Jill Farrant How we can make crops survive without water
As the world's population grows and the effects of climate change come into sharper relief, we'll have to feed more people using less arable land. Molecular biologist Jill Farrant studies a rare phenomenon that may help: "resurrection plants" — super-resilient plants that seemingly come back from the dead. Could they hold promise for growing food in our coming hotter, drier world?
Dan Phillips Creative houses from reclaimed stuff
In this funny and inspiring talk, Dan Phillips tours us through a dozen homes he's built in Texas using recycled and reclaimed materials in wildly creative ways. Brilliant, low-tech design details will refresh your own drive to make more with less.
Marcel Dicke Why not eat insects?
Marcel Dicke makes an appetizing case for adding insects to everyone's diet. His message to squeamish chefs and foodies: delicacies like locusts and caterpillars compete with meat in flavor, nutrition and eco-friendliness.
Marcin Jakubowski Open-sourced blueprints for civilization
Using wikis and digital fabrication tools, TED Fellow Marcin Jakubowski is open-sourcing the blueprints for 50 farm machines, allowing anyone to build their own tractor or harvester from scratch. And that's only the first step in a project to write an instruction set for an entire self-sustaining village (starting cost: $10,000).
Cary Fowler One seed at a time, protecting the future of food
The wheat, corn and rice we grow today may not thrive in a future threatened by climate change. Cary Fowler takes us inside the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, a vast treasury buried within a frozen mountain in Norway, that stores a diverse group of food-crop seeds ... for whatever tomorrow may bring.
Michael Pritchard How to make filthy water drinkable
Too much of the world lacks access to clean drinking water. Engineer Michael Pritchard did something about it — inventing the portable Lifesaver filter, which can make the most revolting water drinkable in seconds. An amazing demo from TEDGlobal 2009.
Aris Venetikidis Making sense of maps
Aris Venetikidis is fascinated by the maps we draw in our minds as we move around a city — less like street maps, more like schematics or wiring diagrams, abstract images of relationships between places. How can we learn from these mental maps to make better real ones? As a test case, he remakes the notorious Dublin bus map.
Arvind Gupta Turning trash into toys for learning
At the INK Conference, Arvind Gupta shares simple yet stunning plans for turning trash into seriously entertaining, well-designed toys that kids can build themselves — while learning basic principles of science and design.
Guy Winch Why we all need to practice emotional first aid
We'll go to the doctor when we feel flu-ish or a nagging pain. So why don't we see a health professional when we feel emotional pain: guilt, loss, loneliness? Too many of us deal with common psychological-health issues on our own, says Guy Winch. But we don't have to. He makes a compelling case to practice emotional hygiene — taking care of our emotions, our minds, with the same diligence we take care of our bodies.
Stephen Petranek 10 ways the world could end
How might the human race end? Stephen Petranek lays out 10 terrible options and the science behind them. Will we be wiped out by an asteroid? Eco-collapse? How about a particle collider gone wild?