The pandemic brought into sharp focus the crisis in caregiving in the United States, which woefully under provides support for parents. Activist and Girls Who Code founder Reshma Saujani has a proposal to address that -- something she calls the Marshall Plan for Moms -- and she unpacks how it aims to build radically different systems in order to empower working parents. (This conversation, hosted by TED current affairs curator Whitney Pennington Rodgers, was part of an exclusive TED Membership event on March 23, 2022. Visit ted.com/membership to become a TED Member.)
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Recent TED Videos
Imagine seeking safety abroad and instead being detained and forced to defend yourself in a high-stakes legal battle — alone. Law professor César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández explains how the asylum process in the US became warped into what we know today and poses a question that could lead the country out of its labyrinthian policies: In place of investing in more steel doors and barbed wire, what if immigration law was infused with support and justice?
Forget home economics and standardized tests, education visionary Trish Millines Dziko has a much more engaging and fulfilling way for students to develop real-world skills. Get schooled by Dziko as she shares how project-based learning can transform public education and unlock genius for the next generation of critical thinkers, problem solvers, ideators and leaders.
Could DAOs, or "decentralized autonomous organizations", be the key to building the next great city? Experimental urbanist Scott Fitsimones shares how these mission-driven, blockchain-governed, collectively owned organizations could increase the speed and efficiency of building cities (among many other applications) -- all while pooling decision-making power in a radically collaborative way. Hear about how he started a "crypto co-op" that bought 40 acres of land in Wyoming and learn more about the potential for DAOs to get things done in the future.
Your closet is likely full of all kinds of materials -- leather, cotton, nylon and polyester, to name a few -- that contribute to fashion's sustainability crisis. Biomaterials investigator Dan Widmaier explains how we could look to nature for sustainable replacements for these much-used materials and introduces a leather alternative made from mushrooms that looks great and doesn't harm the environment. "We can make fashion sustainable, and we're going to do it with science," Widmaier says.
Music can amplify social issues and inspire people to care about new (and sometimes unexpected) topics. But can it take something as dire as climate change and make it mainstream? With artists MyVerse and Kristen Warren as an inspiring opening act, social entrepreneur Samir Ibrahim suggests hip-hop and its stars can help us move from talking about the problem to rapping about (and acting on) solutions.
Why do we often wait so long to recognize each other's gifts? Why are the truest compliments for the people we love often said only after they're no longer around to hear and savor them? Andrea Driessen makes the case for writing eulogies for the living, sharing the power of "grace notes" to offer connection on a deeper level and dispel any regrets of waiting until a loved one's death to appreciate their presence in your life.
The deadliest severe weather phenomenon is something you might not realize: extreme heat. Eleni Myrivili, chief heat officer of the city of Athens, Greece, explains that extreme heat and heat waves are often overlooked because they're not as dramatic as flooding or hurricanes – and breaks down three approaches to keep cities cool in a time of rapid global temperature rise. "Cranking up the air conditioner is just not going to cut it," she says.
Have you had your daily dose of fun? It's not just enjoyable, it's also essential for your health and happiness, says science journalist Catherine Price. She proposes a new definition of fun -- what she calls "true fun" -- and shares easy, evidence-backed ways to weave playfulness, flow and connection into your everyday life.
What if the commonly accepted narratives about the foundation of civilization are all wrong? Drawing on groundbreaking research, archaeologist David Wengrow challenges traditional thinking about the social evolution of humanity -- from the invention of agriculture to the formation of cities and class systems -- and explains how rethinking history can radically change our perspective on inequality and modern life.
"Climate doom-ism," or a pessimistic outlook on the future of the planet, rivals climate denialism in holding up the fight against climate change, says activist Zahra Biabani. Illuminating how hope combats inaction, she takes us inside the world of eco-friendly content on TikTok -- and shows that we all have what it takes to make real change.
From the return of nomadic living to a climate-disrupted world, author and global strategist Parag Khanna has some predictions for humanity. Get a fascinating glimpse at the future as he tackles an urgent question: Where on Earth will eight billion humans live in the uncertain times ahead? (This conversation, hosted by TED current affairs curator Whitney Pennington Rodgers, was part of an exclusive TED Membership event. Visit ted.com/membership to become a TED Member.)
What would Immanuel Kant say about a fender bender? In a surprisingly funny trip through the teachings of some of history's great philosophers, TV writer and producer Michael Schur (from hit shows like "The Office" and "The Good Place") talks through how to confront life's moral dilemmas -- and shows how understanding ethical theories can help you make better, kinder decisions.
With his art, photographer Platon seeks to strip away assumptions and leave viewers with a window into his subject's character, filling our eyes with wonder and curiosity. Sharing extraordinary stories of what it's like to photograph some of the world's most prominent figures -- from Michelle Obama and Pussy Riot to Vladimir Putin and Muhammad Ali -- Platon captures the disarming power of empathy and human connection.
Sharing his experience of being held captive in a Taliban prison for 105 days, humanitarian Safi Rauf talks about his life's mission to get food, medicine and other critical supplies to Afghans in need -- and urges the world to bolster aid and establish a peaceful presence in the country during these extraordinarily difficult times. (This talk was recorded on April 12, 2022)
As the saying goes, less is more. The same can be said about words. Listen as Politico and Axios co-founder Jim VandeHei shares what he's learned leading two media companies -- and how to radically rethink the way you write to keep people's attention in a distracted digital world.
Where did all the lumps and bumps on buildings go? When did city architecture become so ... dull? Here to talk about why cities need inspiring architecture, designer Thomas Heatherwick offers us a visually stimulating path out of the doldrums of urban monotony -- so cities are filled with soulful buildings that people cherish for centuries.
The universe that we know, with its luminous stars and orbiting planets, is largely made up of elements we can't actually see -- like dark energy and dark matter -- and therefore don't fully understand. Theoretical physicist Chanda Prescod-Weinstein takes us inside the search for this cosmos-shaping invisible matter and explains how, with the help of a new generation of telescopes, we could be closer to demystifying it than ever before. "The universe is more queer and fantastical than it looks to the naked eye," she says.
The world needs clean power, but decarbonization calls for a massive increase in the mining and extraction of minerals like lithium, graphite and cobalt. Environmental peacemaking expert Olivia Lazard sheds light on the scramble for these precious mineral resources -- and how the countries that control their supply chains (including China and Russia) could find themselves at the center of the new global stage. Learn why Lazard thinks planetary security depends on our ability to de-escalate resource competition and avoid the same mistakes that led to the climate crisis.
Our lives depend on curbing climate change, but so many priorities seem to be in competition. What's the most urgent thing humanity can do right now? Social entrepreneur James Irungu Mwangi tells us why Africa could be the ideal home for scaling the latest and most ambitious climate technologies -- including in places like Kenya's Hell's Gate National Park, which could become part of what he calls the "Great Carbon Valley."
From nourishing our foods to storing massive amounts of carbon, soil is teeming with diverse microbial life that could slow global warming. Climate change scientist Jane Zelikova calls for agricultural practices that protect Earth's soil by growing climate-adapted crops that don't mess with the microbes. "Soils are the literal foundation of life on this planet -- the reason that we eat and the climate solution just waiting to be unlocked," she says.
Famed for enormous black-and-white portraits that are pasted on surfaces ranging from the Louvre to the US-Mexico border wall, multimedia artist JR continues to tackle ambitious projects. In this powerfully moving talk, he shares how he made a giant mural on the courtyard floor of a maximum security prison -- with the help of guards and prisoners alike -- and ended up with much more than a compelling image.
Nobody really knows how much it would cost to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. Yet historian Yuval Noah Harari's analysis, based on the work of scientists and economists, indicates that humanity might avert catastrophe by investing the equivalent of just two percent of global GDP into climate solutions. He makes the case that preventing ecological cataclysm will not require the major global disruptions many fear and explains that we already have the resources we need -- it's just a matter of shifting our priorities.
In a peek into their sprawling metaverse, Particle Ink dazzles with an interdimensional performance combining augmented reality, dance and video projected onto the TED stage.
How does a nation reconcile when its identity is at odds with its policies? Ali Noorani traces the arc of the US immigration debate to show a safer and more compassionate way forward, highlighting why centering human dignity creates lasting bonds and healthier communities.
SpaceX's Starship launch vehicle has the potential to explore the solar system in a bold, new -- and super-sized -- way. Planetary scientist Jennifer Heldmann talks about how reusable, large-scale spacecraft like Starship could help humanity achieve its next galactic leaps and usher in a new era of space exploration, from investigating the solar system's many ocean worlds to launching bigger telescopes that can see deeper into the universe.
What if you could control digital devices using just the power of thought? That's the incredible promise behind the Stentrode -- an implantable brain-computer interface that collects and wirelessly transmits information directly from the brain, without the need for open surgery. Neurotech entrepreneur Tom Oxley describes the intricacies of this breakthrough technology, which is currently enrolling participants in human trials, as well as how it could help restore dignity to those with disabilities -- and transform the future of communication.
The future of US reproductive rights after Roe v. Wade | Mary Ziegler, Loretta J. Ross, Erika Bachiochi, Joshua Prager
The recent leak of the US Supreme Court's draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade -- the nearly 50-year-old ruling to legalize abortion nationwide -- has left many wondering what happens next for reproductive rights in the country. In a thoughtful, at times contentious conversation between legal historian Mary Ziegler, activist Loretta J. Ross, legal scholar Erika Bachiochi and journalist Joshua Prager, a diverse panel of speakers explores what a reversal of Roe v. Wade would really mean and share their ideas for a path forward for reproductive rights in the US. (This conversation, hosted by TED current affairs curator Whitney Pennington Rodgers, was part of an exclusive TED Membership event on May 19, 2022. Visit ted.com/membership to become a TED Member.)
During the Soviet Union era, therapy was often used as a tool of political oppression. Since then, Russia has seen major reforms in mental health care -- but stigmas and distrust for the practice still live on. Psychologist and TED Fellow Olga Kitaina shares the current state of therapy in Russia (where tarot card readers and astrologers sometimes pass as psychoanalysts) and outlines her solution for getting people the professional help they need.
Before entering the world of financial journalism, Gillian Tett was a cultural anthropologist who studied how the past influences our present thoughts and behaviors. In an entertaining talk, she shows how you can use an anthropological outlook to see the world with fresh eyes and welcome new and different cultural truths into your life.
Exposing what life looks like in Afghanistan after a 20-year US occupation and the Taliban's stunning and rapid takeover, TED Fellow and documentary photographer Kiana Hayeri captures harrowing glimpses and multifaceted realities of a war-torn country. Through the lens of her camera, she documents devastation and deferred dreams -- but also resilient hope and spirit.
What does it take to build a legacy? Hip-hop artist Cordae tells how he went from mixtape-dropping high school kid to Grammy-nominated music star whose "Hi Level" mindset helps him achieve his dreams.
A curious, quiet revolution of sound has taken over the internet. Physiologist Craig Richard explains the soothing brain science of Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR), tracking its rise in popularity and why this fascinating phenomenon is so relaxing to millions of people around the world.
How do you navigate life's growing number of transitions with meaning, purpose and skill? Writer Bruce Feiler offers a powerful way to handle uncertain, painful and confusing times -- or "lifequakes", as he calls them. Learn how to equip yourself with the essential tools and mindset to ride out (and rewrite) the toughest chapters of your life story, and turn unease and upheaval into growth and renewal.
Today, there are many ways to conceive a child, thanks to assisted reproductive technologies like IVF and egg-freezing. But the law lags behind these advancements, says attorney Ellen Trachman, troubling parents-to-be with stranger-than-fiction mix-ups and baffling lawsuits. Trachman makes the case for legality to reflect the realities of reproductive innovation -- and prompts you to reconsider what could happen to your own genetic material.
Life is a constant state of both joy and sorrow, dark and light, bitter and sweet. In a meditative conversation, author Susan Cain explores how being attuned to the bittersweetness of life -- and being fully present for both the happy times and the sad times -- helps us navigate love and loss and connect to the "insane beauty" of the world. (This conversation, hosted by TED current affairs curator Whitney Pennington Rodgers, was part of an exclusive TED Membership event. Visit ted.com/membership to become a TED Member.)
How does music shape us? Digital ethnomusicologist and TED Fellow Kyra Gaunt studies how Black girls can preserve the integrity of their own voices while listening, dancing and singing to pop songs largely engineered by men, often with lyrics that express anti-Black, patriarchal sentiments. In a quick, incisive talk, she shows how Black girls can disrupt the stereotypes and stigmas buried within this music and chart their own revolution in sound.
In the multitude of metaverses that exist there are infinite possibilities for inclusivity and creativity. Inviting us to craft our own digital universes, Minecraft's game director Agnes Larsson shares how the experience of building and sharing metaverses can foster dialogue, friendship and trust -- pointing to the meaningful impact virtual worlds can have on the real world.
As the line between the physical and digital worlds blur, so does the line between real-world and virtual sports. Reframing our understanding of competition, data-driven technologist James Hodge explains how far esports (like virtual Formula 1 race car driving) have come in replicating the conditions of physical sports, making elite competition more accessible than ever before. "This really is the new era for play -- and it's open to everyone," he says.
Lighting up the TED stage, Nobel laureate Al Gore takes stock of the current state of climate progress and calls attention to institutions that have failed to honor their promises by continuing to pour money into polluting sectors. He explains how the financial interests of fossil fuel companies have blocked the policymaking process in key countries -- and calls for a global epiphany to take on the climate crisis. "Do not give up hope," Gore says. "And remember always that political will is itself a renewable resource."
Corporate inclusion visionary Deepa Purushothaman shares how women of color can advocate for themselves in workplace settings where they are undervalued, discriminated against and overlooked -- and how companies can foster working cultures that empower everyone to achieve success. (This conversation, hosted by TED current affairs curator Whitney Pennington Rodgers, was part of an exclusive TED Membership event. Visit ted.com/membership to become a TED Member.)
Whether it's dandelions blooming in your backyard or purslane sprouting from the sidewalk, vegan forager Alexis Nikole Nelson is on a mission to show how freely growing flora could make its way to your plate. With contagious enthusiasm and a live cooking demo, she explains the benefits of expanding your palate to include "wild" foods that are delicious, nutritious and planet-friendly -- and gives three tips for helping others go from skeptical to confident in their own food adventures.
Black history in the US is rich, profound -- and at risk of being lost forever, if not for the monumental efforts of Julieanna L. Richardson. As the founder of The HistoryMakers -- the largest national archive of African American video-oral history -- Richardson shares some of the unknown and incredible legacies of Black America, highlighting the importance of documenting and preserving the past for future generations.
The weekend. Social Security. Health insurance. What do these things have in common? They all exist thanks to the advocacy of labor unions. Political economist Margaret Levi explains how these organizations forge equality and protect worker rights, calling for a 21st-century revival of the labor movement in order to build a more equitable future.
The traditional approach to work needs a redesign, says economist Juliet Schor. She's leading four-day work week trials in countries like the US and Ireland, and the results so far have been overwhelmingly positive: from increased employer and customer satisfaction to revenue growth and lower turnover. Making the case for a four-day, 32-hour work week (with five days of pay), Schor explains how this model for the future of work could address major challenges like burnout and the climate crisis -- and shares how companies and governments could work together to make it a reality.
Growing up in the public eye, multi-hyphenate creator Bryce Dallas Howard experienced the familiar pressure to share her life with the world on social media. But with her mother's steadfast guidance, Howard learned to set personal boundaries and savor the beauty of private moments. In this personal talk, she draws on three generations of family wisdom to remind us that "a private life makes a public life worth living."
Organized crime operates across national borders -- to keep up, investigative journalists need to do the same. TED Fellow Bektour Iskender gives the inside scoop on his efforts to unveil secret, insidious operations in his home country of Kyrgyzstan, and how he worked with a team of journalists to uncover corruption and spark a national movement. He shares three key insights on how global networks of investigative journalists protect the world not just from smugglers and thieves but from dictators and warmongers.
"If we can unlock the full potential of our cities, we can minimize the price the planet pays for hosting us in our growing numbers," says Marvin Rees, the Mayor of Bristol, UK, who understands deeply how cities can help (or hurt) the environment. Rees notes that while sustainable infrastructure already exists in many parts of the world -- like electric buses in Colombia and freshwater reserves in Singapore -- major investments could make similar innovations more far-reaching and successful. He highlights the pivotal role of city mayors in advocating for a "worldwide network of efficient decarbonized cities" that will bring the world closer to its climate goals.
We can all play a role in the climate movement by tapping into our skills, resources and networks in ways that bring us satisfaction, says climate leader Ayana Elizabeth Johnson. She suggests drawing a Venn diagram to map these questions: What are you good at? What is the work that needs doing? And what brings you joy? Where your answers intersect is where you should put your climate action effort. "Averting climate catastrophe: this is the work of our lifetimes," Johnson says.
As digital assets like cryptocurrency and NFTs become more mainstream, design thinker and head of Instagram Adam Mosseri believes that creators are uniquely positioned to benefit. These blockchain-enabled technologies could remove the need for a "middleman" in the form of large social media platforms, allowing creators to more freely distribute their work and connect with their audiences. He explains how this new age of the internet will give way to "the greatest transfer of power from institutions to individuals in all time."