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TED Alert | Aspen Xchange

TED Alert

At 27-years old, Compassion-Driven Oncologist Shekinah Elmore was accepted to medical school and diagnosed with two different cancers, lung cancer and breast cancer. Despite all odds and in a period of grand uncertainty, Shekinah started medical school. Driven by her personal experience with a p53 gene mutation, Shekinah decided to become a radiation oncologist. Shekinah imparts on us that “a devastating genetic diagnosis means learning to live with uncertainty”.
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Modern medicine is in danger of losing a powerful, old-fashioned tool: human touch. Physician and writer Abraham Verghese describes our strange new world where patients are merely data points, and calls for a return to the traditional one-on-one physical exam.
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This talk is designed to help people transform from being life spectators into change catalysts. Many people spend a lifetime trying to discover their personal purpose and yet few actually live a life pursuing that purpose. This talk will motivate people to act on their personal purpose in life and empower transformation.
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In the era of CGI-driven films, special effects are often thought of as a technical skillset. Using his award-winning work on "Interstellar" as a case study, visual effects supervisor Paul Franklin explains how his trade is actually a constant attempt to balance flights of creativity with scientific rigor.
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Carl June is the pioneer behind CAR T-cell therapy: a groundbreaking cancer treatment that supercharges part of a patient's own immune system to attack and kill tumors. In a talk about a breakthrough, he shares how three decades of research culminated in a therapy that's eradicated cases of leukemia once thought to be incurable -- and explains how it could be used to fight other types of cancer.
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Artist Titus Kaphar makes paintings and sculptures that wrestle with the struggles of the past while speaking to the diversity and advances of the present. In an unforgettable live workshop, Kaphar takes a brush full of white paint to a replica of a 17th-century Frans Hals painting, obscuring parts of the composition and bringing its hidden story into view. There's a narrative coded in art like this, Kaphar says. What happens when we shift our focus and confront unspoken truths?
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People send 100 billion WhatsApp messages every day -- and they're all encrypted to protect them from potentially curious entities like companies, governments and even WhatsApp itself. With our increased reliance on digital communication tools during the COVID-19 pandemic, our fundamental right to privacy is more important than ever, says Will Cathcart, head of WhatsApp. He describes the tech and protocols the company built to prevent encryption services from being misused to spread disinformation or commit crimes -- while still safeguarding privacy.
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"Life doesn't go from A to B -- it's messy," says sailing legend Tracy Edwards. In this inspiring talk, she tells how she went from teenage misfit to skipper of the first all-female crew in the toughest race on the seas -- and how she now helps young people around the world achieve their dreams, too.
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Dr. Andrea Dinardo discusses how to THRIVE under pressure using 3 stress resilience tools: challenge, control and commitment. By focusing on what is right, before examining what is wrong, we can be transformed by our current limitations, history, and challenges.
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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. Followed by a Q&A with TED Curator Chris Anderson. (Note: This talk contains graphic language.)
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Some biological structures are so small that scientists can't see them with even the most powerful microscopes. That's where molecular animator and TED Fellow Janet Iwasa gets creative. Explore vast, unseen molecular worlds as she shares mesmerizing animations that imagine how they might work.
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Basketball is a fast-moving game of improvisation, contact and, ahem, spatio-temporal pattern recognition. Rajiv Maheswaran and his colleagues are analyzing the movements behind the key plays of the game, to help coaches and players combine intuition with new data. Bonus: What they're learning could help us understand how humans move everywhere.
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Research investigator Michael Hendryx studies mountaintop removal, an explosive type of surface coal mining used in Appalachia that comes with unexpected health hazards. In this data-packed talk, Hendryx presents his research and tells the story of the pushback he's received from the coal industry, advocating for the ethical obligation scientists have to speak the truth.
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"If DNA is the blueprint of life, enzymes are the laborers that carry out its instructions," says chemical biologist Adam Garske. In this fun talk and demo, he shows how scientists can now edit and design enzymes for specific functions -- to help treat diseases like diabetes, create energy-efficient laundry detergent and even capture greenhouse gases -- and performs his own enzyme experiment onstage.
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On August 28, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered a speech to hundreds of thousands of Americans at what is known as the March on Washington. This now-famous speech was both an apex and catalyst for the Civil Rights Movement in the US. Rediscover the richness of this speech and the significance of Dr. King's four words, "I have a dream."
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Sampling isn't about "hijacking nostalgia wholesale," says Mark Ronson. It's about inserting yourself into the narrative of a song while also pushing that story forward. In this mind-blowingly original talk, watch the DJ scramble 15 TED Talks into an audio-visual omelette, and trace the evolution of "La Di Da Di," Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick's 1984 hit that has been reimagined for every generation since.
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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
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The world's dietary habits threaten to collapse our ecosystem. Environmentalist and entrepreneur Pat Crowley believes we need to find alternative sources of nutrients, making the case for insects as our next culinary frontier.
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One man's personal triumph in managing diabetes has ignited a passion within him to share his knowledge and experience. Through the revolutionary ‘5-pillar approach’, Harrisberg encourages people to take control of their health, so that like him, they can live a fuller, happier and healthier life.
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Scared of super-intelligent AI? You should be, says neuroscientist and philosopher Sam Harris -- and not just in some theoretical way. We're going to build superhuman machines, says Harris, but we haven't yet grappled with the problems associated with creating something that may treat us the way we treat ants.
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When you look at sporting achievements over the last decades, it seems like humans have gotten faster, better and stronger in nearly every way. Yet as David Epstein points out in this delightfully counter-intuitive talk, we might want to lay off the self-congratulation. Many factors are at play in shattering athletic records, and the development of our natural talents is just one of them.
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We believe that we should work to be happy, but could that be backwards? In this fast-moving and entertaining talk from TEDxBloomington, psychologist Shawn Achor argues that actually happiness inspires productivity.
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Being open and vulnerable with your loneliness, sadness and fear can help you find comfort and feel less alone, says writer and artist Jonny Sun. In an honest talk filled with his signature illustrations, Sun shares how telling stories about feeling like an outsider helped him tap into an unexpected community and find a tiny sliver of light in the darkness.
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The Wright Brothers’ first flight. Lindbergh flying across the Atlantic. Armstrong’s first steps on the moon. These great feats changed the world and aviation expert Andrew Shepherd has an idea for the next great challenge.
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How can you help kids get a good start? In this heartfelt and personal talk, Colin Powell, the former U.S. Secretary of State, asks parents, friends and relatives to support children, starting before they even get to primary school, through community and a strong sense of responsibility.
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Keynote speaker and violinist Diane Allen is on a mission to help people deeply engage with their lives and reach their potential. What began as a personal challenge for her to own her A-Game, has grown into a passion and a mastery for helping others to own theirs. A New York City trained violinist, Diane became the Concertmaster of the Central Oregon Symphony. With her Copper Dragon Violin in hand, she now helps organizations to cultivate their talent, increase engagement, and improve performance.
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Why do people see the Virgin Mary on cheese sandwiches or hear demonic lyrics in "Stairway to Heaven"? Using video, images and music, professional skeptic Michael Shermer explores these and other phenomena, including UFOs and alien sightings. He offers cognitive context: In the absence of sound science, incomplete information can combine with the power of suggestion (helping us hear those Satanic lyrics in Led Zeppelin). In fact, he says, humans tend to convince ourselves to believe: We overvalue the "hits" that support our beliefs, and discount the more numerous "misses."
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Alain de Botton examines our ideas of success and failure -- and questions the assumptions underlying these two judgments. Is success always earned? Is failure? He makes an eloquent, witty case to move beyond snobbery to find true pleasure in our work.
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Nico Larco's insights on one the most exciting technology of our time will open your eyes to a whole new way of thinking and show you how the world we live in could be fundamentally transformed.  Nico is an Associate Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at University of Oregon and Director of the Urbanism Next Research Initiative. He pulls back the curtain to preview how autonomous vehicles will shape the future planning of our parks, cities and life as we know it.
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Tim Urban knows that procrastination doesn't make sense, but he's never been able to shake his habit of waiting until the last minute to get things done. In this hilarious and insightful talk, Urban takes us on a journey through YouTube binges, Wikipedia rabbit holes and bouts of staring out the window -- and encourages us to think harder about what we're really procrastinating on, before we run out of time.
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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.
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When he was a child, George Takei and his family were forced into an internment camp for Japanese-Americans, as a "security" measure during World War II. 70 years later, Takei looks back at how the camp shaped his surprising, personal definition of patriotism and democracy.
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Investigative journalist Katherine Eban set out to report on a seemingly straightforward question: Are generic drugs really identical to their brand-name counterparts? The answer sparked a decade of interviews, meetings with whistleblowers, on-the-ground reporting across four continents and digging into confidential FDA documents. In this alarming talk, she takes us inside overseas manufacturing plants and exposes the fraud behind many low-cost generic medicines.
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Athletes train their bodies to run faster, jump higher, throw farther -- so why don't they train their minds, too? Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson talks about the power of "neutral thinking," which helps him thrive under pressure (both on the field and off) -- and shows how you can use this mindset to make the right moves in your own life.
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Privacy isn't dead, but face surveillance technology might kill it, says civil rights advocate Kade Crockford. In an eye-opening talk, Kade outlines the startling reasons why this invasive technology -- powered by often-flawed facial recognition databases that track people without their knowledge -- poses unprecedented threats to your fundamental rights.
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Leaving a high-flying job in consulting, Angela Lee Duckworth took a job teaching math to seventh graders in a New York public school. She quickly realized that IQ wasn't the only thing separating the successful students from those who struggled. Here, she explains her theory of "grit" as a predictor of success.
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In her New Orleans neighborhood, artist and TED Fellow Candy Chang turned an abandoned house into a giant chalkboard asking a fill-in-the-blank question: "Before I die I want to ___." Her neighbors' answers -- surprising, poignant, funny -- became an unexpected mirror for the community. (What's your answer?)
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When are humans most happy? To gather data on this question, Matt Killingsworth built an app, Track Your Happiness, that let people report their feelings in real time. Among the surprising results: We're often happiest when we're lost in the moment. And the flip side: The more our mind wanders, the less happy we can be.
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Flags are one of the simplest yet most powerful pieces of design ever conceived. They can make us swell with pride, burn with hatred -- and even inspire people to die or kill in their name, says vexillologist Michael Green. Take a brief walk through history as Green explores the symbolic fervor behind flags that unify and divide, inviting us to imagine a future where we can come together under one collective identity: humanity.
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Nearly half a million people in the US are in jail right now without being convicted of a crime, simply because they can't come up with the money to pay cash bail. To try and fix this system, public defender and activist Robin Steinberg asked a straightforward question: What if we paid bail for them? In conversation with TED Radio Hour host Manoush Zomorodi, Steinberg shares how her nonprofit The Bail Project -- which uses a revolving fund to post bail for those who can't afford it -- is scaling up their efforts across the country and rolling out a new community-based model to fight mass incarceration. 
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When Shaka Senghor and Ebony Roberts ended their relationship, they made a pact to protect their son from its fallout. What resulted was a poetic meditation on what it means to raise a child together, yet apart. In this moving and deeply personal talk, Senghor and Roberts share their approach to co-parenting -- an equal, active partnership that rolls with the punches and revels in the delights of guiding their child through the world with thought and intention.
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When you stop comparing yourself to others, you can accomplish great things, says wheelchair athlete Dean Furness. He shares how, after losing the use of his legs in an accident, he discovered a powerful new mindset focused on redefining his "personal average" and getting better little by little.
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Racism makes our economy worse -- and not just in ways that harm people of color, says public policy expert Heather C. McGhee. From her research and travels across the US, McGhee shares startling insights into how racism fuels bad policymaking and drains our economic potential -- and offers a crucial rethink on what we can do to create a more prosperous nation for all. "Our fates are linked," she says. "It costs us so much to remain divided." Learn More

When it comes to big life problems, we often stand at a crossroads: either believe we're powerless against great change, or we rise to meet the challenge. In an urgent call to action, political strategist Tom Rivett-Carnac makes the case for adopting a mindset of "stubborn optimism" to confront climate change -- or whatever crisis may come our way -- and sustain the action needed to build a regenerative future. As he puts it: "Stubborn optimism can fill our lives with meaning and purpose." Learn More

When we think of veterans, we often think of quasi-functional members of society who are in desperate need of our help. In this talk, Rajiv Chandrasekaran turns that single story on its head and shows how US veterans serve at the frontlines of service to communities around the world. His message is simple: Instead of focusing on how to help veterans, we should instead focus on how veterans can help us to be better people. Learn More

How do doctors in the emergency room stay calm and focused amidst the chaos? Drawing on years of experience, ER doctor Darria Long shares a straightforward framework to help you take back control and feel less overwhelmed when life starts to get "crazy busy." Learn More

By some estimates, work-related stress drains the US economy of nearly 300 billion dollars a year - and it can hurt your productivity and personal health too, says wellness advocate Rob Cooke. He shares some strategies to help put your mental, physical and emotional well-being back at the forefront. Learn More

Recounting her story of finding opportunity and stability in the US, Elizabeth Camarillo Gutierrez examines the flaws in narratives that simplify and idealize the immigrant experience -- and shares hard-earned wisdom on the best way to help those around us. "Our world is one that flourishes when different voices come together," she says. Learn More

How can we stop the next pandemic before it starts? Disease researchers Pardis Sabeti and Christian Happi introduce Sentinel, an early warning system that detects and tracks viral threats in real time -- and could help stop them before they spread. Learn more about the cutting-edge technology that powers the system and how the Sentinel team is helping scientists and health workers during the coronavirus pandemic. Learn More

Every culture assigns stigma or value to different styles and levels of emotional expression, creating an instinct to repress or reject feelings associated with discomfort. Psychotherapist Artūrs Miksons lays out the benefits of discarding unhelpful social stigma and explains why expressing our emotions constructively can help build resilience to endure trying times. Learn More

Before the coronavirus pandemic, bioengineer Jim Collins and his team combined the power of AI with synthetic biology in an effort to combat a different looming crisis: antibiotic-resistant superbugs. Collins explains how they pivoted their efforts to begin developing a series of tools and antiviral compounds to help fight COVID-19 -- and shares their plan to discover seven new classes of antibiotics over the next seven years. Learn More

Sleep is your life-support system and Mother Nature's best effort yet at immortality, says sleep scientist Matt Walker. In this deep dive into the science of slumber, Walker shares the wonderfully good things that happen when you get sleep -- and the alarmingly bad things that happen when you don't, for both your brain and body. Learn more about sleep's impact on your learning, memory, immune system and even your genetic code -- as well as some helpful tips for getting some shut-eye. Learn More

How does your genetic inheritance, culture and history influence your health? Biological anthropologist Lara Durgavich discusses the field of evolutionary medicine as a gateway to understanding the quirks of human biology -- including why a genetic mutation can sometimes have beneficial effects -- and emphasizes how unraveling your own evolutionary past could glean insights into your current and future health. Learn More

Privacy isn't dead, but face surveillance technology might kill it, says civil rights advocate Kade Crockford. In an eye-opening talk, Kade outlines the startling reasons why this invasive technology -- powered by often-flawed facial recognition databases that track people without their knowledge -- poses unprecedented threats to your fundamental rights. Learn More

Curious how stuff works? Do a hands-on experiment at home, says physicist Nadya Mason. She shows how you can demystify the world around you by tapping into your scientific curiosity -- and performs a few onstage experiments of her own using magnets, dollar bills, dry ice and more. Learn More

To understand what makes marriages work, we need to talk about why they sometimes end, says family law professor Jeannie Suk Gersen. Follow along as she lays out three ways that thinking about marital decisions through the lens of divorce can help you better navigate togetherness from the beginning. Learn More

Did you know that one of the most notorious poisons is also a key ingredient for life as we know it? Join space chemist Karin Öberg and learn how she scans the universe in search of this paradoxical chemical using ALMA, the world's largest radio telescope, to detect hotbeds of molecular activity and the formation of life-sustaining planets. Learn More

It was one of the strangest trials in Dutch history. The defendant in a 1947 case was an art forger who had counterfeited millions of dollars worth of paintings. But he wasn't arguing his innocence- in fact, his life depended on proving that he had committed fraud. Who was this artist, and why was he on trial for his life? Noah Charney investigates the notorious Han van Meegeren. Learn More

Business management in China is changing, says consultant Fang Ruan. Learn how Chinese entrepreneurs -- long guided by Confucianism's emphasis on authority and regulation -- are now looking to Taoist philosophy for a new, dynamic leadership style that believes things spontaneously transform and naturally achieve perfection when they're supported, not controlled. Learn More

"Autism is not a disease; it's just another way of thinking," says Ethan Lisi. Offering a glimpse into the way he experiences the world, Lisi breaks down misleading stereotypes about autism, shares insights into common behaviors like stimming and masking and promotes a more inclusive understanding of the spectrum. Learn More

Equity expert Sara Sanford offers a certified playbook that helps companies go beyond good intentions, using a data-driven standard to actively counter unconscious bias and foster gender equity -- by changing how workplaces operate, not just how people think. Learn More

Pardons, commutations and bankruptcy laws are all tools of forgiveness within the US legal system. Are we using them frequently enough, and with fairness? Law professor Martha Minow outlines how these merciful measures can reinforce racial and economic inequality -- and makes the case for creating a system of restorative justice that focuses on accountability and reconciliation rather than punishment. Learn More

If you're feeling anxious or fearful during the coronavirus pandemic, you're not alone. Offering hope and understanding, author Elizabeth Gilbert reflects on how to stay present, accept grief when it comes and trust in the strength of the human spirit. "Resilience is our shared genetic inheritance," she says. Learn More

The common thinking on biological sex goes like this: females have two X chromosomes in their cells, while males have one X and one Y. In this myth-busting talk, science writer and podcaster Molly Webster shows why the so-called "sex chromosomes" are more complicated than this simple definition - and reveals why we should think about them differently. Learn More

In this eye-opening talk, digital rights expert Kathy Kleiman describes her efforts to uncover the hidden story behind an old photograph she found as an undergraduate researcher. Despite showing both men and women working on the groundbreaking Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC) in 1946, the caption only named the men. What followed for Kleiman was a years-long journey to locate and celebrate the achievements of these pioneering women - ENIAC's first programmers. Learn More

Flanked by two powerful nations, the English Channel has long been one of the world's most important maritime passages. Yet for most of its history, crossing was a dangerous prospect. Engineers proposed numerous plans for spanning the gap, including a design for an underwater passage more than twice the length of any existing tunnel. Alex Gendler details the creation of the Channel Tunnel. Learn More

Where did the new coronavirus originate, how did it spread so fast - and what's next? Sharing insights from the outbreak, global health expert and TED Fellow Alanna Shaikh traces the spread of COVID-19, discusses why travel restrictions aren't effective and highlights the medical changes needed worldwide to prepare for the next pandemic. "We need to make sure that every country in the world has the capacity to identify new diseases and treat them," she says. Recorded March 5, 2020. Learn More

Author Priya Parker shares tools for creating meaningful connections with friends, family and coworkers during the coronavirus pandemic -- and shows how we can take advantage of gatherings that are unique to this moment of social distancing. "We don't necessarily need to gather more," she says. "We need to gather better." Learn More

More than a billion people worldwide, mostly children, do not have a legal identity. In many countries, this means they can't get access to vital services like health care and education, says legal identity expert Kristen Wenz. She discusses why this problem is one of the greatest human rights violations of our time -- and shares five strategies to ensure everyone can get registered and protected. Learn More

"Life's beauty is inseparable from its fragility," says psychologist Susan David. In a special virtual conversation, she shares wisdom on how to build resilience, courage and joy in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Responding to listeners' questions from across the globe, she offers ways to talk to your children about their emotions, keep focus during the crisis and help those working on the front lines. Learn More

What if you could repay loans through volunteering and mentorship instead of money? Activist Angie Murimirwa shares how a game-changing economic tool known as "social interest" is reinvigorating sub-Saharan communities once trapped in cycles of poverty. Join her as she explains how this approach to lending is creating opportunities for thousands of African women and girls - and shows why this model can be replicated anywhere with lasting effects. Learn More

How comfortable are you with robots taking over your life? Covering a wide range of potential applications - from the mundane (robot house cleaner) to the mischievous (robot sex partner) to the downright macabre (uploading your brain to live on after death) - technology strategist Lucy Farey-Jones shares data-backed evidence of how our willingness to accept AI may be radically changing. Learn More

Have you ever wondered how your ears work? In this delightful and fascinating talk, biophysicist Jim Hudspeth demonstrates the wonderfully simple yet astonishingly powerful mechanics of hair cells, the microscopic powerhouses that make hearing possible - and explains how, when it's really quiet, your ears will begin to beam out a spectrum of sounds unique to you. Learn More

The world is more connected than ever, but some communities are still cut off from vital resources like electricity and health care. In this solution-oriented talk, activist Johanna Figueira discusses her work with Code for Venezuela -- a platform that gathers technologists to address Venezuela's needs for information and medical supplies -- and shares ideas for how it could be used as a model to help other communities in need. Learn More

Activist and historian Curtis Austin was labeled a felon after being questioned about his research on the Black Panther Party. In this eye-opening talk, he lays out the history of the organization and its political successes, explaining how his experience reflects the group's misrepresented legacy. Learn More

The climate crisis is too vast and complicated to solve with a silver bullet, says author David Wallace-Wells. What we need is a shift in how we live. Follow along as he lays out some of the dramatic actions we could take to build a livable, prosperous world in the age of global warming. Learn More

It's time to change the way we prepare people for success, says Patrick Lencioni. Drawing from his own observations, he makes a compelling case that, in our increasingly team-oriented world, the key to success is being humble, ambitious and smart. Learn More

"Full access to a person's phone is the next best thing to full access to a person's mind," says cybersecurity expert Eva Galperin. In an urgent talk, she describes the emerging danger of stalkerware -- software designed to spy on someone by gaining access to their devices without their knowledge -- and calls on antivirus companies to recognize these programs as malicious in order to discourage abusers and protect victims. Learn More

In this talk and tech demo, filmmaker Diego Prilusky introduces the next chapter in moviemaking: volumetric video, a 360-degree experience powered by hundreds of cameras that capture light and motion from every angle. Check out how this technology creates a new type of immersive storytelling -- and catch Prilusky's reshoot of an iconic dance number from "Grease" captured with volumetric video. Learn More

In this personal talk, nuclear chemist Clarice Phelps -- the first African-American woman involved in the discovery of a chemical element -- debunks the myth of solitary genius and challenges institutional elitism by sharing stories of women of color making their way in science. Learn More

A new drug reduces the risk of heart attacks by 40%. Shark attacks are up by a factor of two. Drinking a liter of soda per day doubles your chance of developing cancer. These are all examples of a common way risk is presented in news articles, and can often be misleading. So how can we better evaluate risk? Learn More

Nearly 1,800 newsrooms have shuttered across the US since 2004, leaving many communities unseen, unheard and in the dark. In this passionate talk and rallying cry, journalist Chuck Plunkett explains why he rebelled against his employer to raise awareness for an industry under threat of extinction -- and makes the case for local news as an essential part of any healthy democracy. Learn More

"Branding is the profound manifestation of the human spirit," says designer and podcaster Debbie Millman. In a historical odyssey that she illustrated herself, Millman traces the evolution of branding, from cave paintings to flags to beer labels and beyond. She explores the power of symbols to unite people, beginning with prehistoric communities who used them to represent beliefs and identify affiliations to modern companies that adopt logos and trademarks to market their products -- and explains how branding reflects the state of humanity. Learn More

It's normal to feel anxious or overwhelmed by climate change, says psychologist Renée Lertzman. Can we turn those feelings into something productive? In an affirming talk, Lertzman discusses the emotional effects of climate change and offers insights on how psychology can help us discover both the creativity and resilience needed to act on environmental issues. Learn More

Air pollution knows no borders -- even in your own body, says public health expert María Neira. In this startling talk, she describes how the microscopic particles and chemicals you breathe affect all your major organs (including your brain) and calls on both the public and those in power to take action to stop the sources of pollution. Learn More

In a tech-obsessed culture, it can be difficult to build genuine relationships with people, especially in the workplace. Robert Reffkin shares his tips and tricks for establishing authentic connections on the job. Learn More

Tribology: it's a funny-sounding word you might not have heard before, but it could change how you see and interact with the physical world, says mechanical engineer Jennifer Vail. Offering lessons from tribology -- the study of friction and wear -- Vail describes the surprisingly varied ways it impacts everyday life and how it could help us make a better world. Learn More

Humans have been coming up with ways to give constructive criticism for centuries, but somehow we're still pretty terrible at it. Cognitive psychologist LeeAnn Renninger shares a scientifically proven method for giving effective feedback. Learn More

"Everything that we think of as world history would not have taken place without the compass." TED science curator David Biello explains how the device changed our relationship to the world. Learn More

Our obsession with productivity -- to-do lists, life hacks, morning routines -- is making us less productive, says digital anthropologist Rahaf Harfoush. She explains why we need to redesign our workday around creativity -- not just efficiency. Learn More