Former NFL quarterback Alex Smith almost died after a particularly rough tackle snapped his leg in 2018 -- yet he was back on the field just two years later. In this inspiring talk, he shares his hard-won insights on overcoming fear, self-doubt and anxiety that could help anyone endure life's challenges. (This talk contains graphic images.)
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As actress Nicole Maines points out, we all unwittingly play supporting roles in each others' life stories -- for better or worse. With charm and aplomb, she shares her experience growing up as a trans youth, emphasizing the big and small ways community acceptance can affect the course of a deeply personal journey.
Global obesity rates are on the rise, but body shaming campaigns are doing more harm than good, says medical anthropologist Nancy N. Chen. Reflecting on how the cultural histories of body ideals have changed over time, she offers a new way to view ourselves and our health by enhancing body diversity to close the gap between what's ideal and what's real.
Could an everyday clothing item help protect your health? In this quick talk, TED Fellow Alicia Chong Rodriguez introduces us to a smart bra designed to gather real-time data on biomarkers like heartbeat, breath and temperature. Learn how this life-saving gadget could help close the gender gap in cardiovascular research -- and, finally, usher women's health care into the 21st century.
In this fascinating conversation, cosmologist and TED Fellow Katie Mack delves into everything from the Big Bang theory to what we see at the edge of the observable universe to a few ways the cosmos might end. Stay tuned to hear Mack recite an original poem on the wonder and marvel of existence. (This conversation, hosted by deputy director of the TED Fellows program, Lily James Olds, was part of a TED Membership event. Visit ted.com/membership to become a TED Member.)
Government deficits have gotten a bad rap, says economist Stephanie Kelton. In this groundbreaking talk, she makes the case to stop looking at government spending as a path towards frightening piles of debt, but rather as a financial contribution to the things that matter -- like health care, education, infrastructure and beyond. "We have the resources we need to begin repairing our broken systems," Kelton says. "But we have to believe it's possible."
2021 is a critical year for climate change. According to the Paris Climate Agreement, governments must decide now on how to reduce the amount of carbon they pump into the atmosphere in order to avoid the most devastating consequences of global warming. So, are we on track to limit global warming to only 1.5 degrees Celsius? The Climate Action Tracker explains the good news and the bad news for the planet. (Updated June 2021)
What if your car could drop you off and then find parking by itself? According to electric vehicle entrepreneur Freeman H. Shen, this technology already exists. He shares his vision for a future where AI-powered electric vehicles will solve many of the problems cars currently cause, like smog, traffic congestion, accidents and, yes, endlessly circling the block looking for somewhere to park.
Music can act as a guide, says cellist Steven Sharp Nelson. It has the power to unlock the mind, tap into the heart and bring light in the darkest times. Take a deep breath as Nelson takes you on a melodic, meditative journey that could reconnect you with your closest loved ones -- no matter how near or far they may be.
Have you found yourself staying up late, joylessly bingeing TV shows and doomscrolling through the news, or simply navigating your day uninspired and aimless? Chances are you're languishing, says organizational psychologist Adam Grant -- a psychic malaise that has become all too common after many months of the pandemic. He breaks down the key indicators of languishing and presents three ways to escape that "meh" feeling and start finding your flow.
Land restoration is about more than planting trees, says environmentalist Susan Graham. Check out how her team combines drone technology with ecology-trained AI to restore degraded land and revive complex, biodiverse ecosystems -- whether it's on a small island or across an entire continent.
What if you were holding life-saving medicine ... but had no way to administer it? Zoom down to the nano level with engineer Kathryn A. Whitehead as she gives a breakdown of the little fatty balls (called lipid nanoparticles) perfectly designed to ferry cutting-edge medicines into your body's cells. Learn how her work is already powering mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines and forging the path for future therapies that could treat Ebola, HIV and even cancer.
We live in a call-out culture, says activist and scholar Loretta J. Ross. You're probably familiar with it: the public shaming and blaming, on social media and in real life, of people who may have done wrong and are being held accountable. In this bold, actionable talk, Ross gives us a toolkit for starting productive conversations instead of fights -- what she calls a "call-in culture" -- and shares strategies that help challenge wrongdoing while still creating space for growth, forgiveness and maybe even an unexpected friend. "Fighting hate should be fun," Ross says. "It's being a hater that sucks."
In a staggering display of creativity and community, theater director Amir Nizar Zuabi introduces "The Walk": a theatrical journey following a nine-year-old refugee girl named Amal (represented by a giant, lifelike puppet) as she makes her way from Turkey to England. Zuabi shares the bold vision behind this cultural odyssey aimed at spreading hope and celebrating the refugee experience -- and joins us live from Turkey as Amal passes through a village.
As COVID-19 spread, BioNTech cofounders Uğur Şahin and Özlem Türeci had one goal: to make a safe, effective vaccine faster than ever before. In this illuminating conversation with head of TED Chris Anderson, the immunologists (and married couple) share the fascinating story of how their decades of mRNA research powered the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine -- and forecast what this breakthrough science could mean for the future of vaccines and other immunotherapy treatments.
China has pledged to be carbon neutral by 2060 -- and its citizens are helping industries across the country reach that goal. Environmentalist Ma Jun introduces the Blue Map, an app that empowers people to report pollution violations in their communities and track real-time environmental data, holding emitters accountable and helping companies along the global supply chain make informed sourcing decisions. Hear how the app uses the power of transparency to motivate more than 14,000 factories (so far) to clean up.
The pandemic spurred an unprecedented reclamation of urban space, ushering in a seemingly bygone era of pedestrian pastimes, as cars were sidelined in favor of citizens. Highlighting examples from across the United States, environmental designer Kevin J. Krizek reflects on how temporary shifts -- like transforming streets into places for dining, recreation and community -- can become permanent fixtures that make for more livable and sustainable cities.
Coming to us from 60 years in the future, legendary sci-fi writer Kim Stanley Robinson tells the "history" of how humanity ended the climate crisis and restored the damage done to Earth's biosphere. A rousing vision of how we might unite to overcome the greatest challenge of our time.
Dating back more than 800 years, chocolate is deeply woven into the Indigenous history of Oaxaca, Mexico. TED Fellow Germán Santillán talks about his work reviving the Mixtec technique used to prepare this ancient delicacy by training a new generation of local farmers -- helping create economic opportunity and preserve a delicious legacy at the same time.
Is there life on Venus? Quantum astrochemist Clara Sousa-Silva makes the case for a new way to seek and possibly discover habitable planets -- and shares her research into a poisonous, smelly molecule that might signal life beyond Earth.
Every human and natural system -- from oil extraction to the flight of a flock of starlings -- can be seen as a set of repeating patterns. These patterns can be disrupted for good or for bad, says Nigel Topping, the High Level Climate Action Champion for COP26, the UN's climate change conference set to take place in November 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland. He shares three rules of radical collaboration that could positively disrupt the patterns of the global economy and help humanity tackle the world's greatest threat: climate change.
In the face of trauma, happiness is resilience: a revolutionary act of thriving despite all odds, rather than wilting or surrendering. Community organizer and activist Miracle Jones offers a heart-to-heart meditation on the role of joy as a form of radical resistance, survival and protection for Black folks in the US and across the world. A warm reminder about embracing the guiding light of hope in the presence of darkness.
Sci-fi writer Chen Qiufan doesn't fear a dystopian future. Instead, he believes developments in artificial intelligence will make all of our lives better, healthier and safer. He takes us on a tour of the next 20 years of AI and shares some astonishing predictions for the advancements in science and technology that could await us. "For every future we wish to create, we must first learn to imagine it," he says.
Creative, sustainable solutions find their home in the thousands of informal neighborhoods across the world. Urban planner Jota Samper believes these often overlooked settlements (also known as slums) should be regarded as hubs of innovation and shares three reasons why giving them the attention they deserve could help change the way humanity coexists -- and cities evolve -- on a global scale.
Beauty is about more than the body you inhabit -- it's a way of being that goes beyond genetics or societal ideals. Aboriginal writer and former model Sasha Sarago invites you to decolonize beauty, moving away from the monolithic Eurocentric archetype and towards a more essential, authentic understanding of self that belongs to everyone.
Human activity is affecting the planet in dramatic, unsustainable ways -- including destroying the habitats of wild animals. Considering our obligation to care for the creatures we've impacted, environmental writer Emma Marris dives into the ethics of wildlife management, zoos and aquariums, offering her thoughts on how we can help Earth's wildlife flourish. (This conversation, hosted by TED science curator David Biello, was part of a TED Membership event. Visit ted.com/membership to become a TED Member.)
Racism morphs, spreading and hiding behind numerous half-truths and full-blown falsities about where it lives and who embodies it. In this actionable talk, political scientist Candis Watts Smith debunks three widely accepted myths about racism in the US and calls for a nuanced, more expansive definition to support this new era of anti-racist action.
African artifacts shown in museums worldwide are often not borrowed, but stolen -- and TED Fellow Jim Chuchu is on a mission to get them back. Learn the sordid history behind how many of the collections in the West came to be, Chuchu's extensive work tracking and restoring Kenya's cultural heritage and what these efforts can mean for the wider African continent. An urgent call for institutions to reconsider the morality of the objects they "own" and their significance to the communities from which they were taken.
Something powerful is happening around the world. The issue of climate change has moved from the margins to the mainstream, says Alok Sharma, the President-Designate of COP26, the United Nations climate conference set to take place in November 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland. He unpacks what this shift means for the world economy and the accelerating "green industrial revolution" -- and lays out the urgent actions that need to happen in order to limit global temperature rise.
Hot flashes, joint pain, anxiety, depression, difficulty sleeping -- these unforgiving menopause symptoms directly impact work but often go overlooked and under-discussed as a taboo topic, says entrepreneur Andrea Berchowitz. She gives practical advice on how to create a menopause-friendly work culture that supports gender equity and diversity retention in the workplace.
We've misplaced the building blocks of the cosmos -- and particle physicists like Claire Malone are on a mission to find them. Despite scientists hitting a "major snag" in uncovering what exactly makes up dark matter and dark energy, she explains how questioning our fundamental understanding of nature itself invites a different, more meaningful perspective universally.
"What if I was to tell you that a game of peek-a-boo could change the world?" asks seven-year-old Molly Wright, one of the youngest-ever TED speakers. Breaking down the research-backed ways parents and caregivers can support children's healthy brain development, Wright highlights the benefits of play on lifelong learning, behavior and well-being, sharing effective strategies to help all kids thrive by the age of five. She's joined onstage by one-year-old Ari and his dad, Amarjot, who help illustrate her big ideas about brain science. (This TED Talk was produced in collaboration with Minderoo Foundation as an educational tool for parents and caregivers around the world and is supported by UNICEF.)
When you think of North American cuisine, do Indigenous foods come to mind? Chef Sean Sherman serves up an essential history lesson that explains the absence of Native American culinary traditions across the continent, highlighting why revitalizing Indigenous education sits at the center of a better diet and healthier relationship with the planet.
Money, money, money ... in the music business, there seems to be little left for the songwriters that fuel it. ABBA co-founder Björn Ulvaeus calls for the industry to support its most valuable asset, breaking down how the streaming revolution impacts creator royalties, careers and craft -- and outlines what can be done to truly thank artists for the music.
For a genuine conversation, consider talking to a robot; the less humanized, the better. Consumer researcher Anne Scherer shares her findings on why some machines get us to open up better than actual people, revealing fascinating insights about human nature that could lead to more honest interactions in our day-to-day lives.
Your money habits reveal a lot about you: your hopes, fears, dreams and other deep personal truths you may not even be aware of, says accountant Robert A. Belle. He shares how taking stock of your transaction history can unlock surprisingly valuable insights about what drives you to spend (and save) -- and provides practical tips on how to perform an "emotional audit" of your expenses.
Today's youth have inherited a big, unprecedented climate problem to solve -- and the eco-anxiety to go with it. Gen-Zer and activist Clover Hogan knows the struggle firsthand, but she also understands the path to climate action starts with the one thing you can control: your mindset. She explains why challenging the stories that keep you feeling powerless can help you take the first step to protecting the planet for generations to come.
You may be familiar with the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. After decades of research and his own experience with tragic loss, grief expert David Kessler ventured beyond that classic framework and sought a sixth, crucial stage: meaning. He shares practical wisdom and strategies for anyone seeking to honor a loved one's memory and move through life in light of personal loss. (This conversation, hosted by TED curator Cloe Shasha Brooks, is part of TED's "How to Deal with Difficult Feelings" series.)
Disrupting the status quo can be scary, but sometimes it's necessary to make the world a fairer place. Reclaiming what it means to be a troublemaker, author Luvvie Ajayi Jones shares three questions to ask yourself when tackling fear and standing up for what you believe in -- and urges all of us to speak up in ways that honor ourselves and others. (This conversation, hosted by TED current affairs curator Whitney Pennington Rodgers, was part of an exclusive TED Membership event. Visit ted.com/membership to become a TED Member.)
If you've sanded down your edges to fit in, it's time to bring them back -- there's power, value and beauty there, says Crystal Rasmussen. With candor and humility, Rasmussen shares their experience navigating shame, how it manifests in ourselves and the world and the ways drag revealed a path toward self-love and acceptance. A talk for anyone struggling with becoming exactly who they're meant to be -- and a reminder that it's rarely easy but always worth it.
In big and small ways, we all experience loss: whether it's the passing of a loved one, the close of a career or even the end of a dream. Explaining how to process many types of sorrow, marriage and family therapist Nina Westbrook highlights the importance of grief as a natural emotion and a powerful lens to help you imagine new futures -- and shares ways to support yourself and others through difficult times. (This conversation, hosted by TED curator Cloe Shasha Brooks, is part of TED's "How to Deal with Difficult Feelings" series.)
The stress you may feel being otherized or stereotyped can take a significant toll on your health and well-being. In this thoughtful conversation, social psychologist Valerie Purdie-Greenaway reveals the true source of this anxiety (hint: it isn't the individual) and shares strategies on building resilient systems of support for ourselves and others -- so that we can build a more inclusive, empathic and just world. (This conversation, hosted by TED curator Cloe Shasha Brooks, is part of TED's "How to Deal with Difficult Feelings" series.)
What qualifies someone to become a judge? The answer is surprisingly vague and even taboo to discuss. Lawyer Jessica Kerr sifts through the murky, mysterious process that sits at the center of the Commonwealth judicial system in countries like Australia -- and makes the case for "judge school," a legal education better fit to bring justice, legitimacy and public trust to any court.
How much do you think about your future self? If your answer is not much, you're not alone. It can be difficult to plan for a version of yourself you haven't met yet, says psychologist Meg Jay. Sharing how to close the empathy gap between you and your future selves, she outlines courageous questions to ask about how your present and future can align, so you can begin to achieve your goals. (This conversation, hosted by TED current affairs curator Whitney Pennington Rodgers, was part of a TED Membership event. Visit ted.com/membership to become a TED Member.)
To post or not to post? The real question is: How do you feel about it? Author Naomi Shimada reflects on the anxiety-inducing aspects of social media, sharing advice on how to step back from the shame, optics and echo chambers of the internet and untangle your self-worth from follower counts, likes and the unattainable perfectionism perpetuated online. (This conversation, hosted by TED curator Cloe Shasha Brooks, is part of TED's "How to Deal with Difficult Feelings" series.)
Put down the cayenne-lemon water and step away from the herbal tea. Cleanses and detox products like these don't remove toxins, says Dr. Jen Gunter, and some of them may even be hurting your health. Learn how your body rids itself of harmful substances and what you can do to keep this system running smoothly. Want to hear more from Dr. Gunter? Check out her podcast Body Stuff, from the TED Audio Collective.
Everyone gets anxious at times, but how can you tell when worrying and fear crosses the line and needs attention? Dr. Jen Gunter introduces a special part of the brain called the amygdala and shares the science behind your brain's threat-detection system, what causes it to malfunction and the most effective ways of treating an anxiety disorder. Want to hear more from Dr. Gunter? Check out her podcast Body Stuff, from the TED Audio Collective.
Your skin is your body's largest organ ... but it might be the most misunderstood, says Dr. Jen Gunter. From sunscreen to cancer and even chocolate, she tackles five misleading myths about skin and shares what you can do to protect it. Want to hear more from Dr. Gunter? Check out her podcast Body Stuff, from the TED Audio Collective.
Take vitamin C supplements when you feel a cold coming on? The problem is, you can't actually "strengthen" your immune system, says Dr. Jen Gunter. Diving into the elegant network of cells, tissues and organs that protect us every day, she introduces two kinds of immunity that specialize in recognizing and fighting off bad bacteria, viruses, fungi and toxins -- and shares what you can do to keep your immune system healthy. Want to hear more from Dr. Gunter? Check out her podcast Body Stuff, from the TED Audio Collective.
Drinking calcium-rich milk strengthens your bones -- but it's not the only thing you can do for a strong and healthy skeleton. Dr. Jen Gunter digs deep into the three layers of bone to explain why they weaken as we age and shares what you can do to maintain a healthy frame for years to come. Want to hear more from Dr. Gunter? Check out her podcast Body Stuff, from the TED Audio Collective.