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



Updated: 2017-03-28T15:46:15Z

 



WordPress.comA new civic gathering, awarding disobedience, and the case for resettlement

2017-03-24T21:46:01Z

As usual, the TED community has lots of news to share this week. Below, some highlights. A new civic gathering. To cope with political anxiety after the 2016 elections, Eric Liu has started a gathering called Civic Saturday. He explained the event in The Atlantic as “a civic analogue to church: a gathering of friends […] As usual, the TED community has lots of news to share this week. Below, some highlights. A new civic gathering. To cope with political anxiety after the 2016 elections, Eric Liu has started a gathering called Civic Saturday. He explained the event in The Atlantic as “a civic analogue to church: a gathering of friends and strangers in a common place to nurture a spirit of shared purpose. But it’s not about church religion or synagogue or mosque religion. It’s about American civic religion—the creed of liberty, equality, and self-government that truly unites us.” The gatherings include quiet meditation, song, readings of civic texts, and yes, a sermon. The next Civic Saturday happens April 8 in Seattle — and Eric’s nonprofit Citizens University encourages you to start your own. (Watch Eric’s TED Talk) Medical research facilitated by apps. The Scripps Translational Science Institute is teaming up with WebMD for a comprehensive study of pregnancy using the WebMD pregnancy app.  By asking users to complete surveys and provide data on their pregnancy, the study will shed light on “one of the least studied populations in medical research,” says STSI director Dr. Eric Topol. The researchers hope the results will provide insights that medical professionals can use to avoid pregnancy complications. (Watch Eric’s TED Talk) There’s a new type of cloud! While cloud enthusiasts have documented the existence of a peculiar, wave-like cloud formation for years, there’s been no official recognition of it until now. Back in 2009, Gavin Pretor-Pinney, of the Cloud Appreciation Society, proposed to the World Meteorological Society that they add the formation to the International Cloud Atlas, the definitive encyclopedia of clouds, which hadn’t been updated since 1987. On March 24, the Meteorological Society released an updated version of the Atlas, complete with an entry for the type of cloud that Pretor-Pinney had proposed adding. The cloud was named asperitas, meaning “roughness.” (Watch Gavin’s TED Talk) What neuroscience can teach law. Criminal statutes require juries to assess whether or not the defendant was aware that they were committing a crime, but a jury’s ability to accurately determine the defendant’s mental state at the time of the crime is fraught with problems. Enter neuroscience. Read Montague and colleagues are using neuroimaging and machine learning techniques to study if and how brain activity differs for the two mental states. The research is in early stages, but continued research may help shed scientific light on a legally determined boundary. (Watch Read’s TED Talk) Why we should award disobedience. After announcing the $250,000 prize last summer, the MIT Media Lab has begun to accept nominations for its first-ever Disobedience Award. Open to groups and individuals engaged in an extraordinary example of constructive disobedience, the prize honors work that undermines traditional structures and institutions in a positive way, from politics and science to advocacy and art. “You don’t change the world by doing what you’re told,” Joi Ito notes, a lesson that has been a long-held practice for the MIT group, who also recently launched their own initiative for space exploration. Nominations for the award are open now through May 1. (Watch Joi’s TED Talk) The next generation of biotech entrepreneurs. The Innovative Genomics Institute, led by Jennifer Doudna, announced the winners of its inaugural Entrepreneurial Fellowships. Targeted at early-career scientists, the fellowship provides research funding plus business training and mentorship, an entrepreneurial focus that helps scientists create practical impact through commercialization of their work[...]



A night to talk about design

2017-03-21T05:07:01Z

Designers solve problems and bring beauty to the world. At TEDNYC Design Lab, a night of talks at TED HQ in New York City hosted by design curator Chee Pearlman with content producer Cloe Shasha, six speakers pulled back the curtain to reveal the hard work and creative process behind great design. Speakers covered a […] Designers solve problems and bring beauty to the world. At TEDNYC Design Lab, a night of talks at TED HQ in New York City hosted by design curator Chee Pearlman with content producer Cloe Shasha, six speakers pulled back the curtain to reveal the hard work and creative process behind great design. Speakers covered a range of topics, including the numbing monotony of modern cities (and how to break it), the power of a single image to tell a story and the challenge of building a sacred space in a secular age. First up was Pulitzer-winning music and architecture critic Justin Davidson. The touchable city. Shiny buildings are an invasive species, says Pulitzer-winning architecture critic Justin Davidson. In recent years, cities have become smooth, bright and reflective, as new downtowns sprout clusters of tall buildings that are almost always made of steel and glass. While glass can be beautiful (and easily transported, installed and replaced), the rejection of wood, sandstone, terra cotta, copper and marble as building materials has led to the simplification and impoverishment of the architecture in cities — as if we wanted to reduce all of the world’s cuisines to the blandness of airline food. “The need for shelter is bound up with the human desire for beauty,” Davidson says. “A city’s surfaces affect the way we live in it.” Buildings create the spaces around them; ravishing public places such as the Plaza Mayor in Salamanca, Spain, and the 17th-century Place des Vosges in Paris draw people in and make life look like an opera set, while glass towers push people away. Davidson warns of the dangers of this global trend: “When a city defaults to glass as it grows, it becomes a hall of mirrors: uneasy, disquiet and cold.” By offering a series of contemporary examples, Davidson call for “an urban architecture that honors the full range of urban experience.” “The main thing we need right now is a good cartoon,” says Françoise Mouly. (Photo: Ryan Lash / TED) The power of an image to capture a moment. The first cover of The New Yorker depicted a dandy looking at a butterfly through a monocle. Now referred to as “Eustace Tilley,” this iconic image was a tongue-in-cheek response to the stuffy aristocrats of the Jazz Age. When Françoise Mouly joined the magazine as art editor in 1993, she sought to restore the same spirit of humor to a magazine that had grown staid. In doing so, Mouly looked back into how The New Yorker covers reflected moments in history, finding that covers from the Great Depression revealed what made people laugh in times of hardship. For every anniversary edition of The New Yorker, a new version of the Eustace Tilley appears on the cover. This year, we see Vladimir Putin as the monocled Eustace Tilley peering at his butterfly, Donald Trump. For Mouly, “Free press is essential to our democracy. Artists can capture what is going on — with just ink and watercolor, they can capture and enter into a cultural dialogue, putting artists at the center of culture.” Sinéad Burke shared insights into a world that many designers don’t see, challenging the idea that design is only a tool to create function and beauty. “Design can inflict vulnerability on a group whose needs aren’t considered,” she says. (Photo: Ryan Lash / TED) What is accessible design? “Design inhibits my independence and autonomy,” says educator and fashion blogger Sinéad Burke, who was born with achondroplasia (which translates as “without cartilage formation”) the most common form of dwarfism. At 105 centimeters (or 3 feet 5 inches) tall, Burke is acutely a[...]



Meet the Spring 2017 class of TED Residents

2017-03-16T17:36:04Z

On March 6, TED welcomed its latest class to the TED Residency program. As an in-house incubator for breakthrough ideas, Residents spend four months in the TED office with other exceptional people from all over the map. Each has a project that promises to make a significant contribution to the world, across several different fields. […]TED Residents Steve Rosenbaum and Nikki Allen Webber break the ice (that’s Alison Cornyn in the background). [Photo: Dian Lofton / TED] On March 6, TED welcomed its latest class to the TED Residency program. As an in-house incubator for breakthrough ideas, Residents spend four months in the TED office with other exceptional people from all over the map. Each has a project that promises to make a significant contribution to the world, across several different fields. The new Residents include: A technologist working on app to promote world peace An entrepreneur whose packaging business wants to break America’s addiction to plastic A documentarian profiling young people of color grappling with mental-health challenges A journalist telling the stories of families and friends affected by deportation A programmer who wants to teach kids how to code … without computers A writer-photographer chronicling the lives of Chinese takeout workers in New York City A scientist studying an easier path to deeper sleep TED Resident alumnus Cavaughn Noel and new TED Resident Evita Turquoise Robinson come together for the TEDStart event. [Photo: Dian Lofton / TED] At the end of the program, Residents have the opportunity to give a TED Talk about their work and ideas in the theater at TED HQ. Read more about each Resident below: The daughter of Syrian immigrants , Maytha Alhassen just received her Ph.D. in American Studies & Ethnicity from USC. She was co-editor of Demanding Dignity: Young Voices From the Front Lines of the Arab Revolutions, and her current work focuses on dignity’s central role in liberation movements. Farhad Attaie wants to sound an alarm: child health is on the decline for the first time in generations. He is a co-founder of hellosmile, a community-focused healthcare startup that promotes preventative care for children. Carlos Augusto Bautista Isaza is a Colombian creative technologist and interactive engineer whose work focuses on improving information access. He is currently developing MineSafe, a crowdsourced repository of safe walking paths for areas affected by landmines. Jackson Bird is a video creator and activist. Since publicly coming out as transgender on YouTube, he has been using digital media to amplify transgender voices and promote accurate, respectful representation of transgender people. New York–based designer Wendy Brawer is the creator of the Green Map, a tool that uses distinctive iconography to denote green-living, natural, social, and cultural resources. Locally led in 65 countries, GreenMap.org will soon relaunch with a new, open approach to inspire greater action on climate health and environmental justice among residents and travelers alike. Formerly director of the MediaLab at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Marco Antonio Castro Cosío is a designer and technologist. His current project is Bus Roots, a program that puts gardens on the roofs of city buses—to capture rainwater and add green space while also providing a virtual-reality learning experience inside. Award-winning artist Alison Cornyn is using photography and historical documents to create “Incorrigibles,” an installation and web platform that investigates the incarceration of young women in the US. She also teaches at the School of Visual Arts Design for Social Innovation MA program. Daniel Gartenberg is a sleep scientist who is testing a new way to detect and improve sleep quality using wearable devices. He is validating his invention in collaboration with Penn State, the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Aging. Journalist Duarte Geraldino is documenting the stories of US citizens who&[...]



These TED2017 speakers’ talks will be broadcast live to cinemas April 24 and 25

2017-03-13T16:00:46Z

The speaker lineup for the TED2017 conference features more than 70 thinkers and doers from around the world — including a dozen or so whose unfiltered TED Talks will be broadcast live to movie theater audiences across the U.S. and Canada. Presented with our partner BY Experience, our TED Cinema Experience event series offers three [](image)

The speaker lineup for the TED2017 conference features more than 70 thinkers and doers from around the world — including a dozen or so whose unfiltered TED Talks will be broadcast live to movie theater audiences across the U.S. and Canada.

Presented with our partner BY Experience, our TED Cinema Experience event series offers three opportunities for audiences to join together and experience the TED2017 Conference, and its first two evenings feature live TED Talks. Below: find out who’s part of the live cinema broadcast here (as with any live event, the speaker lineup is subject to change, of course!).

The listing below reflects U.S. and Canadian times; international audiences in 18 countries will experience TED captured live and time-shifted. Check locations and show times, and purchase tickets here >>

Opening Night Event: Monday, April 24, 2017
US: 8pm ET/ 7pm CT/ 6pm MT/ time-shifted to 8pm PT
Experience the electric opening night of TED, with half a dozen TED Talks and performances from:
Designer Anab Jain
Cyberspace analyst Laura Galante
Artist Titus Kaphar
Grandmaster and analyst Garry Kasparov
Author Tim Ferriss
The band OK Go
Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks

TED Prize Event: Tuesday, April 25, 2017
US: 8pm ET/ 7pm CT/ 6pm MT/ time-shifted to 8pm PT
On the second night of TED2017, the TED Prize screening offers a lineup of awe-inspiring speakers with big ideas for our future, including:
Champion Serena Williams
Physician and writer Atul Gawande
Data genius Anna Rosling Rönnlund
Movement artists Jon Boogz + Lil Buck
TED Prize winner Raj Panjabi, who will reveal for the first time plans to use his $1 million TED Prize to fund a creative, bold wish to spark global change.


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A new map of the Peruvian Amazon, the race to explore the deep ocean, and a rock album reimagined

2017-03-10T22:32:07Z

As usual, the TED community has lots of news to share this week. Below, some highlights. A map to guide conservation. After almost eight years of airborne laser-guided imaging spectroscopy, Greg Asner has finally mapped all 300,000 square miles of the Peruvian Amazon. Highlighting forest types that are reasonably safe and those which are in […] As usual, the TED community has lots of news to share this week. Below, some highlights. A map to guide conservation. After almost eight years of airborne laser-guided imaging spectroscopy, Greg Asner has finally mapped all 300,000 square miles of the Peruvian Amazon. Highlighting forest types that are reasonably safe and those which are in danger, Asner’s map offers conservationists a strategic way to apply future efforts of protection, though not all scientists remained convinced of its current benefits. For now, however, Asner remains committed to his approach, with current plans to modify his technology for eventual orbit. “[Once in orbit], we can map the changing biodiversity of the planet every month. That’s what we need to manage our extinction crisis.” (Watch Greg’s TED Talk) A tree-like pavilion for London. Architect Francis Kéré, a Burkina Faso native known for his use of local building materials like clay, will construct the 2017 Serpentine Pavilion in London, the first African to do so. Kéré’s inspiration for the pavilion’s design is a tree, which he describes as the most important place in his village because it is where people gathered as a community. Each year, the Serpentine Galleries commission a leading architect to build a temporary summer pavilion; previous architects include fellow TEDsters Bjarke Ingels and Frank Gehry. (Watch Francis’ TED Talk, Bjarke’s TED Talk, and Frank’s TED Talk) The ICIJ goes independent. Less than a year after publishing the largest investigation in journalism history, known as the Panama Papers, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) announced in February that they were breaking away from the Center for Public Integrity, which founded ICIJ in 1997. Under the continued leadership of Gerard Ryle, ICIJ will become a fully independent nonprofit news organization. (Watch Gerard’s TED Talk) A virtual forest aids a real one. Under the direction of Honor Harger, Singapore’s ArtScience Museum launched an interactive exhibit dedicated to rainforest conservation in Southeast Asia. The show, titled Into the Wild: An Immersive Virtual Adventure, creates over 1,000 square meters of virtual rainforest in the museum’s public spaces, which users can explore with their smartphones. The exhibit features a parallel with reality: for every virtual tree planted (and accompanied by a pledge to WWF), a real tree will be planted in a rainforest in Indonesia. (Watch Honor’s TED Talk) New inductees in the Women’s Hall of Fame. Autism and livestock advocate Temple Grandin and actor Aimee Mullins are two of the ten women selected to be inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame 2017 class. The group will meet on September 16 during a ceremony in New York’s Seneca Falls. (Watch Aimee’s TED Talk and Temple’s TED Talk) The race to explore the deep ocean. In December 2015, Peter Diamandis’ XPrize Foundation announced the Shell Ocean Discovery XPrize, a $7 million global competition designed to push exploration and mapping of the ocean floor. On February 16, the foundation announced the prize’s 21 semifinalists, a group that includes everyone from middle and high school students to maker-movement enthusiasts to professionals in the field. The next hurdle for the semifinalists? The first test of their technology, where they will have just 16 hours to map at least 20% of the 500-square kilometer competition area at a depth of 2,000 meters and produce a high-resolution map. (Watch Peter’s TED Talk) An iconic album reimagined. Released two days before his death, David Bowie’s f[...]



TED en Español: TED2017’s first-ever Spanish-language speaker session

2017-03-09T18:38:05Z

Haz clic para leer este artículo en español > For the first time ever, the annual TED Conference in Vancouver will feature an entire session of Spanish-language TED Talks, a bit of programming we felt called for celebration: We’ll be making the live session available for free online at live.ted.com on Tuesday, April 25, from 2:15 pm to 4:00 pm PT. […]Haz clic para leer este artículo en español > For the first time ever, the annual TED Conference in Vancouver will feature an entire session of Spanish-language TED Talks, a bit of programming we felt called for celebration: We’ll be making the live session available for free online at live.ted.com on Tuesday, April 25, from 2:15 pm to 4:00 pm PT. Titled ¨Conexión y sentido¨, or “Connection and meaning,” the session will feature six speakers from a range of backgrounds and disciplines. They include artist Tomas Saraceno (Argentina/Germany); poet, musician and singer Jorge Drexler (Uruguay/Spain); former presidential candidate and peace activist Ingrid Betancourt (Colombia/France/UK); primatologist Isabel Behncke Izquierdo (Chile/US); physicist Gabriela Gonzalez (Argentina/US) and journalist Jorge Ramos (Mexico/US). The session marks the official launch of TED en Español, a sweeping initiative from TED designed to build content and community in the Spanish-speaking world. The TED en Español team has already been hard at work laying the groundwork for a major effort, actively curating content in Spanish and beginning to share via dedicated Spanish-language channels, including: Weekly newsletter YouTube channel Facebook and Twitter accounts TED Talks with Spanish subtitles (TED en Español ribbon on TED.com coming soon) Dubbed TED-Ed lesson videos …and more than 2,000 TED Talks with Spanish subtitles TED-Ed Clubs are also underway in Spanish, and mobile users can now download a Spanish-language version of the TED mobile app for iOS and Android. TED also has plans to bring in new partners to support TED en Español as well as develop distribution deals for the Spanish-language content. In the second half of 2017, we’ll be curating and producing a TED en Español speaker salon event at our NYC theater. “Native Spanish speakers make up a massive piece of the TED global audience,” said Gerry Garbulsky, TED en Español Director. “By expanding our focus to other languages, we’ll both unearth new troves of ideas, as well as better equip ourselves to share them with a broader audience.” [...]



¡TED lanza TED en Español en la conferencia anual con el primer bloque de charlas en Español!

2017-03-09T18:38:58Z

Por primera vez, la conferencia de TED en Vancouver presentará un bloque entero de charlas TED en español — una programación que sentimos que merece una celebración! Para celebrarlo, vamos a compartir este bloque por transmisión en vivo de manera abierta y gratuita en live.ted.com el martes, 25 de abril, desde las 2:15 pm y […]Por primera vez, la conferencia de TED en Vancouver presentará un bloque entero de charlas TED en español — una programación que sentimos que merece una celebración! Para celebrarlo, vamos a compartir este bloque por transmisión en vivo de manera abierta y gratuita en live.ted.com el martes, 25 de abril, desde las 2:15 pm y hasta las 4:00 hora de Vancouver. La temática del bloque en español será “Conexión y sentido” y contará con seis oradores de diversas disciplinas y orígenes. Entre ellos se encuentra el artista Tomás Saraceno (Argentina/Alemania), el músico Jorge Drexler (Uruguay/España), la ex candidata presidential y activista por la paz Ingrid Betancourt (Colombia/Francia/Reino Unido), la primatóloga Isabel Behncke Izquierdo (Chile/Estados Unidos), la astrofísica Gabriela Gonzalez (Argentina/Estados Unidos) y el periodista y presentador Jorge Ramos (México/Estados Unidos). El bloque marca el lanzamiento oficial de TED en Español, una iniciativa de TED diseñada para desarrollar contenido y comunidad en el mundo de habla hispana. El equipo de TED en Español ya ha estado trabajando seleccionando contenido en español y comenzando a compartirlo a través de varios canales que incluyen: · Un boletín semanal por correo electrónico · Un canal de Youtube · Cuentas de Facebook y Twitter · Lecciones TED-Ed dobladas …y más de 2,000 charlas TED con subtítulos en Español. Los clubes TED-Ed ya se están haciendo también en español, y los usuarios móviles ahora se pueden instalar una versión en español de la aplicación TED para iOS y Android. TED también tiene planes para traer nuevos socios para apoyar a TED en Español y para desarrollar contratos de distribución para el contenido en español. Antes de fin de año, realizaremos un evento en español en nuestro teatro de la oficina de TED en Nueva York. “El Mundo de habla hispana constituye una parte importante de la audiencia global de TED,” dijo Gerry Garbulsky, el director de TED en Español. “Al expandir nuestro enfoque a otros idiomas, descubriremos nuevas ideas y nos equiparemos mejor para compartirlas con una audiencia más amplia.” [...]



Who’s speaking at TED2017? Announcing our speaker lineup

2017-03-09T18:13:30Z

Meet the co-creator of Siri, the founder of the world’s largest hedge fund, a Nobel-winning researcher who helped discover how we age, the head of the World Bank, and one of the greatest athletes of all time. We’re thrilled to announce the speaker lineup for TED2017, with a mix of illustrious names and the up-and-coming […] Meet the co-creator of Siri, the founder of the world’s largest hedge fund, a Nobel-winning researcher who helped discover how we age, the head of the World Bank, and one of the greatest athletes of all time. We’re thrilled to announce the speaker lineup for TED2017, with a mix of illustrious names and the up-and-coming minds who are creating the future. TED2017 is a week to explore the most powerful ideas of our time. In these mainstage sessions (including one in Spanish) we’ll ask – and try to answer – the big questions of the moment. This year’s TED will take on the hard political topics that are unavoidable in this turbulent era — and also look within, to the qualities that can make us into better people, and make our world a better place to be. And throughout the upcoming year, we’ll be making these mainstage talks into online TED Talks, sharing them free with the world. Wherever you are: You can watch Session 1 (Monday night) and Session 4 (Tuesday night) live in cinemas, thanks to the TED Cinema Experience. Can’t make it to the movies on a weekday evening? On the weekend after TED2017 wraps, you can watch a best-of compilation — 90 minutes of the best moments from the week at TED — as a special weekend matinee. Click here to find the cinema closest to you. [...]



What’s behind the split in the conservative movement? A conversation onstage at TED HQ

2017-03-09T20:47:19Z

At TED HQ in New York on Wednesday, TED curator Chris Anderson moderated a lively conversation between Eliot A. Cohen, professor of strategic studies at Johns Hopkins University who served in the State Department during the George W. Bush administration, and Diana Furchtgott-Roth, an economist and Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow who held positions in the […]“I have absolutely no regrets that I voted for Trump and that he’s our president right now,” says economist Diana Furchtgott-Roth, at right, in conversation with TED curator Chris Anderson, left, and Eliot A. Cohen at TED Dialogues, March 8, 2017, New York. Photo: Ryan Lash / TED At TED HQ in New York on Wednesday, TED curator Chris Anderson moderated a lively conversation between Eliot A. Cohen, professor of strategic studies at Johns Hopkins University who served in the State Department during the George W. Bush administration, and Diana Furchtgott-Roth, an economist and Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow who held positions in the Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush administrations and was on the Trump campaign and transition team. Although Cohen and Furchtgott-Roth both consider themselves conservatives and agree that health care, climate change and terrorism are among the most important issues facing the country, they remain sharply divided on President Trump. Character is destiny, says Cohen, borrowing a quote from Greek philosopher Heraclitus. And in Cohen’s opinion, Trump displays weaknesses in temperament and character that undermine his leadership. “Sooner or later, in every presidency, there comes a moment when he has to go into the Oval Office, sit behind the Resolute desk, and say, ‘I’ve decided to do something serious’ — usually involving the use of force — ‘and the reason I’m doing it is XYZ,’” says Cohen. “He has to be believed. And the people who didn’t vote for him, the 53%, will have to give him the benefit of the doubt.” Trump’s actions and statements, Cohen argues, seem to be “setting up for a situation in which the president does not deserve the benefit of the doubt.” Trump’s economic policies are more important than character, contends Furchtgott-Roth. “I believe they’ll lead to economic growth that gets more young people into the workforce, reduces our debt, lowers taxes, brings more companies back to the US, gives us more school choice, and gets us more of the things we all want.” She singles out the president’s support of mandatory paid maternity leave, a pro-women measure and one usually favored by progressives. Even though some Americans may be displeased by Trump’s behavior, she points out, “People wanted something different. They wanted someone who gets up in the morning and tweets, who goes around to all his hotels.” But will his repeated attacks on the media work against him, Anderson asks? No, she says: “Many people who voted for President Trump like what he’s saying to and about the media, so he’s probably making himself more popular with them.” “I was a big fan of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush,” says professor Eliot A. Cohen, center. “And I don’t think they thought of our country as crippled and that our greatness was in the past.” TED curator Chris Anderson, at left, speaks with Cohen and Diana Furchtgott-Roth at TED Dialogues, March 8, 2017, New York. Photo: Ryan Lash / TED Regardless, people dissenting with their political leaders is nothing new, according to Furchtgott-Roth. “Think of any politician you supported, and there will always be something he or she said with which you disagree,” she says. “I see the president as someone whose main function is to sign into legislation the bills that Congress sends him. Congress sent legislation to President Obama that he ve[...]



Can we heal the fractured political conversation? A talk with Gretchen Carlson and David Brooks

2017-03-02T13:10:18Z

In conversation with TED curator Chris Anderson at TED HQ in New York on Wednesday, New York Times columnist David Brooks and journalist Gretchen Carlson discussed how and why America has become so polarized — and where we can find common ground. Set between lively renditions of “America the Beautiful” and “Go Down Moses” performed […]“How can we bridge the gap between the left and right, to have a wiser, more connected conversation?” asks TED’s curator, Chris Anderson, at left, while speaking with journalist Gretchen Carlson and columnist David Brooks at TED, March 01, 2017, in New York. Photo: Dian Lofton / TED In conversation with TED curator Chris Anderson at TED HQ in New York on Wednesday, New York Times columnist David Brooks and journalist Gretchen Carlson discussed how and why America has become so polarized — and where we can find common ground. Set between lively renditions of “America the Beautiful” and “Go Down Moses” performed by the Vy Higginsen Gospel Choir of Harlem, the conversation centered on the political climate that led to Donald Trump’s election. Carlson, a registered Independent who once hosted a show on Fox News, and Brooks, a conservative columnist, shared their insights on the tensions at the heart of American politics today … and why 63 million people voted for Trump. Trump voters were angry and felt like Washington wasn’t listening to them. A native of Minnesota, Carlson has seen the anger in middle America firsthand, and it started long before 2016. “A huge swath of the population feels like Washington never listens to them,” she says. Brooks also traveled around the country during the elections, through what pundits have called “flyover country” — a term, he says, that he heard nearly every hour during the election cycle. It speaks to an impression of middle Americans as less important than people who live on the coasts, namely California and New York. For many people in middle America, economic mobility is stunted and jobs have disappeared, Brooks says. “In this country, we only have one success story: you go to college, you get a degree and a white-collar job, and that’s success,” he says. “If you’re not rich or famous, you feel invisible.” Trump has celebrity appeal and a simplified message. Carlson, who hosted Trump on her show many times, reminds us that he is a master marketer. He was able to simplify his message down to phrases (“Make America great again”) and even if he eventually can’t achieve the things he says, he gave people something to grasp onto. And don’t underestimate his celebrity, she says: “I think it had a huge impact on Donald Trump becoming president.” People were also willing ignore character flaws in favor of policy, Brooks adds. “I think he’s a moral freak,” he says of Trump. “He doesn’t know anything about anything, and he’s uncurious about it.” But his fans were “well aware of his failings,” he says, and were willing overlook Trump’s dustups, like the infamous Access Hollywood/Billy Bush tape and the rally where he appeared to mock a disabled reporter. “A lot of people put on blinders,” Carlson says. “Policies they believe in, and being visible and heard, were more important than how Trump acts as a human.” How can we have good conversations with people on the other side? “Come to the table being passionate about something,” says Gretchen Carlson at TED Dialogues, March 01, 2017, New York. Photo: Jasmina Tomic / TED Political correctness has soured conservatives. The conservative media has pounded this issue for the [...]



Step away from the internet, and other ways to fight tyranny: A conversation with Timothy Snyder and Rick Perlstein

2017-02-24T20:33:02Z

Timothy Snyder grew up in America, but as a historian of 20th-century Europe at Yale, he’s spent much of his adult life in, or thinking deeply about, Central and Eastern Europe. And what he sees there — especially in looking at the Europe of the 1920s, ’30s, and ’40s — is a pattern that may […]“Can we learn something from the past that helps us see more in the present?” asks Timothy Snyder, right, onstage with historian Rick Perlstein, during TED Dialogues, February 23, 2017, at TED’s offices in New York. Photo: Dian Lofton / TED Timothy Snyder grew up in America, but as a historian of 20th-century Europe at Yale, he’s spent much of his adult life in, or thinking deeply about, Central and Eastern Europe. And what he sees there — especially in looking at the Europe of the 1920s, ’30s, and ’40s — is a pattern that may feel familiar to people who are watching the political scene in the United States right now, with its political polarization, targeting of ethnic groups, and movement away from globalism toward nationalism inside government. In conversation with Rick Perlstein, himself a historian of conservatism, Snyder talks about what Americans in 2017 might learn from looking hard at Europe’s darkest decades. “What we should do,” he says, ”is learn from the way things don’t work out.” Why look at the past? Because, Snyder says, America’s founding fathers explicitly wanted us to. “Our founding fathers enjoined us to study something very specific for reasons of citizenship: they implored us to study tyranny.” He goes on: “They were worried because democracy has always failed. Classical Greece, classical Rome, both turned into oligarchy and empire. They were concerned the American experiment would also turn into oligarchy and empire. They were very skeptical of themselves and other citizens, and they set up a system of checks and balances, where tyranny would be harder.” America’s democracy has survived for more than 200 years, in part thanks to checks and balances. But also because the US was lucky at a time when Europe wasn’t: the 1930s. In the era just before the 1930s, Snyder points out: “It was a time of globalization. Everyone was saying, history is over, liberalism is spreading, we’ll have prosperity for all.” And then social movements came along that “wiped out liberal democracy in most of Europe — and could have in the US. We had a 1930s that was unusual,” he says, and “we should realize how lucky we got.” The US’ escape from fascism wasn’t thanks to American exceptionalism, he argues, but thanks to a president who was, among other things, openly anti-fascist. Just after the November 2016 election that brought Donald Trump to power, Snyder wrote a post on Facebook that drew on what he’d learned from the Europe of the 1920s–’40s and from more recent movements and revolutions in Central and Eastern Europe. His post began: “Americans are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism, or communism. Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience. Now is a good time to do so.“ He distilled his insights into 20 points, soon to become the book On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century. Onstage, Perlstein asks Snyder to review a couple of the most memorable points, starting with the first one: “Do not obey in advance.” What does that mean? “It comes from Germany in the 1930s,” Snyder says. “Much of the way Hitler managed a regime change is, people figured out in advance what the leader wanted, and then they edged in that direction.And that’s the lubricant in regime change. As humans, we do this, we say: I’m going to adapt to this new situation of authority. If you just don’t do that, you ca[...]



Where in the world has Humanae been?

2017-02-23T23:17:04Z

Photographer Angélica Dass captures some of humanity’s truest colors through her portrait project Humanae, a catalogue of human skin color displayed as a simple, captivating collage of Pantone portraits that reflects the deepest shades of brown and black, to the lighter tones of white, pink and everything in between. For Dass, Humanae is more than […]Photographer Angélica Dass captures some of humanity’s truest colors through her portrait project Humanae, a catalogue of human skin color displayed as a simple, captivating collage of Pantone portraits that reflects the deepest shades of brown and black, to the lighter tones of white, pink and everything in between. For Dass, Humanae is more than an expansive exhibit, but a thought-provoking educational tool meant to prompt a dialogue on how we see each other and the boundaries we set around race, ethnicity and identity. At the time of her TED Talk in early 2016, Dass had traveled to 13 countries and photographed more than 3,000 people. Since her talk almost a year ago, she continues to share her work with the world as it travels the globe and continues to spark those necessary conversations. Where in the world has Humanae been? Scroll to find out some of the places it’s popped up. February 2016: Daelim Museum, in Seoul, South Korea  Humanae was part of the Daelim Museum’s “Color Your Life,” which visually examined how the functions of color and space can re-illuminate the hidden aesthetics of everyday life. The exhibition was divided into five sections: Color is everywhere, Color meets material (glass, leather, fabric, metal), Color challenges design, Color completes furniture and Color paints space — with Dass’ photo project cast in Color is everywhere. March 2016: Uribitarte Promenade, in Bilbao, Spain For this public installation, Dass collaborated with the Bilbao City Council and made an open call for citizens volunteers and neighbors of the port city to be featured in her photo series. The selected images formed a mosaic of local faces — six large cubes lining a pedestrian zone of the Uribitarte Promenade between the Pio Baroja station and the Zubizuri Bridge — that were revealed on March 21, 2016, the International Day against Racial Discrimination. May 2016: Upho Urban Photo Festival in Malaga, Spain The showing of Humanae at the Urban Photography Festival lined the plazas, streets and squares of the Lagunillas district for two weeks. Dass worked in the area for a time before the exhibit was shown, to add individuals as young as eight months and old as 80 to her growing chromatic collection. June 2016: Photobiennale Θεσσαλονίκη, in Thessaloniki, Greece Every two years — for the past 20 years — the Thessaloniki Museum of Photography organizes an International Photography Festival, also known as the PhotoBiennale. The museum partners with Urban Layers, an European public photography project co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union that travels between art festivals throughout the continent, including UPHO Urban Photo Festival. Humanae was featured in Urban Layers’ 2016 theme, Identity Flows, a concept that sought to capture what identity means through a “photographic crossroad of cultures at a crucial moment in the European Union’s course,” following the UK’s historic exit from the EU. July 2016: Museo della Scienza e della Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci, in Milan, Italy At the Leonardo da Vinci Museum of Science and Technology, Humanae was displayed in the genetics section. “Scientists want the same thing as I do, to show people that we are all the same race. There are things in our DNA which make us unique but in the end the things that construct us are the same. [...]



Watch now: What’s next for democracy? A live Facebook chat

2017-02-23T18:15:53Z

Join us now on Facebook Live for another episode of TED Dialogues, our response to current events, adding insight, context and nuance to the conversations we’re having right now. Join us Thursday, February 23, 2017 at 1–2pm on TED’s Facebook page. Our speakers are two historians who will try to help us make sense of […]Join us now on Facebook Live for another episode of TED Dialogues, our response to current events, adding insight, context and nuance to the conversations we’re having right now. Join us Thursday, February 23, 2017 at 1–2pm on TED’s Facebook page. Our speakers are two historians who will try to help us make sense of what’s going on in Washington: Rick Perlstein, journalist and expert on the history of conservatism in the US, will moderate a conversation with Yale history professor Timothy Snyder. Snyder’s book On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century will be published next week. There will be an opportunity for questions from the Facebook Live audience! [...]



A night to talk about redemption: TEDNYC Rebirth

2017-02-28T16:50:11Z

How do we make sense of the tumult around us? How can we grapple with the confusion and alarm so many of us are feeling? In a special session of talks curated and hosted by Jon Ronson at TED HQ on Wednesday night, six speakers looked not at the ruin that follows hardship but the […]Journalist and documentary filmmaker Jon Ronson curated and hosted a night of talks about moving toward greater certainty and stable ground. (Photo: Dian Lofton / TED) How do we make sense of the tumult around us? How can we grapple with the confusion and alarm so many of us are feeling? In a special session of talks curated and hosted by Jon Ronson at TED HQ on Wednesday night, six speakers looked not at the ruin that follows hardship but the recovery. That’s why we called the session “Rebirth” — because it was a night to talk about redemption. Whether it’s the crushing grief of losing a child, the manipulation of an electorate or the fear of public humiliation, each speaker has encountered trauma in one form or another. And as they shared their narratives, they offered useful mechanisms for getting a new purchase on reality. First up was Mona Chalabi, data editor for Guardian US. “We’re living in a world of alternative facts, where people don’t find statistics to be a common ground or a starting point for debate,” says data editor Mona Chalabi. “This is a problem.” (Photo: Jasmina Tomic / TED) How to paint with numbers. In the current age of distrust and alternative facts, people have begun to question the reliability of data from even the most trusted institutions, like the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Once a source of common ground between individuals, government numbers now provide a starting point for contentious debate. There’s even a bill in Congress that argues against the collection of data related to racial inequality. Without this data, “how can we observe discrimination, let alone fix it?” asks Mona Chalabi. This isn’t just about discrimination: think about how much harder it would be to have a public debate about health care if we don’t have numbers on health and poverty. Or how hard it would be to legislate on immigration if we can’t agree on how many people are entering and leaving the country. In an illustrated talk full of her signature hand-drawn data visualizations, Chalabi offers advice on how to distinguish good numbers from bad ones. As she explains, if we give up on government numbers altogether, “we’ll be making public policy decisions in the dark, using nothing but private interests to guide us.” A story of hope in the shadow of death. When writer/comedian Amy Green’s 12-month-old son was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor, she began to tell her children bedtime stories in order to teach them about cancer. What resulted was a video game called “That Dragon, Cancer,” in which a brave knight named Joel fights an evil dragon. In the game, the autobiographical story of Joel’s terminal illness, players discover that although they desperately want to win and want Joel to beat cancer, they never can. What do you value when you can’t win? In a beautiful talk about coping with loss, Green brings joy and play into tragedy. “We made a game that’s hard to play,” Green says. “People have to prepare themselves to invest emotionally in a story that they know will break their hearts, but when our hearts break they heal a little differently. My broken heart has healed with a new and deeper compassion.” With speech and song, Emmy the Great shares her story about standing out, fitting in and finding her identity throu[...]



“Humanity can rise to the challenge”: Yuval Harari in conversation at TED Dialogues

2017-02-18T12:47:25Z

How to explain the stunning political upheaval of 2016 — Brexit in the UK and Donald Trump’s election to the presidency in the US — as well as the current and ongoing atmosphere of division, discontent and disquiet that fills many people’s lives? One simple answer: “We’ve lost our story,” says Jerusalem University historian Yuval […]In a wide-ranging conversation with Yuval Harari at TED’s theater, TED’s Chris Anderson (left) asked: How should we behave in this post-truth era? And Harari replied: “My basic reaction as a historian is: if this is the era of post-truth, when the hell was the era of truth?” Photo: Dian Lofton /TED How to explain the stunning political upheaval of 2016 — Brexit in the UK and Donald Trump’s election to the presidency in the US — as well as the current and ongoing atmosphere of division, discontent and disquiet that fills many people’s lives? One simple answer: “We’ve lost our story,” says Jerusalem University historian Yuval Harari, in a conversation with TED curator Chris Anderson during the first of a series of TED Dialogues in NYC. Humans “think in stories and make sense of the world by telling stories,” says Harari, the author of Sapiens and the new book Homo Deus. In the past few decades, many of us believed in the “simple and attractive story” that we existed in a world that was both politically liberal and economically global. At the same time, some people felt left out of — or didn’t believe — this story. By 2016, they voiced their discontent by supporting Brexit and Trump and LePen, retreating into the cozy confines of nationalism and nostalgia. Right now, “almost everywhere around the globe, we see [politicians with a] retrograde vision.” Harari points to Trump’s efforts to “Make America Great Again,” Putin’s hearkening back to the Tsarist empire, and leadership in Israel, his home country, seeking to build temples. He views leaders — and citizens — a bit like lost children retracing their steps back to the place they once felt safety and security. Unfortunately, taking refuge in nationalism will not help humanity tackle the huge and looming problems of climate change and technological disruption at global scale. While climate occupies the worries of many people, Harari believes the general public is less informed about the latter problem: that in the next 20 to 30 years, hundreds of millions of people might be put out of work due to automation. “It’s not the Mexicans, it’s not the Chinese who are going to take jobs from people in Pennsylvania,” he says, “it’s the robots and algorithms. And we have to do something about it now. What we teach children in school and college now is completely irrelevant for what they will need in 2040.” And nothing less than a concerted international solution — most likely, in the form of global governance — is needed to take on these planet-scale issues. “I don’t know what it would look like,” admits Harari. “But we need it because these situations are lose-lose situations.” When it comes to an area like trade, where both sides can benefit, it’s easy to get national governments to come together and negotiate an agreement. But with an issue like climate change in which all nations stand to lose, an overarching authority is needed in order to force them to act. Such a global government would “most likely look more like ancient China than modern Denmark,” he says. Harari notes that most of today’s nationalist governments seem loath to address — or even acknowledge — global problems like climate change. “T[...]



TED and Star India greenlight “TED Talks India: Nayi Soch” TV series, hosted by Shah Rukh Khan

2017-02-15T20:45:21Z

Today we confirmed some exciting news about TED’s most ambitious television project yet: a major network series in India hosted by megawatt Bollywood film star Shah Rukh Khan. The program will air on Star India, one of India’s largest media conglomerates and our partner in production. TED Talks India: Nayi Soch, which translates to “new thinking,” marks [](image)

Today we confirmed some exciting news about TED’s most ambitious television project yet: a major network series in India hosted by megawatt Bollywood film star Shah Rukh Khan.

The program will air on Star India, one of India’s largest media conglomerates and our partner in production. TED Talks India: Nayi Soch, which translates to “new thinking,” marks the first time TED is collaborating with a major network to produce a TV series featuring original TED Talks in a language other than English—Hindi.

“It’s incredibly exciting to be bringing TED to India in this form,” TED curator Chris Anderson tells us. “The country is teeming with imagination and innovation, and we believe this series will tap into that spirit and bring insight and inspiration to many new minds.”

“The sheer size of Star TV’s audience, with more than 650 million viewers, makes this a significant milestone in TED’s ongoing effort to bring big ideas to curious minds,” added Juliet Blake, head of TV at TED and executive producer of the series. “Global television is opening up a new frontier for TED.”

Shah Rukh Khan says the show is a concept he “connected with instantly, as I believe that the media is perhaps the single most powerful vehicle to inspire change. I am looking forward to working with TED and Star India, and truly hope that together, we are able to inspire young minds across India and the world.”

More on this unique initiative will be announced at TED2017 in Vancouver and in the coming months. Stay tuned!


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Watch: Yuval Harari in conversation with TED’s Chris Anderson

2017-02-15T19:32:30Z

Watch: Chris Anderson speaks with the historian Yuval Noah Harari on what’s happening now, and what’s to come during this extraordinary moment in time -- when nationalism is pitted against globalism, while the world is facing a job-loss crisis most of us are not even expecting. A rewarding hour of big ideas about humanity's future.(image)

In this one-hour video from TED headquarters, curator Chris Anderson sits down with historian and social critic Yuval Noah Harari to talk about this extraordinary moment in time — when nationalism is pitted against globalism, while the world is facing a job-loss crisis most of us are not even expecting. Rewatch this Facebook Live video:


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‘Armchair archaeologists’ search 5 million tiles of Peru

2017-03-13T14:49:07Z

GlobalXplorer, the citizen science platform for archaeology, launched two weeks ago. It’s the culmination of Sarah Parcak’s TED Prize wish and, already, more than 32,000 curious minds from around the world have started their training, learning to spot signs of ancient sites threatened by looters. Working together, the GlobalXplorer community has just finished searching the […]Morning clouds reveal Machu Picchu, ancient city of the Incas. Peru is home to many archaeological sites — and citizen scientists are mapping the country with GlobalXplorer. Photo: Design Pics Inc./National Geographic Creative GlobalXplorer, the citizen science platform for archaeology, launched two weeks ago. It’s the culmination of Sarah Parcak’s TED Prize wish and, already, more than 32,000 curious minds from around the world have started their training, learning to spot signs of ancient sites threatened by looters. Working together, the GlobalXplorer community has just finished searching the 5 millionth tile in Peru, the first country the platform is mapping. “I’m thrilled,” said Parcak. “I had no idea we’d complete this many tiles so soon.” “Expedition Peru” has users searching more than 250,000 square kilometers of highlands and desert, captured in high-resolution satellite imagery provided by DigitalGlobe. This large search area has been divided into 20 million tiles, each about the size of a few city blocks. Users look at tiles one at a time, and mark whether they see anything in the image that could be a looting pit. When 5–6 users flag a site as containing potential looting, Parcak’s team will step in to study it in more detail. “So far, the community has flagged numerous potential looting sites,” said Parcak. “We’ll be taking a look at each one and further investigating.” GlobalXplorer volunteers are searching Peru, one tile at a time, looking for signs of looting. Each tile shows an area the size of a few city blocks. Photo: Courtesy of GlobalXplorer When GlobalXplorer launched, The Guardian described its users as “armchair archaeologists.” As this growing community searches for signs of looting, it’s unlocking articles and videos from National Geographic’s archives that give greater context to the expedition. So far, four chapters are available — including one on the explorers whose work has shed light on the mysteries of Peru, and one on the Chavín culture known for its psychedelic religious rituals. “Everyone will find things on GlobalXplorer,” said Parcak. “All users are making a real difference. I’ve had photos from my friends showing their kids working together to find sites, and emails from retirees who always wanted to be archaeologists but never could. It’s really heartwarming to see this work.” Expedition Peru draws to a close on March 15, 2017. Start searching » [...]



A personal memory of Hans Rosling, from TED’s founding director of video

2017-02-16T02:44:29Z

I was there when Hans Rosling first shook the room at TED, and transformed tiresome medical statistics into an action-packed, live performance about real people’s lives on the line. He’s since been namechecked by Bill Gates. And he outlasted Fidel Castro – twice. Not merely mortally. In an interview on the TED Blog, Hans recounts […]Hans Rosling. Credit: TED / James Duncan Davidson I was there when Hans Rosling first shook the room at TED, and transformed tiresome medical statistics into an action-packed, live performance about real people’s lives on the line. He’s since been namechecked by Bill Gates. And he outlasted Fidel Castro – twice. Not merely mortally. In an interview on the TED Blog, Hans recounts an all-night argument with the Cuban dictator that upended the country’s healthcare system. At our second encounter, shortly after the launch of TED Talks, Hans pulled up a chair and sat down by my side to ask about the instant replay I’d inserted into his presentation. He listened to my answer attentively, then shared his greatest secret as a speaker, a secret he had refined over years of teaching with a sportscaster’s exuberance: “I must strike a delicate balance,” he explained, “Too much data, and I become boring. But too much humor, and I am a clown.” He drew diagrams. His ideas spilled forth with lucidity, seemingly effortlessly, because he loved what he did, and he worked with the people he loved. He couldn’t wait to share his latest revelations with everybody at every opportunity: He evaded bribery in some of the more corrupt corners of the world by showing off printouts of his data, page by page, until local interlocutors would release him, either out of inspiration or sheer exhaustion — but never confusion. Years after we first met, Hans showed up at my door one night with a toothbrush and a laptop full of data visualizations, announcing himself as my roommate, staying up all hours to work out the particulars of his latest presentation. And I told him that my favorite part of any of his TED Talks, the bit that gives me chills to this day, was something that could easily go unnoticed, from that very first speech comparing the developed world to the developing world, when, about four minutes in, he leans in to take us on our first journey through time, and he says, “Let’s see,” to an unsuspecting audience, “WE START THE WORLD.” — Jason Wishnow TED’s founding director of film + video, Jason Wishnow, gives Hans Rosling some presentation tips backstage at TED in Long Beach. Image courtesy M ss ng P eces and Jason Wishnow   [...]



“I cried as you told your story”: Comment of the week, Feb. 8, 2017

2017-02-15T01:12:31Z

This week’s comment was posted on Sue Klebold’s talk, “My son was a Columbine shooter. This is my story.” Many times, a comment section represents the worst of our collective thoughts, but in this instance, on this platform, there is so much compassion. I was impressed with the level of respect and understanding shown to Sue […]This week’s comment was posted on Sue Klebold’s talk, “My son was a Columbine shooter. This is my story.” Many times, a comment section represents the worst of our collective thoughts, but in this instance, on this platform, there is so much compassion. I was impressed with the level of respect and understanding shown to Sue by our entire community, but Heidi’s comment stands out because of her personal experience with the Columbine shooting. Heidi writes: “I was in the library during the Columbine shooting. I cried as you told your story, and my heart really just ached. I admire your courage to stand up and speak about this and have found healing in your words.” Heidi’s sentiments are mirrored in her community members’ comments, but her proximity to the shooting adds a specific weight to her words. As an outsider, it’s comforting to read Heidi’s comments and, if the upvotes are any indication, I’d imagine I’m not the only person who feels this way. Sue’s bravery in both her talk and advocacy work is so important, and I hope the comments from the TED.com community can stand to show just how impactful it is too. Here’s to another week of powerful community interactions! [...]