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



Updated: 2017-08-22T21:56:55Z

 



WordPress.comSneak peek: First look at the TEDWomen 2017 lineup

2017-08-22T21:56:43Z

This November, we’re gathering in New Orleans for three days of TEDWomen — to share talks about bridging the world today and the world we all hope to build. Today, we’re announcing the first speakers on our lineup, a mix of powerful voices, creative insights and committed activism that will set the tone for our […]This November, we’re gathering in New Orleans for three days of TEDWomen — to share talks about bridging the world today and the world we all hope to build. Today, we’re announcing the first speakers on our lineup, a mix of powerful voices, creative insights and committed activism that will set the tone for our time together. Read on to learn more about these fascinating women and men — and of course, we’d love you to join us November 1–3 in New Orleans for TEDWomen 2017: Bridges. Valarie Kaur: In an era of enormous rage, Valarie argues that Revolutionary Love — as a public ethic and shared practice — is the call of our times.   What is the antidote to the rise in nationalism, polarization and hate in the U.S. and around the globe? Social justice activist Valarie Kaur argues we need to claim love as a public ethic. She redefines love not just as an emotion but as labor that births and transforms: Revolutionary Love. When Revolutionary Love is released from the domestic sphere and practiced in public, it disrupts the logic of capitalism, challenges structures of injustice, and shifts collective consciousness. Telling personal stories from the front lines of social movements, and drawing upon ethics, law, and neuroscience, Kaur argues that the practice of Revolutionary Love — for others, opponents, and ourselves — is the call of our times. Watch her viral speech: “Breathe and push.” Abby Wambach and Glennon Doyle: Just married, Abby and Glennon think deeply on love, faith and equality. Abby Wambach is the all-time leading scorer in international soccer history with 184 career goals. She was the United States’ leading scorer in the 2007 and 2011 Women’s World Cup tournaments and the 2004 and 2012 Olympics. (She missed Beijing 2008 due to a broken leg.) Her ability to wear down defenses with her physical play, aerial game and hard running has long been a key to the USA’s success. After winning the Women’s World Cup in 2015, Wambach retired as one of the most dominant players in the history of women’s soccer. For the next chapter of her career, she’s fighting for equality and inclusion across industries. Glennon Doyle, is the bestselling author of Love Warrior, a 2016 Oprah’s Book Club selection, as well as the bestseller Carry On, Warrior. She is an activist, speaker and founder of Together Rising, a nonprofit organization that has raised over $7 million for women, families and children in crisis. Glennon is also the creator of Momastery, an online community where millions of readers meet each week to experience her shameless and hilarious essays about marriage, motherhood, faith, mental health, addiction, recovery and connection. Gretchen Carlson: After this news anchor stood up and spoke out about sexual harassment in the workplace, women all over the world began to take back their lives, careers and dignity. Gretchen Carlson has been at the forefront of gender equality and diversity for the last decade, consistently defying expectations placed on her.  Advocating bravery and empowerment at every turn, Gretchen has become a force of innumerable power in our current cultural climate, taking on patriarchal notions of gender and sexuality head-on with extreme resilience and zeal. She’s a tireless advocate for young women and is committed to gender equality, exemplifying how you can truly have it all – a successful career, a substantive family life, and an altruistic purpose. Her book Be Fierce is due out October 17. Justin Baldoni: An outspoken feminist, Justin has been doubling down on his efforts to start a dialogue with men to redefine masculinity. Justin Baldoni is an actor, director, [...]



What does an eclipse sound like? Plus: Progress in the fight against anonymous companies, life after prison, and much more

2017-08-18T20:47:53Z

As usual, the TED community has lots of news to share this week. Below, some highlights. Hearing and feeling an eclipse. An eclipse is a visual phenomenon, difficult to describe, but what if you can’t see it for yourself? Dr. Henry Winter of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics partnered with The National Center for Accessible […] src="https://embed.ted.com/talks/wanda_diaz_merced_how_a_blind_astronomer_found_a_way_to_hear_the_stars" width="586" height="330" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen> As usual, the TED community has lots of news to share this week. Below, some highlights. Hearing and feeling an eclipse. An eclipse is a visual phenomenon, difficult to describe, but what if you can’t see it for yourself? Dr. Henry Winter of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics partnered with The National Center for Accessible Media to design an app for the visually impaired. Dubbed the Eclipse Soundscape project, the app will provide real-time audio descriptions of the event, so that this cosmic event can be enjoyed by everyone. Afterward, recordings of wildlife activity will be available — nocturnal species are roused during the event, and the eclipse’s end creates a “false dawn.” There’s also a “rumble map,” which translates light intensity into touchscreen vibrations, rendering the event readable via fingertip, like braille. TED speaker and sonic astrophysicist, Wanda Diaz Merced, who is blind herself, served as a consultant on the project. (Watch Merced’s TED Talk) Something both parties can agree on. Partisanship has separated the US Congress like oil and water. But TED Prize winner Charmian Gooch and her watchdog nonprofit Global Witness note on their blog something bringing everyone together: the push to end anonymous companies. The House Corporate Transparency Act has strong bipartisan support — and a matching bill was introduced in the Senate this week. Bills are also circulating that would require the disclosure of ownership for all airplanes seeking registration with the FAA, and for all companies bidding on federal defense contracts — an issue explored on Ideas.TED.com earlier this year. Finally, after a USA Today investigation revealed that Donald Trump has sold 28 properties since election day for $33 million — with about 70% of those buyers being anonymously-owned LLCs (compared 4% two years before) — Maxine Waters has introduced a bill to curb this. The “SHELLs Act,” supported by Global Witness, would require the President and all other Executive branch officials to disclose the individuals behind their real estate transactions. (Watch Charmian’s TED Talk) Science to the rescue! TEDsters from both sides of the stage came together this week as part of Manoush Zomorodi’s new installment of “Note to Self.” In conversation with David Biello, science curator here at TED, Save the Planet! explores the potential that science and technology may have to rescue our planet. Spread over five 10-minute episodes, you’ll be introduced to America’s love affair with AC, vacuuming out CO2 and even inspirational whale poop. (Watch Zomorodi’s TED Talk) The future of batteries. New research out of MIT might bring us one step closer to the future of batteries. Lithium-air batteries have the potential to pack more power at a fraction of the weight of current lithium-ion batteries, but scientists still need to work out a few charging and efficiency kinks. The compound lithium-iodide (Lil) has the potential to solve these problems, however, the results from experiments using Lil have been contradictory. To get to the bottom of it, Paula Hammond and a team of scientists ran a series of tests to home in on the particular reactions taking place. They found that Lil enhances the reactivity of water, which ultimately depletes the battery’s ability to charge, perhaps indicating that an alternate compound should be used. While there’s still a long way to go, continued research that addr[...]



A sobering new video from Beverly and Dereck Joubert on World Lion Day

2017-08-10T21:24:23Z

Documentary filmmakers Beverly and Dereck Joubert have worked to conserve wildlife in Africa for more than 30 years. Last year, I visited the Jouberts in one of the Great Plains safari camps and preserves they founded: Great Plains Conservation, launched a few years ago in Botswana and Kenya. You can read about my 2016 visit and [](image) src="https://embed.ted.com/talks/beverly_dereck_joubert_life_lessons_from_big_cats" width="854px" height="480px" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen>

Documentary filmmakers Beverly and Dereck Joubert have worked to conserve wildlife in Africa for more than 30 years. Last year, I visited the Jouberts in one of the Great Plains safari camps and preserves they founded: Great Plains Conservation, launched a few years ago in Botswana and Kenya. You can read about my 2016 visit and their work in honor of World Lion Day.

Another year has passed and I wish I could say that the situation has improved, but lions and other big cats are still a very threatened species. Beverly and Dereck continue to work relentlessly to save big cats in Africa, but their numbers continue to diminish. National Geographic’s Big Cat Initiative, the sponsor of World Cat Day, is “partnering with some of the world’s leading big cat experts, the initiative funds on-the-ground research and innovative conservation projects to protect our planet’s top felines and leads a global public awareness campaign to shine light on the issue.” You can stay in touch with National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence Dereck and Beverly Joubert and receive updates by subscribing to their newsletter.

Today, they posted a video to their Facebook page detailing the decimation of the lion population over the past 40 years.

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Visit Big Cat Conservation to learn more about their efforts and to find out what you can do to help. For a list of other organizations to support, visit the World Lion Day website.


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Mark Ronson makes a cameo, Roxane Gay and Adam Grant discuss the pros and cons of social media, and much more

2017-08-09T16:25:04Z

Please enjoy your roundup of TED-related news: This one’s for the boys. Mark Ronson takes a break from making music to have some fun in Charli XCX’s video for “Boys.” You’ll find him (suavely) combing his hair, amid scenes of other male celebs, such as Wiz Khalifa, Riz Ahmed and Joe Jonas having a pillow […] Please enjoy your roundup of TED-related news: This one’s for the boys. Mark Ronson takes a break from making music to have some fun in Charli XCX’s video for “Boys.” You’ll find him (suavely) combing his hair, amid scenes of other male celebs, such as Wiz Khalifa, Riz Ahmed and Joe Jonas having a pillow fight or cuddling with puppies, in a video intended to “flip the male gaze on its head.” (Watch Ronson’s TED Talk) class='youtube-player' type='text/html' width='586' height='360' src='http://www.youtube.com/embed/mPRy1B4t5YA?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent' allowfullscreen='true' style='border:0;'> To tweet, or not to tweet? Twitter and Facebook allow writers to promote their work and engage readers—but is it a force for good or for evil? In a conversation with LitHub, TED speakers Roxane Gay and Adam Grant, along with Alexander Chee and and Celeste Ng, discuss how they harness social media without letting it get the best of them. Grant was dragged into the online conversation “kicking and screaming,” but now believes that “it can be a source of energy and a real boon for your career.” Gay loves how Twitter keeps her up to date with new books; she sees more benefits than drawbacks for writers and publishers, and thinks “social media only sucks the life out of you if you allow it.” (Watch Grant’s TED Talk and Gay’s TED Talk) The race for our attention. When our attention is currency, tech companies work hard to get us to watch that next video, keep the Snap streak going or click on that personalized ad. Tristan Harris warns that while engineers are getting better and better at this, we’re just getting more and more sucked in without even meaning to. Fortunately, Harris shares some advice on how to protect our minds as well as his vision for a more constructive tech future in a Q&A with Wired that builds on his new TED Talk. (Watch Harris’ TED Talk) Medicine that bridges inequality. TED Prize winner Raj Panjabi discusses his plans with the New York Times to increase access to medical care for those living in rural, disconnected parts of Liberia. Motivated by the idea that “medicine could be a way to bridge inequality,” Panjabi’s nonprofit, Last Mile Health, trains locals as community health workers and provides them with medical supplies such as thermometers, smartphones and even malaria test kits. While his charity is focused on his birth country, Liberia, Panjabi believes that this approach to medical care could have a larger scope, even one that extends to rural America. “Why should anyone die from diseases that others don’t?” (Watch Panjabi’s TED Talk) Art all around us. The subdued whirr of a computer fan, a plastic bag caught in the wind … can these things come alive as art? Shih Chieh Huang believes so, and his new exhibition at the Worcester Art Museum, “Reusable Universes,” shows his belief at work. Using fans to inflate bags with air, he creates cephalopod-looking objects—lit up and moving, suspended in midair—and controls their movements with an app designed for stage lighting. Sometimes he sees the exhibit as a bunch of everyday items. “But sometimes,” he told artnet, “I think that’s a cell, heart, a lung, a sea creature.” (Watch Huang’s TED Talk) How can we grapple with historic injustices? Bryan Stevenson adds his voice to an anthology of eleven essays that analyze the history of racism in the criminal justice system, and its contemporary effects on the lives of African American men and boys. Each essayist touches on various stages an[...]



The big idea: Meetings, the ultimate time-suck, and how to fix them

2017-08-12T16:42:29Z

When great minds meet, everybody benefits. So, when meetings are good, they’re great. But if they’re bad (as most office meetings are, be honest with yourself), they’re anything but beneficial. You may say to yourself, or quietly argue to this article during your sad desk lunch: “But I am doing work. I’m sitting and talking […]When great minds meet, everybody benefits. So, when meetings are good, they’re great. But if they’re bad (as most office meetings are, be honest with yourself), they’re anything but beneficial. You may say to yourself, or quietly argue to this article during your sad desk lunch: “But I am doing work. I’m sitting and talking and brainstorming about work, thus I am working.” Yeah, not really. As Jason Fried (TED Talk: Why work doesn’t happen at work) points out, “Meetings aren’t work. Meetings are places to go to talk about things you’re supposed to be doing later.” Or, if you’re not in-person, there’s the hands-free and nightmarish conference call. class='youtube-player' type='text/html' width='586' height='360' src='http://www.youtube.com/embed/DYu_bGbZiiQ?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent' allowfullscreen='true' style='border:0;'> Since we can’t escape meetings entirely, how do we stop them from sucking up everyone’s time and space like the work equivalent of a black hole? Step 1: Ask yourself a simple question. “Does this [thing] really need a meeting?” If you’re having a hard time answering that question, here’s a handy infographic that should help you get to the bottom of one of work-life’s most sustaining and existential questions. Other questions to think about: “Will this meeting make the slightest difference in the project?” “Does this involve donuts?” “How much money is this meeting wasting?” “Do you believe in magic?” Step 2: If a meeting is unavoidable — how do you minimize the inevitable dread for all involved? “[There’s] this fundamental belief that we are powerless to do anything other than go to meetings and suffer through these poorly run meetings and live to meet another day,” says David Grady. src="https://embed.ted.com/talks/david_grady_how_to_save_the_world_or_at_least_yourself_from_bad_meetings" width="854px" height="480px" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen> Which, generally, sounds like a special circle of hell that it needn’t be. In his talk, Grady outlines a few ways to lessen the blunt force trauma to the head that a poorly run, unproductive meeting can feel like. Behold, a 3-point checklist. Do you really need to be there? The answer is maybe, maybe not. Imagine this scenario: A meeting invitation pops up in your calendar. And it’s from this woman who you kind of know from down the hall, and the subject line references some project that you heard a little bit about. But there’s no agenda. There’s no information about why you were invited to the meeting. And yet you accept the meeting invitation, and you go. And when this highly unproductive session is over, you go back to your desk, and you stand at your desk and you say, “Boy, I wish I had those two hours back.” Will an email suffice? Yes yes, the one thing people may despise more than meetings are emails. TED Curator Chris Anderson even has an entire website dedicated to saving our inboxes from the ever-rising flood of emails that haunt most professionals’ waking hours. However, there are few sweeter victories than avoiding half-hour meetings with a few focused clacks of the keyboard, or even a 5-minute desk / kitchen / watercooler chat (if it’s painless for all parties involved, that is; don’t stalk your co-workers, please). Does the meeting have an agenda? It’s important to have an outline that keeps everyone on task [...]



5 stellar mini-docs that will make you rethink time

2017-08-10T17:03:11Z

Five mini-documentary films captivated the TEDWomen 2016 audience — directed, written and produced by female filmmakers whose work embodies today’s best and most innovative storytelling. In a partnership between Lifetime and Chicken & Egg Pictures, these short films are artful in the ways their storytelling catalyzes social change and the TEDWomen 2016 theme, “It’s About […]Five mini-documentary films captivated the TEDWomen 2016 audience — directed, written and produced by female filmmakers whose work embodies today’s best and most innovative storytelling. In a partnership between Lifetime and Chicken & Egg Pictures, these short films are artful in the ways their storytelling catalyzes social change and the TEDWomen 2016 theme, “It’s About Time.” Watch the selected films below and learn more about the award-winning filmmakers behind them. Lyari Girl Boxing class='youtube-player' type='text/html' width='560' height='315' src='http://www.youtube.com/embed/9eBR_6muKQs?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent' allowfullscreen='true' style='border:0;'> About this film: In Lyari, Pakistan—called “the Colombia of Karachi” because of the tightening grip of rival gangs and widespread drug culture—a group of female boxers are taking ownership of their fate. About the filmmaker: Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy is a two-time Academy Award and Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker. In the past 15 years, she has made more than a dozen multi-award-winning films in over 10 countries around the world. Her films include A Girl in the River, Song of Lahore, Peacekeepers: A Journey of a Thousand Miles and Saving Face. In 2012, Time Magazine included Sharmeen in its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. In 2013, the Canadian government awarded her a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her work in the field of documentary films, and the World Economic Forum honored her with a Crystal Award at their annual summit in Davos. She is a TED Senior Fellow. How Much Is Enough? class='youtube-player' type='text/html' width='560' height='315' src='http://www.youtube.com/embed/TQGZL6SABVs?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent' allowfullscreen='true' style='border:0;'> About this film: Several American mothers reflect on two key questions: How much extra time would you like in a day? What would you do with that extra time? About the filmmaker: Grace Lee directed the Peabody-winning documentary American Revolutionary: The Evolution of Grace Lee Boggs, which Hollywood Reporter called “an entertainingly revealing portrait of the power of a single individual to effect change.” The film premiered at the 2013 Los Angeles Film Festival and was broadcast on the PBS series “POV.” Her previous documentary The Grace Lee Project was broadcast on Sundance Channel and was called “ridiculously entertaining” by New York magazine. She recently produced two documentaries for PBS: the Emmy-nominated Makers: Women in Politics and Off the Menu: Asian America. As a Women at Sundance Fellow, she is developing a social issue comedy series. A Mother’s Dream class='youtube-player' type='text/html' width='560' height='315' src='http://www.youtube.com/embed/vDFTv7T86xM?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent' allowfullscreen='true' style='border:0;'> About this film: An intimate portrait of a day in the life of Collette Flanagan, a mother who lost a child to police violence and now empowers others to demand constructive and concrete systemic change in their communities. About the filmmaker: Filmmaker, artist and author Michèle Stephenson p[...]



Prosthetics that feel more natural, how mushrooms may help save bees, and more

2017-07-21T21:39:21Z

Please enjoy your roundup of TED-related news: Prosthetics that feel more natural. A study in Science Robotics lays out a surgical technique developed by Shriya Srinivasan, Hugh Herr and others that may help prosthetics feel more like natural limbs. During an amputation, the muscle pairs that allow our brains to sense how much force is […] Please enjoy your roundup of TED-related news: Prosthetics that feel more natural. A study in Science Robotics lays out a surgical technique developed by Shriya Srinivasan, Hugh Herr and others that may help prosthetics feel more like natural limbs. During an amputation, the muscle pairs that allow our brains to sense how much force is applied to a limb and where it is in space are severed, halting sensory feedback to and from the brain and affecting one’s ability to balance, handle objects and move. But nerves that send signals to the amputated limb remain intact in many amputees. Using rats, the scientists connected these nerves with muscles grafted from other parts of the body — a technique that successfully restored the muscle pair relationship and sensory feedback being sent to the brain. Combined with other research on translating nerve signals into instructions for moving the prosthetic limb, the technique could help amputees regain the ability to sense where the prosthetic is in space and the forces applied to it. They plan to begin implementing this technique in human amputees. (Watch Herr’s TED Talk) From mathematician to politician. Emmanuel Macron wants France to be at the forefront of science, and science to be incorporated in global politics, but this is easier said than done. The election of Cédric Villani to the French National Assembly—a mathematician, Fields medalist, and TED speaker—provides a reason for optimism. “Currently, scientific knowledge within French political circles is close to zero,” Villani said in an interview with Science. “It’s important that some scientific expertise is present in the National Assembly.” Villani’s election is a step in that direction. (Watch Villani’s TED Talk) A digital upgrade for the US government. The United States Digital Services, of which Matt Cutts is acting administrator, released its July Report to Congress. Since 2014, the USDS has worked with Silicon Valley engineers and experienced government employees to streamline federal websites and online services. Currently, the USDS is working with seven federal agencies, including the Department of Defense, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Education. Ultimately, the USDS’ digital intervention is not just about reducing cost and increasing efficiency– it’s about restoring people’s trust in government. (Watch Cutts’ TED Talk) Can mushrooms help save bees? Bee populations have been in decline for the past decade, and the consequences could be dire. But in a video for Biographic, produced by Louie Schwartzberg and including mycologist Paul Stamets, scientists discuss an unexpected solution: mushrooms. The spores and extract from Metarhizium anisopliae, a common species of mushroom, are toxic to varroa mites, the vampiric parasite which sucks blood from bees and causes colony collapse disorder. However, bees can tolerate low doses free of harm. Metarhizium anisopliae has even been shown to promote beehive longevity. This could be a step forward in curbing the mortality rate of nature’s most prolific pollinator. (Watch Schwartzberg’s TED Talk and Stamets’ TED Talk) Support for women entrepreneurs. The World Bank Group announced its creation of The Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi), a facility that will create a $1 billion fund to support and encourage female entrepreneurship. Initiated by the U.S. and Germany, it quickly received support from other nations including Canada, Japan, Saudi Arabia and South Korea. Nearly 70% of [...]



What if? … and other questions that lead to big ideas: The talks of TED@UPS

2017-08-11T20:46:57Z

What if one person could change the world? What if we could harness our collective talent, insight and wisdom? And what if, together, we could spark a movement with positive impact far into the future? For a third year, UPS has partnered with TED to bring experts in business, logistics, design and technology to the stage […]Hosts Bryn Freedman and Kelly Stoetzel welcome us to the show at TED@UPS, July 20, 2017, at SCADshow in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo: Mary Anne Morgan / TED) What if one person could change the world? What if we could harness our collective talent, insight and wisdom? And what if, together, we could spark a movement with positive impact far into the future? For a third year, UPS has partnered with TED to bring experts in business, logistics, design and technology to the stage to share ideas from the forefront of innovation. At this year’s TED@UPS — held on July 20, 2017, at SCADShow in Atlanta, Georgia — 18 speakers and performers showed how daring human imagination can solve our most difficult problems.  After opening remarks from Juan Perez, UPS’s chief information and engineering officer, the talks in Session 1 … Why protectionism isn’t a good deal. We’ve heard a lot of rhetoric lately suggesting that importers, like the US, are losing valuable manufacturing jobs to exporters like China, Mexico and Vietnam. In reality, those manufacturing jobs haven’t disappeared for the reasons you may think, says border and logistics specialist Augie Picado. Automation, not offshoring, is really to blame, he says; in fact, of the 5.7 million manufacturing jobs lost in the US between 2000 and 2010, 87 percent of them were lost to automation. If that trend continues, it means that future protectionist policies would save 1 in 10 manufacturing jobs, at best — but, more likely, they’d lead to tariffs and trade wars. And with the nature of modern manufacturing inexorably trending toward shared production, in which individual products are manufactured using materials produced in many different countries, protectionist policies make even less sense. Shared production allows us to manufacture higher-quality products at prices we can afford, but it’s impossible without efficient cross-border movement of materials and products. As Picado asks: “Does it make more sense to drive up prices to the point where we can’t afford basic goods, for the sake of protecting a job that might be eliminated by automation in a few years anyway?”  Christine Thach shares her experience growing up in a refugee community — and the lessons it taught her about life and business — at TED@UPS. (Photo: Mary Anne Morgan / TED) Capitalism for the collective. Christine Thach was raised within a tight-knit community of Cambodian refugees in the United States. Time after time, she witnessed the triumphs of community-first thinking through her own family’s hardships, steadfast relationships and continuous investment in refugee-owned businesses. “This collective-success mindset we’ve seen in refugees can actually improve the way we do business,” she says. “The self-interested foundations of capitalism, and the refugee collectivist mindset, are not in direct conflict with each other. They’re actually complementary.” Thach thinks an all-for-one, one-for-all mentality may just be able to shake up capitalism in a way that benefits everyone — if companies shift away from the individual and rally for group prosperity. In defense of perfectionism. Some people think perfectionism is a bad thing, that it only leaves us disappointed. Jon Bowers disagrees; he sees perfectionism as “a willingness to do what is difficult to achieve what is right.” Bowers manages a facility where he trains professional delivery drivers. The st[...]



Our podcast “Sincerely, X” co-produced with Audible now available free worldwide

2017-07-24T15:13:43Z

Last year, TED and Audible co-produced a new audio series that invited speakers to share ideas—anonymously. Our goal was to make room for an entirely new trove of ideas: those that could only be broadcast publicly if the speaker’s identity remained private. The series debuted with a number of powerful stories, and we learned a [](image)

Last year, TED and Audible co-produced a new audio series that invited speakers to share ideas—anonymously. Our goal was to make room for an entirely new trove of ideas: those that could only be broadcast publicly if the speaker’s identity remained private.

The series debuted with a number of powerful stories, and we learned a lot in the process (read about producer Cloe Shasha’s personal experience here).

Now, we’re bringing that first season for free to Apple Podcasts, the TED Android app, or wherever you get your podcasts.

We begin with our first episode, “Dr. Burnout,” featuring a doctor who says she committed a fatal mistake with a patient, leading her to a disturbing diagnosis: the medical field pushes for professional burnout. She unveils a powerful perspective on how doctors must deepen their self-awareness.

We’ll be releasing new episodes every Thursday for the next 10 weeks.

Fans can also access all the episodes today at audible.com/sincerelyx

 


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Anonymous ideas worth spreading — and the surprising discoveries behind their curation

2017-07-27T14:56:05Z

The intimacy of listening: Producer Cloe Shasha shares a few surprising insights that her team learned while producing TED and Audible's audio series, "Sincerely, X."The intimacy of listening: Producer Cloe Shasha shares what she and her team learned while producing TED and Audible’s original audio series “Sincerely, X.” In the spring of 2016, we put out a call for submissions for anonymous talks from around the world for the first season of our new podcast, Sincerely, X. We received hundreds of ideas — stories touching on a broad range of topics. As we read through them, we found ourselves flooded by tragedy, comedy, intrigue and surprise. Stories of victims of abuse, struggles with mental health, lessons from prison, insider secrets within companies and governmental organizations, and so much more. >> Sincerely, X was co-produced with Audible. Episode 1, “Dr. Burnout,” is available now on Apple Podcasts and the TED Android app. << The premise of the podcast Sincerely, X felt simple at first: sharing important ideas, anonymously. The episodes would include speakers who need to separate their professional ideas from their personal lives; those who want to share an idea, but fear it would hurt someone in their family if they did so publicly; and quiet idealists whose solutions could transform lives. Why anonymous? Our theory was that inviting people to share ideas without having to reveal their identity might allow for an entirely new category of talks. We dove into this pool of submissions to figure out who would make a great speaker for the show, and started interviewing people by phone. We were looking for compelling stories that had a strong need for anonymity while also considering them through the lens that we use for TED Talk submissions. In other words, did each story have an idea worth spreading? Throughout the process of creating Sincerely, X season 1, we realized that we had to think about these talks quite differently from TED Talks on a stage, and we adapted along the way. Signposting in an audio talk When you’re watching a speaker on a stage, context and sentiment are communicated through the speaker’s body language, facial expressions and images (if they have slides). In audio, with only one of our senses engaged, a lot more information has to be transmitted through a speaker’s voice alone. This came up when we worked with the speaker in episode 2, “Pepper Spray.” It’s the story of a woman who lived a normal-seeming life — until one day she lashed out in a department store and began pepper-spraying strangers. There are a lot of details that she shares about her life in that episode — both before and after the pepper spray incident. If she were telling this story on a stage, the audience would experience visual cues that would indicate whether she were reflecting on the far past versus the recent past, or whether she felt shameful or justified in her actions. (Watch a TED Talk with the sound off sometime, and you’ll be surprised at how much context you can pick up!) But when we shared the audio with colleagues for their feedback, they were at times confused by the sequence of events in the story. So we worked with the speaker to help her find places to include signposting sentences such as, “But I want to come back to the hero of the story.” In other words, phrases that could ground the listener in what’s about to come.   The intimacy of listening In the same way that hearing a ghost story around a campfire conjures up scary visualizations, hearing a difficult story on a podcast can build intense images in your mind. Drawing the line between deeply moving content and manipulative content can be tricky and nuanced. In the case of some Sincerely, X episodes, a few of the early drafts of ta[...]



TEDGlobal 2017: Announcing the speaker lineup for our Arusha conference

2017-08-03T15:12:37Z

TEDGlobal 2017 kicks off August 27–30, 2017, in Arusha, Tanzania. Ten years after the last TEDGlobal in Arusha, we’ll again gather a community from across the continent and around the world to explore ideas that may propel Africa’s next leap — in business, politics and justice, creativity and entrepreneurship, science and tech. Today, we’re thrilled […]TEDGlobal 2017 kicks off August 27–30, 2017, in Arusha, Tanzania. Ten years after the last TEDGlobal in Arusha, we’ll again gather a community from across the continent and around the world to explore ideas that may propel Africa’s next leap — in business, politics and justice, creativity and entrepreneurship, science and tech. Today, we’re thrilled to announce our speaker lineup for TEDGlobal 2017! It’s a powerful list you can skim here — to dive into speaker bios and learn about the 8 themed sessions of TEDGlobal 2017, visit our full Program Guide. OluTimehin Adegbeye, Writer and activist: Writing on gender justice, sexual and reproductive rights, urban poverty and media OluTimehin Adegbeye shares her (often very strong) opinions on Twitter and in long-form work. @OhTimehin Oshiorenoya Agabi, Neurotechnology entrepreneur: Oshiorenoya Agabi is engineering neurons to express synthetic receptors which give them an unprecedented ability to become aware of surroundings. koniku.io Nabila Alibhai, Place-maker: Nabila Alibhai leads inCOMMONS, a new organization focused on civic engagement, public spaces, and building collective responsibility for our shared places.@NabilaAlibhai Bibi Bakare-Yusuf, Publisher: Bibi Bakare-Yusuf is co-founder and publishing director of one of Africa’s leading publishing houses, Cassava Republic Press. cassavarepublic.biz Christian Benimana, Architect: Christian Benimana is co-founder of the African Design Center, a training program for young architects. massdesigngroup.org Gus Casely-Hayford, Cultural historian: Gus Casely-Hayford writes, lectures, curates and broadcasts widely about African culture. In Session 5, Repatterning, speakers will talk about the worlds we create — in fiction, fashion, design, music. Natsai Audrey Chieza, Designer: Natsai Audrey Chieza is a design researcher whose fascinating work crosses boundaries between technology, biology, design and cultural studies. @natsaiaudrey Tania Douglas, Biomedical engineer: Tania Douglas imagines how biomedical engineering can help address some of Africa’s health challenges. @tania_douglas Touria El Glaoui, Art fair curator: To showcase vital new art from African nations and the diaspora, Touria El Glaoui founded the powerhouse 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair. @154artfair Meron Estefanos, Refugee activist: Meron Estefanos is the executive director of the Eritrean Initiative on Refugee Rights, advocating for refugees and victims of trafficking and torture. @meronina Chika Ezeanya-Esiobu, Indigenous knowledge expert: Working across disciplines, Chika Ezeanya-Esiobu explores indigenous knowledge, homegrown and grassroots approaches to the sustainable advancement of Sub-Saharan Africa. chikaforafrica.com Kamau Gachigi, Technologist: At Gearbox, Kamau Gachigi empowers Kenya’s next generation of creators to prototype and fabricate their visions. @kamaufablab Ameenah Gurib-Fakim: President of Mauritius: Ameenah Gurib-Fakim is the 6th president of the island of Mauritius. As a biodiversity scientist as well, she explores the medical and nutrition secrets of her home. @aguribfakim Leo Igwe, Human rights activist: Leo Igwe works to end a variety of human rights violations that are rooted in superstition, including witchcraft accusations, anti-gay hate, caste discrimination and ritual killing. @leoigwe Joel Jackson, Transport entrepreneur: Joel Jac[...]



10 books from TEDWomen for your summer reading list — and beyond

2017-07-20T00:03:02Z

There’s no doubt that the speakers we invite to TEDWomen each year have amazing stories to tell. And many of them are published authors (or about to be!) whose work is worth exploring beyond their brief moments in the TED spotlight. So, if you’re looking for some inspiring, instructive and provocative books to add to your […] There’s no doubt that the speakers we invite to TEDWomen each year have amazing stories to tell. And many of them are published authors (or about to be!) whose work is worth exploring beyond their brief moments in the TED spotlight. So, if you’re looking for some inspiring, instructive and provocative books to add to your summer reading list, these recent books from 2016 TEDWomen speakers are worthy additions. src="https://embed.ted.com/talks/brittney_cooper_the_racial_politics_of_time" width="586" height="330" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen> 1. Beyond Respectability: The Intellectual Thought of Race Women by Brittney Cooper Brittney Cooper wowed us at TEDWomen with her presentation on the racial politics of time. And in her new book, Beyond Respectability: The Intellectual Thought of Race Women, released in May, she doesn’t disappoint. Brittney says she got started studying black women intellectuals in graduate school. Although she learned a lot about the histories of black male intellectuals as an undergrad at Howard University, she “somehow managed not to learn anything about” the storied history of black women intellectuals in her four years there. In her book, Brittney looks at the far-reaching intellectual achievements of female thinkers and activists like Ida B. Wells, Anna Julia Cooper, Mary Church Terrell, Fannie Barrier Williams, Pauli Murray and Toni Cade Bambara. NPR’s Genevieve Valentine writes that Brittney’s book is “a work of crucial cultural study … [that] lays out the complicated history of black woman as intellectual force, making clear how much work she has done simply to bring that category into existence.” src="https://embed.ted.com/talks/thordis_elva_tom_stranger_our_story_of_rape_and_reconciliation" width="586" height="330" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen> 2. South of Forgiveness by Thordis Elva and Tom Stranger One of the most intensely personal talks in San Francisco came from Thordis Elva and Tom Stranger. In 1996, 16-year-old Thordis shared a teenage romance with Tom, an exchange student from Australia. After a school dance, Tom raped Thordis. They didn’t speak for many years. Then, in her twenties, Thordis wrote to Tom, wanting to talk about what he did to her, and remarkably, he responded. For the first time, in front of the TEDWomen audience, Thordis and Tom talked openly about what happened and why she wanted to talk to him, and he to her. South of Forgiveness: A True Story of Rape and Responsibility is a profoundly moving, open-chested and critical book. It is an exploration into sexual violence and self-knowledge that shines a healing light into the shrouded corners of our universal humanity. There is a disarming power in these pages that has the potential to change our language, shift our divisions, and invite us to be brave in discussing this pressing, global issue. src="https://embed.ted.com/talks/peggy_orenstein_what_young_women_believe_about_their_own_sexual_pleasure" width="586" height="330" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen> 3. Girls & Sex by Peggy Orenstein In a TED Talk that has already been viewed over 1.5 million times, author and journalist Peggy Orenstein, shared some of[...]



The TED2018 Fellows application is open. Apply now!

2017-07-18T13:00:29Z

TED is looking for early-career, visionary thinkers from around the world to join the Fellows program at the upcoming TED2018 conference in Vancouver, British Columbia. Do you have an original approach to your work that’s worth sharing with the world? Are you working to uplift and empower your local community through innovative science, art or […] TED is looking for early-career, visionary thinkers from around the world to join the Fellows program at the upcoming TED2018 conference in Vancouver, British Columbia. Do you have an original approach to your work that’s worth sharing with the world? Are you working to uplift and empower your local community through innovative science, art or entrepreneurship? Are you ready to take full advantage of the TED platform and the support of a dynamic global community of innovators? If yes, you should apply to be a TED Fellow. TED Fellows are a multidisciplinary group of remarkable individuals who are chosen through an open and rigorous application process. For each TED conference, we select a class of 20 Fellows based on their exceptional achievement and an innovative approach to tackling the world’s toughest problems, as well as on their character, grit and collaborative spirit. Apply by September 10 at go.ted.com/tedfellowsapply. TED2018 — themed “The Age of Amazement” — will take a deep-dive into the key developments driving our future, from jaw-dropping AI to glorious new forms of creativity to courageous advocates of radical social change. If selected, you will attend the TED2018 conference and participate in a Fellows-only pre-conference designed especially to inspire, empower and support your work. Fellows also deliver a TED Talk at the conference, filmed and considered for publication on TED.com.   The TED Fellows program is designed to catapult your career through transformational support like coaching and mentorship, public relations guidance for sharing your latest projects, hands on speaker training — and, most importantly, access to the vibrant global network of more than 400 Fellows from over 90 countries. The online application includes general biographical questions, short essays on your work and three references. Only those aged 18 and older can apply. If selected, Fellows must reserve April 10 – April 15, 2018 on their calendars for the TED2018 conference in Vancouver, British Columbia. Think you have what it takes to be a TED Fellow? Apply now. More information Questions?: ted.com/participate/ted-fellows-program Visit: ted.com/fellows Follow: @TEDFellow Like: facebook.com/TEDFellow Read: fellowsblog.ted.com [...]



Why TED takes two weeks off every summer

2017-06-23T18:17:15Z

TED.com is about to go quiet for two weeks. No new TED Talks will be posted on the web until Monday, July 10, 2017, while most of the TED staff takes our annual two-week vacation. Yes, we all (or almost all) go on vacation at the same time. No, we don’t all go to the same place. We’ve been doing it this […]TED.com is about to go quiet for two weeks. No new TED Talks will be posted on the web until Monday, July 10, 2017, while most of the TED staff takes our annual two-week vacation. Yes, we all (or almost all) go on vacation at the same time. No, we don’t all go to the same place. We’ve been doing it this way now for eight years. Our summer break is a little lifehack that solves the problem of a company in perpetual-startup mode where something new is always going on and everyone has raging FOMO. We avoid the fear of missing out on emails and new projects and blah blah blah … by making sure that nothing is going on. I love how the inventor of this holiday, TED’s founding head of media June Cohen, once explained it: “When you have a team of passionate, dedicated overachievers, you don’t need to push them to work harder, you need to help them rest. By taking the same two weeks off, it makes sure everyone takes vacation,” she said. “Planning a vacation is hard — most of us still feel a little guilty to take two weeks off, and we’d be likely to cancel when something inevitably comes up. This creates an enforced rest period, which is so important for productivity and happiness.” Bonus: “It’s efficient,” she said. “In most companies, people stagger their vacations through the summer. But this means you can never quite get things done all summer long. You never have all the right people in the room.” So, as the bartender said: You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here. We won’t post new TED Talks on the web for the next two weeks. (Though — check out audio talks on iTunes, where we’re curating two weeks of talks on the theme of Journeys.) The office is three-quarters empty. And we stay off email. The whole point is that vacation time should be truly restful, and we should be able to recharge without having to check in or worry about what we’re missing back at the office. See you on Monday, July 10! Note: This piece was first posted on July 17, 2014. It was updated on July 27, 2015, again on July 20, 2016, and again on June 23, 2017. [...]



An updated design for TED Talks

2017-06-22T17:29:50Z

It’s been a few years since the TED Talks video page was last updated, but a new design begins rolling out this week. The update aims to provide a more straightforward viewing experience for mobile devices, improve performance, and surface more ideas we think you'll like. It’s been a few years since the TED Talks video page was last updated, but a new design begins rolling out this week. The update aims to provide a simple, straightforward viewing experience for you while surfacing other ideas worth spreading that you might also like. A few changes to highlight … More talks to watch Today there are about 2,500 TED Talks in the catalog, and each is unique. However, most of them are connected to other talks in some way — on similar topics, or given by the same speaker. Think of it as part of a conversation. That’s why, in our new design, it’s easier to see other talks you might be interested in. Those smart recommendations are shown along the right side of the screen. As our library of talks grows, the updated design will help you discover the most relevant talks. Beyond the video: More brain candy Most ideas are rich in nuanced information far beyond what an 18 minute talk can contain. That’s why we collected deeper content around the idea for you to explore— like books by the speaker, articles relating to the talk, and ways to take action and get involved — in the Details section. Many speakers provide annotations for viewers (now with clickable time codes that take you right to the relevant moment in the video) as well as their own resources and personal recommendations. You can find all of that extra content in the Footnotes and Reading list sections. Transcripts, translations, and subtitling Reaching a global community has always been a foundation of TED’s mission, so working to improve the experience for our non-English speaking viewers is an ongoing effort. This update gives you one-click access to our most requested subtitles (when available), displayed in their native endonyms. We’ve also improved the subtitles themselves, making the text easier for you to read across languages. What’s next? While there are strong visual differences, this update is but one mark in a series of improvements we plan on making for how you view TED Talks on TED.com. We’d appreciate your feedback to measure our progress and influence our future changes! [...]



TEDWomen update: Black Lives Matter wins Sydney Peace Prize

2017-06-23T16:32:12Z

Cross-posted from TEDWomen curator Pat Mitchell’s blog on the Huffington Post. Last month, the Black Lives Matter movement was awarded the Sydney Peace Prize, a global prize that honors those who pursue “peace with justice.” Past honorees include South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Irish President Mary Robinson. The prize “recognizes the vital contributions of […]Founders of the Black Lives Matter movement — from left, Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi, interviewed onstage by TEDWomen cohost Mia Birdsong at TEDWomen 2016 in San Francisco. Photo: Marla Aufmuth / TED Cross-posted from TEDWomen curator Pat Mitchell’s blog on the Huffington Post. Last month, the Black Lives Matter movement was awarded the Sydney Peace Prize, a global prize that honors those who pursue “peace with justice.” Past honorees include South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Irish President Mary Robinson. The prize “recognizes the vital contributions of leading global peacemakers, creates a platform so that their voices are heard, and supports their vital work for a fairer world.” Winners receive $50,000 to help them continue their work. One of the highlights of last year’s TEDWomen was a conversation with Black Lives Matter founders Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi. They spoke with Mia Birdsong about the movement and their commitment to working collaboratively for change. As Tometi told Birdsong: “We need to acknowledge that different people contribute different strengths, and that in order for our entire team to flourish, we have to allow them to share and allow them to shine.” src="https://embed.ted.com/talks/alicia_garza_patrisse_cullors_and_opal_tometi_an_interview_with_the_founders_of_black_lives_matter" width="585" height="329" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen> This year’s TEDWomen conference (registration is open), which will be held in New Orleans November 1–3, 2017, will expand on many of the themes Garza, Cullors, Tometi and Birdsong touched on during their conversation last year. This year’s conference theme is Bridges — and we’ll be looking at how individuals and organizations create bridges between races, cultures, people, and places — and, as modeled by the Black Lives Matter movement, how we build bridges to a more equal and just world. In announcing the award, the Sydney Peace Foundation said, “This is the first time that a movement and not a person has been awarded the peace prize — a timely choice. Climate change is escalating fast, increasing inequality and racism are feeding divisiveness, and we are in the middle of the worst refugee crisis since World War II. Yet many establishment leaders across the world stick their heads in the sand or turn their backs on justice, fairness and equality.” Founders Garza, Cullors and Tometi will travel to Australia later this year to formally accept the prize. Congratulations to them! [...]



5 TED Radio Hour episodes that explore what it’s like to be human

2017-06-17T12:45:10Z

TED Radio Hour started in 2013, and while I’ve only been working on the show for about a year, it’s one of my favorite parts of my job. We work with an incredibly creative team over at NPR, and helping them weave different ideas into a narrative each week adds a whole new dimension to […] TED Radio Hour started in 2013, and while I’ve only been working on the show for about a year, it’s one of my favorite parts of my job. We work with an incredibly creative team over at NPR, and helping them weave different ideas into a narrative each week adds a whole new dimension to the talks. On Friday, the podcast published its 100th episode. The theme is A Better You, and in the hour we explore the many ways we as humans try to improve ourselves. We look at the role of our own minds when it comes to self-improvement, and the tension in play between the internal and the external in this struggle. New to the show, or looking to dip back into the archive? Below are five of my favorite episodes so far that explore what it means to be human. The Hero’s Journey What makes a hero? Why are we so drawn to stories of lone figures, battling against the odds? We talk about space and galaxies far, far away a lot at TED, but in this episode we went one step further and explored the concept of the Hero’s Journey relates to the Star Wars universe – and the ideas of TED speakers. Dame Ellen MacArthur shares the transformative impact of her solo sailing trip around the world. Jarrett J. Krosoczka pays homage to the surprising figures that formed his path in life. George Takei tells his powerful story of being held in a Japanese-American internment camp during WWII, and how he managed to forgive, and even love, the country that treated him this way. We finish up the hour with Ismael Nazario’s story of spending 300 days in solitary confinement before he was even convicted of a crime, and how this ultimately set him on a journey to help others. Anthropocene In this episode, four speakers make the case that we are now living in a new geological age called the Anthropocene, where the main force impacting the earth – is us. Kenneth Lacovara opens the show by taking us on a tour of the earth’s ages so far. Next Emma Marris calls us to connect with nature in a new way so we’ll actually want to protect it. Then, Peter Ward looks at what past extinctions can tell us about the earth – and ourselves. Finally Cary Fowler takes us deep within a vault in Svalbard, where a group of scientists are storing seeds in an attempt to ultimately preserve our species. While the subject could easily be a ‘doom and gloom’ look at the state of our planet, ultimately it left me hopeful and optimistic for our ability to solve some of these monumental problems. If you haven’t yet heard of the Anthropocene, I promise that after this episode you’ll start coming across it everywhere. The Power of Design Doing an episode on design seemed like an obvious choice, and we were excited about the challenge of creating an episode about such a visual discipline for radio. We looked at the ways good or bad design affects us, and the ways we can make things more elegant and beautiful. Tony Fadell starts out the episode by bringing us back to basics, calling out the importance of noticing design flaws in the world around us in order to solve problems. Marc Kushner predicts how architectural design is going to be increasingly shaped by public perception and social media. Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia takes us inside the design process that helped people establish enough trust to open up their homes to complete strangers. Next[...]



A noninvasive method for deep brain stimulation, a new class of Emerging Explorers, and much more

2017-06-20T16:42:53Z

As usual, the TED community has lots of news to share this week. Below, some highlights. Surface-level brain stimulation. The delivery of an electric current to the part of the brain involved in movement control, known as deep brain stimulation, is sometimes used to treat people with Parkinson’s disease, depression, epilepsy and obsessive compulsive disorder. […] As usual, the TED community has lots of news to share this week. Below, some highlights. Surface-level brain stimulation. The delivery of an electric current to the part of the brain involved in movement control, known as deep brain stimulation, is sometimes used to treat people with Parkinson’s disease, depression, epilepsy and obsessive compulsive disorder. However, the process isn’t risk-free — and there are few people who possess the skill set to open a skull and implant electrodes in the brain. A new study, of which MIT’s Ed Boyden was the senior author, has found a noninvasive method: placing electrodes on the scalp rather than in the skull. This may make deep brain stimulation available to more patients and allow the technique to be more easily adapted to treat other disorders. (Watch Boyden’s TED Talk) Rooms for refugees. Airbnb unveiled a new platform, Welcome, which provides housing to refugees and evacuees free of charge. Using its extensive network, Airbnb is partnering with global and local organizations that will have access to Welcome in order to pair refugees with available lodging. The company aims to provide temporary housing for 100,000 displaced persons over the next five years. Airbnb co-founder, Joe Gebbia, urges anybody with a spare room to “play a small role in tackling this global challenge”; so far, 6,000 people have answered his call. (Watch Gebbia’s TED Talk) A TEDster joins The Shed. Kevin Slavin has been named Chief Science and Technology Officer of The Shed. Set to open in 2019, The Shed is a uniquely-designed space in New York City that will bring together leading thinkers in the arts, the humanities and the sciences to create innovative art. Slavin’s multidisciplinary—or, as he puts it, anti-disciplinary—mindset seems a perfect fit for The Shed’s mission of “experimentation, innovation, and collaboration.” Slavin, who was behind the popular game Drop 7, has run a research lab at MIT’s Media Lab, and has showcased his work in MoMA, among other museums. The Shed was designed by TEDsters Liz Diller and David Rockwell. (Watch Slavin’s TED Talk, Diller’s TED Talk and Rockwell’s TED Talk) Playing with politics. Designing a video to feel as close to real life as possible often means intricate graphics and astutely crafted scripts. For game development studio Klang, it also means replicating politics. That’s why Klang has brought on Lawrence Lessig to build the political framework for their new game, Seed. Described as “a boundless journey for human survival, fuelled by discovery, collaboration and genuine emotion,” Seed is a vast multiplayer game whose simulation continues even after a player has logged off. Players are promised “endless exploration of a living, breathing exoplanet” and can traverse this new planet forming colonies, developing relationships, and collaborating with other players. Thanks to Lessig, they can also choose their form of government and appointed officials. While the game will not center on politics, Lessig’s contributions will help the game evolve to more realistically resemble real life. (Watch Lessig’s TED Talk) A new class of explorers. National Geographic has announced this year’s Emergi[...]



Sneak preview lineup unveiled for Africa’s next TED Conference

2017-07-18T14:09:10Z

On August 27, an extraordinary group of people will gather in Arusha, Tanzania, for TEDGlobal 2017, a four-day TED Conference for “those with a genuine interest in the betterment of the continent,” says curator Emeka Okafor. As Okafor puts it: “Africa has an opportunity to reframe the future of work, cultural production, entrepreneurship, agribusiness. We […] On August 27, an extraordinary group of people will gather in Arusha, Tanzania, for TEDGlobal 2017, a four-day TED Conference for “those with a genuine interest in the betterment of the continent,” says curator Emeka Okafor. As Okafor puts it: “Africa has an opportunity to reframe the future of work, cultural production, entrepreneurship, agribusiness. We are witnessing the emergence of new educational and civic models. But there is, on the flip side, a set of looming challenges that include the youth bulge and under-/unemployment, a food crisis, a risky dependency on commodities, slow industrializations, fledgling and fragile political systems. There is a need for a greater sense of urgency.” He hopes the speakers at TEDGlobal will catalyze discussion around “the need to recognize and amplify solutions from within the Africa and the global diaspora.” Who are these TED speakers? A group of people with “fresh, unique perspectives in their initiatives, pronouncements and work,” Okafor says. “Doers as well as thinkers — and contrarians in some cases.” The curation team, which includes TED head curator Chris Anderson, went looking for speakers who take “a hands-on approach to solution implementation, with global-level thinking.” Here’s the first sneak preview — a shortlist of speakers who, taken together, give a sense of the breadth and topics to expect, from tech to the arts to committed activism and leadership. Look for the long list of 35–40 speakers in upcoming weeks. The TEDGlobal 2017 conference happens August 27–30, 2017, in Arusha, Tanzania. Apply to attend >> Kamau Gachigi, Maker “In five to ten years, Kenya will truly have a national innovation system, i.e. a system that by its design audits its population for talented makers and engineers and ensures that their skills become a boon to the economy and society.” — Kamau Gachigi on Engineering for Change Dr. Kamau Gachigi is the executive director of Gearbox, Kenya’s first open makerspace for rapid prototyping, based in Nairobi. Before establishing Gearbox, Gachigi headed the University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park, where he founded a Fab Lab full of manufacturing and prototyping tools in 2009, then built another one at the Riruta Satellite in an impoverished neighborhood in the city. At Gearbox, he empowers Kenya’s next generation of creators to build their visions. @kamaufablab Mohammed Dewji, Business leader “My vision is to facilitate the development of a poverty-free Tanzania. A future where the opportunities for Tanzanians are limitless.” — Mohammed Dewji Mohammed Dewji is a Tanzanian businessman, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and former politician. He serves as the President and CEO of MeTL Group, a Tanzanian conglomerate operating in 11 African countries. The Group operates in areas as diverse as trading, agriculture, manufacturing, energy and petroleum, financial services, mobile telephony, infrastructure and real estate, transport, logistics and distribution. He served as Member of Parliament for Singida-Urban from 2005 until his retirement in 2015. Dewji is als[...]



Two surprising strategies for effective innovation

2017-06-09T15:07:39Z

Picture this: Three kids are given a LEGO set with the pieces to build a fire department. All of them want to build as many new toys as possible. The first kid goes straight for the easy wins. He puts a tiny red hat on a tiny minifig: presto, a firefighter! In this way, he […] Picture this: Three kids are given a LEGO set with the pieces to build a fire department. All of them want to build as many new toys as possible. The first kid goes straight for the easy wins. He puts a tiny red hat on a tiny minifig: presto, a firefighter! In this way, he quickly makes several simple toys. The second kid goes by intuition. He chooses the pieces he’s drawn to and imagines how he could combine them. The third takes a different strategy altogether: She picks up axles, wheels, base plates; pieces she can’t use now but knows she’ll need later if she wants to build complex toys. By the time they’re finished playing, which kid will have created the most new toys? Common lore favors the second kid’s strategy — innovation by intuition or visionary foresight. “Innovation has been more of an art than a science,” says Martin Reeves (TED Talk: How to build a business that lasts 100 years), a senior partner and managing director at BCG, and global director of BCG’s think tank. “We think it’s dependent on intuition or personality or luck.” A new study, led by Reeves and Thomas Fink from the London Institute of Mathematical Sciences, shows that’s not the case. “Innovation is an unpredictable process, but one with predictable features,” says Reeves. “It’s not just a matter of luck. It’s possible to have a strategy of innovation.” The study found that the second kid, guided only by intuition and vision, is the least likely to succeed. The other two are the ones to emulate, but the secret is knowing how and when to use each of their tactics.    The Impatient Strategy Let’s go back to the first kid, the one who started by putting hats on the figurines. His strategy is familiar to entrepreneurs: he’s creating the minimum viable product, or the simplest, fastest version of a finished product. Reeves calls that an “impatient strategy.” It’s fast, iterative, and bare bones.   When you’re breaking into a market that’s fairly new, an impatient strategy is the best way to go. “Look for simple solutions,” says Reeves.     For example, that’s what Uber did when it first launched. The industry was young and easy to disrupt, so the app combined technologies that already existed to create a simple black-car service. Only later did it become the sprawling company it is today, looking ahead to things like the future of self-driving cars.    The Patient Strategy An impatient strategy might be effective early on, but eventually, it stops working. Enter the third kid from our LEGO story. She’s not worried about speed; she’s focused on the end point she wants to reach. It’ll take her longer to build a toy, but she’s more likely to create a toy that’s elaborate (think: a fire truck) and more sophisticated than the first kid’s firefighters in hats.  Reeves calls this a “patient strategy.” It’s complex, forward-looking, and relatively slow.    A patient strategy is too costly for most startups. It requires resources and access, and it risks investing a lot in a product that doesn’t take off. “It becomes a big company game,” says Reeves.   For example, Apple is known to make investments in technologies that often pay off later, many years after acquisit[...]