What is a weapon in the Information Age? From microscopic "smart dust" tracking devices to DNA-tracing tech and advanced facial recognition software, journalist Sharon Weinberger leads a hair-raising tour through the global, unregulated bazaar of privatized mass surveillance. To rein in this growing, multibillion-dollar marketplace that often caters to customers with nefarious intents, Weinberger believes the first step is for governments to classify surveillance tools as dangerous and powerful weapons.
In April 2020, epidemiologist-in-training Sophie Rose volunteered to be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. As a young, healthy adult, she's offering to take part in a human challenge trial, a study where participants are intentionally exposed to SARS-CoV-2 to test vaccines and gather critical data. Explaining how challenge trials could speed up the development of effective vaccines, Rose shares why volunteering was the right decision for her.
Take a mind-blowing trip to the lab as TED Senior Fellow Andrew Pelling shares his research on how we could use fruits, vegetables and plants to regenerate damaged human tissues -- and develop a potentially groundbreaking way to repair complex spinal cord injuries with asparagus.
On a mission to create a hunger-free world, agricultural entrepreneur Cedric Habiyaremye makes the case for cultivating quinoa -- and other versatile, nutrient-rich grains -- in places experiencing malnutrition, like his native Rwanda. He shares a model to help smallholder farmers across Africa diversify their fields with nutritious and indigenous crops, taking a step towards ensuring healthy foods are available and affordable for all.
From the stage to everyday life, theater educator Jo Michael Rezes studies queer identity and the spectrum of gender performance — in its success and failure. Aided by a delightful introduction of campy charm, Rezes explores the freeing potential of playing with gender to better understand ourselves, each other and the spaces we inhabit.
An effective COVID-19 vaccine is just the first step in ending the pandemic, says global health strategist Johanna Benesty. In this illuminating talk, she explores the various barriers to "equitable access" -- making sure COVID-19 therapeutics are available to all -- and shares a creative approach to research and development that could ensure vaccines are rolled out fairly, efficiently and at a global scale.
Here's a talk about tears -- and why crying isn't something to be afraid or ashamed of. Exploring the science behind the mood-boosting power of crying, childbirth and lactation educator Kathy Mendias shows how tears can enhance your physical and mental well-being and deepen your relationship to yourself and others.
As the coronavirus pandemic raged in her native Sri Lanka, monk JayaShri Maathaa had a thought: two magical words that planted something beautiful in her mind and blossomed into a whole new way of being. She shares how this mantra transformed her life -- and the surprising ways gratitude can invite bliss, joy and harmony between yourself and all that surrounds you.
A historic number of Latinx voters participated in the 2020 US presidential election, including a record number of young people casting their ballots for the first time. Civic leader María Teresa Kumar takes a look at the issues closest to youth Latinx voters, including health care, climate equity and racial justice, and considers how this growing demographic could shape American politics for decades to come. Stay tuned for a Q&A with TEDx learning specialist Bianca DeJesus on why the US has a unique opportunity to harness its diversity and define the 21st century.
Activist and author Gloria Steinem is an icon of the global feminist movement. She's spent her life defying stereotypes, breaking social barriers and fighting for equality. In conversation with TEDWomen curator Pat Mitchell, Steinem reflects on the revolutionary roots of the feminist movement, the fundamental need for intersectionality to combat prejudice, and how she overcame her fears with the support of friends. Now she urges future generations of women to advocate for each other in solidarity -- and discover the freedom found in companionship and community.
How do you stand up to authoritarianism? And what does it mean to be "fearless"? In this powerful talk, housewife-turned-politician Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya describes her unlikely bid to defeat Belarus's long-time autocratic leader in the nation's 2020 presidential election. Painting a vivid picture of how small acts of defiance flourished into massive, peaceful demonstrations, she shares a beautiful meditation on the link between fearlessness and freedom, reminding us that we all have what it takes to stand up to injustice -- we just need to do it together.
In 2014, Erika Cheung made a discovery that would ultimately help bring down her employer, Theranos, as well as its founder, Elizabeth Holmes, who claimed to have invented technology that would transform medicine. The decision to become a whistleblower proved a hard lesson in figuring out how to do what's right in the face of both personal and professional obstacles. With candor and humility, Cheung shares her journey of speaking truth to power -- and offers a framework to encourage others to come forward and act in the service of all.
After losing her mother in a house fire when she was just six years old, Danielle Torley saw two paths before her: a life full of fear, or one that promised healing and recovery. In this inspiring talk, she describes how she turned her grief into beauty in a most unexpected way -- by dancing with fire.
To achieve lasting change sometimes requires the hard, even radical, choice of partnering with people you'd least expect. Justice reform advocate Nisha Anand shares her story of working with her ideological opposite to make history and save lives -- and urges us all to widen our circles in order to make progress with purpose.
Rituals for the dead span much of the natural world, seen in practices from humans and elephants to bees, dolphins and beyond. With charm and playful insight, animal behaviorist Kaeli Swift delves into the life (and death) habits of crows and shares what their responses could reveal about our own relationship to mortality.
The clash of ideas is fundamental to creativity and progress, but it can also be deeply destructive and create divisions within companies, communities and families. How do you foster productive debate while protecting against harmful speech and misinformation? Constitutional lawyer Ishan Bhabha lays out structures that organizations can use to navigate ideological disagreement and responsibly bring facts and context to a larger dialogue.
Venom can kill ... or it can cure. In this fascinating talk, marine chemical biologist Mandë Holford shares her research into animal venom, from killer sea snails to platypuses and slow lorises -- and explores its potential to one day treat human diseases like cancer. The mechanism behind this powerful substance is still mysterious, Holford says, but: "Someday, snail venom might just save your life."
For centuries, the Irish funeral wake has served as a time for people to grieve a life lost and celebrate a life lived, together. In this profound and lyrical talk, poet Kevin Toolis laments the fear and denial of death that characterizes increasingly individualistic societies. He reasons that living life fully means embracing our shared mortality -- and offers simple ways to reconnect with your community, the people you love and even yourself.
Our food systems have not been designed to adapt to major disruptions like climate change, says environmental journalist Amanda Little. In this eye-opening talk, she shows how the climate crisis could devastate our food supply -- and introduces us to the farmers, entrepreneurs and engineers who are radically rethinking what we grow and how we eat, combining traditional agriculture with state-of-the-art technology to create a robust, resilient and sustainable food future.
If the 2020 US presidential election is close, the race could drag on in the courts and halls of Congress long after ballots are cast, says lawyer and political commentator Van Jones. Explaining why the customary concession speech is one of the most important safeguards for democracy, Jones exposes shocking legal loopholes that could enable a candidate to grab power even if they lose both the popular vote and the electoral college -- and shares what ordinary citizens can do if there's no peaceful transfer of power.