Oliver Jeffers An ode to living on Earth
If you had to explain to a newborn what it means to be a human being living on Earth in the 21st century, what would you say? Visual artist Oliver Jeffers put his answer in a letter to his son, sharing pearls of wisdom on existence and the diversity of life. He offers observations of the "beautiful, fragile drama of human civilization" in this poetic talk paired with his original illustrations and animations.
Poet Ali The language of being human
You speak far more languages than you realize, says Poet Ali. In a profound talk, he reveals how the idea of "language" goes far beyond a lexicon of words, communicating universal experiences like love, laughter and loneliness — and serving as a portal to cultures, feelings and thoughts that unite us all.
Jad Abumrad How Dolly Parton led me to an epiphany
How do you end a story? Host of "Radiolab" Jad Abumrad tells how his search for an answer led him home to the mountains of Tennessee, where he met an unexpected teacher: Dolly Parton.
Lidia Yuknavitch The beauty of being a misfit
To those who feel like they don't belong: there is beauty in being a misfit. Author Lidia Yuknavitch shares her own wayward journey in an intimate recollection of patchwork stories about loss, shame and the slow process of self-acceptance. "Even at the moment of your failure, you are beautiful," she says. "You don't know it yet, but you have the ability to reinvent yourself endlessly. That's your beauty."
Lera Boroditsky How language shapes the way we think
There are about 7,000 languages spoken around the world — and they all have different sounds, vocabularies and structures. But do they shape the way we think? Cognitive scientist Lera Boroditsky shares examples of language — from an Aboriginal community in Australia that uses cardinal directions instead of left and right to the multiple words for blue in Russian — that suggest the answer is a resounding yes. "The beauty of linguistic diversity is that it reveals to us just how ingenious and how flexible the human mind is," Boroditsky says. "Human minds have invented not one cognitive universe, but 7,000."
Jonny Sun You are not alone in your loneliness
Being open and vulnerable with your loneliness, sadness and fear can help you find comfort and feel less alone, says writer and artist Jonny Sun. In an honest talk filled with his signature illustrations, Sun shares how telling stories about feeling like an outsider helped him tap into an unexpected community and find a tiny sliver of light in the darkness.
Emily Levine How I made friends with reality
With her signature wit and wisdom, Emily Levine meets her ultimate challenge as a comedian/philosopher: she makes dying funny. In this personal talk, she takes us on her journey to make friends with reality — and peace with death. Life is an enormous gift, Levine says: "You enrich it as best you can, and then you give it back."
Casey Gerald Embrace your raw, strange magic
The way we're taught to live has got to change, says author Casey Gerald. Too often, we hide parts of ourselves in order to fit in, win praise, be accepted. But at what cost? In this inspiring talk, Gerald shares the personal sacrifices he made to attain success in the upper echelons of American society — and shows why it's time for us to have the courage to live in the raw, strange magic of ourselves.
Debbie Millman Love letters to what we hold dear
In a series of visual, animated love letters, designer Debbie Millman reflects on the things she's grateful for by exploring the wonders of her garden, New York City, travel and storytelling. "As we navigate through this crisis, I'm hopeful we will find some solace together," she says.
Charlie Jane Anders Go ahead, dream about the future
"You don't predict the future — you imagine the future," says sci-fi writer Charlie Jane Anders. In a talk that's part dream, part research-based extrapolation, she takes us on a wild, speculative tour of the delights and challenges the future may hold — and shows how dreaming up weird, futuristic possibilities empowers us to construct a better tomorrow.