In a series of mind-bending demos, inventor Mary Lou Jepsen shows how we can use red light to see and potentially stimulate what's inside our bodies and brains. Taking us to the edge of optical physics, Jepsen unveils new technologies that utilize light and sound to track tumors, measure neural activity and could possibly replace the MRI machine with a cheaper, more efficient and wearable system.
Imagine a workplace where people of all colors and races are able to climb every rung of the corporate ladder -- and where the lessons we learn about diversity at work actually transform the things we do, think and say outside the office. How do we get there? In this candid talk, inclusion advocate Janet Stovall shares a three-part action plan for creating workplaces where people feel safe and expected to be their unassimilated, authentic selves.
China is the world's biggest polluter -- and now one of its largest producers of clean energy. Which way will China go in the future, and how will it affect the global environment? Data scientist Angel Hsu describes how the most populous country on earth is creating a future based on alternative energy -- and facing up to the environmental catastrophe it created as it rapidly industrialized.
In this eye-opening talk about the impact of race and neighborhood on foster-care decisions, social worker Jessica Pryce shares a promising solution to help child welfare agencies make bias-free assessments about when to remove children from their families. "Let's work together to build a system that wants to make families stronger instead of pulling them apart," Pryce says.
In this quick talk, visual artist Dread Scott tells the story of one of his most transgressive art installations, which drew national attention for its controversial use of the American flag and led to a landmark First Amendment case in the US Supreme Court.
We celebrate bold entrepreneurs whose ingenuity led them to success, but what happens to those who fail? Far too often, they bury their stories out of shame or humiliation -- and miss out on a valuable opportunity for growth, says author and entrepreneur Leticia Gasca. In this thoughtful talk, Gasca calls for business owners to open up about their failures and makes the case for replacing the idea of "failing fast" with a new mantra: fail mindfully.
What do communities on the social, economic and environmental margins have in common? For one thing, they tend to be on the east sides of cities. In this short talk about a surprising insight, anthropologist and venture capitalist Stephen DeBerry explains how both environmental and man-made factors have led to disparity by design in cities from East Palo Alto, California to East Jerusalem and beyond -- and suggests some elegant solutions to fix it.
After fleeing war-torn South Sudan as a child, Mary Maker found security and hope in the school at Kenya's Kakuma Refugee Camp. Now a teacher of young refugees herself, she sees education as an essential tool for rebuilding lives -- and empowering a generation of girls who are too often denied entrance into the classroom. "For the child of war, an education can turn their tears of loss into a passion for peace," Maker says.
Luck is rarely a lightning strike, isolated and dramatic -- it's much more like the wind, blowing constantly. Catching more of it is easy but not obvious. In this insightful talk, Stanford engineering school professor Tina Seelig shares three unexpected ways to increase your luck -- and your ability to see and seize opportunities.
When cancer cells are closely packed together in a tumor, they're able to communicate with each other and coordinate their movement throughout the body. What if we could interrupt this process? In this accessible talk about cutting-edge science, Hasini Jayatilaka shares her work on an innovative method to stop cancer cells from communicating -- and halt their fatal ability to spread.
Craft curator Nora Atkinson takes us on a trip to Nevada's Black Rock Desert to see the beautifully designed and participatory art of Burning Man, revealing how she discovered there what's often missing from museums: curiosity and engagement. "What is art for in our contemporary world if not this?" she asks.
What's it like to discover a galaxy -- and have it named after you? Astrophysicist and TED Fellow Burçin Mutlu-Pakdil lets us know in this quick talk about her team's surprising discovery of a mysterious new galaxy type.
It's time to invest in face-to-face training that empowers employees to have difficult conversations, says Tamekia MizLadi Smith. In a witty, provocative talk, Smith shares a workplace training program called "I'm G.R.A.C.E.D." that will inspire bosses and employees alike to communicate with compassion and respect. Bottom line: always let people know why their work matters.
When bankers refused to serve her neighbors in rural India, Chetna Gala Sinha did the next best thing: she opened a bank of her own, the first ever for and by women in the country. In this inspiring talk, she shares stories of the women who encouraged her and continue to push her to come up with solutions for those denied traditional financial backing.
What if you could search the surface of the Earth the same way you search the internet? Will Marshall and his team at Planet use the world's largest fleet of satellites to image the entire Earth every day. Now they're moving on to a new project: using AI to index all the objects on the planet over time -- which could make ships, trees, houses and everything else on Earth searchable, the same way you search Google. He shares a vision for how this database can become a living record of the immense physical changes happening across the globe. "You can't fix what you can't see," Marshall says. "We want to give people the tools to see change and take action."
AI is massively transforming our world, but there's one thing it cannot do: love. In a visionary talk, computer scientist Kai-Fu Lee details how the US and China are driving a deep learning revolution -- and shares a blueprint for how humans can thrive in the age of AI by harnessing compassion and creativity. "AI is serendipity," Lee says. "It is here to liberate us from routine jobs, and it is here to remind us what it is that makes us human."
In Agbogbloshie, a community in Accra, Ghana, people descend on a scrapyard to mine electronic waste for recyclable materials. Without formal training, these urban miners often teach themselves the workings of electronics by taking them apart and putting them together again. Designer and TED Fellow DK Osseo-Asare wondered: What would happen if we connected these self-taught techies with students and young professionals in STEAM fields? The result: a growing maker community where people engage in peer-to-peer, hands-on education, motivated by what they want to create. Learn more about how this African makerspace is pioneering a grassroots circular economy.
Can public spaces both reclaim the past and embrace the future? Landscape architect Walter Hood has explored this question over the course of an iconic career, with projects ranging from Lafayette Square Park in San Francisco to the upcoming International African American Museum in Charleston, South Carolina. In this inspiring talk packed with images of his work, Hood shares the five simple concepts that guide his approach to creating spaces that illuminate shared memories and force us to look at one another in a different way.
Tobacco causes more than seven million deaths every year -- and many of us are far more complicit in the problem than we realize. In a bold talk, oncologist Dr. Bronwyn King tells the story of how she uncovered the deep ties between the tobacco industry and the entire global finance sector, which invests our money in cigarette companies through big banks, insurers and pension funds. Learn how Dr. King has ignited a worldwide movement to create tobacco-free investments and how each of us can play a role in ending this epidemic.
Legendary architect Renzo Piano -- the mind behind such indelible buildings as The Shard in London, the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the new Whitney Museum of Art in New York City -- takes us on a stunning tour through his life's work. With the aid of gorgeous imagery, Piano makes an eloquent case for architecture as the answer to our dreams, aspirations and desire for beauty. "Universal beauty is one of the few things that can change the world," he says. "This beauty will save the world. One person at a time, but it will do it."
The universe is incredibly old, astoundingly vast and populated by trillions of planets -- so where are all the aliens? Astronomer Stephen Webb has an explanation: we're alone in the universe. In a mind-expanding talk, he spells out the remarkable barriers a planet would need to clear in order to host an extraterrestrial civilization -- and makes a case for the beauty of our potential cosmic loneliness. "The silence of the universe is shouting, 'We're the creatures who got lucky,'" Webb says.
Without realizing it, we're fluent in the language of pictures, says illustrator Christoph Niemann. In a charming talk packed with witty, whimsical drawings, Niemann takes us on a hilarious visual tour that shows how artists tap into our emotions and minds -- all without words.
Do you think you're good at spotting fake videos, where famous people say things they've never said in real life? See how they're made in this astonishing talk and tech demo. Computer scientist Supasorn Suwajanakorn shows how, as a grad student, he used AI and 3D modeling to create photorealistic fake videos of people synced to audio. Learn more about both the ethical implications and the creative possibilities of this tech -- and the steps being taken to fight against its misuse.
Let's face it, online dating can suck. So many potential people, so much time wasted -- is it even worth it? Podcaster and entrepreneur Christina Wallace thinks so, if you do it right. In a funny, practical talk, Wallace shares how she used her MBA skill set to invent a "zero date" approach and get off swipe-based apps -- and how you can, too.
More than 90 percent of children in the US see a doctor at least once a year, which means countless hours spent in waiting rooms for parents. What if those hours could be used for something productive -- like saving money? Through her organization StreetCred, pediatrician and TED Fellow Lucy Marcil is offering free tax prep to parents right in the waiting room, reimagining what a doctor's visit can look like and helping to lift families out of poverty. Learn more about how free tax prep and guidance could be the best poverty prescription we have in the US.
Today's AI algorithms require tens of thousands of expensive medical images to detect a patient's disease. What if we could drastically reduce the amount of data needed to train an AI, making diagnoses low-cost and more effective? TED Fellow Pratik Shah is working on a clever system to do just that. Using an unorthodox AI approach, Shah has developed a technology that requires as few as 50 images to develop a working algorithm -- and can even use photos taken on doctors' cell phones to provide a diagnosis. Learn more about how this new way to analyze medical information could lead to earlier detection of life-threatening illnesses and bring AI-assisted diagnosis to more health care settings worldwide.
Acoustic duo Anielle Reid and Matthew Brookshire (playing together as Boy Girl Banjo) take the TED stage to perform their original song "Dead Romance," weaving together the sounds of Americana folk music and modern pop.
History is written by the victors, as the saying goes -- but what would it look like if it was written by everyone? Journalist and TED Fellow Mikhail Zygar is on a mission to show us with Project1917, a "social network for dead people" that posts the real diaries and letters of more than 3,000 people who lived during the Russian Revolution. By showing the daily thoughts of the likes of Lenin, Trotsky and many less celebrated figures, the project sheds new light on history as it once was -- and as it could have been. Learn more about this digital retelling of the past as well as Zygar's latest project about the transformative year of 1968.
Once your smart devices can talk to you, who else are they talking to? Kashmir Hill and Surya Mattu wanted to find out -- so they outfitted Hill's apartment with 18 different internet-connected devices and built a special router to track how often they contacted their servers and see what they were reporting back. The results were surprising -- and more than a little bit creepy. Learn more about what the data from your smart devices reveals about your sleep schedule, TV binges and even your tooth-brushing habits -- and how tech companies could use it to target and profile you. (This talk contains mature language.)