TED Alert

Asking for help is tough. But to get through life, you have to do it all the time. So how do you get comfortable asking? In this actionable talk, social psychologist Heidi Grant shares four simple rules for asking for help and getting it -- while making the process more rewarding for your helper, too. Learn More

Hollywood needs to stop resisting what the world actually looks like, says actor, director and activist America Ferrera. Tracing the contours of her career, she calls for more authentic representation of different cultures in media -- and a shift in how we tell our stories. "Presence creates possibility," she says. "Who we see thriving in the world teaches us how to see ourselves, how to think about our own value, how to dream about our futures." Learn More

Profit, money, shareholders: these are the priorities of most companies today. But at what cost? In an appeal to corporate leaders worldwide, Chobani founder Hamdi Ulukaya calls for an end to the business playbook of the past -- and shares his vision for a new, "anti-CEO playbook" that prioritizes people over profits. "This is the difference between profit and true wealth," he says. Learn More

"Confidence is the necessary spark before everything that follows," says educator and activist Brittany Packnett. In an inspiring talk, she shares three ways to crack the code of confidence -- and her dream for a world where revolutionary confidence helps turn our most ambitious dreams into reality. Learn More

Can we make tattoos both beautiful and functional? Nanotechnologist Carson Bruns shares his work creating high-tech tattoos that react to their environment -- like color-changing ink that can tell you when you're getting a sunburn -- and shows exciting ways they can deliver real-time information about our health. Learn More

Humans produce 300 million tons of new plastic each year -- yet, despite our best efforts, less than 10 percent of it ends up being recycled. Is there a better way to deal with all this waste? Morgan Vague describes her research with microbiologist Jay Mellies on bacteria that have evolved the unexpected ability to eat plastic -- and how they could help us solve our growing pollution problem. Learn More

Designer Ivan Poupyrev wants to integrate technology into everyday objects to make them more useful and fun -- like a jacket you can use to answer phone calls or a houseplant you can play like a keyboard. In a talk and tech demo, he lays out his vision for a physical world that's more deeply connected to the internet and shows how, with a little collaboration, we can get there. Unveiled in this talk: Poupyrev announces that his newest device, Jacquard, is now publicly available for all designers to use. Learn More

In an astonishing talk and tech demo, software researcher Doug Roble debuts "DigiDoug": a real-time, 3-D, digital rendering of his likeness that's accurate down to the scale of pores and wrinkles. Powered by an inertial motion capture suit, deep neural networks and enormous amounts of data, DigiDoug renders the real Doug's emotions (and even how his blood flows and eyelashes move) in striking detail. Learn more about how this exciting tech was built -- and its applications in movies, virtual assistants and beyond. Learn More

Parenting books promise to teach us how to raise successful children and, in doing so, reveal why each of us turned out the way we did. Developmental psychologist Yuko Munakata tells a different story, challenging and complicating the prevailing wisdom about parents' role in their children's futures. 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

You use your brain's executive function every day -- it's how you do things like pay attention, plan ahead and control impulses. Can you improve it to change for the better? With highlights from her research on child development, cognitive scientist Sabine Doebel explores the factors that affect executive function -- and how you can use it to break bad habits and achieve your goals. Learn More

The Silent Generation, baby boomers, Generation X, millennials, Gen Z -- we're all in the workforce together. How are our assumptions about each other holding us back from working and communicating better? Social psychologist Leah Georges shows how we're more similar than different and offers helpful tactics for navigating the multigenerational workplace. Learn More

Robot brains are getting smarter and smarter, but their bodies are often still clunky and unwieldy. Mechanical engineer Christoph Keplinger is designing a new generation of soft, agile robot inspired by a masterpiece of evolution: biological muscle. See these "artificial muscles" expand and contract like the real thing and reach superhuman speeds -- and learn how they could power prosthetics that are stronger and more efficient than human limbs. Learn More

In a story of scientific discovery, chemical biologist David R. Liu shares a breakthrough: his lab's development of base editors that can rewrite DNA. This crucial step in genome editing takes the promise of CRISPR to the next level: if CRISPR proteins are molecular scissors, programmed to cut specific DNA sequences, then base editors are pencils, capable of directly rewriting one DNA letter into another. Learn more about how these molecular machines work -- and their potential to treat or even cure genetic diseases. Learn More

Can Twitter be saved? In a wide-ranging conversation with TED's Chris Anderson and Whitney Pennington Rodgers, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey discusses the future of the platform -- acknowledging problems with harassment and moderation and proposing some fundamental changes that he hopes will encourage healthy, respectful conversations. "Are we actually delivering something that people value every single day?" Dorsey asks. Learn More

Why do we often neglect big problems, like the financial crisis and climate change, until it's too late? Policy strategist Michele Wucker urges us to replace the myth of the "black swan" -- that rare, unforeseeable, unavoidable catastrophe -- with the reality of the "gray rhino," the preventable danger that we choose to ignore. She shows why predictable crises catch us by surprise -- and lays out some signs that there may be a charging rhino in your life right now. Learn More

Pop culture often portrays the Middle Ages as a time of forceful personalities and warring dynasties. In this talk, historian Maria Golubeva explains how institutions - city councils, guilds and courts - had just as much (if not more) influence within society, and harbor important lessons about identity and politics in modern day. Learn More

Kakenya Ntaiya turned her dream of getting an education into a movement to empower vulnerable girls and bring an end to harmful traditional practices in Kenya. Meet two students at the Kakenya Center for Excellence, a school where girls can live and study safely -- and uplift their community along the way. "When you empower a girl, you transform a community," Ntaiya says. Learn More

In a talk that's by turns heartbreaking and hilarious, writer and podcaster Nora McInerny shares her hard-earned wisdom about life and death. Her candid approach to something that will, let's face it, affect us all, is as liberating as it is gut-wrenching. Most powerfully, she encourages us to shift how we approach grief. "A grieving person is going to laugh again and smile again," she says. "They're going to move forward. But that doesn't mean that they've moved on." Learn More

In this fun and nerdy talk, ethics professor Christopher Robichaud explains how he worked the key principles of Dungeons & Dragons into an ethics simulation used to train future policymakers at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Learn More

Neuroscientist and pediatrician Kimberly Noble is leading the Baby's First Years study: the first-ever randomized study of how family income changes children's cognitive, emotional and brain development. She and a team of economists and policy experts are working together to find out: Can we help kids in poverty simply by giving families more money? "The brain is not destiny," Noble says. "And if a child's brain can be changed, then anything is possible." Learn More

Long before we had rocket scientists, the idea of spaceflight traveled from mind to mind across generations. With great visuals, TED Fellow and NASA economist Alexander MacDonald shows how 300 years of sci-fi tales -- from Edgar Allan Poe to Jules Verne to H.G. Wells and beyond -- sparked a culture of space exploration. A fascinating look at how stories become reality, featuring a goose machine sent to the Moon. Learn More

The heart is one of the least regenerative organs in the human body -- a big factor in making heart failure the number one killer worldwide. What if we could help heart muscle regenerate after injury? Physician and scientist Chuck Murry shares his groundbreaking research into using stem cells to grow new heart cells -- an exciting step towards realizing the awesome promise of stem cells as medicine. Learn More

Bacteria "talk" to each other, sending chemical information to coordinate attacks. What if we could listen to what they were saying? Nanophysicist Fatima AlZahra'a Alatraktchi invented a tool to spy on bacterial chatter and translate their secret communication into human language. Her work could pave the way for early diagnosis of disease -- before we even get sick. Learn More

The Sun delivers more energy to Earth in one hour than all of humanity uses in an entire year. How can we make this power more accessible to everyone, everywhere? Solar designer Marjan van Aubel shows how she's turning everyday objects like tabletops and stained glass windows into elegant solar cells -- and shares her vision to make every surface a power station. Learn More

To get young kids to thrive in school, we need to do more than teach them how to read and write -- we need to teach them how to manage their emotions, says educator Olympia Della Flora. In this practical talk, she shares creative tactics she used to help struggling, sometimes disruptive students -- things like stopping for brain breaks, singing songs and even doing yoga poses -- all with her existing budget and resources. "Small changes make huge differences, and it's possible to start right now ... You simply need smarter ways to think about using what you have, where you have it," she says. Learn More

Bees are dying off in record numbers, but ecologist Noah Wilson-Rich is interested in something else: Where are bees healthy and thriving? To find out, he recruited citizen scientists across the US to set up beehives in their backyards, gardens and rooftops. Learn how these little data factories are changing what we know about the habitats bees need to thrive -- and keep our future food systems stable. Learn More

AI algorithms make important decisions about you all the time -- like how much you should pay for car insurance or whether or not you get that job interview. But what happens when these machines are built with human bias coded into their systems? Technologist Kriti Sharma explores how the lack of diversity in tech is creeping into our AI, offering three ways we can start making more ethical algorithms. Learn More

Phil Plait was on a Hubble Space Telescope team of astronomers who thought they may have captured the first direct photo of an exoplanet ever taken. But did the evidence actually support that? Follow along as Plait shows how science progresses -- through a robust amount of making and correcting errors. "The price of doing science is admitting when you're wrong, but the payoff is the best there is: knowledge and understanding," he says. Learn More

Social psychologist Thomas Curran explores how the pressure to be perfect -- in our social media feeds, in school, at work -- is driving a rise in mental illness, especially among young people. Learn more about the causes of this phenomenon and how we can create a culture that celebrates the joys of imperfection. Learn More

Imagine there's someone standing next to you all the time pointing out every! single! thing! you're doing wrong. This is what millions of anxiety sufferers feel on a daily basis, and it's awful. Anxiety researcher Olivia Remes lays out a roadmap to getting rid of that "someone." It begins, she says, with being kinder to ourselves and to others. Learn More

The Earth and Moon are like identical twins, made up of the exact same materials -- which is really strange, since no other celestial bodies we know of share this kind of chemical relationship. What's responsible for this special connection? Looking for an answer, planetary scientist and MacArthur "Genius" Sarah T. Stewart discovered a new kind of astronomical object -- a synestia -- and a new way to solve the mystery of the Moon's origin. Learn More

You'd never know from her transformation into the death-dealing Arya Stark on "Game of Thrones" that Maisie Williams' childhood dream was to become a professional dancer. In this personal talk, she maps out the winding path that took her from dance lessons and local talent competitions to the world's most popular TV show. The lesson she learned along the way? That talent, strategic collaboration and a healthy skepticism for showbiz gatekeepers can take an aspiring artist a long way. "If there's one thing I've learned," she says, "it's that there truly is a place for everyone." Learn More

How would you prefer to spend the last years of your life: in a sterile, hospital-like institution or in a village with a supermarket, pub, theater and park within easy walking distance? The answer seems obvious now, but when Yvonne van Amerongen helped develop the groundbreaking Hogeweyk dementia care center in Amsterdam 25 years ago, it was seen as a risky break from tradition. Journey with van Amerongen to Hogeweyk and get a glimpse at what a reimagined nursing home based on freedom, meaning and social life could look like. Learn More

In his research for NASA, clinical psychologist Raphael Rose discovered that failure is key to creating resilience. He explains how leaning into trials and setbacks builds the emotional callouses that help us value what's good in life. Learn More

Everyone's heard of Martin Luther King Jr. But do you know the woman Dr. King called "the architect of the civil rights movement," Septima Clark? The teacher of some of the generation's most legendary activists -- like Rosa Parks, Diane Nash, Fannie Lou Hamer and thousands more -- Clark laid out a blueprint for change-making that has stood the test of time. Now T. Morgan Dixon and Vanessa Garrison, the cofounders of GirlTrek, are taking a page from Clark's playbook to launch a health revolution in the US -- and get one million women walking for justice. Learn More

From floppy disks to thumb drives, every method of storing data eventually becomes obsolete. What if we could find a way to store all the world's data forever? Bioinformatician Dina Zielinski shares the science behind a solution that's been around for a few billion years: DNA. Learn More

César Hidalgo has a radical suggestion for fixing our broken political system: automate it! In this provocative talk, he outlines a bold idea to bypass politicians by empowering citizens to create personalized AI representatives that participate directly in democratic decisions. Explore a new way to make collective decisions and expand your understanding of democracy. Learn More

In 1485, King Richard III of England was killed in battle and hastily buried in Leicester. But during the English Reformation, his remains were lost ... for five centuries, until a cross-disciplinary team from the University of Leicester set out to relocate them. In a delightfully detailed talk full of archaeology, forensic science, royal genealogy and the occasional history pun, geneticist Dr. Turi King tells the story of how the team found and identified the bones of the last of the Plantagenets. Learn More

In 2013, a treasure trove of unusual fossils were uncovered in a cave in South Africa, and researchers soon realized: these were the remains of a new species of ancient humans. Paleoanthropologist Juliet Brophy takes us inside the discovery of Homo naledi, explaining how this mysterious ancestor is forcing us to rethink where we come from -- and what it means to be human. Learn More

The transistors that power the phone in your pocket are unimaginably small: you can fit more than 3,000 of them across the width of a human hair. But to keep up with innovations in fields like facial recognition and augmented reality, we need to pack even more computing power into our computer chips -- and we're running out of space. In this forward-thinking talk, technology developer Karl Skjonnemand introduces a radically new way to create chips. "This could be the dawn of a new era of molecular manufacturing," Skjonnemand says. Learn More

In the US, the very same blood test can cost $19 at one clinic and $522 at another clinic just blocks away -- and nobody knows the difference until they get a bill weeks later. Journalist Jeanne Pinder says it doesn't have to be this way. She's built a platform that crowdsources the true costs of medical procedures and makes the data public, revealing the secrets of health care pricing. Learn how knowing what stuff costs in advance could make us healthier, save us money -- and help fix a broken system. Learn More

Roy Bahat was worried. His company invests in new technology like AI to make businesses more efficient -- but, he wondered, what was AI doing to the people whose jobs might change, go away or become less fulfilling? The question sent him on a two-year research odyssey to discover what motivates people, and why we work. In this conversation with curator Bryn Freedman, he shares what he learned, including some surprising insights that will shape the conversation about the future of our jobs. Learn More

From flying cars to lab-grown food, we love thinking about what delights the future will bring. But futurist Angela Oguntala suggests that, in fact, these pop-culture benchmarks create a blinkered vision of the future. In her talk, Oguntala urges us to reach further and push for true innovation. Learn More

We all love to tell personal stories of adversity and triumph, but how do they prepare us to navigate an unpredictable future? Entrepreneur Andrew Peek believes that our life stories limit us. "Are we wrapped in the warmth of the story we've been writing for decades? The further we are into a story, the less likely we are to want to rewrite it." In this talk, Peek suggests that we "let go of what should be for what is" and allow ourselves to grow without self-imposed constraints. Learn More

The US state of Florida is facing down environmental threats that affect millions of people a year, such as toxic algal blooms and hurricanes. The solutions will take Biologist (and Florida resident) Graham Worthy proposes that by breaking down academic silos and engaging interdisciplinary teams, Florida might finally start solving some of its interconnected ecological problems. Learn More

Rich scientific evidence comes from the history of life on Earth -- we just have to ask the right questions to find it. Whether it's figuring out the cause of the dodo bird's extinction or the bite force of a Tyrannosaurus rex, paleontologist Michael Benton shares some offbeat quandaries from the past, present and future. Learn More

Gene-editing tools like CRISPR enable us to program life at its most fundamental level. But this raises some pressing questions: If we can generate new species from scratch, what should we build? Should we redesign humanity as we know it? Juan Enriquez forecasts the possible futures of genetic editing, exploring the immense uncertainty and opportunity of this next frontier. Learn More

What does it mean to be civil? Journalist Steven Petrow looks for answers in the original meaning of the word, showing why civility shouldn't be dismissed as conversation-stifling political correctness or censorship. Learn three ways we can each work to be more civil -- and start talking about our differences with respect. Learn More

Modern American health care is defined by its high costs, high overhead and inaccessibility -- especially for low-income patients. What if we could redesign the system to serve the poor and still have doctors make money? In an eye-opening (and surprisingly funny) talk, physician P.J. Parmar shares the story of the clinic he founded in Colorado, where he serves only resettled refugees who mostly use Medicaid, and makes the business case for a fresh take on medical service. Learn More

Silence is a rare commodity these days. There's traffic, construction, air-conditioning, your neighbor's lawnmower ... and all this unwanted sound can have a surprising impact on your health, says noise researcher Mathias Basner. Discover the science behind how noise affects your health and sleep -- and how you can get more of the benefits of the sound of silence. Learn More

Patient P.S. suffered a stroke that damaged the right side of her brain, leaving her unaware of everything on her left side. If someone threw a ball at her left side, she might duck. But she wouldn't have awareness of the ball or know why she ducked. Where does consciousness come from? Michael Graziano explores the question that has vexed scientists and philosophers for centuries. Learn More

In 1956, architect Frank Lloyd Wright proposed a mile-high skyscraper, a building five times as high as the Eiffel Tower. While this massive tower was never built, today bigger and bigger buildings are going up around the world. How did these impossible ideas turn into architectural opportunities? Stefan Al explains how these megastructures became fixtures of our city skylines. Learn More

There's no better way to stop a disease than to catch and treat it early, before symptoms occur. That's the whole point of medical screening techniques like radiography, MRIs and blood tests. But there's one medium with overlooked potential for medical analysis: your breath. Technologist Julian Burschka shares the latest in the science of breath analysis -- the screening of the volatile organic compounds in your exhaled breath -- and how it could be used as a powerful tool to detect, predict and ultimately prevent disease. Learn More

You know the "forgotten middle": they're the students, coworkers and regular people who are often overlooked because they're seen as neither exceptional nor problematic. How can we empower them to reach their full potential? Sharing her work helping young people get to and through college, social activist Danielle R. Moss challenges us to think deeper about who deserves help and attention -- and shows us how to encourage those in the middle to dream big. Learn More

In the late 1800's, lynchings were happening all over the American South, often without any investigation or consequences for the murderers. A young journalist set out to expose the truth about these killings. Her reports shocked the nation, launched her journalism career and a lifelong pursuit of civil rights. Christina Greer details the life of Ida B. Wells and her tireless struggle for justice. Learn More

The path to skill around the globe has been the same for thousands of years: train under an expert and take on small, easy tasks before progressing to riskier, harder ones. But right now, we're handling AI in a way that blocks that path -- and sacrificing learning in our quest for productivity, says organizational ethnographer Matt Beane. What can be done? Beane shares a vision that flips the current story into one of distributed, machine-enhanced mentorship that takes full advantage of AI's amazing capabilities while enhancing our skills at the same time. Learn More

Most companies operate on a set of policies: mandated vacation days, travel guidelines, standard work hours, annual goals. But what happens when a company looks less to control and more to trust? Patty McCord, the iconic former chief talent officer at Netflix, shares the key insights that led her to toss the handbook out the window. Learn More

In 1992, a cargo ship carrying bath toys got caught in a storm. Shipping containers washed overboard, and the waves swept 28,000 rubber ducks and other toys into the North Pacific. But they didn't stick together -- the ducks have since washed up all over the world. How did this happen? Jennifer Verduin dives into the science of ocean currents. Learn More

What job is best for a young man who's been a tennis ace, a cross-country traveler, a chemistry nerd and an NFL draftee? How about ... astronaut? Leland Melvin tells the story of the challenges he's accepted and the opportunities he's seized -- and how they led him to the International Space Station and a whole new perspective of life on earth. (Contains mature content). Learn More

What does it take to build a national movement? In a captivating conversation with TEDWomen curator Pat Mitchell, Marian Wright Edelman reflects on her path to founding the Children's Defense Fund in 1973 -- from the early influence of growing up in the segregated American South to her activism with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. -- and shares how growing older has only made her more radical. Learn More

The Montreal Protocol proved that the world could come together and take action on climate change. Thirty years after the world's most successful environmental treaty was signed, atmospheric scientist Sean Davis examines the world we avoided when we banned chlorofluorocarbons -- and shares lessons we can carry forward to address the climate crisis in our time. Learn More

Past generations found a company to work for and then stayed there for decades. But today, we rarely stay in the same job (let alone on the same career path) and we don't rely on a single income stream. The tools and resources are out there for us to do our own thing, and more of us are going with the entrepreneurial spirit -- even if it's on the side of a traditional job. Podcaster and marketer Nicaila Matthews Okome helps survey the scene. Learn More

In this humorous and thought-provoking talk at TEDxBellevue, Mike talks about "The Power of Appreciation." As Mike discusses, there is an important distinction between "recognition" and "appreciation." Leaders, teams, organizations, and individuals who understand this distinction can have much more impact, meaning, and productivity in their lives and with the people around them. He also discusses important research in the field of positive psychology that exemplifies the importance of appreciation. Learn More

In the 1940s, cancer was a condition shrouded in fear and denial, rarely discussed in public. Now there's a healthy public discourse and billions of dollars in research funding dedicated to it. In this talk, writer and microbiologist Dr. Nathalia Holt describes how a landmark 1940s PR campaign helped prompt that paradigm shift. "Changing how a disease is perceived is just as critical as anything coming out of a lab," she says. "We can't change medicine until we change opinions." Learn More

Choosing to marry and share your life with someone is one of the most important decisions you can make in life. But with divorce rates approaching fifty percent in some parts of the world, it's clear we could use some help picking a partner. In an actionable, eye-opening talk, psychiatrist George Blair-West shares three keys to preventing divorce -- and spotting potential problems while you're still dating. Learn More

In this sobering talk, health writer Maryn McKenna explains how the use of antibiotics in food production transformed modern agriculture and the way the world eats -- but not for the overall better. With stories highlighting the success of activists, policymakers and the general public to reform production practices, McKenna stresses one key point: "Consumers have power." Learn More

A quantum computer isn't just a more powerful version of the computers we use today; it's something else entirely, based on emerging scientific understanding -- and more than a bit of uncertainty. Enter the quantum wonderland with TED Fellow Shohini Ghose and learn how this technology holds the potential to transform medicine, create unbreakable encryption and even teleport information. Learn More

How exactly does gender work? It's not just about our chromosomes, says biologist Karissa Sanbonmatsu. In a visionary talk, she shares new discoveries from epigenetics, the emerging study of how DNA activity can permanently change based on social factors like trauma or diet. Learn how life experiences shape the way genes are expressed -- and what that means for our understanding of gender. Learn More

Electric cars are extremely quiet, offering some welcome silence in our cities. But they also bring new dangers, since they can easily sneak up on unsuspecting pedestrians. What kind of sounds should they make to keep people safe? Get a preview of what the future may sound like as acoustic engineer and musician Renzo Vitale shows how he's composing a voice for electric cars. Learn More

What does it take to build the fast, flexible, creative teams needed to challenge entrenched work culture? For transformation expert Martin Danoesastro, it all starts with one question: "What are you willing to give up?" He shares lessons learned from companies on both sides of the innovation wave on how to structure your organization so that people at all levels are empowered to make decisions fast and respond to change. Learn More

Want to learn a new language but feel daunted or unsure where to begin? You don't need some special talent or a "language gene," says Lýdia Machová. In an upbeat, inspiring talk, she reveals the secrets of polyglots (people who speak multiple languages) and shares four principles to help unlock your own hidden language talent -- and have fun while doing it. Learn More

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Companies are counting on their future leaders to manage with more speed, flexibility and trust than ever before. But how can middle managers climb the corporate ladder while also challenging the way things have always been done? Leadership expert Elizabeth Lyle offers a new approach to breaking the rules while you're on your way up, sharing creative ways organizations can give middle managers the space and coaching they need to start leading differently. Learn More

As a fire chief and first responder, Jan Rader has spent her career saving lives. But when the opioid epidemic hit her town, she realized they needed to take a brand-new approach to life-saving. In this powerful, hopeful talk, Rader shows what it's like on the front lines of this crisis -- and how her community is taking an unusual new approach to treating substance-abuse disorder that starts with listening. Learn More

Welcome to the strange, deviously difficult and incredibly joyful world of puzzle hunts. Follow along as Alex Rosenthal lifts the veil on one of the world's most complex puzzle hunts, the MIT Mystery Hunt -- and reveals how puzzles can be found in the most unexpected places. Learn More

A male firefly emits a series of enticing flashes. He hopes a female will respond and mate with him. A female from a different species mimics his patterns: by tricking the male, she lures him in -- and turns him into a meal. Where else do we see this kind of trickery in the animal kingdom? Eldridge Adams details the surprising complexity of how animals manipulate predators, prey and their rivals. Learn More

In this whimsical talk and live demo, scientist Li Wei Tan shares the secrets of bubbles -- from their relentless pursuit of geometric perfection to their applications in medicine and shipping, where designers are creating more efficient vessels by mimicking the bubbles created by swimming penguins. Learn More

Before empires and royalty, before pottery and writing, before metal tools and weapons - there was cheese. As early as 8000 BCE, Neolithic farmers began a legacy of cheesemaking almost as old as civilization. Today, the world produces roughly 22 billion kilograms of cheese a year, shipped and consumed around the globe. Paul S. Kindstedt shares the history of one of our oldest and most beloved foods. Learn More

The workplace is often presented as a meritocracy, where you can succeed by putting your head down and working hard. Wall Street veteran Carla Harris learned early in her career that this a myth. The key to actually getting ahead? Get a sponsor: a person who will speak on your behalf in the top-level, closed-door meetings you're not invited to (yet). Learn how to identify and develop a productive sponsor relationship in this candid, powerful talk. Learn More

Imagine your company hires a new employee and then everyone just ignores them, day in and day out, while they sit alone at their desk getting paid to do nothing. This situation actually happens all the time -- when companies invest millions of dollars in new tech tools only to have frustrated employees disregard them, says Nadjia Yousif. In this fun and practical talk, she offers advice on how to better collaborate with the technologies in your workplace -- by treating them like colleagues. Learn More

Domestic workers are entrusted with the most precious aspects of people's lives -- they're the nannies, the elder-care workers and the house cleaners who do the work that makes all other work possible. Too often, they're invisible, taken for granted or dismissed as "help," yet they continue to do their wholehearted best for the families and homes in their charge. In this sensational talk, activist Ai-Jen Poo shares her efforts to secure equal rights and fair wages for domestic workers and explains how we can all be inspired by them. "Think like a domestic worker who shows up and cares no matter what," she says. Learn More

Despite water covering 71% of the planet's surface, more than half the world's population endures extreme water scarcity for at least one month a year. Current estimates predict that by 2040, up to 20 more countries could be experiencing water shortages. These statistics raise a startling question: is the Earth running out of clean water? Balsher Singh Sidhu takes a closer look at water consumption. Learn More

Are you looking closely? Visual educator Amy Herman explains how to use art to enhance your powers of perception and find connections where they may not be apparent. Learn the techniques Herman uses to train Navy SEALs, doctors and crime scene investigators to convert observable details into actionable knowledge with this insightful talk. Learn More

A vast amount of food is discarded daily across the world simply because it looks ugly. Food influencer Dana Cowin is here to convince you that there's beauty in the misshapen potato and the squishy lemon, that the fries or lemonade they yield will taste as good as their more attractive counterparts. Food is food, she says, and embracing that reality will help us reduce food waste. Learn More

How you respond after setbacks is what defines your character. Stacey Abrams was the first black woman in the history of the United States to be nominated by a major party for governor -- she lost that hotly contested race, but as she says: the only choice is to move forward. In an electrifying talk, she shares the lessons she learned from her campaign for governor of Georgia, some advice on how to change the world -- and a few hints at her next steps. "Be aggressive about your ambition," Abrams says. Learn More

Think about the most tired you've ever been at work. It probably wasn't when you stayed late or came home from a road trip -- chances are it was when you had someone looking over your shoulder, watching your each and every move. "If we know that micromanagement isn't really effective, why do we do it?" asks entrepreneur Chieh Huang. In a funny talk packed with wisdom and humility, Huang shares the cure for micromanagement madness -- and how to foster innovation and happiness at work. Learn More

Tech that can decode your brain activity and reveal what you're thinking and feeling is on the horizon, says legal scholar and ethicist Nita Farahany. What will it mean for our already violated sense of privacy? In a cautionary talk, Farahany warns of a society where people are arrested for merely thinking about committing a crime (like in "Minority Report") and private interests sell our brain data -- and makes the case for a right to cognitive liberty that protects our freedom of thought and self-determination. Learn More

Our oceans are unexplored and undersampled -- today, we still know more about other planets than our own. How can we get to a better understanding of this vast, important ecosystem? Explorer Sebastien de Halleux shares how a new fleet of wind- and solar-powered drones is collecting data at sea in unprecedented detail, revealing insights into things like global weather and the health of fish stocks. Learn more about what a better grasp of the ocean could mean for us back on land. Learn More

Every cell that's ever lived has been the result of the four-letter genetic alphabet: A, T, C and G -- the basic units of DNA. But now that's changed. In a visionary talk, synthetic biologist Floyd E. Romesberg introduces us to the first living organisms created with six-letter DNA -- the four natural letters plus two new man-made ones, X and Y -- and explores how this breakthrough could challenge our basic understanding of nature's design. Learn More

Do you ever order clothes online in different sizes and colors, just to try them on and then send back what doesn't work? Aparna Mehta used to do this all time, until she one day asked herself: Where do all these returned clothes go? In an eye-opening talk, she reveals the unseen world of "free" online returns -- which, instead of ending up back on the shelf, are sent to landfills by the billions of pounds each year -- and shares a plan to help put an end to this growing environmental catastrophe. Learn More

Today's headlines suggest that globalization is on the decline, but researcher Arindam Bhattacharya argues that it's not going extinct -- it's evolving. Old globalization was traditionally measured in goods traded. New globalization, as Bhattacharya describes, can be measured in cross-border data flow (which by 2025 could be worth more than the world's exports combined). In other words, the world economy is far from dead -- it's growing. Bhattacharya shares insights into this new normal and what it means for the world as we know it. Learn More

A. Dara Dotz left the tech industry for the nonprofit world after realizing our widespread reliance on tech may be doing us more harm than good. In response, she founded Field Ready to work directly with communities on the ground in disaster zones and co-develop low-tech aid solutions, repurposing found materials like car mats and broken solar panels. "We aren't going to be able to throw tech at every problem," she says. "Instead of focusing on the next blockchain or AI, perhaps the things we really need to focus on are the things that make us human." Learn More

He was a powerful king whose break with the church of Rome would forever change the course of English history. But was he a charismatic reformer who freed his subjects from a corrupt establishment or a bullying tyrant who used Parliament for his own personal gain? Mark Robinson and Alex Gendler put this controversial figure on trial in History vs. Henry VIII. Learn More

As the former Chief Operating Officer of Delta, Jim Whitehurst thought he knew the rules for how to lead. "I thought I was the person ultimately responsible for solving the problems facing my organization. I was the one who was supposed to bring order and structure," he says. His world was turned upside down when he left Delta to become CEO of Red Hat, an open-source software company. Whitehurst shares what he learned when he took this leap of faith and joined a company unlike any he'd ever seen. Learn More

Sisyphus was both a clever ruler who made his city prosperous, and a devious tyrant who seduced his niece and killed visitors to show off his power. While his violation of the sacred hospitality tradition greatly angered the gods, it was Sisyphus' reckless confidence that proved to be his downfall -- resulting in Zeus condemning him for all eternity. Alex Gendler shares the myth of Sisyphus. Learn More