playlist

The most popular talks of 2014

From overcoming adversity to the latest in tech—these are the talks you binge-watched this year.

  1. 14:13
    Maysoon Zayid I got 99 problems ... palsy is just one

    "I have cerebral palsy. I shake all the time," Maysoon Zayid announces at the beginning of this exhilarating, hilarious talk. (Really, it's hilarious.) "I'm like Shakira meets Muhammad Ali." With grace and wit, the Arab-American comedian takes us on a whistle-stop tour of her adventures as an actress, stand-up comic, philanthropist and advocate for the disabled.

  2. 7:24
    Louie Schwartzberg Hidden miracles of the natural world

    We live in a world of unseeable beauty, so subtle and delicate that it is imperceptible to the human eye. To bring this invisible world to light, filmmaker Louie Schwartzberg bends the boundaries of time and space with high-speed cameras, time lapses and microscopes. At TED2014, he shares highlights from his latest project, a 3D film titled "Mysteries of the Unseen World," which slows down, speeds up, and magnifies the astonishing wonders of nature.

  3. 9:58
    Julian Treasure How to speak so that people want to listen

    Have you ever felt like you're talking, but nobody is listening? Here's Julian Treasure to help. In this useful talk, the sound expert demonstrates the how-to's of powerful speaking — from some handy vocal exercises to tips on how to speak with empathy. A talk that might help the world sound more beautiful.

  4. 19:00
    Hugh Herr The new bionics that let us run, climb and dance

    Hugh Herr is building the next generation of bionic limbs, robotic prosthetics inspired by nature's own designs. Herr lost both legs in a climbing accident 30 years ago; now, as the head of the MIT Media Lab's Biomechatronics group, he shows his incredible technology in a talk that's both technical and deeply personal — with the help of ballroom dancer Adrianne Haslet-Davis, who lost her left leg in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, and performs again for the first time on the TED stage.

  5. 11:59
    Simon Sinek Why good leaders make you feel safe

    What makes a great leader? Management theorist Simon Sinek suggests, it’s someone who makes their employees feel secure, who draws staffers into a circle of trust. But creating trust and safety — especially in an uneven economy — means taking on big responsibility.

  6. 14:41
    Ruth Chang How to make hard choices

    Here's a talk that could literally change your life. Which career should I pursue? Should I break up — or get married?! Where should I live? Big decisions like these can be agonizingly difficult. But that's because we think about them the wrong way, says philosopher Ruth Chang. She offers a powerful new framework for shaping who we truly are.

  7. 35:02
    Edward Snowden Here's how we take back the Internet

    Appearing by telepresence robot, Edward Snowden speaks at TED2014 about surveillance and Internet freedom. The right to data privacy, he suggests, is not a partisan issue, but requires a fundamental rethink of the role of the internet in our lives — and the laws that protect it. "Your rights matter," he says, "because you never know when you're going to need them." Chris Anderson interviews, with special guest Tim Berners-Lee.

  8. 12:42
    Sandra Aamodt Why dieting doesn't usually work

    In the US, 80% of girls have been on a diet by the time they're 10 years old. In this honest, raw talk, neuroscientist Sandra Aamodt uses her personal story to frame an important lesson about how our brains manage our bodies, as she explores the science behind why dieting not only doesn't work, but is likely to do more harm than good. She suggests ideas for how to live a less diet-obsessed life, intuitively.

  9. 17:38
    Guy Hoffman Robots with "soul"

    What kind of robots does an animator / jazz musician / roboticist make? Playful, reactive, curious ones. Guy Hoffman shows demo film of his family of unusual robots — including two musical bots that like to jam with humans.

  10. 4:29
    Jamila Lyiscott 3 ways to speak English

    Jamila Lyiscott is a “tri-tongued orator;” in her powerful spoken-word essay “Broken English,” she celebrates — and challenges — the three distinct flavors of English she speaks with her friends, in the classroom and with her parents. As she explores the complicated history and present-day identity that each language represents, she unpacks what it means to be “articulate.”

  11. 9:59
    Geena Rocero Why I must come out

    When fashion model Geena Rocero first saw a photo of herself in a bikini, "I thought ... you have arrived!" As she reveals, that's because she was born with the gender assignment "boy." In this moving talk, Rocero tells the story of becoming who she always knew she was.

  12. 20:27
    Andrew Solomon How the worst moments in our lives make us who we are

    Writer Andrew Solomon has spent his career telling stories of the hardships of others. Now he turns inward, bringing us into a childhood of adversity, while also spinning tales of the courageous people he's met in the years since. In a moving, heartfelt and at times downright funny talk, Solomon gives a powerful call to action to forge meaning from our biggest struggles.

  13. 4:34
    Ze Frank Are you human?

    Have you ever wondered: Am I a human being? Ze Frank suggests a series of simple questions that will determine this. Please relax and follow the prompts. Let's begin …

  14. 10:42
    Yann Dall'Aglio Love — you're doing it wrong

    In this delightful talk, philosopher Yann Dall'Aglio explores the universal search for tenderness and connection in a world that's ever more focused on the individual. As it turns out, it's easier than you think. A wise and witty reflection on the state of love in the modern age. In French with subtitles.

  15. 9:10
    Zak Ebrahim I am the son of a terrorist. Here's how I chose peace.

    If you’re raised on dogma and hate, can you choose a different path? Zak Ebrahim was just seven years old when his father helped plan the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. His story is shocking, powerful and, ultimately, inspiring.

  16. 4:18
    Clint Smith The danger of silence

    "We spend so much time listening to the things people are saying that we rarely pay attention to the things they don't," says poet and teacher Clint Smith. A short, powerful piece from the heart, about finding the courage to speak up against ignorance and injustice.

  17. 12:01
    Yves Morieux As work gets more complex, 6 rules to simplify

    Why do people feel so miserable and disengaged at work? Because today's businesses are increasingly and dizzyingly complex — and traditional pillars of management are obsolete, says Yves Morieux. So, he says, it falls to individual employees to navigate the rabbit's warren of interdependencies. In this energetic talk, Morieux offers six rules for "smart simplicity." (Rule one: Understand what your colleagues actually do.)

  18. 9:22
    Ash Beckham We're all hiding something. Let's find the courage to open up

    In this touching talk, Ash Beckham offers a fresh approach to empathy and openness. It starts with understanding that everyone, at some point in their life, has experienced hardship. The only way out, says Beckham, is to open the door and step out of your closet.

  19. 9:19
    Roselinde Torres What it takes to be a great leader

    The world is full of leadership programs, but the best way to learn how to lead might be right under your nose. In this clear, candid talk, Roselinde Torres describes 25 years observing truly great leaders at work, and shares the three simple but crucial questions would-be company chiefs need to ask to thrive in the future.

  20. 14:53
    David Epstein Are athletes really getting faster, better, stronger?

    When you look at sporting achievements over the last decades, it seems like humans have gotten faster, better and stronger in nearly every way. Yet as David Epstein points out in this delightfully counter-intuitive talk, we might want to lay off the self-congratulation. Many factors are at play in shattering athletic records, and the development of our natural talents is just one of them.