playlist

Everything you thought ... was wrong

12 counterintuitive talks to flip your thinking on everything from shoes to aid organizations to the universe.

  1. 18:54
    Dan Pallotta The way we think about charity is dead wrong

    Activist and fundraiser Dan Pallotta calls out the double standard that drives our broken relationship to charities. Too many nonprofits, he says, are rewarded for how little they spend — not for what they get done. Instead of equating frugality with morality, he asks us to start rewarding charities for their big goals and big accomplishments (even if that comes with big expenses). In this bold talk, he says: Let's change the way we think about changing the world.

  2. 22:19
    Allan Savory How to fight desertification and reverse climate change

    “Desertification is a fancy word for land that is turning to desert,” begins Allan Savory in this quietly powerful talk. And terrifyingly, it's happening to about two-thirds of the world’s grasslands, accelerating climate change and causing traditional grazing societies to descend into social chaos. Savory has devoted his life to stopping it. He now believes — and his work so far shows — that a surprising factor can protect grasslands and even reclaim degraded land that was once desert.

  3. 15:32
    Astro Teller The unexpected benefit of celebrating failure

    "Great dreams aren't just visions," says Astro Teller, "They're visions coupled to strategies for making them real." The head of X (formerly Google X), Teller takes us inside the "moonshot factory," as it's called, where his team seeks to solve the world's biggest problems through experimental projects like balloon-powered Internet and wind turbines that sail through the air. Find out X's secret to creating an organization where people feel comfortable working on big, risky projects and exploring audacious ideas.

  4. 14:28
    Kelly McGonigal How to make stress your friend

    Stress. It makes your heart pound, your breathing quicken and your forehead sweat. But while stress has been made into a public health enemy, new research suggests that stress may only be bad for you if you believe that to be the case. Psychologist Kelly McGonigal urges us to see stress as a positive, and introduces us to an unsung mechanism for stress reduction: reaching out to others.

  5. 19:37
    Barry Schwartz The paradox of choice

    Psychologist Barry Schwartz takes aim at a central tenet of Western societies: freedom of choice. In Schwartz's estimation, choice has made us not freer but more paralyzed, not happier but more dissatisfied.

  6. 19:56
    Hans Rosling Let my dataset change your mindset

    Talking at the US State Department this summer, Hans Rosling uses his fascinating data-bubble software to burst myths about the developing world. Look for new analysis on China and the post-bailout world, mixed with classic data shows.

  7. 2:59
    Terry Moore How to tie your shoes

    Terry Moore found out he'd been tying his shoes the wrong way his whole life. In the spirit of TED, he takes the stage to share a better way. (Historical note: This was the very first 3-minute audience talk given from the TED stage, in 2005.)

  8. 17:36
    Elizabeth Loftus How reliable is your memory?

    Psychologist Elizabeth Loftus studies memories. More precisely, she studies false memories, when people either remember things that didn't happen or remember them differently from the way they really were. It's more common than you might think, and Loftus shares some startling stories and statistics, and raises some important ethical questions we should all remember to consider.

  9. 15:34
    Emily Oster Flip your thinking on AIDS in Africa

    Emily Oster reexamines the stats on AIDS in Africa from an economic perspective and reaches a stunning conclusion: everything we know about the spread of HIV on the continent is wrong.

  10. 16:41
    Bjorn Lomborg Global priorities bigger than climate change

    Given $50 billion to spend, which would you solve first, AIDS or global warming? Danish political scientist Bjorn Lomborg comes up with surprising answers.

  11. 15:54
    Sean Carroll Distant time and the hint of a multiverse

    At TEDxCaltech, cosmologist Sean Carroll attacks — in an entertaining and thought-provoking tour through the nature of time and the universe — a deceptively simple question: Why does time exist at all? The potential answers point to a surprising view of the nature of the universe, and our place in it.

  12. 12:47
    Rainer Strack The surprising workforce crisis of 2030 — and how to start solving it now

    It sounds counterintuitive, but by 2030, many of the world's largest economies will have more jobs than adult citizens to do those jobs. In this data-filled — and quite charming — talk, human resources expert Rainer Strack suggests that countries ought to look across borders for mobile and willing job seekers. But to do that, they need to start by changing the culture in their businesses.