For the last 17 years, I've had the good fortune of participating in TED, both as a listener and a speaker. The talks often move me to tears. Listening to stories of passion, dedication and triumph remind me of how truly amazing humans can be. Below are some of my favorites.
It's a classic underdog tale: David, a young shepherd armed only with a sling, beats Goliath, the mighty warrior. The story has transcended its biblical origins to become a common shorthand for unlikely victory. But, asks Malcolm Gladwell, is that really what the David and Goliath story is about?
About this talk: How do magic tricks work? The same way politicians often pass controversial laws and policies: by exploiting the gaps in our awareness. Master illusionist David Kwong walks us through a few fascinating tricks and teaches us how to see through the sleights-of-hand and deceptions plaguing our everyday life. “Question what seems ob...
Singer Amanda Palmer pays tribute to the inimitable David Bowie with a cover of "Space Oddity." She's joined onstage by Jherek Bischoff, TED Fellow Usman Riaz and, no, your eyes are not deceiving you, none other than former Vice President Al Gore.
As his career grew, David Byrne went from playing CBGB to Carnegie Hall. He asks: Does the venue make the music? From outdoor drumming to Wagnerian operas to arena rock, he explores how context has pushed musical innovation.
Is your school or workplace divided between the "creatives" versus the practical people? Yet surely, David Kelley suggests, creativity is not the domain of only a chosen few. Telling stories from his legendary design career and his own life, he offers ways to build the confidence to create. (From The Design Studio session at TED2012, guest-curat...
International aid groups make the same mistakes over and over again. David Damberger analyzes his own engineering failure in India -- and calls for his friends in the development sector to publicly admit, scrutinize and learn from their missteps.
Legendary scientist David Deutsch puts theoretical physics on the back burner to discuss a more urgent matter: the survival of our species. The first step toward solving global warming, he says, is to admit that we have a problem.
New York Times columnist David Pogue takes aim at technology’s worst interface-design offenders, and provides encouraging examples of products that get it right. To funny things up, he bursts into song.
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.
The photo director for National Geographic, David Griffin knows the power of photography to connect us to our world. In a talk filled with glorious images, he talks about how we all use photos to tell our stories.
In this engaging talk from the EG'08 conference, New York Times tech columnist David Pogue rounds up some handy cell phone tools and services that can boost your productivity and lower your bills (and your blood pressure).
Folk musician and storyteller David Holt plays the banjo and shares photographs and old wisdom from the Appalachian Mountains. He also demonstrates some unusual instruments like the mouth bow -- and a surprising electric drum kit he calls "thunderwear."
With vibrant video clips captured by submarines, David Gallo takes us to some of Earth's darkest, most violent, toxic and beautiful habitats, the valleys and volcanic ridges of the oceans' depths, where life is bizarre, resilient and shockingly abundant.
Too often, says David Agus cancer treatments have a short-sighted focus on individual cells. He suggests a new, cross-disciplinary approach, using atypical drugs, computer modeling and protein analysis to diagnose and treat the whole body.
With his signature charm and searching insight, David Whyte meditates on the frontiers of the past, present and future, sharing two poems inspired by his niece's hike along El Camino de Santiago de Compostela in Spain.
Bartenders need to know your age, retailers need your PIN, but almost no one actually needs your name -- except for identity thieves. ID expert David Birch proposes a safer approach to personal identification -- a "fractured" approach -- that would almost never require your real name.
How much land mass would renewables need to power a nation like the UK? An entire country's worth. In this pragmatic talk, David MacKay tours the basic mathematics that show worrying limitations on our sustainable energy options ... and explains why we should pursue them anyway.
David Lang is a maker who taught himself to become an amateur oceanographer -- or, he taught a robot to be one for him. In a charming talk Lang, a TED Fellow, shows how he and a network of ocean lovers teamed up to build open-sourced, low-cost underwater explorers.
Here's a paradox you don't hear much about: despite a century of creating machines to do our work for us, the proportion of adults in the US with a job has consistently gone up for the past 125 years. Why hasn't human labor become redundant and our skills obsolete? In this talk about the future of work, economist David Autor addresses the questi...
Backed by stunning illustrations, David Christian narrates a complete history of the universe, from the Big Bang to the Internet, in a riveting 18 minutes. This is "Big History": an enlightening, wide-angle look at complexity, life and humanity, set against our slim share of the cosmic timeline.