TED Alert

An algorithm diagnosed the 2014 Ebola outbreak nine days before the World Health Organization. This is just one example of potentially game-changing big data applications in healthcare. Monika Blaumueller explores how earlier detection could have a significant impact on containing the next healthcare crisis. Learn More

What does the future look like from the eyes of the most prolific female inventor in IBM's history? Think: 3D printers building last-minute umbrellas at the office and toilet paper that automatically reorders itself when the last roll sits empty. Lisa Seacrat DeLuca envisions a radically reinvented world that surprisingly doesn't appear too different from today. Learn More

Technology can be dehumanizing. Even our day-to-day personal interactions conducted in digital bursts risk losing the heart of who are. Kareem Yusuf shows how people have aimed to embed emotional "tone" into their digital lives, from text-messages to data. He explores why, in today's fully digitized and globalized world, we must strive to incorporate tone into everything we do. Learn More

Bryan Kramer believes that social media is so popular because it allows us to control our personal brand: aligning the perceptions others have of us with our perception of ourselves. Concluding with a live Twitter experiment to test the true reach that sharing can have, he makes a case for the use of social media, and -- in the process -- illuminates the reason over 700 million photos and videos are processed on Snapchat every day. Learn More

Beset by plunging biodiversity, pathogens and skyrocketing populations, our global food supply is at risk - but solutions that rely on chemicals and GMOs come with their own problems. Laxmi Parida proposes an organic solution instead: math. Learn More

What if you could consult Winston Churchill on a looming international crisis? Or ask Einstein what he thinks about the latest scientific breakthrough? National security expert Juliane Gallina is working on a way to harness the best thinking strategies of all time. Learn More

If you're diagnosed with Huntington's disease, your treatment would be no more effective today than on the day of its discovery ... in 1872. Why has progress treating brain diseases been so slow? After 20 years of research, neuroscientist James Kozloski has come to a startling conclusion: Scientists are thinking too small. He looks past the usual genes that cause the diseases with a new brain model that maps the brain's core components and connects them into a single circuit. The implications of his research carry weight for Huntington's, and far beyond. Learn More

By now, we all know that people make lousy decisions and behave badly. We eat the cake, wait until the last minute to do our taxes, and generally work against our own self-interest no matter how much we want to succeed. So...what can we do to fight it? Behavioral scientist Bob Nease shares some tricks to align our good intentions with our actions. Learn More

As a lawyer, Andrew Arruda too often saw the scales of justice tip in favor of the wealthy and partnered with a computer scientist to create the world's first artificially intelligent legal assistant, ROSS. By speeding up legal research, Arruda wants ROSS to make the practice of law cheaper and fulfill the original promise of "justice for all." Learn More

In the course of a career studying the limits of athletic performance, John Brenkus kept encountering one persistent myth: that physical strength is the best measure of success. In this passionate talk, he takes on an insidious effect of that myth, the idea that boys shouldn't compete with girls. He makes a bold call for kids to play together on the same teams -- and celebrates the many factors that make up athletic greatness, from teamwork to mental toughness to leadership on and off the field. Learn More

The internet can be an ugly place, but you won't find bullies or trolls on Stuart Duncan's Minecraft server, AutCraft. Designed for children with autism and their families, AutCraft creates a safe online environment for play and self-expression for kids who sometimes behave a bit differently than their peers (and who might be singled out elsewhere). Learn more about one of the best places on the internet with this heartwarming talk. Learn More

Danielle Wood leads the Space Enabled research group at the MIT Media Lab, where she works to tear down the barriers that limit the benefits of space exploration to only the few, the rich or the elite. She identifies six technologies developed for space exploration that can contribute to sustainable development across the world -- from observation satellites that provide information to aid organizations to medical research on microgravity that can be used to improve health care on Earth. "Space truly is useful for sustainable development for the benefit of all peoples," Wood says. Learn More

How deep into the Earth can we go and still find life? Marine microbiologist Karen Lloyd introduces us to deep-subsurface microbes: tiny organisms that live buried meters deep in ocean mud and have been on Earth since way before animals. Learn more about these mysterious microbes, which refuse to grow in the lab and seem to have a fundamentally different relationship with time and energy than we do. Learn More

When you work for a corporation, confronted with negotiations and deals, what can fiction teach you? Christian Wickert believes writing fiction can sharpen your perceptions, help you understand others' motivations and ultimately make you better at your job. In this fascinating talk, he explains three ways creative writing improved his business skills and positively impacted his career. Learn More

Scientist Bijan Zakeri started studying Streptococcus pyogenes -- the pathogen responsible for diseases from strep throat to scarlet fever -- in the hopes of creating a new generation of antibodies to treat cancer. What he developed instead was completely unexpected: a molecular superglue made from its stone-strong chemical bonds that may change the way we address scientific and medical needs. Learn More

What do we really know about mosquitoes? Fredros Okumu catches and studies these disease-carrying insects for a living -- with the hope of crashing their populations. Join Okumu for a tour of the frontlines of mosquito research, as he details some of the unconventional methods his team at the Ifakara Health Institute in Tanzania have developed to target what has been described as the most dangerous animal on earth. Learn More

"The only way we're going to make substantial progress on the challenging problems of our time is for business to drive the solutions," says social impact strategist Wendy Woods. In a data-packed talk, Woods shares a fresh way to assess the impact all parts of business can have on all parts of society, and then adjust them to not only do less harm but actually improve things. Learn more about how executives can move beyond corporate social responsibility to "total societal impact" -- for the benefit of both a company's bottom line and society at large. Learn More

What does it look like when someone in Sweden brushes their teeth or when someone in Rwanda makes their bed? Anna Rosling Rönnlund wants all of us to find out, so she sent photographers to 264 homes in 50 countries (and counting!) to document the stoves, bed, toilets, toys and more in households from every income bracket around the world. See how families live in Latvia or Burkina Faso or Peru as Rosling Rönnlund explains the power of data visualization to help us better understand the world. Learn More

In 1988, Matt Goldman co-founded Blue Man Group, an off-Broadway production that became a sensation known for its humor, blue body paint, and wild stunts. The show works on the premise that certain conditions can create "aha moments", moments of surprise, learning, and exuberance, frequent and intentional rather than random and occasional. Now Goldman is working to apply the lessons learned from Blue Man Group to education, creating Blue School, a school that balances academic mastery, creative thinking and self, and social intelligence. "We need to cultivate safe and conducive conditions for new and innovative ideas to evolve and thrive," Goldman says. Learn More

Millennials are frequently stereotyped as entitled or lazy for moving from one job to the next. Millennial Daniela Zamudio believes quitting is sorely misjudged, and can be a sign of strength and ultimately a path to happiness. Over the last decade, she has discovered the secret to personal success and introduces the TED@Tommy audience to what she calls "conscious quitting." Zamudio shares how to weigh the pros and cons of our decisions when we listen to our heart (and ignore society's antiquated expectations) in order to achieve success. Learn More

Nicole Wilson was 5 years old when she first realized that her father, a former professional football player and grade school teacher, gave bad advice. While she steered clear of his words of "wisdom" as a kid, as an adult she began to see an upside. In this fun, personal talk, she explains how a lifetime of bad advice taught her how to trust her own instincts. Learn More

Irene Mora credits her own ambition and drive to her mother, the successful CEO of a multinational company. From her unique childhood -- hopping around the world and being exposed to new environments -- Mora learned valuable skills that later informed and helped her excel in business, including adaptability, authenticity, and independence. Mora encourages mothers to pursue a family and a career -- their kids may just thank them for it. Learn More

Dissenters are often dismissed as disruptive, disrespectful and annoying. But when it comes to business, challenging the status quo can bring much needed change to any organization. Andrew Millar defends the dissenters of the world, arguing that these stalwarts are arguing out of compassion with an aim to improve ideas. In this impassioned talk, Millar shares lessons that any company or loyal objector can use to work strengthen their organization. Learn More

The treatment of HIV has significantly advanced over the past three decades -- why hasn't our perception of people with the disease advanced along with it? After being diagnosed with HIV, Arik Hartmann chose to live transparently, being open about his status, in an effort to educate people. In this candid, personal talk, he shares what it's like to live with HIV -- and calls on us to dismiss our misconceptions about the disease. Learn More

In 2012, Colorado legalized cannabis and added to what has fast become a multibillion-dollar global industry for all things weed-related: from vape pens to brownies and beyond. But to say that we've legalized marijuana is subtly misleading -- what we've really done is commercialized THC, says educator Ben Cort, and that's led to products that are unnaturally potent. In an eye-opening talk, Cort examines the often unseen impacts of the commercial cannabis industry -- and calls on us to question those who are getting rich off of it. Learn More

According to the UN, nearly one in three people worldwide live in a country facing a water crisis, and less than five percent of the world lives in a country that has more water today than it did 20 years ago. Lana Mazahreh grew up in Jordan, a state that has experienced absolute water scarcity since 1973, where she learned how to conserve water as soon as she was old enough to learn how to write her name. In this practical talk, she shares three lessons from water-poor countries on how to save water and address what's fast becoming a global crisis. Learn More

Can you look at someone's face and know what they're feeling? Does everyone experience happiness, sadness and anxiety the same way? What are emotions anyway? For the past 25 years, psychology professor Lisa Feldman Barrett has mapped facial expressions, scanned brains and analyzed hundreds of physiology studies to understand what emotions really are. She shares the results of her exhaustive research -- and explains how we may have more control over our emotions than we think. Learn More

Talent is universal, but opportunity isn't, says TED Fellow Christopher Ategeka. In this charming, hopeful talk, Ategeka tells his story of being orphaned at a young age -- and how being adopted gave him the chance to experience a new culture, acquire an education and live up to his full potential. "We may not be able to solve the bigotry and the racism of this world today," Ategeka says, "But certainly we can raise children to create a positive, inclusive, connected world full of empathy, love and compassion." Learn More

Heather Lanier's daughter Fiona has Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome, a genetic condition that results in developmental delays -- but that doesn't make her tragic, angelic or any of the other stereotypes about kids like her. In this talk about the beautiful, complicated, joyful and hard journey of raising a rare girl, Lanier questions our assumptions about what makes a life "good" or "bad," challenging us to stop fixating on solutions for whatever we deem not normal, and instead to take life as it comes. Learn More

Could smartphones and cameras be our most powerful weapons for social justice? Through her organization Witness, Yvette Alberdingk Thijm is developing strategies and technologies to help activists use video to protect and defend human rights. She shares stories of the growing power of distant witnesses -- and a call to use the powerful tools at our disposal to capture incidents of injustice. Learn More

We'd all like to believe we're self-aware, but in reality, the facts point to a more sobering truth. Organizational psychologist Tasha Eurich has spent the last 4 years researching what it truly means to be self-aware, and in the process, has made a surprising discovery about human perception. In this illuminating talk, Eurich dissects common misbeliefs about introspective thinking and provides a simple way we can get to know ourselves just a little bit better. Learn More

The words we use to describe our emotions affect how we feel, says historian Tiffany Watt Smith, and they've often changed (sometimes very dramatically) in response to new cultural expectations and ideas. Take nostalgia, for instance: first defined in 1688 as an illness and considered deadly, today it's seen as a much less serious affliction. In this fascinating talk about the history of emotions, learn more about how the language we use to describe how we feel continues to evolve -- and pick up some new words used in different cultures to capture those fleeting feelings in words. Learn More

How do we improve in the face of complexity? Atul Gawande has studied this question with a surgeon's precision. He shares what he's found to be the key: having a good coach to provide a more accurate picture of our reality, to instill positive habits of thinking, and to break our actions down and then help us build them back up again. "It's not how good you are now; it's how good you're going to be that really matters," Gawande says. Learn More

China is a huge laboratory of innovation, says retail expert Angela Wang, and in this lab, everything takes place on people's phones. Five hundred million Chinese consumers -- the equivalent of the combined populations of the US, UK and Germany -- regularly make purchases via mobile platforms, even in brick-and-mortar stores. What will this transformation mean for the future of shopping? Learn more about the new business-as-usual, where everything is ultra-convenient, ultra-flexible and ultra-social. Learn More

Since the widespread use of antibiotics began in the 1940s, we've tried to develop new drugs faster than bacteria can evolve -- but this strategy isn't working. Drug-resistant bacteria known as superbugs killed nearly 700,000 people last year, and by 2050 that number could be 10 million -- more than cancer kills each year. Can physics help? In a talk from the frontiers of science, radiation scientist David Brenner shares his work studying a potentially life-saving weapon: a wavelength of ultraviolet light known as far-UVC, which can kill superbugs safely, without penetrating our skin. Learn More

Joan Blades and John Gable want you to make friends with people who vote differently than you do. A pair of political opposites, the two longtime pals know the value of engaging in honest conversations with people you don't immediately agree with. Join them as they explain how to bridge the gaps in understanding between people on opposite sides of the political spectrum -- and create opportunities for mutual listening and consideration (and, maybe, lasting friendships). Learn More

If our cells are the hardware and our genetic material the operating system, what if we could change a few lines of code? In this cutting-edge science talk, oncologist Dr. Tal Zaks reviews the future of personalized medicine, which may lie with gene-editing vaccines tailored to each patient's immune system, teaching it to overcome the genetic mutations that trigger diseases like cancer. Learn More

If you're undergoing surgery, you want the best surgical team to collaborate on your case, no matter where they are. Surgeon and entrepreneur Nadine Hachach-Haram is developing a new system that helps surgeons operate together and train one another on new techniques -- from remote locations using low-cost augmented reality tools. Watch the system in action as she joins a surgeon in Minnesota performing knee surgery, live on her laptop from the TED stage in New Orleans. This talk contains graphic images of surgery. Learn More

What's the secret to making content people love? Join BuzzFeed's Publisher Dao Nguyen for a glimpse at how her team creates their tempting quizzes, lists, and videos -- and learn more about how they've developed a system to understand how people use content to connect and create culture. Learn More

What's the harm in buying a knock-off purse or a fake designer watch? According to counterfeit investigator Alastair Gray, fakes like these fund terrorism and organized crime. Learn more about the trillion-dollar underground economy of counterfeiting -- from the criminal organizations that run it to the child labor they use to produce its goods -- as well as measures you can take to help stop it. "Let's shine a light on the dark forces of counterfeiting that are hiding in plain sight," Gray says. Learn More

There's nothing quite like a good night's sleep. What if technology could help us get more out of it? Dan Gartenberg is working on tech that stimulates deep sleep, the most regenerative stage which (among other wonderful things) might help us consolidate our memories and form our personalities. Find out more about how playing sounds that mirror brain waves during this stage might lead to deeper sleep -- and its potential benefits on our health, memory and ability. Learn More

The bad news: the best ideas live outside of your organization. The good news: they don't have to stay there. Innovation instigator Michael Ringel has consulted for major corporations about the best ways to bring innovation into their companies and has a collaborative solution that any company -- if done the right way -- can tap into: external innovation. Learn More

Justin Baldoni wants to start a dialogue with men about redefining masculinity -- to figure out ways to be not just good men but good humans. In a warm, personal talk, he shares his effort to reconcile who he is with who the world tells him a man should be. And he has a challenge for men: "See if you can use the same qualities that you feel make you a man to go deeper," Baldoni says. "Your strength, your bravery, your toughness: Are you brave enough to be vulnerable? Are you strong enough to be sensitive? Are you confident enough to listen to the women in your life?" Learn More

AI pathfinder Philipp Gerbert dispels the myth of AI as a complex and mysterious tool for business. In reality, he says, even those of us outside Silicon Valley can have an intimate understanding of AI and put it to work today. Gerbert walks us through the ABC's of AI and what it can mean for your organization. Learn More

Design veteran Kevin Bethune argues that designers' talents are often undervalued in business. He says that all designers have four key superpowers: x-ray vision, shapeshifting, extrasensory perception (ESP) and the ability to make others superhuman. Sound unbelievable? Watch and learn what can happen when designers are given space in the workplace to thrive and grow. Learn More

Adaptive, intelligent and consistent, algorithms are emerging as the ultimate formula for everything from matching consumers to products to assessing medical diagnoses. Vishal Sikka shares his appreciation for the algorithm, charting both its inherent beauty and its growing power. Learn More

As Asian diets increasingly shift to resemble typical Western palates, the food supply chain will be challenged to keep pace with the demand. Michael Silverstein reveals the trends in motion and offers strategic ideas on how to address these obstacles. Learn More

While email and mobile technology have greatly accelerated the way we do business, Leslie Pernow argues that the always "on" mentality can have a long-term detrimental effect on many organizations. In her sociological experiments at BCG and other organizations, Pernow found that if the team -- rather than just individuals -- collectively rallies around a goal or personal value, it unleashes a process that creates better work and better lives. Learn More

Creativity has never been more essential to competitiveness in the business world, but the critical approach to practical originality in organizations is often lacking. Alan Iny offers a key to think outside the box: apply doubt to the very models and philosophies that make up the box itself. Learn More

It seems as though Uber upended the taxi industry in less time than it takes to drive across Manhattan at rush hour. How did they do it, and what can legacy companies learn from their example? Business transformation expert Stefan Gross-Selbeck distills the unique qualities of today's most successful start-ups and shares strategies for replicating this spirit of hyper-innovation and disruption in any business.
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Our love of technology is perhaps rivaled only by our fear of change. Every time technology advances, the ripple effect of change can cripple even the strongest companies.
Development expert Patrick Forth notes that 75% of the Fortune 500 in 2020 will be names never heard before. How can large companies better channel change and continue to thrive? Forth gives five tips all businesses can learn from. Learn More

Graphene is often called the "material of superlatives" because so much about it is extreme. Made of a single layer of carbon atoms, it is the thinnest structure ever (it is actually 2D). It is impermeable, stronger than diamond, and the best thermal conductor found to date. Mikael Fogelstrom, head of the Graphene Institute at Chalmers University, explains graphene's chemical structure, its potential applications, and why this might just catapult us into the next Carbon Age. Learn More

Is it possible to look ahead without stumbling over what's in front of you? All too often companies spend precious time laying out long term strategic plans, only to discover that their maps are out of date in a month. Business strategy expert Martin Reeves offers a solution. He advocates transitioning from relying on a single "classical" approach to strategy and moving towards a more tailored approach to strategy and execution, selecting from 5 distinct patterns of success. Learn More

When it came to getting public consensus on a complex plan to convert the epic Tempelhof Airport into something new, Berlin sought an effective way to communicate the nuances of the various proposals. The solution? A computer coder synthesized the information from all the options into a simple infographic, leading to an informed vote by the public. Julia Kloiber argues for the release of government data so coders can unscramble it for the public good -- in Berlin and beyond. Learn More

Confirmation bias, loss aversion, the halo effect - inherently, humans face obstacles when making rational decisions. In the future, could purely logical cognitive computers help erase these blind spots? Dario Gil explores what the future of cognitive computers looks like and considers the uneasy question: could technology ever replace humans? Learn More

Our feverish appreciation of the virtual economy is tempered only by our concerns about privacy. If it's so easy to spend money online ... how hard could it be to breach security? Carey Kolaja, the head of PayPal, describes the future of money and fraud protection -- going beyond passwords and PINs to consider personal behavior, physical markers and even everyday relationships. Learn More

Philip Krinks was happy and successful in his job as a management consultant. He was challenged and passionate about the work. But something was missing. Was this career being true to his personal mission? Krinks drew on a reflective walk in the country and embarked on a larger journey that led from a corporate job to a post as a Christian pastor. He charts that journey and offers insight and lessons on identifying one's path in life and work. Learn More

Heading up HR at Netflix, Patty McCord experienced the unconventional start-up cultures of Silicon Valley up close. She explains what makes these new cultures work and offers some surprising insights into how deceptively traditional some of these eccentric new offices still are. McCord also introduces some challenging new ideas on how to motivate people, develop talent, build trust and ultimately create a dynamic and thriving business in any place, and in any industry. Learn More

Thinking out of the box -- it's one of the most cited strategies for innovation. Corporate philosopher Luc de Brabandere pondered exactly what was happening in our minds when we think creatively, and shares his own perspective on this strategy. He argues that the most incredible ideas don't come from just thinking beyond the perimeter of our current perception, but from relocating our minds to an entirely different box where preconceived ideas don't limit imagination. Learn More

The fourth industrial revolution is upon us: machines infused with intelligence. This transformation will change how manufacturing works today, making it faster and cheaper because a machine will know when it makes a mistake and correct itself. Markus Lorenz estimates that the next generation of industrialization could save the food industry alone $50 billion dollars a year. He explores the many ways this manufacturing revolution will impact the economy, and what kinds of other jobs this new chapter will create. Learn More

Today's companies know everything there is to know about their customers and will stop at nothing to ensure that their experience is pleasant and meaningful. But what if they directed some of that same energy at understanding and engaging their employees? What are the potential payoffs for a better motivated, more loyal and imaginatively innovating workforce? Diana Dosik shares her experiences turning the tables of customer research and experience onto employees to create smarter and better companies. Learn More

Designer Sandra Rey has found a way to channel one of nature's superpowers: bioluminescence. By isolating the DNA that causes some squids to glow, and introducing it into bacteria, she's created a light source that can glow for three days -- without generating the usual pollution caused by light bulbs. Her idea is still in development, but Rey makes a spirited case that this is a bold first step toward changing the way we light our world. Learn More

The 2008 global financial crisis left the world reeling -- markets went under, millions of jobs were lost and economic security was deeply compromised -- all within the space of a few months. IMF economist Min Zhu lays out how global economies are intricately connected and how a bankruptcy in one country can cause lasting damage worldwide. Understanding these complex relationships -- and implementing systems to guard against similar meltdowns in the future -- he urges, is imperative if we're to protect against the increased volatility of our hyperglobal era. Learn More

"Every now and then, a truly stellar new technology emerges, and it always takes us to places we never imagined," says blockchain specialist Mike Schwartz. Like the combustion engine, the telephone and the Internet before it, blockchain promises to transform how human society functions. We're not there yet but if all goes as planned, blockchain may just underpin the first real revolution of the Information Age. Learn More

Not everyone is comfortable with ignorance, but in this lively talk Laura Fox explains why we should all become comfortable with the words, "I don't know." For one thing, admitting what you don't know frees you to transform inexperience into growth -- both personally and intellectually. Learn More

Lars Fæste helps CEOs transform their businesses and over the years he's noticed something troubling: managers tend to get comfortable during times of success and fail to be on constant lookout for ways to grow. Yet with today's unprecedented rate of change, constant transformation is the norm and adapting to it is the key to staying ahead of competition and volatile market trends. In other words: if it ain't broke, fix it. Learn More

Luvvie Ajayi isn't afraid to speak her mind or to be the one dissenting voice in a crowd, and neither should you. "Your silence serves no one," says the writer, activist and self-proclaimed professional troublemaker. In this bright, uplifting talk, Ajayi shares three questions to ask yourself if you're teetering on the edge of speaking up or quieting down -- and encourages all of us to get a little more comfortable with being uncomfortable. Learn More

Most economists agree that GDP, the most widely used measure of a country's success and growth, is a poor indicator of the overall wellbeing of a nation. Doug Beal created an alternative index that measures not just wealth but wellbeing. The new gauge takes into account such factors as income equality, sustainability, and education. Beal shares insights on the development of the index and reveals how it offers a new perspective on which countries are the real winners and losers in the global economy. Learn More

Educator and entrepreneur Sebastian Thrun wants us to use AI to free humanity of repetitive work and unleash our creativity. In an inspiring, informative conversation with TED Curator Chris Anderson, Thrun discusses the progress of deep learning, why we shouldn't fear runaway AI and how society will be better off if dull, tedious work is done with the help of machines. "Only one percent of interesting things have been invented yet," Thrun says. "I believe all of us are insanely creative ... will empower us to turn creativity into action." Learn More

Natsai Audrey Chieza is a designer on a mission -- to reduce pollution in the fashion industry while creating amazing new things to wear. In her lab, she noticed that the bacteria Streptomyces coelicolor makes a striking red-purple pigment, and now she's using it to develop bold, color-fast fabric dye that cuts down on water waste and chemical runoff, compared with traditional dyes. And she isn't alone in using synthetic biology to redefine our material future; think -- "leather" made from mushrooms and superstrong yarn made from spider-silk protein. We're not going to build the future with fossil fuels, Chieza says. We're going to build it with biology. Learn More

Your voice is indistinguishable from how other people see you, but your relationship with it is far from obvious. Rébecca Kleinberger studies how we use and understand our voices and the voices of others. She explains why you may not like the sound of your own voice on recordings, the differences between your outward, inward and inner voices -- and the extraordinary things you communicate without being aware of it. Learn More

Keller Rinaudo wants everyone on earth to have access to basic health care, no matter how hard it is to reach them. With his start-up Zipline, he has created the world's first drone delivery system to operate at national scale, transporting blood and plasma to remote clinics in East Africa with a fleet of electric autonomous aircraft. Find out how Rinaudo and his team are working to transform health care logistics throughout the world -- and inspiring the next generation of engineers along the way. Learn More

What makes our bodies age ... our skin wrinkle, our hair turn white, our immune systems weaken? Biologist Elizabeth Blackburn shares a Nobel Prize for her work finding out the answer, with the discovery of telomerase: an enzyme that replenishes the caps at the end of chromosomes, which break down when cells divide. Learn more about Blackburn's groundbreaking research -- including how we might have more control over aging than we think. Learn More

In this imaginative talk, neuroengineer Sam Rodriques takes us on a thrilling tour of the next 100 years in brain science. He envisions strange (and sometimes frightening) innovations that may be the key to understanding and treating brain disease -- like lasers that drill tiny holes in our skulls and allow probes to study the electrical activity of our neurons. Learn More

We all know that when we make decisions in groups, they don't always go right -- and sometimes they go very wrong. How can groups make good decisions? With his colleague Dan Ariely, neuroscientist Mariano Sigman has been inquiring into how we interact to reach decisions by performing experiments with live crowds around the world. In this fun, fact-filled explainer, he shares some intriguing results -- as well as some implications for how it might impact our political system. In a time when people seem to be more polarized than ever, Sigman says, better understanding how groups interact and reach conclusions might spark interesting new ways to construct a healthier democracy. Learn More

For the introverts among us, traditional forms activism like marches, protests and door-to-door canvassing can be intimidating and stressful. Take it from Sarah Corbett, a former professional campaigner and self-proclaimed introvert. She introduces us to "craftivism," a quieter form of activism that uses handicrafts as a way to get people to slow down and think deeply about the issues they're facing, all while engaging the public more gently. Who says an embroidered handkerchief can't change the world? Learn More

The combined market capitalization of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google is now equivalent to the GDP of India. How did these four companies come to infiltrate our lives so completely? In a spectacular rant, Scott Galloway shares insights and eye-opening stats about their dominance and motivation -- and what happens when a society prizes shareholder value over everything else. Learn More

Niti Bhan studies business strategy for Africa's informal markets: the small shops and stands, skilled craftspeople and laborers who are the invisible engine that keeps the continent's economy running. It's tempting to think of these workers as tax-dodgers, even criminals -- but Bhan makes the case that this booming segment of the economy is legitimate and worthy of investment. "These are the fertile seeds of businesses and enterprises," Bhan says. "Can we start by recognizing these skills and occupations?" Learn More

The biggest obstacle to dealing with climate disruptions lies between your ears, says psychologist and economist Per Espen Stokes. He's spent years studying the defenses we use to avoid thinking about the demise of our planet -- and figuring out a new way of talking about global warming that keeps us from shutting down. Step away from the doomsday narratives and learn how to make caring for the earth feel personable, do-able and empowering with this fun, informative talk. Learn More

One in five women in the United States will not have a biological child, and Christen Reighter is one of them. From a young age, she knew she didn't want kids, in spite of the insistence of many people (including her doctor) who told her she'd change her mind. In this powerful talk, she shares her story of seeking sterilization -- and makes the case that motherhood is an extension of womanhood, not the definition. Learn More

Military leaders have known for millennia that the time to prepare for a challenge is before it hits you, says scientist and retired US Navy officer David Titley. He takes us from the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria to the icy shores of Svalbard to show how the military approaches the threat of climate change, in a refreshingly practical, nonpartisan take on climate preparedness. "The ice doesn't care who's in the White House. It doesn't care which party controls your congress. It doesn't care which party controls your parliament," Titley says. "It just melts." Learn More

What do you think would happen if you invited an individual with mental health issues who had been homeless for many years to move directly from the street into housing? Loyd Pendleton shares how he went from skeptic to believer in the Housing First approach to homelessness -- providing the displaced with short-term assistance to find permanent housing quickly and without conditions -- and how it led to a 91 percent reduction in chronic homelessness over a ten-year period in Utah. Learn More

In 2011, Teresa Njoroge was convicted of a financial crime she didn't commit -- the result of a long string of false accusations, increasing bribe attempts and the corrupt justice system in her home in Kenya. Once incarcerated, she discovered that most of the women and girls locked up with her were also victims of the same broken system, caught in a revolving door of life in and out of prison due to poor education and lack of economic opportunity. Now free and cleared by the courts of appeal, Njoroge shares how she's giving women in prison the skills, tools and support they need to break the cycle of poverty and crime and build a better life. Learn More

With fantastic new maps that show interactive, visual representations of urban fragility, Robert Muggah articulates an ancient but resurging idea: cities shouldn't just be the center of economics -- they should also be the foundation of our political lives. Looking around the world, from Syria to Singapore to Seoul and beyond, Muggah submits six principles for how we can build more resilient cities. "Cities are where the future happens first. They're open, creative, dynamic, democratic, cosmopolitan, sexy," Muggah says. "They're the perfect antidote to reactionary nationalism." Learn More

Sometimes trying your best isn't enough; when the situation demands it, you need to be perfect. For Jon Bowers, who runs a training facility for professional delivery drivers, the stakes are high -- 100 people in the US die every day in car accidents -- and it's perfection, or "a willingness to do what is difficult to achieve what is right," that he looks to achieve. He explains why we should all be equally diligent about striving toward perfection in everything we do, even if it means failing along the way. Learn More

Spider venom can stop your heart within minutes, cause unimaginable pain -- and potentially save your life, says zoologist Michel Dugon. As a tarantula crawls up and down his arm, Dugon explains the medical properties of this potent toxin and how it might be used to produce the next generation of antibiotics. Learn More

Megafires, individual fires that burn more than 100,000 acres, are on the rise in the western United States -- the direct result of unintentional yet massive changes we've brought to the forests through a century of misguided management. What steps can we take to avoid further destruction? Forest ecologist Paul Hessburg confronts some tough truths about wildfires and details how we can help restore the natural balance of the landscape. Learn More

The most important infrastructure we have is educated minds, says former Tunisian government minister Amel Karboul. Yet too often large investments go to more visible initiatives such as bridges and roads, when it's the minds of our children that will really create a brighter future. In this sharp talk, she shares actionable ideas to ensure that every child is in school -- and learning -- within just one generation. Learn More

Ever wonder how we poop? Learn about the gut -- the system where digestion (and a whole lot more) happens -- as doctor and author Giulia Enders takes us inside the complex, fascinating science behind it, including its connection to mental health. It turns out, looking closer at something we might shy away from can leave us feeling more fearless and appreciative of ourselves. Learn More

Congratulations! By being here, alive, you are one of history's winners -- the culmination of a success story four billion years in the making. The other 99 percent of species who have ever lived on earth are dead -- killed by fire, flood, asteroids, ice, heat and the cold math of natural selection. How did we get so lucky, and will we continue to win? In this short, funny talk, paleobiologist and TED Fellow Lauren Sallan shares insights on how your ancestors' survival through mass extinction made you who you are today. Learn More

Could we cure climate change? Geoengineering researcher Tim Kruger wants to try. He shares one promising possibility: using natural gas to generate electricity in a way that takes carbon dioxide out of the air. Learn more -- both the potential and the risks -- about this controversial field that seeks creative, deliberate and large-scale intervention to stop the already catastrophic consequences of our warming planet.
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"We all feel a compelling need to watch stories, to tell stories ... to discuss the things that tell each one of us that we are not alone in the world," says TV titan Shonda Rhimes. A dominant force in television since "Grey's Anatomy" hit the airwaves, Rhimes discusses the future of media networks, how she's using her narrative-building skills as a force for good, an intriguing concept known as "Amish summers" and much more, in conversation with Cyndi Stivers, director of the TED Residency. Learn More

In the vast sweep of history, even an empire can be forgotten. In this wide-ranging talk, Gus Casely-Hayford shares origin stories of Africa that are too often unwritten, lost, unshared. Travel to Great Zimbabwe, the ancient city whose mysterious origins and advanced architecture continue to confound archeologists. Or to the age of Mansa Musa, the ruler of the Mali Empire whose vast wealth built the legendary libraries of Timbuktu. And consider which other history lessons we might unwittingly overlook. Learn More

For the past 70 years, scientists in Britain have been studying thousands of children through their lives to find out why some end up happy and healthy while others struggle. It's the longest-running study of human development in the world, and it's produced some of the best-studied people on the planet while changing the way we live, learn and parent. Reviewing this remarkable research, science journalist Helen Pearson shares some important findings and simple truths about life and good parenting. Learn More

Don't believe predictions that say the future is trending towards city living. Urbanization is actually reaching the end of its cycle, says logistics expert Julio Gil, and soon more people will be choosing to live (and work) in the countryside, thanks to rapid advances in augmented reality, autonomous delivery, off-the-grid energy and other technologies. Think outside city walls and consider the advantages of country living with this forward-thinking talk. Learn More

Divisions along religious lines are deepening, and we're doubting more and more how much we have in common. How can we stand boldly and visibly together? Inspired by an idea from her collaborator Yazmany Arboleda, place-maker Nabila Alibhai and her colleagues created "Colour in Faith," a social practice art project that unites people of different religions by getting them to paint each other's houses of worship yellow, in a show of solidarity. "We've proven that the human family can come together and send a message far brighter and more powerful than the voices of those that wish to do us harm," Alibhai says. Learn More

Science fiction visions of the future show us AI built to replicate our way of thinking -- but what if we modeled it instead on the other kinds of intelligence found in nature? Robotics engineer Radhika Nagpal studies the collective intelligence displayed by insects and fish schools, seeking to understand their rules of engagement. In a visionary talk, she presents her work creating artificial collective power and previews a future where swarms of robots work together to build flood barriers, pollinate crops, monitor coral reefs and form constellations of satellites. Learn More

How can you study Mars without a spaceship? Head to the most Martian place on Earth -- the Atacama Desert in Chile. Astrobiologist Armando Azua-Bustos grew up in this vast, arid landscape and now studies the rare life forms that have adapted to survive there, some in areas with no reported rainfall for the past 400 years. Explore the possibility of finding life elsewhere in the universe without leaving the planet with this quick, funny talk. Learn More

Physics doesn't just happen in a fancy lab -- it happens when you push a piece of buttered toast off the table or drop a couple of raisins in a fizzy drink or watch a coffee spill dry. Become a more interesting dinner guest as physicist Helen Czerski presents various concepts in physics you can become familiar with using everyday things found in your kitchen. Learn More