Subscribe: TED Blog
http://feeds.feedburner.com/TEDBlog
Added By: Feedage Forager Feedage Grade A rated
Language: English
Tags:
global  ideas  new  people  talk  talks  ted talk  ted talks  ted  tedwomen  watch  women  world  year  years   
Rate this Feed
Rate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feed
Rate this feed 1 starRate this feed 2 starRate this feed 3 starRate this feed 4 starRate this feed 5 star

Comments (0)

Feed Details and Statistics Feed Statistics
Preview: TED Blog

TED Blog



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



Updated: 2016-09-30T14:42:23Z

 



WordPress.comTEDWomen Update: Memory Banda and a warrior’s cry against child marriage

2016-09-22T16:00:08Z

Over the years, we’ve had so many wonderful and moving talks at the TEDWomen conference, but perhaps one of the most striking was Malawi activist Memory Banda. The amazing 18-year-old presented at last year’s event – and inspired us all with her story. Memory began her talk by reciting a poem written by another young […]Over the years, we’ve had so many wonderful and moving talks at the TEDWomen conference, but perhaps one of the most striking was Malawi activist Memory Banda. The amazing 18-year-old presented at last year’s event – and inspired us all with her story. Memory began her talk by reciting a poem written by another young woman she knows, 13-year-old Eileen Piri, entitled “I’ll Marry When I Want.” Memory told the audience that the poem might seem odd written by a 13-year-old girl, but in her home country of Malawi, she called it “a warrior’s cry.” src="https://embed.ted.com/talks/memory_banda_a_warrior_s_cry_against_child_marriage" width="585" height="329" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen> She told the audience how there was a traditional rite of passage in her country in which young girls who have just reached puberty were sent to “initiation camps” to learn how to please men sexually. As part of their initiation, a man visits the camp and the young girls are forced to have sex with him. Many girls end up pregnant or with sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS. Memory chose a different path. She refused to go to the camp. She wanted to continue her education and had dreams of being a lawyer. She became an activist and, with the help of the Girls Empowerment Network (Genet), a group dedicated to ending the practice of forced child marriage in Malawi, she began talking to other young women about their experiences. At the time, Malawi had the highest rates of child marriage in the world. A 2014 Human Rights Watch report outlined the shocking statistics: one out of two girls in the country on average will be married by her 18th birthday. “In 2010, half of women aged 20 to 24 years were married or in unions before they were 18. Some are as young as 9 or 10 when they are married.” Memory continued with her own schooling and began teaching other young women how to read and write. With the support of Genet and Let Girls Lead, she worked on a storytelling project in which girls were encouraged to share their stories – the dreams they had for themselves, as well as the obstacles they faced – in art, poetry and storytelling. Memory says that participating in Genet’s River of Life project was transformational for her: “Until then, I always thought I was the only one who suffered. But sharing my story gave me strength to know that I wasn’t alone.” As she explained in her TED Talk, the girls published their stories and they became part of a campaign to outlaw child marriage in Malawi. A female chief from Memory’s community joined the fight, and the girls worked with her and other village chiefs to develop bylaws banning the initiation camps and child marriage. Eventually, their advocacy went all the way to President Mutharika, who agreed with the girls that the sanctioning of child marriage was a “national disgrace.” Last year, Malawi officially outlawed the marriage of girls younger than 18 years old. But, as Memory explained in her TED Talk, changing the law is one thing, enforcing it is quite another. Today, she continues to work on the issue, not only for young women in rural areas who might not be aware of the new protections that exist for them, but for young women in other countries where laws still need to be enacted. Since Memory appeared at TEDWomen in 2015, response to her TED Talk in Malawi and around the world has been phenomenal – it has been viewed over 1.1 million times! This visibility has helped raise Memory’s profile as a global advocate and Rise Up girl leader. Memory is a globally renowned champion for girls’ rights and an advisor to global leaders on the importance of i[...]



Meet the Fall 2016 class of TED Residents

2016-09-22T20:06:04Z

On September 12, TED welcomed its latest class of the TED Residency program, an in-house incubator for breakthrough ideas. Residents spend four months in the TED office with fellow brilliant minds who are creatively taking on projects that are making significant changes in their communities, across many different fields   The new Residents include: A […]TED Residents Susan Bird, Torin Perez and Che Grayson from our first cohort of TED Residents. Photo: Dian Lofton/TED On September 12, TED welcomed its latest class of the TED Residency program, an in-house incubator for breakthrough ideas. Residents spend four months in the TED office with fellow brilliant minds who are creatively taking on projects that are making significant changes in their communities, across many different fields   The new Residents include: A fashion designer who is calling out pollution in the garment industry A pair of musicians who are building an online resource to match artists with grants An entrepreneur who is using geolocation and mobile technology to tackle the massive global litter problem A teacher who is turning the children of an entire school district into citizen scientists providing research data on the Bronx River A financial tech veteran who is interested in making our smartphone the focus of conservation! At the end of their session, Residents have the opportunity to give a TED Talk about their ideas in the theater of TED HQ.  Read more about each Resident below: Kevin F. Adler is the founder of Miracle Messages, a social venture that uses short videos, social media, and a global network of volunteers to reunite homeless people with their long-lost loved ones. His goal is to serve 1% of the world’s homeless population by 2021. Zubaida Bai cofounded AYZH (pronounced “eyes”) seven years ago to bring simplicity and dignity to women’s healthcare worldwide. Innovations such as her Clean Birth Kit in a Purse are saving and changing the lives of the world’s most vulnerable women and children. Formerly a career diplomat, Miriam Bekkouche‘s current work combines the latest in neuroscience and behavioral psychology with ancient traditional wisdom. She is the founder of Brain Spa, a coaching and consulting company that explores what mindfulness practice can bring to global problems. Jordan Brown is a digital health professional who is developing a platform to promote the use of virtual reality and immersive video games in healthcare. In 2014, he founded MedPilot, which tackles the challenges of rising consumer medical costs. Angel Chang is a womenswear designer working with traditional hand-woven textiles of ethnic minority tribes in rural China. She is taking what she’s learned about indigenous crafts and applying that knowledge to make the fashion industry more sustainable. TED Residents Jeff Kirschner and Kunal Sood at TED HQ, New York, New York. Photo: Dian Lofton/TED In his doctoral studies at Cornell University, Abram Coetsee studies the intersection of museums, new media and graffiti. Currently, he is curating a 3D digital reconstruction of 5Pointz, a New York City landmark until it was destroyed by real estate developers in 2014. Sharon De La Cruz is CEO and Creative Coder of the Digital Citizens Lab, a design collective with a focus on civic technology. Using play as a fundamental tool, Sharon and her team create resources for educators that can meet the needs of historically underserved children of color. Their primary product, “El Cuco,” is an interactive digital comic built to teach children code logic. As a oud player, Hadi Eldebek has toured with Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble. As a cultural entrepreneur based in New York City, he is collaborating with his brother, Mohamad Eldebek, on two projects: GrantPA, a platform that helps artists find and apply for grants, and Circle World Arts, a global network of workshops that connects artists, audiences, and institutions across continents, languages, and traditions. Mohamad plays percussio[...]



A 3D printed dress for the Paralympics, biodiversity in the heart of the city, and a camera that can read a closed book

2016-09-16T21:25:48Z

As usual, the TED community has lots of news to share this week. Below, some highlights. Man vs. machine? It took Danit Peleg just 100 hours to print the dress worn by fellow TEDster Amy Purdy in the opening ceremony of the Paralympics in Rio (if that sounds slow, consider that it took her 300 […] src="https://embed-ssl.ted.com/talks/danit_peleg_forget_shopping_soon_you_ll_download_your_new_clothes.html" 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. Man vs. machine? It took Danit Peleg just 100 hours to print the dress worn by fellow TEDster Amy Purdy in the opening ceremony of the Paralympics in Rio (if that sounds slow, consider that it took her 300 hours to print a dress a year ago). Peleg had never met Purdy before the first fitting, so she used Nettelo, an app that allows users to create a 3D scan of their body, to make sure the dress fit Purdy perfectly. Since Peleg used a soft material called Filaflex to print the dress, it moved beautifully as Purdy, a Paralympic medal-winner who lost both legs to bacterial meningitis at age 19, mesmerized audiences with a bionic samba routine. (Highlighting the fact that Purdy was also a finalist on Dancing With the Stars.) The dress was perfectly in line with Purdy’s dance, a reflection on the human  relationship to technology and its ability to allow Paralympic athletes to reach their full potential — one point, Purdy even danced with a robotic arm. (Watch Danit’s TED Talk and Amy’s TED Talk) class='youtube-player' type='text/html' width='586' height='360' src='http://www.youtube.com/embed/xPcKOKpuBCM?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent' allowfullscreen='true' style='border:0;'> For the problems that affect us all, start small. Our national and international political institutions are hopelessly ill equipped to solve the complex, interdependent problems of the 21st century, says Benjamin Barber, but a solution is close at hand — cities, and the mayors who govern them. Barber has long dreamed of building on the urban networks that already exist in specific policy domains to form a global parliament of mayors, and with the inaugural convening of the Global Parliament of Mayors in The Hague, September 9-11, that dream is now a reality. More than 60 mayors agreed on The Hague Global Mayors Call to Action and discussed future governance of the GPM. They also discussed action-oriented plans for such issues as climate change, migration and refugees. (Watch Benjamin’s TED Talk) Taking the measure of fragile cities. Robert Muggah’s Igarapé Institute is behind a data visualization platform on fragile cities, which launched at Barber’s Global Parliament of Mayors and includes information on more than 2,100 cities with populations of 250,000 or greater. Developed along with United Nations University, World Economic Forum, and 100 Resilient Cities, the cities were graded on 11 variables, including city population growth, unemployment, inequality, pollution, climate risk, homicide, and exposure to terrorism. Surprisingly, the analysis revealed that fragility is more widely distributed than previously thought. (Watch Robert’s TED Talk and read this Ideas piece co-written by Barber and Muggah) Image permission granted by Robert Muggah. Biodiversity in The City of Lights. Shubhendu Sharma’s project to promote biodiversity in Paris has been selected as one of 37 projects to improve the city that will be put to a public vote. The vote is part of the city’s Participatory Budget Initiative where residents submit proposals on concrete ways to improve their district or the city at large. The proposals are narrowed down before being voted on by residents (projects for the city at large and projects for specific districts are voted on separately). All residents, not [...]



“What if?” The talks of TED@UPS

2016-09-19T20:59:10Z

At the foundation of every significant transformation is a question: “What if?” These two words unlock the imagination and invite us to explore possibilities. A sentiment of hope, of new ways of thinking, of dreaming and discovery, “What if?” unearths answers waiting to be found. At the second installment of TED@UPS — part of the […]What if traffic flowed through our streets as smoothly and powerfully as blood flowed through our veins? Wanis Kabbaj speaks at TED@UPS, September 15, 2016, in Atlanta. Photo: Jason Hales / TED At the foundation of every significant transformation is a question: “What if?” These two words unlock the imagination and invite us to explore possibilities. A sentiment of hope, of new ways of thinking, of dreaming and discovery, “What if?” unearths answers waiting to be found. At the second installment of TED@UPS — part of the TED Institute, held on September 15, 2016, at SCADShow in Atlanta, Georgia — 14 speakers and performers dared to ask: What if we used our collective talents, knowledge and insights to provide the spark to an idea or movement that could make a positive impact on the world? After opening remarks from Teresa Finley, UPS’s chief marketing and global business services officer, the talks in Session 1 … The blood in our veins, the cars on our streets. “Biology has all the attributes of a transportation genius,” says UPS’s director of global strategy in healthcare logistics (and transportation geek) Wanis Kabbaj. Take our cardiovascular system, for example, in which blood vessels flow from our heart to our outermost extremities using a transportation system that is three-dimensional, and effective. If you compare this to our highways and the stop-go-traffic during rush hour, Kabbaj says, you’ll see how much better biology is at moving things around. He asks us to consider how we might look within ourselves to design the transportation systems of the future, and he previews exciting concepts like suspended magnetic pods, modular buses and flying urban taxis that promise to change how we travel from one point to another. The most dangerous animal in the world. Each year, mosquitoes kill more than one million people by spreading diseases like malaria, dengue fever, West Nile and Zika. While vaccines are the best weapon against this epidemic, 50 percent of vaccines go to waste due to improper handling and challenging logistics. Logistician Katie Francfort came to the TED@UPS stage with an inventive idea to use the problem, to fight the problem. Why not use bioengineering to build mosquitos that carry life-saving vaccines? In defense of emojis. Marketing analyst and avid emoji-defender Jenna Schilstra knows firsthand how ambiguous digital communication can be, even with loved ones. A simple emoji can help clarify and amplify subtext so that we can better understand each other, but their benefits extend far beyond clarifying the dreaded “K.” She shows how emojis have been used in new ways, like helping abused children describe complex emotions to helpline service workers, or like making expression more accessible to people on the autism spectrum. Our attachment to emojis makes sense, says Schilstra, when you remember that they’re part of a long lineage of visual communication that began 40,000 years ago with the first cave art. However they continue to evolve, she’s confident that emojis “will not only provide the opportunity to leverage an age-old system of communication, but will profoundly deepen our emotional connections.” What if we recognized that the key to global communication is … emojis? Jenna Schilstra speaks at TED@UPS, September 15, 2016 in Atlanta. Photo: Jason Hales / TED Rediscovering heritage through dance. Coming to America at a young age from Indonesia, marketing manager Amelia Laytham decided to shed her language, accent, traditions and[...]



TEDWomen 2016 speaker lineup announced!

2016-09-15T13:20:37Z

Many people ask, “How are speakers selected for TEDWomen? The answer is that speakers, like ideas, come from many different sources. TED has an open recommendation process on TED.com, and we review those as well as suggestions that come in from everywhere. Sometimes people self nominate but mostly, fans of TEDTalks submit names of women […]Curator and host Pat Mitchell introduces a session of TEDWomen. This year’s speaker lineup features 40+ women and men from many fields, all speaking to the theme: It’s About Time. Photo: Marla Aufmuth/TED Many people ask, “How are speakers selected for TEDWomen? The answer is that speakers, like ideas, come from many different sources. TED has an open recommendation process on TED.com, and we review those as well as suggestions that come in from everywhere. Sometimes people self nominate but mostly, fans of TEDTalks submit names of women and men whose ideas, work and stories they have discovered and that they feel would make strong TEDTalks. This year our initial list was more than 150 names and each one a potential TEDTalk, making our final choices very challenging. In part, we review the speakers for the relevance of their ideas to the conference theme which this year is “It’s about time.”   We also take into account the important fact that TEDWomen is a global conference with multiple TEDxWomen conferences convening simultaneously on every continent, taking a live stream of TEDWomen, so global perspective and a diversity of backgrounds are significant factors in our selections, too. As the editorial director and curator, I work with the amazing TED team of curators and my awesome colleague, Betsy Scolnik, to make selections of speakers, and we’re thrilled to present this year’s speaker program: 40* extraordinary speakers, women and men, in six sessions. Browse the entire 2016 lineup » I believe this year’s program further affirms that TEDWomen is not a conference about women so much as it is a conference where women and their ideas — on everything from race to nuclear weapons to philanthropy and time management — are the reason that nearly 1,000 women and men will gather in San Francisco in October. This is not a conference about well-known people, though you may recognize a few names and faces. It is a conference whose speakers are working hard to make the presentation of their stories and ideas memorable and important for you to hear. The TEDWomen team and I can’t wait to share them with you. Warm regards, Pat Mitchell, Betsy Scolnik and the TED Team *And we have a few surprises that we are not announcing today … so watch for other names to come! The theater is sold out, but we have decided to offer discounted registrations that include all conference activities except for guaranteed seats in the theater. These registrations provide comfortable viewing in our Simulcast Lounge, where everyone gathers during breaks between sessions. Find out more at the TEDWomen website. [...]



Thinking differently about the election at TEDNYC: The Election Edition

2016-09-26T04:52:15Z

The conversation around the upcoming US presidential election is full of frenzy, headache and noise. But elections are about more than divisiveness and disagreement — they’re civic events worthy of celebration, and, while it may seem unbelievable at the moment, they hold the promise of transforming governments for the better. At TEDNYC: The Election Edition, six speakers who think about […]TED curators Kelly Stoetzel and Helen Walters host the very first TEDNYC event in New York, NY, on September 7, 2016. (Photo: Ryan Lash / TED) The conversation around the upcoming US presidential election is full of frenzy, headache and noise. But elections are about more than divisiveness and disagreement — they’re civic events worthy of celebration, and, while it may seem unbelievable at the moment, they hold the promise of transforming governments for the better. At TEDNYC: The Election Edition, six speakers who think about elections differently — whether as a design challenge, a translation project or the stimulus for creative work — spoke about why the future of our shared political sphere may be brighter than it seems, and why it’s absolutely and completely necessary for Americans to vote in November. It was our very first salon in the new theater at TED HQ, a custom-made cavern of seats, screens, cameras and all of the technical wizardry necessary to film sessions of expertly curated, intellectually stimulating TED Talks. The theater has been the working focus of many talented and dedicated TED staffers for countless months, and tonight’s inaugural session was a landmark moment for the organization and the first step in a new adventure that we can’t wait to share with you. First up was the author of the best-selling memoir, Hillbilly Elegy, J.D. Vance. America’s forgotten working class. J.D. Vance grew up in a small, poor, predominantly white town in the Rust Belt of southern Ohio, where he had a front-row seat to the social ills plaguing so many working-class towns like his: a heroin epidemic, families torn apart by divorce and sometimes violence. In these forgotten parts of America, structural barriers like a lack of jobs, failing schools and brain drain often prevent poor families from joining America’s fabled upward mobility. But, Vance noted, something much more difficult to quantify was infecting the minds of kids he grew up with — a sense of hopelessness and despair, a feeling that they’d never get ahead no matter how hard they worked. With the help of a perceptive grandmother who told him not to believe the deck was stacked against him, a four-year crash course in character-building in the form of the Marine Corps and a lot of luck, Vance closed the social-capital gap and went on to law school and a career in finance. But a lot of kids from his town won’t have that good luck, and that, he says, raises important questions that everyone from community leaders to policy makers needs to ask: How do we help more kids from towns like his? The author of Hillbilly Elegy, J.D. Vance, spoke about growing up poor in southern Ohio, where his classmates shared “a sense of hopelessness that leads to conspiratorial places, the sense that ‘No matter how hard I work, they’re not going to let me in.'” He spoke at TEDNYC in New York, NY. (Photo: Ryan Lash / TED) “Historical eras do come and go.” Journalist Michael Tomasky gives a historical crash course on how American politics has turned into such a polarized battlefield — and shares three rays of hope for the future that may break through the current ideological maelstrom. (A few key changes are on the near horizon, he says — including, believe it or not, reform of the dreaded filibuster.) Most of all, he encourages us to take the long view. “Historical eras do change,” says Tomasky. “All is not lost.” Why ballot de[...]



Sylvia Earle introduces President Obama to a newly discovered fish named after him

2016-09-08T03:25:01Z

The United States has long been known for its national parks. But last month, Barack Obama created a single marine reserve that covers significantly more area than all of them, combined. On August 26, 2016, Obama expanded the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument to 582,578 square miles around the northwestern islands of Hawaii. The monument was […] class='youtube-player' type='text/html' width='586' height='360' src='http://www.youtube.com/embed/nSxl1blHa30?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent' allowfullscreen='true' style='border:0;'> The United States has long been known for its national parks. But last month, Barack Obama created a single marine reserve that covers significantly more area than all of them, combined. On August 26, 2016, Obama expanded the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument to 582,578 square miles around the northwestern islands of Hawaii. The monument was established in 2006 by George Bush, and Obama — who grew up in Hawaii — just quadrupled its size, making it the world’s largest marine protected area. After a trip to Honolulu to address the IUCN World Conservation Congress, Obama met legendary oceanographer Sylvia Earle on the beach of Midway Atoll last Thursday to admire a small section of the newly expanded reserve. With the 2009 TED Prize, Earle wished to ignite public support for marine protected areas, then less than 1% of the world’s oceans. Obama applauded her efforts so far. “I am in awe of anybody who has done so much for ocean conservation,” he said. “You’ve done amazing work.” Today, about 4% of the world’s oceans are protected. Earle hopes to increase that to 20% by 2020, because marine protected areas are key for improving resilience to climate change and ensuring biodiversity. Papahānaumokuākea, for example, is home to more than 7,000 species, including the endangered Hawaiian monk seal and black corals believed to be more than 4,000 years old. The reserve also contains a new species just discovered in June by ichthyologist Richard Pyle (watch his TED Talk: “A dive into the reef’s twilight zone”). A member of the genus Tosanoides, this red and yellow fish is the first member of its species found outside Japanese waters, and the males have an unusual red and blue mark on their dorsal fins. This species will be named for Obama, because he created the reserve — and because the mark is reminiscent of his campaign logo. The fish’s official name will be released in print this fall when Pyle and colleagues publish their research. But Obama, being the president, got a sneak peek. On the beach together, Earle showed the president an image of the newly discovered fish. Obama stumbled on the name, but said, “That’s a nice-looking fish.” Earle is at the IUCN World Conservation Congress this week, and the meeting of global leaders will continue through September 10. It began just after US National Park System celebrated its 100-year anniversary, and marine protection will stay a centerpiece of the conversation. “History will remember this anniversary and next century as the ‘blue centennial,’”  Earle said. “The time when the national park idea was brought to the ocean.” [...]



UV light for gene editing, the unfinished business of gender equality, and a new method for producing metals

2016-09-06T19:19:34Z

As usual, the TED community has lots of news to share this week. Below, some highlights. Flip the switch. Sangeeta Bhatia is the senior author on a paper that makes the genome editing power of CRISPR responsive to ultraviolet light. As detailed in academic journal Angewandte Chemie, the researchers developed a system where gene editing […] As usual, the TED community has lots of news to share this week. Below, some highlights. Flip the switch. Sangeeta Bhatia is the senior author on a paper that makes the genome editing power of CRISPR responsive to ultraviolet light. As detailed in academic journal Angewandte Chemie, the researchers developed a system where gene editing occurs only when UV light is shone on the target cells, allowing researchers greater control over when and where the editing occurs. The technique could help scientists study embryonic development and disease progression with more precision, and Bhatia’s lab is exploring possible medical applications as well. (Watch Sangeeta’s TED Talk) Mind the gap. In 2012, Anne-Marie Slaughter set the Internet on fire with her Atlantic article, “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All,” but after the intense debate around the article died down, Slaughter continued to search for an understanding of what true gender equality means. The result is her book Unfinished Business, released on August 9. The book is not only a more nuanced look at the issues and questions that prompted the article, but also a significant evolution of the ideas she expressed four years ago. (Watch Anne-Marie’s TED Talk) The political needs of emerging technology. While it seems the stuff of science fiction, Anand Giridharadas tackles a possibility that may well be a monumental challenge in the near future: robots taking jobs. His op-ed in The New York Times centers on the place where the challenge is brewing, Silicon Valley, and explores the disrupting power of emerging technology through the eyes of local legend and venture capitalist Vinod Khosla. In the eyes of Khosla, the displacement caused by robots won’t just require simple adjustments, but a “massive economic redistribution via something like a guaranteed minimum income” and a reinvention of capitalism itself. (Watch Anand’s TED Talk) Education revolution in Brooklyn. Educator Nadia Lopez has worked tirelessly to right the wrongs of a failing education system and support her students who, as residents of deeply troubled communities in Brooklyn, are too frequently overlooked and left behind. Released on August 30, her book The Bridge to Brilliance chronicles the uphill battle it has taken to create, and run, her pioneering inner-city middle school, Mott Hall Bridges Academy. (Tune into PBS on September 13 to hear Nadia Lopez in TED Talks: Education Revolution.) A landmark for world peace. In The New York Times, psychologist Steven Pinker and Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos co-author an op-ed on the country’s recent peace treaty, announced August 25, between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC. The peace agreement, the authors argue, marks not just a monumental step towards ending the decades long conflict that has plagued Colombia, but is a significant landmark for peace in the continent and around the world. “Because we have come this far, we know we can go further. Where wars have ended, other forms of bloodshed, such as gang violence, can also be reduced,” the authors write, “Since the Americas have succeeded in moving away from war, we know this could happen even in the world’s most stubbornly violent regions.” (Watch Steven’s TED Talk) An accidental discovery. Donald Sadoway is among a team of scientists that stumbled upon a new method of producing some metals. Reported in the journal Nature Communications, the discovery came when the researchers were attemptin[...]



5 talks for Women’s Equality Day

2016-09-30T14:18:02Z

Today marks the 45th anniversary of Women’s Equality Day, which was designated in 1971 to celebrate the passage of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote in 1920. In commemoration of that milestone, and the miles we still have to go, here are five TEDTalks from past TEDWomen conferences about the state of […] Today marks the 45th anniversary of Women’s Equality Day, which was designated in 1971 to celebrate the passage of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote in 1920. In commemoration of that milestone, and the miles we still have to go, here are five TEDTalks from past TEDWomen conferences about the state of women and equality in the United States today. Hillary Clinton on widening the circle of opportunity for women and girls class='youtube-player' type='text/html' width='586' height='360' src='http://www.youtube.com/embed/UbPtm1_2AnI?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent' allowfullscreen='true' style='border:0;'> US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made a surprise appearance at the first TEDWomen Conference in 2010. “The United States,” she said, “has made empowering women and girls a cornerstone of our foreign policy.” In the 16-minute talk above, she details why it’s of vital international importance that every girl in the world get a chance to pursue her hopes and dreams. (Recorded at TEDWomen, December 2010 in Washington, DC. Duration: 16:17, TEDBlog)   Madeleine Albright on being a woman and a diplomat src="https://embed-ssl.ted.com/talks/madeleine_albright_on_being_a_woman_and_a_diplomat.html" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright talks bluntly about politics and diplomacy, making the case that women’s issues deserve a place at the center of foreign policy. Far from being a “soft” issue, she says, women’s issues are often the very hardest ones, dealing directly with life and death. A frank and funny Q&A with Pat Mitchell from the Paley Center. (Recorded at TEDWomen, December 2010 in Washington, DC. Duration: 12:59, TED.com)   President Jimmy Carter on why he believes the mistreatment of women is the number one human rights abuse in the world src="https://embed-ssl.ted.com/talks/jimmy_carter_why_i_believe_the_mistreatment_of_women_is_the_number_one_human_rights_abuse.html" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> With his signature resolve, former US President Jimmy Carter dives into three unexpected reasons why the mistreatment of women and girls continues in so many manifestations in so many parts of the world, both developed and developing. The final reason he gives? “In general, men don’t give a damn.” (Recorded at TEDWomen, May 2015 in San Francisco, CA. Duration: 16:36, TED.com)   Sheryl Sandberg on why we have too few women leaders in business src="https://embed-ssl.ted.com/talks/sheryl_sandberg_why_we_have_too_few_women_leaders.html" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg looks at why a smaller percentage of women than men reach the top of their professions — and offers 3 powerful pieces of advice to women aiming for the C-suite. (Recorded at TEDWomen, December 2010 in Washington, D.C. Duration: 14:58, TED.com)   Billie Jean King on paving the way for women to get paid in sports src="https://embed-ssl.ted.com/talks/billie_jean_king_this_tennis_icon_paved_the_way_for_women_in_sports.html" width="560" height="315" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"> Tennis legend Billie Jean King isn̵[...]



Boyd Varty on Nelson Mandela and tracking your life’s purpose

2016-08-24T19:11:21Z

December 5, 2013, was one of the most memorable days at TEDWomen — and everywhere else in the world, too. The world lost one of its great leaders, Nelson Mandela, and I will never forget the way we heard the news at the TEDWomen gathering in San Francisco. A young South African, Boyd Varty, was […]December 5, 2013, was one of the most memorable days at TEDWomen — and everywhere else in the world, too. The world lost one of its great leaders, Nelson Mandela, and I will never forget the way we heard the news at the TEDWomen gathering in San Francisco. A young South African, Boyd Varty, was scheduled to give his TED Talk that day, and as he came backstage to get miked, the news came through on our phones and computers: Mandela had died. I knew that Boyd and his family were close to him. Mandela had visited the Varty family’s game preserve, Londolozi, on one of his first retreats after being released from his long prison term. I saw the tears well up as Boyd absorbed the sad news. I suggested that we rearrange the schedule so he could take a break and deliver his TED Talk later in the day. But he assured me he was ready to go, and asked if he could mention the news to the audience. Of course, I said yes. Who better than someone who knew him personally to share this tragic news of the passing of the great South African leader admired by the world for leading his country from the violent policies of apartheid through truth and reconciliation trials to the vibrant country that it is today? Boyd stepped on stage into the red TED circle and, his voice shaking, told the audience the news. I was quite worried that he wouldn’t be able to deliver the TED Talk he had prepared to give, but he did brilliantly. In fact, his talk, which was posted immediately on TED.com, has been viewed more than 1.5 million times since. src="https://embed-ssl.ted.com/talks/boyd_varty_what_i_learned_from_nelson_mandela.html" width="585" height="329" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen> Boyd shared childhood memories of Mandela’s visits to Londolozi, connecting the values he observed in Mandela to the values that are the foundation of his own life’s work protecting the natural resources of his homeland. One of South Africa’s greatest resources is its natural environment and the big animals that are endangered by hunting and poaching. Boyd and his family are committed to preserving these great resources so that generations to come can visit Africa and witness the majesty of its animals in the wild. Boyd spoke about growing up in the Bush and the lessons he learned from tracking the animals there — lessons he recounts in his book, “Restoring Eden,” and lessons he is now applying to some exciting new work. We met recently for coffee at one of my favorite places in the world, Londolozi game preserve in the Sabi Sands — coincidentally on Mandela Day — to talk about the responses to his TEDTalk and to get an update on what’s he up to now. Boyd says he gets emails and comments every day about his TED Talk, and he noticed a theme emerging: an emotional connection people from all over the world were making with his stories about animals and tracking. So he decided to explore how his skills as a highly trained ranger and wildlife tracker might be applied to life tracking. In his new “Track Your Life” retreats, he guides small groups of men on a “shared endeavor in the wild” to teach them “the ancient and powerful art of animal tracking.” He’s already led a few of these workshops with men of all ages from diverse backgrounds and will be coming to the US with more soon. Tracking a lion through the bush in Sabi Sands might seem a long way from tracking one’s life and career, but I’m sure that many men — and perhaps he will[...]



Have an anonymous TED Talk? We want to hear it.

2016-08-24T13:23:21Z

Today you may have heard that TED announced a rather unusual experiment with Audible. I’m pretty excited about what we’re doing here and want to share some thoughts on "Sincerely, X" Cross-posted from Chris Anderson on Medium Today you may have heard that TED announced a rather unusual experiment with Audible. I’m pretty excited about what we’re doing here and want to share some thoughts. Broadcast journalist Jad Abumrad once said that the most powerful thing about audio is what it lacks … that is: pictures. When a human voice describes something, the listener’s brain is wired to connect images and assign meaning to that voice. This is true for the many creative and expanding possibilities that digital audio now offers. This act of co-authorship — between the speaker and the listener — to fill the gap of “picturelessness” does something really interesting. It connects us, perhaps more intimately than any other medium. We’ve certainly learned how this rings true for audio content TED puts out to the world. And here’s something else audio can do that is quite special. A voice disconnected from visual identity provides anonymity to the speaker — while at the same time, letting their ideas reach millions of people. And so, through this partnership with Audible, we’re creating a platform for TED Talks to be given anonymously. Why is this important? We’ve made it our mission at TED to track down a special breed of under-celebrated hero: People who have knowledge that matters. We find them, and invite them to share their knowledge on a global platform that gets billions of views. But what if that exposure — the very spotlight that until now has defined the TED Talk experience was actually the reason some people chose not to submit their ideas? How many people have an important message but refrain from “going public” out of fear of losing their jobs or hurting loved ones? How many ideas worth spreading remain hidden because some speakers simply can’t publicly be associated with the very thing the world needs to hear? Our best guess? A lot. “Sincerely, X from TED and Audible” is an original audio series that will feature talks from speakers whose ideas need to be heard, but whose identities must remain hidden. Sincerely, X lets us share important ideas without sacrificing the privacy of the speakers or those close to them. In other words, this thrilling project opens up a category of talks that simply haven’t been possible previously. Imagine ghostwriters, witnesses, wise souls who’ve survived something profound. A public figure living with mental illness. Someone who secretly gave up a child for adoption. A teenager who fought back against bullying and won. A parent who found a way to balance the needs of an autistic child and a neurologically normal one. A doctor living with a life and death mistake. An illegal immigrant with ideas on how to change the system. A CEO who know exactly how and when companies go wrong. Someone living a double life. We’re curating talks from those who need to separate their professional ideas from their personal lives; people who want to share an idea, but fear it would hurt others in their family or company if they did so publicly; perhaps even those who are just scared to death of public speaking. There won’t be a stage, and there won’t be any standing ovations. But those aren’t the essence of TED Talks. What matters is only what can be shared: an idea that matters. And so I am asking you to help the world bring these ideas out of hiding. Do you have an important idea too important to stay secret? We want to hear about it. Perhaps it will change someone else’s life — perhaps it will even have a shot at shaping a better global conversation and a bet[...]



Forecasting crime in Rio de Janeiro, a new Marvel comic, and an Airbnb to rejuvenate a rural community

2016-08-19T21:00:43Z

The TED community has been very busy over the past few weeks. Below, some newsy highlights. Crime forecasting in Rio. Before the 2016 Olympic Games, worries ran high that crime in Rio might affect the mega-event; one reported attack at the Games (which actually might not have happened) grabbed headlines around the world during the […] The TED community has been very busy over the past few weeks. Below, some newsy highlights. Crime forecasting in Rio. Before the 2016 Olympic Games, worries ran high that crime in Rio might affect the mega-event; one reported attack at the Games (which actually might not have happened) grabbed headlines around the world during the Games. But the longer-running news story is the way crime affects Rio’s locals every single day. How can residents stay safe? Together with Via Science and Mosaico Internet, Robert Muggah’s Igarapé Institute just launched CrimeRadar, a publicly available crime-prediction platform. CrimeRadar uses advanced machine learning to forecast future crime risk and track historical crime tends. The launch is focused on Rio de Janeiro, with plans to take the platform global. (Watch Robert’s TED Talk) CrimeRadar, developed by Robert Muggah’s Igarapé Institute along with Via Science and Mosaico Internet, uses machine learning to forecast crime in Rio de Janeiro. The software runs on both mobile phones and desktops. Above, an example of the desktop version. Photo: courtesy of Robert Muggah World of microbes. We’ve all heard some of the implications that microbes have for our health –from pandemic-level bad to the life-changing magic they perform in our guts– but Ed Yong is determined to show us how they influence everything in the world around us. Released August 9, his debut book I Contain Multitudes takes a “microbe’s-eye view of the world” to reveal their role in everything from deep oceans to forests, squid to worms. (Watch Ed’s TED Talk) Breaking the silence. “We have in this country this dynamic where we really don’t like to talk about our problems. We don’t like to talk about our history. And because of that, we really haven’t understood what it’s meant to do the things we’ve done historically,” Bryan Stevenson said at TED2012. A desire to change that dynamic is behind his passionate and tireless work to create the first national memorial to victims of lynching. Designed by fellow TED speaker Michael Murphy of MASS Design Group, the memorial was officially announced on August 16. The memorial will be accompanied by a museum at Equal Justice Initiative’s headquarters in Montgomery, Alabama, and both plan to open in 2017. (Watch Bryan’s TED Talk) A global warning. Close to 3.3 billion people tuned in to watch the Opening Ceremony of the 2016 Olympic Games, but along with the usual celebration and dazzle, viewers were warned about the dangers of climate change. Many performances in the multi-hour spectacle highlighted the crucial role forests have in absorbing greenhouse gases — along with a video describing how rising CO2 levels lead to climate change.  TED speaker, forester and sustainability activist Tasso Azevedo served as a consultant during development of the film, joining the elite club of TED speakers who’ve also appeared in Olympics opening ceremonies. (Watch Tasso’s TED Talk) VR tech for paraplegics. Miguel Nicolelis is one of twenty scientists who published a paper in Scientific Reports detailing a new brain training approach that can induce partial neurological recovery in paraplegic patients. The sample size is small, eight patients, but all of them report being able to use their legs and feel sensation after sessions using an artificial exoskeleton, VR technology, and a brain[...]



A TEDWomen update: Hanna Rosin on the ‘End of Men’

2016-08-26T13:06:07Z

Cross-posted from TEDWomen curator Pat Mitchell’s blog on the Huffington Post. When Hanna Rosin, the first speaker at the very first TEDWomen conference in 2010, delivered her talk she had titled “The End of Men,” she had only just begun the research for what became her bestselling 2012 book by the same name. And as the […]Cross-posted from TEDWomen curator Pat Mitchell’s blog on the Huffington Post. When Hanna Rosin, the first speaker at the very first TEDWomen conference in 2010, delivered her talk she had titled “The End of Men,” she had only just begun the research for what became her bestselling 2012 book by the same name. And as the editors at The Guardian pointed out in a recent editorial, even though women are rising to the top in the US (Hillary Clinton), UK (Theresa May or Andrea Leadsom) and the UN (Helen Clark), “women’s leadership in politics, as well as in business, is not yet normal. But it is becoming normal.” Indeed, if Hillary Clinton is elected president and puts her 50% female cabinet in place, American women will see true representation proportional to population for the first time ever in a White House cabinet. But as The Guardian editors cautioned in that same editorial, we shouldn’t make the mistake of allowing the “representation to be taken not as a victory, but as the victory.” We still have a long way to go. Indeed, when Rosin’s book came out in 2012, it received much praise, but also some reductive criticism that mostly revolved around its title. NPR’s Annalee Newitz wrote in her review of the book, “fundamentally, The End of Men isn’t about men at all; it’s about the rise of economically powerful women.” As Rosin explained in both her TEDdWomen talk and in her book, the big story for women in the 21st century is that more education (for every two men who graduate from college, three women graduate), more leadership opportunities (women make up more than 50% of managers in the workplace) and more economic security (younger women are out-earning their male peers) mean that women can make choices in their lives with more freedom than ever before. Since her TEDWomen presentation, Rosin has appeared on The Colbert Report, become the co-host of Slate‘s excellent DoubleX podcast in which Rosin and her cohosts, writers June Thomas and Norene Malone, “discuss things women want to talk about and men want to eavesdrop on,” and continued writing award-winning articles on a variety of topics, including the secret lives of teenagers and challenging modern parenting practices. This summer, Rosin herself did something rather daring that may be the best example yet of the opportunities that economically powerful women have these days. After 20-plus years of writing for a living, she decided to make a leap and accepted a job offer in a field in which she had no previous experience. Rosin is now one of the hosts of NPR’s popular and award-winning Invisibilia podcast series. Having never been a radio journalist before, the move presented a number of challenges for Rosin. She wrote about them earlier this summer in Lena Dunham’s Lenny newsletter in a piece titled “Screw Mastery.” While getting outside her comfort zone was hard, Rosin noted that the payoff of, as she put it, “dropping back to zero” and forcing yourself to learn new things, even in your 40s, made the successes that much sweeter. She wrote, I learned a ton of new things about myself, in the way you can only do if you are f—king up daily. I learned that I am defensive but trainable. That I have capacity for patience but that my immediate default is speed, bluntness and ironic distance. That although I am used to working alone, I will ha[...]



A TED Talk from a war zone

2016-09-04T16:01:17Z

At TEDSummit in June, we featured a talk by a young Syrian architect, Marwa Al-Sabouni. In it, she shares an important and original insight about how the roots of conflict can be traced, among other better-studied reasons, to misdirected and divisive urbanism. She offers the example of her own country, where violent conflict has been […]A view over the Old Square of Homs, looking towards the Old Souk, taken from the remains of Marwa and Ghassan’s destroyed architecture studio. Photo: Marwa Al-Sabouni, 2016. At TEDSummit in June, we featured a talk by a young Syrian architect, Marwa Al-Sabouni. In it, she shares an important and original insight about how the roots of conflict can be traced, among other better-studied reasons, to misdirected and divisive urbanism. She offers the example of her own country, where violent conflict has been raging and spreading for more than five years now, destabilizing the whole region and driving millions of refugees into the neighboring countries and, more recently, Europe. Marwa herself, however, could not travel to our conference to give her talk, because she lives in Homs, a city in the central-western part of Syria. Traveling outwards isn’t easy, to say the least, and there is no guarantee of being able to travel back. And with her family, she’s determined to stay despite the dangers. Homs is today a half-destroyed city. Reporters have equated it to Berlin after World War II. Before the war, the province’s population was nearly 2 million people; it is down by more than half now. “Almost everyone we knew has left,” says Marwa, who’s 35. With her husband Ghassan, 43, and their daughter Naya and son Ayk (11 and 8, respectively), she’s among those who have stayed. “We were lucky: our house is still standing,” she adds candidly. The small architecture studio she and Ghassan ran in the center of town before the war, however, is a ruin, only rubble surrounding what’s barely recognizable as a whiteboard. Marwa Al-Sabouni photographed earlier this year in Homs with her husband, Ghassan, their daugther Naya and son Ayk. To bring Marwa’s idea to TED, therefore, we resolved to record the talk over the Internet. Which meant dealing with unstable connectivity, electricity cuts and background noise. More on that below. I discovered Marwa Al-Sabouni during one of my “reading storms” last Spring. I’ve curated the TEDGlobal conferences for 11 years, as well as many other TED events, and in the process of designing the speaker programs I’ve come to develop the habit of doing research in waves. While I work with a first group of speakers, I collect books and field notes and clippings from newspapers, journals, blogs and social media about other potential speakers. Something would pique my interest online or offline. I would visit a lab or meet a scientist or artist and take notes. A TED community member would point me to something intriguing. All goes into a folder that, after a while, may contain ideas for dozens of potential TED talks. When enough ideas have accumulated, I then go off for a few days and “storm” (for lack of a better word) that folder, reading voraciously through a wide variety of topics and researching them with my assistant Katerina Biliouri, establishing priorities and connections and imagining possible narratives. That’s how the speaker programs come together. One of those articles was a profile of this young Syrian architect who had just published a book written during the war, while living in the middle of, called The Battle for Home. I picked it up and read it, and found, first, an amazing story of courage an[...]



Giant Olympic athletes take flight over Rio in JR’s latest work

2016-08-11T15:35:19Z

A Sudanese high jumper towers over Rio de Janeiro, arching over a 25-story building in the Flamengo district. A triathlete plows through the waters of Botafogo Bay, mid-stroke, her wingspan as wide as a city bus, while a giant diver shows us the soles of his feet as he leaps from the stone jetty in Barra da Tijuca. […]Sudanese high jumper Mohamed Younes Idriss had to miss the Olympics this year because of an injury. But he towers over Rio de Janeiro, his back curving atop a high-rise building, in JR’s latest large-scale work. Photo: Courtesy of JR A Sudanese high jumper towers over Rio de Janeiro, arching over a 25-story building in the Flamengo district. A triathlete plows through the waters of Botafogo Bay, mid-stroke, her wingspan as wide as a city bus, while a giant diver shows us the soles of his feet as he leaps from the stone jetty in Barra da Tijuca. Meanwhile, a truck disguised as a camera is circling the city, and a fat silver moon is taking shape atop a favela cultural center. It looks like JR is back in town. Artist JR, winner of the 2011 TED Prize, created these three massive athletes — he calls them the “giants” — for the Rio Olympics, along with a city-wide Inside Out photo campaign that will shoot street portraits throughout the Games. JR is known for his large-scale black-and-white wall pastings, but the “giants” represent a new technique for him — they’re suspended in the air on scaffolding, in vastly ambitious site-specific works that took almost a year to plan. To create the gargantuan image of French triathlete Léonie Périault powering her way through Rio’s Botafogo Bay, JR wrote on Instagram, his team “fought like an athlete … so that this piece could be in the water.” Note the tiny figures in the boat in foreground for scale. Photo: Courtesy of JR JR feels strong ties to Rio; his classic work “Women Are Heroes” speckled the city’s hillside favelas with photographs of women’s eyes. Watching the Olympic Games here is especially meaningful to him, he wrote on Instagram before the Opening Ceremony: “Eighty years ago the Olympics happened in Berlin. Hitler wanted to use them to demonstrate the supremacy of the Aryan race. Today they will open in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a ‘mixed race’ country. Even though Brazil is going through political and economic turmoil and the necessity of the Games at this moment can spark controversy, the Olympic spirit will joyfully be welcomed.” JR has also brought his TED Prize wish to the games. The Inside Out photobooth truck is parked at Praça Maua through 14 August, and will then spend a week inside the Olympic Village, right up until the August 21 close of the Games. Passersby line up to have their portrait taken, and then paste it on the ground, creating a patchwork of images representing people from all parts of the world. Seeming to leap from the quebra mar (jetty) in Barra da Tijuca, here’s the back view of diver Cleuson Lima do Rosario, a Brazilian athlete who now lives and works in France. Photo: Courtesy of JR JR brought the traveling Inside Out photobooth truck to Olympic Boulevard, pasting the faces of global passersby on the street for all to see. Next week it moves to the athletes’ home base in Olympic Village. Photo: Courtesy of JR JR’s team is also busy building a silver structure shaped like a fat crescent moon over Casa Amarela, a favela cultural center the artist helped open nine years ago. He hopes that artists will hold workshops in this unusual space. Photo: Courtesy of JR [...]



World Lion Day: A visit to big-cat filmmakers Beverly & Dereck Joubert

2016-08-26T13:06:22Z

Dereck and Beverly Joubert have been living in the bush in Botswana, making wildlife and conservation films together, for more than 30 years. Their films have shaped an intimate and profound narrative about the interconnected relationship among people, animals and the land, adding layers of understanding based on years of close and constant observation of […]Wildlife filmmakers Beverly and Dereck Joubert spoke at TEDWomen 2010 about their commitment to saving Africa’s big cats from extinction. The biggest factor that threatens these majestic animals: trophy hunters. Dereck and Beverly Joubert have been living in the bush in Botswana, making wildlife and conservation films together, for more than 30 years. Their films have shaped an intimate and profound narrative about the interconnected relationship among people, animals and the land, adding layers of understanding based on years of close and constant observation of animal behavior. (Their latest film, The Soul of the Elephant, was just nominated for an Emmy.) This summer, TEDWomen host Pat Mitchell 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. Mitchell sends this timely report — Wednesday, August 10, it turns out, is World Lion Day. Out on a game drive at Great Plains Conservation in Botswana: From left, filmmaker Dereck Joubert, TEDWomen host Pat Mitchell, Mitchell’s husband Scott Seydel, and filmmaker Beverly Joubert. On this visit, we talked about how much has happened since their 2010 TEDWomen talk about their Big Cats Initiative. I well remember how they stunned the TEDWomen audience, describing the shocking decline in big cat populations in Africa. They told us that the number of lions had gone from about 450,000 when they were growing up to less than 45,000 in 2010 – a literal decimation – with similar declines in cheetah and leopard populations. Sadly, they told me now, the number has declined even further since then, and is approaching 20,000. The Jouberts told me they still receive hundreds of messages a week about their TED Talk. This talk, along with their films about the lions of Duba Plains and the leopards they’ve tracked over many years, have raised public awareness about the threats to the big cats: habitat encroachment; community pressure, where conflicts arise between animals and people; and, of course, the biggest single factor, hunting. The Jouberts helped lead the fight to ban hunting in Botswana, and as a result the animal population, including big cats, is increasing here. But in many other countries in Africa – where big cats are an important attraction in the safari experiences that bring more than $27 billion a year into local economies – at least five lions are lost per day. Working with the National Geographic Society on the Big Cats Initiative, the Jouberts are committed to changing that. Meanwhile, they told me, they have a new cat film in production for Nat Geo Wild — not about big cats this time, but the smaller ones, the ones we call “domesticated.” The film will explore behavioral links between the cats we pet and love in our homes and the cats we admire from a safe distance. TEDWomen host Pat Mitchell shares this epic selfie with a lion spotted at Great Plains. At this year’s TEDWomen conference in October, I’ll be sharing updates, ideas and perspectives from the front lines of conservation, in Africa and in many other places. These battles to sustain our natural environments are being fought by champions like the Jouberts, who are se[...]



An advanced prosthetic arm, an underground park, and the case for taking a vacation

2016-07-22T17:43:29Z

The TED community has been very busy over the past few weeks. Below, some newsy highlights. A major upgrade for prosthetics. After nearly a decade in development, Dean Kamen’s prosthetic arm is finally nearing its commercial launch two years after its approval by the FDA. Developed for wounded soldiers at the behest of the United […] The TED community has been very busy over the past few weeks. Below, some newsy highlights. A major upgrade for prosthetics. After nearly a decade in development, Dean Kamen’s prosthetic arm is finally nearing its commercial launch two years after its approval by the FDA. Developed for wounded soldiers at the behest of the United States Department of Defense, the LUKE arm (named for Luke Skywalker’s own prosthetic) is a major advancement for a device that has remained more or less unchanged since the Civil War. Using electrodes, LUKE picks up electrical signals from the user’s muscles, making it much more intuitive than traditional prosthetics, and it also offers wearers greater strength, dexterity, and flexibility. While the commercial launch is set for late 2016 through Mobius Bionics, a medical device company focused on advanced bionics, the cost has not yet been announced. (Watch Dean’s TED Talk) An underground haven. Seven years ago, over copious amounts of wine, Dan Barasch and James Ramsey hatched an unheard-of plan: an underground park. Nicknamed the Lowline after sister greenspace the Highline–a name that eventually stuck–the park planned to repurpose a deserted trolley terminal and serve as a place of respite and greenery in the heart of one of New York City’s busiest neighborhoods. While the idea captured the imagination (and donations) of the public, with visitors flocking to a proof-of-concept exhibit, the project had not received official approval from the city — until now. On July 14, the city provisionally approved use of the space, requiring that the project raise a cool $10 million and submit plans within the next 12 months. (Watch Dan’s TED Talk) Service for trust. “It is clear to me that you don’t have to wear a military uniform to serve your country,” writes Stanley McChrystal, chair of the Service Year Alliance and former commander of US and international forces in Afghanistan, in The Atlantic. McChrystal proposes that service may be at the heart of restoring trust in a country where it has reached its lowest levels in generations. At a time when “tensions and violence in cities across America are reminders of how quickly communities can erupt with an absence of social trust,” he believes that a service year would help reestablish political and civic responsibility while bringing together Americans of all backgrounds to learn to work together as a team. (Watch Stanley’s TED Talk) A multidisciplinary search for extraterrestrial life. Nathalie Cabrol, director of the Carl Sagan Center for Research at the SETI Institute, proposed a broader approach to the search for extraterrestrial life in a paper published in Astrobiology on July 7. “To find ET, we must open our minds beyond a deeply rooted, Earth-centric perspective, expand our research methods and deploy new tools,” she writes. To push us beyond our anthropocentric vision of extraterrestrial life, she promotes the establishment of a Virtual Institute that will engage the global scientific community. SETI will be exploring resources for the Virtual Institute over the coming months. (Watch Nathalie’s TED Talk) Women helping women. Sheryl Sandberg’s talk at TEDWomen 2011 launched the Lean In movement, and her latest initiative takes tha[...]



Why TED takes two weeks off every summer

2016-08-06T14:03:12Z

TED.com is about to go dark for two weeks. No new TED Talks will be posted until Monday, August 8, 2016, while most of the TED staff takes a 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 seven years. Our summer break is […]TED.com is about to go dark for two weeks. No new TED Talks will be posted until Monday, August 8, 2016, while most of the TED staff takes a 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 seven years. Our summer break is a little hack that solves the problem of an office full of Type-A’s with 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 for the next two weeks. The office is (mostly) 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, August 8! Note: This piece was first posted on July 17, 2014. It was updated on July 27, 2015, and again on July 20, 2016. [...]



4 TED Talks that make the case for open science in health care

2016-07-20T16:55:05Z

Sometimes it seems as if the Internet has created a bold new era of openness. But if there is one place where openness appears to be lagging, it would be scientific research. The scientific community is full of intricate (and often little-known) systems that regulate and control it, sometimes to great purpose, but sometimes to its […]Dr. Ben Goldacre asks why medical researchers seem to publish only positive results of pharmaceutical testing, instead of openly sharing both good and bad results. (Wouldn’t you want to know everything possible about a drug you’re about to take?) Photo: James Duncan Davidson Sometimes it seems as if the Internet has created a bold new era of openness. But if there is one place where openness appears to be lagging, it would be scientific research. The scientific community is full of intricate (and often little-known) systems that regulate and control it, sometimes to great purpose, but sometimes to its own detriment. Scarce funding has created a competitive environment obsessed with the publication of successful positive studies. But often, useful information is neither positive nor complete. Emphasis on publication incentivizes scientists to hoard their work in its early stages, and it reinforces the idea that the only work worth sharing is that which yields a successful confirmation of a hypothesis. When the study doesn’t work as expected, it’s often filed away. This kind of bias is especially dangerous in the health care industry. Doctors’ decisions carry a life-or-death importance that requires the disclosure of all relevant information. Overlooking or obscuring new medical information, whether intentional or not, is a danger to all of us. Michael Nielsen uses his TEDx talk to explore how an open industry may lead to more rapid and efficient solving of today’s most difficult scientific problems. class='youtube-player' type='text/html' width='586' height='360' src='http://www.youtube.com/embed/DnWocYKqvhw?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent' allowfullscreen='true' style='border:0;'> Sharing three examples — the Polymath project, the Quantum Wiki and the GenBank — Nielsen describes the advantages and pitfalls of an open system. He concludes that to convince scientists to contribute to collaborative projects that may advance the greater good, rather that focus only on their own publications, we must make collaboration essential to their survival. More succinctly: “Any publicly funded science should be open science.” Meanwhile, Jay Bradner’s talk serves as a personal report from the front lines of the fight against cancer — and the possibilities of open science. After discovering an important compound for cancer research, Bradner and his team decided to ask: “What would happen if we were as open and honest at the earliest phase of discovery chemistry research as we could be?” src="https://embed-ssl.ted.com/talks/lang/en/jay_bradner_open_source_cancer_research.html" width="585" height="329" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen> His firsthand account shows how day-one openness helped him and his colleagues advance their research rapidly and efficiently. By borrowing “from the amazing successes of the computer-science industry, [they established] two principles — that of open source and that of crowdsourcing — to quickly, responsibly accelerate the delivery of targeted therapeutics [...]



How Jane Chen built a better baby warmer — and a thriving business

2016-08-26T13:06:36Z

In her 2013 TEDWomen Talk, entrepreneur (and TED Fellow) Jane Chen noted that “there are 15 million pre-term and underweight babies born every year around the world, and one of the biggest problems they face is staying warm.” Premature babies can’t properly regulate their body temperatures and need an incubator in order for their organs […] In her 2013 TEDWomen Talk, entrepreneur (and TED Fellow) Jane Chen noted that “there are 15 million pre-term and underweight babies born every year around the world, and one of the biggest problems they face is staying warm.” Premature babies can’t properly regulate their body temperatures and need an incubator in order for their organs to develop properly. If a baby is wasting energy on trying to stay warm, a range of problems can result: diabetes, heart disease, low IQ, and sometimes death. Four million of these babies die annually. Shortly after receiving her MBA from Stanford University, Chen moved to India and set up her company, Embrace Innovations, in order to develop a low-cost, portable, reusable incubator to help women in remote areas of the world where a lack of reliable electricity and the high cost of medical equipment made the traditional incubators we have in hospitals impossible. class='youtube-player' type='text/html' width='586' height='360' src='http://www.youtube.com/embed/lL3qzjKkirs?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent' allowfullscreen='true' style='border:0;'> After two years of clinical testing, setting up manufacturing and distribution, Chen’s company launched the Embrace. The comfortable infant wrap uses phase-change material to melt at human body temperature and stay the proper temperature for eight hours. After that, the heat source can be replaced with a new one, to continuously supply a nurturing environment for babies who need it. In a new post for Forbes magazine, Chen talks about what happened next. “After five years as CEO, I returned to San Francisco and was on the verge of closing a deal with a major medical device company that was taking the full round of our next investment and would become our global distributor. I was ecstatic. This was exactly where I had hoped to take the company — this would make us scalable, and would significantly increase the impact we could make.” But then, as she describes it, in a “cruel twist of fate,” the company she had signed on with fired its CEO and the deal she had worked so hard on disappeared overnight. Her company had seven days of cash left. She went on to describe the whirlwind that many start-ups go through: she took out two bridge loans and asked everyone she knew for small investments to keep her company going until she could arrange another deal. She finally found an angel investor in Marc Benioff, the CEO and founder of Salesforce.com, who had personal experience with his own child needing an incubator. He gave her company the lifeline it needed to stay afloat and give Chen the time she needed to look for a new way forward. Later that year, she started surfing in Hawaii, another lifelong dream. She likens her experiences with her start-up to the profound lessons she has learned as a beginner surfer: “Everything is impermanent. When the waves knock you down, try again. Take the lessons you can from it, and move on to the next wave. Don’t be afraid to catch bigger waves. Accept what cannot be changed. And always have fun.” As “someone who has failed many times,” she u[...]