Sting: How I started writing songs again

TED2014

Sting: How I started writing songs again

2,011,707 views


Sting’s early life was dominated by a shipyard—and he dreamed of nothing more than escaping the industrial drudgery. But after a nasty bout of writer’s block that stretched on for years, Sting found himself channeling the stories of the shipyard workers he knew in his youth for song material. In a lyrical, confessional talk, Sting treats us to songs from his upcoming musical, and to an encore of “Message in a Bottle.”

Kitra Cahana: A glimpse of life on the road

TED2014

Kitra Cahana: A glimpse of life on the road

1,492,626 views


As a young girl, photojournalist and TED Fellow Kitra Cahana dreamed about running away from home to live freely on the road. Now as an adult and self-proclaimed vagabond, she follows modern nomads into their homes -- boxcars, bus stops, parking lots, rest stop bathrooms -- giving a glimpse into a culture on the margins.

Wes Moore: How to talk to veterans about the war

TEDSalon NY2014

Wes Moore: How to talk to veterans about the war

974,151 views


Wes Moore joined the US Army to pay for college, but the experience became core to who he is. In this heartfelt talk, the paratrooper and captain—who went on to write "The Other Wes Moore"—explains the shock of returning home from Afghanistan. He shares the single phrase he heard from civilians on repeat, and shows why it's just not sufficient. It's a call for all of us to ask veterans to tell their stories — and listen.

Chris Kluwe: How augmented reality will change sports ... and build empathy

TED2014

Chris Kluwe: How augmented reality will change sports ... and build empathy

1,226,403 views


Chris Kluwe wants to look into the future of sports and think about how technology will help not just players and coaches, but fans. Here the former NFL punter envisions a future in which augmented reality will help people experience sports as if they are directly on the field -- and maybe even help them see others in a new light, too.

Jon Mooallem: How the teddy bear taught us compassion

TED2014

Jon Mooallem: How the teddy bear taught us compassion

1,113,350 views


In 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt legendarily spared the life of a black bear -- and prompted a plush toy craze for so-called "teddy bears." Writer Jon Mooallem digs into this toy story and asks us to consider how the tales we tell about wild animals have real consequences for a species' chance of survival -- and the natural world at large.

Andrew Solomon: How the worst moments in our lives make us who we are

TED2014

Andrew Solomon: How the worst moments in our lives make us who we are

5,117,085 views


Writer Andrew Solomon has spent his career telling stories of the hardships of others. Now he turns inward, bringing us into a childhood of adversity, while also spinning tales of the courageous people he's met in the years since. In a moving, heartfelt and at times downright funny talk, Solomon gives a powerful call to action to forge meaning from our biggest struggles.

Stephen Friend: The hunt for "unexpected genetic heroes"

TED2014

Stephen Friend: The hunt for "unexpected genetic heroes"

977,725 views


What can we learn from people with the genetics to get sick — who don't? With most inherited diseases, only some family members will develop the disease, while others who carry the same genetic risks dodge it. Stephen Friend suggests we start studying those family members who stay healthy. Hear about the Resilience Project, a massive effort to collect genetic materials that may help decode inherited disorders.

Jackie Savitz: Save the oceans, feed the world!

TEDxMidAtlantic 2013

Jackie Savitz: Save the oceans, feed the world!

1,201,399 views


What's a marine biologist doing talking about world hunger? Well, says Jackie Savitz, fixing the world's oceans might just help to feed the planet's billion hungriest people. In an eye-opening talk, Savitz tells us what’s really going on in our global fisheries right now — it’s not good — and offers smart suggestions of how we can help them heal, while making more food for all.

Tristram Wyatt: The smelly mystery of the human pheromone

TEDxLeuvenSalon

Tristram Wyatt: The smelly mystery of the human pheromone

1,215,906 views


Do our smells make us sexy? Popular science suggests yes — pheromones send chemical signals about sex and attraction from our armpits to potential mates. But, despite what you might have heard, there is no conclusive research confirming that humans have these smell molecules. In this eye-opening talk, zoologist Tristram Wyatt explains the fundamental flaws in current pheromone research, and shares his hope for a future that unlocks the fascinating, potentially life-saving knowledge tied up in our scent.

Sara Lewis: The loves and lies of fireflies

TED2014

Sara Lewis: The loves and lies of fireflies

988,713 views


Biologist Sara Lewis has spent the past 20 years getting to the bottom of the magic and wonder of fireflies. In this charming talk, she tells us how and why the beetles produce their silent sparks, what happens when two fireflies have sex, and why one group of females is known as the firefly vampire. (It's not pretty.) Find out more astonishing facts about fireflies in Lewis' footnotes, below.

Rives: The Museum of Four in the Morning

TEDActive 2014

Rives: The Museum of Four in the Morning

1,904,289 views


Beware: Rives has a contagious obsession with 4 a.m. At TED2007, the poet shared what was then a minor fixation with a time that kept popping up everywhere. After the talk, emails starting pouring in with an avalanche of hilarious references—from the cover of "Crochet Today!" magazine to the opening scene of "The Metamorphosis." A lyrical peek into his Museum of Four in the Morning, which overflows with treasures.

Sebastian Junger: Why veterans miss war

TEDSalon NY2014

Sebastian Junger: Why veterans miss war

2,535,237 views


Civilians don't miss war. But soldiers often do. Journalist Sebastian Junger shares his experience embedded with American soldiers at Restrepo, an outpost in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley that saw heavy combat. Giving a look at the "altered state of mind" that comes with war, he shows how combat gives soldiers an intense experience of connection. In the end, could it actually be "the opposite of war" that soldiers miss? 

Simon Sinek: Why good leaders make you feel safe

TED2014

Simon Sinek: Why good leaders make you feel safe

7,910,408 views


What makes a great leader? Management theorist Simon Sinek suggests, it’s someone who makes their employees feel secure, who draws staffers into a circle of trust. But creating trust and safety — especially in an uneven economy — means taking on big responsibility.

Kevin Briggs: The bridge between suicide and life

TED2014

Kevin Briggs: The bridge between suicide and life

2,736,610 views


For many years Sergeant Kevin Briggs had a dark, unusual, at times strangely rewarding job: He patrolled the southern end of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, a popular site for suicide attempts. In a sobering, deeply personal talk Briggs shares stories from those he’s spoken — and listened — to standing on the edge of life. He gives a powerful piece of advice to those with loved ones who might be contemplating suicide.

William Black: How to rob a bank (from the inside, that is)

TEDxUMKC

William Black: How to rob a bank (from the inside, that is)

1,532,153 views


William Black is a former bank regulator who’s seen firsthand how banking systems can be used to commit fraud — and how “liar's loans” and other tricky tactics led to the 2008 US banking crisis that threatened the international economy. In this engaging talk, Black, now an academic, reveals the best way to rob a bank — from the inside.

Deborah Gordon: What ants teach us about the brain, cancer and the Internet

TED2014

Deborah Gordon: What ants teach us about the brain, cancer and the Internet

1,410,707 views


Ecologist Deborah Gordon studies ants wherever she can find them -- in the desert, in the tropics, in her kitchen ... In this fascinating talk, she explains her obsession with insects most of us would happily swat away without a second thought. She argues that ant life provides a useful model for learning about many other topics, including disease, technology and the human brain.

Mark Ronson: How sampling transformed music

TED2014

Mark Ronson: How sampling transformed music

3,422,202 views


Sampling isn't about "hijacking nostalgia wholesale," says Mark Ronson. It's about inserting yourself into the narrative of a song while also pushing that story forward. In this mind-blowingly original talk, watch the DJ scramble 15 TED Talks into an audio-visual omelette, and trace the evolution of "La Di Da Di," Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick's 1984 hit that has been reimagined for every generation since.

Randall Munroe: Comics that ask "what if?"

TED2014

Randall Munroe: Comics that ask "what if?"

2,763,442 views


Web cartoonist Randall Munroe answers simple what-if questions ("what if you hit a baseball moving at the speed of light?") using math, physics, logic and deadpan humor. In this charming talk, a reader's question about Google's data warehouse leads Munroe down a circuitous path to a hilariously over-detailed answer — in which, shhh, you might actually learn something.

Stanley McChrystal: The military case for sharing knowledge

TED2014

Stanley McChrystal: The military case for sharing knowledge

1,009,305 views


When General Stanley McChrystal started fighting al Qaeda in 2003, information and secrets were the lifeblood of his operations. But as the unconventional battle waged on, he began to think that the culture of keeping important information classified was misguided and actually counterproductive. In a short but powerful talk McChrystal makes the case for actively sharing knowledge.

Marco Tempest: And for my next trick, a robot

TED2014

Marco Tempest: And for my next trick, a robot

2,099,335 views


Marco Tempest uses charming stagecraft to demo EDI, the multi-purpose robot designed to work very closely with humans. Less a magic trick than an intricately choreographed performance, Tempest shows off the robot’s sensing technology, safety features and strength, and makes the case for a closer human-robot relationship. (Okay, there’s a little magic, too.)

Mellody Hobson: Color blind or color brave?

TED2014

Mellody Hobson: Color blind or color brave?

2,340,336 views


The subject of race can be very touchy. As finance executive Mellody Hobson says, it's a "conversational third rail." But, she says, that's exactly why we need to start talking about it. In this engaging, persuasive talk, Hobson makes the case that speaking openly about race — and particularly about diversity in hiring -- makes for better businesses and a better society.

Gavin Schmidt: The emergent patterns of climate change

TED2014

Gavin Schmidt: The emergent patterns of climate change

1,180,514 views


You can't understand climate change in pieces, says climate scientist Gavin Schmidt. It's the whole, or it's nothing. In this illuminating talk, he explains how he studies the big picture of climate change with mesmerizing models that illustrate the endlessly complex interactions of small-scale environmental events.

Andrew Bastawrous: Get your next eye exam on a smartphone

TED2014

Andrew Bastawrous: Get your next eye exam on a smartphone

1,076,437 views


Thirty-nine million people in the world are blind, and the majority lost their sight due to curable and preventable diseases. But how do you test and treat people who live in remote areas, where expensive, bulky eye equipment is hard to come by? TED Fellow Andrew Bastawrous demos a smartphone app and cheap hardware that might help.

David Epstein: Are athletes really getting faster, better, stronger?

TED2014

David Epstein: Are athletes really getting faster, better, stronger?

3,747,238 views


When you look at sporting achievements over the last decades, it seems like humans have gotten faster, better and stronger in nearly every way. Yet as David Epstein points out in this delightfully counter-intuitive talk, we might want to lay off the self-congratulation. Many factors are at play in shattering athletic records, and the development of our natural talents is just one of them.

Wendy Chung: Autism — what we know (and what we don't know yet)

TED2014

Wendy Chung: Autism — what we know (and what we don't know yet)

2,505,280 views


In this factual talk, geneticist Wendy Chung shares what we know about autism spectrum disorder — for example, that autism has multiple, perhaps interlocking, causes. Looking beyond the worry and concern that can surround a diagnosis, Chung and her team look at what we've learned through studies, treatments and careful listening.

James Patten: The best computer interface? Maybe ... your hands

TED Fellows Retreat 2013

James Patten: The best computer interface? Maybe ... your hands

1,052,001 views


"The computer is an incredibly powerful means of creative expression," says designer and TED Fellow James Patten. But right now, we interact with computers, mainly, by typing and tapping. In this nifty talk and demo, Patten imagines a more visceral, physical way to bring your thoughts and ideas to life in the digital world, taking the computer interface off the screen and putting it into your hands.

Elizabeth Gilbert: Success, failure and the drive to keep creating

TED2014

Elizabeth Gilbert: Success, failure and the drive to keep creating

3,964,989 views


Elizabeth Gilbert was once an "unpublished diner waitress," devastated by rejection letters. And yet, in the wake of the success of 'Eat, Pray, Love,' she found herself identifying strongly with her former self. With beautiful insight, Gilbert reflects on why success can be as disorienting as failure and offers a simple -- though hard -- way to carry on, regardless of outcomes.

Will Marshall: Tiny satellites show us the Earth as it changes in near-real-time

TED2014

Will Marshall: Tiny satellites show us the Earth as it changes in near-real-time

1,748,369 views


Satellite imaging has revolutionized our knowledge of the Earth, with detailed images of nearly every street corner readily available online. But Planet Labs' Will Marshall says we can do better and go faster -- by getting smaller. He introduces his tiny satellites -- no bigger than 10 by 10 by 30 centimeters -- that, when launched in a cluster, provide high-res images of the entire planet, updated daily.

Hamish Jolly: A shark-deterrent wetsuit (and it's not what you think)

TEDxPerth

Hamish Jolly: A shark-deterrent wetsuit (and it's not what you think)

2,603,800 views


Hamish Jolly, an ocean swimmer in Australia, wanted a wetsuit that would deter a curious shark from mistaking him for a potential source of nourishment. (Which, statistically, is rare, but certainly a fate worth avoiding.) Working with a team of scientists, he and his friends came up with a fresh approach — not a shark cage, not a suit of chain-mail, but a sleek suit that taps our growing understanding of shark vision.