TED Alert

Luck is rarely a lightning strike, isolated and dramatic,it's much more like the wind, blowing constantly. Catching more of it is easy but not obvious. In this insightful talk, Stanford engineering school professor Tina Seelig shares three unexpected ways to increase your luck and your ability to see and seize opportunities. Learn More

AI is massively transforming our world, but there's one thing it cannot do: love. In a visionary talk, computer scientist Kai-Fu Lee details how the US and China are driving a deep learning revolution -- and shares a blueprint for how humans can thrive in the age of AI by harnessing compassion and creativity. "AI is serendipity," Lee says. "It is here to liberate us from routine jobs, and it is here to remind us what it is that makes us human." Learn More

Without realizing it, we're fluent in the language of pictures, says illustrator Christoph Niemann. In a charming talk packed with witty, whimsical drawings, Niemann takes us on a hilarious visual tour that shows how artists tap into our emotions and minds -- all without words. Learn More

The universe is incredibly old, astoundingly vast and populated by trillions of planets -- so where are all the aliens? Astronomer Stephen Webb has an explanation: we're alone in the universe. In a mind-expanding talk, he spells out the remarkable barriers a planet would need to clear in order to host an extraterrestrial civilization -- and makes a case for the beauty of our potential cosmic loneliness. "The silence of the universe is shouting, 'We're the creatures who got lucky,'" Webb says. Learn More

It's time to invest in face-to-face training that empowers employees to have difficult conversations, says Tamekia MizLadi Smith. In a witty, provocative talk, Smith shares a workplace training program called "I'm G.R.A.C.E.D." that will inspire bosses and employees alike to communicate with compassion and respect. Bottom line: always let people know why their work matters. Learn More

Legendary architect Renzo Piano -- the mind behind such indelible buildings as The Shard in London, the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the new Whitney Museum of Art in New York City -- takes us on a stunning tour through his life's work. With the aid of gorgeous imagery, Piano makes an eloquent case for architecture as the answer to our dreams, aspirations and desire for beauty. "Universal beauty is one of the few things that can change the world," he says. "This beauty will save the world. One person at a time, but it will do it." Learn More

Millions of baby boomers are moving into their senior years with empty pockets and declining choices to earn a living. And right behind them is a younger generation facing the same challenges. In this deeply personal talk, author Elizabeth White opens up an honest conversation about financial trouble and offers practical advice for how to live a richly textured life on a limited income. Learn More

There are about a hundred trillion microbes living inside your gut -- protecting you from infection, aiding digestion and regulating your immune system. As our bodies have adapted to life in modern society, we've started to lose some of our normal microbes; at the same time, diseases linked to a loss of diversity in microbiome are skyrocketing in developed nations. Computational microbiologist Dan Knights shares some intriguing discoveries about the differences in the microbiomes of people in developing countries compared to the US, and how they might affect our health. Learn more about the world of microbes living inside you -- and the work being done to create tools to restore and replenish them. Learn More

Biologist Dan Gibson edits and programs DNA, just like coders program a computer. But his "code" creates life, giving scientists the power to convert digital information into biological material like proteins and vaccines. Now he's on to a new project: "biological transportation," which holds the promise of beaming new medicines across the globe over the internet. Learn more about how this technology could change the way we respond to disease outbreaks and enable us to download personalized prescriptions in our homes. Learn More

The Chinese internet has grown at a staggering pace -- it now has more users than the combined populations of the US, UK, Russia, Germany, France and Canada. Even with its imperfections, the lives of once-forgotten populations have been irrevocably elevated because of it, says South China Morning Post CEO Gary Liu. In a fascinating talk, Liu details how the tech industry in China has developed -- from the innovative, like AI-optimized train travel, to the dystopian, like a social credit rating that both rewards and restricts citizens. Learn More

Jakob Magolan is here to change your perception of organic chemistry. In an accessible talk packed with striking graphics, he teaches us the basics while breaking the stereotype that organic chemistry is something to be afraid of. Learn More

Navigating territorial hippos and active minefields, TED Fellow Steve Boyes and a team of scientists have been traveling through the Okavango Delta, Africa's largest remaining wetland wilderness, to explore and protect this near-pristine habitat against the rising threat of development. In this awe-inspiring talk packed with images, he shares his work doing detailed scientific surveys in the hopes of protecting this enormous, fragile wilderness. Learn More

Why do juveniles falsely confess to crimes? What makes them more vulnerable than adults to this shocking, counterintuitive phenomenon? Through the lens of Brendan Dassey's interrogation and confession (as featured in Netflix's "Making a Murderer" documentary), developmental psychology professor and researcher Lindsay Malloy breaks down the science underlying false confessions and calls for change in the way kids are treated by a legal system designed for adults.  Learn More

Why does a failure seem to stick in our minds so much longer than a success? According to social psychologist Alison Ledgerwood, our perception of the world tends to lean negative, and reframing how we communicate could be the key to unlocking a more positive outlook. In this sharp talk, Ledgerwood shares a simple trick for kicking negative thinking to the curb so we can start focusing on the upside. Learn More

Born with a rare disorder that prevents her from gaining weight, Lizzie Velasquez has faced more negativity and bullying than most. Over time, she's developed a simple but effective coping mechanism. "Tell me those negative things," she says. "I'm gonna turn them around and use them as a ladder to climb up to my goals." In this funny, personal talk, Lizzie shares her story - and the tools to help people reject hateful perspectives while embracing self-definition. Learn More

Oceanographer Penny Chisholm introduces us to an amazing little being: Prochlorococcus, the most abundant photosynthetic species on the planet. A marine microbe that has existed for millions of years, Prochlorococcus wasn't discovered until the mid-1980s -- but its ancient genetic code may hold clues to how we can reduce our dependence on fossil fuels. Learn More

Flight is about to get a lot more personal, says aviation entrepreneur Rodin Lyasoff. In this visionary talk, he imagines a new golden age of air travel in which small, autonomous air taxis allow us to bypass traffic jams and fundamentally transform how we get around our cities and towns. "In the past century, flight connected our planet," Lyasoff says. "In the next, it will reconnect our local communities." Learn More

The United States accounts for five percent of the world's population but consumes almost 70 percent of the total global opioid supply, creating an epidemic that has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths each year. How did we get here, and what can we do about it? In this personal talk, Travis Rieder recounts the painful, often-hidden struggle of opioid withdrawal and reveals how doctors who are quick to prescribe (and overprescribe) opioids aren't equipped with the tools to eventually get people off the meds. Learn More

In October 2017, astrobiologist Karen J. Meech got the call every astronomer waits for: NASA had spotted the very first visitor from another star system. The interstellar comet -- a half-mile-long object eventually named `Oumuamua, from the Hawaiian for "scout" or "messenger" -- raised intriguing questions: Was it a chunk of rocky debris from a new star system, shredded material from a supernova explosion, evidence of alien technology or something else altogether? In this riveting talk, Meech tells the story of how her team raced against the clock to find answers about this unexpected gift from afar. Learn More

Thousands of years ago, ancient Nubians drew pictures on tomb walls of a terrible disease that turns the eyelids inside out and causes blindness. This disease, trachoma, is still a scourge in many parts of the world today -- but it's also completely preventable, says Caroline Harper. Armed with data from a global mapping project, Harper's organization Sightsavers has a plan: to focus on countries where funding gaps stand in the way of eliminating the disease and ramp up efforts where the need is most severe. Learn more about their goal of consigning trachoma to the history books -- and how you can help. Learn More

Netflix changed the world of entertainment -- first with DVD-by-mail, then with streaming media and then again with sensational original shows like "Orange Is the New Black" and "Stranger Things" -- but not without taking its fair share of risks. In conversation with TED curator Chris Anderson, Netflix co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings discusses the company's bold internal culture, the powerful algorithm that fuels their recommendations, the $8 billion worth of content they're investing in this year and his philanthropic pursuits supporting innovative education, among much more. Learn More

What happens when technology knows more about us than we do? Poppy Crum studies how we express emotions -- and she suggests the end of the poker face is near, as new tech makes it easy to see the signals that give away how we're feeling. In a talk and demo, she shows how "empathetic technology" can read physical signals like body temperature and the chemical composition of our breath to inform on our emotional state. For better or for worse. "If we recognize the power of becoming technological empaths, we get this opportunity where technology can help us bridge the emotional and cognitive divide," Crum says. Learn More

As our political landscape becomes more and more polarized and the fallout manifests itself across dining tables everywhere, philosopher Robert Talisse believes we need to take a big step back. In this provocative talk, he argues that there's a time and place for politics. "In order to do democracy well," he says, "we have to sometimes do things together that aren't about democracy." Learn More

Many artificial intelligence researchers expect AI to outsmart humans at all tasks and jobs within decades, enabling a future where we're restricted only by the laws of physics, not the limits of our intelligence. MIT physicist and AI researcher Max Tegmark separates the real opportunities and threats from the myths, describing the concrete steps we should take today to ensure that AI ends up being the best -- rather than worst -- thing to ever happen to humanity. Learn More

In her brutally honest, ironically funny and widely read meditation on death, "You May Want to Marry My Husband," the late author and filmmaker Amy Krouse Rosenthal gave her husband Jason very public permission to move on and find happiness. A year after her death, Jason offers candid insights on the often-excruciating process of moving through and with loss -- as well as some quiet wisdom for anyone else experiencing life-changing grief. Learn More

Our leaders and institutions are failing us, but it's not always because they're bad or unethical, says venture capitalist John Doerr -- often, it's simply because they're leading us toward the wrong objectives. In this practical talk, Doerr shows us how we can get back on track with "Objectives and Key Results," or OKRs -- a goal-setting system that's been employed by the likes of Google, Intel and Bono to set and execute on audacious goals. Learn more about how setting the right goals can mean the difference between success and failure -- and how we can use OKRs to hold our leaders and ourselves accountable. Learn More

What will we find in the twilight zone: the vast, mysterious, virtually unexplored realm hundreds of meters below the ocean's surface? Heidi M. Sosik of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution wants to find out. In this wonder-filled talk, she shares her plan to investigate these uncharted waters, which may hold a million new species and 90 percent of the world's fish biomass, using submersible technology. What we discover there won't just astound us, Sosik says -- it will help us be better stewards of the world's oceans. Learn More

What if we could save the fishing industry and protect the ocean at the same time? Marine ecologist Enric Sala shares his bold plan to safeguard the high seas -- some of the last wild places on earth, which fall outside the jurisdiction of any single country -- by creating a giant marine reserve that covers two-thirds of the world's ocean. By protecting the high seas, Sala believes we will restore the ecological, economic and social benefits of the ocean. "When we can align economic needs with conservation, miracles can happen," Sala says. Learn More

If you think democracy is broken, here's an idea: let's replace politicians with randomly selected people. Author and activist Brett Hennig presents a compelling case for sortition democracy, or random selection of government officials -- a system with roots in ancient Athens that taps into the wisdom of the crowd and entrusts ordinary people with making balanced decisions for the greater good of everyone. Sound crazy? Learn more about how it could work to create a world free of partisan politics. Learn More

Humans will soon have new bodies that forever blur the line between the natural and synthetic worlds, says bionics designer Hugh Herr. In an unforgettable talk, he details "NeuroEmbodied Design," a methodology for creating cyborg function that he's developing at the MIT Media Lab, and shows us a future where we've augmented our bodies in a way that will redefine human potential -- and, maybe, turn us into superheroes. "During the twilight years of this century, I believe humans will be unrecognizable in morphology and dynamics from what we are today," Herr says. "Humanity will take flight and soar." Learn More

Comic books and graphic novels belong in every teacher's toolkit, says cartoonist and educator Gene Luen Yang. Set against the backdrop of his own witty, colorful drawings, Yang explores the history of comics in American education -- and reveals some unexpected insights about their potential for helping kids learn. Learn More

Viruses have a bad reputation -- but some of them could one day save your life, says biotech entrepreneur Alexander Belcredi. In this fascinating talk, he introduces us to phages, naturally-occurring viruses that hunt and kill harmful bacteria with deadly precision, and shows how these once-forgotten organisms could provide new hope against the growing threat of antibiotic-resistant superbugs. Learn More

What if healthcare providers spent an extra 40 seconds showing compassion for their patients? The scientific evidence may surprise you. Through his pioneering work in the field of "Compassionomics", Dr. Stephen Trzeciak has found that just 40 seconds of compassion can be a powerful therapy - not only for the receiver of compassion, but for the giver, too. It changes everything. Learn More

Business school professor Amy Edmondson studies "teaming," where people come together quickly (and often temporarily) to solve new, urgent or unusual problems. Recalling stories of teamwork on the fly, such as the incredible rescue of 33 miners trapped half a mile underground in Chile in 2010, Edmondson shares the elements needed to turn a group of strangers into a quick-thinking team that can nimbly respond to challenges. Learn More

From rides to homes and beyond, we're sharing everything these days, with the help of digital tools. But as modern and high-tech as the sharing economy seems, it's been alive in Africa for centuries, according to author Robert Neuwirth. He shares fascinating examples -- like apprenticeships that work like locally generated venture capital and systems for allocating scarce water -- and says that if we can propagate and scale these models, they could help communities thrive from the bottom up. Learn More

When Sarah Montana was 22 years old, her brother and mother killed during a home break-in. In this moving talk, Sarah speaks to her harrowing experience, and shares how to overcome tremendous grief and decide to "really" forgive those who have wronged us. Learn More

"You do not mess with something so fundamental, so precious, as science," says Kirsty Duncan, Canada's first Minister of Science. In a heartfelt, inspiring talk about pushing boundaries, she makes the case that researchers must be free to present uncomfortable truths and challenge the thinking of the day -- and that we all have a duty to speak up when we see science being stifled or suppressed. Learn More

What would a sustainable, universally beneficial economy look like? "Like a doughnut," says Oxford economist Kate Raworth. In a stellar, eye-opening talk, she explains how we can move countries out of the hole -- where people are falling short on life's essentials -- and create regenerative, distributive economies that work within the planet's ecological limits. Learn More

In this joyful, heartfelt talk featuring demos of her wonderfully wacky creations, Simone Giertz shares her craft: making useless robots. Her inventions -- designed to chop vegetables, cut hair, apply lipstick and more -- rarely (if ever) succeed, and that's the point. "The true beauty of making useless things this acknowledgment that you don't always know what the best answer is," Giertz says. "It turns off that voice in your head that tells you that you know exactly how the world works. Maybe a toothbrush helmet isn't the answer, but at least you're asking the question." Learn More

What good is a sophisticated piece of medical equipment to people in Africa if it can't handle the climate there? Biomedical engineer Tania Douglas shares stories of how we're often blinded to real needs in our pursuit of technology -- and how a deeper understanding of the context where it's used can lead us to better solutions. Learn More

Trust is the foundation for everything we do. But what do we do when it's broken? In an eye-opening talk, Harvard Business School professor Frances Frei gives a crash course in trust: how to build it, maintain it and rebuild it -- something she worked on during a recent stint at Uber. "If we can learn to trust one another more, we can have unprecedented human progress," Frei says. 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

If you want to build a team of innovative problem-solvers, you should value the humanities just as much as the sciences, says entrepreneur Eric Berridge. He shares why tech companies should look beyond STEM graduates for new hires -- and how people with backgrounds in the arts and humanities can bring creativity and insight to technical workplaces. Learn More

Was 2017 really the "worst year ever," as some would have us believe? In his analysis of recent data on homicide, war, poverty, pollution and more, psychologist Steven Pinker finds that we're doing better now in every one of them when compared with 30 years ago. But progress isn't inevitable, and it doesn't mean everything gets better for everyone all the time, Pinker says. Instead, progress is problem-solving, and we should look at things like climate change and nuclear war as problems to be solved, not apocalypses in waiting. Learn More

When lawyer Sarah Donnelly was diagnosed with breast cancer, she turned to her friends and family for support -- but she also found meaning, focus and stability in her work. In a personal talk about why and how she stayed on the job, she shares her insights on how workplaces can accommodate people going through major illnesses -- because the benefits go both ways. Learn More

What's up at SpaceX? Engineer Gwynne Shotwell was employee number seven at Elon Musk's pioneering aerospace company and is now its president. In conversation with TED curator Chris Anderson, she discusses SpaceX's race to put people into orbit and the organization's next big project, the BFR (ask her what it stands for). The new giant rocket is designed to take humanity to Mars -- but it has another potential use: space travel for earthlings. Learn More

We get stronger, not weaker, by engaging with ideas and people we disagree with, says Zachary R. Wood. In an important talk about finding common ground, Wood makes the case that we can build empathy and gain understanding by engaging tactfully and thoughtfully with controversial ideas and unfamiliar perspectives. "Tuning out opposing viewpoints doesn't make them go away," Wood says. "To achieve progress in the face of adversity, we need a genuine commitment to gaining a deeper understanding of humanity." Learn More

On any given night, more than 450,000 people in the United States are locked up in jail simply because they don't have enough money to pay bail. The sums in question are often around $500: easy for some to pay, impossible for others. This has real human consequences -- people lose jobs, homes and lives, and it drives racial disparities in the legal system. Robin Steinberg has a bold idea to change this. In this powerful talk, she outlines the plan for The Bail Project -- an unprecedented national revolving bail fund to fight mass incarceration. Learn More

There are about 7,000 languages spoken around the world -- and they all have different sounds, vocabularies and structures. But do they shape the way we think? Cognitive scientist Lera Boroditsky shares examples of language -- from an Aboriginal community in Australia that uses cardinal directions instead of left and right to the multiple words for blue in Russian -- that suggest the answer is a resounding yes. "The beauty of linguistic diversity is that it reveals to us just how ingenious and how flexible the human mind is," Boroditsky says. "Human minds have invented not one cognitive universe, but 7,000."  Learn More

After Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico in 2017, chef José Andrés traveled to the devastated island with a simple idea: to feed the hungry. Millions of meals served later, Andrés shares the remarkable story of creating the world's biggest restaurant -- and the awesome power of letting people in need know that somebody cares about them. Learn More

In 2009, journalist and screenwriter Drew Philp bought a ruined house in Detroit for $500. In the years that followed, as he gutted the interior and removed the heaps of garbage crowding the rooms, he didn't just learn how to repair a house -- he learned how to build a community. In a tribute to the city he loves, Philp tells us about "radical neighborliness" and makes the case that we have "the power to create the world anew together and to do it ourselves when our governments refuse." Learn More

Irina Kareva translates biology into mathematics and vice versa. She writes mathematical models that describe the dynamics of cancer, with the goal of developing new drugs that target tumors. "The power and beauty of mathematical modeling lies in the fact that it makes you formalize, in a very rigorous way, what we think we know," Kareva says. "It can help guide us to where we should keep looking, and where there may be a dead end." It all comes down to asking the right question and translating it to the right equation, and back. Learn More

Four decades ago, Judith Heumann helped to lead a groundbreaking protest called the Section 504 sit-in -- in which disabled-rights activists occupied a federal building for almost a month, demanding greater accessibility for all. In this personal, inspiring talk, Heumann tells the stories behind the protest -- and reminds us that, 40 years on, there's still work left to do. Learn More

As a humanist, Leo Igwe doesn't believe in divine intervention -- but he does believe in the power of human beings to alleviate suffering, cure disease, preserve the planet and turn situations of poverty into prosperity. In this bold talk, Igwe shares how humanism can free Africans from damaging superstitions and give them the power to rebuild the continent. Learn More

When Ashley Graham first started her modeling career, she was followed everywhere by a label she hates: "plus-size model." Defying such regressive pigeonholing, she explains how she stopped devaluing herself and reclaimed her body as her own. Learn More

Does quitting social media make you an unemployable Luddite? Computer scientist Dr. Cal Newport doesn't think so. In this eye-opening talk, he debunks three objections commonly offered up as rationale for keeping that all-important Facebook account. Learn More

How do you get on the road to being happier? Start by setting your alarm for 30 minutes earlier than usual and not hitting the snooze button. The effort required to leave that warm bed and enter the world is the same amount of effort needed to shake up your life and make that elusive change. In this humorous and provocative talk, Mel Robbins explains how turning off our brain's autopilot and demolishing our comfort zones is key to a rewarding life. Learn More

In the U.S., your taxes fund academic research at public universities. Why then do you need to pay expensive, for-profit journals for the results of that research? Erica Stone advocates for a new, open-access relationship between the public and scholars, making the case that academics should publish in more accessible media. "A functioning democracy requires that the public be well-educated and well-informed," Stone says. "Instead of research happening behind paywalls and bureaucracy, wouldn't it be better if it was unfolding right in front of us?" Learn More

What if we incentivized doctors to keep us healthy instead of paying them only when we're already sick? Matthias Müllenbeck explains how this radical shift from a sick care system to a true health care system could save us from unnecessary costs and risky procedures -- and keep us healthier for longer. Learn More

Amishi Jha studies how we pay attention: the process by which our brain decides what's important out of the constant stream of information it receives. Both external distractions (like stress) and internal ones (like mind-wandering) diminish our attention's power, Jha says -- but some simple techniques can boost it. "Pay attention to your attention," Jha says. Learn More

"Where do great ideas come from?" Starting with this question in mind, Vittorio Loreto takes us on a journey to explore a possible mathematical scheme that explains the birth of the new. Learn more about the "adjacent possible" -- the crossroads of what's actual and what's possible -- and how studying the math that drives it could explain how we create new ideas. Learn More

We use rituals to mark the early stages of our lives, like birthdays and graduations -- but what about our later years? In this meditative talk about looking both backward and forward, Bob Stein proposes a new tradition of giving away your things (and sharing the stories behind them) as you get older, to reflect on your life so far and open the door to whatever comes next. Learn More

We're all against hate, right? We agree it's a problem -- their problem, not our problem, that is. But as Sally Kohn discovered, we all hate -- some of us in subtle ways, others in obvious ones. As she confronts a hard story from her own life, she shares ideas on how we can recognize, challenge and heal from hatred in our institutions and in ourselves. Learn More

The arts bring meaning to our lives and spirit to our culture -- so why do we expect artists to struggle to make a living? Hadi Eldebek is working to create a society where artists are valued through an online platform that matches artists with grants and funding opportunities -- so they can focus on their craft instead of their side hustle. Learn More

Sometimes, a single decision can change the course of history. Join journalist and author Isabel Wilkerson as she tells the story of the Great Migration, the outpouring of six million African Americans from the Jim Crow South to cities in the North and West between World War I and the 1970s. This was the first time in American history that the lowest caste people signaled they had options and were willing to take them -- and the first time they had a chance to choose for themselves what they would do with their innate talents. Learn More

"Down down, baby, down down the roller coaster..." Hip-hop owes a lot of the queens of double dutch. Kyra Gaunt takes us on a tour of the fascinating history of the jump rope. Learn More

Why are pencils shaped like hexagons, and how did they get their iconic yellow color? Pencil shop owner Caroline Weaver takes us inside the fascinating history of the pencil.  Learn More

"Will machines replace humans?" This question is on the mind of anyone with a job to lose. Daniel Susskind confronts this question and three misconceptions we have about our automated future, suggesting we ask something else: How will we distribute wealth in a world when there will be less -- or even no -- work? Learn More

A 24-hour helpline in the UK known as Samaritans helped Sophie Andrews become a survivor of abuse rather than a victim. Now she's paying the favor back as the founder of The Silver Line, a helpline that supports lonely and isolated older people. In a powerful, personal talk, she shares why the simple act of listening (instead of giving advice) is often the best way to help someone in need. Learn More

"Hold your breath," says inventor Tom Zimmerman. "This is the world without plankton." These tiny organisms produce two-thirds of our planet's oxygen -- without them, life as we know it wouldn't exist. In this talk and tech demo, Zimmerman and cell engineer Simone Bianco hook up a 3D microscope to a drop of water and take you scuba diving with plankton. Learn about these mesmerizing creatures and get inspired to protect them against ongoing threats from climate change. Learn More

Experimental psychologist Petter Johansson researches choice blindness -- a phenomenon where we convince ourselves that we're getting what we want, even when we're not. In an eye-opening talk, he shares experiments (designed in collaboration with magicians!) that aim to answer the question: Why do we do what we do? The findings have big implications for the nature of self-knowledge and how we react in the face of manipulation. You may not know yourself as well as you think you do. Learn More

Want to connect with a depressed friend but not sure how to relate to them? Comedian and storyteller Bill Bernat has a few suggestions. Learn some dos and don'ts for talking to people living with depression -- and handle your next conversation with grace and maybe a bit of humor. Learn More

Shameem Akhtar posed as a boy during her early childhood in Pakistan so she could enjoy the privileges Pakistani girls are rarely afforded: to play outside and attend school. In an eye-opening, personal talk, Akhtar recounts how the opportunity to get an education altered the course of her life -- and ultimately changed the culture of her village, where today every young girl goes to school. Learn More

Growing up as a comic book fan, artist Shawn Martinbrough rarely saw people of color depicted positively (or at all) in the stories he loved. So he headed over to New York Comic Con to wrangle himself his first assignment for Marvel Comics. Now, as a successful artist who has worked on "Black Panther" and "Hellboy," he shares the importance of diversity -- for creative teams and character stables alike. Learn More

What's the most transformative thing that you can do for your brain today? Exercise! says neuroscientist Wendy Suzuki. Get inspired to go to the gym as Suzuki discusses the science of how working out boosts your mood and memory -- and protects your brain against neuro-degenerative diseases like Alzheimer's. Learn More

Do human emotions have a role to play in science and research? Material researcher Ilona Stengel suggests that instead of opposing each other, emotions and logic complement and reinforce each other. She shares a case study on how properly using emotions (like the empowering feeling of being dedicated to something meaningful) can boost teamwork and personal development -- and catalyze scientific breakthroughs and innovation. Learn More

Driving in Johannesburg one day, Tapiwa Chiwewe noticed an enormous cloud of air pollution hanging over the city. He was curious and concerned but not an environmental expert -- so he did some research and discovered that nearly 14 percent of all deaths worldwide in 2012 were caused by household and ambient air pollution. With this knowledge and an urge to do something about it, Chiwewe and his colleagues developed a platform that uncovers trends in pollution and helps city planners make better decisions. "Sometimes just one fresh perspective, one new skill set, can make the conditions right for something remarkable to happen," Chiwewe says. "But you need to be bold enough to try." Learn More

The prevailing image of where refugees live is of temporary camps in isolated areas -- but in reality, nearly 60 percent of them worldwide end up in urban areas. TED Fellow Robert Hakiza takes us inside the lives of urban refugees -- and shows us how organizations like the one that he started can provide them with the skills they need to ultimately become self-sufficient. Learn More

Very few of us hold jobs that line up directly with our past experiences or what we studied in college. Take TED Resident Jason Shen; he studied biology but later became a product manager at a tech company. In this quick, insightful talk about human potential, Shen shares some new thinking on how job seekers can make themselves more attractive -- and why employers should look for ability over credentials. Learn More

Throughout history, humans have ascribed value to the tools and processes that made their tasks easier and faster to complete. Countering the old saying that "time is money," Will Jenkins says that the most valuable currency is actually time. Learn More

AI will take our jobs-and that is a good thing, argues Tomer Garzberg. He tells how intelligent robots are already supplanting people, freeing us to imagine new roles for ourselves, and also surveys endeavors that are likely to remain human for some time to come. Learn More

Drawing upon both her military and corporate careers, Rach Ranton explores a central principle in group dynamics: As long as we all know what we're trying to accomplish, it doesn't matter exactly how we get there. Armed with a stockpile of lessons, she encourages leaders to adopt the best practices of a well-oiled unit. Ranton asks: If you as a leader were absent from the scene, would your team still know what to do ... and why they were doing it? Learn More

Michael Mieni is the first-ever Indigenous IT honours student at the University of Technology Sydney, and he wants to make sure he isn't the last: By using Aboriginal traditions to bridge the digital divide in Indigenous communities, he says, we can reveal untapped brilliance. Learn More

If you could guarantee that your child would avoid inheriting a serious condition, such as blindness, would you do it? Alastair O'Neill describes the wrenching decisions people have made now that science can pre-screen healthy embryos. Learn More

What is it about unfairness? Whether it's not being invited to a friend's wedding or getting penalized for bad luck or an honest mistake, unfairness often makes us so upset that we can't think straight. And it's not just a personal issue -- it's also bad for business, says Marco Alverà. He explains how his company works to create a culture of fairness -- and how tapping into our innate sense of what's right and wrong makes for happier employees and better results. Learn More

Join Phil Tetlow on a mind-bending journey to understand how we organize endless data into relevant information. Our minds, he says, use tools like pattern-matching and simplifying to make sense of the world around us. He explores the concept of network theory, detailing how vast amounts of information tend to be delivered through relatively small central hubs. Tetlow suggests, understanding the nature of information and how it connects, might give us a clue as to the nature of life, the universe and why we're even here at all. Learn More

Natalie Gunn makes a case for thinking of our minds and bodies as a continuum rather than a duality. She's especially intrigued by how this continuum may relate to cancer and whether our mindset impacts the disease. Natalie argues that we have to take the question seriously: "We need to investigate how a disease of the body could be impacted by our mind." She explores where the body ends and the mind begins and investigates where the two connect. Learn More

What if we could form meaningful relationships with AI? IBM designer Adam Cutler argues that we're already doing this -- we name our cars and mourn our iPhones when they break -- but imagine if we could develop a deeper emotional bond with our machines. By interpreting intent through language and pairing it with tone and semantic analysis in real time, Cutler shares a vision of the future where AI can predict what you want based only on the smallest, most human of hints. Learn More

Can a computer crack a joke? Can it even have a sense of humor? For computer engineer and aspiring comedian Vinith Misra, this is not just a curiosity. By analyzing data sets in social media, Misra discovers ways to help us connect with each other, and make our often frustrating relationship with machines funnier and friendlier. Learn More

Does food talk? And if so, what is it saying? Microbe researcher Robert Prill decodes the messages sent by microorganisms to discover the telltale and potentially deadly signs of contaminated foods. Prill says that by paying closer attention we can save lives and better protect our food supply from adulteration. Learn More

How can an established company maintain a startup mentality? Intrapreneur Shoel Perelman argues that first it must retain its internal rebels. To do so, Perelman suggests a system inspired by online dating that matches rebels from big companies with small companies that need their skills and keeps the entrepreneurial spirit alive in the biggest organizations. Learn More

About 40% of what you do, day in and day out, is done purely out of habit. Nir Eyal decodes how technology companies -- the masters of "habit-forming" products -- design the tech products we can't put down. But it isn't all negative manipulation, he says. It can and should be used for good. Learn More

Lloyd Treinish has his head and his supercomputers in the clouds. On a mission to regain public trust in weather forecasting,Treinish shares how better data modeling can do everything from reduce flight delays to save lives in the face of natural disaster.  Learn More