Since the counterculture '60s, Stewart Brand has been creating our internet-worked world. Now, with biotech accelerating four times faster than digital technology, Stewart Brand has a bold new plan ...

Why you should listen

With biotech accelerating four times faster than digital technology, the revival of extinct species is becoming possible. Stewart Brand plans to not only bring species back but restore them to the wild.

Brand is already a legend in the tech industry for things he’s created: the Whole Earth Catalog, The WELL, the Global Business Network, the Long Now Foundation, and the notion that “information wants to be free.” Now Brand, a lifelong environmentalist, wants to re-create -- or “de-extinct” -- a few animals that’ve disappeared from the planet.

Granted, resurrecting the woolly mammoth using ancient DNA may sound like mad science. But Brand’s Revive and Restore project has an entirely rational goal: to learn what causes extinctions so we can protect currently endangered species, preserve genetic and biological diversity, repair depleted ecosystems, and essentially “undo harm that humans have caused in the past.”

His newest book is Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto.

What others say

“Brand has always been much more of an iconoclast than an icon.” — Stanford Social Innovation Review, Winter 2010

Stewart Brand on the TED Blog
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Live from TED2014

Progress for “the blue heart of the planet” and a plan to de-extinct a kayak: A recap of “Planet Dearth,” All-Stars Session 1 at TED2014

March 18, 2014

By Liz Jacobs and Kate Torgovnick Are we on the brink of a resource crisis? All signs point to yes. As the human population grows, the planet is buckling under the pressure of our needs. In this inaugural All-Stars session, 11 classic TED speakers return to the stage to share their deep concern for preserving […]

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Science

What I learned at TEDxDeExtinction

March 20, 2013

How amazing would it be to see a wooly mammoth, raised from the dead, walking the permafrost of the North again? Or to look up at the sky and see a flock of passenger pigeons fly by? Or to witness a gastric-brooding frog hiccup tadpoles out the mouth from an embryo located in its stomach? […]

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Quotes from Stewart Brand

As you gain elevation [on the mountain] your IQ goes down — but your emotional affect goes up, which is great for having a mythic experience, whether you want to or not.
Stewart Brand
TED2004 • 195K views Nov 2008
Inspiring, Fascinating
It would be helpful if humanity got into the habit of thinking of the now not just as next week or next quarter, but the next 10,000 years and the last 10,000 years — basically civilization’s story so far.
Stewart Brand
TED2004 • 195K views Nov 2008
Inspiring, Fascinating
There should always be in sight the draw — a kind of a beacon that draws you on through the labyrinth.
Stewart Brand
TED2004 • 195K views Nov 2008
Inspiring, Fascinating