It's a standard assumption in the West: As a society progresses, it eventually becomes a capitalist, multi-party democracy. Right? Eric X. Li, a Chinese investor and political scientist, begs to differ. In this provocative, boundary-pushing talk, he asks his audience to consider that there's more than one way to run a successful modern nation.
Marco Tempest spins a beautiful story of what magic is, how it entertains us and how it highlights our humanity -- all while working extraordinary illusions with his hands and an augmented reality machine.
"Is it okay if I totally trash your office?" It's a question Elyn Saks once asked her doctor, and it wasn't a joke. A legal scholar, in 2007 Saks came forward with her own story of schizophrenia, controlled by drugs and therapy but ever-present. In this powerful talk, she asks us to see people with mental illness clearly, honestly and compassion...
“If you really want to know a people, start by looking inside their bedrooms," says Shereen El Feki, who traveled through the Middle East for five years, talking to people about sex. While those conversations reflected rigid norms and deep repression, El Feki also discovered that sexual conservatism in the Arab world is a relatively new thing. S...
Would you kill for a pair of Air Jordans? Lemon Andersen spins a tale of someone who did, reciting a poem by Reg E. Gaines. These verses taught Lemon that poetry could be about more than self-expression, and could sound like music when given rhythm and infused with the grit of the New York streets around him.
Ten days after 9/11, a shocking attack at a Texas mini-mart shattered the lives of two men: the victim and the attacker. In this stunning talk, Anand Giridharadas, author of "The True American," tells the story of what happened next. It's a parable about the two paths an American life can take, and a powerful call for reconciliation.
With streams and rivers drying up because of over-usage, Rob Harmon talks about a clever market mechanism to bring back the water. Farmers and beer companies find their fates intertwined in the century-old tale of Prickly Pear Creek.
Define students by what they contribute, not what they lack -- especially those with difficult upbringings, says educator Victor Rios. Interweaved with his personal tale of perseverance as an inner-city youth, Rios identifies three straightforward strategies to shift attitudes in education and calls for fellow educators to see "at-risk" students...
We make millions of online purchases daily, but who (or what) actually puts our items into packages? In this talk, Mick Mountz weaves a fascinating, surprisingly robot-filled tale of what happens inside a warehouse.
The tale of a major global cultural phenomenon: Cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle describes the spectacular arrival of fast-paced 20-20 cricket as it parallels the rise of modern India. He traces the game from its sleepy English roots to the current world of celebrity owners and million-dollar player contracts.
With endearing honesty and vulnerability, Raghava KK tells the colorful tale of how art has taken his life to new places, and how life experiences in turn have driven his multiple reincarnations as an artist -- from cartoonist to painter, media darling to social outcast, and son to father.
America was built by makers -- curious, enthusiastic amateur inventors whose tinkering habit sparked whole new industries. At TED@MotorCity, MAKE magazine publisher Dale Dougherty says we're all makers at heart, and shows cool new tools to tinker with, like Arduinos, affordable 3D printers, even DIY satellites.
"Puppets always have to try to be alive," says Adrian Kohler of the Handspring Puppet Company, a gloriously ambitious troupe of human and wooden actors. Beginning with the tale of a hyena's subtle paw, puppeteers Kohler and Basil Jones build to the story of their latest astonishment: the wonderfully life-like Joey, the War Horse, who trots (and ...
New York was planning to tear down the High Line, an abandoned elevated railroad in Manhattan, when Robert Hammond and a few friends suggested: Why not make it a park? He shares how it happened in this tale of local cultural activism.
Fifty percent of traffic accidents happen at intersections. Gary Lauder shares a brilliant and cheap idea for helping drivers move along smoothly: a new traffic sign that combines the properties of "Stop" and "Yield."
At age 14, in poverty and famine, a Malawian boy built a windmill to power his family's home. Now at 22, William Kamkwamba, who speaks at TED, here, for the second time, shares in his own words the moving tale of invention that changed his life.
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?
When Joshua Prager was 19, a devastating bus accident left him a hemiplegic. He returned to Israel twenty years later to find the driver who turned his world upside down. In this mesmerizing tale of their meeting, Prager probes deep questions of nature, nurture, self-deception and identity.
The path to better medicine is paved with accidental yet revolutionary discoveries. In this well-told tale of how science happens, neuroscientist Rebecca Brachman shares news of a serendipitous breakthrough treatment that may prevent mental disorders like depression and PTSD from ever developing. And listen for an unexpected -- and controversial...