Kakenya Ntaiya made a deal with her father: She would undergo a traditional Maasai rite of passage, female circumcision, if he would let her go to high school. Ntaiya tells the fearless story of continuing on to college, and of working with her village elders to build a school for girls in her community, changing the destiny of 125 young women.
Can we use our brains to directly control machines? Miguel Nicolelis suggests yes, showing how a clever monkey in the US learned to control a robot arm in Japan purely with its thoughts. The research has big implications for quadraplegic people -- and in fact, it powered the exoskeleton that kicked off the 2014 World Cup.
What can economists learn from linguists? Behavioral economist Keith Chen introduces a fascinating pattern from his research: that languages without a concept for the future -- "It rain tomorrow," instead of "It will rain tomorrow" -- correlate strongly with high savings rates.
In long-term relationships, we often expect our beloved to be both best friend and erotic partner. But as Esther Perel argues, good and committed sex draws on two conflicting needs: our need for security and our need for surprise. So how do you sustain desire? With wit and eloquence, Perel lets us in on the mystery of erotic intelligence.
James Glattfelder studies complexity: how an interconnected system -- say, a swarm of birds -- is more than the sum of its parts. And complexity theory, it turns out, can reveal a lot about how the world economy works. Glattfelder shares a groundbreaking study of how control flows through the global economy, and how concentration of power in the hands of a shockingly small number leaves us all vulnerable.
How can we measure what makes a school system work? Andreas Schleicher walks us through the PISA test, a global measurement that ranks countries against one another -- then uses that same data to help schools improve. Watch to find out where your country stacks up, and learn the single factor that makes some systems outperform others.
Imagine a country where girls must sneak out to go to school, with deadly consequences if they get caught learning. This was Afghanistan under the Taliban, and traces of that danger remain today. 22-year-old Shabana Basij-Rasikh runs a school for girls in Afghanistan. She celebrates the power of a family's decision to believe in their daughters -- and tells the story of one brave father who stood up to local threats.
Paved roads are nice to look at, but they're easily damaged and costly to repair. Erik Schlangen demos a new type of porous asphalt made of simple materials with an astonishing feature: When cracked, it can be "healed" by induction heating.
Make a city beautiful, curb corruption. Edi Rama took this deceptively simple path as mayor of Tirana, Albania, where he instilled pride in his citizens by transforming public spaces with colorful designs.
There are so many tiny, beautiful, funny, tragic moments in your life -- how are you going to remember them all? Director Cesar Kuriyama shoots one second of video every day as part of an ongoing project to collect all the special bits of his life.
Kid President commands you to wake up, listen to the beating of your heart and create something that will make the world awesome. This video from SoulPancake delivers a soul-stirring dose of inspiration that only a 9-year-old can give.
Imagine a country with abundant power -- oil and gas, sunshine, wind (and money) -- but missing one key essential for life: water. Infrastructure engineer Fahad Al-Attiya talks about the unexpected ways that the small Middle Eastern nation of Qatar creates its water supply.
In Libya, Zahra' Langhi was part of the "days of rage" movement that helped topple the dictator Gaddafi. But -- then what? In their first elections, Libyans tried an innovative slate of candidates, the "zipper ballot," that ensured equal representation from men and women of both sides. Yet the same gridlocked politics of dominance and exclusion won out. What Libya needs now, Langhi suggests, is collaboration, not competition; compassion, not rage.
iO Tillett Wright has photographed 2,000 people who consider themselves somewhere on the LGBTQ spectrum -- and asked many of them: Can you assign a percentage to how gay or straight you are? Most people, it turns out, consider themselves to exist in the gray areas of sexuality, not 100% gay or straight. Which presents a real problem when it comes to discrimination: Where do you draw the line?
Coding isn't just for computer whizzes, says Mitch Resnick of MIT Media Lab -- it's for everyone. In a fun, demo-filled talk Resnick outlines the benefits of teaching kids to code, so they can do more than just use new tech toys but also create them.
Plenty of people need jobs with very flexible hours -- but it's difficult for those people to connect with the employers who need them. Wingham Rowan is working on that. He explains how the same technology that powers modern financial markets can help employers book workers for slivers of time.
High school science teacher Tyler DeWitt was ecstatic about his new lesson plan on bacteria (how cool!) -- and devastated when his students hated it. The problem was the textbook: it was impossible to understand. He delivers a rousing call for science teachers to ditch the jargon and extreme precision, and instead make science sing through stories and demonstrations.
Leslie Morgan Steiner was in "crazy love" -- that is, madly in love with a man who routinely abused her and threatened her life. Steiner tells the story of her relationship, correcting misconceptions many people hold about victims of domestic violence, and explaining how we can all help break the silence.
Why do we ever stop playing and creating? With charm and humor, celebrated Korean author Young-ha Kim invokes the world's greatest artists to urge you to unleash your inner child -- the artist who wanted to play forever.
Laparoscopic surgery uses minimally invasive incisions -- which means less pain and shorter recovery times for patients. But Steven Schwaitzberg has run into two problems teaching these techniques to surgeons around the world: language and distance. He shares how a new technology, which combines videoconferencing and a real-time universal translator, could help.
Reporter Janine di Giovanni has been to the worst places on Earth to bring back stories from Bosnia, Sierra Leone and most recently Syria. She tells stories of human moments within large conflicts -- and explores that shocking transition when a familiar city street becomes a bombed-out battleground.
When Colin Stokes' 3-year-old son caught a glimpse of "Star Wars," he was instantly obsessed. But what messages did he absorb from the sci-fi classic? Stokes asks for more movies that send positive messages to boys: that cooperation is heroic, and respecting women is as manly as defeating the villain.
How can you help kids get a good start? In this heartfelt and personal talk, Colin Powell, the former U.S. Secretary of State, asks parents, friends and relatives to support children, starting before they even get to primary school, through community and a strong sense of responsibility.
Our bodies get Vitamin D from the sun, but as dermatologist Richard Weller suggests, sunlight may confer another surprising benefit too. New research by his team shows that nitric oxide, a chemical transmitter stored in huge reserves in the skin, can be released by UV light, to great benefit for blood pressure and the cardiovascular system. What does it mean? Well, it might begin to explain why Scots get sick more than Australians ...
Cameron Russell admits she won “a genetic lottery”: she's tall, pretty and an underwear model. But don't judge her by her looks. In this fearless talk, she takes a wry look at the industry that had her looking highly seductive at barely 16 years old.
At Camp Diva, Angela Patton works to help young girls and their fathers stay connected and become part of each others' lives. But what about girls whose fathers can't be there -- because they're in jail? Patton tells the story of a very special father-daughter dance.
A woman in sub-Saharan Africa is part of a cutting-edge HIV clinical trial -- but she can't afford a bus ticket to her health clinic, let alone the life-saving antiretrovirals she'll need. Boghuma Kabisen Titanji asks an important question: How can researchers looking for a cure make sure they're not taking advantage of the people most affected by the pandemic?
This talk paints the funny and touching story of a little boy who pursued a simple passion: to draw and write stories. With the help of a supporting cast of family and teachers, Jarrett J. Krosoczka tells how he grew up to create beloved children's books.
When Sue Austin got a power wheelchair, she felt a tremendous sense of freedom -- yet others looked at her as though she had lost something. In her art, she conveys the spirit of wonder she feels wheeling through the world. Includes thrilling footage of an underwater wheelchair that lets her explore ocean beds, drifting through schools of fish, floating free in 360 degrees.