TED Conversations

Morton Bast

editorial coordinator, TED


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What's your million-dollar idea to change the world?

Every year, the TED Prize is given to one innovative thinker who has what it takes to make a difference -- by putting one million dollars into action in order to fulfill a world-changing vision.

Since nominations are open for the 2014 TED Prize, we wanted to put our heads together with you, the TED community, and brainstorm even further: How would you choose to make an impact with one million dollars? What would you like to see as next year's TED Prize wish to inspire the world?

This is a space for you to get your mental gears turning. If you would like to officially nominate a mentor, colleague, friend -- or even yourself -- head to www.tedprize.org by Sunday, June 16.


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    May 27 2013: This may be a stupid or a simple idea, but I think that nothing is more important than people's lives. By making an invention that could save thousands of lives, or by simply giving it to poor people or charity, I think that it can save many people's lives and lead to changes in our world.
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      May 27 2013: As I said earlier.................pretty much all of the planets problems are due to too many people, not too few!

      And you want to interfere with the 'natural contrition' of the current already extended life cycles further ?

      Suggest you go ponder the problems that has already created for the 1st world health systems.
      • May 27 2013: Well said Blade Runner. I can't think of a problem facing the natural world today that hasn't been brought on by human overpopulation. Sir Ken Robinson in his brilliant (and most viewed TED Talk) "Schools kill creativity" quotes Jonas Salk's famous "if all insects on Earth disappeared, within 50 years all life on Earth would end. If all human beings disappeared from the Earth, within 50 years all forms of life would flourish.” And yet many governments still give benefits and tax breaks to large families when exactly the opposite should prevail.
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          May 27 2013: Hi Malcolm......only been on this forum a short span and have noticed IMHO that the bulk of the participants herein live in John Lennon's 'Imagine land'.

          Suggest longevity is overrated.........what is the point or quality of life in reaching 100 if you have spent the last 20 years in a wheel chair or intensive care nursing home?

          Now if they get round to cloning bodies with the ability to do brain data transference then I'll order me one.

          However that would only exasperate the problem of over population.


        • Bob S

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          May 28 2013: Malcolm, are you sure it's not the excessive consumption of non-renewable resources that is the problem rather than the overall number of people? I do agree that it is not possible for each of the 7 billion people on the planet to consume as much as an average American or European does without the planet going up in smoke though. Something will have to give. Either we need to reduce the number of people, or we need to consume less, or a little bit of both.

          I would start with the reduction in consumption because population reduction could get nasty (as in do we need fewer white people or brown people, Christians or Muslims, etc.)
      • May 29 2013: This is becoming an embedded conversation but I'm also new to the thread so forgive me if I reply to Bob S and Blade Runner at the same time!

        Yup longevity is very much over-rated if we are simply going to be old and creaking for longer! Quantity is no substitue for quality - I'd rather hit the check-out sooner... And Bob S I don't advocate population reduction in the sense of culling the ones we don't want! I do suggest as social animals however that we agree to limit family size and not persist in rewarding those who don't with tax breaks for big families. We are I believe, becoming much smarter in reducing consumption. You'll be hard-pressed to ask societies in emerging economies not to want a fridge, stove, car, television when they are part of the reward for their labour. The biggest problem of all is that the mass migration to cities is separating us for a connection with nature and leading to the false perception that we are something apart.

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