The word "sustainability" gets thrown around a lot these days. But what does it actually mean for humanity to be sustainable? Environmental data scientist Hannah Ritchie digs into the numbers behind human progress across centuries, unpacking why the conventional understanding of sustainability is misleading and showing how we can be the first generation of humans to actually achieve it.
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Sometimes the world's biggest issues can seem so intractable that meaningful change feels impossible. But what if the answer has been right in front of us all along? What if the answer is actually throwing money at the problems? In this thought-provoking talk, philanthropic advisor Natalie Cargill shares what might happen if we came together to spend 3.5 trillion dollars on fixing the world. And, yes, she also has a plan for where to get the money from. (Followed by a Q&A with Anna Verghese, executive director of The Audacious Project.)
Your favorite pair of jeans -- the ones you refuse to throw out -- are actually a part of a global climate solution, says fashion entrepreneur Josephine Philips. When you value your existing clothes instead of chasing the latest trends, you help reduce waste and protect our planet for generations to come. Learn more about the impacts of what you wear -- and the incredible power of repairing your clothes.
It's not just you: the weather is getting worse. And if there's one person who would know, it's "America's weatherman," Al Roker, who's spent decades reporting live from some of the worst storms and natural disasters in history. He explains how we can each take action to address climate change and work towards a more sustainable, hopeful future for generations to come.
The power sector generates the electricity that sustains modern life -- but it's also the number one contributor to climate change. We need a swift and equitable shift to renewable energy, says 2023 Audacious Project grantee and ReNew2030 executive director Rebecca Collyer. In conversation with TED's David Biello, she introduces a new coalition of governments, businesses and communities that aims to drastically scale wind and solar capacity in the 30 highest-emitting countries. Learn more about their plan -- and why Collyer has hope for a greener, more equitable future. (This ambitious idea is part of the Audacious Project, TED's initiative to inspire and fund global change.)
Peter McIndoe isn't a fan of birds. In fact, he has a theory about them that might shock you. Listen along to this eye-opening talk as it takes a turn and makes a larger point about conspiracies, truth and belonging in divisive times.
The flexibility to work from anywhere won't necessarily make you love your job, says HR leader Sarah Aviram. Sharing practical wisdom from research conducted while working remotely in 12 different countries, she reveals the real challenges that hybrid work policies can't fix -- and shows how to truly thrive at your job no matter where you get it done.
"AI can be a transformational tool in our fight against climate change," says Sims Witherspoon, a leader at the AI research lab Google DeepMind. Using wind power as her case study, she explains how powerful neural networks can help us better predict Earth's changing ecosystems and accelerate the breakthrough science needed to create a carbon-free energy supply.
In athletics, in business, in life, everyone sets goals. But that's not the way to excel, according to former NFL player Emmanuel Acho, now an author and TV sports analyst. Here's what he says to do instead.
Have a great idea but sure how to sell it? Investor and teacher Mar Hershenson has you covered. Whether it's sharing a new product with a client or vying for a promotion, these three steps will help you tell an irresistible story and get the "yes" you're looking for.
Chances are you will have many jobs over the course of your career, but how do you prepare for the ones that don't even exist yet? Education and workforce strategist Michelle R. Weise offers practical advice to help you identify the skills and talents to ace your next career change.
Starting a new job can be really scary, but it doesn't have to be. Here's what career navigation expert Gorick Ng says are the keys to making a great first impression, plus what you can do to ensure your new workplace is a great fit long term.
With data as his paintbrush, media artist Refik Anadol trains AI algorithms to visualize the disappearing wonders of nature. He gives a beautiful tour of his recent work -- imagery of artificial coral reefs, flowers, rainforests -- and ponders: Can we use AI to preserve our memories of the fading natural world?
At its worst, "business speak" -- or the particular language we use at work -- can be jargony, confusing and even exclusionary. But it doesn't have to be, says journalist and comedian Bob Wiltfong. Showcasing a smattering of corporate acronyms and phrases that don't make much sense without context (think: "OKRs" and "when pigs fly"), he gives three tips on how to cut the BS out of business speak so we can all better understand each other at work.
Ever think you'd hear Sandra Bullock, Britney Spears and Dolly Parton in one TED Talk? Here they are, courtesy of "Saturday Night Live" star Melissa Villaseñor. She shares the life lessons of a comedian -- complete with celebrity impressions -- and reminds us to embrace all of our voices, even if they're a little silly.
Have we misunderstood pain? Researcher and physician Amy Baxter unravels the symphony of connections that send pain from your body to your brain, explaining practical neuroscience hacks to quickly block those signals. Her groundbreaking research offers alternatives for immediate pain relief -- without the need for addictive opioids. (Followed by a Q&A with TED current affairs curator Whitney Pennington Rodgers)
From health-tracking wearables to smartphones and beyond, data collection and computer modeling have become a ubiquitous part of everyday life. Advancements in these areas have given birth to "digital twins," or virtual models that evolve alongside real-world data. Aerospace engineer Karen Willcox explores the incredible possibilities these systems offer across engineering, climate studies and medicine, sharing how they could lead to personalized medicine, better decision-making and more.
How is AI changing the nature of human imagination and creativity? Through a mind-bending tour of new techniques he's been tinkering with, creative technologist Bilawal Sidhu shows how anyone can use AI-powered tools -- like 3D scans that let you redesign the physical world in real time -- to expand the possibilities of artistic expression, often within just minutes.
What would it take to make global supply chains cleaner and greener? Bo Cerup-Simonsen -- who's helping decarbonize the maritime industry as CEO of the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center for Zero Carbon Shipping -- discusses why tenacious collaboration is key to orchestrating systemic change. In conversation with TED's Lindsay Levin, he shares important lessons on collective problem-solving and decision-making that could benefit any industry making a green transition.
The shipping industry is vital to the global economy, but it's also a huge contributor to the climate crisis. Morten Bo Christiansen, a leader of the energy transition for the global shipping company A.P. Moller – Maersk, talks to TED's Lindsay Levin about the launch of the first-ever cargo ship powered by green methanol, the industry's urgent need to shift away from fossil fuels -- and what it could all mean for people's pockets.
Technologist Yat Siu believes the "open metaverse" -- a decentralized version of the internet also known as web3 -- is laying the foundation for a freer, fairer, more prosperous society. In a future-focused talk, he explores the transformative possibilities of web3, from enabling digital ownership and the creator economy to providing a much-needed update to capitalism.
Climate change doesn't care about ideological divides, says policy analyst and China expert Changhua Wu. Here's what she says the US can learn from the progress China has made on the clean energy revolution -- and why collaboration instead of competition is the key to avoiding climate catastrophe.
Artist Ersin Han Ersin invites us to step inside a giant sequoia tree, peering through the bark into the tapestry of life within. Discover how his multisensory installations explore the concept of "umwelt," or the unique sensory experience of different organisms, and reveal the deep interconnectedness of humanity and the natural world.
Yvonne Newbold's son, Toby, is one of the millions of young people living with a disability. Parenting Toby has offered her some lessons on how to help children move from anxiety-led behavior towards happier times. Drawing on her personal experience, she outlines some of the most effective and actionable of these strategies -- starting with a dash of curiosity, kindness and creative thinking.
From the astonishing evolutionary advances of the Cambrian explosion to our present-day computing revolution, theoretical biologist Stuart Kauffman believes he can explain the trend of dramatic growth after periods of stability through what he calls the theory of the "adjacent possible." Tracing the arc of human history through the tools and technologies we've invented, he explains the impact human ingenuity has had on the planet -- and calls for a shift towards more protection for all life on Earth.
The world's smallest countries, often tropical places, are the first to feel the effects of global climate change, but they lack the funds to fight it. Economist Avinash Persaud is working on a plan to change that: the Bridgetown Initiative, an ambitious proposal to change how rich countries finance poor countries during the climate crisis. He lays out what a green transformation for small nations could look like -- and how it could be profitable for everyone involved.
Everyone loses their temper from time to time — but the stakes are dizzyingly high when the focus of fury is your own child. Clinical psychologist and renowned parenting whisperer Becky Kennedy is here to help. Not only does she have practical advice to help parents manage the shame of their not-so-great moments but she also models the types of conversations you can have to be a better parent. (Hint: this works in all other relationships, too.) Bottom line? It's never too late to reconnect.
The city of Port Talbot in South Wales is known for a few things: a steel mill, a proudly working class population and a passionate commitment to the arts that produced Hollywood superstars Richard Burton and Anthony Hopkins. In this sweet, personal talk, actor Michael Sheen shares how he was also able to take advantage of all the city had to offer, why he's worried that a change in approach to arts education means that kids now don't get the same kind of chances -- and the steps he's taking to ensure that creative up-and-comers get the support and access they deserve. (With animations by Sam Orams and Sarah Klan.)
Based on her work for a CIA task force aimed at predicting civil wars, political scientist Barbara F. Walter examines the rise in extremism and threats to democracies around the globe -- and paints an unsettling picture of the increasing likelihood of a second civil war in the United States.
The key to revolutionizing the world's energy landscape may lie in an unlikely love story, says energy innovator Olivia Breese. She details the fateful marriage of a green electron and a water molecule -- a powerful source of carbon-free, sustainable energy -- and calls for universal investment in this potentially transformative resource. "A world which runs entirely on green energy, it's not a luxury. It's a necessity," she says.
What happens when human and machine creativity meet? From an AI model trained on classic works to generate a seemingly infinite stream of portraits to a neural network that envisions otherworldly life-forms in impossible detail, media art curator Eileen Isagon Skyers showcases mind-bending art that embraces our increasingly technological future, showing how AI can stretch the scope of human imagination and help create worlds we could never design alone.
Experiential artist Lucas Rizzotto was going through a tough breakup, so he did what anyone would do: he built a personal time machine. In a playful talk, he shares how his free-ranging experimentation led to various delightful, unexpected innovations that are changing how people think about the relationship between technology and art. "Technology gives us the tools, but art shows us the way," he says.
In a blistering talk, Nobel Laureate Al Gore looks at the two main obstacles to climate solutions and gives his view of how we might actually solve the environmental crisis in time. You won't want to miss his searing indictment of fossil fuel companies for walking back their climate commitments -- and his call for a global rethink of the roles of polluting industries in politics and finance.
Racial inequality provokes passionate opinions and varied ideas of how to build a fair, equitable society. One topic that's been contentiously debated for generations is color blindness: the concept that we should look beyond race when thinking about equity. In this talk, writer and podcast host Coleman Hughes makes a case in favor of the idea, sharing why he thinks the key to reducing inequality and easing racial tensions is replacing race-based policies with class-based ones.
Sharing the inside scoop on how the world's largest food company aims to reach net zero by 2050, Nestlé North America CEO Steve Presley joins TED's Lindsay Levin to discuss the progress they've made so far and where they're investing for sustainability. A big focus will be regenerative agriculture -- producing food in a way that helps the planet instead of harming it -- by working with farmers and other partners across the entire food production process.
As a neurodivergent child going to school far from home, Misan Harriman found solace in the internet -- "an endless library of the extraordinary," as he calls it. In this powerful talk, he shares his journey as a self-taught photographer of extraordinary range, from covering the greatest civil rights movements of our lifetimes to becoming the first Black man to shoot a cover for British Vogue. A reminder that each one of us can find our own ways to create a better world for all.
Could the tech industry's complex algorithms support people during their darkest times, rather than just deliver targeted ads? Drawing from his own experience with depression, global mental health researcher Sandersan Onie shows how internet search behaviors can provide valuable insights into suicide risk and potentially help save lives by reaching people in a deeply personal way, at a crucial moment.
Climate action is speeding up -- and we each have the power to push that transformation forward. As the head of the UNFCCC, the UN's entity supporting the global response to climate change, Simon Stiell points to clear social and technological signals that show we're at the tipping points of a green revolution -- and invites us all to apply our unique skills to defending the planet against the catastrophic impacts of the climate crisis.
What if we could use waste to create resilient and sustainable buildings? Bringing out the beauty of the dirt beneath our feet, climate-responsive architect Vinu Daniel shares how he and his team are giving local and discarded materials (think: mud, plastic and used tires) a second life by using them to create dreamlike homes, schools and other public spaces.
Unexpected change like an accident, an illness or a relationship that suddenly ends is inevitable -- and disorienting. With a heartfelt and optimistic take on life's curveballs, cognitive scientist Maya Shankar shares how these challenging moments can inspire transformation, offering three questions to ask when facing uncertainty, so you can let go of rigidity and embrace change.
2023 Audacious Project grantee Wanjira Mathai is at the forefront of re-greening the planet. Through the forest restoration initiative Restore Local, she's working to help both Africa's people and its landscapes flourish. Learn more about how her team invests in local restoration projects across the continent -- including a tree-growing movement that aims to revitalize 100 million hectares of African land by 2030. (This ambitious idea is a part of the Audacious Project, TED's initiative to inspire and fund global change.)
Climate justice is taking center stage -- geopolitically, socially and morally. In a contagiously courageous conversation, Member of Parliament in the UK David Lammy and Tennessee state representative Justin J. Pearson discuss how brave leadership can shepherd global movements and uplift historically marginalized communities in the face of humanity's greatest challenge: climate change. "We must have outrage, but we must have optimism as well," says Lammy.
How can cities become resilient to the shocks of climate change? As a leading force behind Detroit's ongoing revitalization, Anika Goss spends a lot of time thinking about this question. Connecting the city's industrial past to its sustainable future, she explores the link between climate vulnerability and economic inequity, offering a vision for responding to both challenges at once.
You've probably heard of CRISPR, the revolutionary technology that allows us to edit the DNA in living organisms. Biochemist and 2023 Audacious Project grantee Jennifer Doudna earned the Nobel Prize for her groundbreaking work in this field -- and now she's here to tell us about its next world-changing advancement. She explains how her team at the Innovative Genomics Institute is pioneering a brand new field of science -- precision microbiome editing -- that uses CRISPR in an effort to solve seemingly insurmountable problems like asthma, Alzheimer's and climate change. (This ambitious idea is part of the Audacious Project, TED's initiative to inspire and fund global change.)
What can we make of a design that shows up over and over in disparate cultures throughout history? Theorist Terry Moore explores "Penrose tiling" -- two shapes that fit together in infinite combinations without ever repeating -- and ponders what it might mean.
Opinions about remote work are plentiful and conflicting -- but what does the research say? Organizational design expert Mark Mortensen identifies the challenges of navigating the hybrid work debate and shares three conversation topics every workplace should explore as people change the way they show up on the job.
K Allado-McDowell has co-written three books with AI, so they speak from experience when they say that nurturing a creative relationship with these systems can open minds and make new worlds possible. Before giving the stage over to a performance of "Song of the Ambassadors" -- their otherworldly opera, also co-created with AI -- Allado-McDowell presents three principles for a future where machines preserve and even enhance what it means to be human.
What if we could harness the power and value of all that we discard? Circular economy builder Garry Cooper presents a compelling vision for transforming cities into sustainable, circular economies, citing real-world examples of how repurposing materials from buildings to office furniture can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, create jobs and foster economic growth. A hopeful reminder of the profound impact individual actions can have on our shared future.
What's it like keeping the lights on during war? Ukrainian energy executive Maxim Timchenko shares how his company has diversified Ukraine's power structures to survive Russian attacks, highlighting the resilience of renewable energy. Hear more about Ukraine's present-day challenges, how it's become a testing ground in the global fight against climate change and the transformative path towards sustainable energy independence.
If a diverse workforce makes a better company, why don't more businesses hire internationally? Innovation and migration strategist Johann Daniel Harnoss details the advantage of global talent and how to best build the systems and culture to welcome immigrants to your staff.