Great Ideas

“The potential for success is around every corner, but you cannot have it until you fail” - Colin Rich

  • Two young scientists break down plastics with bacteria
    • Once it's created, plastic (almost) never dies. While in 12th grade Miranda Wang and Jeanny Yao went in search of a new bacteria to biodegrade plastic -- specifically by breaking down phthalates, a harmful plasticizer. They found an answer surprisingly close to home.
  • Beth Noveck: Demand a more open-source government
    • What can governments learn from the open-data revolution? In this stirring talk, Beth Noveck, the former deputy CTO at the White House, shares a vision of practical openness -- connecting bureaucracies to citizens, sharing data, creating a truly participatory democracy. Imagine the "writable society"
  • Microsoft's Rick Rashid: The Matrix & Future of Computing
    • Microsoft's Rick Rashid Chief Research Officer at Microsoft discusses the Matrix and the future of computing.
  • Lawrence Livermore Lab: Lasers, Fusion, Energy Innovation
    • Ed Moses Principal Associate Director, NIF & Photon Science, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory discusses how lasers and fusion are revolutionizing energy innovation.
  • Joy Reidenberg: Weird whales (or more then everything you wanted to know about whales)
    • In her talk, "Why Whales are Weird," energetic, articulate anatomist Joy Reidenberg presented an amazing array of fact about the beloved mammal (Whales evolved from deer-like creatures! Their spinal movement is more like galloping in the water! They don't actually spout water! They have mustaches!). She took us through the story of evolution using whales as a model, explaining that evolution is the process to mediate resilience and thus, survival.
  • Eben Upton -- Raspberry Pi (TEDxGranta)
    • Eben Upton is the founder of the Raspberry Pi Foundation, which is developing a $25 microcomputer with the goal of putting programmable hardware in the hands of every child in the UK. Eben is responsible for the overall software and hardware architecture of the Raspberry Pi device.
  • John Thackara: The end of endless growth
    • Social critic John Thackara argues that the current human paradigm of endless growth is obviously unsustainable, so we should consider the brilliance of the Brazilian Jequitiba tree, which soaks up four tons of water a day. "I am a proper tree hugger, as well as a lichen hugger.
  • TEDxWarwick - David MacKay - How the Laws of Physics Constrain Our Sustainable Energy Options
    • Department of Climate Change Chief Scientific Advisor, Professor David MacKay FRS, is responsible for ensuring the best science and engineering advice underpins DECC's policy and decision-making.
  • TED: Ami Klin: A new way to diagnose autism - Ami Klin (2011)
    • World renowned autism authority Dr. Ami Klin takes a deeper look at autism beyond its widely acknowledged genetic origins. He explores how autism results when the evolutionarily conserved and developmentally early emerging mechanisms of social adaptation, such as the mutually reinforcing choreography between infant and caregiver, are disrupted.
  • TED: Daphne Koller: What we're learning from online education - Daphne Koller (2012)
    • Daphne Koller is enticing top universities to put their most intriguing courses online for free -- not just as a service, but as a way to research how people learn. Each keystroke, comprehension quiz, peer-to-peer forum discussion and self-graded assignment builds an unprecedented pool of data on how knowledge is processed and, most importantly, absorbed.
  • TEDxOjai - Behrokh Khoshnevis - Contour Crafting: Automated Construction
    • Behrokh Khoshnevis is a professor of Industrial & Systems Engineering and is the Director of Manufacturing Engineering Graduate Program at the University of Southern California (USC). He is active in CAD/CAM, robotics and mechatronics related related research projects that include the development of novel Solid Free Form, or Rapid Prototyping, processes (Contour Crafting and SIS), automated construction of civil structures, development of CAD/CAM systems for biomedical applications (e.g., restorative dentistry, rehabilitation engineering, haptics devices for medical applications), autonomous mobile and modular robots for assembly applications in space, and invention of technologies in the field of oil and gas. His research in simulation has aimed at creating intelligent simulation tools that can automatically perform many simulation functions that are conventionally performed by human analysts. His textbook, "Discrete Systems Simulation", and his simulation software EZSIM benefit from some aspects of his research in simulation. He routinely conducts lectures and seminars on invention and technology development.
  • TEDxMidAtlantic 2011 - Avi Rubin - All Your Devices Can Be Hacked
    • Avi Rubin is Professor of Computer Science at Johns Hopkins University and Technical Director of the JHU Information Security Institute. Avi's primary research area is Computer Security, and his latest research focuses on security for electronic medical records. Avi is credited for bringing to light vulnerabilities in electronic voting machines. In 2006 he published a book on his experiences since this event.
  • Todd Humphreys: How to fool a GPS
    • Todd Humphreys forecasts the near-future of geolocation when millimeter-accurate GPS "dots" will enable you to find pin-point locations, index-search your physical possessions ... or to track people without their knowledge. And the response to the sinister side of this technology may have unintended consequences of its own.
  • Ramesh Raskar: Imaging at a trillion frames per second
    • Ramesh Raskar presents femto-photography, a new type of imaging so fast it visualizes the world one trillion frames per second, so detailed it shows light itself in motion. This technology may someday be used to build cameras that can look "around" corners or see inside the body without X-rays.
  • Vinay Venkatraman: “Technology crafts” for the digitally underserved
    • Two-thirds of the world may not have access to the latest smartphone, but local electronic shops are adept at fixing older tech using low-cost parts. Vinay Venkatraman explains his work in "technology crafts," through which a mobile phone, a lunchbox and a flashlight can become a digital projector for a village school, or an alarm clock and a mouse can be melded into a medical device for local triage.
  • Peter Norvig: The 100,000-student classroom (21st Century Interactive Learning)
    • In the fall of 2011 Peter Norvig taught a class with Sebastian Thrun on artificial intelligence at Stanford attended by 175 students in situ -- and over 100,000 via an interactive webcast. He shares what he learned about teaching to a global classroom.
  • Marc Goodman: A vision of crimes in the future
    • The world is becoming increasingly open, and that has implications both bright and dangerous. Marc Goodman paints a portrait of a grave future, in which technology's rapid development could allow crime to take a turn for the worse.
  • TEDxImperialCollege - John Graham-Cumming - The Greatest Machine That Ne...
    • The computer was invented in the 30s: not the 1930s, but the 1830s. British mathematician Charles Babbage designed and prototyped a fully functional mechanical computer he called the Analytical Engine, but it was never completed. Now a team in Britain plans to build the machine for display at London's Science Museum before the 2030s come around.
  • Damian Palin: Mining minerals from seawater
    • The world needs clean water, and more and more, we're pulling it from the oceans, desalinating it, and drinking it. But what to do with the salty brine left behind? In this intriguing short talk, TED Fellow Damian Palin proposes an idea: Mine it for other minerals we need, with the help of some collaborative metal-munching bacteria.
  • Anil Gupta: India's hidden hotbeds of invention 
    • Anil Gupta is on the hunt for the developing world's unsung inventors -- indigenous entrepreneurs whose ingenuity, hidden by poverty, could change many people's lives. He shows how the Honey Bee network helps them build the connections they need -- and gain the recognition they deserve.
  • TED: Magnus Larsson: Turning dunes into architecture
    • Video Description: "Technology: bacillus pasteurii can be used for binding sand to create structures, Magnus Larsson prosed using it create a great wall in Africa to prevent the advance of the Sahara desert."
  • TED: Eben Bayer: Are mushrooms the new plastic?
    • Video Description: Product designer Eben Bayer reveals his recipe for a new, fungus-based packaging material that protects fragile stuff like furniture, plasma screens — and the environment.
  • Drew Curtis: How I beat a patent troll
    • Video Description: "Drew Curtis, the founder of fark.com, tells the story of how he fought a lawsuit from a company that had a patent, "...for the creation and distribution of news releases via email." Along the way he shares some nutty statistics about the growing legal problem of frivolous patents. "
  • Regina Dugan: From mach-20 glider to humming bird drone
    • Video Description: "What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?" asks Regina Dugan, then director of DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. In this breathtaking talk she describes some of the extraordinary projects -- a robotic hummingbird, a prosthetic arm controlled by thought, and, well, the internet -- that her agency has created by not worrying that they might fail."
  • Rory Sutherland: Perspective is everything
    • Video Description: "The circumstances of our lives may matter less than how we see them, says Rory Sutherland. At TEDxAthens, he makes a compelling case for how reframing is the key to happiness."
  • Reuben Margolin: Sculpting waves in wood and time
    • Video Description: "Reuben Margolin is a kinetic sculptor, crafting beautiful pieces that move in the pattern of raindrops falling and waves combining. Take nine minutes and be mesmerized by his meditative art -- inspired in equal parts by math and nature."
  • Amory Lovins: A 50-year plan for energy
    • In this intimate talk filmed at TED's offices, energy theorist Amory Lovins lays out the steps we must take to end the world's dependence on oil (before we run out). Some changes are already happening -- like lighter-weight cars and smarter trucks -- but some require a bigger vision.
  • Brian Greene: Why is our universe fine-tuned for life?
    • At the heart of modern cosmology is a mystery: Why does our universe appear so exquisitely tuned to create the conditions necessary for life? In this tour de force tour of some of science's biggest new discoveries, Brian Greene shows how the mind-boggling idea of a multiverse may hold the answer to the riddle.
  • Atul Gawande: How do we heal medicine?
    • Our medical systems are broken. Doctors are capable of extraordinary (and expensive) treatments, but they are losing their core focus: actually treating people. Doctor and writer Atul Gawande suggests we take a step back and look at new ways to do medicine -- with fewer cowboys and more pit crews.
  • NPR: Is Thorium A Magic Bullet For Our Energy Problems?
    • Here is excerpt from the article: "As the search for cheap, safe and non-carbon emitting sources of energy continues, a band of scientists say the answer may be nuclear reactors fueled by thorium. Others caution that thorium reactors pose waste and proliferation risks. Ira Flatow and guests discuss the pros and cons of thorium reactors."
  • NPR: The Race To Create The Best Antiviral Drugs
    • Here is excerpt from the article: "If you've ever had a bacterial infection like staph or strep throat, your doctor may have prescribed penicillin. But if you've had the flu or a common cold virus, penicillin won't work. That's because antibacterials only kill bacteria, and both the flu and the common cold are viruses. So for illnesses like the flu, doctors prescribe antiviral drugs, which target the mechanisms that viruses use to reproduce."
  • T. Boone Pickens: Let's transform energy -- with natural gas
    • The US consumes 25% of the world's oil -- but as energy tycoon T. Boone Pickens points out onstage, the country has no energy policy to prepare for the inevitable. Is alternative energy our bridge to an oil-free future? After losing $150 million investing in wind energy, Pickens suggests it isn't, not yet. What might get us there? Natural gas. After the talk, watch for a lively Q&A with TED Curator Chris Anderson.
  •  Vijay Kumar: Robots that fly ... and cooperate
    • In his lab at Penn, Vijay Kumar and his team build flying quadrotors, small, agile robots that swarm, sense each other, and form ad hoc teams -- for construction, surveying disasters and far more.
  • Rob Reid: The $8 billion iPod
    • Comic author Rob Reid unveils Copyright Math (TM), a remarkable new field of study based on actual numbers from entertainment industry lawyers and lobbyists.
  • Myshkin Ingawale: A blood test without bleeding
    • Anemia is a major -- and completely preventable -- cause of deaths in childbirth in many places around the world, but the standard test is invasive and slow. In this witty and inspiring talk, TED Fellow Myshkin Ingawale describes how (after 32 tries) he and his team created a simple, portable, low-cost device that can test for anemia without breaking the skin.
  • Brené Brown: Listening to shame
    • Shame is an unspoken epidemic, the secret behind many forms of broken behavior. Brené Brown, whose earlier talk on vulnerability became a viral hit, explores what can happen when people confront their shame head-on. Her own humor, humanity and vulnerability shine through every word.
  • Shlomo Benartzi: Saving for tomorrow, tomorrow
    • It's easy to imagine saving money next week, but how about right now? Generally, we want to spend it. Economist Shlomo Benartzi says this is one of the biggest obstacles to saving enough for retirement, and asks: How do we turn this behavioral challenge into a behavioral solution?
  • Kevin Allocca: Why videos go viral
    • Kevin Allocca is YouTube's trends manager, and he has deep thoughts about silly web video. In this talk from TEDYouth, he shares the 4 reasons a video goes viral. (This is the first talk posted from an amazing TEDYouth event. Many others will come on line next month as part of our TED-Ed launch. We can't wait ...)
  • Avi Rubin - All Your Devices Can Be Hacked
    • Avi Rubin is Professor of Computer Science at Johns Hopkins University and Technical Director of the JHU Information Security Institute. Avi's primary research area is Computer Security, and his latest research focuses on security for electronic medical records. Avi is credited for bringing to light vulnerabilities in electronic voting machines. In 2006 he published a book on his experiences since this event.
  • Lucien Engelen: Crowdsource your health
    • You can use your smartphone to find a local ATM, but what if you need a defibrillator? At TEDxMaastricht, Lucien Engelen shows us online innovations that are changing the way we save lives, including a crowdsourced map of local defibrillators.
  • Peter Diamandis: Abundance is our future
    • Onstage at TED2012, Peter Diamandis makes a case for optimism -- that we'll invent, innovate and create ways to solve the challenges that loom over us. "I'm not saying we don't have our set of problems; we surely do. But ultimately, we knock them down."
  • Paul Conneally: Digital humanitarianism
    • The disastrous earthquake in Haiti taught humanitarian groups an unexpected lesson: the power of mobile devices to coordinate, inform, and guide relief efforts. At TEDxRC2, Paul Conneally shows extraordinary examples of social media and other new technologies becoming central to humanitarian aid.
  • Lisa Harouni: A primer on 3D printing
    • 2012 may be the year of 3D printing, when this three-decade-old technology finally becomes accessible and even commonplace. Lisa Harouni gives a useful introduction to this fascinating way of making things -- including intricate objects once impossible to create.
  • Jenna McCarthy: What you don't know about marriage
    • A casual talk from TEDx, writer Jenna McCarthy shares surprising research on how marriages (especially happy marriages) really work. One tip: Do not try to win an Oscar for best actress.
  • Brewster Kahle: Universal Access to All Knowledge
    • Universal Access to All Knowledge from The Long Now Foundation on FORA.tv As founder and librarian of the storied Internet Archive (deemed impossible by all when he started it in 1996), Brewster Kahle has practical experience behind his universalist vision of access to every bit of knowledge ever created, for all time, ever improving.
  • Kevin Kelly: The Future of the Digital Media Landscape
    • From Fora.TV: "Kevin Kelly has been a participant in, and reporter on, the information technology revolution for the past 20 years. His books include the best-selling work on the networked economy, New Rules for the New Economy, and the classic volume on decentralized emergent systems, Out of Control. His most recent book, What Technology Wants, lays out a provocative view of technology as an autonomous force in the world. Kelly helped launch WIRED in 1993 and served as executive editor for six years, during which the magazine twice won the National Magazine Award for General Excellence. He currently holds the title of Senior Maverick at WIRED and is the publisher and editor of the Cool Tools website. From 1984 to 1990, Kelly was the publisher and editor of the Whole Earth Review. He also helped launch the WELL, a pioneering online service, in 1985 and co-founded the ongoing Hackers' Conference. His writings have appeared in numerous publications, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Time, Harpers, Science, GQ, and Esquire."
  • Mikko Hypponen: Three types of online attack
    • Cybercrime expert Mikko Hypponen talks us through three types of online attack on our privacy and data -- and only two are considered crimes.
  • Defend our freedom to share (or why SOPA is a bad idea)
    • What does a bill like PIPA/SOPA mean to our shareable world? At the TED offices, Clay Shirky delivers a proper manifesto -- a call to defend our freedom to create, discuss, link and share, rather than passively consume.
  • Sheena Iyengar: How to make choosing easier (Avoiding Choice Overload)
    • We all want customized experiences and products -- but when faced with 700 options, consumers freeze up. With fascinating new research, Sheena Iyengar demonstrates how businesses (and others) can improve the experience of choosing.
  • Why Cities Grow, Corporations Die, and Life Gets Faster
    • Summary: As organisms, cities, and companies scale up, they all gain in efficiency, but then they vary. The bigger an organism, the slower. Yet the bigger a city is, the faster it runs. And cities are structurally immortal, while corporations are structurally doomed. Scaling up always creates new problems; cities can innovate faster than the problems indefinitely, while corporations cannot.
  • Yoav Medan: Ultrasound surgery -- healing without cuts
    • Imagine having a surgery with no knives involved. At TEDMED, surgeon Yoav Medan shares a technique that uses MRI to find trouble spots and focused ultrasound to treat such issues as brain lesions, uterine fibroids and several kinds of cancerous growths.
  • Luis von Ahn: Massive-scale online collaboration
    • After re-purposing CAPTCHA so each human-typed response helps digitize books, Luis von Ahn wondered how else to use small contributions by many on the Internet for greater good. At TEDxCMU, he shares how his ambitious new project, Duolingo, will help millions learn a new language while translating the Web quickly and accurately -- all for free.
  • Ben Goldacre: Battling Bad Science
    • Every day there are news reports of new health advice, but how can you know if they're right? Doctor and epidemiologist Ben Goldacre shows us, at high speed, the ways evidence can be distorted, from the blindingly obvious nutrition claims to the very subtle tricks of the pharmaceutical industry.
  • Justin Hall-Tipping: Freeing energy from the grid
    • What would happen if we could generate power from our windowpanes? In this moving talk, entrepreneur Justin Hall-Tipping shows the materials that could make that possible, and how questioning our notion of 'normal' can lead to extraordinary breakthroughs.
  • Britta Riley: A garden in my apartment (Window Farms)
    • Britta Riley wanted to grow her own food (in her tiny apartment). So she and her friends developed a system for growing plants in discarded plastic bottles -- researching, testing and tweaking the system using social media, trying many variations at once and quickly arriving at the optimal system.
  • Cynthia Kenyon: Experiments that hint of longer lives
    • What controls aging? Biochemist Cynthia Kenyon has found a simple genetic mutation that can double the lifespan of a simple worm, C. Elegans. The lessons from that discovery, and others, are pointing to how we might one day significantly extend youthful human life.
  • Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action
    • Simon Sinek presents a simple but powerful model for how leaders inspire action, starting with a golden circle and the question "Why?" His examples include Apple, Martin Luther King, and the Wright brothers -- and as a counterpoint Tivo, which (until a recent court victory that tripled its stock price) appeared to be struggling.
  • Neil Gershenfeld: The beckoning promise of personal fabrication
    • MIT professor Neil Gershenfeld talks about his Fab Lab -- a low-cost lab that lets people build things they need using digital and analog tools. It's a simple idea with powerful results.
  • Riley Crane: Crowdsource win
    • Riley Crane, a postdoctoral fellow at the MIT Media Lab, found out about the DARPA Red Balloon Challenge four days before it started (find ten balloons placed in ten different locations around the country). Four days, eight hours, and 52 minutes later his team had won the competition. Watch him talk about how they did it and the challenges they encountered in the process.
  • Jay Bradner: Open-source cancer research
    • How does cancer know it's cancer? At Jay Bradner's lab, they found a molecule that might hold the answer, JQ1 -- and instead of patenting JQ1, they published their findings and mailed samples to 40 other labs to work on. An inspiring look at the open-source future of medical research.
  • Kevin Slavin: How algorithms shape our world
    • Kevin Slavin argues that we're living in a world designed for -- and increasingly controlled by -- algorithms. In this riveting talk from TEDGlobal, he shows how these complex computer programs determine: espionage tactics, stock prices, movie scripts, and architecture. And he warns that we are writing code we can't understand, with implications we can't control.
  • Todd Kuiken: A prosthetic arm that "feels"
    • Surgeon and engineer Todd Kuiken is building a prosthetic arm that connects with the human nervous system -- improving motion, control and even feeling. Onstage, patient Amanda Kitts helps demonstrate this next-gen robotic arm.
  • Bunker Roy: Learning from a barefoot movement
    • In Rajasthan, India, an extraordinary school teaches rural women and men -- many of them illiterate -- to become solar engineers, artisans, dentists and doctors in their own villages. It's called the Barefoot College, and its founder, Bunker Roy, explains how it works.
  • Are You Lurking? The 90-9-1 Principle of Social Media
    • Social networks like Twitter boast ever-climbing rates of use, but how many account holders are actually participating? A panel of Australian media experts discusses the 90-9-1 principle of social media, which has it that 90 percent of users on any social media platform are lurking, 9 percent are moderate contributors, and 1 percent are super users.
  • Mike Biddle: We can recycle plastic
    •  Less than 10% of plastic trash is recycled -- compared to almost 90% of metals -- because of the massively complicated problem of finding and sorting the different kinds. Frustrated by this waste, Mike Biddle has developed a cheap and incredibly energy efficient plant that can, and does, recycle any kind of plastic.
  • Richard Resnick: Welcome to the genomic revolution
    • In this accessible talk from TEDxBoston, Richard Resnick shows how cheap and fast genome sequencing is about to turn health care (and insurance, and politics) upside down.
  • Geoff Mulgan: A short intro to the Studio School
    • Some kids learn by listening; others learn by doing. Geoff Mulgan gives a short introduction to the Studio School, a new kind of school in the UK where small teams of kids learn by working on projects that are, as Mulgan puts it, "for real."
  • Skylar Tibbits: Can we make things that make themselves?
    • MIT researcher Skylar Tibbits works on self-assembly -- the idea that instead of building something (a chair, a skyscraper), we can create materials that build themselves, much the way a strand of DNA zips itself together. It's a big concept at early stages; Tibbits shows us three in-the-lab projects that hint at what a self-assembling future might look like.
  • Edward Tenner: Unintended consequences
    • Every new invention changes the world -- in ways both intentional and unexpected. Historian Edward Tenner tells stories that illustrate the under-appreciated gap between our ability to innovate and our ability to foresee the consequences.
  • Rebecca MacKinnon: Let's take back the Internet!
    • Rebecca MacKinnon describes the expanding struggle for freedom and control in cyberspace, and asks: How do we design the next phase of the Internet with accountability and freedom at its core, rather than control? She believes the internet is headed for a "Magna Carta" moment when citizens around the world demand that their governments protect free speech and their right to connection.
  • Paul Bloom: The origins of pleasure
    • Why do we like an original painting better than a forgery? Psychologist Paul Bloom argues that human beings are essentialists -- that our beliefs about the history of an object change how we experience it, not simply as an illusion, but as a deep feature of what pleasure (and pain) is.
  • Barry Schwartz: The Paradox of Choice
    • Psychologist Barry Schwartz takes aim at a central tenet of western societies: freedom of choice. In Schwartz's estimation, choice has made us not freer but more paralyzed, not happier but more dissatisfied.
  • Steve Keil: A manifesto for play, for Bulgaria and beyond
    • Steve Keil fights the "serious meme" that has infected his home of Bulgaria -- and calls for a return to play to revitalize the economy, education and society. A sparkling talk with a universal message for people everywhere who are reinventing their workplaces, schools, lives.
  • Daniel Kraft: Medicine's future?
    • At TEDxMaastricht, Daniel Kraft offers a fast-paced look at the next few years of innovations in medicine, powered by new tools, tests and apps that bring diagnostic information right to the patient's bedside.
  • Guy Kawasaki: Enchantment Marketing
    • Marketing these days is strategic and holistic and involves a whole lot of genuine social media engagement. Renowned venture capitalist Kawasaki is famous for helping to create Apple product evangelism and for his legendary marketing methods. He explains how to develop the highest level of relations with customers, employees and colleagues by affecting their hearts, minds and actions.
  • Matt Ridley: Deep Optimism
    • Via trade and other cultural activities, "ideas have sex," and that drives human history in the direction of inconstant but accumulative improvement over time. The criers of havoc keep being proved wrong. A fundamental optimism about human affairs is deeply rational and can be reliably conjured with.
  • Jane McGonigal: How Games Can Make a Better World
    • Can problems like poverty and climate change by fixed through games? Visionary game designer Jane McGonigal thinks it can. With more than 174 million gamers in the United States, McGonigal explores how we can save the world through the power of gaming. McGonigal is helping pioneer the fasting-growing genre of games that turns gameplay to achieve socially positive outcomes.
  • Donald Ingber: Serendipitous science
    • Explains how taking an undergraduate sculpture course while learning how to culture cells led to an unexpected breakthrough in understanding cellular construction. He believes an open mind for serendipity correlates to innovations in a diverse range of fields — from the “lung-on-a-chip” to “DNA origami.”
  • Angela Belcher: Using nature to grow batteries
    • Inspired by an abalone shell, Angela Belcher programs viruses to make elegant nanoscale structures that humans can use. Selecting for high-performing genes through directed evolution, she's produced viruses that can construct powerful new batteries, clean hydrogen fuels and record-breaking solar cells. At TEDxCaltech, she shows us how it's done.
  • David Christian: Big history
    • 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.
  • Open-sourcing the blueprints of civilization: Marcin Jakubowski
    • Using wikis and digital fabrication tools, TED Fellow Marcin Jakubowski is open-sourcing the blueprints for 50 farm machines, allowing anyone to build their own tractor or harvester from scratch. And that’s only the first step in a project to write an instruction set for an entire self-sustaining village (starting cost: $10,000).
  • Susan Lim: Transplant cells, not organs
    • Pioneering surgeon Susan Lim performed the first liver transplant in Asia. But a moral concern with transplants (where do donor livers come from ...) led her to look further, and to ask: Could we be transplanting cells, not whole organs? At the INK Conference, she talks through her new research, discovering healing cells in some surprising places.
  • - Rory Sutherland: Life lessons from an ad man
    • Advertising adds value to a product by changing our perception, rather than the product itself. Rory Sutherland makes the daring assertion that a change in perceived value can be just as satisfying as what we consider “real” value -- and his conclusion has interesting consequences for how we look at life.
  • L2 Innovation Workshop: Generating a Disruptive Idea
    • The rate of change and innovation in digital is staggering. Brands that take an iterative approach to innovation are quickly falling behind and risk destroying significant shareholder value. Exemplar brands are building systems, processes, and cultures that support experimentation and innovation in digital as part of the way in which they conduct business.
  • Pamela Ronald and Raoul Adamchak: The Food of the Future
    • Pamela Ronald and Raoul Adamchak present "Organically Grown and Genetically Engineered: The Food of the Future" as part of The Long Now Foundation's Seminars About Long-term Thinking. They explore how genetic engineering can work with organic growing practices to produce food in a more sustainable way than either of them could alone.
  • NOVA scienceNOW: Where Did We Come From? | Cosmic Perspective
    • This short video can really make you think?
  • Janine Benyus - Biomimicry
    • Champion of the Earth honoree and biomimicry pioneer Janine Benyus has transformed the way we think about innovation and design. Benyus challenges us to study nature’s best ideas, then imitate its designs and processes to solve some of our greatest human challenges.
  • TEDTalks : Paul Root Wolpe: It's time to question bio-engineering - Paul Root Wolpe (2010)
    • At TEDxPeachtree, bioethicist Paul Root Wolpe describes an astonishing series of recent bio-engineering experiments, from hybrid pets to mice that grow human ears. He asks: isn't it time to set some ground rules?
  • - P. W. Singer on Wired for War: Robotics and 21st Century Conflict
    • Technology is rapidly evolving the state of modern war, notes political scientist P.W. Singer. But as our battles are increasingly fought at arm's length by unmanned drones and robotic soldiers, how will it change the way we think about conflict?
  • - Dambisa Moyo: How the West Was Lost
    • Dambisa Moyo daringly claims that the West can no longer afford to simply regard global up-and-comers as menacing gatecrashers. In a world where Western economies hover on the brink of recession while emerging economies post double-digit growth rates, Moyo calls out the economic myopia of the West and the radical solutions that it needs to adopt to salvage its global economic power.
  • TEDTalks : Eli Pariser: Beware online "filter bubbles" - Eli Pariser (2011)
    • 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.
  • Salman Khan: Let's use video to reinvent education 
    • Salman Khan talks about how and why he created the Khan Academy, a carefully structured series of educational videos offering complete curricula in math and, now, other subjects.
  • Michael Pawlyn: Using nature's genius in architecture
    • How can architects build a new world of sustainable beauty?
  • Martin Jacques: Understanding the rise of China
    • How do we in the West make sense of China and its phenomenal rise?
  • Rachel Botsman: The case for collaborative consumption
    • At TEDxSydney, Rachel Botsman says we're "wired to share" -- and shows how websites like Zipcar and Swaptree are changing the rules of human behavior.
  • Dan Nocera: Personalized Energy
    • MIT Professor Dan Nocera believes he can solve the worlds energy problems with an Olympic-sized pool of water. Nocera and his research team have identified a simple technique for powering the Earth inexpensively by using the sun to split water and store energy - making the large-scale deployment of personalized solar energy possible.
  • Bart Weetjens: How I taught rats to sniff out land mines
    • Bart Weetjens talks about his extraordinary project: training rats to sniff out land mines. He shows clips of his "hero rats" in action, and previews his work's next phase: teaching them to turn up tuberculosis in the lab.
  • Marcel Dicke: Why not eat insects?
    • Marcel Dicke makes an appetizing case for adding insects to everyone's diet. His message to squeamish chefs and foodies: delicacies like locusts and caterpillars compete with meat in flavor, nutrition and eco-friendliness.
  • Dan Phillips: Creative houses from reclaimed stuff
    • In this funny and insightful talk from TEDxHouston, builder Dan Phillips tours us through a dozen homes he's built in Texas using recycled and reclaimed materials in wildly creative ways. Brilliant, low-tech design details will refresh your own.
  • Luis von Ahn Harnesses Brainpower
    • Computer scientist Luis von Ahns programs harness the human brainpower to solve complex problems. von Ahn invented ReCaptcha, a program that uses squiggly characters that humans easily decipher but blocks spambots and helps digitize millions of old texts. The CMU professor also makes games that use human knowledge to improve computers. Find them at gwap.com.
  • Nick Bilton: Smart Content
    • Nick Bilton, Lead Technology Reporter for The New York Times Bits blog, says that digital media has resulted in a "new form of storytelling." Bilton, who is also a designer and user interface specialist, is co-founder of NYC Resistor, a hacker collective in Brooklyn, and is currently writing a book called, I Live in the Future: & Heres How It Works.
  • H. Sebastian Seung: Connectomics
    • Computational neuroscientist H. Sebastian Seung conducts pioneering research on the wiring of the brain, and what it reveals about genetics, personality, and memory. Seung suggests that complex maps of neural connective structures, or connectomes, will reveal that our experiences literally shape our brains.
  • Jay Rogers: Open Source Your Car
    • Jay Rogers is revolutionizing the automobile industry. The former U.S. Marine and co-founder of Local Motors has created the world's first crowdsourced car. Rogers believes that making car production local - and personal - holds the key to fostering a sustainable car culture that also tackles our dependence on oil.
  • Dwayne Spradlin (CEO, InnoCentive): The Power of Open Innovation
    • Dwayne Spradlin, CEO of InnoCentive, discusses the power of crowdsourcing innovation at the BRITE '10 conference. He shows how InnoCentive's global network of independent experts has solved critical innovation challenges for organizations like SAP and SunNight solar.
  • Assaf Biderman: Sentient Cities
    • Assaf Biderman is the Associate Director of the SENSEable City Laboratory, an MIT university research group that explores the real-time city by studying how distributed technologies can be used to improve our understanding of cities and create a more sustainable ways of interacting in urban environments.
  • Dan Ariely: Irrational Economics
    • MIT professor Dan Ariely believes that the starting point for making better decisions, particularly with financial matters, requires understanding the impulse to act irrationally. At PopTech 2009, Ariely discussed an excerpt from his new book, The Upside of Irrationality, about the role of emotions in the workplace.
  • Massoud Amin: A Smart Grid
    • Massoud Amin wants to make our energy infrastructure more sustainable and secure. The complex systems researcher from the University of Minnesota believes this requires networking energy into a "smart" grid that incorporates alternative energy. This will provide national as well as environmental and financial security.
  • Mike Wesch: Lessons From YouTube
    • Cultural anthropologist Mike Wesch studies YouTube and how social media is transforming how we communicate. The Kansas State University professor says social media has made us far more connected. His research on YouTube also reveals a media landscape that is fostering new forms of community and collective action.
  • Mark Roth: Suspended animation is within our grasp
    • Mark Roth studies suspended animation: the art of shutting down life processes and then starting them up again. It's wild stuff, but it's not science fiction. Induced by careful use of an otherwise toxic gas, suspended animation can potentially help trauma and heart attack victims survive long enough to be treated.
  • Michael Specter: The danger of science denial
    • Vaccine-autism claims, "Frankenfood" bans, the herbal cure craze: All point to the public's growing fear (and, often, outright denial) of science and reason, says Michael Specter. He warns the trend spells disaster for human progress.
  • Joseph Nye on global power shifts
    • Historian and diplomat Joseph Nye gives us the 30,000-foot view of the shifts in power between China and the US, and the global implications as economic, political and "soft" power shifts and moves around the globe.
  • R.A. Mashelkar: Breakthrough designs for ultra-low-cost products
    • Engineer RA Mashelkar shares three stories of ultra-low-cost design from India that use bottom-up rethinking, and some clever engineering, to bring expensive products (cars, prosthetics) into the realm of the possible for everyone.
    • This is one of the best talks I have heard about the future of gaming and how it will effect our lives. Even if you don't like games or play them, you might be surprised how they can potentially be integrated in to future products. Jesse Schell is very entertaining to watch, but the video is long (almost two hours).
  • Chris Anderson: How web video powers global innovation
    • TED's Chris Anderson says the rise of web video is driving a worldwide phenomenon he calls Crowd Accelerated Innovation -- a self-fueling cycle of learning that could be as significant as the invention of print. But to tap into its power, organizations will need to embrace radical openness.
    • I totally agree with a lot of what Bill Gates has to say in this video about text books. I think having electronic text books that can help you do self-assessments tests to make sure you understand the material is absolutely genius. Most modern ebook readers all they do is take a real world experience and digitize it.
    • The Solar Roadways project is working to pave roads with solar panels that you can drive on. Co-founder Scott Brusaw has made some major steps forward since our first visit back in 2007, so we visited him again earlier this year for an exclusive update on the project, including the first ever video recorded of the Solar Roadways prototype! For more information visit http://www.solarroadways.com . This Solar Roadway project will be featured in the upcoming feature film by YERT - Your Environmental Road Trip. To learn more about YERT, visit http://yert.com.
  • OW2.0:Plastic to Oil Fantastic
    • From the video description: "The Japanese company Blest has developed one of the smallest and safest oil-to-plastic conversion machines out on the market today. It's founder and CEO, Akinori Ito is passionate about using this machine to change the way people around the world think about their plastic trash. From solving our landfill and garbage disposal issues to reducing our oil dependency on the Middle East, his machine may one day be in every household across Japan.
    • Fora.TV Summary"Neuroscientist and fiction writer David Eagleman presents "Six Steps to Avert the Collapse of Civilization." Civilizations always think they're immortal, Eagleman says, but they nearly always perish, leaving "nothing but ruins and scattered genetics." It takes luck and new technology to survive. We may be particularly lucky to have Internet technology to help manage the six requirements of a durable civilization"
    • Margaret Gould Stewart, YouTube's head of user experience, talks about how the ubiquitous video site works with copyright holders and creators to foster (at the best of times) a creative ecosystem where everybody wins.
    • L2's Generation Next Forum dissects the characteristics, influence, and brand affinities of tomorrow's affluent consumers.
  • TedTalk: William Li: Can we eat to starve cancer?
    • From TED.com: "William Li presents a new way to think about treating cancer and other diseases: anti-angiogenesis, preventing the growth of blood vessels that feed a tumor. The crucial first (and best) step: Eating cancer-fighting foods that cut off the supply lines and beat cancer at its own game."
  • John Underkoffler points to the future of UI
    • Minority Report science adviser and inventor John Underkoffler demos g-speak -- the real-life version of the film's eye-popping, tai chi-meets-cyberspace computer interface. Is this how tomorrow's computers will be controlled?
  • Skinput: Appropriating the Body as an Input Surface
    • I have been seeing a lot of buzz recently about Skinput (watch the video if you want to understand it), but basically it sensors that listen for acoustic transmission from gestures (i.e.: tapping, snapping, etc.) you can make on your arm. From this information, you can navigate portable electronic devices (such as: smart phone/PDA, MP3 player, etc).
  • Anthony Atala: Growing New Organs
    • Anthony Atala's state-of-the-art lab grows human organs -- from muscles to blood vessels to bladders, and more. At TEDMED, he shows footage of his bio-engineers working with some of its sci-fi gizmos, including an oven-like bioreactor (preheat to 98.6 F) and a machine that "prints" human tissue.
  • Pranav Mistry: The thrilling potential of SixthSense technology
    • Pranav Mistry demos several tools that help the physical world interact with the world of data -- including a deep look at his SixthSense device and a new, paradigm-shifting paper "laptop." In an onstage Q&A, Mistry says he'll open-source the software behind SixthSense, to open its possibilities to all.
  • JK Rowling: The fringe benefits of failure
    • At her Harvard University commencement speech, "Harry Potter" author JK Rowling offers some powerful, heartening advice to dreamers and overachievers, including one hard-won lesson that she deems "worth more than any qualification I ever earned."
  • Dan Buettner: How to live to be 100+
    • To find the path to long life and health, Dan Buettner and team study the world's "Blue Zones," communities whose elders live with vim and vigor to record-setting age. At TEDxTC, he shares the 9 common diet and lifestyle habits that keep them spry past age 100.
  • Rory Sutherland: Life lessons from an ad man
    • Advertising adds value to a product by changing our perception, rather than the product itself. Rory Sutherland makes the daring assertion that a change in perceived value can be just as satisfying as what we consider “real” value — and his conclusion has interesting consequences for how we look at life.
  • The American Form of Government
    • An explanation of the various forms of government, and why America is not a democracy.
  • FASTRA - Low-Cost Supercomputer
    • This is a shorter version of a video where Dr. K. Joost Batenburg at the University of Antwerp in Belgium takes you to the ASTRA-lab where he demonstrates tomographical reconstructions on a FASTRA workstation. FASTRA is a low-cost supercomputer with standard gaming hardware. The system consists of four dual-GPU NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GX2 graphics cards, it costs less than $6,000 (or 4000 Euro) to build. Using NVIDIA's CUDA technology this machine delivers roughly the same performance as a supercomputer cluster consisting of hundreds of PCs!
  • Michio Kaku: Time Travel, Parallel Universes, and Reality
    • Fascinating interview with Michio Kaku. He is speaking about his new book "Physics of the Impossible," Dr. Kaku explains with how Physics one day may allow us to go back in time.