Feeling like the world is becoming less friendly? Social theorist Jonathan Zittrain begs to differ. The Internet, he suggests, is made up of millions of disinterested acts of kindness, curiosity and trust.
In this funny (and actually poignant) 3-minute talk, social strategist Renny Gleeson breaks down our always-on social world -- where the experience we're having right now is less interesting than what we'll tweet about it later.
70% of African households own cellphones but less than 35% have access to credit. Mining non-traditional forms of credit via available technologies, Eric Mibuari asks if this "mobile continent" can use cellphones to access what they need most: loans.
We know the negative images of Africa -- famine and disease, conflict and corruption. But, says Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, there's another, less-told story happening in many African nations: one of reform, economic growth and business opportunity.
How does psychological trauma affect children's developing brains? In this powerful talk, social worker Luis H. Zayas discusses his work with refugees and asylum-seeking families at the US-Mexico border. What emerges is a stunning analysis of the long-term impact of the US's controversial detention and child separation policies -- and practical ...
After re-purposing CAPTCHA so each human-typed response helps digitize books, Luis von Ahn wondered how else to use small contributions by many on the Internet for greater good. In this talk, he shares how his ambitious new project, Duolingo, will help millions learn a new language while translating the web quickly and accurately -- all for free.
Katherine Lucas is an extrovert — but to her surprise, her cheerful smiles and warm approach gave others the impression that she was less intelligent and lacked leadership skills. Lucas identifies different types of extroverts and argues that the workplace needs them all.
IDEO's David Kelley says that product design has become much less about the hardware and more about the user experience. He shows video of this new, broader approach, including footage from the Prada store in New York.
How do doctors in the emergency room stay calm and focused amidst the chaos? Drawing on years of experience, ER doctor Darria Long shares a straightforward framework to help you take back control and feel less overwhelmed when life starts to get "crazy busy."
What's it like to be pals with a genius? Physicist Leonard Susskind spins a few stories about his friendship with the legendary Richard Feynman, discussing his unconventional approach to problems both serious and ... less so.
We all know we should spend less and save more, yet many of us struggle to do it and blame ourselves. Turns out, our environment is what we really need to change, and behavioral scientist Wendy De La Rosa explains why.
In this funny and inspiring talk, Dan Phillips tours us through a dozen homes he's built in Texas using recycled and reclaimed materials in wildly creative ways. Brilliant, low-tech design details will refresh your own drive to make more with less.
What does the future look like from the eyes of the most prolific female inventor in IBM's history? Think: 3D printers building last-minute umbrellas at the office and toilet paper that automatically reorders itself when the last roll sits empty. Lisa Seacrat DeLuca envisions a radically reinvented world that surprisingly doesn't appear too diff...
In 1972, Thomas Sankara was swept into the revolution seeking to wrest control of Madagascar from France's lingering colonial rule. The protests inspired the West African native to read works by socialist leaders and seek wisdom from military strategy. Leaving Madagascar in 1973, he was determined to free his country from its colonial legacy. Li...
Can you look at someone's face and know what they're feeling? Does everyone experience happiness, sadness and anxiety the same way? What are emotions anyway? For the past 25 years, psychology professor Lisa Feldman Barrett has mapped facial expressions, scanned brains and analyzed hundreds of physiology studies to understand what emotions really...
How comfortable are you with robots taking over your life? Covering a wide range of potential applications -- from the mundane (robot house cleaner) to the mischievous (robot sex partner) to the downright macabre (uploading your brain to live on after death) -- technology strategist Lucy Farey-Jones shares data-backed evidence of how our willing...
Is our obsession with efficiency actually making us less efficient? In this revelatory talk, writer and historian Edward Tenner discusses the promises and dangers of our drive to get things done as quickly as possible -- and suggests seven ways we can use "inspired inefficiency" to be more productive.
Biologist Lauren Esposito argues for the healing potential of deadly scorpion stings. In this fascinating and visual talk, she breaks down the curative properties of scorpion neurotoxin and explains why these much maligned arachnids should be seen as nothing less than evolutionary marvels.
As we expect more from technology, do we expect less from each other? Sherry Turkle studies how our devices and online personas are redefining human connection and communication -- and asks us to think deeply about the new kinds of connection we want to have.
For a genuine conversation, consider talking to a robot; the less humanized, the better. Consumer researcher Anne Scherer shares her findings on why some machines get us to open up better than actual people, revealing fascinating insights about human nature that could lead to more honest interactions in our day-to-day lives.
What if doctors could monitor patients at home with the same degree of accuracy they'd get during a stay at the hospital? Bioelectronics innovator Todd Coleman shares his quest to develop wearable, flexible electronic health monitoring patches that promise to revolutionize healthcare and make medicine less invasive.
Why do teenagers seem so much more impulsive, so much less self-aware than grown-ups? Cognitive neuroscientist Sarah-Jayne Blakemore compares the prefrontal cortex in adolescents to that of adults, to show us how typically "teenage" behavior is caused by the growing and developing brain.
In business today, the need for innovation and rapid decision-making trumps yesterday's drive for efficiency. How does this influence what it means to be an effective leader? Charlene Li explains that it's less about control and more about empowerment: enabling employees to acquire the information they need, so they can make their own decisions.
Comedian Aparna Nancherla loves to take out the trash. In this funny and sharp meditation on garbage -- "the stuff that our modern, consumerist, carbon-powered culture makes us buy endlessly, and often for no reason" -- she shares thoughts on how to use less in a world that's choking on ever-larger piles of waste.
Luke Sital-Singh sings songs of love, longing and grief in this stirring performance of "Afterneath" and "Killing Me." "These are the songs I just never tire of hearing and I never tire of writing, because they make me feel less alone," Sital-Singh says.