Are you in control of your choices? Magic tricks might reveal otherwise, says scientist and illusionist Alice Pailhès. Watch closely as she performs magic tricks that unveil how your brain works, how you can be subtly influenced and what that means for free will and your day-to-day life. Did she guess your card right?
Chance plays a far bigger role in life than we're willing to admit, says psychologist Barry Schwartz. Of course, working hard and following the rules can get you far -- but the rest could boil down to simple good fortune. Schwartz examines the overlooked link between luck, merit and success, offering an intriguing solution to equalize opportunity -- starting with college admissions.
In 2008, the global financial crisis decimated Latvia. As unemployment skyrocketed, the government slashed public funding and raised taxes, while providing relief to the wealthy and large businesses -- all without backlash or protest from struggling citizens. Sociologist Liene Ozoliņa examines how Latvian officials convinced their people to accept responsibility for the country's failing economy -- and highlights the rise of similar social policies upholding inequality worldwide.
As prescription drug costs skyrocket in the US, thousands of people are forced to forgo lifesaving medications -- all while manufacturers and health care facilities systematically destroy perfectly good, surplus pills. Kiah Williams shares how SIRUM -- a nonprofit that delivers unused medications to families who need them most -- plans to drive down prescription prices by recycling almost a billion dollars' worth of medications in the next five years. (This ambitious plan is a part of the Audacious Project, TED's initiative to inspire and fund global change.)
"If we want to fix our politics, we have to do something about inequality," says social psychologist Keith Payne. Showing how economic inequality changes the way people see and behave towards one another, Payne helps explain the rise of the political polarization that's slicing up society -- and challenges us to think twice the next time we dismiss someone for the sake of politics.
The secret to winning an argument isn't grand rhetoric or elegant style, says US Supreme Court litigator Neal Katyal -- it takes more than that. With stories of some of the most impactful cases he's argued before the Court, Katyal shows why the key to crafting a persuasive and successful argument lies in human connection, empathy and faith in the power of your ideas. "The question is not how to win every argument," he says. "It's how to get back up when you do lose."
When you're on opposite sides of an issue, how do you broker peace with your adversaries and work together to solve a problem? Follow along as animal rights activist Leah Garcés recounts three lessons she learned in hatching an ambitious plan to end chicken factory farming with the last person she expected: a chicken farmer.
What can you do to build a better world? Sharing stories from her pioneering career dedicated to tackling poverty, Jacqueline Novogratz offers three principles to spark and sustain a moral revolution. Learn how you can commit (or recommit) to creating big, positive change in your lifetime -- and give back more to the world than you take from it. "It is in the darkest times that we have the chance to find our deepest beauty," Novogratz says.
"Lies are more engaging online than truth," says former CIA analyst, diplomat and Facebook employee Yaël Eisenstat. "As long as [social media] algorithms' goals are to keep us engaged, they will feed us the poison that plays to our worst instincts and human weaknesses." In this bold talk, Eisenstat explores how social media companies like Facebook incentivize inflammatory content, contributing to a culture of political polarization and mistrust -- and calls on governments to hold these platforms accountable in order to protect civil discourse and democracy.
Approximately 700 million people worldwide currently live in extreme poverty, a state of severe financial and social vulnerability that robs many of hope and dignity. BRAC, the world's largest NGO, began a sustainable, multifaceted intervention called the Graduation approach in 2002. Since then, it has helped over nine million people escape extreme poverty. Now, Shameran Abed and BRAC Ultra-Poor Graduation Initiative (UPGI) have an audacious plan to partner with governments to bring this life-changing program to an additional 21 million people by 2026. (This ambitious plan is a part of the Audacious Project, TED's initiative to inspire and fund global change.)
What drives someone to commit politically motivated violence? The unsettling answer lies in daily habits. Behavioral historian Christiane-Marie Abu Sarah shares startling insights into how seemingly mundane choices can breed polarization that lead to extreme, even deadly, actions -- and explains how to identify and bypass these behaviors in order to rediscover common ground.
What's the purpose of a company? In this bold talk, activist and filmmaker Abigail Disney imagines a world where companies have a moral obligation to place their workers above shareholders, calling on Disney (and all corporations) to offer respect, dignity and a living wage to everyone who works for them.
A head start doesn't always ... well, help you get ahead. With examples from sports, technology and economics, journalist David Epstein shares how specializing in a particular skill too early in life may undermine your long-term development -- and explains the benefits of a "sampling period" where you try new things and focus on building a range of skills. Learn how this broader, counterintuitive mindset (and more forgiving timeline) could lead to a more fulfilling life, personally and professionally.
Inspired by Nordic folklore, artists Karoline Hjorth and Riitta Ikonen collaborate with local elders -- farmers, fishermen, cosmologists and more -- to create richly imaginative portraits that explore humanity's connection to nature. Discover their serendipitous artistic practice as they share a selection of fantastical imagery where nature and myth intersect to awaken a sense of wonder.
What Saturn's most mysterious moon could teach us about the origins of life | Elizabeth "Zibi" Turtle
NASA's Dragonfly -- a robotic rotorcraft-lander that's designed to hop across the surface of an extraterrestrial body -- is set to voyage deep into the solar system to explore Titan, Saturn's largest moon, in 2026. Planetary scientist Elizabeth "Zibi" Turtle shares how studying this mysterious moon that's thought to resemble the early Earth could bring us closer to understanding the habitability of other planets -- and the origin of life itself.
In the US, Black women are nearly 300 percent more likely to die as a result of childbirth than white women. Sharing appalling statistics on maternal mortality as well as her own tragic story of loss, Wanda Irving explains how racism and bias in health care minimizes and dismisses Black women's pain -- and makes a personal plea for leaders in the medical community to take steps toward reform.
For intersex people -- those born with sex characteristics outside the traditional definitions of female and male -- the stakes to appear "normal" are high. Drawing on her personal experience, Susannah Temko reveals the shame, prejudice and harm faced by the intersex community, as they're forced to conform to a binary understanding of sex that ultimately hinders their health and well-being. She calls on us all to discard outdated notions of biological sex and accept the complexity within humanity.
What accounts for our polarized public life, and how can we begin to heal it? Political philosopher Michael Sandel offers a surprising answer: those who have flourished need to look in the mirror. He explores how "meritocratic hubris" leads many to believe their success is their own doing and to look down on those who haven't made it, provoking resentment and inflaming the divide between "winners" and "losers" in the new economy. Hear why we need to reconsider the meaning of success and recognize the role of luck in order to create a less rancorous, more generous civic life.
In cities, evolution occurs constantly, as countless plants, animals and insects adapt to human-made habitats in spectacular ways. Evolutionary biologist Menno Schilthuizen calls on peculiar beings such as fast food-loving mice and self-cooling snails to illustrate the ever-transforming wonders of urban wildlife -- and explains how you can observe this phenomenon in real-time, thanks to a global network of enthusiastic citizen scientists.
Popular music is often riddled with misogynistic lyrics that objectify and demean women ... so why are we listening and dancing to it? Performing a sample of her original song "Top Knot Turn Up" and sharing clips from her female-directed music video of "See Me Thru," activist and musician Madame Gandhi explains why she's making sex-positive music that doesn't contribute to anyone's oppression -- and calls on music lovers to get down to tunes that empower everyone.