playlist

Talks by fierce moms

Mothers have so many roles: nurturer, provider, disciplinarian, confidant, mentor, friend, protector. These incredible talks demonstrate all of the above.

  1. 18:11
    Jennifer Senior For parents, happiness is a very high bar

    The parenting section of the bookstore is overwhelming—it's "a giant, candy-colored monument to our collective panic," as writer Jennifer Senior puts it. Why is parenthood filled with so much anxiety? Because the goal of modern, middle-class parents—to raise happy children—is so elusive. In this honest talk, she offers some kinder and more achievable aims.

  2. 19:48
    Sherry Turkle Connected, but alone?

    As we expect more from technology, do we expect less from each other? Sherry Turkle studies how our devices and online personas are redefining human connection and communication — and asks us to think deeply about the new kinds of connection we want to have.

  3. 9:54
    Aicha el-Wafi + Phyllis Rodriguez The mothers who found forgiveness, friendship

    Phyllis Rodriguez and Aicha el-Wafi have a powerful friendship born of unthinkable loss. Rodriguez' son was killed in the World Trade Center attacks on September 11, 2001; el-Wafi's son Zacarias Moussaoui was convicted of a role in those attacks and is serving a life sentence. In hoping to find peace, these two moms have come to understand and respect one another.

  4. 12:29
    Michelle Obama A passionate, personal case for education

    Speaking to an audience of students, US First Lady Michelle Obama reminds each one to take their education seriously — and never take it for granted. This new, brilliant generation, she tells us, is the one that could close the gap between the world as it is and the world as it should be.

  5. 16:46
    Annie Murphy Paul What we learn before we're born

    Pop quiz: When does learning begin? Answer: Before we are born. Science writer Annie Murphy Paul talks through new research that shows how much we learn in the womb — from the lilt of our native language to our soon-to-be-favorite foods.

  6. 8:43
    Hawa Abdi + Deqo Mohamed Mother and daughter doctor-heroes

    They've been called the "saints of Somalia." Doctor Hawa Abdi and her daughter Deqo Mohamed discuss their medical clinic in Somalia, where — in the face of civil war and open oppression of women — they've built a hospital, a school and a community of peace.

  7. 18:53
    Nancy Frates Meet the mom who started the Ice Bucket Challenge

    Remember the Ice Bucket Challenge craze this summer? Meet the mom who started it all. When Nancy Frates's son Pete hurt his wrist in a baseball game, he got an unexpected diagnosis: it wasn’t a broken bone, it was ALS, and there is no cure. In this inspiring talk, Nancy tells the story of what happened next.

  8. 14:58
    Sheryl Sandberg Why we have too few women leaders

    Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg looks at why a smaller percentage of women than men reach the top of their professions — and offers 3 powerful pieces of advice to women aiming for the C-suite.

  9. 10:34
    Deborah Willis and Hank Willis Thomas A mother and son united by love and art

    An art school professor once told Deborah Willis that she, as a woman, was taking a place from a good man — but the storied photographer says she instead made a space for a good man, her son Hank Willis Thomas. In this moving talk, the mother and son artists describe how they draw from one another in their work, how their art challenges mainstream narratives about black life and black joy, and how, ultimately, everything comes down to love.

  10. 15:02
    Sharon Terry Science didn't understand my kids' rare disease until I decided to study it

    Meet Sharon Terry, a former college chaplain and stay-at-home mom who took the medical research world by storm when her two young children were diagnosed with a rare disease known as pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE). In this knockout talk, Terry explains how she and her husband became citizen scientists, working midnight shifts at the lab to find the gene behind PXE and establishing mandates that require researchers to share biological samples and work together.

  11. 13:36
    Heather Lanier "Good" and "bad" are incomplete stories we tell ourselves

    Heather Lanier's daughter Fiona has Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome, a genetic condition that results in developmental delays — but that doesn't make her tragic, angelic or any of the other stereotypes about kids like her. In this talk about the beautiful, complicated, joyful and hard journey of raising a rare girl, Lanier questions our assumptions about what makes a life "good" or "bad," challenging us to stop fixating on solutions for whatever we deem not normal, and instead to take life as it comes.