playlist

Talks to watch instead of shopping

Forget about Black Friday. Step away from the mall and watch these talks on consumerism ... and why it's not always the best thing.

  1. 22:55
    Zeynep Tufekci We're building a dystopia just to make people click on ads

    We're building an artificial intelligence-powered dystopia, one click at a time, says techno-sociologist Zeynep Tufekci. In an eye-opening talk, she details how the same algorithms companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon use to get you to click on ads are also used to organize your access to political and social information. And the machines aren't even the real threat. What we need to understand is how the powerful might use AI to control us — and what we can do in response.

  2. 19:05
    Scott Galloway How Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google manipulate our emotions

    The combined market capitalization of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google is now equivalent to the GDP of India. How did these four companies come to infiltrate our lives so completely? In a spectacular rant, Scott Galloway shares insights and eye-opening stats about their dominance and motivation — and what happens when a society prizes shareholder value over everything else. Followed by a Q&A with TED Curator Chris Anderson. (Note: This talk contains graphic language.)

  3. 10:58
    Michael Norton How to buy happiness

    At TEDxCambridge, Michael Norton shares fascinating research on how money can indeed buy happiness — when you don't spend it on yourself. Listen for surprising data on the many ways pro-social spending can benefit you, your work, and (of course) other people.

  4. 16:34
    John Gerzema The post-crisis consumer

    John Gerzema says there's an upside to the recent financial crisis — the opportunity for positive change. In this talk, he identifies four major cultural shifts driving new consumer behavior and shows how businesses are evolving to connect with thoughtful spending.

  5. 5:49
    Graham Hill Less stuff, more happiness

    Writer and designer Graham Hill asks: Can having less stuff, in less room, lead to more happiness? He makes the case for taking up less space, and lays out three rules for editing your life.

  6. 5:24
    Jessi Arrington Wearing nothing new

    Designer Jessi Arrington packed nothing for TEDActive but 7 pairs of undies, buying the rest of her clothes in thrift stores around LA. It's a meditation on conscious consumption — wrapped in a rainbow of color and creativity.

  7. 12:06
    Mick Mountz What happens inside those massive warehouses?

    We make millions of online purchases daily, but who (or what) actually puts our items into packages? In this talk, Mick Mountz weaves a fascinating, surprisingly robot-filled tale of what happens inside a warehouse.

  8. 19:28
    Morgan Spurlock The greatest TED Talk ever sold

    With humor and persistence, filmmaker Morgan Spurlock dives into the hidden but influential world of brand marketing, on his quest to make a completely sponsored film about sponsorship. (And yes, onstage naming rights for this talk were sponsored too. By whom and for how much? He'll tell you.)

  9. 11:23
    Rose George Inside the secret shipping industry

    Almost everything we own and use, at some point, travels to us by container ship, through a vast network of ocean routes and ports that most of us know almost nothing about. Journalist Rose George tours us through the world of shipping, the underpinning of consumer civilization.

  10. 11:51
    Josh Luber Why sneakers are a great investment

    Josh Luber is a "sneakerhead," a collector of rare or limited sneakers. With their insatiable appetite for exclusive sneakers, these tastemakers drive marketing and create hype for the brands they love, specifically Nike, which absolutely dominates the multi-billion dollar secondary market for sneakers. Luber's company, Campless, collects data about this market and analyzes it for collectors and investors. In this talk, he takes us on a journey into this complicated, unregulated market and imagines how it could be a model for a stock market for commerce.

  11. 14:25
    Leslie T. Chang 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.

  12. 14:19
    Joseph Pine What consumers want

    Customers want to feel what they buy is authentic, but "Mass Customization" author Joseph Pine says selling authenticity is tough because, well, there's no such thing. He talks about a few experiences that may be artificial but make millions anyway.