playlist

Personal tales from the edge of life

Beautiful, intimate and ultimately uplifting stories of challenge — from making a new home in a strange country, to rebuilding life after unthinkable tragedy.

  1. 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.

  2. 12:15
    Hyeonseo Lee My escape from North Korea

    As a child growing up in North Korea, Hyeonseo Lee thought her country was "the best on the planet." It wasn't until the famine of the 90s that she began to wonder. She escaped the country at 14, to begin a life in hiding, as a refugee in China. Hers is a harrowing, personal tale of survival and hope — and a powerful reminder of those who face constant danger, even when the border is far behind.

  3. 14:13
    Kevin Briggs The bridge between suicide and life

    For many years Sergeant Kevin Briggs had a dark, unusual, at times strangely rewarding job: He patrolled the southern end of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, a popular site for suicide attempts. In a sobering, deeply personal talk Briggs shares stories from those he’s spoken — and listened — to standing on the edge of life. He gives a powerful piece of advice to those with loved ones who might be contemplating suicide.

  4. 13:55
    Thandie Newton Embracing otherness, embracing myself

    Actor Thandie Newton tells the story of finding her "otherness" — first, as a child growing up in two distinct cultures, and then as an actor playing with many different selves. A warm, wise talk, fresh from stage at TEDGlobal 2011.

  5. 19:02
    Alberto Cairo There are no scraps of men

    Alberto Cairo's clinics in Afghanistan used to close down during active fighting. Now, they stay open. In this powerful talk, Cairo tells the moving story of why — and how he found humanity and dignity in the midst of war.

  6. 18:19
    Jill Bolte Taylor My stroke of insight

    Jill Bolte Taylor got a research opportunity few brain scientists would wish for: She had a massive stroke, and watched as her brain functions — motion, speech, self-awareness — shut down one by one. An astonishing story.

  7. 18:30
    Joshua Prager In search of the man who broke my neck

    When Joshua Prager was 19, a devastating bus accident left him a hemiplegic. He returned to Israel twenty years later to find the driver who turned his world upside down. In this mesmerizing tale of their meeting, Prager probes deep questions of nature, nurture, self-deception and identity.

  8. 12:16
    Tan Le My immigration story

    In 2010, technologist Tan Le took the TEDGlobal stage to demo a powerful new interface. But now, at TEDxWomen, she tells a very personal story: the story of her family — mother, grandmother and sister — fleeing Vietnam and building a new life.

  9. 4:14
    JD Schramm Break the silence for suicide attempt survivors

    Even when our lives appear fine from the outside, locked within can be a world of quiet suffering, leading some to the decision to end their life. At TEDYou, JD Schramm asks us to break the silence surrounding suicide and suicide attempts, and to create much-needed resources to help people who reclaim their life after escaping death. Resources: http://t.co/wsNrY9C

  10. 22:18
    Sherwin Nuland How electroshock therapy changed me

    Surgeon and author Sherwin Nuland discusses the development of electroshock therapy as a cure for severe, life-threatening depression — including his own. It’s a moving and heartfelt talk about relief, redemption and second chances.

  11. 21:23
    Joseph Kim The family I lost in North Korea. And the family I gained.

    A refugee now living in the US, Joseph Kim tells the story of his life in North Korea during the famine years. He's begun to create a new life — but he still searches for the family he lost.

  12. 12:21
    Ed Gavagan A story about knots and surgeons

    One day, Ed Gavagan was sitting on the subway, watching two young med students practicing their knots. And a powerful memory washed over him — of one shocking moment that changed his life forever. An unforgettable story of crime, skill and gratitude.

  13. 18:48
    Gabby Giffords and Mark Kelly Be passionate. Be courageous. Be your best.

    On January 8, 2011, Congresswoman Gabby Giffords was shot in the head while meeting constituents in her home town of Tucson, Arizona. Her husband, the astronaut Mark Kelly, immediately flew to be by her side. In this emotional conversation with Pat Mitchell, the pair describe their lives both before and after the accident — and describe their views on responsible gun ownership.

  14. 25:07
    Rick Smolan The story of a girl

    Photographer Rick Smolan tells the unforgettable story of a young Amerasian girl, a fateful photograph, and an adoption saga with a twist.