Organ virtuoso Qi Zhang plays her electric rendering of "Ridiculous Fellows" from Prokofiev's "The Love for Three Oranges" orchestral suite. This exhilarating performance features the Yamaha Electone Stagea, a rare instrument specially programmed by Qi herself.
Surgeon and inventor Catherine Mohr tours the history of surgery (and its pre-painkiller, pre-antiseptic past), then demos some of the newest tools for surgery through tiny incisions, performed using nimble robot hands. Fascinating -- but not for the squeamish.
Diane Benscoter spent five years as a "Moonie." She shares an insider's perspective on the mind of a cult member, and proposes a new way to think about today's most troubling conflicts and extremist movements.
While news from Iran streams to the world, Clay Shirky shows how Facebook, Twitter and TXTs help citizens in repressive regimes to report on real news, bypassing censors (however briefly). The end of top-down control of news is changing the nature of politics.
In his typically candid style, Richard St. John reminds us that success is not a one-way street, but a constant journey. He uses the story of his business' rise and fall to illustrate a valuable lesson -- when we stop trying, we fail.
Biologist Robert Full studies the amazing gecko, with its supersticky feet and tenacious climbing skill. But high-speed footage reveals that the gecko's tail harbors perhaps the most surprising talents of all.
John La Grou unveils an ingenious new technology that will smarten up the electrical outlets in our homes, using microprocessors and RFID tags. The invention, Safeplug, promises to prevent deadly accidents like house fires -- and to conserve energy.
Kevin Surace suggests we rethink basic construction materials -- such as the familiar wallboard -- to reduce the huge carbon footprint generated by the manufacturing and construction of our buildings. He introduces EcoRock, a clean, recyclable and energy-efficient drywall created by his team at Serious Materials.
Media big shot Felix Dennis roars his fiery, funny, sometimes racy original poetry, revisiting haunting memories and hard-won battle scars from a madcap -- yet not too repentant -- life. Best enjoyed with a glass of wine.
In this image-filled talk, Yann Arthus-Bertrand displays his three most recent projects on humanity and our habitat -- stunning aerial photographs in his series "The Earth From Above," personal interviews from around the globe featured in his web project "6 billion Others," and his soon-to-be-released movie, "Home," which documents human impact on the environment through breathtaking video.
Ray Kurzweil's latest graphs show that technology's breakneck advances will only accelerate -- recession or not. He unveils his new project, Singularity University, to study oncoming tech and guide it to benefit humanity.
Bennington president Liz Coleman delivers a call-to-arms for radical reform in higher education. Bucking the trend to push students toward increasingly narrow areas of study, she proposes a truly cross-disciplinary education -- one that dynamically combines all areas of study to address the great problems of our day.
Kaki King, the first female on Rolling Stone's "guitar god" list, rocks out to a full live set at TED2008, including her breakout single, "Playing with Pink Noise." Jaw-dropping virtuosity meets a guitar technique that truly stands out.
In this brief talk from TED U 2009, Jonathan Drori encourages us to save biodiversity -- one seed at a time. Reminding us that plants support human life, he shares the vision of the Millennium Seed Bank, which has stored over 3 billion seeds to date from dwindling yet essential plant species.
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.