playlist

An ode to unsung heroes

These talks honor the selfless and overall wonderful human beings who help us every day.

  1. 10:48
    Carolyn Jones A tribute to nurses

    Carolyn Jones spent five years interviewing, photographing and filming nurses across America, traveling to places dealing with some of the nation's biggest public health issues. She shares personal stories of unwavering dedication in this celebration of the everyday heroes who work at the front lines of health care.

  2. 5:24
    Jarrett J. Krosoczka Why lunch ladies are heroes

    Children's book author Jarrett Krosoczka shares the origins of the Lunch Lady graphic novel series, in which undercover school heroes serve lunch...and justice! His new project, School Lunch Hero Day, reveals how cafeteria lunch staff provide more than food, and illustrates how powerful a thank you can be.

  3. 5:22
    Mundano Trash cart superheroes

    In Brazil, "catadores" collect junk and recyclables. But while they provide a vital service that benefits all, they are nearly invisible as they roam the streets. Enter graffiti artist Mundano, a TED Fellow. In a spirited talk, he describes his project "Pimp My Carroça," which has transformed these heroic workers' carts into things of beauty and infused them with a sense of humor. It's a movement that is going global.

  4. 9:30
    Scott Williams The hidden role informal caregivers play in health care

    Once a cared-for patient and now a caregiver himself, Scott Williams highlights the invaluable role of informal caregivers — those friends and relatives who, out of love, go the extra mile for patients in need. From personal care to advocacy to emotional support, unpaid caregivers form the invisible backbone of health and social systems all over the world, Williams says — and without them, these systems would crumble. "How can we make sure that their value to patients and society is recognized?" he asks.

  5. 12:01
    Chera Kowalski The critical role librarians play in the opioid crisis

    Public libraries have always been about more than just books — and their mission of community support has taken on new urgency during the current opioid epidemic. After witnessing overdoses at her library in Philadelphia, Chera Kowalski learned how to administer naloxone, a drug that reverses the effects of narcotics, and she's put it to use to save patrons' lives. In this personal talk, she shares the day-to-day reality of life on the frontline of the opioid crisis and advocates for each of us to find new ways to keep our communities safe and healthy.

  6. 7:52
    Robin Nagle What I discovered in New York City trash

    New York City residents produce 11,000 tons of garbage every day. Every day! This astonishing statistic is just one of the reasons Robin Nagle started a research project with the city's Department of Sanitation. She walked the routes, operated mechanical brooms, even drove a garbage truck herself—all so she could answer a simple-sounding but complicated question: who cleans up after us?

  7. 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.