Mama," to all women -- and especially his grandmother.

Chris Abani: Telling stories from Africa

TEDGlobal 2007

Chris Abani: Telling stories from Africa


In this deeply personal talk, Nigerian writer Chris Abani says that “what we know about how to be who we are” comes from stories. He searches for the heart of Africa through its poems and narrative, including his own.

William Kamkwamba: How I built a windmill

TEDGlobal 2007

William Kamkwamba: How I built a windmill


When he was just 14 years old, Malawian inventor William Kamkwamba built his family an electricity-generating windmill from spare parts, working from rough plans he found in a library book.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala: Aid versus trade

TEDGlobal 2007

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala: Aid versus trade


Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the former finance minister of Nigeria, sums up four days of intense discussion on aid versus trade on the closing day of TEDGlobal 2007, and shares a personal story explaining her own commitment to this cause.

George Ayittey: Africa's cheetahs versus hippos

TEDGlobal 2007

George Ayittey: Africa's cheetahs versus hippos


Ghanaian economist George Ayittey unleashes a torrent of controlled anger toward corrupt leaders in Africa -- and calls on the “Cheetah generation” to take back the continent.

Allison Hunt: How to get (a new) hip

TED2007

Allison Hunt: How to get (a new) hip


When Allison Hunt found out that she needed a new hip -- and that Canada’s national health care system would require her to spend nearly 2 years on a waiting list (and in pain) -- she took matters into her own hands.

Rives: The  4 a.m. mystery

TED2007

Rives: The 4 a.m. mystery


Poet Rives does 8 minutes of lyrical origami, folding history into a series of coincidences surrounding that most surreal of hours, 4 o'clock in the morning.

Will Wright: Spore, birth of a game

TED2007

Will Wright: Spore, birth of a game


In a friendly, high-speed presentation, Will Wright demos his newest game, Spore, which promises to dazzle users even more than his previous masterpieces.

Jonathan Harris: The Web's secret stories

TED2007

Jonathan Harris: The Web's secret stories


Jonathan Harris wants to make sense of the emotional world of the Web. With deep compassion for the human condition, his projects troll the Internet to find out what we're all feeling and looking for.