1 932 110
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.
1 791 244
Mike Rowe celebrates dirty jobs
Mike Rowe, the host of "Dirty Jobs," tells some compelling (and horrifying) real-life job stories. Listen for his insights and observations about the nature of hard work, and how it’s been unjustifiably degraded in society today.
1 078 276
Choice, happiness and spaghetti sauce
"Tipping Point" author Malcolm Gladwell gets inside the food industry's pursuit of the perfect spaghetti sauce -- and makes a larger argument about the nature of choice and happiness.
Stats that reshape your worldview
You've never seen data presented like this. With the drama and urgency of a sportscaster, statistics guru Hans Rosling debunks myths about the so-called "developing world."
Dan Ariely asks, Are we in control of our own decisions?
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.
The riddle of experience vs. memory
Using examples from vacations to colonoscopies, Nobel laureate and founder of behavioral economics Daniel Kahneman reveals how our "experiencing selves" and our "remembering selves" perceive happiness differently. This new insight has profound implications for economics, public policy -- and our own self-awareness.
Hans Rosling and the magic washing machine
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.
Who controls the world?
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 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
[ . . . ]
Beware, fellow plutocrats, the pitchforks are coming
Nick Hanauer is a rich guy, an unrepentant capitalist — and he has something to say to his fellow plutocrats: Wake up! Growing inequality is about to push our societies into conditions resembling pre-revolutionary France. Hear his argument about why a dramatic increase in minimum wage could grow the middle class, deliver economic prosperity ... and prevent a
[ . . . ]
New insights on poverty
Researcher Hans Rosling uses his cool data tools to show how countries are pulling themselves out of poverty. He demos Dollar Street, comparing households of varying income levels worldwide. Then he does something really amazing.
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.
Asia's rise -- how and when
Hans Rosling was a young guest student in India when he first realized that Asia had all the capacities to reclaim its place as the world's dominant economic force. At TEDIndia, he graphs global economic growth since 1858 and predicts the exact date that India and China will outstrip the US.
Why we need the explorers
In tough economic times, our exploratory science programs -- from space probes to the LHC -- are first to suffer budget cuts. Brian Cox explains how curiosity-driven science pays for itself, powering innovation and a profound appreciation of our existence.
Nandan Nilekani's ideas for India's future
Nandan Nilekani, the visionary co-founder of outsourcing pioneer Infosys, explains four brands of ideas that will determine whether India can continue its recent breakneck progress.
The 6 killer apps of prosperity
Over the past few centuries, Western cultures have been very good at creating general prosperity for themselves. Historian Niall Ferguson asks: Why the West, and less so the rest? He suggests half a dozen big ideas from Western culture -- call them the 6 killer apps -- that promote wealth, stability and innovation. And in this new century, he says, these apps are all
[ . . . ]
The way we think about work is broken
What makes work satisfying? Apart from a paycheck, there are intangible values that, Barry Schwartz suggests, our current way of thinking about work simply ignores. It's time to stop thinking of workers as cogs on a wheel.
Maps that show us who we are (not just where we are)
What does the world look like when you map it using data? Social geographer Danny Dorling invites us to see the world anew, with his captivating and insightful maps that show Earth as it truly is — a connected, ever-changing and fascinating place in which we all belong. You'll never look at a map the same way again.
The battle between your present and future self
Every day, we make decisions that have good or bad consequences for our future selves. (Can I skip flossing just this one time?) Daniel Goldstein makes tools that help us imagine ourselves over time, so that we make smart choices for Future Us.
The generation that's remaking China
Yang Lan, a journalist and entrepreneur who's been called "the Oprah of China," offers insight into the next generation of young Chinese citizens -- urban, connected (via microblogs) and alert to injustice.
Parag Khanna maps the future of countries
Many people think the lines on the map no longer matter, but Parag Khanna says they do. Using maps of the past and present, he explains the root causes of border conflicts worldwide and proposes simple yet cunning solutions for each.
Tim Jackson's economic reality check
As the world faces recession, climate change, inequity and more, Tim Jackson delivers a piercing challenge to established economic principles, explaining how we might stop feeding the crises and start investing in our future.
Could your language affect your ability to save money?
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. Read more about Chen’s explorations »
Arthur Benjamin's formula for changing math education
Someone always asks the math teacher, "Am I going to use calculus in real life?" And for most of us, says Arthur Benjamin, the answer is no. He offers a bold proposal on how to make math education relevant in the digital age.
The voices of China's workers
In the ongoing debate about globalization, what's been missing is the voices of workers -- the millions of people who migrate to factories in China and other emerging countries to make goods sold all over the world. Reporter Leslie T. Chang sought out women who work in one of China's booming megacities, and tells their stories.
Steven Levitt on child carseats
Steven Levitt shares data that shows car seats are no more effective than seatbelts in protecting kids from dying in cars. However, during the question and answer session, he makes one crucial caveat.
Dan Ariely on our buggy moral code
Behavioral economist Dan Ariely studies the bugs in our moral code: the hidden reasons we think it's OK to cheat or steal (sometimes). Clever studies help make his point that we're predictably irrational -- and can be influenced in ways we can't grasp.
Uber's plan to get more people into fewer cars
Uber didn't start out with grand ambitions to cut congestion and pollution. But as the company took off, co-founder Travis Kalanick wondered if there was a way to get people using Uber along the same routes to share rides, reducing costs and carbon footprint along the way. The result: uberPOOL, the company's carpooling service, which in its first eight months took 7.9
[ . . . ]
Sweat the small stuff
It may seem that big problems require big solutions, but ad man Rory Sutherland says many flashy, expensive fixes are just obscuring better, simpler answers. To illustrate, he uses behavioral economics and hilarious examples.
Our century's greatest injustice
Sheryl WuDunn's book "Half the Sky" investigates the oppression of women globally. Her stories shock. Only when women in developing countries have equal access to education and economic opportunity will we be using all our human resources.
A monkey economy as irrational as ours
Laurie Santos looks for the roots of human irrationality by watching the way our primate relatives make decisions. A clever series of experiments in "monkeynomics" shows that some of the silly choices we make, monkeys make too.
Why the world needs charter cities
How can a struggling country break out of poverty if it's trapped in a system of bad rules? Economist Paul Romer unveils a bold idea: "charter cities," city-scale administrative zones governed by a coalition of nations. (Could Guantánamo Bay become the next Hong Kong?)
The US needs paid family leave — for the sake of its future
We need women to work, and we need working women to have babies. So why is America one of the only countries in the world that offers no national paid leave to new working mothers? In this incisive talk, Jessica Shortall makes the impassioned case that the reality of new working motherhood in America is both hidden and horrible: millions of women, every year, are
[ . . . ]
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?
Neuroscience, game theory, monkeys
When two people are trying to make a deal -- whether they’re competing or cooperating -- what’s really going on inside their brains? Behavioral economist Colin Camerer shows research that reveals just how little we’re able to predict what others are thinking. And he presents an unexpected study that shows chimpanzees might just be better at it than we are. (
[ . . . ]
Social experiments to fight poverty
Alleviating poverty is more guesswork than science, and lack of data on aid's impact raises questions about how to provide it. But Clark Medal-winner Esther Duflo says it's possible to know which development efforts help and which hurt -- by testing solutions with randomized trials.
Does the world need nuclear energy?
Nuclear power: the energy crisis has even die-hard environmentalists reconsidering it. In this first-ever TED debate, Stewart Brand and Mark Z. Jacobson square off over the pros and cons. A discussion that'll make you think -- and might even change your mind.
The surprising thing I learned sailing solo around the world
What do you learn when you sail around the world on your own? When solo sailor Ellen MacArthur circled the globe – carrying everything she needed with her – she came back with new insight into the way the world works, as a place of interlocking cycles and finite resources, where the decisions we make today affect what's left for tomorrow. She proposes a bold new way
[ . . . ]
How we can predict the next financial crisis
The 2007-2008 financial crisis, you might think, was an unpredictable one-time crash. But Didier Sornette and his Financial Crisis Observatory have plotted a set of early warning signs for unstable, growing systems, tracking the moment when any bubble is about to pop. (And he's seeing it happen again, right now.)
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.
Human trafficking is all around you. This is how it works
Behind the everyday bargains we all love — the $10 manicure, the unlimited shrimp buffet — is a hidden world of forced labor to keep those prices at rock bottom. Noy Thrupkaew investigates human trafficking – which flourishes in the US and Europe, as well as developing countries – and shows us the human faces behind the exploited labor that feeds global consumers.
The death of innovation, the end of growth
The US economy has been expanding wildly for two centuries. Are we witnessing the end of growth? Economist Robert Gordon lays out 4 reasons US growth may be slowing, detailing factors like epidemic debt and growing inequality, which could move the US into a period of stasis we can't innovate our way out of. Be sure to watch the opposing viewpoint from Erik
[ . . . ]
A conservative's plea: Let's work together
Conservatives and liberals both believe that they alone are motivated by love while their opponents are motivated by hate. How can we solve problems with so much polarization? In this talk, social scientist Arthur Brooks shares ideas for what we can each do as individuals to break the gridlock. "We might just be able to take the ghastly holy war of ideology that we're
[ . . . ]
Beware conflicts of interest
In this short talk, psychologist Dan Ariely tells two personal stories that explore scientific conflict of interest: How the pursuit of knowledge and insight can be affected, consciously or not, by shortsighted personal goals. When we're thinking about the big questions, he reminds us, let's be aware of our all-too-human brains.
Government -- investor, risk-taker, innovator
Why doesn’t the government just get out of the way and let the private sector -- the “real revolutionaries” -- innovate? It’s rhetoric you hear everywhere, and Mariana Mazzucato wants to dispel it. In an energetic talk, she shows how the state -- which many see as a slow, hunkering behemoth -- is really one of our most exciting risk-takers and market-shapers.
What the Social Progress Index can reveal about your country
The term Gross Domestic Product is often talked about as if it were “handed down from god on tablets of stone.” But this concept was invented by an economist in the 1930s. We need a more effective measurement tool to match 21st century needs, says Michael Green: the Social Progress Index. With charm and wit, he shows how this tool measures societies across the three
[ . . . ]
The coming crisis in antibiotics
Antibiotic drugs save lives. But we simply use them too much — and often for non-lifesaving purposes, like treating the flu and even raising cheaper chickens. The result, says researcher Ramanan Laxminarayan, is that the drugs will stop working for everyone, as the bacteria they target grow more and more resistant. He calls on all of us (patients and doctors alike)
[ . . . ]
Misha Glenny investigates global crime networks
Journalist Misha Glenny spent several years in a courageous investigation of organized crime networks worldwide, which have grown to an estimated 15% of the global economy. From the Russian mafia, to giant drug cartels, his sources include not just intelligence and law enforcement officials but criminal insiders.
New data on the rise of women
Hanna Rosin reviews startling new data that shows women actually surpassing men in several important measures, such as college graduation rates. Do these trends, both US-centric and global, signal the "end of men"? Probably not -- but they point toward an important societal shift worth deep discussion.
Navigating our global future
As globalization and technological advances bring us hurtling towards a new integrated future, Ian Goldin warns that not all people may benefit equally. But, he says, if we can recognize this danger, we might yet realize the possibility of improved life for everyone.
America's forgotten working class
J.D. Vance grew up in a small, poor city in the Rust Belt of southern Ohio, where he had a front-row seat to many of the social ills plaguing America: a heroin epidemic, failing schools, families torn apart by divorce and sometimes violence. In a searching talk that will echo throughout the country's working-class towns, the author details what the loss of the
[ . . . ]
Yochai Benkler on the new open-source economics
Yochai Benkler explains how collaborative projects like Wikipedia and Linux represent the next stage of human organization.
How to get back to work after a career break
If you've taken a career break and are now looking to return to the workforce, would you consider taking an internship? Career reentry expert Carol Fishman Cohen thinks you should. In this talk, hear about Cohen's own experience returning to work after a career break, her work championing the success of "relaunchers" and how employers are changing how they engage with
[ . . . ]
George Ayittey on Cheetahs vs. Hippos
Ghanaian economist George Ayittey unleashes a torrent of controlled anger toward corrupt leaders in Africa -- and calls on the “Cheetah generation” to take back the continent.
Ashraf Ghani on rebuilding broken states
Ashraf Ghani's passionate and powerful 10-minute talk, emphasizing the necessity of both economic investment and design ingenuity to rebuild broken states, is followed by a conversation with TED curator Chris Anderson on the future of Afghanistan.
Imagine a European democracy without borders
Greece has been the poster child for European economic crisis, but former Prime Minister George Papandreou wonders if it's just a preview of what's to come. “Our democracies," he says, "are trapped by systems that are too big to fail, or more accurately, too big to control” -- while "politicians like me have lost the trust of their peoples." How to solve it?
[ . . . ]
Ann Cooper talks school lunches
Speaking at the 2007 EG conference, "renegade lunch lady" Ann Cooper talks about the coming revolution in the way kids eat at school -- local, sustainable, seasonal and even educational food.
Ending hunger now
Josette Sheeran, the head of the UN's World Food Program, talks about why, in a world with enough food for everyone, people still go hungry, still die of starvation, still use food as a weapon of war. Her vision: "Food is one issue that cannot be solved person by person. We have to stand together."
Does democracy stifle economic growth?
Economist Yasheng Huang compares China to India, and asks how China's authoritarian rule contributed to its astonishing economic growth -- leading to a big question: Is democracy actually holding India back? Huang's answer may surprise you.
Amory Lovins on winning the oil endgame
In this energizing talk, Amory Lovins lays out his simple plan for weaning the US off oil and revitalizing the economy.
The power of the informal economy
Robert Neuwirth spent four years among the chaotic stalls of street markets, talking to pushcart hawkers and gray marketers, to study the remarkable "System D," the world's unlicensed economic network. Responsible for some 1.8 billion jobs, it's an economy of underappreciated power and scope.
How to use experts -- and when not to
We make important decisions every day -- and we often rely on experts to help us decide. But, says economist Noreena Hertz, relying too much on experts can be limiting and even dangerous. She calls for us to start democratizing expertise -- to listen not only to "surgeons and CEOs, but also to shop staff."
The attitudes that sparked Arab Spring
Pollster Dalia Mogahed shares surprising data on Egyptian people's attitudes and hopes before the Arab Spring -- with a special focus on the role of women in sparking change.
A manifesto for play, for Bulgaria and beyond
At TEDxBG in Sofia, 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.
A third way to think about aid
The debate over foreign aid often pits those who mistrust "charity" against those who mistrust reliance on the markets. Jacqueline Novogratz proposes a middle way she calls patient capital, with promising examples of entrepreneurial innovation driving social change.
The intricate economics of terrorism
Loretta Napoleoni details her rare opportunity to talk to the secretive Italian Red Brigades -- an experience that sparked a lifelong interest in terrorism. She gives a behind-the-scenes look at its complex economics, revealing a surprising connection between money laundering and the US Patriot Act.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala on aid versus trade
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the former finance minister of Nigeria, sums up four days of intense discussion on aid versus trade on the closing day of TEDGlobal 2007, and shares a personal story explaining her own commitment to this cause.
Who would the rest of the world vote for in your country's election?
Wish you could vote in another country's election? Simon Anholt unveils the Global Vote, an online platform that lets anybody, anywhere in the world, "vote" in the election of any country on earth (with surprising results).
Poverty isn't a lack of character; it's a lack of cash
"Ideas can and do change the world," says historian Rutger Bregman, sharing his case for a provocative one: guaranteed basic income. Learn more about the idea's 500-year history and a forgotten modern experiment where it actually worked — and imagine how much energy and talent we would unleash if we got rid of poverty once and for all.
The economic case for preschool
In this well-argued talk, Timothy Bartik makes the macro-economic case for preschool education -- and explains why you should be happy to invest in it, even if you don't have kids that age (or kids at all). The economic benefits of well-educated kids, it turns out, go well beyond the altruistic. (Filmed at TEDxMiamiUniversity.)
The post-crisis consumer
John Gerzema says there's an upside to the recent financial crisis -- the opportunity for positive change. In talk talk, he identifies four major cultural shifts driving new consumer behavior and shows how businesses are evolving to connect with thoughtful spending. (Filmed at TEDxKC.)
Glimpses of a pristine ocean
Enric Sala shares glorious images -- and surprising insights and data -- from some of the most pristine areas of the ocean. He shows how we can restore more of our oceans to this healthy, balanced state, and the powerful ecological and economic benefits of doing so.
Chris Anderson of WIRED on tech's Long Tail
Chris Anderson, the editor of WIRED, explores the four key stages of any viable technology: setting the right price, gaining market share, displacing an established technology and, finally, becoming ubiquitous.
A climate solution where all sides can win
Why are we so deadlocked on climate, and what would it take to overcome the seemingly insurmountable barriers to progress? Policy entrepreneur Ted Halstead proposes a transformative solution based on the conservative principles of free markets and limited government. Learn more about how this carbon dividends plan could trigger an international domino effect towards a
[ . . . ]
How to combat modern slavery
In this moving yet pragmatic talk, Kevin Bales explains the business of modern slavery, a multibillion-dollar economy that underpins some of the worst industries on earth. He shares stats and personal stories from his on-the-ground research -- and names the price of freeing every slave on earth right now.
How the blockchain will radically transform the economy
Say hello to the decentralized economy — the blockchain is about to change everything. In this lucid explainer of the complex (and confusing) technology, Bettina Warburg describes how the blockchain will eliminate the need for centralized institutions like banks or governments to facilitate trade, evolving age-old models of commerce and finance into something far more
[ . . . ]
Understanding the rise of China
Speaking at a TED Salon in London, economist Martin Jacques asks: How do we in the West make sense of China and its phenomenal rise? The author of "When China Rules the World," he examines why the West often puzzles over the growing power of the Chinese economy, and offers three building blocks for understanding what China is and will become.
Alisa Miller shares the news about the news
Alisa Miller, head of Public Radio International, talks about why -- though we want to know more about the world than ever -- the US media is actually showing less. Eye-opening stats and graphs.
Global priorities bigger than climate change
Given $50 billion to spend, which would you solve first, AIDS or global warming? Danish political scientist Bjorn Lomborg comes up with surprising answers.
The freakonomics of McDonalds vs. drugs
Freakonomics author Steven Levitt presents new data on the finances of drug dealing. Contrary to popular myth, he says, being a street-corner crack dealer isn’t lucrative: It pays below minimum wage. And your boss can kill you.
Sheena Iyengar on the art of choosing
Sheena Iyengar studies how we make choices -- and how we feel about the choices we make. At TEDGlobal, she talks about both trivial choices (Coke v. Pepsi) and profound ones, and shares her groundbreaking research that has uncovered some surprising attitudes about our decisions.
Know your worth, and then ask for it
Your boss probably isn't paying you what you're worth — instead, they're paying you what they think you're worth. Take the time to learn how to shape their thinking. Pricing consultant Casey Brown shares helpful stories and learnings that can help you better communicate your value and get paid for your excellence.
The real harm of the global arms trade
In some parts of the world, it's easier to get an automatic rifle than a glass of clean drinking water. Is this just the way it is? Samantha Nutt, doctor and founder of the international humanitarian organization War Child, explores the global arms trade — and suggests a bold, common sense solution for ending the cycle of violence. "War is ours," she says. "We buy it,
[ . . . ]
Addicted to risk
Days before this talk, journalist Naomi Klein was on a boat in the Gulf of Mexico, looking at the catastrophic results of BP's risky pursuit of oil. Our societies have become addicted to extreme risk in finding new energy, new financial instruments and more ... and too often, we're left to clean up a mess afterward. Klein's question: What's the backup plan?
Inspiring a life of immersion
We each want to live a life of purpose, but where to start? In this luminous, wide-ranging talk, Jacqueline Novogratz introduces us to people she's met in her work in "patient capital" -- people who have immersed themselves in a cause, a community, a passion for justice. These human stories carry powerful moments of inspiration.
The next manufacturing revolution is here
Economic growth has been slowing for the past 50 years, but relief might come from an unexpected place — a new form of manufacturing that is neither what you thought it was nor where you thought it was. Industrial systems thinker Olivier Scalabre details how a fourth manufacturing revolution will produce a macroeconomic shift and boost employment, productivity and
[ . . . ]
We've stopped trusting institutions and started trusting strangers
Something profound is changing our concept of trust, says Rachel Botsman. While we used to place our trust in institutions like governments and banks, today we increasingly rely on others, often strangers, on platforms like Airbnb and Uber and through technologies like the blockchain. This new era of trust could bring with it a more transparent, inclusive and
[ . . . ]
The Happy Planet Index
Statistician Nic Marks asks why we measure a nation's success by its productivity -- instead of by the happiness and well-being of its people. He introduces the Happy Planet Index, which tracks national well-being against resource use (because a happy life doesn't have to cost the earth). Which countries rank highest in the HPI? You might be surprised.
A few ways to fix a government
Charity Wayua put her skills as a cancer researcher to use on an unlikely patient: the government of her native Kenya. She shares how she helped her government drastically improve its process for opening up new businesses, a crucial part of economic health and growth, leading to new investments and a World Bank recognition as a top reformer.
Measuring what makes life worthwhile
When the dotcom bubble burst, hotelier Chip Conley went in search of a business model based on happiness. In an old friendship with an employee and in the wisdom of a Buddhist king, he learned that success comes from what you count.
Why you should know how much your coworkers get paid
How much do you get paid? How does it compare to the people you work with? You should know, and so should they, says management researcher David Burkus. In this talk, Burkus questions our cultural assumptions around keeping salaries secret and makes a compelling case for why sharing them could benefit employees, organizations and society.
The future of money
What happens when the way we buy, sell and pay for things changes, perhaps even removing the need for banks or currency exchange bureaus? That's the radical promise of a world powered by cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. We're not there yet, but in this sparky talk, digital currency researcher Neha Narula describes the collective fiction of money — and
[ . . . ]
The troubling reason why vaccines are made too late ... if they’re made at all
It seems like we wait for a disastrous disease outbreak before we get serious about making a vaccine for it. Seth Berkley lays out the market realities and unbalanced risks behind why we aren't making vaccines for the world's biggest diseases.