News : TED Talks

News • TED Talks
There are 600 million women in India -- yet they are rarely seen outdoors after sunset because of safety concerns like harassment and catcalls. On a mission to create safer public spaces, women's rights advocate Srishti Bakshi talks about how she embarked on a 2,300-mile walk across the length of India (a distance equivalent to traveling from New York City to Los Angeles), conducting driving workshops to empower women's mobility across the country. "The more women see other women in public spaces, the more safe, independent and empowered each of us will be," Bakshi says.
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Many people across the world don't have access to healthy food -- while in other places tons of food go to waste. Social entrepreneur Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli thinks we can take bold steps to fix this problem. She lays out what it would take to build a more equitable, sustainable food system that nourishes all people and asks us to widen our perspectives before eating our next meal.
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Whether we're rushing a child to the emergency room after a fall or making chicken soup for a feverish spouse, love inspires us to act when a family member gets sick. Global health activists Edith Elliott and Shahed Alam believe we can harness this power to create better health outcomes for patients. Learn how their organization Noora Health works with doctors and nurses in India and Bangladesh to train the family members of hospital patients with essential skills to support their sick loved ones -- and how they plan to expand their reach to support 70 million caregivers who care for more than one billion people over the next six years. (This ambitious plan is a part of the Audacious Project, TED's initiative to inspire and fund global change.)
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Digital public servant Amanda Renteria has seen that the millions of people who rely on government welfare services are often discouraged from seeking them out, frustrated and discouraged by long lines and unnecessarily complicated processes. At Code for America, Renteria is helping develop human-centered technology that "respects you from the start, meets you where you are and provides an easy, positive experience." She details the four factors that hinder effective delivery of government benefits and explains Code for America's plan to bring user-centric, digital-first social services to more than 13 million Americans and unlock $30 billion in benefits for low-income families. (This ambitious plan is a part of the Audacious Project, TED's initiative to inspire and fund global change.)
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A safe space to save money is life-changing -- especially for the 60 million smallholder farmers in West Africa (the majority being women) who often live on less than two dollars a day. Poverty fighter Anushka Ratnayake introduces her non-profit myAgro, which offers farmers a place to save small amounts of money and allows them to access those funds as they need them. Over the next five years, myAgro plans to reach a million farmers in West Africa, providing a stress-free, transparent and convenient system that empowers agricultural entrepreneurs by putting the purchasing power it takes to run a successful farm in their hands. (This ambitious plan is a part of the Audacious Project, TED's initiative to inspire and fund global change.)
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Election infrastructure in the United States is crumbling, says technologist Tiana Epps-Johnson, and, even worse, election officials are increasingly being attacked simply for doing their jobs. How can the country rebuild trust in its local and national elections? Epps-Johnson describes how the US Alliance for Election Excellence, a nonpartisan collaborative of election officials, technologists, designers and other experts, is working across all 50 states to improve the performance of election systems serving 240 million voters, ensuring everyone has access to a fair, trustworthy and modern democratic process. (This ambitious plan is a part of the Audacious Project, TED's initiative to inspire and fund global change.)
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In Latin American countries like El Salvador, where local changemaker Celina de Sola lives, homicide rates are alarmingly high due to a vicious cycle of violence where people don't have an opportunity to heal from individual and collective trauma. With her team at Glasswing International, de Sola is hoping to break this cycle by equipping government employees like teachers and police officers with the skills and knowledge they need to provide mental health care to those who need it most. Their goal: to transform more than 2,000 frontline institutions in 25 of the highest-risk municipalities in Central America with community-based approaches to mental health support, reaching nearly 10 million people along the way. (This ambitious plan is a part of the Audacious Project, TED's initiative to inspire and fund global change.)
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What happens to the rest of the planet if climate change melts what's left of Arctic permafrost? Shedding light on this overlooked threat, arctic geologist Sue Natali reveals the true danger of heating up the iciest place on the planet: releasing ancient carbon that will dramatically worsen our climate problems. In this urgent talk, she introduces a new initiative, Permafrost Pathways, and their work to measure permafrost carbon emissions, fuse Indigenous solutions with modern technologies and protect the rights of Arctic residents. (This ambitious plan is a part of the Audacious Project, TED's initiative to inspire and fund global change.)
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Indigenous communities have looked after their ancestral forests for millennia, cultivating immense amounts of knowledge on how to protect, nourish and heal these vital environments. Today, 470 million Indigenous people care for and manage 80 percent of the world's biodiversity -- yet their legal rights to these lands are inexplicit and subject to exploitation by illegal loggers, miners and companies. Human rights lawyer Nonette Royo describes how her team at the Tenure Facility, an organization that provides legal assistance to Indigenous people by taking their land rights battles to court, will help these communities secure and defend 50 million hectares of forests over the next five years. (This ambitious plan is a part of the Audacious Project, TED's initiative to inspire and fund global change.)
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"Human migration is both inevitable and growing. What are we as a global community doing to address it?" asks human rights lawyer Becca Heller, who believes that every refugee and migrant deserves a safe pathway to resettlement. Through her work with the International Refugee Assistance Program (IRAP), Heller is showing how the power of the law can help displaced people find homes. By providing access to legal information and services, IRAP champions a functional, rights-based legal system that empowers resettlers to find long-lasting safety. (This ambitious plan is a part of the Audacious Project, TED's initiative to inspire and fund global change.)
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How do we define worth in society, and who gets status? Sociologist Michele Lamont studies these questions and investigates ways to broaden the circle of recognition and fight the harm of social stigmatization. She lays out the steps needed to make more inclusive societies -- and it all starts by expanding our idea of who matters.
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Tattoos can transform and empower people, with some seeking them out to reconnect with their bodies due to scarring, physical abnormalities or the aftermath of a procedure or illness. Paramedical tattooist Becky Barker shares the art and craft of medical tattooing, explaining how this expansive field helps improve the quality of life for breast cancer survivors -- and anyone looking to renew themselves in ways that are more than skin-deep.
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The secret behind medicines that use messenger RNA (or mRNA) is that they "teach" our bodies how to fight diseases on their own, leading to groundbreaking treatments for COVID-19 and, potentially one day, cancer, the flu and other ailments that have haunted humanity for millennia. RNA researcher Melissa J. Moore -- Moderna's chief scientific officer and one of the many people responsible for the rapid creation and deployment of their COVID-19 vaccine -- takes us down to the molecular level, unraveling how mRNA helps our bodies' proteins maintain health, prevent disease and correct errors in our genetic code. "We have entered an entirely new era of medicine," Moore says.
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"It is time to close the funding gap for Black female-led start-ups the world over," says entrepreneur Temie Giwa-Tubosun, whose company LifeBank delivers life-saving medical supplies to remote areas in Africa. Today, LifeBank operates successfully across the continent, but Giwa-Tubosun knows that barriers to funding prevent many other brilliant business ideas from blossoming. She highlights examples of impactful women-led ventures around the world -- and challenges investors to help more of them thrive.
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The James Webb Space Telescope is a miracle of modern science and engineering. With a 21-foot, gold-coated mirror protected by a sunshield that's the size of a tennis court, it's the world's most powerful telescope and humanity's latest attempt to answer questions like: "Where did we come from?" and "Are we alone?" (It also needed to be folded up like origami in order to launch into space.) Nobel Laureate John C. Mather, the leader of the team at NASA that built the Webb, explains how the telescope will observe the first galaxies to form in the early universe, peer behind clouds of cosmic dust and gas to reveal stars being born and uncover new details about places like Europa and Titan, which could harbor life. "We're going to get a great surprise from this telescope," Mather says.
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What happens when the data-driven capabilities of AI are combined with human creativity and ingenuity? Shining a light on the opportunities this futuristic collaboration could bring to the workplace, AI expert Shervin Khodabandeh shares how to redesign companies so that people and machines can learn from each other.
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Building a pandemic-free future won't be easy, but Bill Gates believes that we have the tools and strategies to make it possible -- now we just have to fund them. In this forward-looking talk, he proposes a multi-specialty Global Epidemic Response and Mobilization (GERM) team that would detect potential outbreaks and stop them from becoming pandemics. By investing in disease monitoring, research and development as well as improved health systems, Gates believes we can "create a world where everyone has a chance to live a healthy and productive life -- a life free from the fear of the next COVID-19."
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To solve the climate crisis, we need to make tropical forests worth more alive than dead, says environmental economist Nat Keohane. Highlighting the urgent need to stop deforestation and the carbon pollution it brings, he details the work of the LEAF Coalition -- a first-of-its-kind public-private partnership that's channeling one billion dollars into protecting tropical forests -- and shares three building blocks for a robust market for forest carbon that enables economies to thrive while protecting natural resources.
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Getting pregnant as a track and field athlete is often called the "kiss of death" -- a sign your athletic career will soon end. Olympic champion, entrepreneur and proud mother Allyson Felix thinks it shouldn't be that way. She tells the story of starting a family while fighting to change her former sponsor's maternity policy -- and paving the way for others to get greater protection and more support. Her message is a testament to the power of believing in and advocating for yourself. "You don't have to be an Olympian to create change for yourself and others," she says. "Each of us can bet on ourselves."
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What's on Elon Musk's mind? In conversation with head of TED Chris Anderson, Musk details how the radical new innovations he's working on -- Tesla's intelligent humanoid robot Optimus, SpaceX's otherworldly Starship and Neuralink's brain-machine interfaces, among others -- could help maximize the lifespan of humanity and create a world where goods and services are abundant and accessible for all. It's a compelling vision of a future worth getting excited about. (Recorded at the Tesla Texas Gigafactory on April 6, 2022)
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In this unedited conversation with head of TED Chris Anderson, Elon Musk digs into the recent news around his bid to purchase Twitter and gets honest about the biggest regret of his career, how his brain works, the future he envisions for the world and a lot more. (This conversation was recorded April 14, 2022. If you want to hear even more, head over to The TED Interview podcast, where Musk and Anderson sat down at the new Tesla gigafactory in Texas to discuss some of the radical innovations he's working on -- including an intelligent humanoid robot, SpaceX's Starship and Neuralink's brain-machine interfaces.)
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The Russian invasion of Ukraine has destroyed so much -- including hundreds of schools, where the country's children were forging their futures -- but it has not stopped Ukrainians from pursuing knowledge and curiosity. In a deeply moving talk, education leader Zoya Lytvyn shares her first-hand experience evacuating Kyiv and takes us inside the ongoing effort to continue educating children amid war and destruction. "As long as our children keep learning and our teachers keep teaching -- even while they are starving in shelters under bombardment, even in refugee camps -- we are undefeated," she says.
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When women lead, bias often follows. Documentarian Robin Hauser dives into the dilemma between competence and likeability faced by women in leadership roles, detangling the unconscious beliefs and gendered thinking that distort what it means to be a good leader.
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Ukraine is on the front line of a war between freedom and tyranny, says chess grandmaster and human rights advocate Garry Kasparov. In this blistering call to action, he traces Vladimir Putin's rise to power and details his own path from chess world champion to pro-democracy activist in Russia. His message is a challenge to global leaders to rise in support of Ukraine -- and to choose life and love over death and hatred. "The price of stopping a dictator always goes up with every delay and every hesitation," he says. "Meeting evil halfway is still a victory for evil."
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"Life makes our planet an incredibly exotic place compared to the rest of the known universe," says astrobiologist Betül Kaçar, whose research uses statistics and mathematical models to simulate ancient environments and gather insights into the origins of existence. In this fascinating talk, she explores how a deeper understanding of chemistry could lead to the "secret sauce" for sparking life on other planets -- and asks us to ponder an important question: If we could kickstart life in the universe, should we?
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