Natsai Audrey Chieza is a designer on a mission -- to reduce pollution in the fashion industry while creating amazing new things to wear. In her lab, she noticed that the bacteria Streptomyces coelicolor makes a striking red-purple pigment, and now she's using it to develop bold, color-fast fabric dye that cuts down on water waste and chemical runoff, compared with traditional dyes. And she isn't alone in using synthetic biology to redefine our material future; think -- "leather" made from mushrooms and superstrong yarn made from spider-silk protein. We're not going to build the future with fossil fuels, Chieza says. We're going to build it with biology.
In this imaginative talk, neuroengineer Sam Rodriques takes us on a thrilling tour of the next 100 years in brain science. He envisions strange (and sometimes frightening) innovations that may be the key to understanding and treating brain disease -- like lasers that drill tiny holes in our skulls and allow probes to study the electrical activity of our neurons.
Want to connect with a depressed friend but not sure how to relate to them? Comedian and storyteller Bill Bernat has a few suggestions. Learn some dos and don'ts for talking to people living with depression -- and handle your next conversation with grace and maybe a bit of humor.
China is a huge laboratory of innovation, says retail expert Angela Wang, and in this lab, everything takes place on people's phones. Five hundred million Chinese consumers -- the equivalent of the combined populations of the US, UK and Germany -- regularly make purchases via mobile platforms, even in brick-and-mortar stores. What will this transformation mean for the future of shopping? Learn more about the new business-as-usual, where everything is ultra-convenient, ultra-flexible and ultra-social.
Space physicist Miho Janvier studies solar storms: giant clouds of particles that escape from the Sun and can disrupt life on Earth (while also producing amazing auroras). How do you study the atmosphere on the Sun, which burns at temperatures of up to around 10 million degrees Kelvin? With math! Join the TED Fellow as she shares her work trying to better understand how the Sun affects us here on Earth.
There's something amazing growing in the city of Detroit: healthy, accessible, delicious, fresh food. In a spirited talk, fearless farmer Devita Davison explains how features of Detroit's decay actually make it an ideal spot for urban agriculture. Join Davison for a walk through neighborhoods in transformation as she shares stories of opportunity and hope. "These aren't plots of land where we're just growing tomatoes and carrots," Davison says. "We're building social cohesion as well as providing healthy, fresh food."
Since the widespread use of antibiotics began in the 1940s, we've tried to develop new drugs faster than bacteria can evolve -- but this strategy isn't working. Drug-resistant bacteria known as superbugs killed nearly 700,000 people last year, and by 2050 that number could be 10 million -- more than cancer kills each year. Can physics help? In a talk from the frontiers of science, radiation scientist David Brenner shares his work studying a potentially life-saving weapon: a wavelength of ultraviolet light known as far-UVC, which can kill superbugs safely, without penetrating our skin. Followed by a Q&A with TED Curator Chris Anderson.
Luvvie Ajayi isn't afraid to speak her mind or to be the one dissenting voice in a crowd, and neither should you. "Your silence serves no one," says the writer, activist and self-proclaimed professional troublemaker. In this bright, uplifting talk, Ajayi shares three questions to ask yourself if you're teetering on the edge of speaking up or quieting down -- and encourages all of us to get a little more comfortable with being uncomfortable.
Justin Baldoni wants to start a dialogue with men about redefining masculinity -- to figure out ways to be not just good men but good humans. In a warm, personal talk, he shares his effort to reconcile who he is with who the world tells him a man should be. And he has a challenge for men: "See if you can use the same qualities that you feel make you a man to go deeper," Baldoni says. "Your strength, your bravery, your toughness: Are you brave enough to be vulnerable? Are you strong enough to be sensitive? Are you confident enough to listen to the women in your life?"
We all know that when we make decisions in groups, they don't always go right -- and sometimes they go very wrong. How can groups make good decisions? With his colleague Dan Ariely, neuroscientist Mariano Sigman has been inquiring into how we interact to reach decisions by performing experiments with live crowds around the world. In this fun, fact-filled explainer, he shares some intriguing results -- as well as some implications for how it might impact our political system. In a time when people seem to be more polarized than ever, Sigman says, better understanding how groups interact and reach conclusions might spark interesting new ways to construct a healthier democracy.
The combined market capitalization of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google is now equivalent to the GDP of India. How did these four companies come to infiltrate our lives so completely? In a spectacular rant, Scott Galloway shares insights and eye-opening stats about their dominance and motivation -- and what happens when a society prizes shareholder value over everything else. Followed by a Q&A with TED Curator Chris Anderson. (Note: This talk contains graphic language.)
Leah Chase's New Orleans restaurant Dooky Chase changed the course of American history over gumbo and fried chicken. During the civil rights movement, it was a place where white and black people came together, where activists planned protests and where the police entered but did not disturb -- and it continues to operate in the same spirit today. In conversation with TEDWomen Curator Pat Mitchell, the 94-year old Queen of Creole Cuisine (who still runs the Dooky Chase kitchen) shares her wisdom from a lifetime of activism, speaking up and cooking.
The biggest obstacle to dealing with climate disruptions lies between your ears, says psychologist and economist Per Espen Stokes. He's spent years studying the defenses we use to avoid thinking about the demise of our planet -- and figuring out a new way of talking about global warming that keeps us from shutting down. Step away from the doomsday narratives and learn how to make caring for the earth feel personable, do-able and empowering with this fun, informative talk.
In 2011, Teresa Njoroge was convicted of a financial crime she didn't commit -- the result of a long string of false accusations, increasing bribe attempts and the corrupt justice system in her home in Kenya. Once incarcerated, she discovered that most of the women and girls locked up with her were also victims of the same broken system, caught in a revolving door of life in and out of prison due to poor education and lack of economic opportunity. Now free and cleared by the courts of appeal, Njoroge shares how she's giving women in prison the skills, tools and support they need to break the cycle of poverty and crime and build a better life.
Look at the letters around you: on street signs, stores, restaurant menus, the covers of books. Whether you realize it or not, the letters are speaking to you, telling you something beyond the literal text -- that whatever they represent is modern or finely crafted or fantastical or zany. Learn to decode this secret language with lettering designer Martina Flor as she explains how altering the shapes, colors and textures of letters changes how we perceive them. (In Spanish with English subtitles)
Spider venom can stop your heart within minutes, cause unimaginable pain -- and potentially save your life, says zoologist Michel Dugon. As a tarantula crawls up and down his arm, Dugon explains the medical properties of this potent toxin and how it might be used to produce the next generation of antibiotics.
Keller Rinaudo wants everyone on earth to have access to basic health care, no matter how hard it is to reach them. With his start-up Zipline, he has created the world's first drone delivery system to operate at national scale, transporting blood and plasma to remote clinics in East Africa with a fleet of electric autonomous aircraft. Find out how Rinaudo and his team are working to transform health care logistics throughout the world -- and inspiring the next generation of engineers along the way.
There's nothing quite like a good night's sleep. What if technology could help us get more out of it? Dan Gartenberg is working on tech that stimulates deep sleep, the most regenerative stage which (among other wonderful things) might help us consolidate our memories and form our personalities. Find out more about how playing sounds that mirror brain waves during this stage might lead to deeper sleep -- and its potential benefits on our health, memory and ability to learn.
When Gretchen Carlson spoke out about her experience of workplace sexual harassment, it inspired women everywhere to take their power back and tell the world what happened to them. In a remarkable, fierce talk, she tells her story -- and identifies three specific things we can all do to create safer places to work. "We will no longer be underestimated, intimidated or set back," Carlson says. "We will stand up and speak up and have our voices heard. We will be the women we were meant to be."
Fresh food free of chemicals and pesticides is hard to come by in China: in 2016, the Chinese government revealed half a million food safety violations in just nine months. In the absence of safe, sustainable food sources, TED Fellow Matilda Ho launched China's first online farmers market, instituting a zero-tolerance test towards pesticides, antibiotics and hormones in food. She shares how she's growing her platform from the ground up and bringing local, organically grown food to the families that need it.
Niti Bhan studies business strategy for Africa's informal markets: the small shops and stands, skilled craftspeople and laborers who are the invisible engine that keeps the continent's economy running. It's tempting to think of these workers as tax-dodgers, even criminals -- but Bhan makes the case that this booming segment of the economy is legitimate and worthy of investment. "These are the fertile seeds of businesses and enterprises," Bhan says. "Can we start by recognizing these skills and occupations?"
Educator and entrepreneur Sebastian Thrun wants us to use AI to free humanity of repetitive work and unleash our creativity. In an inspiring, informative conversation with TED Curator Chris Anderson, Thrun discusses the progress of deep learning, why we shouldn't fear runaway AI and how society will be better off if dull, tedious work is done with the help of machines. "Only one percent of interesting things have been invented yet," Thrun says. "I believe all of us are insanely creative ... [AI] will empower us to turn creativity into action."
Ameenah Gurib-Fakim has been an academic, an entrepreneur and is now the president of Mauritius -- the first Muslim female head of state in Africa. In a wide-ranging conversation with journalist Stephanie Busari, Gurib-Fakim discusses the humble beginnings of her political career, what it's like to be both a person of faith and a scientist and why we need to value traditional African knowledge, among much more. "I don't think you should take yourself seriously," she says. "You need to have trust in what you can do, have confidence in yourself and give yourself a set of goals and just work towards them."
For the introverts among us, traditional forms activism like marches, protests and door-to-door canvassing can be intimidating and stressful. Take it from Sarah Corbett, a former professional campaigner and self-proclaimed introvert. She introduces us to "craftivism," a quieter form of activism that uses handicrafts as a way to get people to slow down and think deeply about the issues they're facing, all while engaging the public more gently. Who says an embroidered handkerchief can't change the world?
"We all feel a compelling need to watch stories, to tell stories ... to discuss the things that tell each one of us that we are not alone in the world," says TV titan Shonda Rhimes. A dominant force in television since "Grey's Anatomy" hit the airwaves, Rhimes discusses the future of media networks, how she's using her narrative-building skills as a force for good, an intriguing concept known as "Amish summers" and much more, in conversation with Cyndi Stivers, director of the TED Residency.
How do we improve in the face of complexity? Atul Gawande has studied this question with a surgeon's precision. He shares what he's found to be the key: having a good coach to provide a more accurate picture of our reality, to instill positive habits of thinking, and to break our actions down and then help us build them back up again. "It's not how good you are now; it's how good you're going to be that really matters," Gawande says.
What do you think would happen if you invited an individual with mental health issues who had been homeless for many years to move directly from the street into housing? Loyd Pendleton shares how he went from skeptic to believer in the Housing First approach to homelessness -- providing the displaced with short-term assistance to find permanent housing quickly and without conditions -- and how it led to a 91 percent reduction in chronic homelessness over a ten-year period in Utah.
The arts bring meaning to our lives and spirit to our culture -- so why do we expect artists to struggle to make a living? Hadi Eldebek is working to create a society where artists are valued through an online platform that matches artists with grants and funding opportunities -- so they can focus on their craft instead of their side hustle.
Kayla Briët creates art that explores identity and self-discovery -- and the fear that her culture may someday be forgotten. She shares how she found her creative voice and reclaimed the stories of her Dutch-Indonesian, Chinese and Native American heritage by infusing them into film and music time capsules.
With fantastic new maps that show interactive, visual representations of urban fragility, Robert Muggah articulates an ancient but resurging idea: cities shouldn't just be the center of economics -- they should also be the foundation of our political lives. Looking around the world, from Syria to Singapore to Seoul and beyond, Muggah submits six principles for how we can build more resilient cities. "Cities are where the future happens first. They're open, creative, dynamic, democratic, cosmopolitan, sexy," Muggah says. "They're the perfect antidote to reactionary nationalism."