David Christian: The history of our world in 18 minutes

TED2011

David Christian: The history of our world in 18 minutes

7,641,390 views


Backed by stunning illustrations, David Christian narrates a complete history of the universe, from the Big Bang to the Internet, in a riveting 18 minutes. This is "Big History": an enlightening, wide-angle look at complexity, life and humanity, set against our slim share of the cosmic timeline.

Jackson Browne: A song inspired by the ocean

TEDxGreatPacificGarbagePatch

Jackson Browne: A song inspired by the ocean

661,003 views


Jackson Browne plays a song about being on the ocean ... or really, being anywhere among passionate friends. (He started writing this song aboard Mission Blue Voyage, a Sylvia Earle-inspired conference about saving the ocean.) "If I could be anywhere," he sings, "anywhere right now, I would be here."

Caroline Casey: Looking past limits

TEDWomen 2010

Caroline Casey: Looking past limits

2,061,200 views


Activist Caroline Casey tells the story of her extraordinary life, starting with a revelation (no spoilers). In a talk that challenges perceptions, Casey asks us all to move beyond the limits we may think we have.

Mick Ebeling: The invention that unlocked a locked-in artist

TEDActive 2011

Mick Ebeling: The invention that unlocked a locked-in artist

947,062 views


The nerve disease ALS left graffiti artist TEMPT paralyzed from head to toe, forced to communicate blink by blink. In a remarkable talk at TEDActive, entrepreneur Mick Ebeling shares how he and a team of collaborators built an open-source invention that gave the artist -- and gives others in his circumstance -- the means to make art again.

Morgan Spurlock: The greatest TED Talk ever sold

TED2011

Morgan Spurlock: The greatest TED Talk ever sold

2,064,593 views


With humor and persistence, filmmaker Morgan Spurlock dives into the hidden but influential world of brand marketing, on his quest to make a completely sponsored film about sponsorship. (And yes, onstage naming rights for this talk were sponsored too. By whom and for how much? He'll tell you.)

Stanley McChrystal: Listen, learn ... then lead

TED2011

Stanley McChrystal: Listen, learn ... then lead

2,503,757 views


Four-star general Stanley McChrystal shares what he learned about leadership over his decades in the military. How can you build a sense of shared purpose among people of many ages and skill sets? By listening and learning -- and addressing the possibility of failure.

AnnMarie Thomas: Hands-on science with squishy circuits

TED2011

AnnMarie Thomas: Hands-on science with squishy circuits

862,778 views


In a zippy demo at TED U, AnnMarie Thomas shows how two different kinds of homemade play dough can be used to demonstrate electrical properties -- by lighting up LEDs, spinning motors, and turning little kids into circuit designers.

Eric Whitacre: A virtual choir 2,000 voices strong

TED2011

Eric Whitacre: A virtual choir 2,000 voices strong

3,440,359 views


In a moving and madly viral video last year, composer Eric Whitacre led a virtual choir of singers from around the world. He talks through the creative challenges of making music powered by YouTube, and unveils the first 2 minutes of his new work, "Sleep," with a video choir of 2,052. The full piece premiered a few weeks later (yes, on YouTube!).

Sebastian Thrun: Google's driverless car

TED2011

Sebastian Thrun: Google's driverless car

2,468,268 views


Sebastian Thrun helped build Google's amazing driverless car, powered by a very personal quest to save lives and reduce traffic accidents. Jawdropping video shows the DARPA Challenge-winning car motoring through busy city traffic with no one behind the wheel, and dramatic test drive footage from TED2011 demonstrates how fast the thing can really go.

Handspring Puppet Co.: The genius puppetry behind War Horse

TED2011

Handspring Puppet Co.: The genius puppetry behind War Horse

1,543,423 views


"Puppets always have to try to be alive," says Adrian Kohler of the Handspring Puppet Company, a gloriously ambitious troupe of human and wooden actors. Beginning with the tale of a hyena's subtle paw, puppeteers Kohler and Basil Jones build to the story of their latest astonishment: the wonderfully life-like Joey, the War Horse, who trots (and gallops) convincingly onto the TED stage.

Ralph Langner: Cracking Stuxnet, a 21st-century cyber weapon

TED2011

Ralph Langner: Cracking Stuxnet, a 21st-century cyber weapon

1,357,442 views


When first discovered in 2010, the Stuxnet computer worm posed a baffling puzzle. Beyond its sophistication loomed a more troubling mystery: its purpose. Ralph Langner and team helped crack the code that revealed this digital warhead's final target. In a fascinating look inside cyber-forensics, he explains how -- and makes a bold (and, it turns out, correct) guess at its shocking origins.

Patricia Ryan: Don't insist on English!

TEDxDubai

Patricia Ryan: Don't insist on English!

1,651,405 views


Patricia Ryan is a longtime English teacher who asks a provocative question: Is the world's focus on English preventing the spread of great ideas in other languages? In other words: What if Einstein had to pass the TOEFL? It's a passionate defense of translating and sharing ideas.

Claron McFadden: Singing the primal mystery

TEDxAmsterdam

Claron McFadden: Singing the primal mystery

402,801 views


"The human voice: mysterious, spontaneous, primal." With these words, soprano Claron McFadden invites us to explore the mysteries of breathing and singing, as she performs the intriguing modern song "Aria," by John Cage.

Eythor Bender: Human exoskeletons -- for war and healing

TED2011

Eythor Bender: Human exoskeletons -- for war and healing

1,373,655 views


Eythor Bender of Berkeley Bionics brings onstage two amazing exoskeletons, HULC and eLEGS -- robotic add-ons that could one day allow a human to carry 200 pounds without tiring, or allow a wheelchair user to stand and walk. It's a powerful onstage demo, with implications for human potential of all kinds.

Paul Root Wolpe: It's time to question bio-engineering

TEDxPeachtree

Paul Root Wolpe: It's time to question bio-engineering

1,244,466 views


Glowing dogs ... mice that grow human ears ... bioethicist Paul Root Wolpe describes an astonishing series of recent bio-engineering experiments, and asks: Isn't it time to set some ground rules?

Isabel Behncke: Evolution's gift of play, from bonobo apes to humans

TED2011

Isabel Behncke: Evolution's gift of play, from bonobo apes to humans

725,363 views


With never-before-seen video, primatologist Isabel Behncke Izquierdo (a TED Fellow) shows how bonobo ape society learns from constantly playing -- solo, with friends, even as a prelude to sex. Indeed, play appears to be the bonobos' key to problem-solving and avoiding conflict. If it works for our close cousins, why not for us?

Hans Rosling: The magic washing machine

TEDWomen 2010

Hans Rosling: The magic washing machine

2,414,708 views


What was the greatest invention of the industrial revolution? Hans Rosling makes the case for the washing machine. With newly designed graphics from Gapminder, Rosling shows us the magic that pops up when economic growth and electricity turn a boring wash day into an intellectual day of reading.

Sarah Kay: If I should have a daughter ...

TED2011

Sarah Kay: If I should have a daughter ...

10,667,615 views


"If I should have a daughter, instead of Mom, she's gonna call me Point B ... " began spoken word poet Sarah Kay, in a talk that inspired two standing ovations at TED2011. She tells the story of her metamorphosis -- from a wide-eyed teenager soaking in verse at New York's Bowery Poetry Club to a teacher connecting kids with the power of self-expression through Project V.O.I.C.E. -- and gives two breathtaking performances of "B" and "Hiroshima."

Rogier van der Heide: Why light needs darkness

TEDxAmsterdam

Rogier van der Heide: Why light needs darkness

565,416 views


Lighting architect Rogier van der Heide offers a beautiful new way to look at the world -- by paying attention to light (and to darkness). Examples from classic buildings illustrate a deeply thought-out vision of the play of light around us.

Janna Levin: The sound the universe makes

TED2011

Janna Levin: The sound the universe makes

1,129,520 views


We think of space as a silent place. But physicist Janna Levin says the universe has a soundtrack -- a sonic composition that records some of the most dramatic events in outer space. (Black holes, for instance, bang on spacetime like a drum.) An accessible and mind-expanding soundwalk through the universe.

David Brooks: The social animal

TED2011

David Brooks: The social animal

1,138,660 views


Columnist David Brooks unpacks new insights into human nature from the cognitive sciences -- insights with massive implications for economics and politics as well as our own self-knowledge. In a talk full of humor, he shows how you can't hope to understand humans as separate individuals making choices based on their conscious awareness.

Rob Harmon: How to keep rivers and streams flowing

TEDxRainier

Rob Harmon: How to keep rivers and streams flowing

599,889 views


With streams and rivers drying up because of over-usage, Rob Harmon talks about a clever market mechanism to bring back the water. Farmers and beer companies find their fates intertwined in the century-old tale of Prickly Pear Creek.

Deb Roy: The birth of a word

TED2011

Deb Roy: The birth of a word

2,493,151 views


MIT researcher Deb Roy wanted to understand how his infant son learned language -- so he wired up his house with videocameras to catch every moment (with exceptions) of his son's life, then parsed 90,000 hours of home video to watch "gaaaa" slowly turn into "water." Astonishing, data-rich research with deep implications for how we learn.

Eli Pariser: Beware online "filter bubbles"

TED2011

Eli Pariser: Beware online "filter bubbles"

4,090,714 views


As web companies strive to tailor their services (including news and search results) to our personal tastes, there's a dangerous unintended consequence: We get trapped in a "filter bubble" and don't get exposed to information that could challenge or broaden our worldview. Eli Pariser argues powerfully that this will ultimately prove to be bad for us and bad for democracy.

Sal Khan: Let's use video to reinvent education

TED2011

Sal Khan: Let's use video to reinvent education

4,657,990 views


Salman Khan talks about how and why he created the remarkable Khan Academy, a carefully structured series of educational videos offering complete curricula in math and, now, other subjects. He shows the power of interactive exercises, and calls for teachers to consider flipping the traditional classroom script -- give students video lectures to watch at home, and do "homework" in the classroom with the teacher available to help.

Courtney E. Martin: This isn't her mother's feminism

TEDWomen 2010

Courtney E. Martin: This isn't her mother's feminism

961,276 views


Blogger Courtney E. Martin examines the perennially loaded word "feminism" in this personal and heartfelt talk. She talks through the three essential paradoxes of her generation's quest to define the term for themselves.

Anthony Atala: Printing a human kidney

TED2011

Anthony Atala: Printing a human kidney

2,797,449 views


Surgeon Anthony Atala demonstrates an early-stage experiment that could someday solve the organ-donor problem: a 3D printer that uses living cells to output a transplantable kidney. Using similar technology, Dr. Atala's young patient Luke Massella received an engineered bladder 10 years ago; we meet him onstage. NOTE: This talk was given in 2011, and this field of science has developed quickly since then. Read "Criticisms & updates" below for more details.

Bill Gates: How state budgets are breaking US schools

TED2011

Bill Gates: How state budgets are breaking US schools

1,872,468 views


America's school systems are funded by the 50 states. In this fiery talk, Bill Gates says that state budgets are riddled with accounting tricks that disguise the true cost of health care and pensions and weighted with worsening deficits -- with the financing of education at the losing end.