Speaking to an audience of students, US First Lady Michelle Obama reminds each one to take their education seriously -- and never take it for granted. This new, brilliant generation, she tells us, is the one that could close the gap between the world as it is and the world as it should be.
Jay Walker explains why two billion people around the world are trying to learn English. He shares photos and spine-tingling audio of Chinese students rehearsing English -- "the world's second language" -- by the thousands.
In this short talk from TED U, Joachim de Posada shares a landmark experiment on delayed gratification -- and how it can predict future success. With priceless video of kids trying their hardest not to eat the marshmallow.
Yves Behar and Forrest North unveil Mission One, a sleek, powerful electric motorcycle. They share slides from distant (yet similar) childhoods that show how collaboration kick-started their friendship -- and shared dreams.
Carolyn Porco shares exciting new findings from the Cassini spacecraft's recent sweep of one of Saturn's moons, Enceladus. Samples gathered from the moon's icy geysers hint that an ocean under its surface could harbor life.
"Bonk" author Mary Roach delves into obscure scientific research, some of it centuries old, to make 10 surprising claims about sexual climax, ranging from the bizarre to the hilarious. (This talk is aimed at adults. Viewer discretion advised.)
Behavioral economist Dan Ariely, the author of Predictably Irrational, uses classic visual illusions and his own counterintuitive (and sometimes shocking) research findings to show how we're not as rational as we think when we make decisions.
At his carpet company, Ray Anderson has increased sales and doubled profits while turning the traditional "take / make / waste" industrial system on its head. In a gentle, understated way, he shares a powerful vision for sustainable commerce.
Eric Lewis explores the piano's expressive power as he pounds and caresses the keys (and the strings) in a performance during the 2009 TED Prize session. He plays an original song, a tribute to ocean and sky and the vision of the TED Prize winners.
Hans Rosling unveils data visuals that untangle the complex risk factors of one of the world's deadliest (and most misunderstood) diseases: HIV. By following the data, he suggests a surprising key to ending the epidemic.
Seth Godin argues the Internet has ended mass marketing and revived a human social unit from the distant past: tribes. Founded on shared ideas and values, tribes give ordinary people the power to lead and make big change. He urges us to do so.
Louise Fresco shows us why we should celebrate mass-produced, supermarket-style white bread. She says environmentally sound mass production will feed the world, yet leave a role for small bakeries and traditional methods.
Tom Shannon shows off his gravity-defying, otherworldly sculpture -- made of simple, earthly materials -- that floats and spins like planets on magnets and suspension wire. It's science-inspired art at its most heavenly.
Mae Jemison is an astronaut, a doctor, an art collector, a dancer ... Telling stories from her own education and from her time in space, she calls on educators to teach both the arts and sciences, both intuition and logic, as one -- to create bold thinkers.
By analyzing raw data on violent incidents in the Iraq war and others, Sean Gourley and his team claim to have found a surprisingly strong mathematical relationship linking the fatality and frequency of attacks.
In this short talk from TED U 2009, Brian Cox shares what's new with the CERN supercollider. He covers the repairs now underway and what the future holds for the largest science experiment ever attempted.
In 2007, as the world worried about a possible avian flu epidemic, Laurie Garrett, author of "The Coming Plague," gave this powerful talk to a small TED University audience. Her insights from past pandemics are suddenly more relevant than ever.
In this hilariously lively performance, actress Sarah Jones channels an opinionated elderly Jewish woman, a fast-talking Dominican college student and more, giving TED2009 just a sample of her spectacular character range.
Neuroscientist Michael Merzenich looks at one of the secrets of the brain's incredible power: its ability to actively re-wire itself. He's researching ways to harness the brain's plasticity to enhance our skills and recover lost function.
The "dismal science" truly shines in this optimistic talk, as economist Alex Tabarrok argues free trade and globalization are shaping our once-divided world into a community of idea-sharing more healthy, happy and prosperous than anyone's predictions.
In this captivating talk from the TED archive, cartoonist Ben Katchor reads from his comic strips. These perceptive, surreal stories find the profound hopes and foibles of history (and modern New York) preserved in objects like light switches and signs.
At TEDU 2009, Erik Hersman presents the remarkable story of Ushahidi, a GoogleMap mashup that allowed Kenyans to report and track violence via cell phone texts following the 2008 elections, and has evolved to continue saving lives in other countries.
Nate Silver has data that answers big questions about race in politics. For instance, in the 2008 presidential race, did Obama's skin color actually keep him from getting votes in some parts of the country? Stats and myths collide in this fascinating talk that ends with a remarkable insight.
Design legend Niels Diffrient talks about his life in industrial design (and the reason he became a designer instead of a jet pilot). He details his quest to completely rethink the office chair starting from one fundamental data set: the human body.
Margaret Wertheim leads a project to re-create the creatures of the coral reefs using a crochet technique invented by a mathematician -- celebrating the amazements of the reef, and deep-diving into the hyperbolic geometry underlying coral creation.