Episodes
"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...
Published 02/14/20
"To make a difference in the life of a child ... I made the commitment to tell my personal story," says educator Lisa Godwin. In this moving talk, she shares her experience of overcoming childhood trauma with the quiet, unwavering support of a teacher and school counselor -- and shows how educators can help students and families navigate hardships by sharing their own stories.
Published 02/13/20
To save the achoque -- an exotic (and adorable) salamander found in a lake in northern Mexico -- scientists teamed up with an unexpected research partner: a group of nuns called the Sisters of the Immaculate Health. In this delightful talk, science journalist Victoria Gill shares the story of how this unusual collaboration saved the achoque from extinction -- and demonstrates how local and indigenous people could hold the secret to saving our planet's weird, wonderful and most threatened...
Published 02/12/20
The growth of online marketplaces like Uber, Airbnb and Amazon can sometimes threaten local businesses such as taxis, hotels and retail shops by taking away jobs or reducing income to the community. But it doesn't have to be this way, says strategy consultant Amane Dannouni. Pointing to examples like Gojek (Indonesia's Uber for motorbikes) and Jumia (Africa's version of Amazon), he explains how some online marketplaces make deliberate trade-offs to include, rather than replace, existing...
Published 02/11/20
Imagine waking in the middle of the night to an elephant ripping the roof from your house in search of food. This is a reality in some communities in Africa where, as wild spaces shrink, people and elephants are competing for space and resources like never before. In this engaging talk, zoologist Lucy King shares her solution to the rising conflict: fences made from beehives that keep elephants at bay while also helping farmers establish new livelihoods.
Published 02/07/20
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.
Published 02/05/20
Black history taught in US schools is often watered-down, riddled with inaccuracies and stripped of its context and rich, full-bodied historical figures. Equipped with the real story of Rosa Parks, professor David Ikard highlights how making the realities of race more benign and digestible harms us all -- and emphasizes the power and importance of historical accuracy.
Published 02/03/20
Here's a paradox: as companies try to streamline their businesses by using artificial intelligence to make critical decisions, they may inadvertently make themselves less efficient. Business technologist Sylvain Duranton advocates for a "Human plus AI" approach -- using AI systems alongside humans, not instead of them -- and shares the specific formula companies can adopt to successfully employ AI while keeping humans in the loop.
Published 01/29/20
Some common life-saving medicines, such as insulin, are made of proteins so large and fragile that they need to be injected instead of ingested as pills. But a new generation of medicine -- made from smaller, more durable proteins known as peptides -- is on its way. In a quick, informative talk, molecular engineer and TED Fellow Christopher Bahl explains how he's using computational design to create powerful peptides that could one day neutralize the flu, protect against botulism poisoning...
Published 01/28/20
Holocaust survivor Werner Reich recounts his harrowing adolescence as a prisoner transported between concentration camps — and shares how a small, kind act can inspire a lifetime of compassion. "If you ever know somebody who needs help, if you know somebody who is scared, be kind to them," he says. "If you do it at the right time, it will enter their heart, and it will be with them wherever they go, forever."
Published 01/27/20
We all want to save more money -- but overall, people today are doing less and less of it. Behavioral scientist Wendy De La Rosa studies how everyday people make decisions to improve their financial well-being. What she's found can help you painlessly make the commitment to save more and spend less.
Published 01/27/20
When the ocean changes, the planet changes -- and it all starts with microbes, says biological oceanographer Angelicque White. Backed by decades of data, White shares how scientists use these ancient microorganisms as a crucial barometer of ocean health -- and how we might rejuvenate them as marine temperatures steadily rise.
Published 01/24/20
If you: do laundry, are (or have been) pregnant, tidy up, shop for your household or do similar labor, then by GDP standards, you're unproductive. In this visionary talk, economist Marilyn Waring seeks to correct the failures of this narrow-minded system, detailing why we deserve a better way to measure growth that values not just our own livelihood but the planet's as well.
Published 01/23/20
When we witness something amazing, many of us instinctively pull out our phones and snap pictures. Is this obsession with photographing everything impacting our experiences? In a meditative talk, Erin Sullivan reflects on how being more intentional with her lens enhanced her ability to enjoy the moment -- and could help you do the same, too.
Published 01/23/20
There's no shortage of resources to help people change their health behaviors -- but far too often, these resources aren't accessible in underserved communities, says physician Priscilla Pemu. Enter "culturally congruent coaching," a program Pemu and her team developed to help patients with chronic diseases monitor their health with the assistance of a coach from their community. Learn more about how this approach transcends language and cultural barriers -- and could potentially transform...
Published 01/22/20
By 2050, the global population is projected to reach 9.8 billion. How are we going to feed everyone? Investment-banker-turned-farmer Stuart Oda points to indoor vertical farming: growing food on tiered racks in a controlled, climate-proof environment. In a forward-looking talk, he explains how this method can maintain better safety standards, save money, use less water and help us provide for future generations.
Published 01/21/20
You are more likely to die violently if you live in a middle-income democracy with high levels of inequality and political polarization than if you live in a country at war, says democracy advisor Rachel Kleinfeld. This historical shift in the nature of violence presents an opportunity for everyday voters to act as a great force for change in their unbalanced societies. In this eye-opening talk, Kleinfeld unravels the causes of violence and offers a path to security for the world's deadliest...
Published 01/21/20
"It shouldn't be an act of feminism to know how your body works," says gynecologist and author Jen Gunter. In this revelatory talk, she explains how menstrual shame silences and represses -- and leads to the spread of harmful misinformation and the mismanagement of pain. Declaring the era of the menstrual taboos over, she delivers a clear, much-needed lesson on the once-mysterious mechanics of the uterus.
Published 01/17/20
Between 2006 and 2016, the number of drug patents granted in the United States doubled -- but not because there was an explosion in invention or innovation. Drug companies have learned how to game the system, accumulating patents not for new medicines but for small changes to existing ones, which allows them to build monopolies, block competition and drive prices up. Health justice lawyer Priti Krishtel sheds light on how we've lost sight of the patent system's original intent -- and offers...
Published 01/16/20
Given the option, few would choose to buy products that harm the earth -- yet it's nearly impossible to know how most consumer goods are made or where they're sourced from. That's about to change, says supply chain innovator Markus Mutz. He shares how he used blockchain technology to track Patagonian toothfish on their journey from ocean to dinner plate -- and proved it's possible to offer consumers a product they can trust.
Published 01/15/20
The United States can create a more humane immigration system; in fact, it's been done before, says policy analyst David J. Bier. Pointing to the historical success of the US guest worker program, which allows foreign workers to legally enter and work in the country, Bier shows why expanding the program to Central Americans could alleviate the border crisis and provide new opportunities for immigrants.
Published 01/14/20
In this deeply charming and humorous talk, DJ and self-professed pirate Tom Nash meditates on how facing adversity due to disability invited patience, ambition and pragmatism into his life in enlightening, unexpected ways. "We all have unique weaknesses," he says. "If we're honest about what they are, we can learn how to best take advantage of them."
Published 01/14/20
What if we could "grow" clothes from microbes, furniture from living organisms and buildings with exteriors like tree bark? TED Fellow Suzanne Lee shares exciting developments from the field of biofabrication and shows how it could help us replace major sources of waste, like plastic and cement, with sustainable and eco-friendly alternatives.
Published 01/13/20
Dan Clay was worried about being dismissed as "too gay" at work, so he dialed down his personality. But then his alter ego, Carrie Dragshaw, went viral online. Here's what happened next.
Published 01/13/20
Scientists predict climate change will displace more than 180 million people by 2100 -- a crisis of "climate migration" the world isn't ready for, says disaster recovery lawyer and Louisiana native Colette Pichon Battle. In this passionate, lyrical talk, she urges us to radically restructure the economic and social systems that are driving climate migration -- and caused it in the first place -- and shares how we can cultivate collective resilience, better prepare before disaster strikes and...
Published 01/10/20