What if we could build a global waste disposal service for carbon? In this forward-thinking talk, carbon capture advisor Bas Sudmeijer proposes building CO2 networks: partnerships between cities around the world that would share the cost and geological resources needed to trap emissions deep in the earth -- and give us a shot at stalling climate...
In the early 20th century, the US had expanded from coast to coast, but many cities in the southwest still lacked reliable water sources. The Colorado River's erratic flow and frequent floods made it unreliable for agriculture, and the region's growing cities needed more energy. So the government decided to build a massive hydroelectric dam. Ale...
In James Howard Kunstler's view, public spaces should be inspired centers of civic life and the physical manifestation of the common good. Instead, he argues, what we have in America is a nation of places not worth caring about.
"The good news is it's now clearly cheaper to save the planet than to ruin it," says engineer and investor John Doerr. "The bad news is: we are fast running out of time." In this conversation with climate policy expert Hal Harvey, the two sustainability leaders discuss why humanity has to act globally, at speed and at scale, to meet the staggeri...
Singer Rhiannon Giddens joins international music collective Silk Road Ensemble to perform "St. James Infirmary Blues," spiking the American folk song that Louis Armstrong popularized in the 1920s with Romani influence and mischievous energy.
Danish architect Bjarke Ingels rockets through photo/video-mingled stories of his eco-flashy designs. His buildings not only look like nature -- they act like nature: blocking the wind, collecting solar energy -- and creating stunning views.
Nobel Peace laureate Jody Williams brings tough love to the dream of world peace, with her razor-sharp take on what "peace" really means, and a set of profound stories that zero in on the creative struggle -- and sacrifice -- of those who work for it.
Bjørn Otto Sverdrup leads the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI), which gathers the CEOs of twelve of the world's largest oil and gas companies around an ambitious goal: to get one of the sectors contributing most to climate change to drastically lower their own carbon emissions. He describes a possible path for the industry to pivot to net-z...
Qudus Onikeku and The QTribe summon a downpour with a poetic, powerful dance performance. Set to a composition of singing, drums and strings, the dancers radiate energy -- moving in circles, in shapes and in unison as they consume the TED stage.
With grace and energy, musicians (and siblings) Sheku Kanneh-Mason and Isata Kanneh-Mason perform a dazzling arrangement of "The Muse" by Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninov for cello and piano, followed by "Spring Song" by British composer Frank Bridge.
How can architects build a new world of sustainable beauty? By learning from nature. Michael Pawlyn describes three habits of nature that could transform architecture and society: radical resource efficiency, closed loops, and drawing energy from the sun.
The single most important thing for avoiding a climate disaster is cutting carbon pollution from the current 51 billion tons per year to zero, says philanthropist and technologist Bill Gates. Introducing the concept of the "green premium" -- the higher price of zero-emission products like electric cars, artificial meat or sustainable aviation fu...
"Can we create new life out of our digital universe?" Craig Venter asks. His answer is "yes" -- and pretty soon. He walks through his latest research and promises that we'll soon be able to build and boot up a synthetic chromosome. NOTE: This talk was given in 2008, and this field of science has developed quickly since then. Read "Criticisms &am...
"I don't think we're going to make it," John Doerr says in an emotional talk about climate change and investment. To create a world fit for his daughter to live in, he says, we need to invest now in clean, green energy.
Diseases of the body garner sympathy, says comedian Ruby Wax -- except those of the brain. Why is that? With dazzling energy and humor, Wax, diagnosed a decade ago with clinical depression, urges us to put an end to the stigma of mental illness.
In a short, funny, data-packed talk at TED U, Catherine Mohr walks through all the geeky decisions she made when building a green new house -- looking at real energy numbers, not hype. What choices matter most? Not the ones you think.
Kevin Surace suggests we rethink basic construction materials -- such as the familiar wallboard -- to reduce the huge carbon footprint generated by the manufacturing and construction of our buildings. He introduces EcoRock, a clean, recyclable and energy-efficient drywall created by his team at Serious Materials.
The brain uses a quarter of the body's entire energy supply, yet only accounts for about two percent of the body's mass. So how does this unique organ receive and, perhaps more importantly, rid itself of vital nutrients? New research suggests it has to do with sleep.
For the dawn of a new decade, adventurer Bertrand Piccard offers us a challenge: Find motivation in what seems impossible. He shares his own plans to do what many say can't be done -- to fly around the world, day and night, in a solar-powered aircraft.
Tribology: it's a funny-sounding word you might not have heard before, but it could change how you see and interact with the physical world, says mechanical engineer Jennifer Vail. Offering lessons from tribology -- the study of friction and wear -- Vail describes the surprisingly varied ways it impacts everyday life and how it could help us mak...
If you've been in a restaurant kitchen, you've seen how much food, water and energy can be wasted there. Chef Arthur Potts-Dawson shares his very personal vision for drastically reducing restaurant, and supermarket, waste -- creating recycling, composting, sustainable engines for good (and good food).
Inventor Saul Griffith looks for elegant ways to make real things, from low-cost eyeglasses to a kite that tows boats. His latest projects include open-source inventions and elegant new ways to generate power.
Modern buildings with floor-to-ceiling windows give spectacular views, but they require a lot of energy to cool. Doris Kim Sung works with thermo-bimetals, smart materials that act more like human skin, dynamically and responsively, and can shade a room from sun and self-ventilate.
Too much screen time, too many video calls and too few boundaries make working from home hard for all of us. Podcast host and writer Morra Aarons-Mele shares honest advice on what you can learn from the introverts in your life about protecting your energy and your limits.
Maya Penn started her first company when she was 8 years old, and thinks deeply about how to be responsible both to her customers and to the planet. She shares her story -- and some animations, and some designs, and some infectious energy -- in this charming talk.