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The TED Blog shares interesting news about TED, TED Talks video, the TED Prize and more.



Updated: 2017-01-19T22:59:03Z

 



WordPress.comOne TED speaker adorns the walls of the New York City subway, another the walls of a building in Dubai…

2017-01-13T23:18:29Z

As usual, the TED community has lots of news to share this week. Below, some highlights. A subway line with museum-worthy art. After 45 years of construction and $4.5 billion spent, the first section of New York City’s Second Avenue subway line opened on January 1 with four stations. Maybe the best feature of the […] As usual, the TED community has lots of news to share this week. Below, some highlights. A subway line with museum-worthy art. After 45 years of construction and $4.5 billion spent, the first section of New York City’s Second Avenue subway line opened on January 1 with four stations. Maybe the best feature of the new line? The amazing artwork decorating the walls of the new stations, including Vik Muniz at the 72nd Street station. Muniz was one of four artists chosen from 300 applicants to turn a station into an art installation. (Watch Vik’s TED Talk) A silver mural for Dubai. Artist eL Seed is wrapping up work on his first public-art project in the city that he calls home, Dubai. On the walls of the city’s Green Planet Building, the mural is done in his signature calligraphic style using iridescent silver spray paint, so that the color of the mural changes depending on the time of day and angle from which it’s viewed. The work spells out the words of the poem Positive Spirit, written by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, the Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, with a message about the importance of faith and the resolve it takes to fulfill your dreams. (Watch eL Seed’s TED Talk) A mission to asteroids. Dedicated to unlocking mysteries of the solar system through shorter, more focused missions, NASA’s Discovery Program announced on January 4 that they were launching two new missions to asteroids in a search for clues about the early solar system. The projects, Lucy and Psyche, will respectively study the Trojan asteroids behind Jupiter and will send an orbiter to 16 Psyche (hence the name), a massive metallic object in the asteroid belt, as detailed by the Washington Post. According to NASA’s Planetary Science Director and TED speaker Jim Green, these missions will “help us understand how the sun and its family of planets formed, changed over time, and became places where life could develop and be sustained — and what the future may hold.” (Watch Jim’s TED Talk) “I don’t think we’re free in America.” In order to confront and reclaim this country’s long history of racial violence, the Equal Justice Initiative launched a “Lynching in America” initiative–a comprehensive record of racial terror lynching–and has plans for a memorial in Alabama dedicated to victims of lynching. In an interview in The Intercept, director of the Equal Justice Initiative Bryan Stevenson discusses the urgency of facing this long history of violence in the wake of this country’s civil unrest: “I think we’re all burdened by this history of racial injustice, which has created a narrative of racial difference, which has infected us, corrupted us, and allowed us to see the world through this lens. So it becomes necessary to talk about that history if we want to get free.” (Watch Bryan’s TED Talk) In search of the perfect surf. Surf photographer Chris Burkard’s upcoming documentary Under an Arctic Sky follows six adventurous surfers who set sail along the frozen shores of Iceland in the midst of the worst storm the country has seen in twenty-five years. The film is due for release in early 2017. (Watch Chris’ TED Talk) Stem cell science: from bench to bedside. On the 7th and 8th of January, Susan Lim co-chaired the 2nd Nucleus Forum of the International Society for Stem Cell Research. The forum, attended by scientists and business and investor leaders in biotech and healthcare, was a discussion on ways to help bring breakthrough stem cell science from the bench to the bedside. The forum also discussed the new 21st Century Cures Act, signed into law by President Obama on December 13, and brought together the stem cell and gene ed[...]



Meet the 2017 class of TED Fellows and Senior Fellows

2017-01-10T21:21:07Z

Welcome the class of TED2017 Fellows! Representing 12 countries, one tribal nation and an incredible range of disciplines, this year’s Fellows are all leaders in their fields who constantly find new ways to collaborate and bring about positive change. Among those selected are an Ecuadorian neurobiologist working to uncover the neural circuits that connect the […] Welcome the class of TED2017 Fellows! Representing 12 countries, one tribal nation and an incredible range of disciplines, this year’s Fellows are all leaders in their fields who constantly find new ways to collaborate and bring about positive change. Among those selected are an Ecuadorian neurobiologist working to uncover the neural circuits that connect the gut and the brain, an Afrofuturist filmmaker from Kenya who tells modern stories about Africa, a Chinese entrepreneur and venture capitalist tackling global food system challenges, an Indian investigative journalist exploring discrimination around the world, and many more. Below, meet the new group of Fellows who will join us at TED2017, April 24-28 in Vancouver, BC. TED2017 Fellows Karim Abouelnaga (USA) Education entrepreneur Founder and CEO of Practice Makes Perfect, a summer school operator, which addresses the summer learning loss in low-income communities by connecting younger students with mentors from their neighborhood for leadership development, academic instruction and career training. Karim Abouelnaga speaks to a group of students participating in the Practice Makes Perfect summer program. Christopher Ategeka (Uganda + USA) Healthcare entrepreneur Ugandan founder of Health Access Corps, which is addressing the uneven distribution of health professionals across the African continent by compensating and supporting trained healthcare professionals to stay and serve their local communities. Diego Bohorquez (Ecuador + USA) Gut-brain neurobiologist Ecuadorian neuroscientist studying the neural pathways linking the brain and the gut, and how these connections affect human behavior and disease, from Parkinson’s to autism. Rebecca Brachman (USA) Neuroscientist + entrepreneur Neuroscientist studying how the brain, immune system, and stress interact and co-founder of a biotech startup working to develop the first prophylactic drugs to prevent mental illness and increase resilience to stress. Kayla Briët (Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation + USA) Filmmaker + composer Mixed-cultural artist infusing her Neshnaabe, Chinese, and Dutch-Indonesian heritage in multiple mediums of storytelling: film, virtual reality, and music – from orchestral to electronic. Armando Azua-Bustos (Chile) Astrobiologist Chilean astrobiologist studying how microbial life has adapted to survive in the Atacama Desert, the driest place on Earth, and what this means for our search for life on Mars. The extremely low water availability, high salinity and high UV radiation present in the Atacama Desert make it the closest analog to Mars on Earth. (Photo: Clair Popkin) Reid Davenport (USA) Documentary filmmaker Documentary filmmaker focused on telling stories about people with disabilities, who incorporates the physicality of his own disability into his craft. Damon Davis (USA) Interdisciplinary artist Musician, visual artist and filmmaker working at the intersection of art and activism, exploring the experience of contemporary Black Americans. His documentary Whose Streets, which will premiere at Sundance 2017, tells the story of the 2014 protests in Ferguson, Missouri from the perspective of those who lived it. Matilda Ho (China) Food entrepreneur + investor Chinese founder of Bits x Bites, China’s first food tech-focused accelerator VC that invests in startups solving systematic food challenges. She also founded Yimishiji, China’s first online farmers market that has engineered food education and transparency into the entire supply chain and customer experience. Wanuri Kahiu (Kenya) Filmmaker Kenyan Afro-futurist filmmaker using the science fiction and fant[...]



Comment(s) of the week, Jan. 4, 2017: Let’s talk about faith

2017-01-04T18:58:10Z

This week’s comments were posted on Rabbi Sharon Brous’ talk, which has sparked quite the conversation. The first poster is Paul Watson, who is exactly the type of community member I’d hoped to highlight when we began this project. Paul’s comment is thoughtful, speaking from his particular area of interest/expertise, and looking at the larger […]This week’s comments were posted on Rabbi Sharon Brous’ talk, which has sparked quite the conversation. The first poster is Paul Watson, who is exactly the type of community member I’d hoped to highlight when we began this project. Paul’s comment is thoughtful, speaking from his particular area of interest/expertise, and looking at the larger picture. I think it’s this zoomed-out view that I’m most intrigued by. He takes a broader look at religion — across time, through the lens of biology, evolutionarily — than many other commenters have, understandably so. When I listen to a talk like Sharon’s, I tend to think about myself, my views on the topic, and the people in my life and their views. Reading Paul’s comment reminds me to check for my own blind spots; to revisit Rabbi Brous’ talk with a wide open mind. Paul Watson writes: “We need to deeply understand the evolutionary psychology of religiosity (instinctual) / religion (cultural) to use it for more than it has been routinely used for in the past…” The second poster is Allan Hayes, another community member who, like Paul, is entirely worthy of being highlighted. He’s also expressed a larger commitment to TED, in both the personal and TEDx organizer kind of way, so I’m excited to encourage his continued participation. Allan Hayes writes: “State schools in the UK are required to teach RE (Religious Education). I am the BHA (British Humanist Association) representative on the committee that sets the “agreed syllabus” for Leicester … I visit schools along with Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Christian, Buddhist, Baha’i, Jain, Pagan . . . representatives. We set up our individual displays and talk to kids from 5 to 18, and to teachers, governors, and sometimes to parents. My aim in these visits is not so much to explain Humanism as to talk about Humanity, how we have learned to live together and how religions have come about -– to stimulate curiosity. …” Allan’s comment is great because I’ve learned so much from reading it. I now know a little more about how religion is taught in UK schools, and that its teaching is a requirement. I’ve also learned a great way to discuss my religious beliefs with others — no matter what they are — in a way that doesn’t imply superiority of any kind; “we get on well together” :) Lastly, like any good lesson, it made me think. Particularly, it made me think about how something like that would look in the country I live in now, and the one I lived in before. How would the parents, and children, in these communities respond? What changes could be made to tailor the lessons Allan is teaching to these communities? How can we best “tell our children a story that brings us together and that they can feel part of”? I hope you enjoyed Paul and Allan’s comments as much as I did! [...]



Staff picks: 2016’s best, from our editors and curators

2016-12-28T19:44:20Z

Looking for a few great talks to inspire you for a great year ahead? TED’s content+editorial team staffers pick their favorites — including some don’t-miss talks you might have passed by in this busy year. To spark your curiosity …  Fawn Qiu: Easy DIY projects for kid engineers Don’t you hate it when an operating-system upgrade means your […]Amanda Palmer performs a tribute to David Bowie at TED2016. Photo: Bret Hartman / TEDLooking for a few great talks to inspire you for a great year ahead? TED’s content+editorial team staffers pick their favorites — including some don’t-miss talks you might have passed by in this busy year. To spark your curiosity …  Fawn Qiu: Easy DIY projects for kid engineers Don’t you hate it when an operating-system upgrade means your carefully customized software no longer works? (Rest in peace, Now Contact...) When Fawn Qiu heard that her favorite game on her phone, Flappy Bird, was being discontinued, she built a physical version of the game, which she called Flappy Bird Box. It turned out to be equally maddening to play, and Fawn’s YouTube video about her contraption has been viewed more than 2.8 million times. As she describes in this brief talk, Fawn applies the same why-not pragmatism and sly whimsy when she designs projects to introduce kids to engineering. Her classes use low-cost, readily available objects like fabric and paper, and feel like playtime, no matter how old you are.  — Cyndi Stivers, director, TED Residency PLUS: Fawn was a member of the inaugural class of the TED Residency, an idea incubator housed at TED HQ in New York City. During a circuit-making workshop she conducted, I built a beating heart out of construction paper, copper tape, a tiny light bulb and a cheap battery. The battery is shot now, but this heart still beats for her. Application is open for the spring 2017 TED Residency, which runs March 6 to June 10, 2017. Deadline: January 2, 2017. To feel more at home in your own skin Lidia Yuknavitch: The beauty of being a misfit By the end of the talk, I truly believe the words I’d read in its description: “You don’t know it yet, but you have the ability to reinvent yourself endlessly. That’s your beauty.” As an added bonus, Lidia’s participation in the comments section of her talk is the perfect example of the genuine, uplifting spirit you were introduced to in her talk. They’re a pleasure, and a comfort, to read. — Kaitlin Pierce, community lead Angélica Dass: The beauty of human skin in every color I read quite a bit about the science of human races and skin color. I thought I knew it all about this topic. Until Angélica told us her stories and showed me that art can get to me in a much more profound way. — Gerry Garbulsky, Spanish curator Reshma Saujani: Teach girls bravery, not perfection Reshma’s talk on how we teach girls to be perfect and not brave was like a punch to the stomach — in a good way. She illuminated so many patterns in my own life, my behavior in school and at work, that are a consequence of this teaching, but that I had never been able to put my finger on before, like when a word is on the tip of your tongue but you can’t quite find it. Reshma’s talk gave me that word, that understanding, and that makes it easier for me to face my own struggles and become a little braver every day. — Rebekah Barnett, speaker coordinator Kenneth Lacovara: Hunting for dinosaurs showed me our place in the universe I spent time with Ken backstage before his talk, talking about friends we have in common. I then ran to get a good seat to see him on stage, so that I could later tell our friends about this talk. Little did I know that a few minutes later I would be deeply moved and crying listening to Ken’s dinosaur stories. ̵[...]



This holiday season, have that conversation

2016-12-22T15:23:41Z

"I promise you, we can talk to people who disagree with us, and we must." Celeste Headlee offers 4 steps to have THAT conversation -- the toughest talks that we’ve avoided for too long now.Celeste Headlee offers four insights for better political conversations. Yes, even this year. Screengrab courtesy TEDxSeattle Is there someone in your life with whom you disagree? Has something gone unspoken for a long time that you would like to address? Or maybe you want to have a conversation about the future of our country or something close to home. This holiday season, have that conversation. Before you stay home to avoid your family because you’re afraid of an argument, consider opening up instead. Here’s all it takes: 1. Reach out to them and invite them to meet for a conversation. 2. Read through the suggestions below to help make this conversation a good one. 3. Talk and afterwards, thank them, and if you like, send a tweet or Facebook post with hashtag #hadthatconversation. 4 tips for having a good conversation about politics 1. Don’t try to educate anyone or change minds. It’s really hard to change someone’s mind. In fact, it’s incredibly difficult just to change your own mind. We almost never do it. We are all victims of the backfire effect. Multiple studies have shown that if we believe something and someone shows us actual evidence that refutes our belief, that proves it wrong, our belief grows stronger. In other words, seeing evidence and facts that go against what we think backfires. Don’t bother. Just enter the conversation intending to learn something, not to teach. 2. Don’t pre-judge. We are programmed to believe that people are pundits. We think that if someone supports Bernie Sanders, we’re going to agree or disagree with everything they say. People are complicated and nuanced. That’s what makes them so damn interesting. Don’t assume they’re your enemy. You may disagree on nuclear policy, but totally agree on health care. You may disagree on almost everything, but both think dogs rule. Be open to another person’s ideas. As Carl Sagan said in his Baloney Detection Kit, “Try not to get overly attached to a hypothesis just because it’s yours.” 3. Show respect. At all times. You think they don’t know what it’s like to be you? Well, you don’t know what it’s like to be them. Life is hard. It’s hard for everyone and while you may not like their solutions, they think they’re doing the best they can. More importantly, they are a living, striving human being. Show them the respect that you demand for yourself. 4. Stick it out. Don’t throw up your hands and say, this is pointless. Don’t walk off in a huff. I can tell you now that it’s not fun to listen to someone say things we disagree with. It’s upsetting. It can get your blood boiling. But take a breath, think before you respond, and stay in there. I promise you, we can talk to people who disagree with us and we must. I think this election has shown that our nation has been in denial about a lot of underlying forces for a long time, and I hope we can find a way to grapple with the truth, instead of discounting facts and embracing what proves us right. I hope we can start to have the tough conversations that we’ve avoided for too long now. — Celeste Headlee and Phil Klein class='youtube-player' type='text/html' width='586' height='360' src='http://www.youtube.com/embed/BMD_Phk7J-Y?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent' allowfullscreen='true' style='border:0;'> [...]



JD Vance moves to Ohio, the underwater caves of the Bahamas, and the search for ancient lost sites in Peru

2016-12-21T21:34:01Z

JD Vance moves to Ohio, Jill Heinerth takes us to the underwater caves of the Bahamas, and the search for ancient lost sites in Peru ... and more news from our always-busy TED speakers.Fabian Oefner’s new work plays with the color properties of bismuth. Photo: Fabian Oefner End-of-the year news from our busy TED speakers: Let’s start with something gorgeous. The newest series of prints produced by Fabian Oefner, Photographic Paintings, highlights the process by which color comes into being. The images merge his signature science-based photography with the traditional form of a painting, exploring the properties of the element of bismuth, whose rapid fluctuations of color and shapes form the basis of each image. (Watch Fabian’s TED Talk) Can India grow a circular economy? With its fast-growing urban economy, India is facing down big questions about poverty, resource scarcity and industrialization. How to address all the needs that will arise along the path of progress? Well, the Ellen MacArthur Foundation studies the concept of the circular economy, which involves regenerative development and eco-first thinking, and in a new report supported by ClimateWorks and the UN Conference for Trade and Development, they make a strong case that a circular economy framework might be the way to go for the subcontinent. “With its existing circular mindset and strong digital backbone,” Ellen MacArthur writes, “India can reap significant economic and societal benefits, embarking on a positive development path as it focuses on regenerative practices.” (Watch Ellen’s TED Talk) Hey, ho, where’d you go? Ohio. Author JD Vance, whose book Hillbilly Elegy tells the story of the decline of his southern Ohio home town, has announced plans to move back home and commit to making his state a better place. He’s setting up a nonprofit called Our Ohio Renewal, deciding between Columbus and Cincinnati as a home base, and looking to learn more about the flatland northern towns above the dirt line, like Toledo and Cleveland, as well as the hilly southern Ohio region that is the setting for his book. (Watch JD’s TED Talk) Museums under the sea. In December 2016, a team of cave divers converged at Abaco in the Bahamas for a two-week survey of one of the most remarkable underwater caves ever found. The Abaco Blue Holes Project, sponsored by National Geographic, relied on a range of virtual reality, augmented reality and 3D imaging techniques to map the Crystal Caves of Abaco and then share those images widely through blog posts and updates from people like  Jill Heinerth, who served as documentarian for the expedition. (Watch Jill’s TED Talk) Necessary fiction inside un-liberal democracies. As the world’s leading jailer of journalists, with 140 imprisoned at current count, Turkey seems on an authoritarian path of power that might look contradictory for a country that maintains free elections. However, this is far from surprising, Elif Shafak writes in The New Yorker, as free elections on their own cannot sustain democracies. “There are other necessary constituents: separation of powers, rule of law, freedom of speech, women’s rights and minority rights, and a diverse, independent media,” none of which exist under the Erdoğan government, she says. Her solution: We need more fiction — not less — to counter what she cautions as the silence of speech created by the persecution of so many writers in Turkey. (Watch Elif’s TED Talk) Awards season report. For her services in education and women’s economic empowerment across the Gulf Cooperation Council, Dr. Leila Hoteit was named Businesswoman of the Year at the Arab Woman Awards UAE ceremony in Sharjah, UAE. (Watch Leila’s TED Talk) — For his diversification of solid state lighting (SSL) applications through LiFi, Harald Haas received the International Solid State Lighting Alliance’s Award for Outstanding Achievement. (Wa[...]



Comment(s) of the week, Dec. 21, 2016: You write, speakers respond

2016-12-23T13:06:35Z

Some wonderful comments to choose from this week … so I chose two: I like Amy’s comment for a few reasons. It is in response to a comment that implied that depression could be a good thing, which can stir up many emotions for those people that depression has been anything but good too. When […]Some wonderful comments to choose from this week … so I chose two: Amy Cox writes: “Experiencing the full range of emotions, including sadness and grief, can be good, inspiring, motivating, in balance with the self. Please do not confuse sadness with Major Depressive Disorder. Medication that works well for a person is a tool that allows them to be themselves, to feel the full range. … Depression is as similar to healthy sadness as a coma is to taking a refreshing nap.” I like Amy’s comment for a few reasons. It is in response to a comment that implied that depression could be a good thing, which can stir up many emotions for those people that depression has been anything but good too. When something hits so close to home, we tend to act — and comment — defensively. Amy was firm in her beliefs, and what she knows to be true, without becoming overly defensive or resorting to ad hominem attacks. She stated her areas of expertise clearly — as a clinical psychologist, a person with a mental illness, and a person taking psychiatric medications — which added context and credibility to the points she makes. Being able to disagree with respect, even over the most personal of topics, is so important, and I’m very grateful for Amy’s calmness and clarity. Jeff L. writes: “Dena Simmons touches on a topic that is rarely talked about … Rarely do we hear about the transition in emotional state that is required as a prerequisite to academic success in the middle grounds of established American institutions. This abrupt transition is not atypical for minorities, and due to the nature of white privilege well misunderstood.”  I intend to highlight Jeff’s comment, but felt I must also share our speaker’s response. Really, it’s their interaction that I feel is so wonderful. Dena’s question to both Jeff and the community at the end, if answered, can be the best part about comments. The discussion of what can be done, with honest, respectful people, can ease anxieties around what isn’t being done right now. Also, crowd-sourcing ideas in this way, on this platform, has the potential to be quite powerful. Our community always has *incredible* ideas, and I’ll hope they’ll put that brain power to work and join Jeff and Dena’s conversation. [...]



Live in cinemas around the world: Watch talks from TED2017

2016-12-20T19:19:09Z

It’s one thing to watch a TED Talk online; it’s another experience altogether to be in a cinema together with your friends and fellow TED enthusiasts, watching speakers deliver the talks of their lives in real time. Last year, we shared the opening night of our annual sold-out TED Conference with more than 1,000 cinemas in 20 […]Photo: Asa Mathat It’s one thing to watch a TED Talk online; it’s another experience altogether to be in a cinema together with your friends and fellow TED enthusiasts, watching speakers deliver the talks of their lives in real time. Last year, we shared the opening night of our annual sold-out TED Conference with more than 1,000 cinemas in 20 countries. It was an intriguing experiment in radical openness that, to our delight, audiences loved. So this year we’re unveiling TED Cinema Experience – an exciting event series that includes three opportunities for audiences to join together and experience the TED2017 conference. Presented with our partner BY Experience, TED Cinema Experience includes: (The below represent U.S. times only; international audiences will experience TED captured live and time-shifted. Check show times here.) Opening Night Event: Monday, April 24, 2017 US: 8pm ET/ 7pm CT/ 6pm MT/ time-shifted to 8pm PT Experience the electric opening night of TED, with half a dozen never-before-seen TED Talks and performances, beamed live from the TED stage. TED Prize Event: Tuesday, April 25, 2017 US: 8pm ET/ 7pm CT/ 6pm MT/ time-shifted to 8pm PT On Tuesday night, audiences can watch our newly announced TED Prize winner Raj Panjabi reveal for the first time his plans to put the $1 million TED Prize award towards a creative, bold wish to spark global change. The session will feature new TED Talks as well as updates from two previous TED Prize recipients, space archaeologist Sarah Parcak and education innovator Sugata Mitra. Highlights Exclusive: Sunday, April 30, 2017 4pm ET / 3pm CT / 2pm MT / 4pm PT A highlights program will be created especially for our cinema audiences! It goes behind the scenes at TED to share exclusive talks and performances, and some of the most insightful, inspiring and exciting moments of the week-long TED2017. Theater locations and tickets are now available here! [...]



Comment of the week, Dec. 14, 2016: Meet the Galloping Goose Trail

2016-12-15T00:07:25Z

This week’s featured comment comes from Katie Pirquet, who comments on Ryan Gravel‘s TED Talk: How an old loop of railroads is changing the face of a city. Katie’s comment was the perfect follow-up to watching Ryan’s talk, and a great travel tip for anyone who was really interested in Ryan’s idea! It makes me long to visit […]This week’s featured comment comes from Katie Pirquet, who comments on Ryan Gravel‘s TED Talk: How an old loop of railroads is changing the face of a city. Katie’s comment was the perfect follow-up to watching Ryan’s talk, and a great travel tip for anyone who was really interested in Ryan’s idea! It makes me long to visit Vancouver, picture how my current community would utilize something similar, and long for a loop of up-cycled railroads to call our own in every city. Wouldn’t it be great if other community members followed suit, and shared their stories of the urban parks in their cities?   Katie Pirquet’s comment: Victoria, BC in Canada has long enjoyed a resurrected rail bed known as the “Galloping Goose Trail”, named after a noisy, gasoline-fired locomotive that plied its routes long ago. The trail extends from an abandoned gold rush town (Leechtown), 10km from Sooke, BC, some 30km to downtown Victoria, with a branch that wanders about the same distance up the Saanich Peninsula to the town of Sidney. Check it out on Google Maps. It is heavily used by commuters on bikes, walkers, hikers, and joggers. The Trail is accessible to everyone, with safe crossings at many roadways and no big hills. Many sections are paved, others maintained with packed gravel and/or chips. It passes through a few parks on its way, giving access to them, too. The Galloping Goose Trail has become an important feature of the Vancouver Island outdoor-loving lifestyle, and will remain so even if the corridors one day become shared with some form of light transit. Vancouver Islanders love to get “out there”, rain or shine, and the GGT is one of our favourite amenities! [...]



An exercise-powered boat on the Seine, a young eagle hunter, and a test of global education

2016-12-09T17:57:06Z

As usual, the TED community has lots of news to share this week. Below, some highlights. Bike on the Seine … literally. Carlo Ratti Associati unveiled a concept for the Paris Navigating Gym, a boat that would use the energy from passengers’ stationary-bike workouts to propel itself through Paris along the Seine. Aboard the 20-meter-long […] As usual, the TED community has lots of news to share this week. Below, some highlights. Bike on the Seine … literally. Carlo Ratti Associati unveiled a concept for the Paris Navigating Gym, a boat that would use the energy from passengers’ stationary-bike workouts to propel itself through Paris along the Seine. Aboard the 20-meter-long vessel, 45 exercisers can enjoy sweeping views of the city as they work up a sweat, while enjoying the disconcerting experience of pedaling forward while moving sideways. Users can track their energy output and the environmental conditions of the river, captured in real time by sensors built into the vessel. Will it get built? Doesn’t matter — it’s fun to think about. (Watch Carlo’s TED Talk) Rendering of the Paris Navigating Gym courtesy of Carlo Ratti Associati. VR hits Sundance 2017. Three TED speakers will be showcased as part of New Frontier at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival: virtual reality filmmakers Nonny de la Peña and Chris Milk. Out of Exile, the work of de la Peña and team, tells the story of Daniel Ashley Pierce, a teenager who was accosted by his family and kicked out of his house because they disapproved of his sexuality. The work uses audio footage that Pierce secretly recorded during the encounter. Meanwhile, Chris Milk and Aaron Koblin (and Pharrell!) have created the ambitious Life of Us, which captures the complete story of the evolution of life on Earth. (Watch Nonny’s TED Talk, Chris’ TED Talk, and Aaron’s TED Talk) A pioneering hunter. Morgan Spurlock is the executive producer of The Eagle Huntress, a documentary following 13-year-old Aisholpan, a young Kazakh girl living in Northwest Mongolia, who is training to become the first girl in twelve generations of her family to hunt eagles. While many Kazakh eagle hunters reject the notion that a female can take part in the tradition, Aisholpan — with the support of her father — is determined to prove otherwise. The documentary is one of 15 finalists for the best feature documentary Oscar; also on the list is TEDster Ava DuVernay’s powerful film 13th. (Watch Morgan’s TED Talk and read our interview with Ava DuVernay) Crowdsourced ways to tackle fake news. Eli Pariser is crowdsourcing the effort to tackle fake news. Inside a Google Doc, he’s leading a group of volunteers to brainstorm ideas and approaches to the problem as well as compile resources and background reading on the subject. The group is exploring a wide range of approaches, from domain checking to the blockchain, reports Wired, and work on the document is ongoing. (Watch Eli’s TED Talk) Singapore is tops in global education. On December 6, the results from PISA’s latest global education test were revealed, with Singapore, Japan, Finland and Estonia on top, the US in the middle, and overall a lack of proficiency in basic science (read the press release). Reviewing the results, The New York Times reports that countries that did best generally “acted to make teaching more prestigious and selective; directed more resources to their neediest children; enrolled most children in high-quality preschools; helped schools establish cultures of constant improvement; and applied rigorous, consistent standards across all classrooms.” The test, overseen by TED speaker Andreas Schleicher, is administered every 3 years to half a million 15-year-olds in 69 countries to evaluate not just what they’ve memorized, but their ability to think.[...]



Announcing our 2017 TED Prize winner: Healthcare warrior Raj Panjabi

2016-12-01T13:06:36Z

It sounds simple enough: If you’re sick, you make an appointment with a doctor, and if it’s an emergency, you head to the nearest hospital. But for more than a billion people around the world, it’s a real challenge — because they live too far from a medical facility. Where Raj Panjabi’s nonprofit, Last Mile […]Raj Panjabi was born in Liberia, but his family fled civil war when he was nine. He returned as a medical student — and went on to found Last Mile Health. Photo: Courtesy of Last Mile Health It sounds simple enough: If you’re sick, you make an appointment with a doctor, and if it’s an emergency, you head to the nearest hospital. But for more than a billion people around the world, it’s a real challenge — because they live too far from a medical facility. Where Raj Panjabi’s nonprofit, Last Mile Health, operates in Liberia, people in remote communities hike for hours or even days — sometimes canoeing through the jungle or motorbiking over rough terrain — to get medical care. Many will go their entire lives without visiting a doctor, which puts them at high risk of dying from diseases that are easily treated. Last Mile Health has created a model for expanding healthcare access to remote regions by training, employing and equipping community health workers. The organization’s work has shown impressive results in Liberia, and could be replicated elsewhere. That’s why TED is thrilled to announce Raj Panjabi as the winner of the 2017 TED Prize. On April 25, 2017, at the annual TED Conference, Panjabi will reveal a $1 million wish for the world, related to this work. “I’m shocked and humbled, because I feel in many ways our work is only just beginning,” he said. “But it feels very right to me that this cause is worthy of the TED community’s efforts. Illness has been universal for the entire length of human history — but universal access to care has not been. Now, because of the advances in modern medical science and technology over the past 50 to 100 years, we have the chance to end that inequality.” Reaching remote communities in Grand Gedeh County, Liberia, often involves long hikes or traveling by motorbike. Last Mile Health trains community health workers to serve these remote areas. Photo: Courtesy of Last Mile Health Since 2007, Last Mile Health has partnered with the government of Liberia to train, equip, employ and support community health workers. These community health workers are nominated by local leaders, and trained, with support from nurses, to diagnose and treat a wide range of medical problems. In the past year, these health workers have conducted more than 42,000 patient visits in their regions, and treated nearly 22,000 cases of malaria, pneumonia and diarrhea in children. They’ve also proven themselves to be a powerful line of defense against pandemics. During the Ebola outbreak, Last Mile Health assisted the government of Liberia in its response, helping to train 1,300 health workers and community members to prevent the spread of the disease in the southeastern region of the country. This year, Panjabi, who’s also a physician in the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital at Harvard Medical School, was named to TIME’s list of the “100 Most Influential People in the World” for Last Mile Health’s part in helping contain the Ebola epidemic. And it feels especially fitting to announce him as the next TED Prize winner on World AIDS Day, since Last Mile Health began as Liberia’s first rural public HIV program, helping patients in the war-torn area of Zwedru who could not make the trek to the capital, Monrovia, for care. “I want to see a health worker for everyone, everywhere, every day,” says Panjabi.[...]



Have a TED Talk idea? Apply to our Idea Search events in Africa

2016-12-14T13:44:34Z

Do you have a TED Talk you’ve always wanted to try out in front of an audience? We’re thrilled to announce that applications are open for two new events in Africa: TEDLagos and TEDNairobi 2017 Idea Search! Anyone with an idea worth spreading is invited to apply to either of those two events; around 25 […]Saki Mafundikwa prepares to speak at the TED@Nairobi auditions in 2013, aiming for a slot on the TED mainstage. (Spoiler: He made it.) Photo: whattookyousolong.org Do you have a TED Talk you’ve always wanted to try out in front of an audience? We’re thrilled to announce that applications are open for two new events in Africa: TEDLagos and TEDNairobi 2017 Idea Search! Anyone with an idea worth spreading is invited to apply to either of those two events; around 25 finalists at each event will share their risky, quirky, fascinating ideas in under 6 minutes, in early February, onstage at beautiful venues in Lagos, Nigeria, and Nairobi, Kenya. The TED Idea Search is a chance for us to find fresh voices to ring out on the TEDGlobal stage. Some of these talks will be posted on the online TED platform; other speakers will be invited to expand on their talks on the TEDGlobal 2017 main stage in Arusha, Tanzania, in the summer of 2017, themed Builders. Truth-tellers. Catalysts. We are looking for speakers whose talks fit well within that theme. Saki Mafundikwa, Richard Turere, Zak Ebrahim, Sally Kohn, Hyeonseo Lee — all these speakers are fantastic finds from previous TED talent searches. UPDATE: The deadline to apply is Friday, December 16, 2016, at 6pm Lagos time / 8pm Nairobi time. To apply, you’ll need to fill out a form and make a 1-minute video describing your talk idea. Quick notes: We can’t cover travel for finalists who live far from the cities where these events are taking place; we encourage local applicants to Lagos and Nairobi. Please choose only one event to apply to — applying to both events will not increase your chances of being selected to speak. Apply to speak at the TED Africa Idea Search 2017 [...]



8 insider tips: Make an audition video for TED’s Idea Search 2017

2016-11-27T20:22:06Z

Here are 8 insider tips to creating a great audition video for the TEDNYC Idea Search 2017. (Remember, the deadline to apply is Monday, Nov. 28, at 6pm Eastern.) 1. Distill your idea. In a 1-minute video, you have about 150 words to describe your proposed TED Talk. So you can’t — and you don’t […]Tania Luna auditions for the TED stage. (Spoiler: She got there.) Photo: James Duncan Davidson Here are 8 insider tips to creating a great audition video for the TEDNYC Idea Search 2017. (Remember, the deadline to apply is Monday, Nov. 28, at 6pm Eastern.) 1. Distill your idea. In a 1-minute video, you have about 150 words to describe your proposed TED Talk. So you can’t — and you don’t have to — give every single detail of your idea. Instead, focus on the basics of what you will want to say. As a tip, try writing your script around a big question that your talk will answer, such as: “How can teachers learn to connect with Generation Z?” Think about what you’d want the audience to take away from your talk — the main insight — and be sure to communicate that in your video. 2. Watch our TED Talk about … well … giving a TED Talk. Our curator, Chris Anderson, distills 4 points you’ll want to think about as you write your script. 3. Think about how your idea will be relevant right now. Some of our finalists will win spots onstage at TED2017, our major conference of the year, happening in April 2017. So think on this question: why does your idea have special meaning right now, as 2017 kicks off? The theme of TED2017 is “The Future You,” and we’ll be thinking about the big picture of how our world is evolving, as well as how we humans are changing. 4. Use incisive, clear language — not jargon. Consider that the audience, for the most part, will not be as familiar with your idea, or your industry, as you are. So try to describe your concepts in a way that most people would understand, without compromising the quality of your thoughts and ideas. 5. When you practice your script, record your practice. And then watch your practice recordings — you’ll likely see some ways you can get to the point faster. Listen for places where you lose your own interest, and cut cut cut. 6. Consider asking someone else to film you. This way, you can focus on delivering your talk, not on your tech. If you’re filming yourself on your laptop or phone, remember to look directly at the camera, not at your own face on the screen. 7. Keep your video simple. You don’t need to edit or produce your video in any way — no need for onscreen graphics or fancy cuts. We’re looking for your raw talent here. 8. Be your own fabulous self. Don’t feel you need to play-act the “TED speaker” — here at TED HQ, we’re as sick of this stereotype as you are. We’re looking for people who are authentic, who have something to say and their own honest way to say it. Use your real accent, your real gestures, your everyday words — be you! Looking for a couple of examples of great audition videos? Watch Zak Ebrahim’s short audition video, which turned into a blockbuster TED Talk and a TED Book, and helped share his message of peace to millions of people. Watch Sally Kohn’s short audition video, which turned into a TED Talk … after which she was invited back to give another TED Talk. And finally, 2 pro tips: 1. Try to turn in your video and application a few hours before the deadline. Here at TED HQ, we’re going to be watching hundreds of videos the day after the deadline closes … but you can get our attention by submitting earlier in the day. 2. If the au[...]



Wireless advances in treating spinal cord damage, morphing wings for aircraft, and the world’s tallest tropical trees

2016-11-22T23:29:38Z

Just a few of the intriguing headlines involving members of the TED community this week: Advances in treating spinal cord damage. In Nature, Grégoire Courtine and a team of scientists announced that they had successfully used a wireless brain-spine interface to help monkeys with spinal cord damage paralyzing one leg regain the ability to walk. […] Just a few of the intriguing headlines involving members of the TED community this week: Advances in treating spinal cord damage. In Nature, Grégoire Courtine and a team of scientists announced that they had successfully used a wireless brain-spine interface to help monkeys with spinal cord damage paralyzing one leg regain the ability to walk. Compared to other similar systems, the wireless component is unique, allowing the monkeys to move around freely without being tethered to electronics. Speaking with The New York Times, Courtine emphasized that the goal of the system is not to fix paralysis, but rather to have better rehabilitation for patients. (Watch Grégoire’s TED Talk) A new instrument to shed light on distant planets. A team of scientists and engineers, including TEDster Jeremy Kasdin, have used a new instrument to isolate and analyze the light emitted by planets orbiting nearby stars. The instrument, CHARIS, was designed and built by Kasdin’s team. By analyzing the light emitted by the planets, researchers are able to determine more details about their age, size and atmospheric composition. This operation was a test run, and is part of a larger scientific effort to find and analyze exoplanets. (Watch Jeremy’s TED Talk) Bendable, morphing wings for aircraft. In Soft Robotics, Neil Gershenfeld and a team of researchers describe a new bendable, morphing wing that could create more agile, fuel-efficient aircraft — as well as simplify the manufacturing process. A long time goal of researchers, previous attempts used mechanical control structures within the wing to deform it, but these structures were heavy, canceling out any fuel-efficiency gains, and they added complexity. The new method makes the entire wing the mechanism and its shape can be changed along its entire length by activating two small motors that apply a twisting pressure to each wingtip. (Watch Neil’s TED Talk) A deadly Ebola mutation. New research suggests that a mutation in the Ebola virus may be responsible for the scale of the epidemic that began in 2013 in West Africa. The research, conducted by a team of researchers that included TEDster Pardis Sabeti, showed that roughly 3 months after the initial outbreak, and about the time the epidemic was detected, the virus had mutated. The mutation made the virus better suited for humans than its natural host, the fruit bat, which may have allowed the virus to spread more aggressively. Working independently, another team of researchers came to a similar conclusion, but the role of the mutation in Ebola’s virulence and transmissibility still needs to be clarified. (Watch Pardis’ TED Talk) The future of transportation. Bjarke Ingels’ firm (BIG) released its design plans for a hyperloop system that would connect Dubai and Abu Dhabi in just a 12 minutes, a journey that now takes more than two hours by car. With a system of autonomous pods, the group hopes to eliminate waiting time; their design reveal includes conceptual images and video showing from start to finish what the passenger experience would be like. BIG made the designs for Hyperloop  One, one of the companies racing to make Elon Musk’s concept a reality. (Watch Bjarke’s TED Talk) The world’s tallest tropical trees. Greg Asner has identified the world’s tallest tropical tree using laser scanning, along with 50 other r[...]



Ingenuity starts with a spark: The talks of TED@IBM

2016-11-28T19:01:59Z

From artists to scientists, mothers, mathematicians and business visionaries, people in every corner of the world are dreaming up solutions to our most pressing problems. Whether tackling war and peace or the principles of machine learning, ingenuity starts with one thing: a spark. And regardless of where the spark takes hold, inspiration demands action to […]IBM’s editorial director, Michela Stribling, kicks off Session 1 at TED@IBM: Spark, November 16, 2016 in San Francisco. (Photo: Russell Edwards/TED) From artists to scientists, mothers, mathematicians and business visionaries, people in every corner of the world are dreaming up solutions to our most pressing problems. Whether tackling war and peace or the principles of machine learning, ingenuity starts with one thing: a spark. And regardless of where the spark takes hold, inspiration demands action to reach its greatest potential. At the third installment of TED@IBM — part of the TED Institute, held on November 15, 2016, at the SFJAZZ Center in San Francisco — a diverse and brilliant collection of speakers and performers dared to ask: What if we used our collective expertise and insights to provide a spark that could change the world for good? After opening remarks from Michela Stribling, IBM’s editorial director, the talks in Session 1 challenged us to think about how we can work together to solve problems and, maybe, leave the planet better than we found it. Where light meets sound. In a performance that blurs the boundaries of light and sound, Ryan and Hays Holladay create a visual experience of beats and tones shaped around reverberations of color. With multicolored projections and an assortment of carefully placed lamps, the brothers transcribe their music across the illuminated bursts of surfaces suddenly made visible. Here, music becomes the performer, rather than the performance, directing us not toward itself but toward the tempo and rhythm that orchestrates its narration. It’s a melody as much seen as it is heard: a series of intonations whose colorful pattern of sound eventually collapses into the nearly faded spotlight of a solitary lamp. The answer to fighting cybercrime. Cybercrime netted $450 billion in profits last year, with 2 billion records lost or stolen. As the vice president at IBM Security, Caleb Barlow recognizes the insufficiency of our current strategies to protect our data from the ultra-sophisticated criminal gangs that are responsible for 80 percent of all cyber attacks. His solution? When a cyber attack occurs, we should respond to it with the same collective effort and openness as a health care crisis — we need to know who is infected and how the disease is spreading. Last year, Barlow and his team started publishing all of IBM’s threat data in an effort to encourage the same sharing from other major corporations, governments and private security firms. If we’re not sharing, he says, then we’re part of the problem. According to Adam Grant, there are three basic kinds of employees: givers, takers, and matchers (who’ll match the prevailing behavior of the group). The key to a happy workplace is to balance that mix. Grant speaks at TED@IBM: Spark. (Photo: Russell Edwards/TED) One bad apple spoils the bunch. The success of any company is defined by the quality of people who work there. Organizational psychologist Adam Grant has spent a lot of time analyzing business structures, and he’s concluded that there are three different types of employees: givers, takers and matchers. To achieve a balanced workplace with equal opportunity for and distribution of work, power and play, companies must end[...]



Have a TED Talk idea? Apply to the TEDNYC Idea Search 2017

2016-11-21T14:22:16Z

Do you have a TED Talk you’ve always wanted to try out in front of an audience? We’re thrilled to announce that applications are open for our TEDNYC Idea Search 2017 in New York City. Anyone with an idea worth spreading is invited to apply; 10 finalists will share their risky, quirky, fascinating ideas in […]Do you have a TED Talk you’ve always wanted to try out in front of an audience? We’re thrilled to announce that applications are open for our TEDNYC Idea Search 2017 in New York City. Anyone with an idea worth spreading is invited to apply; 10 finalists will share their risky, quirky, fascinating ideas in under 6 minutes, in late January, onstage at the TED theater in Manhattan. The TEDNYC Idea Search is a chance for us to find fresh voices to ring out on the TED stage. Some of these talks will be posted on the online TED platform; other speakers will be invited to expand on their talks on the TED2017 main stage in Vancouver in the spring of 2017. Joshua Prager, Hannah Brencher, Richard Turere and Hyeonseo Lee — all these speakers are fantastic finds from previous TED talent searches. The deadline to apply is November 28 at 6pm Eastern time. To apply, you’ll need to fill out this form and make a 1-minute video describing your talk idea. One note: We can’t cover travel to New York City for finalists from out of town; we encourage applicants from the tri-state area surrounding New York. Apply to speak at the TEDNYC Idea Search 2017 >>   [...]



Meet our new Head of Media: Colin Helms

2016-11-13T20:39:20Z

This fall, TED welcomes Colin Helms as its Head of Media. In this leadership team role, Colin will oversee strategy and operations of TED’s core media business, including video production, new format development, distribution, social media, mobile and design. Colin brings more than 20 years of experience in both digital and traditional media content strategy […]Colin Helms comes to TED from MTV, where he was the SVP of connected content. He says, “My team’s challenge is to make TED available and relevant to audiences we haven’t reached yet.” Credit: Dian Lofton / TED This fall, TED welcomes Colin Helms as its Head of Media. In this leadership team role, Colin will oversee strategy and operations of TED’s core media business, including video production, new format development, distribution, social media, mobile and design. Colin brings more than 20 years of experience in both digital and traditional media content strategy and platform development. Prior to joining TED’s New York office, he was the SVP of Connected Content at MTV, where he oversaw the brand’s digital evolution from broadband video and social media to its pioneering multi-screen programming and original digital content studio. Before that, he served as a founding editor of Complex magazine as well as the editor-in-chief of the music magazine and festival CMJ. “It’s more important than ever to give ‘ideas worth spreading’ their greatest potential audience,” said TED curator Chris Anderson. “Colin’s expertise navigating today’s media landscape—at once vast and unpredictable—will help us expand that mission into an exciting new future.” “My team’s challenge is to make TED available and relevant to audiences we haven’t reached yet,” Colin says. “Media behaviors and habits vary depending on so many factors — geography, economics, cultural norms, you name it — and our job is to meet these audiences where they already are. That means online, yes, but it could also mean TV, radio, and a very broad variety of other content platforms. I’m excited to help TED become a part of millions more people’s media habits.” Credit: Dian Lofton / TED [...]



How small lies turn into big lies, what everyday objects tell us about inequality, and robots that lend a helping hand during disasters

2016-11-04T15:48:52Z

Just a few of the intriguing headlines involving members of the TED community this week: The cascading effect of small lies. Tali Sharot is the senior author on a paper published in Nature Neuroscience that sheds light on the possible slippery-slope effect of telling small, self-serving lies. Using an fMRI scanning device to monitor the […] Just a few of the intriguing headlines involving members of the TED community this week: The cascading effect of small lies. Tali Sharot is the senior author on a paper published in Nature Neuroscience that sheds light on the possible slippery-slope effect of telling small, self-serving lies. Using an fMRI scanning device to monitor the amygdala, an area of the brain associated with emotional response, the researchers found that when participants believed lying was to their benefit, “they were more inclined to dishonesty and their lies escalated over time,” reports The New York Times.  What’s more, as their lying progressed, the response in their amygdalas decreased — and the bigger the decrease, the bigger their next lie would be. The findings suggest that the brain becomes desensitized over time to the negative emotional effects of lying, but Sharot cautions that, while we know the decreased activity is related to lying, whether or not it’s related to a negative emotional reaction is still speculation. Fellow TEDster Dan Ariely is a co-author on the paper. (Watch Tali’s TED Talk and Dan’s TED Talk, and stay tuned for Ariely’s upcoming TED Book.) What everyday objects tell us about inequality. An initiative of the nonprofit Gapminder, Dollar Street collects photographs of everyday objects from the richest to the poorest households around the world as a way to explore inequality. For the project, a team of photographers photographed up to 155 objects, everything from toothbrushes to toys, in 200 homes in nearly 50 countries, a list that continues to grow. The completely fascinating website, where you can  explore the collection of photographs, launched on October 18. The project is the brainchild of Anna Rosling Rönnlund, who co-founded Gapminder along with TEDsters Hans Rosling and Ola Rosling. (Watch Hans’ and Ola’s TED Talk or read the Ideas article about Dollar Street.) Robots to the rescue. A joint training exercise between members of the Italian Coast Guard and a team led by TEDster Robin Murphy from Texas A&M’s Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue (CRASAR) tested a robot-assisted search and rescue to help safeguard migrants crossing the Mediterranean from Africa to Italy. Lasting 3 days, the exercise tested EMILY, an unmanned surface vehicle that can drive to a group of people in distress and position itself so that the greatest number of people can grab on. The EMILY system was tested in January 2016 to help migrants crossing from Turkey to Greece, and two EMILYs are currently in use by the Hellenic Coast Guard and Hellenic Red Cross; the Hellenic Coast Guard credited CRASAR with recently saving over two dozen refugees trapped in high seas. This new exercise pinpointed differences between migration routes, as well as new ways for robots and humans to interact in the water. (Watch Robin’s TED Talk) Better diagnostics for pathogens. Richard Baraniuk is the lead author on a study detailing a new diagnostic method that could help slow the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and mitigate infectious disease outbreaks by allowing faster detection of microbes. Typically, bacterial detection requires the use of DNA probes that are target-specific, which means detection can be co[...]



The other side isn’t your enemy: Jonathan Haidt speaks at TEDNYC

2016-11-08T18:02:58Z

With less than a week until America casts ballots in what has become one of the most controversial US presidential elections in history, TED invited the social psychologist and expert on the psychology of morality Jonathan Haidt to talk about our divisions — and how we might heal. In conversation with TED curator Chris Anderson at […] src="https://embed.ted.com/talks/jonathan_haidt_can_a_divided_america_heal" width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen> With less than a week until America casts ballots in what has become one of the most controversial US presidential elections in history, TED invited the social psychologist and expert on the psychology of morality Jonathan Haidt to talk about our divisions — and how we might heal. In conversation with TED curator Chris Anderson at TED HQ in New York, Haidt draws on a social science perspective to explain why people on the left and right don’t just disagree with each other these days, they actually think the other side is a threat to the nation. “We’re tribal — we evolved for tribalism,” Haidt explains. “It’s how we created society. We’re not doomed to always be fighting each other, but we’ll never have world peace.” On the left, that tribalism has manifested itself with people who want to define their tribe more globally. On the right, the definition stops at local communities and nations. Haidt quotes the UK pollster Stephan Shakespeare, who put it this way: “We are either ‘drawbridge up’ people or ‘drawbridge down’ people.” Another principle of social science explains why political arguments feel so unreasonable lately: As humans, our intuition comes first, while reason comes second. “Our intelligence actually may have evolved to help us manipulate each other and defend our reputations,” Haidt says. “That’s why you can’t win a political argument with reasoning and evidence.” Add in the internet, he says, and our post-hoc reasoning is ramped up on speed. There’s also a historical explanation for the current division, Haidt says. The influence of World War II can’t be overstated, because the generation of people who fought and endured it had to learn to come together to endure hardships, making them more cooperative and willing to compromise even years later. The next generation, the Baby Boomers, grew up without the same kind of unifying national event, and never had to confront the fatal consequences of divisiveness the way their parents did. So, he says, it makes sense that they wouldn’t be able to compromise in politics. So is there a salve for a divided America? Haidt provides an interesting vision for how we might move forward. America was built on federalism and local control, he reminds us, and conservatives continue to value small government. World War II and then the Baby Boomers put more and more control in the hands of the federal government — in part, Haidt says, as a political maneuver to get Civil Rights legislation passed. But now, he points out, young people today are watching the government, specifically Congress, accomplish nothing at all. “What if young people find ways outside of government to make change?” he asks. “If we can take an awful lot off the federal plate, then people won’t feel the government is dominating their life as much.” “Both sides are right about something,” Haidt says. “There are a lot of problems in the country, but neither side is capable of seeing[...]



Rachel Dolezal’s TEDx Talk

2016-11-02T14:05:25Z

In April 2016, Rachel Dolezal spoke at an independently organized TEDx event held at a university. This particular talk has sparked much debate, including internally on our own staff. For some, sharing the talk risks causing deep offense, and runs counter to TED’s mission of ideas worth spreading. But for others, now that the talk has been recorded, not posting it would unduly limit an important conversation about identity(image)

In April 2016, Rachel Dolezal spoke at an independently organized TEDx event held at a university. As you may know, Ms. Dolezal is a former president of the NAACP’s Spokane chapter who sparked a national debate and resigned after the public discovered that she was a white woman identifying herself as a black woman.

Recently she announced on TV that she had recorded “a TED Talk.” Some of you were upset by this. Indeed, the news surprised us too, because we knew she hadn’t spoken at a TED event. But it turned out she had spoken at one of the thousands of TEDx events that are held around the world.

TEDx organizers host events independent of TED, and they have the freedom to invite speakers they feel are relevant to their communities. These volunteers find thousands of new voices all over the world — many of which would not otherwise be heard — including some of our most beloved, well-known speakers, people like Brene Brown and Simon Sinek.

What TEDx organizers have achieved collectively is remarkable. But, yes, some of them occasionally share ideas we don’t stand behind.

This particular talk has sparked much internal debate. For many on our staff, sharing the talk risks causing deep offense, and runs counter to TED’s mission of ideas worth spreading. But for others, now that the talk has been recorded, refusing to post it would unduly limit an important conversation about identity, and the social underpinning of race — and would be counter to TED’s guiding philosophy of radical openness. There’s no easy middle ground here.

So, in a doubtless flawed attempt to do the right thing by all of our constituencies, we have decided to make the talk available to you here, while highlighting the context in which the talk was created and the deeply felt concerns it has raised.

We are lucky to have a thoughtful audience, and we hope the conversation you engage in here will transcend the material that sparks it.

Sincerely,
The TED Editors

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