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15:17
1 389 574

I grew up in the Westboro Baptist Church. Here's why I left

What's it like to grow up within a group of people who exult in demonizing ... everyone else? Megan Phelps-Roper shares details of life inside America's most controversial church and describes how conversations on Twitter were key to her decision to leave it. In this extraordinary talk, she shares her personal experience of extreme polarization, along with some sharp
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12:26
417 400

Why some of us don't have one true calling

What do you want to be when you grow up? Well, if you're not sure you want to do just one thing for the rest of your life, you're not alone. In this illuminating talk, writer and artist Emilie Wapnick describes the kind of people she calls "multipotentialites" who have a range of interests and jobs over one lifetime. Are you one?
15:52
245 359

An art made of trust, vulnerability and connection

Marina Abramović's art pushes the boundary between audience and artist in pursuit of heightened consciousness and personal change. In her groundbreaking 2010 work, "The Artist Is Present," she simply sat in a chair facing her audience, for eight hours a day ... with powerfully moving results. Her boldest work may still be yet to come it's taking the form of a
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12:58
183 463

The beauty of being a misfit

To those who feel like they don't belong: there is beauty in being a misfit. Author Lidia Yuknavitch shares her own wayward journey in an intimate recollection of patchwork stories about loss, shame and the slow process of self-acceptance. "Even at the moment of your failure, you are beautiful," she says. "You don't know it yet, but you have the ability to reinvent
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17:51
133 744

Why the only future worth building includes everyone

A single individual is enough for hope to exist, and that individual can be you, says His Holiness Pope Francis in this searing TED Talk delivered directly from Vatican City. In a hopeful message to people of all faiths, to those who have power as well as those who don't, the spiritual leader provides illuminating commentary on the world as we currently find it and
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11:27
126 805

The beauty of human skin in every color

Angélica Dass's photography challenges how we think about skin color and ethnic identity. In this personal talk, hear about the inspiration behind her portrait project, Humanæ, and her pursuit to document humanity's true colors rather than the untrue white, red, black and yellow associated with race.
15:09
120 106

How to speak up for yourself

Speaking up is hard to do, even when you know you should. Learn how to assert yourself, navigate tricky social situations and expand your personal power with sage guidance from social psychologist Adam Galinsky.
18:24
116 067

How trees talk to each other

"A forest is much more than what you see," says ecologist Suzanne Simard. Her 30 years of research in Canadian forests have led to an astounding discovery trees talk, often and over vast distances. Learn more about the harmonious yet complicated social lives of trees and prepare to see the natural world with new eyes.
13:42
102 473

3 ways to plan for the (very) long term

We increasingly make decisions based on short-term goals and gains an approach that makes the future more uncertain and less safe. How can we learn to think about and plan for a better future in the long term ... like, grandchildren-scale long term? Ari Wallach shares three tactics for thinking beyond the immediate.
10:45
80 276

Addiction is a disease. We should treat it like one

Only one in nine people in the United States gets the care and treatment they need for addiction and substance abuse. A former Director of National Drug Control Policy, Michael Botticelli is working to end this epidemic and treat people with addictions with kindness, compassion and fairness. In a personal, thoughtful talk, he encourages the millions of Americans in
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16:27
78 336

It's time to reclaim religion

At a moment when the world seems to be spinning out of control, religion might feel irrelevant or like part of the problem. But Rabbi Sharon Brous believes we can reinvent religion to meet the needs of modern life. In this impassioned talk, Brous shares four principles of a revitalized religious practice and offers faith of all kinds as a hopeful counter-narrative
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14:14
75 787

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
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12:38
71 907

A sci-fi vision of love from a 318-year-old hologram

Science fiction writer Monica Byrne imagines rich worlds populated with characters who defy our racial, social and gender stereotypes. In this performance, Byrne appears as a hologram named Pilar, transmitting a story of love and loss back to us from a near future when humans have colonized the universe. "It's always funny what you think the future is going to be like
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13:34
68 159

There's no such thing as not voting

Many people like to talk about how important voting is, how it's your civic duty and responsibility as an adult. Eric Liu agrees with all that, but he also thinks it's time to bring joy back to the ballot box. The former political speechwriter details how he and his team are fostering the culture around voting in the 2016 US presidential election and closes with a
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21:04
63 449

My daughter, my wife, our robot, and the quest for immortality

The founder of Sirius XM satellite radio, Martine Rothblatt now heads up a drug company that makes life-saving medicines for rare diseases (including one drug that saved her own daughter's life). Meanwhile she is working to preserve the consciousness of the woman she loves in a digital file ... and a companion robot. In an onstage conversation with TED's Chris
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14:42
62 167

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
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14:52
60 198

The lies we tell pregnant women

"When we tell women that sex isn't worth the risk during pregnancy, what we're telling her is that her sexual pleasure doesn't matter ... that she in fact doesn't matter," says sex researcher Sofia Jawed-Wessel. In this eye-opening talk, Jawed-Wessel mines our views about pregnancy and pleasure to lay bare the relationship between women, sex and systems of power.
16:05
50 729

An interview with the founders of Black Lives Matter

Born out of a social media post, the Black Lives Matter movement has sparked discussion about race and inequality across the world. In this spirited conversation with Mia Birdsong, the movement's three founders share what they've learned about leadership and what provides them with hope and inspiration in the face of painful realities. Their advice on how to
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07:10
40 225

Why open a school? To close a prison

Our kids are our future, and it's crucial they believe it themselves. That's why Nadia Lopez opened an academic oasis in Brownsville, Brooklyn, one of the most underserved and violent neighborhoods in New York because she believes in every child's brilliance and capabilities. In this short, energizing talk, the founding principal of Mott Hall Bridges Academy (and a
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18:10
26 506

The ethical dilemma of designer babies

Creating genetically modified people is no longer a science fiction fantasy; it's a likely future scenario. Biologist Paul Knoepfler estimates that within fifteen years, scientists could use the gene editing technology CRISPR to make certain "upgrades" to human embryos from altering physical appearances to eliminating the risk of auto-immune diseases. In this
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07:32
16 212

Am I not human? A call for criminal justice reform

For a crime he committed in his early twenties, the courts sentenced Marlon Peterson to 10 years in prison and, as he says, a lifetime of irrelevance. While behind bars, Peterson found redemption through a penpal mentorship program with students from Brooklyn. In this brave talk, he reminds us why we should invest in the humanity of those people society would like
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08:30
13 026

Why I speak up about living with epilepsy

Once homebound by epilepsy, mental health advocate Sitawa Wafula found her strength in writing about it. Now, she advocates for others who are yet to find their voices, cutting through stigma and exclusion to talk about what it's like to live with the condition.
10:51
12 914

A young poet tells the story of Darfur

Emtithal "Emi" Mahmoud writes poetry of resilience, confronting her experience of escaping the genocide in Darfur in verse. She shares two stirring original poems about refugees, family, joy and sorrow, asking, "Will you witness me?"
17:27
8 734

Why Brexit happened — and what to do next

We are embarrassingly unaware of how divided our societies are, and Brexit grew out of a deep, unexamined divide between those that fear globalization and those that embrace it, says social scientist Alexander Betts. How do we now address that fear as well as growing disillusionment with the political establishment, while refusing to give in to xenophobia and
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14:21
4 949

How to raise successful kids — without over-parenting

By loading kids with high expectations and micromanaging their lives at every turn, parents aren't actually helping. At least, that's how Julie Lythcott-Haims sees it. With passion and wry humor, the former Dean of Freshmen at Stanford makes the case for parents to stop defining their children's success via grades and test scores. Instead, she says, they should focus
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11:03
4 202

Can a computer write poetry?

If you read a poem and feel moved by it, but then find out it was actually written by a computer, would you feel differently about the experience? Would you think that the computer had expressed itself and been creative, or would you feel like you had fallen for a cheap trick? In this talk, writer Oscar Schwartz examines why we react so strongly to the idea of a
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12:18
2 218

Your words may predict your future mental health

Can the way you speak and write today predict your future mental state, even the onset of psychosis? In this fascinating talk, neuroscientist Mariano Sigman reflects on ancient Greece and the origins of introspection to investigate how our words hint at our inner lives and details a word-mapping algorithm that could predict the development of schizophrenia. "We may be
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15:53
2 080

Bring on the female superheroes!

Why is it so hard to find female superhero merchandise? In this passionate, sparkling talk, media studies scholar (and father of a Star Wars-obsessed daughter) Christopher Bell addresses the alarming lack of female superheroes in the toys and products marketed to kids and what it means for how we teach them about the world.
12:05
1 607

How to have better political conversations

Robb Willer studies the forces that unite and divide us. As a social psychologist, he researches how moral values typically a source of division can also be used to bring people together. Willer shares compelling insights on how we might bridge the ideological divide and offers some intuitive advice on ways to be more persuasive when talking politics.
04:40
1 364

A visual history of social dance in 25 moves

Why do we dance? African-American social dances started as a way for enslaved Africans to keep cultural traditions alive and retain a sense of inner freedom. They remain an affirmation of identity and independence. In this electric demonstration, packed with live performances, choreographer, educator and TED Fellow Camille A. Brown explores what happens when
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10:52
1 037

Why I keep speaking up, even when people mock my accent

Artist Safwat Saleem grew up with a stutter but as an independent animator, he decided to do his own voiceovers to give life to his characters. When YouTube commenters started mocking his Pakistani accent, it crushed him, and his voice began to leave his work. Hear how this TED Fellow reclaimed his voice and confidence in this charming, thoughtful talk.
10:41
1 005

I survived a terrorist attack. Here's what I learned

Gill Hicks's story is one of compassion and humanity, emerging from the ashes of chaos and hate. A survivor of the London terrorist bombings on July 7, 2005, she shares her story of the events of that day and the profound lessons that came as she learned how to live on.
17:54
968

The laws that sex workers really want

Everyone has an opinion about how to legislate sex work (whether to legalize it, ban it or even tax it) ... but what do workers themselves think would work best? Activist Toni Mac explains four legal models that are being used around the world and shows us the model that she believes will work best to keep sex workers safe and offer greater self-determination. "If you
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12:24
921

Enough with the fear of fat

In a society obsessed with body image and marked by a fear of fat, Kelli Jean Drinkwater engages in radical body politics through art. She confronts the public's perception of bigger bodies by bringing them into spaces that were once off limits from fashion runways to the Sydney Festival and entices all of us to look again and rethink our biases. "Unapologetic fat
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10:24
914

Don't fear superintelligent AI

New tech spawns new anxieties, says scientist and philosopher Grady Booch, but we don't need to be afraid an all-powerful, unfeeling AI. Booch allays our worst (sci-fi induced) fears about superintelligent computers by explaining how we'll teach, not program, them to share our human values. Rather than worry about an unlikely existential threat, he urges us to
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11:54
887

Why we need gender-neutral bathrooms

There are a few things that we all need: fresh air, water, food, shelter, love ... and a safe place to pee. For trans people who don't fit neatly into the gender binary, public restrooms are a major source of anxiety and the place where they are most likely to be questioned or harassed. In this poetically rhythmic talk, Ivan Coyote grapples with complex and intensely
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14:45
812

Two nameless bodies washed up on the beach. Here are their stories

When two bodies wearing identical wetsuits washed ashore in Norway and the Netherlands, journalist Anders Fjellberg and photographer Tomm Christiansen started a search to answer the question: who were these people? What they found and reported in Norway’s “Dagbladet” is that everybody has a name, everybody has a story and everybody is someone.
10:29
684

How Syria's architecture laid the foundation for brutal war

What caused the war in Syria? Oppression, drought and religious differences all played key roles, but Marwa Al-Sabouni suggests another reason: architecture. Speaking to us over the Internet from Homs, where for the last six years she has watched the war tear her city apart, Al-Sabouni suggests that Syria's architecture divided its once tolerant and multicultural
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13:38
590

There's no such thing as not voting

Many people like to talk about how important voting is, how it's your civic duty and responsibility as an adult. Eric Liu agrees with all that, but he also thinks it's time to bring joy back to the ballot box. The former political speechwriter details how he and his team are fostering the culture around voting in the 2016 US presidential election and closes with a
[ . . . ]
13:46
365

The untapped genius that could change science for the better

Jedidah Isler dreamt of becoming an astrophysicist since she was a young girl, but the odds were against her: At that time, only 18 black women in the United States had ever earned a PhD in a physics-related discipline. In this personal talk, she shares the story of how she became the first black woman to earn a PhD in astrophysics from Yale and her deep belief in
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12:46
315

To raise brave girls, encourage adventure

Gutsy girls skateboard, climb trees, clamber around, fall down, scrape their knees, get right back up and grow up to be brave women. Learn how to spark a little productive risk-taking and raise confident girls with stories and advice from firefighter, paraglider and all-around adventurer Caroline Paul.
11:57
168

Help for kids the education system ignores

Define students by what they contribute, not what they lack especially those with difficult upbringings, says educator Victor Rios. Interweaved with his personal tale of perseverance as an inner-city youth, Rios identifies three straightforward strategies to shift attitudes in education and calls for fellow educators to see "at-risk" students as "at-promise"
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08:49
124

How I'm fighting bias in algorithms

MIT grad student Joy Buolamwini was working with facial analysis software when she noticed a problem: the software didn't detect her face because the people who coded the algorithm hadn't taught it to identify a broad range of skin tones and facial structures. Now she's on a mission to fight bias in machine learning, a phenomenon she calls the "coded gaze." It's an
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17:26
53

Inside the mind of a former radical jihadist

"For a long time, I lived for death," says Manwar Ali, a former radical jihadist who participated in violent, armed campaigns in the Middle East and Asia in the 1980s. In this moving talk, he reflects on his experience with radicalization and makes a powerful, direct appeal to anyone drawn to Islamist groups that claim violence and brutality are noble and virtuous:
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09:10
08

There's no shame in taking care of your mental health

When stress got to be too much for TED Fellow Sangu Delle, he had to confront his own deep prejudice: that men shouldn't take care of their mental health. In a personal talk, Delle shares how he learned to handle anxiety in a society that's uncomfortable with emotions. As he says: "Being honest about how we feel doesn't make us weak it makes us human."